Friday, August 27, 2010

The Business of Interior Design

There is a BIG party happening in our industry!  Have you heard the buzz?

In honor and celebration of a brand new marketing book for designers, they are throwing a great party.  And you are invited!

(in a hurry?  Get your VIP Access Details here

The party line-up is amazing:

  • 15 Expert interviews on what to do to “Set Yourself Up for Success” in Fall 2010
  • raffles and give-aways
  • free ‘nuggets of wisdom’ from the book

It’s FREE!
It’s Virtual!
And it’s happening on Tuesday, 8/31

The book is called The Business of Interior Design:  Proven Marketing Secrets to Attract More Clients, Make More Money, Have More Freedom, and Love Being a Designer!  It’s a comprehensive resource on the best marketing practices - written FOR designers.

Reserve your spot today!

Mike signed up to see what's new.  

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Decorating With Gray

Check out Better Homes & Gardens!  They have an online article titled Decorating with Gray
A mix between black and white, gray is gaining popularity as the new neutral. From light dove to dark charcoal, this color looks great on everything from home accents to walls.
There are 18 slides showing the use of gray in home decorating.  If you are a designer, you should know that there's a  process the public can use to get interior design help.  Are you on the list?  It's powered by

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Bridget Otto Thursday

Today in the Oregonian's Homes & Gardens of the Northwest Bridget A Otto introduces us to history buff Richard Botteri.  Botteri had a problem.  His office was in one of the four bedrooms on one floor in his home, yet he needed more room for research and room to showcase his historical collectibles.

Enter acquaintance Maggy Henry of Maggy Henry Interior Design who he had met years ago when their daughters attended school together.  Together Botteri and Henry decided to expand his office by combining two of the bedrooms to create an office with the space that Botteri always wanted.  Henry coordinated the construction, furniture acquisition and lighting.

Maggy Henry is a professional and a friend and she offers tips in the article on how to display your collections.

Bev & Mike
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Landfair Furniture Adds Elaine Smith

Instead of taking pictures when she travels, Elaine Smith is inspired to weave all those memories into a line of decorative pillows that like the best of world travelers would be comfortable going inside or out.  Here's why:

INDOOR LUXURY, OUTDOOR SAFE – You may not want to leave them outside, but you can.

SOFT AND LUXURIOUS – The unique yarn properties and finishes make our fabrics feel touchably soft.

WATER RESISTANT – Water repels easily off these fabrics and after a down pour, they dry quickly.

FADE RESISTANT – The sun does not easily fade these fabrics offering strong, lasting, vivid color.

STAIN RESISTANT – Stains clean easily from our fabrics leaving them looking clean and new again.

MILDEW RESISTANT – fabrics are created and treated to resist mildew, allowing you to enjoy life outdoors.
 Beverly bought some of the pillows in Las Vegas and would love to show you the catalog of all Elaine Smith's offerings

Bev & Mike
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Homesource Bedding Added

Landfair Furniture has added a sustainable bedding line to our showroom. How can bedding be sustainable? The sheets and bedding are made from 100% bamboo fiber.

Naturally silky soft and exceptionally comfortable, bamboo sheets and bedding are also antibacterial and eco-friendly. The structure of bamboo provides superior ventilation and wicking that keeps the user cool and comfortable when hot and warm when cold. 250 count construction gives bamboo sheets unique high comfort and performance not found in higher count sheets. Top hems and pillowcase cuffs are sewn with a sherry stitch. Coverlet and shams have a brick quilt pattern with 2 ounce polyester fill. Sheets and bedding are oversized to fit high loft mattresses.

Bev & Mike
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

DIY? Not likely if you're under 35.

The Daily Mail in the UK headlines DIY? Not likely if you're under 35.
Around 50 per cent of people aged under 35 admitted they did not know how to rewire a plug, while 54 per cent did not know how to bleed a radiator and 63 per cent said they would not attempt to put up wallpaper, according to Halifax Home Insurance.

Other basic jobs, such as putting up shelves, were beyond 45 per cent of those questioned, while 36 per cent said they would not even attempt to do gardening themselves.

Instead 42 per cent would pay a professional to do the work.

The study also found that when the under-35s do attempt to do a job themselves and it goes wrong, it costs nearly three times as much to fix as problems caused by other age groups.
Does the same age group in America have such a low skill level? If so, even with all the free Home Depot classes, then this should be boom times for any professional who is involved with home maintenance or home decor.

Bev & Mike
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Lorts Signs Christy Dillard For Furniture Collection

Lorts Manufacturing, an upscale wood furniture manufacturer known for its customized finishes, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with acclaimed Atlanta Interior Designer Christy Dillard. Dillard will work with Lorts to develop a furniture collection to be released in early 2011.

The Christy Dillard collection will build on the strengths of the Lorts brand and incorporate signatures of her style: classic silhouettes with unexpected detailing, bold color and styling selections, and an energized, contemporary perspective. Says Dillard, “I am very excited about this new venture and partnership with Lorts. I am so happy to be associated with a company that makes quality products. Lorts being in business for 45 years says a great deal to me...tried and true.”

“My design aesthetic pulls from many influences, ranging from traditional to contemporary, and I will be bringing that to Lorts with this new collection,” she continues. “A mixture of materials is used to bring a unique flair to collection...appealing to many different clients. The look is fresh but will have a timeless quality that I like to use for all projects.”

“We are eager to have Christy bring her fresh point of view and distinctive aesthetic to the marketplace through a new and proprietary collection of furniture for Lorts,” said Ty Lorts, President of Lorts Manufacturing. “We are confident that a recognized and successful Interior Designer like Christy will be an inspiration to designers that love our line, and that the collaboration will complement and add depth to Lorts’ strong existing line.”

Bev & Mike
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Emily Henderson Wins Design Star

Oregon native Emily Henderson, who grew up in Coos Bay before finishing high school in Portland, won Design Star an interior design reality competition yesterday on HGTV. 

Bridget Otto has an interview with Henderson here before the result show on Sunday.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Bridget Otto Friday

Keep on eye on this Bridget's blog for a peek into a interior design presentation in September tailored for those in what the design industry simply calls "The Trade."
Three veterans of interior design will host a presentation showing off all that is new in custom rugs, wall decor, paint, furnishings, texture and more.

Bev Landfair of Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery, Allison Smith of Allison Smith Design and Allison Smith Color Seasons, and Cary Taylor, territory sales manager for Fabrica Fine Carpet & Rugs, are planning a not-to-miss

Since the event is not open to the public, I will be there, bringing all the news back to you.

Stay tuned. I think you'll enjoy reading what these talented gurus of design have to offer those in the trade.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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The 2011 ARTS Awards Finalists Have Been Announced

Retailer ARTS Awards finalists include the following:
International Retail Store: Design Lighting, Surrey, British Columbia; Prima Lighting Inc., Vaughan, Ontario; and Union Lighting & Furnishings, Toronto.

Rising Star Retailer: BellaLu Home & Design, Englewood, Colo.; Colorado Villa DeCor, Palmer Lake, Colo.; and Room 22, Oklahoma City.

Furniture Store (East/Atlantic): Albert's Interiors, Newtown Square, Pa.; and Castleberry's Fine Furniture, Chamblee, Pa.

Furniture Store (Midwest/Southwest): American Country Collection, Santa Fe, N.M.; Dream Interiors, Downers Grove, Ill.; and The Arrangement, Dallas, Texas.

Furniture Store (West): Bravado Home & Design, Portland, Ore.; Interior Illusions, West Hollywood, Calif.; and Seaside Home, Coronado, Calif.

Home Accent Store (East/Atlantic): At Home Furnishings, Birmingham, Ala.; Red Barn Mercantile, Alexandria, Va.; and Retropolitan, Nashville, Tenn.

Home Accent Store (Midwest/Southwest): AREA, Houston, Texas; Leon & Lulu, Clawson, Mich.; and The Garden Gates, Metairie, La.

Home Accent Store (West): Bella Casa, Portland, Ore.; Birdcage Fine French Country Furnishings, Solana Beach, Calif.; and The Picket Fence, Ketchum, Idaho,

Lighting Showroom (East/Atlantic):
Capitol Lighting, Boca Raton, Fla.; Cleveland Lighting, Lyndhurst, Ohio; and LUMEN Lamps, Nashville, Tenn.

Lighting Showroom (Midwest/Southwest): Light by Design, San Antonio, Texas; Metro Lighting, Brentwood, Mo.; and Passion Lighting, Grapevine, Texas.

Lighting Showroom (West): Black Whale Lighting, Encinitas, Calif.; Kilohana Lighting Inc., Lihue, Hawaii; and Phillips Lighting & Home, Modesto, Calif. 
As a finalist ourselves in 2009, we know what an honor it is to be nominated and then to be selected as a finalist. We will be rooting for two of Portland's furniture and accessory stores, both in the Pearl.

Bev & Mike
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Retailer Roundtable

While in Las Vegas, Mike Landfair participated in the Retailer Roundtable hosted by Home Accents Today.  On the panel beside Mike were Christi Tullis, Ambiance Interiors, Suwanee, Ga.;  Maria Benson, Nyla Simone Home, Tempe Ariz.; Brad Clifford, Bravado Home, Portland, Ore.; and Dann Foley, Dann Foley Design, Palm Springs, Calif.  It was a group that realizes about 34% of total sales in home accents and most average about $100 per square foot in total sales, although Mike did not reveal that number.

Some of the sales mix was surprising.  Several retailers were complementing their home decor sales with gourmet food, apparel, jewelry and handbags as a way to increase traffic to their stores. 

Two trends were evident.  Print advertising had taken a back seat to social media marketing with one retailer hiring a social media coach.  None of the retailers on the panel had an online store. 

Dan Foley echoed the message of this blog to interior designers for years:
"I absolutely cannot imagine a retailer or designer operating today without a website.
Bev & Mike
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10 iPhone Applications for Your Home Needs.

We will be buying an iPhone or Droid from Verizon this year or as soon as our bookkeeper gives us the go-ahead.  She thinks before yearend we may get a BOGO offer.  In the meantime we think this article from Change of will be of interest to you: Top 10 iPhone Applications for Your Home Needs.
  1. Moving Van by Glimmer Design Limited allows you to easily keep track of the contents of every box right from the palm of your hand. 
  2. Home Interior Layout Designer by M.O.C. Interior Designer, LLC is a really cool app that will help you as you struggle with redecorating your home. 
  3. iHandy Carpenter by iHandySoft, Inc. is a great tool for amateur carpenter work and includes a great level which you can actually use for hanging pictures straight and other things.
  4. HomeRoutines by Wunderbear is a to do utility for household chores.
  5. paintingWalls by Enginy Studios is really a cool application where you take a picture of any room in your home and then you can use their custom painting tools to paint it any color you want and then swap colors until you find one that is perfect for that room. 
  6. Home Remedies by Feather & Moor, Ltd. Is an application with over 100 home remedies.
  7. Home Inventory by Gotta Have It! Software, Inc. is a great way to keep track of all of your belongings for insurance purposes and even warranty or other uses.
  8. HomeMeter by offers something unique in that it gives you a place to track your usage of natural gas, electricity, and other utilities by allowing you to easily keep track of your meters.
  9. Mobiscope: Home Surveillance by SHAPE Services is a must have application for those that are concerned about the security of their home or job site.
  10. X10 Commander by Melloware is an X10 Controller Client for the iPhone that will allow you to control all kinds of devices in your home from lights to your garage door.
While you are at Change of check out:
  • Top 10 TV Shows About Cleaning and Organizing Your Home
  • 10 Reasons People Can’t Remember Your Name 

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design gallery
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Bev Buys Dovetail

My Design Secrets has a post today about Decorating with Worn and Washed Woods. The author Lorrie Brown of Lorrie Brown Interiors asks if " remember a couple of years ago when dark woods were all the rage? Whether they called it “Java” or “Wenge”, it seemed that they just could not make the finishes dark enough." What we are seeing now are "...worn and washed woods popping up all over the place. Worn finishes have a nice earthy matte look that is soft to the touch and easy on the eyes."

One of the hottest stops in Las Vegas was Dovetail, maker of furniture from reclaimed wood and the prices have that worn and washed look that Brown refers to. In fact we liked the furniture so much that we added Dovetail to our lines. Here's a video of Beverly showing me her selections:

Can you tell she's excited?

Bev & Mike
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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Aiming At Affluence

Mike attended a very valuable seminar at World Market Center presented by Lorts Manufacturing. Steve Nobel explored the state of the market for interior designers and looked at the efforts underway to promote value of design to the affluent population. Nobel "...has specialized in the markets for luxury at home, assisting his clients to build home furnishings brands, and advance the market for interior design and decoration."

Nobel told us that the affluent suffered like the rest of us and worked to preserve what they owned. They did not trade down, they just bought less. Now, except for the recent Chelsea Clinton wedding, the affluent are passionate about what they spend money on, but they are into inconspicuous consumption except on their homes.

Who are the affluent? Eighty percent of the wealth is first generation money; they made it themselves. The idea of using an interior designer is new to them, because most came from households where using an interior designer was uncommon. About half of the affluent know they need a guide for their homes. Are unfamiliar with how the wealthy live and really need an advisor or advocate on their behalf.

Interior designers have a real opportunity with the affluent. They need your services and they don't have the time to do it on their own and they don't have the confidence. However, you may have to change your business model for delivering services. The affluent are smart and want the service you provide to be fair and transparent and understandable. That means the hourly way of charging or the hourly plus markups is not transparent, but fee based is. Steve Nobel advocates charging for your services the same way at attorney or architect or contractor bills for services.

You can learn more about Steve Nobel at

Bev & Mike
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We Have A Freeway Crash In Las Vegas

In Tales From The Yellow Bus, Mike writes about our freeway crash in Las Vegas while on the shuttle on the first day of Market and how he almost missed the Retailer Roundtable.

12 Reasons To Like Entertainment Centers From Dinec

Listen closely and you'll hear at least 12 reasons why we like Dinec Entertainment Centers:

Bev & Mike
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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A Look Inside The Lorts Showroom

We had a great time at Market in Las Vegas and have come home exhausted, but excited by some new purchases for the showroom.  We spent considerable time in the Lorts showroom where Jessica Youde gave us a tour of the showroom showing us new products and new finishes. 

Here are some closeups of three pieces in the video which can be ordered through Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery:

Bev & Mike
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