As a Southern Californian interior design, I shouldn't admit this, but this March was my first WestWeek at the Pacific Design Center. My design and business mind was expanded a hundredfold and I will be sure not miss any more future WestWeeks.
I went to hear a talk by Windsor Smith at Kravet about branding (above photo). I know that my brand and branding myself has a way to go, but with her helpful tips, I feel like we're on the right track. This is the second time I have heard Windsor Speak, the first was last July at her showhouse, The House of Windsor. I can't say enough good things about her. She's great; incredibly charismatic, fun to listen to, so friendly and approachable. It is no coincidence that a main characteristic of her brand that she spoke about, is to be approachable, not only personally, but for her designs and products to be and feel approachable for all types of clients.
I was also able to hear from the new(ish) editor of Architectural Digest, Margaret Russell on interior photography for publications. Extremely helpful. And another highlight was listening to a panel of 4 designers talk about inspiration. I often look to current designers for inspiration, as can be seen in my "Influential Designer" posts. After listening to the panel (which consisted of 2 of my other favorites, Charlotte Moss and Suzanne Kasler) I realized that I need to deepen my pool for inspiration and expand my knowledge of art and design. It makes sense that when I look to current designers, furniture makers, blogs, and trends, that I am just regurgitating what has already been done while putting my own spin on it. That is no longer good enough for me, and I don't think it's good enough for my brand.
My eyes were opened as the panel spoke about their sources for inspiration and constantly referenced the past. It makes perfect sense. When I look to the past and when I look to historic and classic figures, places, and styles, that is when I can meet the challenge of taking something old and great, and making it new again in my very own and unique way, regardless of what everyone else is doing. It will provide me with the opportunity to be more original in my designs, while still seeking inspiration from truly inspiring sources.
The conclusion is that I need to brush up on my art history and history of architecture and design. Taking those classes in college seems like forever ago and I don't remember nearly as much as I should or wish I did. A refresher trip to Italy and Paris may be in order as well...