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Project Runway is my wife’s favorite reality show. Every Thursday night I find myself watching this show. Was I surprised this past Thursday when the designers were asked to make high fashion from wallpaper! They even went to one of my favorite wallpaper stores, Secondhand Rose, in Manhattan.  Here are some of the looks designed with wallpaper.

ProjectRunway ProjectRunway2

If you’re thinking about decorating your home this Fall, consider wallpaper! Then give me a call or email me.

American Flag

This week we’re celebrating the 4th of July with red, white and blue parties, parades and fireworks. It’s only right that we acknowledge the legacy left by Betsy Ross. But not just for the American flag.

Betsy Ross is really America’s First Lady of interior design. How so? Well, upon closer scrutiny you’ll find that she  …

  • was a serious networker in her community. Her pew was next to George Washington’s pew at Christ Church in Philadelphia. Who else would they turn to whip up a fancy flag in a hurry?
  • owned her own upholstery company, which in the 18th century, was the equivalent of an interior designer today. She had drapery makers, furniture upholsterers, paper hangers and painters working for her.
  • brought many of her immediate family into the business with her as it grew.
  • all through her career she had it all (many times over) – three husbands and seven children

So when you go to salute the American flag on Thursday, remember that it was a woman interior designer who made it possible!

Google HangoutsLast week Google released the Hangouts app. I’ve been waiting for it! My sons, the Shields Brothers, have been using Google Hangouts from a desktop for a long time now to host live music shows on YouTube. I saw the value of it then. Now I can use it for my work!

How and why would I want to use Hangouts to hang wallpaper? Well…

Hangouts allows you to do one-to-one or group video conversations. FaceTime is great but not all my clients have an iPhone. So Hangouts is a better solution for me. 

Hangouts is a tool I can use to stay in touch with the designer or homeowner. Oftentimes, I need a decision by the designer or homeowner and it saves both of us time and money. Here’s how I use it to make my job interactions better for my client and me:

  1. When starting the installation, sometimes I have questions about which pattern the client wants near the ceiling or what pattern she wants as the focal point in the room. I make a Hangout call, hit the flip the lens button, and my client can “see” what I’m talking about.
  2. Most wallpaper manufacturers have a policy that the paper can be returned if three or fewer strips have been used. Sometimes, if there is some question about the wallpaper, I install three (3) strips then confirm with the client via the Hangout that the wallpaper is what they expected.
  3. Often, you don’t see issues with the wallpaper until it is rolled out. Especially with hand made block printed wallpaper or Chinese murals, there can be shading or coloring inconsistencies. I use the Hangout to show the client what it looks like before proceeding.
  4. When the client is out of town or is unable to see the finished installation immediately, I will use a Hangout or send photos from my iPhone to get final approval.

If you’d like to start using Hangouts, here’s a good article to get you started.