INDESIGN ASID GEORGIA CHAPTER MAGAZINE ISSUE NUMBER II SUMMER 2020
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS GEORGIA - 1 -
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04 P R E SIDENT’S ME SSAG E: JOYC E FOWNES
04 ME MBE R S NE WS
B U I L D I NG RES I LI ENCE: A R OA D M A P FOR ADAP TI N G TO STRES S OR S
12 DE SI GNI NG T HE NE W PA R A D I GM
AGM Imports Granite & Marble
Atlanta Design Group
Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles
22 FO C U S O N E F F I C I E NCY
34 R I TA CA R SO N GUE ST : C AR SO N GUE ST INTERIORS
28 T HE INTERI OR DE SI GNER S ’ G U I DE TO WE BS I TES W H AT YOU NEED TO K N OW BEFORE I N VE STI N G I N A NE W WEBS I TE
HI L L ARY M A NCI NI : P E AC E DES I G N DES I G N
JA R E D PAU L : PAU L + 26-27 California Closets
MicroSeal of Atlanta
European Kitchen & Bathworks
Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams
The Container Store
Greater Southern Home Recreation
Traditions in Tile and Stone
S&S Rug Cleaners
Scott Antiques Market
1 9 White Glove Delivery
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INDesign Magazine is published quarterly for the ASID Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers by DSA Publishing & Design, Inc. Editorial content and the INDesign magazine are controlled and owned by the Georgia Chapter ASID. Reproduction of this publication in whole, in part, or in any form is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Georgia Chapter of ASID.
44 ASI D MEMBER S WE LCOME
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS GEORGIA
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G R E E T I NGS FROM OUR G A C h a pter PRESIDENT
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS GEORGIA
JULY, 2020 This issue and it’s messaging (including its beautiful imagery!) could not have come at a better time in our lives! Resilience is such an amazing word, and incredibly poignant in this time. Defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; flexibility, adaptability and strength” help capture what we are all sensing as a need in this evolving world. Key to our resilience as the lead story states in this edition of InDesign are: Connection, Wellness, Healthy Thinking and Meaning. Stemming from these thoughts are words that I keep at the forefront of my thoughts: Purpose, Hope and Empathy. These are at the foundation of this organization.
On a positive note, we’ve had a wonderful response to the Design Excellence Awards submissions and are working through the final details for the event, so more to come! Be watching for updates on your varying social media sites as well as the ASID website! We are also continuing with varying virtual events this month.
We are connected, we always lead with purpose and most importantly to our membership we are incredibly resilient. Having lived through more recessions than probably most of you, I have always learned to adapt, pivot and grow from whatever adversity I have faced. We will all come through this together, stronger and united.
All my best to you all,
Stay safe, stay happy and most of all be Resilient. As my daddy always said “this too shall pass”. Please let us know if there is anything ASID can do for you, we are always here for you and are here to be a resource and support to you and our community.
Joyce Fownes, President ASID, GA Chapter 2019-2020
Georgia Chapter ASID President 2010-2011 Anne Brooks Vincent died peacefully at home with family on March 13, 2020, following an 18-month battle with glioblastoma. Born September 27, 1952, in Atlanta, Anne embraced beauty wherever she could find it. She marveled at the creative process in any medium and in any venue. She was especially inspired by beauty in the visual and tactile world. The harmonious interplay of color, texture and proportion, whether in nature or man-made. Following her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, she channeled her
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PRESIDENT Joyce Fownes, Allied ASID, LEED AP BD+C email@example.com PRESIDENT-ELECT Tony Purvis, ASID, LEED G.A firstname.lastname@example.org FINANCIAL DIRECTOR Laura W. Jenkins, ASID email@example.com COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Tasha Norland, Industry Partner firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR AT-LARGE CHAIR Calais McGuinness, Industry Partner email@example.com EMERGING PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS CHAIR Rebecca Freitag, Allied ASID firstname.lastname@example.org EMERGING PROFESSIONAL AFFAIRS CO-CHAIR Jocelyn Turcotte, Allied ASID email@example.com
C h apter News Anne Brooks Vincent
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
creative energies in commercial and residential interior design, primarily with Hendrick Associates in Atlanta. As the 2010-2011 President of the American Society of Interior Designers, Georgia Chapter, she believed that the very best collaborations come from teams with diverse talents and differing perspectives. So she made strong partnerships and loyal friendships and had a unique gift for finding and bringing out the best in other people. Anne has encouraged contributions to The Anne Vincent Brain Tumor Research Fund c/o Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR Nujhat Jahid-Alam, Allied ASID firstname.lastname@example.org PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Amy Hunley, Industry Partner email@example.com STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE BOARD Courtney Pratt, Student ASID firstname.lastname@example.org STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE BOARD Jason Gray, Student ASID email@example.com STUDENT AFFAIRS CHAIR Traci Moore, Allied ASID firstname.lastname@example.org CHAPTER ADMINISTRATOR Keigh Hamilton email@example.com
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Resili WE ALL FACE TRAUMA, ADVERSITY & OTHER STRESSES. HEREâ€™S A ROADMAP FOR ADAPTING TO LIFE-CHANGING SITUATIONS, & EMERGING EVEN STRONGER THAN BEFORE.
Reprinted in part from the American Psychological Association Help Center. Original article in full located at https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience
ience WHAT IS RE SI LIE NCE ?
Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth. While these adverse events… are certainly painful and difficult, they don’t have to determine the outcome of your life. There are many aspects of your life you can control, modify and grow with. That’s the role of resilience. Becoming more resilient not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and even improve your life along the way.
WHAT RE SI LIE NCE IS N’ T Being resilient doesn’t mean that a person won’t experience difficulty or distress. People who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives commonly experience emotional pain and stress. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.
…Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. Focusing on four core components — connection, wellness, healthy thinking and meaning — can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather — and grow from — the difficulties, use these strategies.
BUI LD I N G YOUR C ON N E CTI ON S Prioritize relationships. Connecting with empathetic and understanding people can remind you that you’re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Focus on finding trustworthy and compassionate individuals who validate your feelings, which will support the skill of resilience. The pain of traumatic events can lead some people to isolate themselves, but it’s important to accept help and support from those who care about you. Whether you go on a weekly date night with your spouse or plan a lunch out with a friend, try to prioritize genuinely connecting with people who care about you. Join a group. Along with one-on-one relationships, some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based communities, or other local organizations
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c o ntinued fr om page 7
provides social support and can help you reclaim hope. Research groups in your area that could offer you support and a sense of purpose or joy when you need it.
FO STER WELLNE S S Take care of your body. Self-care may be a popular buzzword, but it’s also a legitimate practice for mental health and building resilience. That’s because stress is just as much physical as it is emotional. Promoting positive lifestyle factors like proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce the toll of emotions like anxiety or depression. Practice mindfulness. Mindful journaling, yoga, and other spiritual practices like prayer or meditation can also help people build connections and restore hope, which can prime them to deal with situations that require resilience. When you journal, meditate, or pray, ruminate on positive aspects of your life and recall the things you’re grateful for, even during personal trials. Avoid negative outlets. It may be tempting to mask your pain with alcohol, drugs or other substances, but that’s like putting a bandage on a deep wound. Focus instead on giving your body resources to manage stress, rather than seeking to eliminate the feeling of stress altogether.
FI ND PU RPO SE Help others. Whether you volunteer with a local homeless shelter or simply support a friend in their own time of need, you can garner a sense of purpose, foster self-worth, connect with other people and tangibly help others, all of which can empower you to grow in resilience. Be proactive. It’s helpful to acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, but it’s also important to help you foster self-discovery by asking yourself, “What can I do about a problem in my life?” If the problems seem too big to tackle, break them down into manageable pieces.
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For example, if you got laid off at work, you may not be able to convince your boss it was a mistake to let you go. But you can spend an hour each day developing your top strengths or working on your resume. Taking initiative will remind you that you can muster motivation and purpose even during stressful periods of your life, increasing the likelihood that you’ll rise up during painful times again. Move toward your goals. Develop some realistic goals and do something regularly — even if it seems like a small accomplishment — that enables you to move toward the things you want to accomplish. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unachievable, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can accomplish today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?” For example, if you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one and you want to move forward, you could join a grief support group in your area. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often find that they have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle. For example, after a tragedy or hardship, people have reported better relationships and a greater sense of strength, even while feeling vulnerable. That can increase their sense of self-worth and heighten their appreciation for life.
E M B R AC E H E A LTH Y TH OUGH TS Keep things in perspective. How you think can play a significant part in how you feel — and how resilient you are when faced with obstacles. Try to identify areas of irrational thinking, such as a tendency to catastrophize difficulties or assume the world is out to get you, and adopt a more balanced and realistic thinking pattern. For instance, if you feel overwhelmed by a challenge, remind yourself that what happened to you isn’t an indicator of how your future will go, and that you’re not helpless. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it. Accept change. Accept that change is a part of life. Certain goals or ideals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations in your life. Accepting circumstances that
cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.
their resilience. But at times, an individual might get stuck or have difficulty making progress on the road to resilience.
Maintain a hopeful outlook. It’s hard to be positive when life isn’t going your way. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect that good things will happen to you. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear. Along the way, note any subtle ways in which you start to feel better as you deal with difficult situations.
A licensed mental health professional such as a psychologist can assist people in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function as well as you would like or perform basic activities of daily living as a result of a traumatic or other stressful life experience. Keep in mind that different people tend to be comfortable with different styles of interaction.
Learn from your past. By looking back at who or what was helpful in previous times of distress, you may discover how you can respond effectively to new difficult situations. Remind yourself of where you’ve been able to find strength and ask yourself what you’ve learned from those experiences.
S E E K IN G HELP
The important thing is to remember you’re not alone on the journey. While you may not be able to control all of your circumstances, you can grow by focusing on the aspects of life’s challenges you can manage with the support of loved ones and trusted professionals.
Photo Michel Gibert, for advertising purposes only. Herdade Do Freixo. 1Conditions apply, contact store for details. 2Program available on select items, subject to availability.
Getting help when you need it is crucial in building your resilience. For many people, using their own resources and the kinds of strategies listed above may be enough for building
To get the most out of your therapeutic relationship, you should feel at ease with a mental health professional or in a support group.
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DESIGNING THE NEW PARADIGM by Julia Molloy, industry consultant
As we peer out and gingerly step beyond the confines of the pandemic, we can sense the shift. We are standing on the precipice of a new world. Uncertainty sets in as we gaze upon uncharted territory. With so many moving reference points and unknowns, it can be a challenge to get our bearings and move with a sure-footed stride. So where do we, as a design community fit in to the new paradigm? Has the designersâ€™ role changed and how are our business models going to adapt to the rapidly evolving needs of the world. These are the questions our community has been grappling with. In fact, all business sectors are evaluating the same questions for themselves. I would argue however, that the design industry in particular, is faced with a newfound responsibility.
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I BELIEVE THERE IS NO GREATER FORCE THAN DESIGN IN TRANSFORMING THE PLANET, ONE PERSON AT A TIME, ONE FAMILY AT A TIME AND ONE COMMUNITY AT A TIME. WE CREATE AN INVISIBLE RIPPLE EFFECT AS WE IMPACT THE MINDS, BODIES AND SPIRITS OF THE LIVES WE TOUCH.
It is important to remember that our profession is actually quite young. It was only around 1913 that the fabulous Elsie de Wolfe carved out this role for us all. Her focus was aesthetics and space planning. Compared to other professions like lawyer, physician, architect, grocer, barber, you name it, it likely has a few hundred-year head start on interior designers. There are turning points in each of our lives that grow us up, seemingly overnight. The pandemic was that turning point for the design industry. We should not look to the past for the new normal but take our place as the key player in designing the new paradigm. Seriously, what other industry has this intrinsic multifaceted influence? No other I can think of. We are the ones! So, with that as our foundation, I look to the future world we are designing. What will we see? What are the new set of needs and demands our world will contour to? In having some foresight, we provide ourselves with a whole host of opportunities that we can choose to participate in as business owners. This is the foundation upon which we navigate and pivot our businesses and industry as a whole. As an industry business expert and consultant, I’ve been breaking apart the challenge into bite size pieces so I can help my clients and design community to
make sense of the choices ahead of them. I believe we must make educated predictions to understand the possible trends so we can create some growth strategies for our businesses. I’m going to share with you what I anticipate.
JULIA MOLLOY’S 25 PREDICTIONS I don’t have a crystal ball by any means, nor will all of the predictions be perfect or complete, but these are the things I believe we will see anew or with more prevalence in the years to come. The speed of this evolution will largely be determined by the choices you as designers, architects, manufacturers, builders, and product designers make from this point forward. 1. Anti-microbial metals, coatings and fabrics will be commonplace and used not only for high touch surfaces, but in fashion, upholstery, phones and accessories, vehicles and appliances. They will be standard in residential products and design. They will be mandated in commercial, government and hospitality spaces. 2. Hardware, fixtures, doorpulls, light switches, door knobs and high touch design elements will be rated or certified based on their anti-microbial properties.
DESIGNING TO MATCH CLIENT VALUES WILL BE THE NEW FOCUS.
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3. All manner of no touch solutions will be prevalentinresidential design, not just airport and restaurant bathrooms. 4. Suggested by LA based Interior and Product Designer, Christopher Grubb, Similar to LEED certification, buildings, restaurants, home developments, workplaces will be graded on their anti-microbial and wellness factor. Diners in California are already used to seeing a similar rating near the front door as they walk into a restaurant, that indicates how well it did on its last health inspection. 5. Health and wellness certification entities and programs, similar to LEED will emerge to guide and certify on a whole host of new metrics that will be tracked and monitored will be the mainstream. 6. New apps will emerge to helping people to findthese new health-oriented businesses, restaurants, hotels etc. 7. Most commercialand government spaces will have advanced air filtration and UV systems that filter down to .124 microns (the size of the corona virus).
8. NYC Interior Designer, Benjamin Huntington, ASID President Elect, suggests that entry rooms or mud rooms may be updated into what are essentially decontamination zones to clean off, change clothing and sterilize items before coming into the home. 9. Anti EMF technology in the home will become a thing. As 5G wifi and other electromagnetic field radiation emitting technologies bombard the modern human to ill effect, solutions to protect or counteract the lowered immunity and DNA mutation caused by ceaseless exposure, will emerge. 10. Smart home technology will take the lead in design and will incorporate new monitoring, tracking, sterilization and filtration systems. 11. Personal biometrics will be incorporated in to many smart home designs and systems. This means that personal fit tracker devices will sync up with smart home systems and will adjust aspects of the environment to influence your wellness bio markers. a. For instance, sunlight adjustments, music, aroma therapy, chroma light therapy solutions are automatic
IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO: A commercial building with an entire floor of converted office space, now a wellness floor. It’s a part of your wellness membership, a perk that came with the new job. Picture “Nap Labs” where you can go take a 30 minute nap, have a smoothie and an oxygen dose to recharge. After work you visit the “Rant Room”. It has anger venting soundproof rooms where you put on your goggles and then scream at the top of your lungs while blasting death metal
and smashing a stack of china plates against the concrete wall, specifically designed to amplify the crash. (These already exist in Asia. Then you go to the wellness gym, have a quick shower, sit in the calming chroma therapy pod, and freshen up. Finally, you go grab dinner and a drink on the rooftop lounge with a couple friends before heading home. Forward thinking commercial property owners and companies will be looking for these kinds of integrated solutions in their post-pandemic remodels.
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upon receiving bio metrics that indicate high stress indicators, like elevated heart rate and cortisol levels. 12. 3D printing for everything and new materials to print them with, many making use of recycled, reclaimed, refuse and bio waste resources. Also integrating nano tech and responsive materials is going to be the next level. This is cool for many reasons. I’m pretty excited to see how we integrate the idea of ‘seamless, ‘interlocking pattern’ and ‘responsive’ into design of all disciplines. Seamless, responsive, smart clothing... 13. Custom everything. 14. Curated everything. 15. Biophilia and bio mimicry in interior and product design will become mainstream in residential, commercial, hospitality and public space design. Many countries have already embraced these design principals in public buildings. Think Zaha Hadid and the Singapore Changi Airport Jewel Terminal. The United States with its slow to adopt modus operandi, will begin to evolve more quickly now that the shift can be equated to economic advantages. 16. Many health gyms will adapt by incorporating wellness into their design and programs. Think sterilization, anti-microbial coatings, UV and air filtration systems coupled with biophilic designed spaces, organic juice bar, wellness assessments, wellness coaches and programs. 17. Commercial office spaces will shrink and require upgrades to incorporate new safety, wellness and remote team member integration. Many commercial office spaces will be converted to biophilic design wellness focused businesses of all kinds. Think meditation labs, sensory deprivation meditation tanks, cryotherapy, chroma therapy, and oxygen therapy lounges. 18. Remote working a few days a week will become much more prevalent. 4-day work weeks will become commonplace. Homes will need to be updated with remote work tech, lighting, sound, productivity and concentration solutions.
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IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO: Entire communities being built around wellness, similar in concept to retirement communities. Imagine an entire community built in alignment with a certain set of values, like organic foods, sustainable materials, optimal health and wellness. The homes are all made with responsible materials. These smart homes could be programmed to your preferences or your own bio markers. Air and water filtration systems are highly advanced and remove all harmful particles. The whole community is in alignment with wellness. You can stroll through the isle at the grocery store without being on high alert for Yellow #5, BHT and pesticides. The hair salon down the street doesn’t use toxic chemicals to color your hair. The restaurants compost left-overs and grow many of their own ingredients on their rooftop gardens. Buildings are using smart technology and methods to harness more natural resources and consume less dirty energy. Fruit tree filled parks and byways for wild animals to cross roads are all built into this holistic PURPOSE DRIVEN design. In a world where ‘custom everything’ is the norm, custom living solutions and communities will come to pass.
19. Outdoor spaces, both residential and commercial will be maximized for usability. 20. Remote shopping and meetings will become the norm. 21. Showrooms and design centers will add virtual shopping and virtual reality to their repertoire. 22. Community and connection will be more deeply valued. Design will facilitate these gatherings and personal connection while maintaining a roomy setting. This will include a focus on room acoustics and minimizing high touch items. 23. Vegan and conscious product design will become the new luxury. Designing to match client values will be the new focus. 24. Membership and subscription models will continue to be adopted by service centric businesses. 25. Home delivery for everything.
The Possibilities As we adapt as business owners we leverage our own passions, strengths, capabilities and desires and combine them with what we anticipate the future needs of our clientele. If we don’t see what we like in any of those scenarios, we shift clientele or our capabilities. I see 3 main categories of adaptation: Materials, Purpose Driven and Delivery Method.
Materials Used: Evolution in Materials has been happening since the stone age. As our technology advances and our needs as a society evolve, we create and adopt these materials and incorporate them into our creations, designs, and our lives. This is no different. We live in an incredibly exciting time as far as materials go. Nano tech, materials that respond, move and shapeshift in response to changes in light, temperature, water, chemical signatures, sound and proximity are evolving quickly.
Purpose Driven: Purpose driven design is already here, but it has been more quickly adopted by technology and nutrition industries. Purpose will become the prevalent mindset in interior design. It is all about BRAND POSITIONING. It is a matter of shifting the narrative about design from what it is to WHY. Aging in place and commercial design are the early adopters in this arena. As companies pivot, they will break out of the box of the standard service provider messaging and positioning. Now firms will base their entire focus of their business on a particular need or desire, instead of providing services based on work needed, budget and service area.
Delivery Method: Delivery is all about HOW we provide our products and services. This category of adaptation has been shifting rapidly for the last decade with the growth of online product sourcing. Now, we see that in person meetings aren’t always necessary and the actual service side of what we do is changing. E-Design has been addressing this over the last 5 years and will continue to grow, but there are other constraints to break and possibilities to discover in this arena. Memberships, wrap around services, full life cycle business models will emerge with more prevalence in the design sector and represents huge opportunity. Look at the possibilities with fresh eyes and don’t be afraid to come up with something new. This is the essence of innovation and I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of it as our industry and the world evolves. I see the most opportunity for wealth development and business strategy for companies that take the lead in integrating wellness into everyday living. This time has indeed been challenging, but it is also an amazing time for innovation. Let’s embrace the change and move forward without fear as we design the new paradigm! - Julia Molloy
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Out Source By Marc A. Molinsky
Reprinted in part from the magazine of the ASID TX Chapter with permission by DSA Publications. Originally published Issue 1/2019 p.32. Edits by Tony Purvis, ASID
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more popular with interior design firms than ever before. In fact, our research shows that nearly 8 out of 10 interior design firms outsource at least one component of their business to a third party.
By outsourcing your firm’s “non-core competencies” you are allowing you and your employees to focus the majority of your time on the aspects of your business that you do best, which results in happier employees, better employee retention and most importantly, a higher level of customer service for your clients.
e more popula
Focus on what you do best
As labor and benefits costs continue to increase, it has become much riskier and expensive to hire in-house employees. This increasing demand for outsourcing has resulted in many more businesses popping up within the interior design industry that offer outsourcing.
m rcing has beco
Variable expenses are business expenses that typically increase or decrease along with the size of sales and they can be controlled and “turned off” as needed. Examples of variable expenses are sales and marketing, office supplies and consulting. Fixed expenses are expenses that cannot be turned off such as payroll, rent, and insurance. Outsourced services are considered variable and therefore, are more attractive for your firm.
“Outsourcing” is becoming
ns why outsou
The most popular reason to outsource business functions to a third party is to reduce costs. Outsourced providers can execute tasks faster and cheaper than in house employees because they hyper focus their business and invest heavily on perfecting that one task resulting in savings and efficiencies for their clients.
Primar y reaso
Your firm will function better and faster when your internal staff are not spending a significant amount of their time the smaller, less critical tasks of the business. Outsourcing allows you to increase the capacity of your firm to take on more business without the expense and time needed to hire and train new employees.
When you outsource you are essentially hiring an “expert” in that particular task and therefore you have access to the best practices in that particular area of the business. Our research shows that design firms who opt to outsource non-core competencies to a third party generally are happy with their decision and tend to commit to those resources long term.
r design indus
r in the interio
More time to grow your firm
The most common task that designers outsource is bookkeeping. Bookkeeping is the ideal candidate for outsourcing because it is not a skill that is taught in design school and it is very expensive to hire and manage in-house. Other tasks that are commonly outsourced by designers are CAD drawings, purchasing/ ordering, social media management and public relations. Mark Molinsky is the founder and CEO of DesignerAdvantage, the nation’s first and largest provider of business services and software exlusively to the interior design trade.
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We all want to make and keep more money. But how do we do that? How how do you know where you’re making money and where you’re losing it? These are the tough questions that Principal Interior Designers must face every day. Ultimately, you’ve got to figure out the formula for becoming as profitable as possible. There are 3 components to a healthier bottom line: efficiency, financial awareness and a high revenue to man-hour ratio. Mastering these components is the winning formula for financial success. This article focuses on the most elusive of the three components: efficiency. In this service business, efficiency IS money. In fact, efficiency or lack thereof, is the number one silent killer of profit. The first rule of efficiency is: do more with what you’ve got! First, identify areas you need to tighten up efficiency. In which of the following areas are you losing money?
focus on E By Julia Molloy
Top 5 sources of inefficiency and a weak bottom line Inadequate structure: Without the proper systems and processes, workflow is disjointed, and efforts are not optimized. Every team member needs to know what needs to get done and who is responsible for it. The average poorly structured, 3-person firm spends about $18,000 in extra payroll and over $20,000 in opportunity costs each year due to inappropriate tools, roles, and task assignments. Disorganization: Without a place to centralize information it is difficult to coordinate and quickly find important information when and where you need it. The average 3-person interior design firm wastes over $4,500 a year in extra payroll costs just looking for things!
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Poor delegation: Leverage your time; dedicate it to activities that truly require YOUR attention. Spend your billable hours on billable tasks or other revenue generating activity. Having better systems will facilitate you being able to delegate and get quality and timely results from your team members or contractors. Developing your ability to perform well through other people will increase capacity and productivity which translates to a stronger bottom line. Interurruptions: Strive for prolonged periods of high concentration. This is the most productive state. Every time you and your team) get interrupted you lose a few minutes of productive time. The start and stop mentality is an epidemic in this industry and it costs the average inefficient 3 person firm over $20,000 in extra payroll every year!
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Keys to Efficiency: • Proper organizational structure: roles and responsibilities, even if it’s just you and a part
timer or two
• Centralized information that streamlines processes, like Studio Designer, Ivy, MyDoma,
Design Manager etc.
• Strong delegation skills and a weekly team sync meeting • Well-conceived organizational systems • Simple to use, easy to maintain method of tracking current to-do’s for the office • Well-structured and documented workflows • Single person accountability for each task. Even if there is collaboration, 1 person is responsible.
Firefighting: Time is wasted fixing things, repeating efforts or redoing something. These disruptions redirect time and resources and indicate that you do not have adequate control of your processes. Proactive 3 person interior design firms save an average of 30,000 a year in actual payroll costs over firms that are in reactive mode. This is all cash that could flow straight to your bottom line! Your efficiency is directly proportionate to your profit. The first step is to identify your money leaks. Efficiency in team tasking, workflow and office organization is key to building a profitable firm while at the same time remaining competitive. Aligning these elements optimally will allow you to harness the power of your team and leverage your service offering for a stronger bottom line. Not to mention, more clarity, happier clients and peace of mind! Where are your money leaks? Want help getting organized and more efficient, visit my blog for the “20 days to get organized” series at www.JuliaMolloy.com. Enjoy! Julia Molloy is also the founder of the renowned BOLD Summit – Business of Luxury Design Summit. This event focuses on the special business needs unique to firms positioned in the luxury market and is a powerful catalyst for luxury focused interior designers and architects around the world. In pursuing her mission to advance the industry, each year she galvanizes the world’s leaders in luxury design to share their wisdom and advice. The BOLD Summit continues to be a driving force for enriching lives and propelling excellence in the design community around the globe.
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Reprinted from the magazine of the ASID TX Chapter with permission by DSA Publications. Originally published Issue II/2019 pp. 16-18. Edits by Tony Purvis, ASID.
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We design custom solutions for the stories of your life. Together with us, the space where you live becomes the place you love.
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Pantry custom designed by California Closets
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What you need to know before investing in a new website Undertaking the task of getting a new website isn’t exactly at the top of most interior designers’ “Yes, Please!” lists. The thought of starting from scratch with a brand new design and copy can be daunting. After all, it’s a big investment of both your time and your money, and it’s important for the success of your business that you get it right! But you don’t need to dread a stressful, time - consuming process or fear ending up with a website that’s somewhere between mediocre and absolutely disastrous as long as you know a few key things up front. - c o ntin ued n ex t page
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The Interior Designerâ€™s Guide to Websites By Deb Mitchell, Interior Design Marketing Professional
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con tin ued fr o m page 29
Here’s my take on what’s most important for you to know before taking the plunge.
S h o u l d you st a rt w it h y o ur w ebsite’s de si g n o r it s co p y ? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the bearer of bad news when my website copywriting clients have asked me to weigh in on their already finished website designs. More often than not, there’s a bevy of layout and design elements that I know could be much better for marketing their services, like project images that are far too small to effectively showcase their designs, or no space allotted for client testimonials or a description of their processes. Even if your web designer is great at what they do, they’re probably not experts at marketing for interior designers. Without understanding your industry, they simply won’t know how to create a site for you that accommodates your unique needs - let alone offer ideas that are in keeping with your peers’ sites while still differentiating you from your competition. Simply put, I believe that designing your site before mapping out your brand message and your copy is like pouring a home’s foundation before drawing the plans. By doing so, you’re creating one of two unhappy scenarios:
Settling for a new site that doesn’t deliver a strategic brand message that fully appeals to your prospects Paying costly change fees and dealing with substantial delays to make the initial site design suit your brand messaging needs.
Instead, start your project with a team that includes a dedicated professional copywriter - preferably one well versed in brand messaging for creative professionals and luxury lifestyle industries. That way, you can be assured your copy and your design are being created simultaneously to complement one another, and that there’s a brand messaging strategy behind both.
I s i t o k t o reuse y o ur o ld lo go and br and i ng for y o ur new sit e? Your brand’s logo, fonts, and colors send an important message to your prospects. They reveal what kind of designer you are just as much as your website’s copy and your portfolio images do. If you let them get dated or if you don’t invest in branding that’s in keeping with the caliber of your interior design work, these visual branding elements can undermine the message you’re trying to send about your brand.
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While in my experience, most designers are very conscious of their visual branding’s importance, they can be tempted to skimp on it when taking on the expense of a new website at the same time. Much like the spaces you design for your clients, the end results of your website project depend on the elements you put into it. While in some cases it may be just fine to reuse a few of your clients’ existing furnishings in their new design, you also know that you’ll undoubtedly be able to achieve a better result if they invest in items chosen specifically for the new design. The same goes for your logo and branding. If they don’t seem dated and you feel they’re still a good representation of your aesthetic, it’s probably fine to reuse them. However, it will become dated and/or your aesthetic will change at some point and usually sooner rather than later. Bear in mind that it’s going to cost you more in the end to get new branding in a year or two since you’ll also have to pay at that time to have it added to the website you’re buying now.
Should you put your geographic l oc ati on on your new site? The argument designers often make for not placing their location on their website is that they don’t want to limit themselves to local clients. After all, what designer wouldn’t mind landing a high-budget gig in Paris or Dubai?! Or even in the next state over, as long as they’re being paid fairly for their time and travel expenses. Point taken. But I can promise you three things:
If you’re excellent at what you do, showing where you’re located will never chase away great clients who are willing to pay your travel fees.
Not showing your location won’t help those clients find you.
showing your location will absolutely prevent great clients in your area from finding you.
Even if you include your location behind-the-scenes in your site’s SEO, if local prospects don’t see where you’re located once they’re on your site, they’re likely to move on. People are not patient on the web. If you don’t want to lose them, you have to give them all the information they need at a glance - including confirming to those local clients (who don’t want to pay their designer’s travel fees) that you’re right in their backyard!
Project4_Layout 1 5/18/18 2:00 AM Page 1
H o w c a n yo u m a k e sure y o ur new sit e’s c o p y wi l l ap pe a l t o y o ur p ro sp ec t s? While brand voice and word choice certainly have something to do with making copy appealing, the main way to ensure your copy resonates with your prospects is by not focusing it on yourself.
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That seems counterintuitive - your prospects need information about you and how you do business. But keeping the focus on you and your story can actually work against you. Instead, center all your copy (including your About page) around your prospects. Address things like . . .
1. What their challenges are and why you understand their struggles
Expert Restoration, Reweaving & Repair
2. Why their needs match with your specific solutions
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3. How they’ll benefit from your aesthetic and service model INDUSTRY PARTNER
4. How they’re in the right place because your background, experience, and expertise make you the perfect designer for them Of course, this also means you shouldn’t try to make your copy appeal to everyone. You need to know your clients and prospects well; you need to understand how they think and what they need from a designer. Make sure your copy is for them and only them, staying focused on how every piece of information you give on your site relates to their specific needs.
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There’s no need to drag your feet, fearing a long, painful project and unpredictable end results. If you start with these key items in mind, getting a new website that markets your interior design business beautifully will be an easy, breezy endeavor, as well as one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make in your brand.
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Previously a freelance features writer for lifestyle and shelter publications, Deb Mitchell now works with interior designers and other creative professionals through one-on-one copywriting, ghost blogging services, and online courses in content creation and marketing. With nearly a decade of experience in and around the interior design industry, Deb has a deep understanding of designers’ unique marketing needs. She’s currently undergoing a full rebrand and getting a new website for her own business, so she knows the struggle is real! For more of Deb’s website tips, visit http://bit.ly/sneaky-website-mistakes .
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atlantahomesmag.com or call (800) 264-2456
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rita carson guest, RA, ASID, RID
- carson guest interiors | architecture
1 . As a successful business owner who
has weathered economic downturns before, are there any specific tactics for business resiliency that are part of your toolkit?
We have built our business on successful relationships with our clients, and communication is key to that success. We are very service oriented so we stay in close touch with our clients. As face to face meetings are limited now, we have pivoted to online meetings. They are not as rich in communication as face to face meetings, but are better than only phone, email and text messages to stay in touch. Our financial approach to weathering downturns has been to treat company revenues not as personal income, but instead to intentionally hold sufficient levels of funds within the company from good years so that we are not stressed by several months of disruption from unforeseen events.
2. What do you wish you had known
the first time your business lived through an economic downturn that could be assistive for newer business owners to know now or plan for in the future?
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The first time all of our projects were put on hold was in the 2008 recession. We kept all of our people, but did reduce salaries by one day going to a 4-day week. To be honest, although we were loyal to all of our employees, after the recession lifted and our work started back, several still left our firm. But, I don’t know that I would do anything differently. Our people are important to us and we do not want them to suffer hardships. They are our firm’s most important assets.
3. What would you like to share with our members that we haven’t asked you?
During this virus pandemic we are all going through uncharted territory which is frightening for everyone. It is important to communicate with your team often so they know everything that is going on with your business. We have several projects on hold so we are using the extra time for training. It is a good time to do the things we never seem to have the time to do when we are busy taking care of clients. www.carsonguest.com
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HILLARY MANCINI, ASID - PEACE DESIGN INTERIOR designer
1 . As a successful designer who has weathered economic downturns before, are there any specific tactics for business resiliency that are part of your toolkit?
We evaluate our policies and procedures on a yearly basis at minimum, but in all reality, we look at areas that can be improved at the end of each project. While things are fresh, it allows us to look back clearly and discuss as a team what works and what could be better. If we constantly ask this of ourselves, the client experience only improves.
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What do you wish you had known the first time you lived through an economic downturn that could be assistive for newer designers to know now or plan for in the future?
To embrace the change that is happening and turn inward to decide how your life and design work can improve by the shift. The â€™08-09 recession was still early enough in my career I honestly did not know what to expect, but I knew that I had a solid team around me and that we would get through it. Communicating and being nimble is critical not just in a downturn, but in your daily practices. Being able and willing to evolve is the key.
What would you like to share with our ASID members that we havenâ€™t asked you?
Supporting your community by engaging with one another will always lead to better results. In times of success, and more importantly in times of stress, your contemporaries are the ones building the industry with you. Listen. Share. Keep creating!
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Jared Paul owner, paul+
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1 . As
a successful business owner who has
are there any specific tactics for business resiliency that are part of your toolkit?
Try to stay grounded when things are good - you can’t get caught up in the hype, because a downturn is inevitable… eventually it will happen. Downturns are an opportunity because you have the time to refocus. When the economy turns around, you have a solid foundation to hit the ground running. You always have to be prepared for a downturn.
Trust your gut, but don’t forget to listen to others. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
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2. What do you wish you had known the first time your business lived through an economic downturn that could be assistive for newer business owners to know now or plan for in the future?
I started my business during an economic downturn. Start small, don’t try to conquer the world, and build your business little by little. I’ve always thought the best advice I was ever given was that as a business owner you’re always paranoid; you’re paranoid when business is good, and you’re paranoid when it’s not good.
3. What would you like to share with our members that we haven’t asked you?
C onstantly remind yourself why you started your business. With every experience, good and bad, you will grow. Always be cognizant of what’s going on, but don’t give up. The best advice my Grandmother gave me was that your chances for success outweigh your chances for failure. www. pau lplu satlan ta.com
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A BIG WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST ASID MEMBERS
NEW PROFESSIONAL MEMBERS Anne-Michelle Cooley, ASID Sandra Dunham, ASID Andrea Gresham, ASID Stephanie Hagans, ASID Maria Le May, ASID Lindsay Miller, ASID Nadia Pidgeon, ASID Laura Lee Samford, ASID Kathryn Seeley, ASID Amy Sickeler, ASID Diana Stanisic, ASID Amy Van Doorn, ASIDw ALLIED ASID Karla Carmona, Allied ASID Harry Coss, Allied ASID Robbie Deason, Allied ASID Regan Elliott, Allied ASID Alexa Fombrun, Allied ASID
Aimee Leonard, Allied ASID Carmen Lopez, Allied ASID Emily Rink, Allied ASID Margie Roe , Allied ASID Lisa Sanchez, Allied ASID Jessica Santos, Allied ASID Lindsey Spearman, Allied ASID Catherine Stockman, Allied ASID Karissa Thomason, Allied ASID Emma Walker, Allied ASID Trena Washington, Allied ASID Josephine Wheeler, Allied ASID Courtney Yapp, Allied ASID ASSOCIATE ASID Kelli Larson, Associate ASID Anna Robertson, Associate ASID Sarah Yerger, Associate ASID INDUSTRY PARTNERS LOCAL
Karli Goddard, Allied ASID
Cardea Home LLC | Laurie Lehrich
Briana Hall, Allied ASID
Custom Home Gyms, LLC | Laura Gudipalley
Kacy Hawkins, Allied ASID
Premier Integrators | Christopher Pastush
Suma Kaithathara, Allied ASID
Stanton Carpets| Kent Fawcett
Cosmos Surfaces | Venki Chalasani Innovations in Wallcoverings | Abiola Bobcombe Pacific Sales | Shaun Ayala Poggenpohl | Adrienne Grzeskiewicz Specialty Tile Products | Elizabeth Lysaught Tritter Feefer Home Collection, LLC | Rik Littlefield Vicostone | Luther Bellinger INDUSTRY PARTNERS NATIONAL BSH Home Appliances | Greg Collins Circa Lighting | Robyn Litt Crate & Barrel | Shauna McCormick
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS
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INDUSTRY PARTNERS REGIONAL
Delos Rugs | Kelly Breier Feizy Import & Export | Kelly Markham Fiber Protector America | Bob VanOrder Gensun | Gray Dobbins Jaipur Living Inc | Karen Autore Monogram Appliances | Sheri Gold Porcelanosa | Mimi Corrales York Wallcoverings | Millard Smith
Introducing Our Partnership with Kravet
SPRING 2020 ATLANTA / ALPHARETTA / MGBWHOME.COM
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