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Getting Some Exposure

Last week, I was contacted by the Patriot News, our local newspaper here in Harrisburg, for an interview on a story about Home Design Trends for the New Year. I, of course, was happy to help and therefore participated in a phone interview with a reporter from the Patriot. Well, today the article was published on the front page of the Life section of the newspaper! Yay! Check it out below. The images aren't the best, I know. I snapped them on my iphone (which is due for an upgrade)!

Front Page spread.

Close up of front page.

Second Page

Overall, I am really excited to be featured in such a big way and, of course, get some exposure for our design studio and hopefully reach out to people who may not know about us and our services. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% pleased with the article content, but that's just probably the perfectionist and control freak in me, ha. I think with the nature of interviews, and specifically phone interviews, things often get misunderstood, misquoted or taken out of context - which happened in this case. Bummer.

Nonetheless, I know it's an awesome opportunity, and I am grateful!

So, I've copied the article below (reformatted for the blog) for those of you who can't pick up the Patriot today. You'll also see that I've striked through the quotes that were misquoted or misunderstood.

This Year, Home Design is all About You!

Wondering what the hot home design trends will be for 2012? The answer, at least in some instances, is whatever you want it to be.

"2012 is going to be an eclectic mix. It's not going to be something that's very definable," said interior designer Valerie Betz of StudioVB, at 218 Verbeke St. in Harrisburg (studiovbdesign.com). "It's not going to be this style or this country a particular style or particular look. It's more about taking a deviation deviating from one particular style and being more eclectic."

Still, Betz did note a number of home trends appearing on the horizon.

Sustainable Design

Being green in the home was a big trend last year and will continue to stay popular in 2012 according to Betz.

"Green design crosses the entire gamut of products used in the home or in decorating your home," she said. "It's everything from how the flooring is laid out to how it's painted flooring to paint. It's huge, up and coming and hopefully will be here to stay."

Most green design involves using furniture or other products that produce less waste in the manufacturing process or use more rapidly renewable materials like bamboo or cork (instead of, say, mahogany, which doesn't grow back as quickly).

Part of this trend includes using "reclaimed" materials, such as wood from a salvage yard or an old building, which can then be incorporated into new furniture or accessories. "A lot of designers are making new furniture out of reclaimed wood to give their work a rustic charm," Betz said.

Cork flooring

Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Personalized Design

Instead of picking an item out of a catalog or buying factory made matching furniture set, more and more homeowners are selecting items that match their own unique personal tastes, Betz said.

"I think clients and homeowners are leaning toward wanting to express themselves and are less about what's hot right now or what's in the catalog," she said. "It's more, 'I like this unique piece' or 'I want to hang my own artwork' versus what's in stores."

That can take many different forms, from hand-painting a dresser or vase (a new coat of paint could revive an old piece of furniture) to making throw pillows out of fabric scraps.

Not everyone is going D.I.Y. though. Those less inclined to be crafty are simply purchasing handmade items that appeal to them on websites such as Etsy. It's more about finding a look that reflects your own individual tastes rather than being able to to make your own pottery. "It's about looking for that one of a kind thing piece," Betz said.

Painted Furniture

E-design

The continued growth of the Internet has expanded the reach of many designers, according to Betz, as they are now able to offer their services to clients that traditionally might not have been able to afford them felt that design services were available to them.

Using videoconferencing tools such as Skype, interior designers can provide concepts, plans and ideas to help homeowners get started on a project that they can then create on their own time and within their own budget. Because there's no travel involved and the designer isn't taking on the whole project, the cost for their services is much lower.

"It's making design more affordable and accessible," she said.

Sketch from E-Design Plan

Open Kitchens

Along with stainless steel appliances, open-area kitchens continue to be a trend, Betz said. More and more people are opening up their kitchens to the other areas of their house so they can visit and talk with their guests while cooking.

Open Kitchen

Gray is the New Beige

Beige was the big neutral color for a long time, but gray is starting to push it aside, particularly when it's paired with rich colors such as mustard, golden yellow, violet or turquoise. The idea is to use colors that pop out and provide a striking contrast when paired with gray.

Gray Color

New Seating Styles

Puffy, overstuffed, bulky chairs are out. In their place, Betz said, are lower and more streamlined or tailored seats. "It's more casual and comfortable clean lined and sophisticated," she said. (I'm sure I mentioned the casual and comfortable sentiment at some point, but it does not have a direct correlation to the seating style)

Streamlined Seating Styles

Wallpaper is Back

Decades of bad patterns have scared many homeowners away from it, but a wave of bold patterns and textures are pushing wallpaper back to the forefront. "It's taken awhile to convince clients, but definitely higher-end houses and designers are using wallpaper," Betz said.

Modern Graphic Wallpaper

Well, there you have it!

And, if you were inspired to update the design of your home utilizing some of the current design ideas and trends described in the article, feel free to contact us! Also, the article only included a handful of the design trends I discussed, so maybe I'll post about some others in the coming weeks.

Images from here and here.

Etsy Anyone?

We've been working on another side of StudioVB for a little while.. and that side is our Etsy shop! Maybe you've seen some of our recent posts on our Facebook page! We come across so many neat vintage home decor finds along our travels (while we are hunting for items for our design projects) that we began to snatch up any little thing we liked, thought was really cool, or couldn't leave behind.. even if we didn't have a home or a client for it just yet. So, after collecting quite a bit of these items, we decided that someone ought to have them, so we set up our Etsy shop to offer our designer selected vintage goods for the home.

If you don't know about Etsy.. shame on you!

Etsy Logo You really have to check it out. It's a online marketplace to buy and sell all things handmade and vintage (and also craft supplies). You can find so many unique items on Etsy and it's so simple to buy. I have been a buyer on Etsy for many years now, purchasing everything from wedding party gifts to unique home decor items to handmade accessories for myself! It can be addicting, so be careful! =)

I mean, take this for example, the image below is a snapshot of items for autumn/fall found on the Etsy Treasury (which is a member-curated shopping gallery). See all the amazing items you can find with just one search. Imagine the possibilities! Hehe.

Treasury List

Speaking of the Etsy Treasury, it's just one of the many cool features of Etsy! Etsy really is a community of creative people and it is yet another place to express your creativity, share ideas with others and get really amazing inspiration, not too mention make a living doing what you love!

Anyway, we have now made the transition from just an Etsy buyer to an Etsy seller as well. Here's a quick glimpse of our new online shop front, as of today.

Screen shot of our Etsy Shop.

We opened our StudioVB Etsy Shop just a few short weeks ago, with only a few small items. Since Etsy has been a side project that we tackle in the evening hours, it has been sort of a slow start (cataloging, photographing, uploading, listing, etc.) But, with only a few items listed on our shop, we had two sales in the first week, and another sale in the second week. Yay! So, we are excited about this new side of our design studio, and are encouraged to get more of our items listed! So, go ahead and visit our shop today, but check back often as more items will be added daily!

Shown below are our sold items. Woohoo!

Our sold items!

Oh and you'll notice our Etsy shop banner shown below states "Vintage and Handmade Items for the Home". Well, I thought I should clarify. For the time being, all the items listed on our shop are vintage finds; however, we will in the near future begin to add some handmade items as well.

Our Etsy shop banner.

Along our design journey, we also come across many items that have potential but just need a little "tweaking", a little love or a little creativity and can be turned into something new and unique. These items (along with some custom artwork or crafted items) will make up the handmade portion of our Etsy shop. We'll use our creativity (and our hands, of course) to create unique items from found objects, fabrics, materials and even everyday art or craft supplies. But, I am guessing those items will get listed in what I am calling phase 2 of the Etsy shop launch. Until then, we will continue to post the vintage items that are stacking up!

Items like this featured item from our shop.

Our Etsy featured item.

Well, friends, let this be our first official introduction to our StudioVB Etsy Shop! Come check us out.