Last Thursday the Decoration and Design Building in New York City hosted its annual Spring Market, a day filled with keynote presentations, panel discussions, showroom receptions, book signings, CEU courses and new product introductions.
The first keynote presentation featured Aerin Lauder, Jonathan Adler and Calvin Klein Home Creative Director Amy Mellen. Moderated by Hearst Design Group’s Editorial Director Newell Turner, the panel was geared toward keeping creativity alive in business.
Newell Turner, Amy Mellen, Aerin Lauder and Jonathan Adler
Turner initiated the conversation by asking the panelists what or who in their business is vital to their creative process.
For Mellen, it’s her visual team. “They bring the projects together to create an image for the business. A relaxed, organic setting in our office fosters that creativity,” she shared.
"There is a lot to say about loyalty and time,” said Adler. “Having long-time collaborators has been one of the happiest things about my business." Lauder agreed that it's important to have a good team.
"A large part of the AERIN brand is about storytelling, travel, design and art,” she said. “With that you need a shared vision and the right team."
After a reception in the Kravet showroom, guests gathered at Schumacher for the second keynote of the day with interior designers Timothy Corrigan, Celerie Kemble and Vicente Wolf. Schumacher Creative Director Dara Caponigro moderated the discussion, which focused on structuring a business to thrive in today’s market, and began with the topic of sourcing items for clients.
Vicente Wolf, Celerie Kemble, Timothy Corrigan and Dara Caponigro
“Being able to go online is amazing compared to going to showrooms and antique shops,” said Wolf. “Unfortunately, clients can do the same thing, but designers see the overall picture, how the room works.”
“Because we are shopping all the time, we are ahead of the curve in terms of visual research,” added Kemble. “We make their lives easier and help set the client’s priorities."
“As designers, we show our clients that they can get better and more unique products at a comparable price,” said Corrigan. “We are finding things from around the world that they are not going to find on their own.”
Spring Market continued throughout the day with a range of events on color trends, antiques shopping, and designing your “hustle.”
During the CEU course “Lighting Renaissance I" the residential team for Lutron guided guests through different lighting types—incandescent, halogen, low voltage, fluorescent and LED.
Toma Clark Haines, Olga Grenda Scott, Jennifer Mehtidash, David Scott and Louis Navarrete
A panel discussion followed at de la Cuona where Toma Clark Haines, Olga Grenda Scott, Jennifer Mehtidash, David Scott and Louis Navarrete discussed the role of antiques in 21st century interiors.
Hines, founder of the Antiques Diva & Co., is a firm believer that a client’s home should tell a story, to which Scott remarked “and antiques do that!”
Meanwhile in Stark, guests gathered to hear Gary McBournie, Jamie Drake and Gillian Rose discuss the power of color in decorating. Moderated by Susanna Salk, the designers and color experts shared their go-to colors.
Susanna Salk, Gary McBournie, Gillian Rose and Jamie Drake
“My go-to colors are platinum, coal, concrete… mostly in the grey palette,” said Drake. “Cool neutrals can accept any color out of a client’s personality, then you use those as accents to keep the eye moving through a space.”
More lighting technology was shared in the Crestron showroom during a presentation that focused on the advancements in reliability, brightness and light quality of LED lighting.
Later in the afternoon, the Pollack | Weitzner showroom hosted a captivating discussion about the co-dependent relationships between an interior designer, an architect and the homeowner.
Karen Marx, Home Furnishings Director for the Hearst Design Group moderated the panel with fabric designer Lori Weitzner, interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth, architect Thomas Kilgerman and homeowner Gigi Grimstad. During the panel they discussed their experiences working with their clients and the complex relationship that entails.
Karen Marx, Lori Weitzner, Matthew Patrick Smyth, Gigi Grimstad and Thomas Kilgerman
“The homeowner has to take some responsibility in the project to make sure her needs are being met,” said Smyth. “I don't want a client that tells me to do whatever I want. I like working with the client to do something new.”
Next up, Salk invited designers to the Baroncelli showroom for a walk through of her new book, Decorate Fearlessly. A follow up to her last book Be Your Own Decorator, her newest release focuses on livable rooms that have a strong sense of “whimsy” or “fearlessness.”
In the Donghia showroom, creative director Chuck Chewning presented his story of the restoration of the Gritti Palace in Venice. Walking guests through the property, Chuck spoke about detailing the design and the restoration process.
Meanwhile, Pierre Frey celebrated the launch of the Counot-Blandin collection in its showroom. Guests enjoyed a casual cocktail party while viewing models designed by Jean-Marie Rothschild for the Grand Salon of the SS Normandie, as well as the latest pieces of furniture and fabrics from the Hutton Collection.
Andrea Avram Rusu, Jason Kontos, John Douglas Eason and Damon Crain
Debuting the Avram Rusu Studio Lighting Collection, Bespoke hosted a panel with NY Spaces Editor-in-Chief Jason Kontos, interior and product designer Andrea Avram Rusu, mid-20th century art glass dealer Damon Crain, and interior designer John Douglas Eason.
“What interests me is working with craftsmen and handmade, personal pieces that are highly customizable,” said Rusu, who designed the collection.
Spring Market concluded in the Lorin Marsh showroom where Cat Dash, Market Editor for Lonny, moderated “Five Under 30” designers Sara Gilbane, Jennifer Beek, Georgie Hambright, Sam Allen and Paris Pickett.
Sara Gilbane, Sam Allen, Paris Pickett, Jennifer Beek, Georgie Hambright
The panel discussed young and emerging designers in the industry and how they are using social media to promote their businesses as well as educating a younger generation of clients on quality design pieces and antiques.
“Integrating technology into homes is a really big thing for the younger generation,” said Gilbane. “We’re working with companies like Crestron so that clients can control everything from their phone or iPad. Those are the things they are interested in.”
In a world where social media is at the touch of a finger, the J+G Design duo used the platform to build their business. “When we started our own firm, we didn’t take clients with us and we didn’t have a portfolio,” said Hambright. “We used social media to share our aesthetic and story.”
“It’s important to be well informed and educated, and to also inform your clients,” Pickett advised. “I learned so much history at NYSID and that helps me to understand the past, but to jazz it up for today.”