Monday, March 7, 2011

entry way style

Stenciled Wall eclectic entry
Stenciled gray walls, warm floors and leather daybed.  Yes please!

 With spring just around the corner, our attention will soon turn towards the outdoors.  Where I am sitting right now, it is 28 degrees out and getting ready to snow.  Sigh ...  As I stand near the front door peering out the window, I decide to do an entry makeover to freshen things up a bit.  Shall I switch out rugs, furniture, lamps, artwork or accessories?  How about all of the above!  While I go work on my entryway project , browse through these pictures and see what inspiration you find for YOUR entry.  Is there one idea in particular you could incorporate into restyling your entryway?  I'd love to hear about it!



Entry contemporary entry
Clean, warm entry with graphic rug!

Harlem Apartment - Hall eclectic entry
Bold stripes add instant visual interest to an entry.

Franco A. Pasquale Design Assoc. ,Inc. eclectic entry
Colorful artwork, accessories, and a beautiful cabinet with storage is a great solution.

Art as Pop traditional entry
Fresh artwork against white walls keep this entry fresh.

Entrance Foyer contemporary entry
Graphic flooring, gorgeous mirror, plush bench and cute pooch = glam entry.

Glenn Gissler Design contemporary entry
Warm colors and textures make this an inviting entry.  Love!
photos via Houzz


Sunday, March 6, 2011

20 tips for building a successful design business through social media

Tobi Fairley
photo via

On the second day of the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles, Tobi Fairley delivered a wonderful keynote address.  Tobi is a successful interior designer based in Little Rock, Arkansas and has been named one of the Top 20 Young Designers in America by Traditional Home.  It was an absolute delight to see some of her work and to meet her!  Tobi provided us with 20 Tips for Building a Successful Design Business Through Social Media:
  1. Building a blog doesn't mean building a design business.
  2. Determine your blog's purpose.
  3. Know your ideal design client:  Who is reading your blog?
  4. Don't become obsessed with your blog's numbers.  More important question is "Are you reaching potential clients?"
  5. Toot your own horn.  People need to know what you are good at.  It's your brand.  Tobi recommends doing this 60-70% of time.
  6. Don't be afraid to specialize.
  7. Become the expert.  Don't just talk about it, show your expertise and voice your opinion.
  8. Don't be afraid to give some free advice.  This builds trust, credibility and confidence.
  9. Your work must be GREAT!
  10. Photography is key.  Hire a professional to photograph your work.  Make it part of your expense budget.
  11. Less is more.
  12. Look through a camera's lens.  Tobi approaches each new design by seeing the finished project as if through a camera's lens and works backwards from that point.
  13. Offer total design.  Instead of parts of a room, do the entire room.
  14. Blogging isn't free.  It takes time away from designing.  Use your time wisely.
  15. Before and after photos:  Remember to take before photos from every angle in the room.  Make sure to put permission to photograph in design contract.
  16. We need the print magazines!  Save your best work (photographs) for magazines.
  17. Create a blog calendar.
  18. Your blog = your voice.
  19. People want to be inspired and entertained.
  20. Advertisers should support your brand. 

photo via

photo via

photo via

This friendly, southern gal definitely knows what she is talking about!   A few additional points Tobi made stick out in my mind:
  • Consistency is Key in your brand and in your service!
  • Results will = ideal clients and more money.
  • Keep your voice and look distinct.
Are there any particular tips that speak to you?  


design bloggers conference: take your blog to the next level

Scott Hanselman gave an uber informative presentation entitled "32 Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level."  As a speaker, Scott was funny, engaging and an all-around smarty smart smartitan!  The amount of information he shared was enough to fry the brain of this designer!  I took notes like a crazy person while trying to follow along.  Luckily for me, and YOU, he provided an online link to these tips on his blog.

This Design Blogger's Brain
photo via

Check out Scott's 32 tips page and let me know what you think.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

find your passion!

I am by nature a very passionate person.  I don't know if it's my Spanish blood or a nod from my astrological sign Leo, but the passion is definitely there.  My kids would say, "That's just how God made you, Mom!"
There are many things I am passionate about.  At the core of my passion is design; it's all about expressing my creativity.  I absolutely love to create!  Whether it is redoing a single room or an entire house; designing and sewing costumes for a local performing arts group or for my own kiddos; making handcrafted jewelry (buying new beads makes me giddy); or even writing, I am passionate about the entire process as well as the finished project.  That's one of the things I love most about designing:  the ability to see a physical change for the better.

No matter your call in life, you have to have PASSION!  What are you drawn to?  What makes you feel giddy as a schoolgirl (or boy) when you do it?  Is there a certain activity or person you are drawn to?  Whatever it is, find your passion and make time to express that which you love!  It is so important!

Tips to feed your passion:
  • Decide to be passionate.
  • Make time for what you love.
  • Learn more about your specific interest; take a class.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people.
  • Give of yourself: your time, talents and passion

Quotes to inspire you:
Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.--Author Unknown
Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night.-- Glade Byron Addams

Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.-- Harold Whitman

If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you.-- T. Alan Armstrong
Passion that is so deep within that all we need to do is release the passion inside so that we become energized with a newness that all will want to share in.-- M. Lee
I would love to hear your comments.  What are you passionate about?  Take time for your passion.  You are worth it!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

design bloggers conference 2011: the business of blogging

Dan McCarthy, CEO of Network Communications, Inc. gave an informative presentation at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles.  He reminded us that social media is the single best platform for sharing information.  We write blogs because we want to share our creativity and passion with others.  Social media allows us the opportunity to begin a conversation.  Dan shared with us some key tips to creating a successful blog:

Describe your Blog
photo via fraser johnson photography
 The description of your blog is key.  It needs to be one line that describes exactly who you are and exactly what kind of work you do.

Get Help
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Look on the web for helpful information.  Here are some links Dan recommends.

Be Authoritative
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Be authentic and authoritative.  Be confident when you write.  Make yourself the authority on the subject you are writing about.

Have Focus
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Business strategy benefits from focus.  Identify your focus and remain consistent.

Know and Claim your Identity
photo via

Claim your Google identity.  Here is a link at Online Media Pros I found helpful for doing just that. 

Connection + Talk = Community
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Talk to who you track (influencers).  Create a contact schedule on a spreadsheet.

Tag, tag, tag!
photo via

Tag videos just like you tag written content.

One of my favorite things that Dan said was,

 "Creativity is a fundamental path to self-discovery; it is not self-indulgent."

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @StudioCInterior using the hashtag #dbc2011.  Let me know what your thoughts are. 


design bloggers conference 2011: blogging with the stars

Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.  After having a day to recuperate, I want to dive into what I learned at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles.  First I have to say the conference was jam packed full of truly useful and inspirational content.  The organizers of this event promised it to be the event of the year for interior design bloggers and they did not disappoint.  You could literally feel the excitement in the air throughout the three days of conference events.  We received practical advice for writing our blogs, gained technical knowledge for setting up pages and gaining the most from SEO (search engine optimization), and were given a healthy dose of inspiration and encouragement along the way.  While I sort through my notes, there are some key points from the "Blogging with the Stars" session regarding the writing of your blog.

Blogging Tip: Be Transparent
Be transparent and authentic with your readers.  Be yourself and write as if you are speaking.  Your written words become your voice.  Grace Bonney of Design Sponge values authenticity.

Blogging Tip:  Know Your Audience
Know your audience.  Who is reading your blog?  Who do you want to read it?  Make sure the content of your blog matches your desired audience's interests.  This is key.

Blogging Tip:  Take Chances
 Explore opportunities that are presented to you.  You never know where things might lead.  Don't be afraid to take a risk.  Paloma Contrera of La Dolce Vita shared this valuable insight with us.

Blogging Tip: Create Community

Create community.   Cassandra LaValle of Coco+Kelley recommends that you align with other highly-regarded brands and blogs.  Network with other bloggers and build relationships!  Invite others to guest blog on your blog and vice versa.  It is so important to be willing to give of yourself, your time and your talents.  Attend blogging or design events.  Follow up with people you meet whether online or in person. 

Lick the Pan Drippings of Life

Tracy Porter's approachable style and sense of humor shined during her presentation!  Her no-nonsense approach to design is centered on enjoying yourself and the life you are creating with those around you!  Take time to smell the roses or as Tracy says, "Don't forget to lick the pan drippings of life!"

I will be sharing more on the conference.  I hope this post has whet your appetite for more.  Follow the conversation on Twitter with StudioCInterior and use the hashtag #dbc2011.  Feel free to ask me any questions about what I learned.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

design bloggers conference 2011

Design Bloggers Conference 2011
Hello my lovelies!  I just returned from a fabulous two-day Design Bloggers Conference in LA.  My time was filled with great content on blogging, beautiful interior design, and wonderful opportunities to meet fellow interior design bloggers from across the country.  Did I mention the great food?  Wine?  Parties?  Fabulous Hotel?  I learned so much and want to share everytthing I can with you!

Today let's talk about the wonderful Sofitel LA hotel.  It was absolutely beautiful with a decidedly contemporary twist.  A tall metal sculpture sat before me when I walked into the lobby.  I instantly fell in love with the hotel.  It smelled so lovely and I loved the interior design.  My absolute fave part was the bed, not so much for the way it was styled but for the way it felt!  Pure luxurious comfort!  Without a doubt it was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in!  The featherbed, pillows, and duvet were perfection!  Seriously.  The Sofitel bed is actually trademarked and available for purchase online at the SoBoutique.   I know what I am putting on my list for Santa Claus this year ..... guess I better be nice.  Have you ever slept in a bed worth writing about?  I'd love to hear about it!


Sofitel Los Angeles: view into lobby from 2nd floor
Sofitel LA Lobby

Sofitel Los Angeles: hallway of the meeting rooms
Design Bloggers Conference:  Hallway to Meeting Rooms

Sofitel Los Angeles: Room 415
Sofitel LA Guest Room