Blogfest 2012



~ Everyone's sentiments as Blogfest 2012 ended with a BANG.  The activities and seminars were inspiring; the people even more so!  It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  Everyone is always so lovely and gracious.





A BIG thank you to Kravet and company for making it all possible.  You can read a little more about them here and here.  They are as beautiful as the textiles they design and produce!







We were off and running ~ no time to dawdle; there was a lot of material to cover. 

Kravet and Hearst publications are a mighty force.  They each won a Circle of Excellence award in their respective fields; they are embracing social media, love bloggers, have shown growth in a challenging economy, and give back!




I was so thrilled that the clouds parted long enough for us to finally get a glimpse out of the 44th floor of The Hearst Building's windows to experience the view.  I wrote about the building last year because I was so blown away by it!



A few take aways:  A Hearst reader is not trendy.  He/she is a discerning luxury consumer, but wants authenticity.  Each magazine has a distinctive voice.  American designers have an "I can do anything attitude."  We (consumers as well as decorators) embrace a high/low sensibility, and there must be transparency in business.

 House Beautiful is the 1st magazine to have a print to pin ability.  With Pinterest exploding, every inspirational picture can be archived by anyone.  They also have the House Beautiful Connect app thru iTunes, that brings the pages of the magazine alive with video and more info.



There were shelter magazines in attendance and speakers galore.  We are all still trying to navigate social media and everybody's place in this fast paced, ever growing, ever changing medium.  It frankly makes my head spin!  There was definitely a "help me to help you" attitude because the business of design is changing, and changing quickly!






A true design darling, and one of the funniest speakers was Alexa Hampton, shown here with Anne Maine of Traditional Home discussing what traditional means to her.  Alexa and Kravet were unveiling a new fabric line.  She is quite the wordsmith as well.  AND she repeated words I say often ~ "Rules are meant to be broken."  Alexa, let's do lunch!



There were show houses to experience ~



and the Kravet studio tour to be taken, see my post here ~



There were contests ~


and cocktail parties ~



there were poignant moments ~ 



great food (the lobster rolls were a hit) ~



But most of all there was JOY!  Bloggers/designers just seem to be joyful people; wanting to help and be helped.  They are an inclusive bunch, happy to meet, mingle, learn, and educate.














Hip hip hooray.  Thank you EVERYONE for making it such a wonderful experience. 



ph: CLI and Blogfest


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Kids room furniture designs ideas.





Kids room furniture designs ideas.
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Tips I learned from this year's Kips Bay Decorator Show House

I was able to walk the Kips Bay Decorator Show house for a few hours and took a lot of it mentally and in photos.  There is always something new to see for the first time and tones of inspiration to get from show houses.  This year there was a lot of interesting details too good to not share them.  When I looked at Thom Filicia's space the first thought I had was that he had set up his shop in the middle of Kips Bay Show house, although none the less beautiful.  His space (above) called "The Gallery" was a walkway between the dining room, living room, entrance and hallway and every piece of furniture in it belongs to one of Thom's many furniture lines.  The space had only two small walls of about 3 to 5 feet and two other even smaller ones.  Magically Thom made it feel like a room.  My conclusions of how he nailed it!
Painting the ceiling the same color as the walls not only make the space bigger by (blending the boundaries but at the same time it encloses it by making the space feel more like one whole space and giving the fifth wall (the ceiling) a more important roll.  The high gloss walls bring movement.   
A Light and airy chandelier instead of a closed one or a shaded one helps open up the space.  
A black painting brings depth to a small space.  The curtains help make the walls feel bigger.
Secure your runner in a stylish way.  By Charlotte Moss
Add a cool wallpaper to baseboard for a touch of whimsy.  By Charlotte Moss.
Wrinkle-looking curtains for kids rooms is a brilliant idea. Very appropriate and fun.  By Laura Bohn.

all images by Julie Yenicag for Belle Vivir
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An "A~Ha" Moment




Last week during Blogfest, which I will go into further in my next post, Newell Turner of House Beautiful and a panel of guests including ~ Michael Herold,  Jane Goldenberg and Jon Call talked about their  "a-ha" moments; what inspires them and what was a turning point in each of their careers.





House beautiful asked each of us to share an "a-ha" moment. Here's mine.  I have told this story many times because it was profound .


I clearly remember being interested in participating in a community show house a few years ago. I felt like it was the right time in my career and I was excited about the idea of creating a show house worthy room but I was terrified!

I think the reality of putting yourself  "out there" to potentially be judged, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, all contributed to my high level of anxiety.

Edgcumbe House

I toured the house and made my selection.  I turned in my paperwork, hands shaking, and waited.  All the while questioning whether I was doing the right thing.  I knew I was being silly,  I didn't fully understand was I was so fearful!

Long story shorter ~ I created A Serene Salon in a small room on the third floor.



 I was inspired by a recent trip to Turkey.  I married that with the character of the historic home, as well as old and new, rustic and refined.  It was a hit!




 I enjoyed the process, the camaraderie with the other designers, and talking to those touring the house.  My little room was accepted into a book AND  I got a job from it, which almost never happens.  I learned NEVER to let fear be a deterrent.  If I am fearful ~ that's all the more reason why I need to plow through the task at hand.






I practice this philosophy often and have taught it to my children. I never want to look back and say, I should have...






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Iron stand furniture designs.





Iron stand furniture designs.
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Hide and See

Some people prefer closets where everything is on display, maybe for better and faster access, where as others prefer to have their clothes neatly behind doors and drawers.  I think I prefer a combination of both or maybe doors that can easily open up the space.  I like to see everything I have because I always think I'm forgetting something.  I love the top closet via Elle Decor, everything about it speaks to me but mostly the lighting.  The three closets below are via Architectural Digest, first belongs to Alberto Pinto in his Brazilian home and third to Alfredo Paredes and Brad Goldfarb, are more masculine and austere, but both have great lighting as well.  Lighting is an element we all want when getting dressed. 
This closet, above, has a well lived feeling via Architectural Digest.
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