Year End Contemplations
2022 was quite the rollercoaster year! Earlier this year I was still scrambling to keep up with the enormous rush of business from 2021. I was admittedly overcommitted earlier this year, but loved every minute of working with clients, teaching and industry outreach. Then everything seemed to come to a halt this summer. As a self-employed professional slowdowns in our industry always make me nervous, but this year I embraced the time to slow down, take care of myself, recover from a bit of burnout and reconnect with myself and others.
This was a big year of stretching in my business, preparing for what’s next. I will celebrate 25 years in 2023 and am gearing up for a few shifts, or rather expansions, in my business. I’ll be opening to support more cabinet orders within the industry and begin offering consulting services to interior designers.
At the end of the year I often journal about all the amazing experiences and accomplishments from the year that I am grateful for and proud of myself for. Starting in 2023 I’m going to start a new practice of filling an empty jar weekly of those things and then on New Year's Eve pull them out to read all the wonderful things that 2023 brought.
Thank you to all my clients this year and many many industry friends.
Cheers! Welcome 2023
The Seattle Design Center is a touch stone for our industry in the Pacific Northwest. For the Trade it’s a place of community and connection. For our clients it’s a place for quality furnishings, fabrics, finishes, most of which you can’t purchase retail or get anywhere else, and above all concierge service.
For years the SDC has hosted Student Career Days. I’ve participated with these events from very early on in my career. From the day I graduated I had a heart for mentoring and encouraging the next generation of designer. I’m an Adjunct Professor these days as well at a couple local colleges so it is a natural connection for me as a volunteer opportunity.
As a student at the Seattle Art Institute 25 years ago, my first time at this impressive facility was so daunting and intimidating. I didn’t feel like I belonged. My hope today is to help other students get past this feeling and to help them feel welcome. This is their resource just as much as it is to a designer with many years of experience.
This year our theme was “Hitting the Ground Running”. It was our goal to help empower them with skills as they graduate and enter the design industry. It was an honor to moderate an incredible panel of professionals. What a beautiful experience when so many with a heart for the next generation come together with a common purpose to give to others in such a selfless way.
NKBA TOP 5 WEBINARS OF THE YEAR!
So excited to hear the news! My webinar in 2022 for “Transitional Design Style” was listed as a TOP 5 NKBA Webinar of 2022.
You’ve likely gathered by now that my primary trade association is the National Kitchen & Bath Association which is a nationwide organization dedicated to residential kitchen and bath professionals. I first started speaking with NKBA roughly 10 years ago with a topic near and dear to my heart . . . creativity. Nervous and imperfectly I’ve been growing and practicing and today I have accomplished 15 seminars. I’ve also contracted with 4 manufacturers to create curriculum to engage specifiers in the industry. From radio, writing, webinars, and podcasts, it’s all just a story of what I’ve learned that I want to share with others.
This is my second year with a webinar in the top 5 with the NKBA organization. Grateful for the organization, the opportunity and to all my peers who keep showing up to get a peak into what I’m passionate about and what I’m learning about.
#speaking #curriculumdevelopment #specifierengagement
Transitional Design Style
I just finished a live recording of one of my newest seminars about identifying and defining design styles. Most of my clients can’t articulate their style, or even that their style has evolved and no longer suits them, but they don’t know how to execute that in their homes. Like most of you, my own style has evolved. From French Country to Transitional. Did you know that there are 3 main macro styles . . . Contemporary, Transitional and Traditional?
What is Transitional Design Style?
It is the most misunderstood, illusive, middle child!
Transitional design has one foot planted in traditional design and the other in contemporary. I like to put it simply; You take Traditional design elements, and you simplify them, a little less fussy, then we take Contemporary design, and we warm it up and soften it, with, color, lines and textures.
It’s really a blending of traditional and modern elements, combing classic and contemporary architecture . . . the best of both worlds! This image perfectly portrays what I’m talking about.
There are many micro-styles that fall under this middle category, and it’s a very broad category, and the lines between each are a little blurry. If you ask 10 designers, you might get 10 different answers. My goal in researching this and teaching it to designers and students (and homeowners) is to help lesson that disparity and get more of us on the same page and to give you the language to help identify your own style. I love the faces that light up when a client realizes their style has a name!
How do we execute this in kitchen and bath design? Here is a grouping of cabinet door styles. From left to right, contemporary, transitional and traditional.
These faucets below are a fantastic example of a process I take my clients through. We’ve determined that they are transitional style but when we get to the plumbing showroom they keep being drawn to the contemporary faucet. Here we start to see just how wide the middle bucket is. Within transitional design you can lean towards contemporary or towards traditional. These two middle faucets are both transitional, but you can see the distinct differences in detail.
I hope this helps you in your quest to define your style. Transitional has surpassed Contemporary design this year. Everyone is drawn towards “A little of this and a little of that.”, we CAN have the best of both worlds. And best part is that when expertly executed, your new space will be a long-lasting aesthetic, truly TIMELESS.
Conversations, thoughts, wisdom, creativity, tips and tricks, industry trends . . .
After many years in this industry with many non-traditional "blog" platforms, it's time to have one platform for all my thoughts to share with you whether you are a homeowner, industry partner, student or peer. You'll hear everything from my journey as a creative, topics I geek out over, the color of the year, how dishwashers work and larger trend and design methodology topics.