Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Official! We are now Maxwell House of Design.

After months of preparation, we are pleased to announce our new name, Maxwell House of Design.  This change came as a result of series of discussions with my friend Dianne Stewart, owner of BSA Public Relations.  Dianne asked me why I had named my firm By Design Interiors.  The story behind the name goes back to the time when I first decided to launch a business.  The initial business plan was to be a staging company for real estate,  therefore, the first name of my company was Sold By Design.  This decision was made because I felt like the staging business was a relatively wide open field and that it would be easier  to establish than an interior design company.  As more and more of the homeowners, for which I did staging work, asked me to help them in their new home, the scope of my services changed.  Quickly, my business become more about what happens after the move than before it.  I found myself with an developing interior design business!  After about a year of the design side growing and the staging side staying static, I dropped Sold from the By Design name and became By Design.  Because there is a contemporary furniture store with that name, I added a word and became By Design Interiors.  Over the next several years, I began to realize that my name, the design of my logo, and my overall brand really didn't reflect where I am in business now.  Enter the brilliant Dianne Stewart and Digital Trooper, web design company extraordinaire, and now we have a new name, a new website and brand that reflects our current business direction.  For those of you that have followed me for years, thank you for your loyalty and friendship.  To those new to the blog, I welcome you to this exciting new phase of my business life.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Doll Houses and Dreams...

Most young girls enjoy playing with dollhouses.  I know I sure did!  Dollhouses are a charming way for little girls to set up their own household and be masters of a domain that is theirs alone.  I wonder how many designers were hooked on interior design from childhood?
I am in the process of setting up a new "house" of my own, a new website that will feature a re-launch of my business under a new name, Maxwell House of Design.  This process is much like furnishing your home, each catagory of information requires thought and design.  The process has been seemless with the Morphogine platfrom and the tireless help of Dianne Stewart of BSA Public Relations.  I look forward to having you visit the site once it goes "live" by the end of the month.
To celebrate the process of evolution, I am going to share some dollhouses that really go beyond the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.  These exquisite miniatures are the adult version of our childhood dream worlds.  Enjoy the pictures and for more information on these check out the website at http://www.mulvanyandrogers.com/.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fantasy Bathtubs

Winter time equals bath time at my house!  Cold winter days and early darkness beg to be answered with a long soak in a warm bath.  While this is more a fantasy than a reality these days, it is fun to daydream.  I decided to post photos of some drool worthy bathtubs.  No longer are five star hotels and spa's the only ones that can offer these magnificent fixtures, homeowner can have them too!
The first photo is from Sun Rising, a Chinese company.  Duravit offers the tub turned fountain in the second picutre. Aqua Prestige is the maker of the vintage tub shown in the third image. The final bathtub is from Stone Forest.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Why Interior Design Associations Matter...

Recently a I shared with a Charlotte client that I was a professional member of the Association of Interior Design Professionals.  His response was interesting.  He thought that it was no big deal and that any business association is willing to take on members that are willing to pay their dues!  He didn't believe that there was any credibility added to my professional status by the fact that I was a member.  This guy needed an education and I was glad to oblige.

Nationally recognized Interior Design Associations have high standards for membership.  Whether it is AIDP, IDS, ASID or any of the many other professional associations, each group vets it's members as to their education, experience and business ethics.  You don't just automatically receive professional status.  You have to submit your resume, letters of reference, client testimonials and prove your business integrity and longevity!  If you choosing an interior designer, a way to make sure you are finding a true professional is to make sure they are involved with a professional association.

Yesterday, I met with a potential out-of-town client.  She told a harrowing story about a "designer/decorator" that had tried to sell her all kinds of things.  This person did not measure the client's home, but, tried to sell her a sofa that was way too large for the space.  She tried to pass off dated fabric as new, and, she had questionable business practices to boot.  I asked this client if this "diva" was involved in any professional design organizations and it was no surprise to me that she was not.  Whether this client and I will try to work long distance is still under consideration.  That she will use a member of an professional design organization is no longer an issue.  

If you want to learn more about the organization with which I am aligned, the Association of Interior Design Professionals, log onto the National website at http://www.aidponline.com/.  Our local chapter information can be found at http://www.aidpcharlottechapter.com/ and from there you can go to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sylish Office Organization

People from all over my area, Charlotte, NC, Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Lake Wylie, SC are talking about getting the home office organized for the New Year.  I am no exception.  In order to get inspired for the task at hand, I went online looking for fun, stylish organizational tools.  The site at See Jane Work offered just what I was looking for.  So as you go through old files, start new ones and get rid of the endless supply of paper clutter, check out ways to brighten the space and add fun to the task!

Calgon Take Me Away...

Calgon Take Me Away...
soak your troubles away in this stone beauty

Bathtub becomes fountain... fabulous!

cottage charm!

perfect for your mountain retreat!

Where I belong...

The AIDP Charlotte Chapter Board Members

The AIDP Charlotte Chapter Board Members
Seated from left, Davetta Moore, National Board Member, Wanda Horton, Vice President of Communication, Jane Ann Maxwell, President, standing from left to right, Nancy Martin, Vice President of Membership, Mary Santini, Secretary/Treasurer, and Marianne Parker, National Board Member

Emily's New Room

Emily's New Room

This desk was the inspiration for the room

Decorating for Christmas in Adult and Kid Zones...

Decorating for Christmas in Adult and Kid Zones...
Adults will love the beauty of the luxe mantle

This bright, bold mantle is kid friendly

This lovely arrangement is sophisicated and elegant

Kids tables need centerpieces too and these serve as favors to take home afterwards!

The Holiday Table...

The Holiday Table...
This table setting would make a beautiful Thanksgiving breakfast table

Greenery - simple and elegant

These pictures illustrate the idea of using what you love...

These pictures illustrate the idea of using what you love...
One home owner loves classic traditional decore, the other mid century modern. Look at what they created using the things they both loved!!!

Grouping beloved collections create impact

Two collections united by color

Pictures from the Coastal Vibe Project

Pictures from the Coastal Vibe Project
The chair fabric was designed just for this client and then made into yardage just for these chairs!

The living room seating area. The client wanted it elegant and yet relaxed, with the idea of being at a house on the beach.

We added the built-ins and had the paint changed before the homeowner moved in. A cozy seating arrangement and momentos from world travels warm the space.

another view

These pictures illustrate "staging" principles

These pictures illustrate "staging" principles
This beautiful room was designed to be cozy and full. This room is an example of NOT staging to maximize the square footage. Thanks to House Beautiful for the image

This serene room is designed for maximum spaciousness! Notice that you see lots of floor through the legs of the coffee table. Lots of breathing room in this space. Thanks to House Beautiful for the image.

This is an example of Benjamin Moore Aura paints to go with the About Paint post

This is an example of Benjamin Moore Aura paints to go with the About Paint post
One of the many beautiful colors in the Aura collection

Aura paints have low VOC's which means it's healthier for everybody!

To illustrate the post "Art For Your Walls"

The following pictures are artwork from some of my favorite local artists. The fabulous thing about these folks is that they will do commissioned pieces especially for you! Enjoy...

Local Artists...

Local Artists...
Richard Anderson

Celia Flock

Sany Seipert, an older work, her newer stuff is better, this was the only image I had...

The following pictures are from the October High Point Furniture Market.

These are some of the showrooms and displays that I thought were terrific.

Bella Luna was one of my favorite showrooms!

Bella Luna was one of my favorite showrooms!
everything on display was quirky and elegant

One of my favorite finds, this mirror is a piece of art!

These sassy stools help tell the Bella Luna story

Cyan design always has unusual and neat things

Hot Color Trend shown at the Spring Market in Highpoint!

Hot Color Trend shown at the Spring Market in Highpoint!
black and white and malachite!

Luxury Lighting!

Luxury Lighting!

Favorite New Accessoires...

Favorite New Accessoires...
Contact us for more information or to place an order...

love this!

simply elegant!

fabulous silver platters that are even better in person

These make such a great centerpiece for a dining room table

FALL MARKET 2008 - GORGEOUS COLOR, FOCUS ON "GREEN" DESIGN, FUN WITH LAQUER...

FALL MARKET 2008 - GORGEOUS COLOR, FOCUS ON "GREEN" DESIGN, FUN WITH LAQUER...
New color combo that was everywhere, butter and pewter, so pretty, soft and fresh!

Gorgeous Global Views - always my favorite venue

Gorgeous Global Views - always my favorite venue
soft butter and pewter

"GREEN" in both color and sustainablity is a beautiful choice...

"GREEN" in both color and sustainablity is a beautiful choice...
These pillows made from abaca leaves and coconut beads are eco-friendly and good for the workers of the developing country in which they are made.

Old favorites are still in play...

Old favorites are still in play...
aqua, teal, peacock are still popular-- note the laquered mirror!

Before and After pictures are always fun!

Before and After pictures are always fun!
This is a "before" picture of a recent project.

After #2!

After #2!

Before #2

Before #2
same room, different view

AFTER!

AFTER!
new carpet, upholstery, paint, window treatments...

More from the High Point Spring Market My Favorite Overall Venue - Global Views

More from the High Point Spring Market My Favorite Overall Venue - Global Views
terrific accessories, uniquely displayed

black, white, red, silver punch!

note the male figures at the bottom of the ropes climbing out of the vases!

Favorite Find at the High Point Spring Market

Favorite Find at the High Point Spring Market
Pablo Mekis Artisan Pillows

the hand stiching is fabulous!

more Pablo Mekis

A designer is as good as her team...

Every designer relies on a team of people to help execute her design vision. I have worked very hard to assemble a top notch team of craftsmen and professionals to rely on for excellence in execution and customer service. I have nick named them "The "A" Team". This name is so appropriate because this group brings their best effort to each task. There are many folks out there that will give you adequate, we strive for exceptional.

The following pictures will introduce you to some of the work done by these guys...

Introducing...

Introducing...
Marilyn Croteau - the BEST window treatment workroom on the East Coast

Introducing...

Introducing...
Heavin Woodworks - beautiful trims and built-ins

Introducing...

Introducing...
G.Richard Anderson Faux Finisher. He does fabulous work!

Oeco Textiles

Oeco Textiles
all natural and all green

A staged breakfast room

A staged breakfast room
We recovered the chairs to co-ordinate with the area rug and added a fresh bunch of flower from the grocery store!

This week...

This week, I am working on two interiors that are either on or are near Lake Wylie, SC. Both homeowners are interested in incorporating a coastal "vibe" into the design for their homes. Working on two homes with the same design direction has never happened in my business before. It will be fun to see just how differently we approach each home. They will be as different and unique as their homeowners and we will be sure to include some after pictures in about 3 or 4 months!

Something's Gotta Give

Something's Gotta Give
from the movie "Something's Gotta Give" the set design for the Nantucket living room is inspiration for a coastal interior that I'm working on right now...

Coastal Inspiration

Coastal Inspiration
another coastal inspiration

this rug from Aspen Carpet Designs is very close to the one in the movie!

BVI's Virgin Gorda - beautiful!

great garden bench