Friday, June 21, 2013

GTA West Chapter Annual Spring/Summer Luncheon

It is that time again..... time for our annual luncheon and once again we selected Il Fornello's in Oakville.  They have amazing food and a variety that suits every taste.  We all met on Monday and were joined by several of our great affiliates.  Affiliates presented some information on their products and new connections were made.  All in all a fabulous time was had by all.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cobi Ladner visits SoFA

I recently attended a presentation at SoFA, and sponsored by Canadel by Cobi Ladner on the importance of "Branding".

I think most people have heard of Cobi Ladner, formerly of Canadian House & Home Magazine.
Cobi gave a wonderful seminar on how she created her own personal brand.  She spoke about how people today want a "look" and I have definitely been hearing that around the home decor community.  Actually recently someone said it to me about a location in which to live.  They didn't like the feeling or look of the area, even though it was perfectly acceptable.  We are striving to have our own look and a feeling when our homes.

Cobi left the magazine to pursue her passion of 'fun, colourful and affordable' home furnishings which include everything from furniture, fabric, drapery, lighting, pillows, accessories, throws, teapots and soon to come bedding.

Cobi's name also stands for " 'creation of beautiful ideas'  which she completely believes in, has embraced colour and her presentation dealt with creating your own brand as she has.  One must build their brand.  How people decorate their individual homes is what your home says about you.

Cobi talked about other famous brands and how they identify a distinct product or person.  As decorators and designers we need to be building our brands.  It should reflect your own personality and a feeling we create.   We need to be individual and promote our personal style.

Below are a few photos of Cobi's style

Another photo op for me but for some reason I look sad?  I wasn't though ,
maybe just looking a little off??

Chicago, The Windy City part 2

A little Chicago trivia......Chicago is known as The Windy City which we attribute this to the wind off the lake, however it was really nicknamed this due to the politicians and city boosters who were thought to be full of hot air.  Chicago wanted to host the World's Fair and kept sending their politicians to win this prize which they finally did and gained their nick name.

When visiting Chicago, as with many large and great cities, there are so many things to do and& experience one cannot ever do it all in one short weekend.  I did have the opportunity of experiencing the 'Magnificent Mile' and its fabulous retailers.  Enjoyed a nice authentic Italian lunch and did make a few purchases.

Of course I had to see the Crate & Barrel store which was several levels of fantastic products reached by ongoing escalators.

Love this table of wood and glass from C & B

I found myself mesmerized by the beautiful architecture which I posted in an earlier blog. So fantastic, especially considering Chicago was considered to be a lost city after the great fire of 1871.  The people of Chicago decided they would rebuild and once again be a great city.
A few famous buildings below....many more in my first post

No self respecting decorator could visit this city without a stop at a home decor store, so I dropped into Room and Board and enjoyed their lovely room displays

Macy's on the Mag Mile is many floors and of course a lot of escalators
I seem to be hung up on taking photos of escalators??

 During my short weekend visit,  I was able to take an Architectural River Cruise which was incredible to see the many buildings along both rivers. 
    A few views from the boat....

We had to visit the famous Navy Pier, however did not take a ride on the Ferris wheel.  Maybe next time.  While in this area I saw the most fantastic collection of stained glass.  Something worth seeing.  Lunch was at the "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co." so named from the Forest Gump movie.  The shrimp was indeed great!!

Our hotel was right across from the River Walk, and the skinniest
building in Chicago, also within the downtown area known as the Loop
and has several of the "L" subway lines running through it.  Also it is
known to have the 2nd oldest Macy's store in the world,
after New York.  We enjoyed shopping in this area and all of the
beautiful architecture.

Even the subway entrance has character

Friday, June 14, 2013

GTA West Chapter of CDECA hosts their first Professional Development Day

A week ago our chapter hosted a fabulous Professional Development Day for members dealing with the subject of "Project Management for the Interior Decorating Profession"

Andrew R. Thomas, PMP, is a Project Management Consultant for companies such as Hatch Engineering, Barrick Gold, and teaches the George Washington University Project Management curriculum for numerous corporate clients.  Andrewwho  lives in the GTA west and understands the local market and how important P.M. is to the decorating profession.  He spoke to us for an hour at the Toronto PD day and returned to offer us an in-depth, hands-on 4 hour workshop, geared towards an actual decorating project.

Running from job to job, and working 18 hours a day, but still feel like you are constantly trying to catch up with your work load?  Well if that is the case, you need Project Management skills and we certainly were given many great tools to manage our businesses.

This workshop dealt with practices that are known to lead to project success. These practices include: assembling the right team, having clearly articulated goals and objectives, effectively engaging the client, understanding who all the stakeholders are and what motivates them…these are just a few of the key topics that will be examined.

 Andy broke us down into small groups and challenged us to work through a typical Decorating Project, and assisted us to learn the project management tools and techniques which in turn makes us more efficient as decorators and designers, thus increasing profitability, and client satisfaction.

Chicago, The Windy City...... Architecture

I finally made it to Chicago.  I have wanted to visit it for a while and see the architecture it is famous for.  Many famous architects came to the city after the Chicago Fire and took advantage of the opportunity to design and construct some of the most renowned buildings in the world. The legacy of their work has influenced architecture throughout the world..  One famous architect we all know is of course Frank Lloyd Wright who has conceived many many buildings throughout his career, with a number of them in Chicago.

Chicago is the location of the nation's first skyscraper, the 10 story, steel framed Home Insurance Building, built in 1884 and demolished in 1931.  Below are some of the different architectural styles found throughout the city.