Exactly six years ago and one month ago I started typing away on my computer on what would become my first blog post. At the time, I was still working full time as a fashion designer who really wanted to segué into the world of interior design. Four years prior, I pulled out of school from the New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) where I had been studying for three years, and abruptly moved back to my hometown of Pasadena, CA. The year was 2009 and our move back to the West coast was a result of the recession, which seemed to hit everyone hard.
Interior design was always a passion and writing about my personal observations was my way of making a gradual segué into the business. About 4 blog posts into the start my blog, I did an online search of “blog conference” and was taken to the Design Bloggers Conference site – coincidentally the 3 day conference was going to be held the following month in Los Angeles…where I happen to live! I immediately signed up and after attending the conference, my life as an interior designer and blogger has never been the same. The Design Bloggers Conference (now called the Design Influencers Conference) is the first event I attended after writing for only seven weeks. The first people I met in the industry was at DBC and to this day some of my closest friends and colleagues. Not only did I learn about the importance of SEO (which at the time I knew absolutely nothing about) but I was also introduced to the concept of networking for business. Since then, aside from design, networking has become a main focus of my business, and much of that is done while I am at the Design Influencers Conference. With the changing landscape of blogging, social media, and consumer purchasing trends, it has been a challenge to keep up with the latest practices but those presenting at the Design Influencers Conference seem to have their pulse on what is going on and it is the reason I attend every year.
This year’s Design Influencers Conference has an impressive list of sponsors, and representatives from each of the sponsor companies will be on-site during the conference. I urge that those attending take the time to familiarize themselves with the sponsors and get to know their representatives, as there could be potential work and collaborations in the future. I know I have collaborated with several of this year’s sponsors and I look forward to getting to know those I have not worked with yet. Here is an overview to get to know some of the sponsors that are making this year’s Design Influencers Conference possible.
Monogram Appliances is more than a luxury appliance company. They are about the overall kitchen experience and design for the way the luxury consumer lives. I am always impressed by the innovative product that they continue to bring to market. Unlike any other appliance company on the market, they are a leader and innovator, and look ahead to bring new concepts to market that will enhance the way we live.
Here is my favorite Monogram appliance – their 30″ Pizza Oven, which makes the most delicious pizzas EVER in 90 seconds flat. On-demand home made pizza is definitely a life changer!
Another one of my favorite Monogram features is their refrigeration water filtration with autofill dock, which automatically fills the pitcher with fresh, filtered water when the pitcher is docked in place. Fresh, filtered water is available without having an unsightly water dispenser on the exterior of the door. In this day and age, form is just as important as function, and Monogram understands that.
At the 2017 Design Bloggers Conference, Monogram introduced their kitchen island concept that was designed to promote health and well being. The island features a sink work space, fresh food/freezer drawer, composter, dishwasher drawer, induction anywhere cooktop, and a self watering herb growing system. In addition, a transparent OLED screen with voice control and smart screen assists with suggesting recipes based on food inventory and replenishing groceries.
At last year’s conference, Monogram brought their prototype Induction Anywhere range, designed for the busy lifestyle. Not only does it have an internal scale that can weigh your vegetables, but it will display a cut line for vegetables, can make recipe suggestions based on what ingredients you have on hand, and can guide you along with visual recipes.
How’s that for innovation? I can’t wait to see what Monogram has up their sleeves this year. I am always pleasantly surprised at the innovation and thought that goes into each product they come up with and I’m sure this year will be no different!
I don’t know where to start about High Point Market except to say that if you’re going to pick one market to attend, High Point is at the very top of my list. I’ve attended every market except for one in the last 6 years and the one market I did not attend was extremely painful not being there. It has become an event that I look forward to every April and October.
High Point has the most comprehensive roster of furniture, lighting, and accessory showrooms, encompassing every price point and every style under the sun. High Point has been the number one game changer for my business, and I could not have built my design business and retail/to the trade showroom without the resources and relationships that have been presented to me as a result of attending High Point Market.
High Point Market consists of 11.5 million square feet of show space and it can be quite daunting for the first time attendee. To acclimate first time buyers to market (or those who have not attended more than one market in the past two years), I have partnered with High Point Market to lead a one day “Insider’s Tour” this April market, which is free to attend. The tour I lead focuses on showrooms that offer some level of customization. I believe that in today’s retail and online landscape, the designer should focus their efforts on unique/one of a kind and custom pieces to survive the ever-changing business of design. Designers always complain about being “shopped” by their clients, and custom is the way to tackle that problem. You can read more about the tour HERE.
Porcelanosa is a global leader and industry trendsetter in the manufacture of porcelain tiles. They are known throughout the world for their extensive range of tile that are available in a variety of colors, finishes, and formats, and cater to both residential and commercial applications. They have over 400 company-owned showrooms throughout the world and an extensive network of distributors and retailers that showcase their product. Below are images of some of my favorite products that I spotted during two recent trips I took to Porcelanosa showrooms.
And here’s a photo of the panel I spoke on at the Porcelanosa LA showroom last June:
Currey & Company is a lighting, furniture, and accessory company that I met at the Design Bloggers Conference several years ago. Since we first met, I’ve become a customer, specifying their product for my own projects and also sell to interior designers as a purchasing agent. I also collaborated with Currey & Company when designing the guest bedroom for the 2017 Pasadena Showcase House.
and more recently for “Showhouse in a Showroom” for the Alden Parkes showroom at High Point Market, October 2018
Below are some of my favorite finds in the Currey showroom. It shows the breadth of their line – lighting, furniture, and accessories:
Most people think of Currey & Company as a resource for lighting, but they are so much more than that! Aimee Kurzner, who recently took over designing the furniture for Currey, recently took home the ARTS award for Product Designer. Here are some of her fabulous designs:
Aidan Gray is a home leader in European-inspired home furnishings. Their products are made by hand and use authentic materials to accurately convey the essence of 17th and 18th century European antiques. Last October at High Point Market they launched a collection with Toma Clark Haines, “The Antiques Diva, who I recently visited for an intimate dinner party at her home in Venice. I can’t wait to see what Toma has added to The Antiques Diva Collection for Aidan Gray in April at High Point Market.
Aidan Gray recently hosted award-winning actress and interior design author Diane Keaton at Dallas Market – could there be another collaboration in the near future?
Crypton is a performance fabric that is unlike no other. In fact, I use it for the bulk of the upholstery I specify, especially when pets and kids are involved.
Crypton is bound to the fiber on a molecular level and will not wash or wear away. It provides stain resistance, it is resistant to odors, has a moisture barrier, and is anti-microbial.
See how Julia Gillespie, VP of Marketing for Crypton, demonstrates how easily common stains such as red wine, crayon, ink, and even iodine are released. I shot this video earlier this month while attending Heimtextil, in Frankfurt Germany.
Six years ago when I was first introduced to Crypton, their product was beautiful, but the fabrics were not as soft and supper and geared to commercial applications. Back then, he fabrics had the same performance qualities as they do now, but because they lacked in their tactile qualities, they were not ideal for the residential market, where texture and softness is important. With the more recent introduction of Crypton Home, texture and a softer hand was introduced, and it has taken off like wildfire. I can’t wait to see how their product evolves!
The Design Influencers Conference takes place in Atlanta from February 24-26 (and a bonus day on the 27th at ADAC) Registration is still open for Designers/Influencers and Vendors so I hope to see you there!
Feel free to check out the other 2019 Design Influencers Conference sponsors HERE. I’ll be circling back shortly to cover the remainder of the sponsors so keep posted.