In the field of Interior Design, successful designers get distinguished by staying aware of the latest industry trends. Whether you are designer looking for a fresh look or just want to have that edge of knowing what is new out there, attending industry events is one of the best ways to stay current with both seasoned and upcoming manufacturers and their latest collections. So, when you are ready to design that “one of kind” space that you always wanted to, you know the right resource to make the dream into a reality.
If the event brings reps of different vendors together, then they are thrilled to share new products and sometimes even new application ideas. So, at the end of the day you could not only be informed but might also be inspired for a current or future project. And who can forget the giveaways? They just make these events even more fun for the attendees. This is also a great way to meet peers and industry leaders, making it into a good networking opportunity. Overall, a win win situation for the whole industry.
On May 15, I attended such an event at Manoirs, the Designer’s Resource in Alpharetta. Three reps took time out and shared what each of their companies had to offer. The companies represented were Global Views & Studio A, Thibaut & Anna French and the outdoor furniture manufacturer Summer Classics & Gabby. Around twenty design industry professionals attended the two hour ‘Lunch & Learn” session that begun at around 10:30p.m and concluded with a yummy lunch.
Nick Easom brought a wide range of wallpaper samples from the 60 collections offered by Thibaut, the oldest wallpaper manufacturer in the country. Looking at the variety, it was quite clear that this company has wallpaper available for every taste and style. Clients could be specified from a big selection of embroidered, solids, textured, prints, natural fiber options (linen, sisal), cork and some event using 24K Gold, for those exclusive few. It was also interesting to note that despite news of Emerald Green projected as Pantone color of the year for 2013, orange seemed to dominate in most collections.
Mr. Easom emphasized that all of their prints are same price and with great competitive pricing. He was happy that wallpapers have made a comeback and encouraged the designers to educate their clients that wallpapers are not a bad option to bring color, pattern and texture into any space. It is just a matter of getting a qualified installer who could do proper prep work and installation. And when it is time to get rid of them then, there are great products available on the market now that help taking them off a snap.
The second presentation was by Kris Robinson from Global Views & Studio A. Global Views boasts to be an “Environmentally aware” company that offers all natural products. With 3000 sku’s, the company considers itself a leader in the accessory business. As the company name implies, these products come across the globe including countries like Italy, Poland, Vietnam, India, Portugal and many more.
Mr. Robinson stressed that since most of the products are hand made (like the glass pieces are hand blown) so, it is expected to find slight differences in size and shape from the catalog. He suggested that it would be great to explain this to the client when specifying such items to avoid any issues later.
Some of the cool ceramic pieces used a technique called “Reactive Glaze”. Studio A, that offers more matt finish products, was bought by Global Views around two years ago. The products offered include items made from Alabaster marble, compo clay, chiseled bones, Iron, mirrors and case glass. As far as the upcoming finishes is concerned, Mr. Robinson said to look out for more Gold and Brass.
The third presenter was Paul Bentley and he talked about Summer Classics, a thirty year company from Alabama. This company specializes in outdoor furniture and furnishings. Mr. Bentley declared this company as the “one stop shop” when it comes to outdoor furniture in wrought Iron, Wicker or Teak. Talking about standard furniture warranties, he said that the company offers a 5 years warranty for the frame, 3 years for the finish and 1 year for the cushion. As for fabric collections, he said that the fabric lines offered are fashion forward and generally follow the clothing trends. The company offers a wide range of solution dyed acrylic fabric Sunbrella fabrics. The best pillow the company offers is called the “Dream Cushion”. One of the interesting products available is the furniture made from a product known as “Resista”. This new and innovative resin based wood like material takes color like wood but does not rot. Talk about lasting furniture!
Overall, it was a very informative session. Thank you Manoirs for hosting it and I look forward to more soon.