VERANDA MAGAZINE kicked off the 2010 Houston Spring Market with a film preview of the 2009 design award winners and a keynote presentation that drew a strong following.
They had a distinquished panel consisting of Michelle Nussbaumer, Jan Showers, Peter Pennoyer, Geoffrey Westergaard and J. Randall Powers, to discuss “The Art of Design: Redefining Luxury”. We got to see slides of their gorgeous works while Carolyn Englefield, Editor-at-Large, presided over the discussion and asked questions. As a huge bonus, Lisa Newsom, the founder of VERANDA and former Editor-in-Chief, was there to lend her support.
L to R
Peter Pennoyer, Peter Pennoyer Architects - Award Recipient
Michelle Nussbaumer, Ceylon et Cie
Carolyn Engelfield, Editor-at-Large, VERANDA
Jan Showers, Jan Showers & Associates
J. Randall Powers, J, Randall Powers Interior Decoration
Geoffrey Westergaard, Carl Moore Antiques
Each panelist had their own personal take on luxury and how it is being redefined in our current market… and even though among them there is a difference of opinion in whether less is more, or more is more… the overriding agreement is that “things that we acquire have to have meaning – greater than the object itself”…regardless of it’s cost.
The uniqueness of an item is among what is considered a luxury… here again, irregardless of cost. It is much more judicial to purchase one single really good item, then to have a dozen so-so things. This is something that, as a designer, I always stress, especially to my younger clients that are just starting out…. which leads to…
Another point that was emphasized was the role of the designer to educate the client as to the value of what they are specifying to the client. It stands to reason that the designers who spend time educating their clients are showing them that their business is valued and appreciated and is giving their clients added service.
And the last main point that was made as to redefining luxury was that of time… highly valued as a luxury and a necessary investment for achieving the quality of life as defined by today’s standards.
As wonderful as the whole day proved to be… the highlight of my day was in the serendipity of getting in line at the reception/lunch behind Ms. Newsom… who was joined by Carolyn Englefield. Why they were standing in line to get into the Duralee showroom is beyond me, but it was certainly to my enjoyment. The line was not moving very fast, so I had the opportunity to have a nice conversation with them. Both are as lovely and gracious as the magazine itself!
Following the keynote reception lunch the acclaimed designer Barry Dixon did a presentation and book signing at the S. Harris/Fabricut showroom. His work is just beautiful, and to hear him talk about the various projects from around the world was enlightening. I got to talk to him briefly while he signed my book. I was wondering about his support system when he travels and he told me that he has it in all his contracts that he brings his vendors with him… such as his drapery workroom and his muralist. First of all, he does not want to spend the time locating local talent and vendors; and secondly, by bringing his own, he controls the quality that his clients expect.
He has a new collection of fabrics and trimmings in the Barry Dixon Collection for Vervain. There wasn’t time after the presentation to go through his collection… but I will definitely be checking it out.
The finale of the day was a panel discussion over “The Evolution of Design”… with a star studded blog roll introduced by The Editor-at-Large’s Julia Noran and moderated by Sophie Donelson. What a great duo! Both are so energetic and have such vivacious personalities.
Sophie Donelson, The Editor at Large
(I'm sorry that my photo of Julia Noran was too dark to print)
The panelists included:
Ronda Carman, Editor of AlltheBestBlog.com
Brad Ford, Interior Designer & Editor of DesignTherapy.com
Joni Webb, Interior Designer & Editor of CotedeTexas.blogspot.com
For those that were attending that are new to blogging, it was insightful and very helpful in directing them on ways to expand their media presence. For those that are already involved and evolving, it was a great opportunity to enjoy an exchange with other bloggers. Jillian provided some very interesting information on some of the selecting processes that the HGTV.com website goes through in searching for new talent.
Each panelist explained their reasoning behind blogging, which were as varied as the panelist themselves, and how they got started. Brad, who's purpose I most relate with in blogging, maintains an interior design business full time and that his projects often prevent him from blogging on as frequent as a basis as someone who blogs full time.
I for one appreciate those that made such a great effort to be there, in spite of travel complications and having been on a tiring travel circuit with the panel.
It was interesting to learn that Ronda is originally from
I thoroughly enjoyed the exchange of conversations at the reception that followed in the Abraham’s furniture showroom and look forward to a continued dialog with them in the future…