Jan 8, 2015

Join Me in Frankfurt: BlogTour Germany hits Ambiente

I am so happy to share that I will be part of the first BlogTour hitting Frankfurt, Germany for the gift and table top show Ambiente next month.

The show, from February 12-17th is one of the most important in the world and boasts over 4700 exhibitors from 89 countries with the USA being this year’s official partner country with a pavilion curated by design star Scott Henderson.

It is guaranteed to be an amazing amount of content that will come from all these amazing women and men from the US and Canada, many of whom I have had the pleasure of travelling with before while others I can't wait to get to know even better. Stay tuned for more as we get a little closer to the date, but wanted to share this exciting news with you all today. Told you 2015 was going to be a good one, didn't I?

Ronique Gibson, Assoc. Architect, LEED AP is founder of the home lifestyle blog Stagetecture.com which was launched in 2009. Ronique has established herself as a voice on the design scene by helping homeowners meet a myriad of challenges. Through her informative blog, she showcases elements that bring pizazz to interiors, helps the frazzled gain a handle on organization, shares fun do-it-yourself projects, great food recipes & lifestyle inspiration. She contributes her light hearted expertise to many influential home design blogs and publications and is also the Home Staging Expert for About.com and author of ‘111 Simple Tips for your Everyday Home’ ebook. Discover more about Ronique via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

Northern California interior designer Kerrie Kelly founded Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in 1995. She is an award-winning interior designer, author and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market. She has authored two books: Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide and My Interior Design Kit, with Pearson Professional and Career Education. This year she will add California Style: A Wine + Design Tour to her authored library and complement it with a series of webisodes on the subject. She has received Houzz’s Best of Remodeling Award in 2012 as well as Best of Design and Customer Satisfaction Awards in 2013 and 2014.As one of five national Trendspotters for Cosentino, Learn more about Kerrie via her Twitter,Facebook and Pinterest.

Robin Plaskoff Horton’s award-winning and Webby-nominated blog, Urban Gardens, is a lifestyle story told from the ground up. A mix of urban style, design, and nature, Urban Gardens explores the world’s most captivating destinations, to see, taste, and experience multi-culturally, what the global creative universe is growing and serving up in their own particular style. Robin has been a featured speaker at the Garden Bloggers Conference, Women at Woodstock, and the Garden Writers Association Annual Symposium. In addition to several awards, Mashable named Urban Gardens “One of the Top 10 Must-Follow Home and Garden Twitter Accounts.” Get connected with Robin via herTwitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+

Tamara Matthews-Stephenson is an interior designer, freelance writer and lifestyle expert working and living in New York City. With two college degrees —a baccalaureate degree in English from Castleton State College and a certificate in interior design from Parsons School of Design — and over twenty years experience in the design business, Tamara has honed her eclectic skills as a designer, host, writer and social media expert. In 2008, she began merging her former writing experiences with her design training by penning her popular lifestyle blog Nest by Tamara. In addition to running her design practice, she regularly contributes editorials on assignments for websites and print publications, including Dan’s Papers, Traditional Home, NYC&G and others. Learn more about Tamara via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

Carmen Maria Natschke is a writer, speaker, new media entrepreneur and the founder of the internationally acclaimed design portal The Decorating Diva. The Decorating Diva is an effort that melds Carmen’s many skills, including software engineering (which found her participating in a project on the NASA space shuttle launch control system); retail boutique design and visual merchandising (for which she won a “Silver Award for Visual Merchandising”); and a design instructor on decorative finishes to color theory to design + history. One look at her popular site and social media platforms, which garner a monthly average of 3 million impressions and it’s obvious she brings her significant talent and knowledge of aesthetics and programming to the effort. Discover more about Carmen  Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

Lisa Mende is a North Carolina Based interior designer, tastemaker and design bloggers with two decades of experience as Principal of Lisa Mende Design. She shares her interior design passion and expertise regularly on her widely acclaimed eponymous blog named as a Modenus Top 100 blog in 2013+2014. Lisa is known for her casual luxe interiors rooted in tradition with a bold modern vibe. In the role of tastemaker she has served as a High Point International Market Style Spotter, Ambassador for La Cienega “Legends Event” 2014, Brizo Blogger19 Alumni, and Williamsburg Brand Trend Pinner. This will be Lisa’s third time participating in Modenus Blogtour, having participated in Blogtour London and Blogtour Vegas. She is thrilled to be part of the Blogtour Modenus team! Connect with Lisa via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+!

Susan Brinson is one part of a photography team, photographing with her husband William Brinson. Susan began her career in NYC after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design. Susan worked in the advertising industry for over 13 years as a design director, managing a design team. About 5 years ago, William and Susan were interested in working together and started a personal blog, House of Brinsonto explore various ideas and topics and the possibility of collaborating. House of Brinson has grown as a personal online publication where the Brinson’s write and photograph their everyday life, plus the Brinson’s now work full time as a team. Photography and styling clients include House Beautiful, The New York Times Magazine and Real Simple. Explore Susan’s creativity via her Twitter,Facebook, Pinterestand Google+.

Courtney Price is an acknowledged leader in new media- covering interior design, lifestyle, technology, food and travel. Because her New Orleans roots launched her into the deep end of the design world, she serves to connect her following with top quality trends and resources- from antique to contemporary. The designer founded Courtney Price Design in 1999 and skyrocketed onto the scene given her ability to mix contemporary and classic styles—a talent she blames squarely on said hometown.Her mantra—“fine living expresses itself in the details”—grew to be a harbinger of her popularity as she traversed the country covering the most luxurious lifestyle events during any given week. Connect with the NOLA native via her Twitter, Facebook,Pinterest and Google+.

Margot Austin is an editor and interiors stylist who is currently senior design editor at Canadian House & Home magazine. She is an avid DIYer, serial renovator and lover of old houses. Margot’s own homes, which she designed in partnership with her antique-dealer husband Kevin, have been published in Style at Home and House & Home and featured on TV and web videos. She has been a regular guest expert on CBC TV’s The Steven & Chris Show and on The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV in Canada. Almost anything else you’d want to know about Margot can be gleaned by following her posts on Twitter and Pinterest. She drops in at her own site margotaustin.cato pen the odd blog post, and her weekly blog is about to launch athouseandhome.com.

Experience, inspire, inform – it’s all about living well with style and substance. After 17 years as an art director in New York City, Stacey Bewkes left the corporate world for Connecticut with her husband and four children. A continuing love of design led to the creation of this lifestyle blog, a discerning online guide to those special discoveries that make life just that much better. From art and architecture, interiors and design, fashion and jewelry to books and movies, food and wine, travel and more, Quintessence has become a trusted source for well-researched, original content in the online world. Tag along as Stacey attends exclusive events and meet design icons and tastemakers, bringing you the story behind the style. Be sure to follow along via Stacey’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

Interior designer, 20th century design specialist, antiques dealer, brand ambassador, trend spotter, blogger, triathlete and mother of three: these are just a few of the many hats worn by Julia Buckingham. As an interior designer and dealer specializing in 20th design and antiques Julia is right on target to cater to how people live today. With her signature style she calls Modernique® Julia seamlessly blends furniture and fixtures from the past with those of today.Since opening her design studio Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC in Chicago in 2007, Julia has enjoyed national recognition as a tastemaker and color expert throughout the design industry featured in publications including Elle Décor, Traditional Home, Luxe, Rue Magazine, Lonny, Discover Julia and Buckingham Interiors and Design via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Denise McGaha delivers fashionable, diverse, and adventurous designs for clients who live on the fast track; specializing in turn-key, concierge-level service delivered in 90 days or less. It has been said that Denise McGaha Interiors, is consistently ahead of the curve not just influencing interior fashion, but often dictating it. With a seamless blending of multiple interests, Denise is able to offer her affluent clients access to Dallas’ best-kept secret: her black book of high-end concierge services.Denise’s sophisticated methodology and solid business acumen evolved through her decade in the corporate landscape of luxury retailer, Neiman Marcus, where she honed her well-trained eye, and was an integral part of the team that launched NeimanMarcus.com. Learn more about Denise via her Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.

Jeffrey Design LLC, founded in 2008, is a dynamic interior design firm that is highly sought after in Dallas and beyond. Jeffrey Johnson‘s expertise encompasses the design of interior spaces for impeccable lifestyles and provides quality end results and stunning spaces for luxury residential properties. Jeffrey’s eponymous blog covers design trends, forecasts, tips & tricks and much more and reflect his penchant for color and modern design. When he’s not busy designing or blogging, Jeffrey is a moderator on G+ Interior Design Community. Connect with Jeffrey via his Twitter, Facebook, Pinterestand Google+.

Paola Thomas is a British food and travel photographer and writer, based in Seattle and happily photographing,eating, drinking and cooking her way around the Pacific Northwest. She has been writing her food and photography blog mirrormirror for more than seven years, and is a regular contributor to various Seattle publications. Her food and travel photography can be seen at www.paolathomas.com. See more of her food and travel photography via her Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Don't forget to follow me as well..
Mehditash Design is a bi-coastal boutique interiors firm based in Newport Beach, California with a satellite office in Larchmont, NY led by Jennifer Mehditash. With a life experience spanning 4 continents, Jennifer’s interior design style blends a traditional twist with a contemporary design aesthetic.After studying Modern Art at Christie’s, Jennifer settled in Portugal in 1994 and began a career at Sotheby’s. Expanding the reach of her business, Jennifer opened Mehditash Design, LLC in New York in 2008 and has since quickly cemented her presence in the Design Industry through her fresh eclectic designs and her highly acclaimed interior design blog Dec-a-Porter.A Design Thought Leader, Jennifer has a continuing presence within the design community through Dec-a-Porter, consulting for leading product brands in the industry and with regular speaking engagements across the US on diverse subjects such as Social Media, The Business of Interior Design, Life as a “Design Mom”, and Harnessing Your Visual Voice. 
Get in touch with Jennifer via her TwitterFacebookPinterest and Google+.

BlogTour is the brainchild of Veronika of Modenus.com. 
Modenus’ BlogTours have brought bloggers to design trade events around the world helping bring attention to them and the current trends while doing so .. All way before anyone really knew what bloggers were. Watch out for the #BlogTourAmbiente hashtag and Modenus everywhere. 

Jan 1, 2015

Reflections: Dominique Browning, 2014 Challenges and 2015 Oppurtunities

"I guess I took a break. 
I didn’t mean to take a break. I didn’t mean to go away for so long. Without even saying goodbye. It just happened.
Sometimes you don’t know what you need till it’s done. This summer, I needed to get very quiet. I needed to think, but more than that, I needed to stare into space." 

These words from Dominique Browning, a woman that so influenced a large part of my early career, really hit home today,


I wanted to write a post on Reflections today.
Day 1 of 2015 and thought I would start by sharing a few of my own reflections on the year 2014.

For me personally, (and you all know I am not much for sharing very personal thoughts here) 2014 brought many challenges, both professionally and personally. However, the most difficult ones were indeed those that shifted my own outlook of who I am and what I am (or not) capable of.

Starting this blog, now 3 1/2 years ago, came at a pivotal moment in my life. We had just had our third child in a new city and I needed to start my career over in the midst of what we now know was a very difficult time for many of us in the design field, especially in New York.
Dec-a-Porter brought me out of my own space.. out of solitude and into your homes, and brought me closer to you all. Here, on twitter and beyond and enriched my life in so many ways it would become too soppy a novel to share it all here. It meant a daily dedication to posting.. editing my thoughts (not always easy) and sharing the views from my lens as I discovered the design world around me.
I attended every conference, went online to every chat, and slowly but surely work *IRL* began to thrive as well as the connections online. Like so many, I was on a complete adrenaline rush and couldn't wait to sit down to post again ,.. and again.. and finally (and a lot sooner than many of my blogging compatriots) I burnt out! Complete exhaustion.

So the posts started to become less and less in depth nor as exciting as I wanted them to be.. not just for you, the readers, but for me.

I remember how at some point last year, (now that feels strange to say) the whirlwind created online by the reaction to a few comments made in an interview about "bloggers" in general by Martha Stewart got me to thinking again about my own blog, my own mission and everything in between.

Does Martha have a point? Are all bloggers experts? Or just because you have a blog, does that immediately provide you (and of course, when I say you I also mean me) allow for your opinion to somehow trump all others, more educated and informed opinions?

Are we all just taking this whole thing too seriously? Or is it SERIOUS because it means so much to those of us that dedicate themselves to their space?

My blog, is MY BLOG. It is not supposed to be a newspaper, nor do I expect that my commentary, opinions, thoughts, musings be taken as the end all of anything related to interior design. Especially not in the field of interior design, when so much is subjective.

I suppose it is how as professional designers we feel when clients expect a 24 hour miracle, similar to that of an HGTV episode. It is TV, and meant to entertain the viewer. A blog, can also be that.. or something a lot more in depth, more personal. It is what the readers and blogger chose it to be.

Of course, I hope that everyone understands the distinction between a trade professional that studied, invested time and money in perfecting their craft, and simultaneously feels they have the extra creative "juice" required to share it on their blog platform for the world to read and enjoy AND someone that loves that trade and writes about it. No matter how well they write about it.

With all that said, at the end of the day, it is all about the readers. Not the writers. It is about building it.. but have they actually come to visit? Do "they" come back.. again and again? That is what matters in the end. Making a connection and having that trust based relationship built on empathy, likeness, a feeling of belonging.

That is what I strive for, even if I sometimes fail at it.

So what does that mean about what I have learned from everything that 2014 brought me?

Well for one.. I think until this past year, I genuinely still believed I was invincible. It is true. I am finally a real adult now :-) and understand that HEALTH really does make a difference. Last year after participating in a charity event, I was bitten by a tick and quickly discovered that I had Lyme's Disease as a result. It took a giant toll on me and slowly but surely many other little ailments began to pile up on top of one another.

With small children that needed me and my husband working for the most part on the other side of the country, each day presented a new challenge. It meant I needed to start really taking care of me .. not last, not after everyone else was done, but first. It is not easy to do that. At least not for me.
I think about what they say on the planes, as the talk you through the emergency procedures.. always put your own mask on first. Well I am not sure I would be able to do that, but when you are presented with no other alternative, or in a sense, your own rock bottom, than what alternative do you have?

So, I began taking care of me, and discovered that I, like many I have come to meet in the process, live with an autoimmune disease called Lupus. The attack on my body from the tick's venom just made all my otherwise easy to live with symptoms worse and almost unbearable.
Constant pain is so unpleasant.. and most definitely not conducive to happy mothering nor creativity.
All from a little tiny bite - life changed in that instant for me. It was anything but pleasant and not a time I am comfortable sharing, nor one I would ever chose to relive.

So I decided to make some changes in my life, as a mother, a wife and as a family we moved west to be closer together and to allow me time to regain my own strength. Emotional.. physical.. creative. These are the layers that I needed to start to replenish and make whole again.

That was my gift to me. To become me again, and I am getting there. I feel so much better thanks to amazing alternative medicine and holistic choices that have made each day fun again. I am so grateful to both Dr Nona Djavid in Newport Beach and Dr Elizabeth Greig of the Blum Center in New York for helping put the pieces back together again. So many of you online and in person, saw me through my moments of sadness - to you, know how much you mean to me.

So now here we are in 2015. Day 1. I have always thought of myself as a positive, or glass half full kind of person, so I thought it would only be fitting to start focusing on my strengths this year.

I want 2015 to be all about what I can do and what deserves my energy all in the hopes of becoming a better me. A friend online, Lisa Ferguson, shared this image with me after I took the Strengths Finder test as a sign of my own commitment to this New Year's Resolution.

Here they are ->> My Top 5 strengths.

So there it is in black and white.
This year already has a great lineup of interior design projects kicking off the year just the way I like it as well as editorial and blogging events in California, in New York and many more in Europe. So I say to 2015... watch out, here I come.
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