Heather Clark Smith Design and Victoria’s Secret are structured on satisfying the individual needs of women, and men.  The style that suits may be glamourous and sophisticated; simple and comfortable.  Both entities offer smart advise for looking the best.  The value added is – great customer service.

As the owner of Heather Clark Smith Design I liken my business model to several successful customer service based businesses, like Victoria Secret and Apple.  I frequent both these enterprises, and happily recommend them, not just for the product they sell but more because of the positive attention I consistently receive.   As an added bonus, both (Apple and Victoria’s Secret) are taking steps to reduce their impact on the environment.    

True value can be found in a business that places importance on their customers satisfaction.  Whenever you are shopping for the ultimate value for your dollar, whether it be for lingerie, electronics, interior decorating, consider that value is not always found on the price tag.

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Thinking “green”

April 7, 2009

 

Thinking “green” when everything was “white” was a stretch in February when I started reading about all things “green” but its April and the white stuff is still falling while I am finally writing “green”.   Using sustainable products can be great for the environment and ultimately cut costs.    More and more manufacturers, and the designers and contractors that use their products, are responding to the consumers demand to be more environmentally responsible.

Kitchen and Bath’s trend prediction for 2009 was a push to use “environmentally sensitive materials such as lead-free glass, materials made with recycled content and water conserving faucets”;  “There are more and more products coming on the market all the time – from pressed paper countertops to denim insulation.”

2009 blew in with a flurry and the snow didn’t let up.  The twisted art woven through the tree branches by the icey cold temperatures, and the knee deep glistening snow looked dramatically beautiful when viewed from inside the house, or out on the slopes.    Unlike snow and cold, trends that we know will return year after year, design trends are always changing.

Hopefully these past months of hibernation gave us all time to reflect.  This year I predict (the “better late than never” part) that the global circumstances forced upon us will cause all of us to re-evaluate what is truly important.  Let’s make something “old” the “new” trend.   Lets make making time for family and friends the trend for 2009.

Maybe the message we were meant to receive in 2008, was that, ‘it isn’t all about the money’.    Let’s continue to toast our good friends, happy homes, health and wellness.

[originally written 15  January, 2009]

Our Family Tree

November 24, 2008

I want to share my son’s side of the Christmas tree story.  Up til last year my son has had his own tree to decorate – actually it was my first tree.  It had weathered 30 or so Christmas’s, many moves, the annual hibernation and rebirth, and as a result was a little the worse for wear.  In its hay day it was “the tree” but many research dollars have since gone into creating the perfect “fake” tree, to which my old tree paled in comparison.   In the interest of storage, and remaining true to what a ‘Christmas’ tree should look like, we recycled the old tree.  
So this year the dilemma was, what to do with all the treasured decorations collected for my son in his 9 short years.  My solution was to give him 1/4 of the family tree to decorate from top to bottom.    His decorations represent his young life from the Santa he made tracing his wee hand, through his Bob the Builder Days to the Harley Davidson of his future.   He was thrilled to display all that was important to him on the main tree, centre stage.
I am a self-proclaimed Christmas tree decorating fanatic – tirelessly weaving 1000 miniature lights from the trunk along each branch, and carefully placing each decoration.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see Scooby Doo and the Bat Mobile harmoniously mingling with the hand-blown red glass balls and unique hand-selected ornaments on our “family” tree.   
As an energy conservation, and safety, measure the tree is only on when we are in the room to enjoy it.  But since Christmas is such a great family time and all too short, we will take every opportunity we can to enjoy our “family” tree. 

A Day with Kimberley Seldon

November 12, 2008

I had the privilege of attending Kimberley Seldon’s Business of Design (Trade Only) seminar on November 9th.    I have had the pleasure of listening to her speak on a few previous occasions and can say that she was always so down to earth, unpretentious, honest, and very knowledgable about her profession.  Decorating is a profession I am proud to be associated with.   

 

Kimberley Seldon writes about the Designer Client Relationship to educate the client and state the fundamental business principles to be expected of the professional that you hire.

Designers are not paid for their time; they are paid for their expertise. For the purposes of determining value, this expertise is quantified in increments of time – in other words, we charge by the hour.  

Decorating a home is a demanding, time consuming, emotional and complicated process.  Surrounding yourself with a professional team is the best way to ensure you’ll wind up with the project you envision. reprinted from Kimberley’s website  -“Designiquette”

If you are considering hiring a designer/decorator see what a professional like Kimberley Seldon has to say.

Frank Gehry’s AGO

October 30, 2008

In my inaugural post I quoted famous Architect, Frank Gehry (born in Canada in 1929)   “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”   The belief that “architecture is art” is at the heart of Frank Gehry’s essence.   Gehry’s recent Toronto project is reflective of his philosophy.

From November 14th to 16th, 2008,  the Art Gallery of Ontario will be open to the public free of charge to celebrate the rebirth of this space by Toronto architect, Frank Gehry.   Gehry’s process is remarkable; he begins with full scale models of every wall, angle, and light source; and builds to a crescendo that is our AGO.  The sculptural architectural elements and the treasures that it holds is befitting a world class town like Toronto.

The furnishings themselves are works of art.  The AGO worked with the finest prevailing artisans in Canada and Denmark, including award-winning Toronto-based furniture manufacturer, Teknion.  Each piece was hand-picked by Gehry to bring contemporary style and comfort to the patrons of the arts. 

Gehry’s jewel, the staircase, sits in “the historic heart” of the AGO.  ‘When he first unveiled his design plans, Gehry described the sculptural staircase as a space where people might bump into each other and perhaps even fall in love.’

The new restaurant FRANK, will feature local agriculture and Ontario wines, and is sure to be the place for art and food lovers to gather.  FRANK, a play on words, describes the atmosphere of serious art critics, identifies the architect behind it all, and the artist, Frank Stella, whose work is on display through out the restaurant.

All this attention to the finite details is not meant to overshadow the art within, but rather to pay homage to the more than 4000 incredible works of art on display in the 110 bright galleries-within-the-gallery.  

Truly a journey for the eye, the mind, the heart and the soul.

   

 

New York has gone M.A.D.

October 7, 2008

 Reprint from the Colour Association of the United States

MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
2 COLUMBUS CIRCLE
NEW YORK, NY 10019
212.299.7777

All of New York is celebrating the opening of a new building for the MAD (Museum of Arts and Design)museum, designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, which is three times the size of their previous building. The new building features the familiar objects from their permanent collection and now has more room for special exhibitions of contemporary art, craft and design, an entire floor dedicated to eduction and public programs, and the nations first resource center / gallery for contemporary jewelry.