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Archive for the ‘Design Features’ Category

Are we Losing the Art of Design?

In Design Features, Kitchens on February 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm

So this article particularly struck me at a time when I am spending a lot of time trying to figure out the best ways to market my new business.

Keep this in mind all of you in business for yourself!  Remember that the more of yourself that you can offer to your clients,  the more marketable you can become.

Are we Losing the Art of Design?

Excerpts By Janice Costa, Kitchen & Bath Design News, 02/10, p. 7

“… For years now, we’ve been told to work differently.  In the boom of the early 2000s, when we could barely keep up with all the customers clamoring for new kitchens and baths, we were told to “work faster.”  When business slowed down and money was no longer pouring in, we needed to “work harder.” When the economy forced cutbacks in resources, it was all about “working smarter.”

“Along the way, experts have counseled us to get back to basics or completely rethink our business model.  We’ve been told to streamline operations, or, alternatively, to expand into other niches.

“We’ve heard that we should concentrate on the long-term picture, or focus on the here and now (or there might not be a long-term picture!).

“We’ve been overwhelmed with suggestions for everything from marketing through social networking to repackaging our services in order to target a different market segment- the eco-conscious, the aging Baby Boomers, the super affluent, the younger, more value-conscious Gen Xers.

“Interestingly, though, no one has talked that much about the primary service kitchen and bath designers offer: design.

“Yes, it’s trendier to talk about green marketing or social networking.  And yes, it’s easier to measure financials than design creativity.

“But great marketing is useless unless you have something special to market.  And as important as the financials are, you don’t make money if you don’t have something of value to sell, beyond the same products that consumers can buy from dozens of other places, both online and off.

“In fact, the only thing your clients can’t get just anywhere… is you.  Your ideas.  Your creativity.  Your design talents.  Your ability to fuse your knowledge and skills with their needs and desires to create a vision- and to transform that vision into a real life space that’s uniquely personalized to their needs, their dreams, their lifestyle.

“Sure, that may seem a bit intangible.  Yet the intangibles are, at the center of it all, what you sell.  And that’s why, in times as challenging as these, perhaps it’s time to remember what’s at the core of this business called design….”

Faux Fireplaces

In Design Features, Living Rooms on February 2, 2010 at 12:55 am

The mirrored back is such a great idea for a small space... imagine it reflecting light from candles.

I really love this idea for Southerners who like a traditional fireplace but don’t really need the warmth!  You could add a faux fireplace in a bedroom or bathroom where you can burn candles for a cozy or romantic retreat.  Plus, it wouldn’t cost much to do and you could put it anywhere you wanted.  I think I need one in my living room and bedroom.

Even works so that you have a mantle for stockings on Christmas!