Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Design Drama, Act 2

Blogs are amazing. They really do work sometimes. Find a topic that means something to someone, and you get feedback.

I posted my feelings about this bill last night before going home, and already I have received feedback. I want to share this comment with you, because I think it helps further the conversation along.

If the information shared below is true, then I certainly can't find any logical objection. My objection all along has been about the work we do with our customers and the threat of not being able to provide our services wherever the need is.

Creativity and design takes on so many guises and roles. As I said earlier, I think there should be room enough for all of us.

Hi Robin,
As a board member with IDCW, and a designer focusing mostly in commercial design this type of bill would impact the type of work I do on a daily basis. We definitely understand the diverse nature of the interior design industry and realize that not everyone wants to reach the highest level of certification in our field or offer public/commercial design services. We've had quite a challenge to make sure the bill language does not intentionally put designers in our state out of business. Unfortunately to most, the bill language is confusing so let me attempt to show you that the design services your staff participates in would still be allowed under the practice act. You would not be limited to offering services within your business or office; rather you would still be able to meet customers in their homes.

Direct from the current bill language: [Sec. 10 (2)]This chapter does not apply to an employee of a retail establishment providing consultation regarding interior decoration or furnishings on the premises of the retail establishment or in the furtherance of a retail sale or prospective retail sale, providing such persons do not refer to themselves as a registered interior designer.This chapter does not apply to a person who provides decorative services or assistance in selection of surface materials, window treatments, wall coverings, paint, floor coverings, surface-mounted fixtures, and loose furnishings not subject to regulation under applicable provisions of jurisdictional codes, regulations, or the jurisdictional fire codes, providing such persons do not refer to themselves as a registered interior designer.

To sum that up, as long as the design services you offer do not need to be submitted/reviewed by the building department, you do not need to be a Registered Interior Designer or have a Registered Interior Designer on staff to perform those services.

If you have additional questions or comments, feel free to contact me directly. khanna (at) gglo (dot) com
Kristi Hanna
IDCW VP of Allied Organizations

Monday, January 28, 2008

Design Drama

Lately there has been a kerflap over legislation proposed here in Washington State regarding the professional licensing of Interior Designers.

To catch you up:
Designer have often battled a reputation as 'Dolly Decorators' when, in fact, the truth is quite different. The outdated image of a rich housewife who has a 'knack' for decorating is long gone.

Designers are involved in many different facets of work that affects both residential and commercial situations - which often requires years of training and experience.

Here's what's happening:
The ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) is proposing legislation to licence the profession of interior design.

They feel that other professions, like architecture, accounting, doctors, etc. all require this and that design should have professional practices and standards also that require testing and peer acceptance and continuing education.

Who can argue with that?

Unfortunately, I am. Why? Because I feel they are going much too far in their restrictions, and it affects the kind of service we offer our customers here at Daly's. There is no room for compromise the way the bill is written, and that's the problem.

For example, Daly's would no longer be able to offer in-home services. We would be able to help customers choose paint colors, window treatments, etc. only within the confines of our doors, but we wouldn't be able to meet our customers in their homes, under their own lighting conditions, to help them make appropriate choices.

And that is a problem for our customers and having the ability to give them the best service we can.

There has got to be room for us all.

I also think that there are many consumers of home and design products that do not feel comfortable hiring a 'credentialed' designer - or even need their services. Overkill, if you will. Why is the act of choosing a paint color or making some window treatment decisions requiring an accredited professional? This would most certainly cost the consumer more money and effort to hire them, as well.

I find this very upsetting, because I don't disagree with many of their viewpoints, just the sledgehammer approach - I do think professional standards are important, especially in commercial situations. And I do think that those designers who want to reach the highest level of recognition in their field should have those professional options available to them. But the argument of safety just doesn't fly with that type of design my staff participates in! That's the rub.

Well, the designer fur is sure to fly!

Interesting reading:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Announcing.... LoVo!

In December I had the opportunity to go to NYC on behalf of C2 (with partner Shaun Clark from Waters & Brown and PR Rock Star Jill Logiudice) to meet with magazine editors at some great design publications to introduce C2's latest paint development: LoVo.

What is LoVo? It's C2's wonderful Low-VOC paint. Being from Seattle, we get inquiries ALL THE TIME from consumers who are looking for a 'green' product (although Seattle is no longer the place of Birkenstocks and fleece - we do have a bit more fashion sense!)
LoVo will be debuting in April (on Earth Day), and I can't wait! Just like the rest of the line, it will be unlimited in color offerings - You will be able to get every single C2 color, in all typical finishes.

Not only that, but we will be offering LoVo in 16 oz Samplers, too. So you can try out the product (in any color, even custom colors) and see for yourself what a great Low-VOC paint is like.
Most of us feel better using a product we know will have less of an impact on the Earth... and I am soooo pleased that we are doing this with C2!
Here are a couple images from our NYC trip:

These are the LoVo 16 oz. Sampler pots that we shared with the design magazines. You should have seen us tromping along the streets of New York, hauling Samplers, a portfolio of UPCs and color tools. Since most magazines are located within the same geographic area, it was so much faster to go by foot than by hired car or taxi. Let's just say these boots were made for walking!

Oh, and we stayed an the Hotel QT. Your 'hipness quotient' goes up just by staying there!

I know it's rather silly, but we were so excited to be visiting these great magazines - so we simply accosted strangers and made them take our picture at these different places. Some tourists go for Times Square, were were thrilled with Conde Nast.

... and Domino magazine was cool.

This Takes Downsizing To a New Level

I couldn't help but share this...

Toronto's Smallest House is Up for Sale!
This house, located near the intersection of Dufferin Street and Rogers Road is believed to be Toronto's smallest house. Occupying what used to be a driveway, it's a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house that sits on a parcel of Land 7.25 feet (2.2 metres) wide and 113.67 feet (34.6 metres) long and has an interior area of just under 300 square feet (under 28 square metres).The asking price is $179,900.!!!!

And my thought.... Imagine how spectacular this space could look with the creative use of COLOR. Who wants to live in a white box? Color could be judiciously used to help define space and make the rooms more visually interesting. Especially the Living Room, don't you think?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Off and Running with 2008

It's been a busy time.

In the world of retail paint sales, this is definitely the slow time of year (take note: if you don't like to wait in line, now is the time to come by). But behind the scenes, we are a busy company.

Housekeeping issues are addressed - We are FINALLY getting rid of the 1980's wallpaper in the reception area of the Seattle store! Goodbye 'varicose vein' marbleized vinyl! While it was a soothing peachy thing with soft violet and green veining, we aren't gonna miss ya. At all.

Instead the walls are being painted 'Beachbum' and 'Sea Salt'. Tasty and updated.

My husband Daren officially started his new role at at Daly's last week. While we have co-owned the company for a good eight years, he is now here on a daily basis to help us grow. He comes to Daly's with a lot of experience in finance and operations, so it will be interesting to see how we will apply these skills to our own little universe.

And, yes, for those who are curious, I am THRILLED he is here. We have complimentary skills, not competing. And combined with our partner Herb's experience (about 50 years at the company) and Daren's financial acumen, I think we will be creating some fun momentum in the future.

Bellevue, where our other store is located is rapidly changing. We are looking to relocate the store in the near future. I'll keep you posted as we learn more...

I took a little trip for C2 Paint in December. NYC at Christmastime. Pretty sights and very cold!