Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Neo Con

Neo Con is the largest commercial interior design trade show in North America.  It is a three day event that connects Architects, designers, buyers, sellers and specifiers with what is current in commercial design whether that be the workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Education, Government or Public Spaces.
Neo Con has been held each year at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago since 1969.  This building was built in the 1930's and has 4,000,000sq ft of space for commercial design showrooms, residential interior design showrooms and office spaces and is a monumental, beautiful piece of architecture.

This year Neo Con attracted 50,000 attendees and I jumped at the opportunity to attend when we, the designers at State Street Interiors, were invited to attend with our local Daltile vendor.  

The day started very early as we met at Daltile gallery in Davenport. We were greeted by the friendly faces of Daltile, Davenport Showroom manager Andrea Louton, Des Moines manager Dan Drey and Amanda Balhorn, Architectural rep from Nebraska.
We set out for Chi town in a GreyHound like bus with our first stop being the Daltile gallery just a block from the Merchandise Mart.
We saw some really inspiring tile boards, mosaic walls, the latest and greatest in floor and wall tile as well as a gorgeous Chevron styled tile wall.
We had the arguous task of choosing which street food truck we would eat from and believe me there were no wrong choices!  
After lunch, we headed to the Merchandise Mart to join all the excitement with Neo Con.
Every floor you went to was shoulder to shoulder.
Above is the 3Form gallery

Aceray commercial furniture

Look, it's a Stikwood wall!  My favorite
I believe this is a cat run for humans!

Then, it was time!  I needed my fix of lux residential.  So I headed up to the 14th floor where two of my favorite, CAI and Holly Hunt, showrooms are located.  With every showroom we oooohhhhh and awwwww!  As we walked into CAI we ran into two of our own local outside designers Davia Gallup and Wynn Schafer so we jumped in on the tour of the showroom with them.
Oh that light fixture...the trend I was picking up on is large scale and a lot of nature inspired design
The sweet side table is an ebony petrified wood and the Palecek chair is gorgeous curved wood and bamboo.

The manager of CAI Demonstrates the expandable table by Freemarc, so easy to extend 
I love the guilded Theodore Alexander chest against the dramatic metallic wall covering. All of these pieces that caught my eyes, I realized, we have them right here at our finger tips.  Our designers at State Street Interiors can help you with all of those special pieces you're thinking of for your space.

We ended our beautiful day in Chi town with a lovely reception at The Hampton Social where we all enjoyed a cocktail and Margarita pizza while listening to a local musician and debriefing about the exciting things we saw and get to do as interior designers.

The day was an absolute joy and feast for the eyes!  Thank you to Daltile for sponsoring, I look forward to next years Neo Con.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Re-arranging after the holidays

Happy New Year to everyone! 
 Well, I am finally taking the first step towards starting one of my New Years Resolutions...to blog! 
 I am really looking forward to blogging about all things interior design and how each one of us can be a Domestic Diva.  What is a Domestic Diva you may ask?  I think it is any person who is into making their home their castle...whatever that may look like to you.  It's someone who takes pride in their home and really gets into creating a space that represents the people who live in the home.  In fact, my husband is a Domestic Diva!  He cooks and cleans and even gives great input when I want to change the furniture around...which happens every month in our house!

What about you...how often do you re-arrange your furniture and accessories?  And why or why not?

I think this time of year is a great time to re-arrange furniture, accessories and artwork...think about it, you've taken down the tree and packed away all your Christmas decorations and now it seems so bare in your home.  
Here are some tips and inspiration to get your Domestic Diva juices flowing to update, freshen up and jazz up your home today!
Tip 1
Assess what you have.
Start with one room at a time and determine what artwork and accessories you want to keep or which ones you want to give away...you know the old saying, "one mans junk is another mans treasure".  So if you don't love it, if it doesn't move you and make you smile...get rid of it.

Examples of accessories courtesy of State Street Interiors & Furniture

Tip 2
Determine the look you want to achieve
What is the overall look and feel you want that room to convey about you?
For most people, we need some kind of visual inspiration.  You can get inspiration from anywhere, however, I suggest houzz.com or pinterest...choose just a few pictures like the examples from  houzz.com 

Wall art accessories

Fun vignette table top setting

Accessory vignette example

Tip 3
Start creating your vignette...
What is a vignette?  It is simply small groupings of a piece of furniture with accessories.  I always suggest doing odd numbers with the accessories and varied heights and textures. Here are a couple of before and after examples of how to create these cozy little vignettes.

Before-Just setting a chair and ottoman doesn't cut it.

After-add a floor lamp for task lighting when reading and ambient lighting for a cozy glow.  Add an accent pillow and a little tray for your accessories.

Before...Here is the average furniture arrangement with the sofa against a wall and a small centerpiece bowl in the center.

After...angle your sofa away from the wall slightly to give visual interest.  Layer elements like plants and a floor lamp behind in that void.  Make sure to include a table to set a book or a drink on each side and -no- they don't have to match.  How much warmer and inviting is this just by grouping accessories in these key areas around the sofa.

For your coffee table, it is just so fun to use books as risers or a platform for fun accessories you may have packed away in a closet. Get them out and start grouping!

Ready, set, go!

And if you have questions or comments please give your input below.  I look forward to seeing some before and afters from you!