Saturday, April 28, 2012

Design on a Dime... Housing Works

 Dering Hall Booth

Every year, Housing Works whose mission is: "a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts." presents New City most popular interior design benefit. 50 of the world's top interior designers create vignettes with merchandise that is donated by vendors and then sold 50 to 70 off retail.

Interieurs always participates and this year Dering Hall set up a booth and Steven Gambrel put his magic touch to it... As a member of Dering Hall we donated a double chaise sofa as the anchor piece. This will (hopefully) sell at 20% of its value!!

It was a packed event which resulted in poor quality pictures from my iPhone... But otherwise a great fun evening. I shopped, met fellow designers returning from the Design Leadership Summit in Marrakech, where we all had such a fabulous time, chatted with designers manning their booths... I think next year.... I will set up booth myself.

For full details, pictures of designer's booth, check out Habitually Chic

Interieurs sofa waiting for its new owner...

Dering Hall Booth

I have the same beds on my porch

and then, colors, colors and more colors

My favorite Tyler Wisler Home, we might even do a booth together next year...

Loved the ceiling, this booth felt as I were back in Ibiza, on a hot afternoon.. 

Colorful dreams

A Bientot


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Design Leadership Summit, Marrakech 2012

I tend to shy away from large groups, trade parties and large social events, but ever since reading about the Design Leadership Summit in Ronda Carman's blog: All The Best in 2010, I have been intrigued by the quality of this Summit. 

I applied for membership this fall, was accepted and off to Marrakech (a city I have a great love affair with). At first, I was incredibly shy as I am more of  a "behind the scenes" type of person and putting myself out there is a strange and constant battle for me. This being the 7th summit, groups were already formed, people greeting each other, so glad to meet again. I had no idea of what to expect nor how to navigate a large crowd. Needless to say, I was rather nervous.

It did not take long for me to see known faces, old industry friends whom I had lost contact with and meet new fascinating people. Over cocktails, dinners, tours, I talked with such interesting and talented members of our industry. I met fellow wanderlust travelers and trekkers, talked about gardens, cities, arts, loved seeing Marrakech through Mitch Owen's eyes who has lived there for a few years. I was thrilled to meet fellow blogger Maryam Montague whose blog My Marrakech I have been following for a couple of years. I made new friendships, kind of instant connection type of friendship, met Architects and Landscape designers who actually are my neighbors and was enthralled by the talks and lectures of amazing leaders in their industry.

I left Marrakech on an incredible high, filled with promises to push myself more outside of my comfort zone, to reflect on the experiences and analyses of others and implement changes in the way I think, by pushing forward. Most of all, I felt empowered to drive my business in the direction that will suit best my clients, my lifestyle, my associates, to give clarity and value to my INTERIEURS brand and communicate with the tools of the new media.

In a nut shell, these are some of the key elements that I took in:

Communicate the value of your design or product: your value is your pride and soul which need to be communicated through your story,your talent,  your designs, your products and services Spend money, time and energy into communicating your value rather than cost cutting, which will results in deteriorating your perceived value and your brand

Technology: The age of brick and Mortar is becoming obsolete. Adapting to the new media is a must.

Websites are critical and must be clearly reflect the brand, with easy navigation, professional photography, clear interesting layout.

Twitter: is a powerful broadcasting tool as well as the extension to your brand, your personality and in 140 words is a gateway to your website or your blog.

Visual sites: Pinterest and Flipboard have opened the doors to a worldwide presence for your designs or products.

Megatrend: Mobile applications. Apple projects sales of 600 millions ipads in the relatively near future. Shoppers want instant gratification and are shopping from their mobile devices.

Philosophy: Be very clear about what you are communicating, how you package the information, and how you deliver it.

The bad news is the U.S. real estate market: Be ready, the worst is yet to come with 1/3 of real estate sales being distressed sales, a 34% decline in housing sales and lowest recorded mobility in US history. Twenty-five percent of home owners in the US are under water on their mortgages! The 2nd home market is faring the worst. The bright light in this mess: The home improvement market is the largest sector for growth.

Editor at large was at the conference and I suggest you check out their post here.

Alas, I did not have any free time to absorb the scents, colors and beauty of Marrakech. At a glance, I noticed how the city has evolved, it exploded outside of its fortification and golf courses  are appearing where once the desert a midst of a terrible drought.

Here is an older post I had written on venturing into the Moroccan Sahara.

A bientot,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Hello all:  Francine is in France on a visit with her parents after spending an intense 4 days in Marrakesh at a design conference sponsored by Dering Hall. She'll be back on the weekend and I'm sure she'll have lots to write about  - probably at 4:00 AM due to the inevitable jet lag [GROAN...].

In the meantime, here's a link to a great piece about Interieurs on Dering Hall's website: DH SHOPPING WITH INTÉRIEURS.


Posted by Luke

Monday, April 2, 2012

Designing for small space: Bedroom suite

Armande canopy from my Interieurs Collection

Designing a small space can be challenging and one common mistake is to think "small" in terms of furniture pieces. I would rather place larger but fewer pieces and  keep a tight design theme. A small bedroom can be inviting, soothing in dark colors and antique furniture, fun and bright, or light and airy.

I finally gave a "new take on life" to what used to be a maid's room and bath. I could not even bring myself to show the "before" as this small bedroom and bath was beyond any help and had not been touched in more than 20 years. The bathroom received the occasional "cosmetic" touch but was in dire need of a total gut job. No longer a maid's room, this bedroom now functions as an occasional guest room.

The room faces East and North, the floors and walls were painted in different tones of Benjamin Moore whites. Some doors were removed and walls added to create a small entry of sorts and give this out of the way space, its own identity.

This back bedroom received its first guest last week end...

This bedroom, once a maid's room is at the end of a corridor, and I felt it needed an entrance to give the small space its own identity. Jose Esteves  sconce and sculpture frame the entry.

Entering the bedroom from the small hall-The fabric for the shade and curtains was handwoven in Majorca, Spain and the blanket came from Guatemala. This blanket kept me warm many cold nights in the very high hills of Guatemala and Belize.

Jose Esteves chandelier, unique piece created for one of his first collection for Interieurs

The bathroom

The bathroom was done entirely in white as its size is minuscule.The fixtures were all purchased on line, with modern Philippe Stark deep tub, contemporary faucets and traditional subway tiles with pencil details. The floors and tub surround are pure white marble.

On to the next project...

A bientot,


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