To market, to market …

North Carolina has a long history and reputation in the home furnishings industry for manufacturing fine furniture and textiles. The renowned High Point Market in High Point is the world’s premier home furnishings event.

High Point Market Square
High Point Market Square

Each spring and fall, thousands of industry professionals from around the world descend upon the sleepy little town of High Point, North Carolina to discover the latest interior design trends, see new product debuts, and network with their colleagues and peers. It’s the KBIS of the home furnishings and decor world. Manufacturers ship their newest and most beautiful creations to exhibit halls and showrooms for presentation to buyers from across the globe.

This fall I was presented with the opportunity to experience a small taste of the market while attending the NKBA Design Business Summit, which was taking place in High Point. The event began with a presentation from the High Point Market Authority, where it was made clear to us that a relationship between the NKBA and the High Point Market Authority would be mutually beneficial. Kitchen and bath designers who open accounts with merchants displaying at High Point would have access to a complete array of home furnishing products and decor.

Following the presentation, NKBA designers were divided among five tour guides, who each had favorite showrooms and manufacturers to share with us. Short of sounding like a giddy teenager, the next couple of hours were amazing. The only time I probably stopped smiling was to sip champagne or nibble on a delicious morsel.

When you are working on a kitchen remodel, do you have resources if the homeowner asks for your help in the living room or bedroom? Will you have sources for furniture, soft goods, artwork and beautiful lighting?

We were lucky to meet some designers who could talk to us about their products and answer questions. Raleigh, NC-based designer, Louise Gaskill (pictured below in yellow blazer), turns recycled Murano glass into the most amazing lighting. Clients commission custom pieces and Louise works her magic to create them.

NKBA-certified kitchen and bath designers should not be afraid to apply their knowledge to other areas of the home.

Even if one is completely content to focus only on kitchens and bath, it is difficult not to be impressed with the sheer volume and variety of quality products available at High Point. From exquisitely designed furniture to handcrafted lighting and decor items, I was excited and inspired as we ventured from one venue to the next.

Following the tour, the NKBA designers spent the evening socializing with colleagues. It was a fun way to end a busy day.

NKBA Design Business Summit Attendees
NKBA Design Business Summit Attendees

In addition to a lovely meal, we were gifted with really cool shades!

At the NKBA Design Business Summit, we were presented with tools to help us take our design businesses to the next level. Speakers included :

  • Luann Nigara, author of The Making of A Well-Designed Business and host of the #1 podcast for the interior design business – A Well-Designed Business
  • Leanne Wood, principal of Flying Camel Advertising, Design + PR
  • Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth Web Marketing
  • Panel discussion moderated by Sherry Qualls, featuring Veronika Miller of Modenus; Claire Jeffords, Interior Design business coach; and NKBA insider Elle H-Millard, CKD

Many thanks to the NKBA for hosting this educational and inspirational event!

 

Daily Design Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration when you are planning to update your home? Many people are conditioned nowadays to go to Pinterest or Houzz to find ideas. They may see some pretty pictures of white kitchens and say, “Oooo! I want that!” So they complete their remodel with white cabinets and whatever else they found online.

Other people are inspired by life… maybe they recently took a trip. Perhaps they went to Italy and visited Siena.

Inspired by the beautiful red, gold, and black marble used all over Siena, they consulted a designer and asked her to “…design a room that makes me feel like I’m in Siena.” We probably won’t include a statue looking in the direction of Florence to fend off invaders, but we can select products and materials that evoke memories of Siena.

Or maybe you’ve just come back from a very cool exhibit at the art museum and you’d like to have that ultramodern feel in your home:

Can you imagine creating a room with this as your inspiration? Combine Monogram stainless steel appliances with white cabinets and add drama with counters and lighting. You are limited only by your imagination and your budget.

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Maybe you aren’t into art and just want a room that coordinates with your beloved pet or the woods by your house…

Putting together a kitchen or bathroom composed of dark and creamy tones with natural green accents is welcoming and classic.

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A neutral palette leaves plenty of room for pops of your favorite colors. Confine the accent colors to paint and soft goods to change out at whim with minimal expense and disruption.

So go out and look around and be inspired! Share your ideas with your favorite designer and together you can create a space that moves you.

 

2018 Home Project Wish List

For many people, January 1 signifies it’s time to create their annual home-project wish list. Two of the most desired projects are remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms.

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Memories of the holidays are still fresh, and perhaps your home did not perform well with the additional traffic. Frequent collisions between people in the kitchen… the carpeting in the hall bath stayed wet the entire time family was visiting… the oven temperature was inaccurate and you scorched your signature dish… You get the idea.

Now is the perfect time to make a solid plan and ensure future holidays are a joy. To make the process less stressful, it is helpful to clarify a few things first:

  • How much do you intend to invest in the project? Determining a realistic budget is one of the most difficult tasks in a remodeling project. Unless you have unlimited funds, skipping this step can result in headaches and disappointments for you, your designer, and the entire project team.
  • What is your preferred timetable for completing the project? It is easy focus on the actual construction time and forget about the time required for planning. It can take an average of 3 to 6 months to finalize layout, products, and finishes.
  • Do you have a go-to contractor or will there be a bidding process to complete once the design is final?

Each of these points has many details to consider. Your designer is a great resource to help you work through these steps and understand how selections, materials, and finishes affect price.

There are also publications, such as Remodeling News and Fine Homebuilding, that cover budget, materials, and construction issues, to help educate you.

You CAN have the kitchen and bathroom of your dreams! All it takes is a little planning.

Happy New Year and Happy Planning!