Friday, May 31, 2013

How To Install Paintings In Your Home

Earlier this month, I was one of the featured Interior Designers at an Event at the Baker Knapp & Tubbs showroom at ADAC, featuring current paintings from Anne Irwin Fine Art, Miami Circle, Atlanta.  It was quite an honour, and there was a great turn-out!  Here's one of my interiors featured on the Power Point presentation:

This week, I'm writing on how to install paintings in your rooms.  First, like a recipe that uses quality ingredients and creates a wonderful meal, start by using QUALITY ART (all paintings in this blog are offered for sale by Anne Irwin Fine Art; just contact me for sizes and prices).

And, to clarify, all of the wonderful vignettes shown were installed by: PETRONILLA PEMBERTON, Visual Display Coordinator at Baker's Showroom at ADAC.  Petronilla has a discerning and creative eye, and we talked about how I as a designer use some of her "tricks" of displaying art in my own installations.

Hanging a large painting over a sofa might sound simple, but you'd be surprised how many people hang art-over-sofas TOO HIGH!  Measure the distance of the top of the sofa to the ceiling.  Rarely will you install right in the middle; instead, "weight" the painting closer to the top of the sofa, 6 to 8 inches most-always works. BTW: same applies to hanging art over a bed.

Perhaps you have a small painting, framed or unframed, that just seems too small to hang on your walls.  Try leaning it against a lamp or mirror; the light from the lamp with give it a nice, warm glow.  You might want to place a book or small object to keep the painting from falling, OR just put the small painting on a black plate-stand.

And while we're on the subject of art and lamps, there is NOTHING WRONG with hanging a large painting behind a lamp.  So the lampshade "covers" part of the painting: "Big Deal, only if you cover the artist's signature or an integral part of the painting do I see this as a problem."

3 Paintings from the Same Artist:  you might like the idea of 3 small to medium-sized paintings instead of one large painting.  AOK!  Just space the paintings 4-6" apart from each-other; Voila!

3 Paintings, Different Artist: this can get trickier.  Either experiment on a bare floor, arranging and spacing, OR, there's NOTHING WRONG with hiring an EXPERT (that would be I) when hanging wall art becomes anxiety-ridden or overwhelming.  It's What I DO!

Maybe it's time to treat yourself to a new painting or two.  Give me a ring (404-274-5091); I'd be happy to help!

Keep Calm And Invest In Fine Art!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Before and After; A Master Bedroom Desk

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile; HIGH pollen in the ATL had me down a few days, then I had my monthly show at Scott's Antique Market.

This week's blog is simply a recent Before and After for a wonderful client who was upgrading her Master Bedroom.  She had a nice desk, but her new bedroom furniture was more transitional, so I searched for the PERFECT desk and desk chair for a woman that wanted a more-feminine look.  Here's what she had (we moved it to a different room in her home for her daughter to use) BEFORE:

Here's what I found at Baker Knapp & Tubbs,...a WONDERFUL cream-lacquered ladies' desk (which has JEWELERY DRAWERS on the top-left and top-right drawers) from the Barbara Barry Collection.  The oval-back side chair is a personal-favourite of mine; also from Barbara Barry.  Here's the AFTER:

Nice, eh?

And HERE is a photo of the new desk and desk chair,...and how it compliments the rest of my client's Sophisticated and Feminine Master Bedroom.  The bench at the bottom of her new bed came from A. RUDIN, which I found at Ernest Gaspard and Associates at ADAC (with Audrey's help, of course!).  We selected a great ivory leather.  .....and the tall mirror on the wall came from BERNHARDT; Chris Ford, my furniture-tech and installer, professionally-hanged it on the wall right-outside my client's walk-in closet.

I was very happy with the completed Look, and my client was very pleased!

Keep Calm and Relax in Your New Bedroom!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Selling Interior Design/Designer Series: Mark Sunderland

I am so honoured to have been chosen as Jody Seivert's featured Interior Design for the month of May! I call Jody the "Pied Piper" of Interior Design Consulting. I encourage you to read the questions I answered for Jody,....and, if you just-happen to be an Interior Designer, I would HIGHLY-recommend giving her a jingle sometime! She has provided me with MANY constructive ideas I've used for my businesses since 2010. She's one of my favourite Peeps, a beautiful person both inside and out!

Thanks for my feature, Jody!

Atlanta is a sizable and supportive design market. ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) was the last design center to be accessible to the public via designers and every seminar I have ever done there has been wildly successful. At my first ADAC seminar, Mark Sunderland sat in an aisle seat, nodding vigorously at comments that he agreed with and raising his hand and sharing his opinion at comments he found lacking. He was equally quick to share his best practices and his trials and errors that taught him how to run not one, but three profitable businesses. His formidable design business and his art and antiques businesses support each other. His Anglophile aesthetic and countenance, and his generous and sharp sense of humor comprise the hard-working gentleman I know him to be. Enjoy him and follow him on Facebook- he's sure to have something for you and your next project!

1. What are the biggest changes you have seen to the industry and to your business in the last 5 years?

Our Industry, among others, changed dramatically on September 15, 2008. I was on a whole-house installation that day, and remember watching the decline of our Economy on my client's plasma TVs all over the house. Since that day, "disposable-income" has new meaning. It is more of a challenge to convince clients, both former and new, to agree to spend their money on quality furnishings for their homes.

The Design World has changed dramatically, what with television shows, the Internet, and Big Box catalogues that arrive in the mail each week; the public is deluged with alternatives to using interior designers. It is our job to STAY IN CONTACT with previous clients and, using the plethora of Social Network sites, market ourselves to new clients.

I sometimes say, "I work twice as hard for half as much money," which is not far from the truth. We as Interior Designers MUST change with the Times.

2. What have you done in your business to respond to those changes - and how is that working for you?

I've done MANY things in the last few years to respond to these changes. Since March 2011, I sell antiques,....daily in 5 spaces at at Historic Roswell Antique Market, and monthly at 3-4 spaces at The Scott Antique Market, one of the best MONTHLY antique shows in the country.

So I wear 2 hats: an Interior Designer hat and an Antique Dealer hat. It's taken time, but I've acquired over $200,000 worth of antiques in 2 years, and my antique business is certainly supplementing my Interior Design business. Almost every month at Scott's, I meet a potential new client who might-just need my help with new upholstered furniture, draperies, or kitchen and bathroom renovations. So THAT's "A Good Thing!"

I have Jody Seivert to thank for teaching me about Marketing through Social Media. I met her in the Spring of 2010 at ADAC, and, by the time she returned that Fall, I had not only a great website (which I developed in 2005), but started a BLOG and increased my Facebook and Pinterest presence exponentially. It takes time, and certainly hour upon hour of careful posts, but I've been able to reach an even larger audience through social-networking.

Recently, in December, I had a $7000 sale of antiques I had posted on Facebook (from a Designer Showhouse in Atlanta that I've participated the last 2 years) to a man in Los Angeles that I had never met. The Power of Social Networking!

3. What do you predict for the future of the interior design industry - and how can designers prepare for that?

Interior Designers will always have a place in the Home-Furnishings Industry. It is our job to convince our clients, past, present, and future, that our biggest asset is SAVING THE CLIENTS' MONEY. This can be done by asking many questions, establishing a budget, and asking what I often ask, "Have you ever made a MISTAKE? It is MY job to PREVENT making mistakes going forward." I pride myself on my listening-skills, and, unlike some designers, I ALWAYS offer to visit my client's home for my initial consultation at no-charge. That "getting to know you" and listening to my clients' wants and needs is the most important part of the Process, in my opinion.

We must all be aware of what's "out there," quality-level and pricing of what clients already have,.....and, as these Interior Design projects can become expensive at times, much the Client is willing to pay....for product AND my Professional Advice!

I'm optimistic (I always thank my 6th grade teacher for assigning me a book report: Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking). A positive mental attitude sure helps, as does hard work. And recognizing that What I Do, I do with PASSION! 

*See the full article here!

To All Interior Designers: Keep Calm and Carry On!