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We recently chatted with Circaphiles ambassador & inspiring designer

MARYLINE DAMOUR 

Damour Drake is a combination of Maryline Damour and Fred Drake, a duo that came together to offer their clients interior design and construction. Damour, after working for years in marketing, business development, and public relations, decided to return to school to study interior design at Parsons The New School for Design. Originally from Haiti, she has been actively involved in interior design projects held in Haiti since the earthquake in 2010. Lately, she has been working on developing a vocational school in Léogâne, Haiti focused on teaching safer building techniques and practices for the construction industry.

 

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

You should be obsessed with design if you have your own company because it is like having a child (no real-time off). Luckily, I am!

2. Was there something unexpected that you learned from your team along the
way?

Everyone can contribute. We make time for our junior designers to present their drawings. In this way, they get to share their thought process and we all learn from these various perspectives.

 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

Curiosity is key. It allows you to be more creative and, ultimately, more successful.

4. When a client asks for a resource, how do you answer them?

We are in the business of connecting clients to designers; designers to makers; etc…  Our respective disciplines in concert (and in collaboration) enrich the language of design.

 

 

5. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

I developed the first design showhouse in the Hudson Valley to connect professionals in the design/build industry across region, but also to show potential clients the power of thoughtful design integrated into an environment.

photography: phil mansfield design: damour drake

photography  @hectormsanchezphoto; styling: @buffyhargettflowers & @ellyposton; location: @zerogeorgest

Every year, I am elated to revisit my hometown of New Orleans to visit friends and family. The rich culture and collection of beautiful shops are both nostalgic and a wonderful reminder of the approaching holiday season. Today I am sharing with you some of my favorite finds from around the world for curating a festive home and a few gift ideas to dazzle your friends and family.  

xo Genevieve

Genevieve’s Favorite Holiday Decor Finds

Holiday Decor

image: bvizdesign; image: ; image: rw guild

Stockings by B. Viz Design:  Update your holiday stockings with these gorgeous patterns. A set of elegant, yet classy mini stocking ornaments for your tree will up your Christmas decor game a notch or two. 

 

Scandinavian Christmas Tree:  No Christmas is complete without a tree, and I am loving this Scandinavia take on such a traditional piece of the holiday spirit. Impress your guests with something unique this season! 

 

Beautiful Candlesticks: Candles will forever make a cold evening feel warm and cozy. There is simply nothing like relaxing with a good set of candles by your side. 

Genevieve’s Favorite Holiday Gift Finds

Antoinette Poisson Notebooks: Does your friend or family love to doodle or journal? These gorgeous notebooks are perfect for any avid notetaker or sketch artist and make for a great desk piece. 

Emma Taylor Books: Beautifully unique, these book sculptures by Emma Taylor are like nothing I have ever seen before, perfect for your favorite bookworm displayed in a library, modern or traditional. 

Matchstick Bottles: Organization is key in my home and these bottles make it easier than ever.

Watercolor Notecards: Give your loved ones stationery modeled after garden vignettes from Architectural Watercolors- who have a wonderful variety of “architecturally sound” monogrammed notecards (and sublime! 

New Orleans-based Lifestyle Journalist and Interiors Stylist MARGARET ZAINEY ROUX has an eye for detail and a fresh approach to styling. 

Her storied career has led her to collaborate with some of the country’s most celebrated interior designers and publications from Louisiana to Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and New York. Her unique approach to styling is intimately connected with her work as a writer, drawing her towards pieces that tell a story. Speaking of stories, she is also known for a number of her published projects in magazines including Traditional Home, Southern Home, and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles. Read on as Margaret Zainey Roux shares the inside scoop on her best-kept secrets, upcoming projects, work methods, and insight into her editorial process. 

 

1. Tell us about your origins and how you became an interior stylist.

I’ve been obsessed with all things design since childhood. According to my mother, I would spend hours rearranging the furniture in my old-school Victorian dollhouse and even begged her to let me repaint the walls and add wallpaper! In college. I studied interior design but ultimately switched gears and earned my degree in journalism. I have so many passions: travel, art, fashion, and entertaining, just to name a few. As a writer, I can immerse myself in those worlds and in the design world as well. After graduating, I was chosen for a post-graduate editorial internship with Coastal Living magazine which was an invaluable experience for me. Upon completion, I had done a little bit of everything and loved it all so I started scouting, writing, and styling on a freelance basis for various shelter magazines.

Through those projects, I met and collaborated with so many talented (and busy) interior designers and I am blessed to have forged many incredible working relationships and friendships with some of them. Beyond those shoots, I have continued to help style their own portfolios and even for some of their private clients. I am often asked why an interior designer would hire an interiors stylist, and that’s because we both look at things through different lenses. Interior designers focus on “the big picture.” They take a very holistic approach to design to ensure that the rooms in a house visually connect with one another and that each room’s individual elements connect within that room. Interiors stylists see “snapshots” and style the individual elements within a room—the coffee table, bookshelf, or mantel—as a means to enhance it without overshadowing it. 

Interior Design by Cindy Nunez, Photography by Sara Essex Bradley 

Interior Design by Karen Menge, Photography by Sara Essex Bradley

2. How would you describe your style?

In both my home and in my wardrobe, I lean towards classic styles and silhouettes in a warm, feminine palette of pinks, corals, and soft whites with some gold for a little glam and some black for a little edge. I have a constant craving for accessories! To me, they have transformative powers that can take a room or outfit to the next level. In my house, the sofa never looks the same for long. I have serious commitment issues when it comes to throw pillows, and I’ll change them up for the season or for absolutely no reason at all. I have a thing for lampshades, too. Fashion-wise, I swoon for statement necklaces and chunky bangle bracelets.

 

3. What is your modus operandi, your work method, your differentiating factor?

I always do my homework before I start scheming for a project. If I didn’t scout the location myself, I’ll do a site visit in the weeks before the shoot or installation to see things up close and do some digging around. What do the homeowner or designer’s vases and vessels look like? Are they the right style and scale for the areas that need flowers? If we plan to set the dining table, is the silver polished? Are the linen napkins pressed? Do we need to bring in some colorful stemware to make the setting pop? What are the bookshelves eves like?  Are the book spines and decorative elements up to par and are there enough to work with? What is the height and depth of each bookshelf in case we need to bring in more props for them?

Admittedly, these questions sound trivial. But you can’t wait until the day of the shoot or installation to find out the answer or you’ll lose precious time and natural light doing what could have been done in advance. When I do shoots or installs out of town and can’t do a walk-through beforehand, I’ll ask the interior designer to take tons of photos and I’ll create a checklist of what is needed from them. Thanks to FaceTime, I am now doing a lot of virtual walk-throughs!

4. What’s your go-to when you need a little creative inspiration?

I find my inspiration in emotions and reactions more than intangible things. When I walk into a room, how do I feel? Calm, cheerful, sexy? Understanding the mood of the room is important when you’re trying to enhance it.

 

 

5. What are the lengths you’ve gone to please your clients?

The lengths are great! I’ll climb a tall, shaky ladder to perfect a single pleat on a drape header, crawl under a bed to hold a bed skirt taught for a photo and smooth a down comforter with a kitchen spatula until it lies flat. I’ve also been known to move a chair back and forth for 5 minutes to just get it at precisely the right angle and drive to three different grocery stores just to find the perfect color pear. It’s not all that glamorous, and the work can get physical! But at least I can write it off as my cardio for the day.

Interior Design by Heidi Friedler, Photography by Sara Essex Bradley

image: Margaret Zainey roux

6. What’s your favorite best-kept secret?

Estate sales and auctions! In New Orleans, we are lucky to have so many. I love the thrill of the hunt and the rush I get from finding the proverbial diamond in the rough. Even if something isn’t particularly rare or valuable, it is unique because it’s been “off the market” and otherwise unavailable as part of someone’s private collection.

 

 

7. What new projects are you currently working on?

My magazine work is cyclical—scout, style, write, do it again. Right now, I’m in the middle of scouting for locations that I will style in the fall and write about in the spring. Because I work for different magazines with different production schedules, the actual timelines vary but the process is more or less the same. As the holidays approach, the styling I do for interior designers will start getting busy. Their clients want to have their projects wrapped up and ready for holidays so often I’m enlisted to help with sourcing and styling while they tackle the big to-do’s left on the list. Before the pandemic, I’d also get a lot of calls from private clients wanting their homes spruced up and party-ready. That is always so much fun and puts me in spirit!

8. You have worked with so many projects that have been published.  can you give us your insight into how to pitch a project and how the editorial process works?

Different magazines have different processes for reviewing and accepting locations but these are a few things that will help make your pitch stronger: 

Wait until a project is complete to pitch it. You want your photos to show the home in its best light, so it’s worth waiting for things like art, drapes, or landscaping to be installed.  

Take scouting photos like you’re taking the editors on a tour. They want to see pictures of overall rooms and areas and how they flow with one another. Vignettes and details are important, but only if they are also shot within the context of the room. 

After you pitch it, give the editor some time. Most likely, he or she will have to pass it around to several members of their team for their review and approval.    

Wait a few weeks to follow up, but definitely follow-up! Maybe there is something else the editor wants to see or know that would help them make a decision? If it’s not a right fit for their publication, can they suggest where else it could go? Maybe it didn’t go through? Things really do get lost in CyberSpace, especially when you are sending large photo files.

Interior Design by Cindy St. Romain, Photography by Jean Allsopp

We recently chatted with circaphiles ambassador & joyful designer

Courtney mcleod

Courtney McLeod is the founder and principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design, an award-winning, full-service design studio in Manhattan. She has unlocked the the right and left side of the brain as a tool that perfectly reflects her design process. This unique technique has become Mcleod’s key to success in designing and expressing each client’s distinctive personality and lifestyle.

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

Oh boy, so much!  I wish I knew how applicable my prior business experience would be to running a successful interior design studio.  I probably would have made the leap earlier.

2. Was there something unexpected that you learned from your team along the
way?

The first five years of my business I worked alone.  As my team has grown, I have discovered how fulfilling collaboration can be. It was enriched the work my studio produces.

 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

If your goal is to own your own interior design studio, spend the time and resources to understand basic financial accounting.  It will help you immeasurably in the future.

4. When a client asks for a resource, how do you answer them?

As I have gained the confidence to be selective about the clients we agree to work with, I don’t encounter this issue anymore.

 

 

5. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

I typically open a dialogue with a friendly email introducing myself and asking to schedule an introductory call.

We recently chatted with circaphiles ambassador & daring designers

pulp designs

Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry co-founded Pulp Design Studios in 2007 in hopes to bring a sense of adventure to the business of design, and they did just that. They have established a unique viewpoint combining luxury design and a flair for the unexpected through their forward-thinking approach to commerce and design. Along with having studios in Seattle, Dallas, and Los Angeles, the Pulp team works with residential and commercial clients across the country, helping them expand their personal style into more transformative and innovative interior spaces.

 

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

 

Carolina: “You need serious selling skills! You have to be able to sell your services to potential customers, you need to use your persuasive skills to build trust with your clients, and you need to be able to collaborate on a project.”

Beth: “Knowing when to delegate. In those early days, you think you have to do everything or that you can’t afford to hire someone else. But you quickly realize that in the long run you will make more money if you focus on the clients. Let someone else do the accounting or follow up on the furnishings orders.”

2. Was there something unexpected that you learned from your team along the
way?

Beth: “We’ve been so lucky to have incredible, and long-term, team members from the very beginning. But the first time you have a team member leave is hard. It feels personal, and you have to remember that it most definitely isn’t. People have lives, and their goals aren’t always going to line up with yours. That shouldn’t be unexpected, but it was when it happened to us the first time! We’ve stayed in touch and have had employees come back because we are really interested in the whole person.”

Carolina: “As our firm has grown and we’ve taken on so many clients, it’s also been great to have our younger assistants keep us up-to-date on apps or new technologies we may have missed. Anything that keeps us efficient and saves us time is a good thing.”

 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

 

Beth: “Intern while you’re in school! It’s so great to be able to see how to apply the skills you’re learning in school. It will totally give you an edge in the industry!”

Carolina: “You also need to understand that you are working for someone who may have dreamed about what their home will look like for a long time. It isn’t about going in and making them agree to your fabulous design – you need to listen to them and understand what they want and need. Then you can wow them with your solutions to their issues, and your incredible design talent.”

4. When a client asks for a resource, how do you answer them?

Beth: “It completely depends on the situation. In general, we are clear from the very beginning that we’re bringing unique resources to them with relationships and pricing that they won’t be able to achieve themselves. If they ask, we’ll remind them that most of our sources are a trade only, so they wouldn’t be able to purchase from them. But sometimes they’re asking because of context, or to understand the quality or the history of what we’re purchasing, so in those cases, we might share the name of the company. But we don’t share the full information on the exact SKU. It has very rarely happened.”

 

 

5. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

Carolina: “Absolutely! If we’re given a tip, or if someone refers us, we will definitely reach out via email or with one of our direct mail pieces. We have our own magazine called ICON and it showcases our work, our aesthetic, and design ideas. It’s an incredible luxe selling piece for us. We’ve had fantastic feedback from them, as well as new clients!”

With great enthusiasm, we are announcing our newest Circaphiles ambassador, Alex Woogmaster

 

 Based in Las Vegas, Alex Woogmaster is the Founder and Creative Director of Woogmaster Studio, and long-time protégé of Roger Thomas! In true Circaphiles fashion, we are giving Alex a warm welcome this week with a look into his design life. Holding a strong belief that architecture and interiors are active participants in our daily lives, Alex seeks to strengthen this relationship and offer spatial and decorative solutions that provide a fundamental essence of harmony to every bespoke space he creates. Today, he is unlocking how his passion for classic design developed and how he is most successful in bringing this style into his client’s homes. 

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

I did not have the benefit of Business or Practice classes at University, and I was always on the ‘capital D’ Design side of things where I worked before I opened my own practice. The first year running my studio was a crash course in taxes, accounting, team and project management, client relations (whose importance can never be overstated), and I’m certain I made mistakes in all areas. I was naïve enough to believe that everything would be okay, and it was, but I did wish I’d known more about the business end of things to at least anticipate challenges. During my first year, I felt as though I was always putting out fires. I can’t say strongly enough how valuable it was to me, and how reassuring, to have a strong network of professionals around me who were always available for advice – and generous in sharing it. I had not always seen my network as a lifeline, but it is, and I’m happy to be here now to give back some. 

2. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

This is one of the hardest parts for me. I am a constant apologist and I feel that I’m disturbing clients even after we’ve signed on together. My best successes in approaching potential clients have been where I was respectful, gave them space, and was truly myself. I have met most of my clients through social introductions, so it’s critical for me that we get to know one another without the weight of a commitment overhead. I focus on getting to know others as individuals, and if that connection evolves into a project (even years later), wonderful. Building trust is the most important thing to me, which makes it that much more of an honor when I’m invited to participate in a project once we’ve built that trust. 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

Keep a sketchbook, and use it! The physical act of drawing what we see (both in person and in our minds) asks us to think more deeply about the subject than the act of photography does – especially with a mobile device. It makes us delve deeper into details and helps us discover things we may not have expected to find… or to design. 

4. In your design contracts, what is the most important clause to articulate and clarify
with a client?

This depends on the project. In some cases, we observe things early on (complicated timelines, challenging consultant deliverables, etc) that we feel the need to address in the agreement. Mostly, I’ve found that the agreement is an insurance policy, but I try not to refer to it over the course of the project. Projects naturally evolve, and I can’t monitor every minor shift as it relates to the agreement. Our projects’ successes are based on communication and understandings, so for us, routine dialogue with clients helps ensure a positive result – even if it doesn’t necessarily follow the letter of the agreement.

 

 

5. Is there something you do consistently as a part of your routine that keeps you
inspired and energized?

Aside from hand drawing, the most valuable thing I do is exercise. I try to run 30 minutes most mornings, and that rhythm helps me organize my thoughts for the day. Even on the hardest days, with the most pressing deadlines, these runs set my head on straight. 

6. Do you have a favorite book, blog or magazine publication that gives you endless
ideas?

I read international history books – regardless of period or locale – and the fewer images, the better.  Words and descriptions ignite my imagination, so while the author might have intended one mental image, I walk away with whole new worlds of spaces and details in my head

What I Wish I Knew: How Keith Granet has built a successful 30-year business & what he wants you to know about it.

         

For over 30 years, Keith Granet has led the helm of one of the industry’s cornerstones, Studio Designer , the leading digital project management, product sourcing, and accounting platform for the interior design industry… & one we couldn’t live without. Keith recently sat down with Circaphiles founder, Genevieve Trousdale, to share his insights into the design world, how he got his start, and his recommendations to new designers.

Read on as Keith shares a wealth of knowledge and experience that we consider your mini-masterclass to developing a thriving business in interior design. But first, meet Studio Designer.

DESIGN BY studio designer client & Circaphiles ambassador form design studio 

DESIGN BY studio designer client & Circaphiles ambassador woodson & rummerfield’s

 

STUDIO DESIGNER 

Interior designers, like most entrepreneurs, often begin their endeavors full of high hopes, big dreams…and overflowing to-do lists. Drafting proposals, managing accounting, scheduling appointments, and a whole slew of administrative tasks can take up more than a few precious hours during the workday. Enter Studio Designer.  A fully integrated platform that features an all-in-one project management system, client collaboration portal and designer-specific accounting software- there are few things Studio Designer can’t do. The main objective? To allow designers to spend more time designing and less time worrying about administrative tasks.

We sat down with Keith to learn his secrets to running a successful business for over 30 years…

keith granet, CEO of Studio designer

FROM keith

 

Q. Keith, how did you get into the interior design business?

 A. i had the opportunity to have an internship during my junior year at Gensler. That internship was an eye-opening experience about where my talents lie and what the road ahead looked like for a career in architecture. After graduating, Gensler offered me my first job as an office assistant. Eight years later I was reporting directly to Art Gensler who would become my mentor in learning the business side of design.  In fact, Art wrote the foreword to my first book, The Business of Design, balancing creativity and profitability. 

DESIGN BY studio designer client & Circaphiles ambassador Timothy corrigan

 

Q. Tell us how you got into product licensing?

A. I was working with Barbara Barry in building her business plan and she mentioned she wanted to expand our product design/licensing business. I told her I did not know much about that field and she said, we will learn together. And we did, I helped her with her first license with Baker Furniture, which became the most successful license for Baker at the time. That was over 30 years ago. Since then I have worked with many designers and the products that we licensed have sold close to one billion dollars.

  • Q. What is the smartest investment you made within the first year of starting your consulting business?

    A. Renting my first office. I started my business at home like many people do but then quickly realized I needed to get far away from the TV and refrigerator. It also enabled me to hire my first employee and have a place where clients could come to talk about confidential subject matter that they did not want to discuss in their own offices.

 

  • Q. How do you recommend managing your spending in the first few years of launching a new business?

    A. I always say you can’t cut your way to success, sometimes you simply need to invest in yourself to be successful. That being said, I would be careful about who you hire as your first employee. That will be your greatest expense and you should make sure they are a good cultural fit for you.

  • Q.  I’ve been a Studio Designer user (and big fan) for 15 years. How do you work to cultivate brand loyalty?

    A. Providing the best and most comprehensive product in the marketplace. We invest millions each year to keep the product relevant and serve the needs of the changing environment.

DESIGN BY studio designer client & Circaphiles ambassador marea clark 

  • Q. Have you ever been resistant to a specific marketing trend when thinking about your business plan? Was your intuition proven to be true?

    A. Yes, there are two, what I will call shiny objects that attract interior designers.  first, fame, not everyone wants this but with all the design shows on the air many people think it will jump-start their careers. Most of the time it kills your career because what television is looking for is sensationalism, not professionalism. The second, licensing a product line to a big box store before anyone knows who you are and if you are relevant for the market. With most big box stores you will be the “flavor of the month.” It will feel good first, but it will be gone in a flash. Also, I am a big proponent of never going low too fast. Most successful fashion designers built a couture line before they offered a bridge line. Rarely is anyone successful with starting with ready-to-wear first.

 

  • Q. What are your top tips to finding new hires for an interior design business?

    A. The problem with hiring people is that you don’t get to date you have to marry them first. So there needs to be a leap of faith that the fit is right. I always say “fire fast, hire slow.” Two tips, make sure the person is the right cultural fit for your company and second check references. It amazes me when designers don’t check references. This is a small world and you can find out a lot about a potential employee but simply by asking.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT? 

Eager to learn more about the workhorse of the design studio? Attend a live demo every Tuesday at 2 pm for an in-depth look HERE and…

Exclusive Offer for Circaphiles members: Enjoy your first month on Studio Designer free of charge. Reach out to info@studiodesigner.com when you sign up, and let Studio know you’re with Circaphiles!

A melting pot of culture, art, and creole, there are few things I hold more dearly than my “hometown” of New Orleans. Last month, I went back to my Southern roots with a trip home to the Northshore of New Orleans. My cup was overflowing with all the charming design, architecture, art, food, and French 75s! NOLA is filled with such rich history and some of the best unassuming destinations to shop until you drop.

Today, I am sharing my list of the haunts I visit every time I’m home. Plus, my tips for shopping, and the strategy I always use to uncover treasures every time you hunt.

xo Genevieve

 

 

 

Genevieve’s top tips to uncovering treasures:

EXPLORE:

Not all the good finds are in the “shotgun” shops along the notable Magazine Street, peek through alleys and courtyards for tucked away treasure chests.

 

TAKE YOUR TIME:

Magazine Street is a full 6 miles long so make a plan for more than one day of meandering, not only to look at shop goods but also the building beauties gracing the street.

HUNT:

The architecture of New Orleans is a mix of Spanish and French influences, most evident in the Creole Cottages and Shotgun Houses throughout the city. If you’re building a home and want to bring in a little New Orleans style, go to The Bank Antiques to discover a treasure trove of architectural salvage (all those intricate hardware pieces, doors, decorative mantels, etc). That may take a half day to get through their 48,000 SF warehouse.

 

CONNECT:

Talk to the shop owners. Most are deeply passionate about their trade and can impart a wealth of knowledge. Tell them what you’re in town to do and what you’re interested in. Southerners love to show their hospitality and recommend what their city has to offer.

 

BID:

Bring your paddle to  Neal Auction House and score some rare and one-of-a-kind antiques from homes across the South.

 

FOLLOW:

@bigeasyestatesales tracks estate sales in the area.  Pick up an authentic piece from an original New Orleans home. 

 

And now, the list you have all been waiting for!  Dive in below to discover a few of my favorite spots for antiques, hand-sewn window treatments, linens, jewelry, and stationary. A true taste of New Orleans design, you will leave each and every shop below feeling divine.

Genevieve’s MUST VISIT SHOPS!

 

  1. Kevin Stone Antiques on Magazine St.: Owners Kevin Stone and Mark Diamond are backed with 15 years of experience in antiques and interiors with merchandise ranging from furniture to wall decoration, lighting, accessories and garden elements. Kevin is especially versed in Gustavian and Swedish pieces, I learned on a recent design project.  Plus, they have the cutest Frenchies to accompany your store visit!
  2. Antiques de Provence in The French Quarter – Transport to the South of France in an instant with a visit to this sophisticated multi-level shop. Brimming with provincial furniture, garden fountains and pottery, mirrors, lighting, art and more, you will bathe in French fashion. Be sure to visit the charming adjoined courtyard on your way out.
  3. B. Viz Design: After sourcing textiles worldwide (from Paris to Istanbul, London to Cape Town), Rebecca Vizard brings them back to her studio on the shores of Lake Bruin.  They repurpose and repair centuries old fragments, salvaging precious trims and stitches from skilled artisans of the past, hand cutting and sewing them to sturdier fabrics,  creating unique one of a kind pillows…a process Rebecca likes to call “regal recycling”.
  4. Katie Koch Home: New Orleans native Katie Koch designs and engineers hand-sewn window treatments from the simple and tailored to the lush and opulent. Her imaginative drapery creations truly transcend all trends!
  5. Leontine Linens: At Leontine, every stitch sewn is done out of passion, out of a love for an art that was once fading. Founded by Jane Scott Hodges, Leontine preserves and reinvents this classic art form, infusing it with a modern twist.

Image1: courtesy of sunday shop.   Image 2: courtesy of alexa pulitzer  with photography by em ferretti   Image 3: courtesy of julie neill  with design by anne wagoner interiors 

  1. Mignon Faget: Though Mignon has long been known for her bold jewelry, I always stop by the flagship store to check out their latest glassware designs, as the taste and craftsmanship lasts for decades.  My collection grows every time I visit!
  2. Sunday Shop: Logan Killen Interiors creates spaces that are calm, cool and comfortable with all things interior design that you would seek to enjoy on a slow Sunday morning. Each piece is created with colors, textures and materials that soothes the soul, and unlike the traditional New Orleans aesthetic.
  3. Alexa Pulitzer: As a handwritten note type of gal, I swoon over the stationary from Alexa Pulitzer. Since 1995, Alexa Pulitzer has been creating whimsical papers in her native New Orleans, and now her collections can be found in esteemed retailers around the world. Stop by to discover a bespoke touch that is personalized for each and every one of your pen pals.
  4. Renaissance Interiors: If you are in search of quality consignment, look no further. Discover the treasures straight out of stately New Orleans homes. I scored a lovely vintage oil painting of the Coliseum by Eugene Colignon for $100!
  5. Julie Neill: The art and craft of bespoke lighting, especially in plaster, is Julie’s passion. If you are a designer, make an appointment at the workshop so you can see her team in action.  A New Orleans native, the tropical climate, the picturesque architecture and the off-beat way of life are an unending source of inspiration for Julie.

Where to grab a cocktail after a day of shopping 

After a long day popping around New Orleans, it is time for a well-deserved cocktail…or two! Whether you have a sweet tooth or looking for a drink on the rocks, these decadent restaurants have every refreshment you could fancy.

 

Monteleone Hotel: – The most luxurious place to land in the French Quarter, the Monteleone Hotel has my favorite milk punch in the Carousel Bar…just the thing you need to cure your hangover or if you are craving something sweet during happy hour.

Bar Marilou:  A spirited sanctuary for craft cocktails, natural wines and French-inflected fare, Bar Marilou is bedecked with books, eccentric curiosities, inventive, sophisticated cocktails and elevated French classics. Inspired by romance, rebellion and spirited with easy elegance, everyone is welcome and long, leisurely nights are encouraged!

Lilette: Book a reservation for imaginative French and Italian-inspired cocktails and cuisine. 

 

What are your favorite New Orleans haunts?

We recently chatted with circaphiles ambassador & Colorful, creative designer

Sara barney

 

Sara Barney is the Founder and Principal Designer of BANDD DESIGN and has mastered the art of creating refreshing and colorful designs. She has centered her design process around being highly collaborative while favoring the individuality of each client. Today, she is unlocking what it’s like to work with a team and what she’s learned along the way. 

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

That you’re not going to be able to please 100% of the people, 100% of the time.

 

2. Was there something unexpected that you learned from your team along the
way?

Our team has taught me that everybody brings a unique skill set and together it makes us whole. We don’t all have the same styles and ways of working but it makes for a perfect, well-rounded team with a lot of perspectives!

Circaphiles_SaraBarney

Image: bandd design

photography by Ryann Ford  design by bandd design

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

Take business classes! You might have an eye for design, but you need to know how a business runs, in general, to make it profitable and find opportunities. Also, spend some time learning about residential design, as most design programs focus mostly on commercial design. It’s a whole different game.

 

4. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

I’ve messaged people on social media that have interacted with our account and that live in and around our area to see if they’re interested in design services. You can say that I’ve ‘slid into their DMs’.

When the Pandemic Hit this Design Duo Built their Dream Business: Curious How?

Ever found yourself in the thick of an upholstery order wishing the lead time was shorter, that the process was a bit more user-friendly (more information please!), or perhaps a bit less intimidating.  Denver-based designers Lindy and Jordan Williams had those exact thoughts. AND they decided it was time to do something about it.

Meet Saltwolf!

Image via saltwolf

SALTWOLF

A to-the-trade, modern furniture line, the brand is the answer to all of the frustrations the duo experienced as designers. In the midst of a global pandemic, they forged ahead to create the one-of-a-kind business model that features lightning-fast turnaround times (ahem, they ship every Friday and offer white-glove delivery), a web-based ordering system that allows for email updates at every step of the way, and luxury fabrics that are ALWAYS in stock.  Rest assured, the eight-way hand-tied spring system remains a sustainable choice in all parts of their furniture.  

We sat down with the duo to learn more about their brand, their journey, and their pieces! 

Linden sofa in Indigo linen,  Image via saltwolf

this summer saltwolf is hitting the road in their mobile showroom,  Image via saltwolf

FROM THE FOUNDERS

 

Q. You started this brand in the midst of a pandemic and without a background in furniture making, quite an undertaking. Where did you start? 

 A. Like many interior designers, we started by making custom pieces for our client projects. Once we learned more about the way the trade furniture industry works and saw the opportunities to modernize it, we realized we could make it so much better. The timing at the start of the pandemic definitely wasn’t ideal, but in hindsight, it gave us space to develop and refine Saltwolf in meaningful ways before we officially launched the brand.

belgian linens, italian leathers, and american-made performance velvets that are always in stock,  Image via saltwolf

 

 

Q. As interior designers yourselves, what key elements were you looking for in the pieces you created?

A. Quality, simplicity, and sustainability. We create pieces we would have in our own home and that could confidently sell to our own clients. The style of our launch collection is simple, but classic and works in many different aesthetics. The market is flooded with fast, cheaply made “throwaway” furniture which is heartbreaking for so many reasons. We are passionate about making pieces that will truly last the test of time.

  • Q. Can you give us a breakdown of what is unique about your pieces and the aspects of their creation? 

    A. we think the most unique thing about our brand, and our furniture pieces is that they can be configured, specified, and ordered completely online, but without compromising on quality. Online-only furniture brands have historically been cheap and fast, and direct to consumers, not designers. While luxury, made-to-order American furniture in the trade space has been only available through third-party showrooms, sales reps, and outdated ordering systems. Saltwolf is the first brand to offer luxury trade furniture fast, only to designers and only online. As designers ourselves, we know this model is overdue in the industry and we are confident it will help so many designers be more efficient, more profitable, and more successful.

 

  • Q.  What has been the most surprising part of your journey?

    A. fabric sourcing! Finding high-quality and responsibly made fabrics we can stock to meet our lead times has been really hard. After many hours on the phone, trips to textile mills and months of research we finally found exactly what we hoped for with our Belgian linens, Italian leathers, and American-made performance velvets.

 

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT? 

 

Saltwolf is hitting the road this summer to (safely) bring Saltwolf to you! Their Mobile Showroom creates the unique opportunity to touch and feel the pieces from their line and large format samples of their stock materials. This past month, along the golden coast of Southern California, we were honored to lift up Lindy and Jordan in launching their new endeavor as they made their first stop in Southern California. Two days filled with friends, face-to-face conversation, relating to challenges in the industry, and, of course, plenty of comfortable seats! 

Be sure to stop by their site to see where they are pulling into town next and bring one of their luxury, handcrafted pieces to your next project!

this summer saltwolf is hitting the road in their mobile showroom,  Image via saltwolf

this summer saltwolf is hitting the road in their mobile showroom,  Image via saltwolf