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Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Year

Happy Lunar New Year!
Today we don't talk about design, today is all about the OX!

The Ox symbolizes prosperity through fortitude and hard work!!

The year 2009 will be a period of lasting accomplishments. This is true for individuals, societies and the human race in general.

"Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show them"
-Napoleon Hill

And just in case you were wondering...some famous people born in the year of the Ox are:

Barack Obama, Catherine Freeman, Heather Locklear, Jane Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Margaret Thatcher, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, Princess Diana, Vivien Leigh and George Clooney.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Making Lemon Pie

I recently read an article in Perspective Magazine Winter 2009 called:
"From a New Angle - When clients are forced to cut their budgets and watch their bottom lines, Interior Designers must find ways to do more with Less"

We're all dealing with this... low funds and projects on hold..
So what do we do?
How do we push forward?
My sister always says, when life gives you Lemons..make Lemon Pie!


So, lets look at Interior Design... your new office, your new home, your remodel.... things need to be done, but how?
Some thoughts from your neighborhood Interior Designer....

  1. Make LISTS! I make lists for everything in life, and for a project it is so important! Make a list of what you have to work with and what needs to be done. Then catagorize the lists into phases.
  2. The least expensive way to change a room or an office is Paint! It gives an instant face lift! And you can do the work yourself.
  3. Furnishings: there are lots of places that have lightly used furniture. Try going to the Salvation Army, Thrift Stores, etc... if you have the time to look it could save you lots of $...can you say Craigslist? yes!!
  4. There are lots of things to be found in salvage yards! keep looking!
  5. You need a table? Great then look into remnant pieces that might be sold by local stone installers then find yourself some wood logs and use them as legs.
  6. You need floor tile or wall tile? Go to the local flooring manufacturer and ask to see their "spiff" tiles. Tiles that have been discontinued and usually not shown on the showroom floor. Great deals there.
  7. Lighting - see how you can maximize the use of natural light in your space - it will keep costs down -
  8. Use what you have! Change out the furniture in one room with furniture from another. Bring a home dining chair into the office... Same thing goes for art, accessories...etc.. Switch paintings around.. this will create something fresh and new that you haven't seen before.
  9. Lets bring back the old tradition of bartering! Trade your way into a new space! We all have friends that are experts in different things... reach out and touch someone! You are a great cook? Do they do plumbing work? Done deal!
  10. Speaking of trading..this is fabulous... do more trading! Check out this site Zwaggle..you can trade accessories, furniture, etc...
  11. and finally for those ladies that like to just do it themselves.. Try Be Jane.com ;)

Remember, if we do it in phases..little by little..we will get there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Appreciating the Little Things

These are tough times for everyone in business..and not in business... and as I sat at my desk and opened the few Holiday cards that arrived . . . I was thinking...

What happened to taking the time to write an actual note?

Where have the days gone that we use pen on paper to write Happy Holidays?

Are we living in such a quick-lets get this done-world that we don't have time to do even that?

We drive through to get our coffee...we text our friends Happy Birthday... knowing that if we call them it just might take too long because we need that extra 5 minutes to do something else.

So here I sat...with Holidays cards in hand... some had been printed with the signatures on them... some had no signature at all, just a greeting.

As an interior designer it's my job to look at the details, to work in micro-scale... yet I don't have the time to spend a bit more time on a card? What about those details?

Ooof I did not like that feeling... just an empty card..honestly I felt a twinge of sadness for the tree that had to die to give me "Peace on Earth" from "Blank"

We are saving so much time driving through Starbucks for the latte... but how much of the other little things have we lost?

When I go to Argentina to visit my family, we actually sit at a table and pour our cups of coffee..face to face... sit and drink.. no texting, no tv, no ipod...just people sitting with coffee.
Eureka! What a concept no?

Those are the little things.

So, I put up my Holiday Cards proudly...taking special note to the ones that had a little message just for me...and created a resolution for Within Studio...

For this new year and the years to come we will remember to extend our attention to detail into the personal world...and not be limited by our digital world.

I do proudly admit that I send thank you cards and holiday greeting cards and I do write a little something...but I will say that it's the "same" little something... I took the energy to write..but did I take the energy to really Think? nope.

Welcome 2009, the year to BE authentic and give more of the little things...
with Integrity
with Love

Because when the economy is down, work is slow, and we feel like things are not what they used to be...it will be these little things that get us through... the little details.

With that...we're back to work here at the Studio!!
and ready to BE micro-scale Fabulous!
...get inspired, get involved, go-within!