On September 12 and 13, Business of Home invited more than 500 interior designers and trade professionals to New York’s Chelsea Industrial to discuss one looming, macro question: What is the future of home? Over two days and 23 programming sessions, attendees enjoyed presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats, Q&A’s and small-group workshops with 38 speakers, moderated by BOH’s Kaitlin Petersen, Fred Nicolaus, Dennis Scully and Warren Shoulberg.
Day 1 of the Future of Home conference kicked off with a discussion hosted by Scully and featuring “startup whisperer” Alexa von Tobel on how entrepreneurs should be thinking about the future of their businesses, followed by an interactive talk with Dr. Emily Anhalt on the topic of emotional fitness—the ongoing, proactive practice of improving mental health in the workplace. Next, career experts and partners Billy Clark and Clayton Apgar of Billy Clark Creative Management joined Scully to talk about the future of work in the wake of pandemic phenomena like “The Great Resignation,” after which they held a book signing. Following a short coffee break, Scully sat down with author Pauline Brown to outline the fundamental steps for translating good taste into commercial success, then Shoulberg took the stage with Niki Cordell of Afterpay to get the scoop on the payment solution platform that is changing the retail landscape. To explore digital extensions of the physical world, Nicolaus was joined onstage by journalist and researcher David Truog. Next up, Lee Mayer, co-founder of e-design platform Havenly, and Raad Mobrem, co-founder and CEO of expert consultation platform Intro, joined Nicolaus to discuss how to digitally communicate the value of design.
After lunch, afternoon programming commenced when Well-Designed co-founders Caleb Anderson and DeAndre DeVane joined wellness educator Amanda Hilton for a deep dive into the importance of implementing a healthier framework for the design community. They were followed by Gala Magriñá, who danced up to the stage for a presentation on holistic design. Petersen was joined by interior designer Adair Curtis and carpenter Erik Curtis, stars of Netflix’s Instant Dream Home, for a behind-the-scenes look at how they really complete a surprise full-home renovation in just 12 hours. After a coffee break, the founders of AphroChic magazine, husband-and-wife team Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays, spoke with Petersen about their second book, which explores the journey of the Black family in America. Petersen then interviewed Arianne Bellizaire, who shared how she retooled her firm’s structure to boost growth and get back to the aspects of the design process that bring her the most joy. Four designers—Tina Ramchandani, Katie Rosenfeld, Mallory Robins and Elizabeth Bennett—described how they are making online design work for their firms, followed by another panel of designer voices—Christi Barbour, Barry Goralnick and Christina Kim—who offered their insights on forming meaningful relationships with vendors, particularly at High Point Market. To close the day, Petersen sat down with Carmeon Hamilton to chat about her secret to success on social media: being authentically herself.
Beyond the panelists’ stage, attendees mingled and engaged with a number of curated experiences. Universal Furniture and Hunter Douglas collaborated to create a distinct, comforting space that showcased through furnishings and automated window treatments the many nuances a room can reveal in both daylight and darkness. Stepping into Well-Designed’s Wellness Lounge, co-sponsored by Benjamin Moore, Crypton and Kohler, guests got a chance to bask in the peaceful, feel-good vibes that come from thoughtful design, with Benjamin Moore highlighting how the hues that emanate from an individual’s unique energy field can influence a space.
At the end of Day 1, guests were invited to the EQ3 showroom for a celebratory cocktail reception.
Images by Kevin Lau for Business of Home.