Archive for April, 2012
On April 26 I went to a benefit for God’s Love We Deliver called Authors in Kind. They have current authors speak about the concepts of their books. This year, the benefit featured Harry Belafonte who spoke about his new memoir, Michael Connelly and his masterful police thrillers, and Adam Gopnik, a wonderful food writer for The New Yorker. It was a great luncheon held at the Pierre and takes place around this time every year. Linda Fairstein was the emcee. When it comes up next year, you all should attend. The authors sign their books, and you always walk away with a smile on your face.
This week, I have two presentations that I’m working on. It brought to mind the fact that I haven’t spoken about modes of presenting on this blog, and I think this is a good time (while it’s fresh on my mind!). I know that a lot of schools say that you should have presentation boards with samples glued on. I find that not as interactive, because most people like to feel the fabrics and also see all the materials at once. This is especially for clients that have a touch of ADD – it can all be quite disconcerting as they will focus on the things that you don’t want them to look at. I find that looking at renderings and a furniture plan (e.g. showing a photo of a sofa and then fabric that it will be upholstered in) is helpful to get the clients focused on exactly what you’re talking about. As the materials (fabrics, marble, wood, steel) start getting placed on the conference table, it starts to build in their mind the interaction of elements in the space.
One of the things that I do is remove all the labels off the fabrics so the clients are seeing the materials and not tags. We press all the samples so they’re not wrinkled, and I lay them out on a tray before the presentation in the order that I am going to present them. I also present the photographs of items (lamps, etc.) in the same order. To reduce stress, I have everything organized beforehand. I think it makes the client feel that you have it all under control.
I have a notepad in front of each person, and at the beginning of the presentation I ask them to write down questions, and I tell them I’ll answer them at the end of the presentation. This helps them stay focused and puts them in absorbing mode. Usually by the time I finish presenting the room, I probably have answered their questions.
I use black and white renderings, hand-drawn – black and white because I prefer painting the color in front of the client and a hand-drawn because it has a warmer, less-mechanical look to it. I start from the front door in, and when I’m presenting a room, I start with the ceiling, walls, floor, window treatments, upholstery, case goods, and then lighting. It makes it easier to organize this way, and it’s almost like putting a puzzle together. At the end of the presentation, I give the client a presentation book with the renderings and artistically arrange the fabrics for the individual rooms with the pictures. If I don’t have a picture, I include a room plan. In the back of book are pages of estimate cost (e.g. sofa costs $X amount), so at the end of the presentation, they know how much everything will cost.
It’s very helpful to have gone through questions with the client, finding out their likes, dislikes, and thoughts about the function of each room. This helps me design for the clients with their requirements.
What’s your advice on presenting?
Last night I went to the New York School of Interior Design’s gala event at The Metropolitan Club, honoring Jack Larsen for his contribution to the design industry. It was such a pleasure to see somebody at his age – he is 80-something – who is still producing, thinking, and active in bringing his talent to the community. It makes me hopeful to think that there is a chance that I can be as spritely and contributing as he is when I reach that age.
Last night I went to see Leap of Faith. It’s a new musical that’s about to open on Broadway, and I haven’t seen so much energy on stage for a long time. The lead is played by Raul Esparza. He’s been nominated for the Tony Award a number of times and is a performer who does an amazing job on stage. It’s a story about a con man who uses preaching as his con. It has great gospel music with a wonderful choir behind him. Kecia Lewis-Evans is the lead singer, and her voice brings down the rafters. So if you’re in New York, and you want a great time, you must see Leap of Faith. If you want to see it in preview, the prices are very reasonable. You call 212-947-8844 and use code LFGEN36 or visit: www.broadwayoffers.com and use code LFGEN36.
Last night, I went the Stir, Splatter, and Roll event at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School near Lincoln Center. I was asked by Publicolor to design a serious of four canvases for high school kids to paint on. This year’s theme was “Color Different”, and what happens is that the canvases are auctioned off at the end of the night to help raise money for scholarships. 90% of the kids that are part of the Publicolor initiative go to college, and of those, 60% of them graduate from college. It’s a wonderful cause, and a fun one to be a part of!
This year, my design was called, “Homage to Malevich”, and you can see photos of the mock-up as well as the final product below.
“It was really exciting meeting the kids and painting with them. Many of the kids already had scholarships through Publicolor and they were happy to be there. It was great to see the program in action.” – Tina Ramchandani (Designer, Vicente Wolf Associates)
Here are some photos from the evening:
If any of you go to the Met, be sure to visit Gertrude Stein’s collection which is being shown right now. Gertrude Stein and her brother were collecting when the Picassos and Matisses were strangers on the block. It was a great show, and you can see the advantage of collecting early in artists’ careers.
I heard the sad news on Friday that Albert Hadley had passed away. He was an artist that will be sorely missed in our industry. His great talent was bringing the modern into the classic. He had an elegant and restrained design style, along with one of the most wonderful personalities. A gentleman at all times, he was modest and supportive of other designers.
If I had a furniture launch, he always sent a note congratulating me. At a party, I would feel a tap on my back and would turn around and Mr. Hadley would be saying hello. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for raising our industry to a higher level.
All designers are invited to the ALB Design Center of Chelsea’s Open House for ‘Designers Happy Hour’.
Designers will be served drinks and hors d’oeuvres while viewing the featured product lines — including my own, VW Home – without an appointment.
For the remainder of the month designers will have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one appointments at the design center.
If you would like more information please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE TRADE ONLY.
April 12th, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
ALB Design Center of Chelsea
53 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Last night I went to what was said to be a very important birthday for Clive Davis. It was at the River Café in Brooklyn, and it was quite an extraordinary event. Among the guests were Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Alicia Keyes, Jennifer Hudson, Joan Rivers…around 75 of his closest friends and family were at the party.
It was certainly a glittery evening. Guests flew in from Europe, California and all over the world to celebrate Clive. He gave a lovely speech about what it means to have good friends and a loving family…a speech that touched everybody in the room.
The party started at 6:30 p.m. and was over at 11:30 p.m. so you know everybody had a really good time.