trade tales | Sep 16, 2022 |
7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference

At Business of Home’s fourth annual Future of Home conference, home industry pros came together for in-depth conversations about the forces of change shaping the industry, from the metaverse and NFTs to sustainability and wellness. After the conference, we asked seven attendees—Kara Cox, Joy Williams, Christina Kim, Campbell Minister, Erika Hollinshead Ward, Lisa Gilmore and Joshua Dies—about their thoughts on the future of home.

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Kara CoxCourtesy of Kara Cox Interiors

Seeking a Balance

“For me, there were two clear takeaways from the conference. The first was the importance of our mental health and well-being as design professionals working under extremely stressful conditions. The last two years of pandemic demand has changed everything in our process, and the pressure to continue to provide a seamless experience for our clients has taken a toll. A refocus on healthy work-life balance and wellness within the home is something we need to incorporate into our daily practices as well as sourcing for our clients. The second takeaway is the fast-paced changes in technology and how they are going to create new outlets and opportunities for design in the metaverse and digital spaces. From consumer habits to digital art purchases, technology is pushing our industry into new ways of thinking about traditional interior design. Where these two topics overlap is that we can continue to find ways to ground ourselves in natural materials and wellness practices as technology continues to push us to new places in an alternative physical space.” —Kara Cox, Kara Cox Interiors, Greensboro, North Carolina

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Joy WilliamsMichelle Linneka

Power Play

“Don’t play small. And if you find yourself doing that, keep leveling up your trade and skills. The clients you want are out there, and they will pay for your services. I’ve always known that and have been very selective this year with the kind of projects I will take on, but it was beneficial to attend the conference and have that validated. Sean Low was even more emphatic about charging what you’re worth. I learned some key phrases from him on defining my process that I plan to implement.” —Joy Williams, Joyful Designs Studio, Chicago

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Christina KimRaquel Langworthy

Community Connection

“I was struck by the sense of community and meaningful connections at Future of Home. It’s inspiring to be among such talent and support. I really appreciated the honesty and willingness to listen and learn as we educate one another. I enjoyed speaking [on a panel about how to maximize a trip to High Point Market] with Barry Goralnick and Christi Barbour, who certainly inspired me to make the most of Market this fall.” —Christina Kim, Christina Kim Interior Design, Manasquan, New Jersey

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Campbell MinisterCourtesy of Campbell Minister Design

Tech Talk

“The conference was so refreshing. It taught me to embrace technology as an asset. I am energized to utilize sustainable design in my firm and embrace the metaverse. Athena Calderone of EyeSwoon said something that resonated with me: ‘We’re in the business of emotion.’ What a great reminder for helping elevate our designs for our clients.” —Campbell Minister, Campbell Minister Design, Montclair, New Jersey

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Erika Hollinshead WardCourtesy of Erika Ward Interiors

Fit Leadership
“My biggest takeaway was learning how to increase my effectiveness at work by being an emotionally fit leader. Furthermore, I learned real examples of how I can not only improve my own emotional health, but also foster growth in my team. So powerful!” —Erika Hollinshead Ward, Erika Ward Interiors, Fayetteville, Georgia

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Lisa GilmoreCourtesy of Lisa Gilmore Design

Value Proposition

“My mind is still buzzing from all the amazing speakers and interaction at the conference. I think my biggest takeaway was to really lean into my purpose as a designer and leader—to home in even more on our client experience and to keep pushing boundaries to set ourselves apart. The money mindset and pricing strategy workshop left me with my brain turned upside down—in a good way—and I am completely rethinking our pricing structures. I couldn’t agree more with Sean Low, who asked why our talent is associated with hourly billing and costs per square foot. I now see that it is an antiquated way to operate as a design firm, and I am excited to dive into that process, get uncomfortable and really discover a new way of billing that will work for our firm—because that is what matters.” —Lisa Gilmore, Lisa Gilmore Design, St. Petersburg, Florida

7 designer reflections on the Future of Home conference
Joshua DiesCourtesy of Byjoshjames

In This Together

“The conference emphasized that community is a beautiful thing and that there is indeed room for all of us here. We all bring something truly unique to the table—each perspective, approach and creation. I also gained some new insights: We can buy sustainable lighting that’s not manufactured—but rather grown, and beautiful. There may be many things that need to change in the way we consume, produce or manufacture to become more environmentally sound, but tackling it one step at a time will be more digestible and lead to lasting positive impacts.” —Joshua Dies, Byjoshjames, New York

Homepage image: Kevin Lau for Business of Home

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