Many folks walk through and do not even glance at some exhibits. While others stop dead in their tracks, studying every detail. Some continue on, but it's those few that "get it", and stop and talk about my greatest passion - design - that make it all worth while.
The first great compliment was one passer by who said, "Wow. You work is so simple, not in a plain way, but in a beautiful way." We discussed this a bit and I explained that it's not about how much you add to a house, or even what dollar amount you put on it, but that good design is more about knowing what to leave out. Successful art is about knowing when to stop. The same goes for successfully designed homes. That doesn't happen immediately. There are many sketches that end up in the trash, and even the ideas that move forward need to be refined, and refined again before they are "finished".
Another great compliment we received at the Home Show was that folks simply enjoyed seeing some real beauty.
Of course, our clients' happiness is the greatest motivator, but being received in the community as a "purveyor of beautiful design" is also a great feeling!
One of the biggest challenges is letting folks know that quality design need not be expensive. Each of our clients has a budget and a list of wants. We design within the budget, and help to refine the list of wants to meet the budget. It's a great pleasure when a homeowner understands quality is more valuable than quantity. In reality, building is a numbers game. You can get an average designed 3,500 square foot home for $350,000 (or roughly $100 per square foot), or you can get a BEAUTIFUL 2,000 s.f. home for the same budget. The difference is the quality of materials and details. Really want to bump it up a notch? Pare back to a 1,500 square foot, very well designed home. In addition to the benefit of a well-designed home, you will save thousands in heating, cooling and maintenance in the years to come. Of course, there are those that decide to, and are able to increase their budgets when they realize just what is available to them. But our goal is not to increase budget - just to design beautiful places to live.
Another well-appointed home design tip: Traditional Materials NEVER go out of style! Be wary of the accolades of "maintenance free" and extended warranties on products. The life span of natural materials such as stone and wood are well tested in the natural elements - not just in some controlled factory environment. And never underestimate the value of a quality paint. Many of today's paints have much better formulas than those of years past. (Incidentally, our booth was painted using Farrow and Ball paints - these run about $100/gallon! The quality of the paint, and the ratio of the pigment in the paint, is unprecedented. The bonuses are ZERO VOC; easy clean up, as it is a water-based paint; and quick drying times - we touched up our booth several times and the paint was dry to the touch in about 10 minutes! We have a trade account if you want to order some, and may be stocking it in the near future.)
Trade shows are all about presenting the best of what you do, including your sales pitch... so one final note: we design beautiful structures and spaces for beautiful living. Whether it be a home, addition, renovation, garden, or even a fence (yes, we've designed a few fences), we can design it for you. Don't need design? Of course not. Design is not a need - it's a way of living.
Thanks to all who stopped by to look and chat! Hope to see you next year, if not before.