Well, it’s that time of year again – High Point Market in North Carolina,(#hpmkt) THE largest furniture market in the U.S. - kicks off this weekend from Saturday, April 5th – 10th. There will be an incredible amount of fabulous new design from top brands and smaller ones with the famous Style Spotters (10 designers hand-selected by #hpmkt) sharing all their finds. Plus all my Twitter friends are going to be there, as well as two designers that I’ve grown to admire very much.
Well, hello world!! It’s great to be back home in Austin, Texas after a whirlwind of a #BlogTourNYC trip, but I am confident that I can speak for all my fellow bloggers:
#BlogTourNYC was THE most enriching experience ever! We can’t believe it’s over! We miss everyone! AND, we wish we could relive it all again!!
One of the highlights for me and Deborah Main Designs at the #SneakPeek at Dallas Market in January (Yup, I still have a couple more posts of inspiration from just that one single day!) was having the opportunity to meet and hear Thomas O’Brien speak. Not having a background in design, I honestly didn’t know who he was. I really enjoyed hearing him speak, seeing his slide show, and learning about his NYC store. Since going to Dallas was my first time attending market as a blogger, I was very keen on learning more and listening to what he had to say. I was definitely intrigued! Continue reading
Modernism Week, a non-profit organization with their signature design event in February, is happening RIGHT NOW in Palm Springs, California! This year it is being held February 13th-23rd at the Hilton Palm Springs. The event occurs on an annual basis to celebrate mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion, and of course, culture. It’s also designed to encourage contemporary thinking through education, preservation and sustainable modern living to reflect what Palm Springs is all about. Modernism Week showcases over 100 events from films and lectures to tour buses and parties, there is so much to do and see! Click here to see a list of their events. Some of them are even free, so if you are in the area, I would definitely urge you to check them out! You can also view their program here.
We’re lucky to have a couple design pals attending many of the events (and let’s not forget the poolside parties!), Brandon Smith of D’ Coop Media (Editor of The Twenty Six) and Allan DallaTorre, of Hinge Decor (a fabulous new home decor line). So we’ve been getting a little inside peek of some cool design via these two stylish men. Both have seen everything from zebra and fish wallpaper to pops of Orange Tango, neon green and bright yellow, to black glass tile.
Allan’s Inspiration: “Grill work of the 1950′s and ’60′s was one of the hallmarks of mid-century homes. The geometric is so simple but when cast in iron or stone with the sun wafting through it…it becomes such a great graphic that I plan to take it back with me to incorporate it into my own design aesthetic…maybe some wallpaper even.”
Brandon is attending on behalf of Crossville, Inc., an award-winning Porcelain Stone® tile and natural stone manufacturer that creates beautifully designed, environmentally friendly, American-made tile and stone for residential and contract applications.
Brandon’s Inspiration: “Modernism of the ’60s’ and ’70′s can be interpreted to whatever it is you want it to be. From Pop Art elements you put into your home or whatever you like, it becomes “liveable design”. Heck you can throw anything on the wall out here and it is called art. Plus I’m really seeing the outdoors as a true extension of indoor living. Like a Chesterfield couch covered in vinyl.”
Laurie Laizure of Customized Walls and fearless leader of the Google+ group, Interior Design Community. held one of her fab G+ hangouts earlier this week with both of these talented designers. That’s how I was able to capture the details of this fantastic event in Palm Springs. Enjoy the photos below by Brandon and Allan and please check out Laurie’s G+ video: LIVE from Modernism Week in Palm Springs
Modernism Week also holds several other events including “Fall Season Kick-Off” in mid-October. This event includes architectural tours, cocktail parties and even trips to retro “yard” sales. In addition to this, partner organizations will throw “mini-Modernism Week” to kick start Palm Springs social and recreational season. Modernism Week provides scholarships to Palm Springs students who are seeking a degree in architecture or design. Modernism Week is also actively involved with both local and state preservation organizations in their efforts to preserve mid-century architecture throughout California. And a good thing too, because there is so much eye-catching design out there and houses, like Frank Sinatra’s, fully intact!! (You can see many of the inside of these houses on YouTube).
At Deborah Main Designs, we really enjoy learning and talking about Modernism Week and mid-century modern design because it characterizes the sophisticated, smooth and cosmopolitan lifestyle from 1940′s and 50′s which I so love. Our studio incorporates these timeless characteristics into our Redbrick Modern Luxury Pillow Collection, Timeless Travels Souvenir Scarf Pillow Collection, and Designer Classics Luxury Pillow Collection. The clean lines and minimal adornments create true classics that homeowners can enjoy for years to come. Not to mention, that Deborah Main’s unique pillows are made from original textiles and vintage scarves from that era. Can’t you just picture the handsome Rick Blaine and lovely Ilsa Lund in the movie Casablanca leaning against these pillows as they reminisce about Paris? Now that’s class if you ask me!
We at Deborah Main Designs are going to figure out a way, sometime soon, to be able to attend this incredible event as it is a design era so important to us. Gotta find a way to get out there to enjoy all that sun and fabulous design!! And like Allan and Brandon, maybe a poolside party or two. Those lucky dogs!! Until then, enjoy the sun in Austin and keep praying for an early spring. XOPG
I’m still high in the clouds with excitement over receiving a Twtter direct message a few weeks ago, from Veronika Miller of Modenus, inviting me to the #BlogTourNYC March 18 -22, 2014. In fact, my adrenalin was so pumped up I couldn’t even think straight and I had to email my dear friend Brandon Smith of D’ Coop Media (who has been on several of the blog tours) to be sure I was reading the message correctly.
I said, “Is she really inviting me??” He said, “Yup, it looks like she is, congratulations!!”. WOW!! To be invited to a select group for BlogTourNYC? I was incredibly honored and floored to say the least!!
You see, last year, at Deborah Main Designs we ooohed and aaahed while following all the exciting happenings and design finds from bloggers attending #BlogTourLondon and #BlogTourNYC, fantasizing about how fun that would be, never for a minute thinking that one day I’d be invited on one of these incredible tours. I was thinking, how could this possibly happen? I know I made a leap of faith in January 2014 and attended my first event as a blogger, the #SneakPeek at Dallas Market, which you can read all about HERE. But to be invited, just one week after that, to the prestigious #BlogTourNYC DURING The Architectural Digest Home Design Show.….THE show that I’ve dreamed of attending for years?? Veronika said in her message “I didn’t know you blogged, would you like to come to NY during AD show?” Well, evidently my leap of faith and commitment to blogging quality content at least once a week for the last year has truly paid off.
Lesson learned: Do what you love. Do it consistently. And opportunities will come knocking on your door.
Well it’s for real folks, and Modenus officially announced it yesterday!! I am one of twelve bloggers who will make up the amazingly talented team of the 2014 #BlogTourNYC! I am EXCITED beyond words!! SO excited, I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep till March.
And in typical Deborah Main fashion, my very first thought was, “Yikes, what am I going to wear??” LOL!!
It’s in the middle of winter in March in New York and we barely have winter clothes here in Austin Texas, so the hunt is on for tall, flat-heeled, comfy, stylish boots. Ready, set go – to my local boutique Spring Frost, who always makes me stylish for any upcoming event. One day I literally had 10 minutes to come up with an awesome, comfy summer stylish outfit to wear to appointments in Houston (that wouldn’t get crumpled in the hot car traveling!), and voila! In and out the door I went, from Spring Frost boutique, with this amazing white dress, sandals, and belt all set to go. And boy, have I worn the heck out of this classic white dress!! (I know y’all have seen me in it countless times!) Spring Frost is THE best design boutique in Austin when it comes to stylish fashion AND personalized customer service!!
Alright, enough about my wardrobe already! Onto the 2014 list of the #BlogTourNYC. I am honored and humbled to be among this incredibly talented team. Take a few moments to read all about them below and about Modenus. Please be sure to follow each of the bloggers on Twitter, Instagram, their blogs, and all social media platforms as you will be in for a treat come March! And please subscribe to our blog HERE so you can keep up with all the happenings leading up to #BlogTourNYC and lots more, because we’ve still got goodies from Dallas to share. Till then, we at Deborah Main Designs wish you a fabulous week! XOPG
Modenus’ second BlogTour for 2014 is headed back to New York City where it all began. We will be visiting the AD Home Design Show and explore the city in a, for BlogTour, very new fashion. This tour is all about learning for our team of bloggers and while design still plays a major role in the tour, we will be meeting up with photographers, stylists, a renowned designers and a few other nice people that are ready to share with us what they do and how, with a few tips and tricks, our blogs can become even more professional looking. Please follow our bloggers below to learn what’s new on BlogTour.
hdSTYLESTUDIO (a division of Habermehl Design Group Inc.) is a full service residential and small commercial interior decorating and design studio. Since 1996, Owner and Principal Alison Habermehl has been the creative visionary behind the evolving company. She is supported by a dedicated and multi-faceted team in the areas of design, assisting, styling/decorating, business operations, marketing and professional renderings. Together, their combined strengths deliver projects from initial conceptualization to stunning completion.Inspired by contemporary design that’s fresh, organic, sophisticated and uncomplicated, each project is an astute fusion of the client’s individual style, complimented by the company’s steadfast vision. Be sure to follow Alison’s creative vision via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest.
Jeffrey Design LLC, founded in 2008, is a dynamic interior design firm that is highly sought. Their expertise encompasses the design of interior spaces for impeccable lifestyles; they provide quality end results and stunning spaces for luxury residential properties. Jeffrey is also a Licensed Real Estate Agent and clearly understands “return on investment value” as it applies to the design of a property. “I am intrigued with how people are living,” Jeffrey says. He thrives on using textiles, furnishings, upholstery, accessories, and lighting to collaborate on a distinctive hue or a combination or pattern of hues, complementing style and period. Self-taught, Jeffrey Johnson provides great interior design services. Get to know the multi-faceted Jeffrey via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Award-winning designer, Deborah Main, the founder and dynamic creative force behind the exclusive private studio Deborah Main Designs, brings a rich depth of artistic creativity and imagination to her luxury decorative pillow line. Inspired by her notable Hudson Valley, New York heritage, and the creative hothouse of Austin, Texas, Deborah Main’s exquisite and distinguished visual signature style is highly prized by interior designers, collectors, editors, and all who value the essential elegance of her luxury pillows. Deborah Main is continually inspired by the timeless, intersecting crossroads of fashion, culture and history. She loves crafting this rich mélange into an opulent artistic aesthetic that excites home owners and collectors today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. Learn more about her artistic aesthetic via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Faith Sheridan is a leader in creating luxury interiors tailored to the lifestyles of the Pacific Northwest. A warm palette, fabrics woven in the ikat or dyed in shibori traditions and most importantly restraint, are signatures of her interiors, which bridge the gap between diverse eras. She is fearless when it comes to the creation of custom furnishings, especially rugs, largely because of her understanding of color. As a past member and contributor to the first Benjamin Moore Residential Color Advisory team, she helped define the Color Palette Initiative that determines future color trends.Sheridan holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from Creighton University in Omaha and started her career working with inner city, gifted and special needs teenagers before transitioning to interior design. Sheridan is a professional member of ASID and Past President of the Oregon ASID chapter. Learn more about Faith and her warm palette via Twitter, Facebook,and Google+
Typhanie Peterson is an interior decorator who loves beautiful things.Having been on the “top ramen” budget before, she knows what it’s like to have good taste but not have the money to show it. Because of this, she became very handy with a glue gun and a DIY lover.Those inspiring projects can be found on her Blog or on the Think Crafts Blog where she’s the Home Decor Contributor. Along with her crafts, she creates made to order products in her own designs that bring a splash of creativity to anyone’s home, from fabrics, pillows, wallpaper, and prints. On a personal note, one of her main goals in life is to bring hope and love to the world.In that pursuit, she’s been blessed enough to have worked on several charity projects recently, including; The Upward Bound House, The Good Shepherd Project and The Pad. All of which have allowed her to not only help others, but also gain an understanding of people and the world. Check out more of Typhanie’s inspiring projects via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Paola Thomas is a British food and travel photographer based in Seattle in the entrancing Pacific Northwest. She has been an enthusiastic photographer ever since she was given a Kodak Instamatic at the age of six. She loves to tell stories with her camera through the juxtaposition of light, shape, color and texture and bring an infatuation with color and a graphic sensibility to her work. She styled most of the still-life food images in her portfolio herself and has access to a fabulous dedicated and fully-equipped food photography studio in downtown Seattle. She’s currently writing and photographing a regular seasonal cakes column for Edible Seattle, and her product photography has appeared in Elle, the Times, the Independent, the Daily Mail, the FT’s ‘How to Spend It’ and Exeter Living. Two of her photographs were chosen to feature in the Feast fine art photography exhibit juried by Matt Armendariz. Get a glimpse of Paola and her photography via her Twitter, Facebook, andPinterest.
Marc Abelman is CFO and Director of Marketing for Inside Style. He brings new ideas and creative business options to the company while maintaining standards of service above the rest.Having been a service professional for over 26 years in the restaurant business, Marc knows the top rate service his clients came to expect from him. From humble beginnings at a local Pub in San Diego, CA, he finished his restaurant career in Las Vegas, NV, at a Michelin Star rated restaurant Michael Mina in the Bellagio as one of the lead professionals.As part owner and CFO, Marc is responsible for managing the Financial Planning and Marketing. Marc started this role initially to support his wife and business partner Jill, so she could focus on Design and Furnishings. As the business progressed, Marc found his involvement and role needed a full time effort.Marc’s strong desire to live and work in a positive environment puts everyone in a valued position and creates a “win-win” work ethic. Please follow Marc on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Opened in September 2004, Inside Style was a long time dream of its owner Jill Abelman. After design school, she spent 6 years working her way up through the ranks of interior design companies in Newport Beach and Los Angeles, where she was promoted to project manager and lead designer for several prominent design firms. In 1992, she opened a retail home accessory store in Laguna Beach California. She operated the store while still designing for residential clients, and commercial projects that included corporate offices, a yacht re-design and a bridal salon.In 1998 she was recruited by a National Homebuilder to come to Las Vegas to open their Homebuyers Design Center and start a Model Home Design Department. Becoming Vice President, Jill was responsible for all of the model home projects in the Valley. It was a great experience, however, Jill longed for the creative freedom that comes with entrepreneurship. Get to know Jill and her entrepreneurial spirit via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Maureen Coates has always had an inherent interest in design and decor. After being a stay at home mommy for 19+ years, she went back to school part time to become a certified Interior Decorator. She started MODECOR 5 years ago to provide Interior Decorator and Design Consultant services. Maureen finds that her personal experiences with moving and downsizing are reflected in her business as she now specializes in designing small spaces.She is a huge proponent of colour in design and decor.She believes in surrounding yourself with the things you love.She does not follow trends, as she thinks you should love the space you are in. She has been published in Ottawa at Home Magazine, Ottawa Magazine, The Ottawa Citizen and have appeared on local TV with 6 other designers, The TBBs as we talked about seasonal decor. She is an accredited CDECA member and has won a CDECA Decorating Award. My huge interest in colour and undertones led me to become certified as a True Colour Expert /TCE through colour guru Maria Killam’s excellent colour courses. Learn more about Maureen and her personal experiences via Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Color, fashion, style, design… Marcy Michaud has always loved beautiful things.As a girl, she started reading magazines, designing and decorating her bedroom, and learning how to sew. Later on, she studied fashion merchandising, worked at a magazine, did pr, traveled as a television spokesperson, was a fashion consultant and a boutique store manager.And she likes techie things.The combination is exactly what Stylesson is about. A merging of “style” + “lesson”, stylesson features visual inspiration, as well as a comprehensive directory of blogs. Being able to find the beautiful things, to highlight them and to focus on the bloggers that create them, that is Marcy’s goal. Find the beautiful things with Marcy via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Vicki Gladle Bolick, C.I.D., is the owner and principal designer of Bolick Interiors,LLC. She is a Residential Interior Design graduate from the Vanguard School of Interior Design in Atlanta, Georgia, and also is a Certified Interior Decorator. .As an Atlanta based firm, Bolick Interiors specializes in developing interiors that are unique to the client. Vicki’s designs reflect a lifestyle and she believes in taking the client’s taste and making it better. She believes that living spaces should reflect the way we live our lives, and through getting to know her clients she has created interiors that are warm, stylish and comfortable.Her work has been recognized in the Atlanta Journal’s Home Section, Home Improvement Magazine, Decatur Living, Northside Woman and Forsyth County News. Recently, she has begun to receive ”buzz” in the design community with her blog The Ace of Space Blog. Her interiors range from traditional with a twist, to transitional, and contemporary. Learn more about Vicki and her new blog via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Having developed her sharp eye for color, composition, and emerging trends as a fashion design student at Parsons School of Design, an interior design student at the New York School of Design, and 20 years in the fashion industry, Jeanne started her interior design business and blog Cozy•Stylish•Chic in 2013 in Pasadena, California, which she now calls home. She is a moderator for the popular G+ Interior Design Community of over 13,000 members and will be assuming the duties of Style Spotter for High Point Market for 2014. She has lived in such exotic places as Singapore, Jakarta, and Bali, and the exposure to these cultures have shaped what influences her today– color, details, and exotic embellishments. Jeanne always manages to keep things real with her approachability, her outgoing personality and her sarcastic sense of humor. Stop by for a visit to see what she’s up to or just to say hello via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Luxury brands take notice!! We at Deborah Main Designs are just head over heels in love with this new online luxury magazine that debuted last week: The Twenty Six. It is THE best new luxury magazine in the 21st century and is forging a new path on how luxury brands connect. You say, “Well how is that possible? There are so many great luxury mags out there”. Aha, there are, but not like this one. The Twenty Six is a totally unique concept - cutting edge, merging our online and offline worlds together into great photos and content that is sure to inspire new dialogue and innovative ideas.
Brainchild of designer, Brandon Smith, owner of D’ Coop Media, states it this way:
“We work with luxury brands and their representatives to foster meaningful and lucrative online connections that matter most. From Twitter chats & live Tweet-ups and blogger events to digital magazines, we’re bringing the online & offline worlds together.”
And indeed he is!!
Full disclosure here. I’m a tad partial to Brandon, because he was my very first Twitter friend who out of the goodness of his heart, sketched up a required drawing for my Atlanta booth application, (not just any drawing, but the most beautiful!) which landed me a coveted spot in the High Design jury section of the 2013 International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. And he got us our first California magazine exposure in San Diego Premiere.
But aside from all that, he is UBER talented, a dear friend, and it is an honor to advertise in his premier issue of The Twenty Six. You will find this magazine full of fabulous photos, witty prose, and many luxury brands from cover to cover to tantalize the senses. Some of you may even remember, that we did a post last year of his infamous Rolls Royce Wraith drive along Route 66. That was, by far, my most read blog post (thank you dear readers)! Please be sure to check it out HERE.
Without further ado, we at Deborah Main Designs, would like to congratulate Brandon on a fabulous job, as you will no doubt agree his magazine is stellar! I present you here with his new luxury magazine for your enjoyment: The Twenty Six. We’re so thrilled to be part of this fabulous magazine and wish you all the best Brandon!
Please subscribe to The Twenty Six, so you can keep abreast of all the latest happenings in the luxury design world. And be sure to check out the FULL Route 66 article about the Rolls Royce Wraith on P. 54 and our luxury vintage souvenir scarf pillows along for the ride on P. 63. Till next time, stay safe and warm as a Nor’easter is about to hit the East coast any minute. Pray for spring!! XOPG
As everyone knows, I LOVE color!! All you have to do is look at our brand new website, Deborah Main Designs, and it sums up my love affair with color. A love affair I’ve had a very long time.
Back in Boston when I was a student at Berklee College of Music (yes, I wanted to be a jazz singer in my youth!) I was an avid shopper at Filene’s basement and started my color profile then. (If anyone remembers Filenes, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Designer clothes at discount prices.).
The gates were locked, scores of women were waiting, and then the bell would ring and voila! Filene’s Basement opened and we were off and running. My stepmother trained me well on shopping for designer clothes at an early age!
My stepsisters and I would come dressed in leotards (as there were no dressing rooms) so we could easily try on our next designer outfit. I’ll have to dig up a photo of me one day, as I was probably THE best dressed youth on the airplane in those days when flying was still a luxury. My fave was blue & white pin stripe dress suit with a band of red at the collar… with gloves, and maybe even a hat…the works!! But I digress…
Well, one day I mustered the courage to go upstairs, to the REAL Filene’s store to cosmetics. I had a full makeup profile done at Estee Lauder, and have been a loyal fan every since.
I remember being told at the cosmetics counter that my color was “Winter”. I don’t even know if they still do that anymore, but since then I’ve ALWAYS been drawn to vibrant colors.
Like diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald….need I say more? A girl’s best friend! Those have always been my go-to colors, rich and royal.
Which brings us to Radiant Orchid. While I’m not as in love with this year’s Pantone color as much as last year’s, Emerald, I still LOVE to design using many shades of orchid with our luxury pillow line. And I surely captured plenty of it at the #SneakPeek at Dallas Market!
In decorating this spring, I wouldn’t go too far with it, but Radiant Orchid is the perfect color to just add a touch of it in your home or to a stylish outfit as an “accessory” - a tad bit of soft purple to that chic, modern living room or designer dress.
Here is part of our #SneakPeek blogger group (below) at Dallas market getting our orientation by the masterful, Chris Hite. Chris was the perfect guide, even putting up with me while I was always the last one moving onto the next showroom…lol! Our first stop was Dallas Finds, the temporary booths. In pic below, we’re all busily prepping our cameras and phones, ready to hit the showrooms to find the latest colors, styles and trends for 2014.
Please enjoy all the wonderful products I captured on my phone in Radiant Orchid. The showrooms were gorgeous and I even had time to visit the first showroom to carry the Deborah Main luxury pillow line, back in 2006, Doris Sanders, Ltd., a fabulous showroom filled with everything you can imagine….and lots of pillow lines. It was so exciting for me personally to reconnect with owner Sue Wyll and a few of the staff still there. I have wonderful memories cutting my teeth at that showroom under Sue, and the reps, guidance!!
At Deborah Main Designs, we generally do not follow trends, but we learned the hard way to pay a little more attention to them.
Listening to trends: Years ago we handcrafted gorgeous blue pillows long before anyone even thought about putting blue in their home, because we loved the color and texture of this incredible fabric we discovered in a little fabric shop in Taos, NM. But they didn’t sell for a long time…and of course now blue is THE color. Go figure! So now we listen a little more
It was super exciting to be on the other side of the industry looking in with all these wonderful interior designers, who write creative blogs, and to be able to share with you my perspective on new products and colors. Should you select a new rug, lamp or sofa this spring, we have many pillows (see below) that will coordinate perfectly with any radiant orchid home decor product you choose. We’ll also be adding shades of orchid, in lovely silk brocades, linens and vintage textiles, as the year goes on. So please be sure to take a peek at our website or call our studio, 512.447.9807 if you’d like to place a custom order. (Note: All Deborah Main pillows are NOT on our new website. We have many other styles, and colors, from which to choose, so please contact us if you can’t find what you’re looking for. You can also send us swatches of your latest project and we’ll mail back our color ideas just for you!)
As mentioned in my prior post, I’ll be writing a lot just from that one #SneakPeek event at Dallas Market, as it was truly AMAZING!! So watch for our next post on colorful blue and my take on Thomas O’ Brien’s presentation and new book, “Aero: Beginning to Now”. You might even be able to win one of his books right here! So stay tuned.
Till next time, enjoy the sunny Texas weather before it gets cold again, and may all of you still dealing with the snow and brrrr cold, please stay safe. We hope our blog posts and Deborah Main Designs can add a touch of radiant beauty to your winter days! XO PG
Last weekend I had the time of my life in Dallas: Deborah Main Designs, (aka The Pillow Goddess) attended my very first blogger event: Sneak Peek 2014!
But before we get to that I want to complain (just for a minute) about winter. I know…..what do I have to complain about when half the country is in the single digits!?!?! Seriously now!!! But I am a “creative”, and like a bear, I need to hibernate for awhile (which actually works out pretty well with the weather this season). And when the new year approaches, I need time to regroup, to take stock of the previous year, and do nothing but rest, read, learn, think, get my groove on for the new year, etc. (Ya know what I mean? And sometimes the holidays is just not enough time for me). Most importantly, I need to give myself enough time and space so that my creativity can once again flourish – with freshness in spirit and mind – in the new year. (Lofty goal I know, but one I always strive for).
This is a big part of how I function as an artist. My worst fear at the start of a new year is always that I’ll wake up one day and never be able to design another pillow again…or that I’ll run out of ideas. (I know, ridiculous, right? ) But I do need to be inspired and giving myself time to do that is essential for me!
Which brings us to the fantastic event I went to last weekend, #SneakPeek2014. ( I highly recommend it for any design or lifestyle blogger, even if your new to the industry). While I like my quiet time (and I have to constantly remind myself that it’s OKAY to take that time!), I also like to jump-start the new year with something exciting and different.
So last week, I literally jumped into 2014 as a blogger and attended the #SneakPeak at Dallas Market.
The Hidden List
Denise McGaha Interiors
Our Style Stories
What an honor to be part of a group of 15 amazing women, 6 whom were the ring leaders (see above list and links). Leslie Carothers, of Kaleidoscope Partnership, was filling in for Leslie Wood of Hadley Court, who could not attend due to family obligations. Good thing too because Leslie was the ONLY person I knew! But everyone was so nice and welcoming, it didn’t take long to make new friends. And the event, #SneakPeek2014, benefited nonprofit Dwell with Dignity (more on that later.)
I never thought that getting out of one’s comfort zone could be THAT fun!! I had a blast! It’s like taking your design business and social media to a whole new level and I LOVED every minute of it!!
Our gracious hosts, Christ Hite and Lauren Venegas, of Dallas Market Center, did such a great job ushering us through a busy day. We saw multiple showrooms, heard Thomas O’ Brien of Aero Studios speak (more on that fantastic talk in a future post!), and were whisked off for a private lunch to hear Lisa Robison and Kim Turner, founders of Dwell with Dignity. We had plenty of time to explore, take photos, share stories, get to know each other, and then capped it all off with cocktails at an ART social in preparation for the big #ARTS Awards (the Oscars for the home industry). The day was fabulous and the women inspiring!!
It seems that congratulations are in order for one of our #SneakPeek designers, Shay Geyer of IBB Design Fine Furnishings. I met her for the first time at this event and she was delightful! Her store, located in Frisco, Texas and started almost 30 years ago by her mother, just won BEST RETAIL FURNITURE STORE IN AMERICA. How exciting!! Congratulations Shay!! (Click here for full story on the awards)
My first #SneakPeek at Dallas Market Center was most definitely inspiring! I so enjoyed meeting, and learning from, such an esteemed group of talented women, some whom have been designing and blogging for years. I look forward to continued friendships! (For a complete list of who attended, please see bottom of post).
During the next few weeks, my goal is to write shorter posts (ha, we’ll see if that’s ever possible!) and I will feature several of the design elements, people, conversation, and showrooms that inspired me the most at my first #SneakPeek.
So here’s your first peek from Deborah Main Designs for what’s hot in 2014! This is a new gig for me (checking out design as a blogger) so please enjoy the photos and my fresh, naive take on design in the home furnishings industry. Please sign up for our blog so you can see all the rest of the goodies in future posts. And be sure to check out the blogs of the expert host committee above. Till next time, stay warm! XO PG
Gold might just be the new black - as I saw it everywhere at Dallas Market Center!
Happy New Year! I’ve been thinking all week about what I was going to write. Many new year posts have come and gone. Lot’s of reports on 2013, new year resolutions, new year “words”, great photos, etc. They all have been wonderful and inspiring. In fact, I’ve chosen my word: Clarity. (more on that later).
But somehow I have not quite been ready for the new year to begin. It feels like I’ve hardly had a chance to even ponder last year…and so much happened during the year that my head is still spinning!!
So I told myself it’s alright….take your time. Then all of a sudden the January markets were here (a week early for Atlanta!). In fact, The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings market actually starts today! During this cold snap, it’s amazing to think that just one year ago I ventured into that international arena….
Then a package arrived in the mail today, all the way from Lithuania. When I opened it, I thought: There’s my answer. There’s what I’ve been looking for, reflecting on, trying to define for the new year. There was this adorable little house with a little candle inside. I had received this gift from one of my dear Twitter friends, Asta, (of Baltica luxury hardware) half way around the world.
I just couldn’t believe it….I can’t tell you how much that little house warmed my heart today!!
I lit the candle, parked that house in the middle of my table, and watched it all day while I was working on my website. It stayed there even during our family dinner when my daughter said, “but why did she send it to you?” I responded, “because she wanted to and she has a giving heart.” And the other reason, I knew, was because she took the time out of her busy life to snail mail something special. That’s one of the things I used to take time out to do….and that’s some of what I want to get back in my life this new year.
2014 is an exciting year for Deborah Main Designs as we celebrate 10 years in business!
It’s so hard to believe from where Deborah Main Designs started with a sewing machine in my bedroom, to where we are today: a luxury decorative pillow design house.
There’s a lot to think about and a lot I’ve learned along the way, and am still learning, that I’d like to share with you. So you see it’s hard to jump right into 2014 for me, as I’m not just reflecting on 2013 but on the entire past 10 years. And I really want to share my journey with you!
So, hold on new year…..I’m not going to let you put me on the fast track!! I almost jumped right in, but then I put the pause button on and said “nope”, not going to kick into high gear just yet. I’m going to take my time and do some more thinking during these winter months.
John Strauss, of Strauss Furniture, another dear Twitter friend gave me the sage old advice this fall: Take your time to get it right.
I learned so much about myself and my business and my life in these past 10 years, that I want to be able to share some of my insights with you. The highs and the lows of being an entrepreneur, a mother and wife that works out of my home & studio. Somehow, for this year, 2014, I want my life to be calmer, more focused, more in tune with me and my family and my goals. So get ready…you might see a slower Deborah Main…(I know, hard to believe right?!?!), but this is an important year for me and I want to take my time to “get it right”.
In my personal and professional life everything has to have purpose and meaning. Many of you already know this about me, and some are just learning it. But from family heirlooms, to collectible vintage textiles, French trim, and brooches, everything and everyone in my life has a story.
And that little house says it all! That candle represents clarity in my house, my home & business. Light inside me and my life, and this is what I seek in 2014 and into the future.
2014 is a big year of change and transition for me, my family and my business:
- Deborah Main Designs celebrates it’s 10 year anniversary,
- my son turns a quarter century old,
- my husband retires from the state to teach and write,
- my little girl graduates a year early from high school,
- and the last BIGGIE, my husband and I will be married 30 years in April!!
So, maybe you can understand why I’m taking my time with the new year. Time to get it right. My heart and soul are with my family and friends like you, my relationships that mean the world to me. I wish all of you the most fantastic new year – filled with love, laughter, spontaneity, challenge, joy, and even a little heartbreak – everything that makes you feel alive with gratitude! And please enjoy this post by friend Laura Orange, a fabulous travel writer and photographer. You can imagined how tickled pink I was when I found this post the day I received my little candle house. And with all the flower boxes both on these real 1/2 timber houses and my little clay one, well, it certainly reminds us that spring is on it’s way.
We at Deborah Main Designs wish you a beautiful year! With our brand new website, and all the wonderful opportunities ahead, we look forward to celebrating 2014, and our 10 year anniversary, with you! Till next time, Happy New Year! XOPG
This is a very spontaneous post…and a very unedited one at that. It’s not a glamorous holiday post by Deborah Main Designs on how to decorate your tree (sorry to disappoint). No, there are plenty of fabulous interior designers that are doing an all out job with that! (But do please enjoy our decorating “progress” throughout this post.)
No, this is just a simple, every day post by me, Deborah Main, about my regular family life, with all it’s imperfections, and squeezing in decorating our tree amidst school finals, holiday shopping, fashion shows, work deadlines, grocery shopping, and everything else that goes along with every day life. But it’s also a post I felt compelled to write tonight.
This holiday season, I think it’s important to stop just for a minute and think. I certainly did, and here’s why.
I was inspired today by a few lovely comments on my Facebook about how beautiful our “Au natural” tree looked (as we let it sit yesterday to fall out before we decorated it tonight).
I was so struck by how just one simple photo of a fresh pine tree spoke to people and brought many wonderful comments.
My daughter and husband have the honor of selecting our tree every year and I always have to say “Remember, tall and skinny!” cause it sits smack in the middle of our family room (cause there’s no place else for it) and if the branches are too wide, well, we run into it all the time. They did pick a pretty winner this year!
But one comment about my tree, has particularly stuck with me all day. A friend I don’t even know very well, but enjoyed meeting a time or two while dancing at The Broken Spoke (an infamous Texas dance hall), inspired this post with a simple statement:
“Beautiful tree! Share progress pics as I, for one, am doing this part of Christmas vicariously through you”.
Now THAT really struck me! It stopped me in my busy tracks, and got me thinking and remembering.
The Thinking Part: What I’m grateful for. You know as well as I do, that amidst all our hustle and bustle, not everyone is home with a family, or even has a home. Not everyone has a beautiful tree to decorate either. Some folks are traveling. Some folks have aging parents. Some people are single and not with relatives at this time. And some don’t even celebrate Christmas. And, like me, some have had losses during the holidays (my mother died on Dec 23rd, 2002). So I personally understand that the holidays are not always a happy time. It can bring back painful and sad memories. But, it also can be enlightening and full of joy as well. That’s why this comment really resonated with me and is worth repeating:
“Beautiful tree! Share progress pics as I, for one, am doing this part of Christmas vicariously through you”.
I’m very lucky to have a husband, two fabulous children (and even a 3rd, who’s a foreign exchange student/daughter), and a lovely home to have a fresh Christmas tree in the middle of our family room. You can’t imagine how thankful I am for all this!! As I didn’t always know it was possible. And, as any one knows with our fluctuating economy and weather, sometimes our circumstances can change rapidly, like it did for all the families during Austin’s tragic Halloween Flood.
At Christmastime, I’m always reminded how much it means to have my family and my home….and I am forever humbled by this.
The Remembering Part: Her comment also stuck with me because I remember as a child how important Christmas was to me. Not for the presents (I even got double presents cause my parents were divorced so I had TWO Christmases), but for the “feelings”, the “memories”, the “cherished moments”, the “keepsake ornaments shared from year to year” (and no, I’m not just saying that cause Deborah Main Designs sells collectible ornaments, but please check them out here cause they are rather adorable ).
Christmas has special meaning to me, because as a child, like many young children do, I fantasized about what a “perfect” Christmas would look like. I didn’t know it then, but I was being raised by a single mother, and our Christmas tree, was a tiny, table-top tree on a cedar chest. I hated it. Then on Christmas day or the day after, I would fly to another state and be with my Dad and his family and we’d have a fake tree and lots of presents. It was great fun and I have wonderful memories. But while my parents did an astounding job, there was always something inside me that didn’t quite feel like our Christmas was the real thing…..or at least not what I imagined my friends families’ Christmases were like at that time.
In Kingston, New York, in the Hudson Valley, where I primarily grew up, there were three families in my neighborhood that I idolized, and probably are the very reason I have created, with my husband, the home we live in and the large tree we decorate each year.
In fact, my whole family history has a lot to do with why I even make luxury decorative pillows. For me, it’s my personal, artistic expression of creating cherished family heirlooms, which are important to me.
These three families had large houses, many children (one family had 13!), and married parents. I, on the other hand, lived in the downstairs of an old Victorian house with my divorced mother and older brother and my bedroom had glass sliding doors you could see through. I appreciate the Victorian aspect now, but back then it was not the most glamorous or secure. In the early 1960′s, no one really divorced, so I thought I was the only one in the world that had a family like this. But what I remember most about these families is Christmas, and the HUGE trees they’d have in their living rooms with trains running underneath them and, what looked to me,like a “perfect” family and a “magical” Christmas.
It’s the Christmas magic I like to think that takes over our hearts, at least mine, at this time of year. Not for all the commercialization of it, but for the simple wonder and quiet moments I spend by the fireplace when everyone’s in bed and I can relish the gratitude I feel when I look at my tree late at night. I stopped decades ago trying to have a perfect family and Christmas. Thank GOD!! That was waaay too stressful trying to pull that one off…lol!! So take it from me, don’t even try. Just enjoy whatever Christmas means to you!
So my gift to you this holiday season is our imperfect family and the decorating of our family tree with ornaments collected over the years, from kindergarten to “first” Christmases, to now, Deborah Main pillow ornaments. Please note in the photos we really do need another set of lights…cause the bottom ones don’t work. And you’ll also notice we don’t have many on top either and we have this tiny, substituted angel…because tonight my husband accidentally dropped our blown glass tree topper (I was very thankful it was not a cherished one, as I do have special glass ornaments from my mother and my mother-in-law that I would be sad if broken).
But you know what, I’d be happy even if we never decorated the tree!! Because what the Facebook comments reminded me tonight is that Christmas is all about love….and you don’t need a decorated tree or even heirloom ornaments to have that.
A simple fresh tree with no adornments at all still creates Christmas magic!!
We at Deborah Main Designs thank you for the inspiration and gift you gave us with your comments. We truly appreciate you and wish you a blessed and magical holiday season! XO PG