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    Fergus Garber Architects is hiring a Architectural Designer or Job Captain, 0-6 years of experience in Palo Alto, CA, US – Archinect - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    JOB TITLE: Architectural Designer or Job Captain, 0-6 years of experience

    Fergus Garber Architects is a residential firm of 20 located in Palo Alto, California. Our practice focuses on custom high end single family homes, with an appreciation for sustainability. Please visit our website at



    If you meet these qualifications, we encourage you to apply with your resume, cover letter, and portfolio of work to:

    In order to be considered, at the top of your cover letter, please list responses to these questions:

    1. Identify your first name and your last name.

    (First name: X Last name: X)

    2. Where did you graduate from, with what degree, and the year?

    3. After graduating, how many years have you worked in a professional office? (Do not include internships while in school)

    5. Do you require visa sponsorship in order to work? If so, please state which visa is needed?

    4. Why would you like to work for FGA?

    ABOUT FGA: Fergus Garber Architects ( is looking for new collaborators to join our design-oriented and quick paced office designing custom homes. FGA understands the importance of working on projects from inception to completion and strives to build successful design teams that foster an atmosphere of creative thought and professional development. Our award-winning work spans many styles and scales, and were looking for talented and well-rounded staff to join our team. We have an on-staff environmental engineer who provides guidance on current best practices for sustainability. We provide a high level of attention, management and environmental stewardship to residential clients that have a long term interest in their property. Our clients value our ability to understand them. We create beautiful homes in a range of architectural styles that both we and our clients are proud of. The essential qualities of good architecture: strong plans, good proportions, and high attention to detail are the foundation of our work.

    Current Working Environment at FGA: FGA is located in Santa Clara County. Our employees are the most important aspect of our business and we value them as such. We closely follow the county regulations for COVID-19, including working from home. If and when the restrictions are lifted, we will likely utilize a hybrid format for attendance in the office and working from home, with employees working in the office a few days a week to allow for comradery and collaboration while still providing ample physical space for each individual. Employees with elevated health risks will not participate in our in-office work schedule. Once a vaccine is available, we hope to resume working from our office on a daily basis. In the meantime, we are utilizing online systems and tools to help emulate the open, collaborative studio conditions that we all enjoy. On occasion during shelter in place, project teams may still be required to visit active job sites (while following Covid regulations). If not currently in the Palo Alto area, applicants should intend to relocate here to be available for these types of engagements and hands-on learning opportunities.


    If you meet these qualifications, we encourage you to apply with your resume, cover letter, and portfolio of work to:

    In order to be considered, at the top of your cover letter, please list responses to these questions:

    1. Identify your first name and your last name.

    (First name: X Last name: X)

    2. Where did you graduate from, with what degree, and the year?

    3. After graduating, how many years have you worked in a professional office? (Do not include internships while in school)

    5. Do you require visa sponsorship in order to work? If so, please state which visa is needed?

    4. Why would you like to work for FGA?

    Excerpt from:
    Fergus Garber Architects is hiring a Architectural Designer or Job Captain, 0-6 years of experience in Palo Alto, CA, US - Archinect

    Here Are The Interior Design Trends Going Away In 2021 – Forbes - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    From modern farmhouse style to white kitchens: here are the interior design trends going out of ... [+] style in 2021.

    2020 was a defining year for everything but especially the collective relationship we all have with our homes. Shutdowns due to the pandemic left many of us scrambling to create home offices, homeschooling spaces, and gyms, changing way we use our homes significantly.

    Whether you are moving to a new home,renovatingyour current one, or planning DIY projectsfor the future, its important to choose an aesthetic thats as current as possible to help boost resale value. While overall, theres been an anything goes, approach to interior design in recent years and especially in 2020, these are the trends experts and interior designers predict will be going away in 2021.

    Shiplap is shipping out.

    We can take a breath of fresh air because the modern farmhouse look is finally on its way out to pasture. Part of the reason why many people are sick of this aesthetic, according to Kelley Mason, Manager of Creative and Content atLulu and Georgia, is that it has been overdone particularly in places like apartments where a modern farmhouse look isnt remotely organic, Shiplap wall treatments, barn doors, and other hallmarks of the modern farmhouse style are still beautiful but look clearly out of place in city apartments and suburban homes, she tells me.

    But if you cant resist the urge to Joanna Gaines your Manhattan studio, Mason says to choose integrating rustic pieces that pair well with the space's decor. So when you inevitably encounter thatLive, Laugh, Lovesign, resist the urge to click add to cart.

    White kitchens are on the way out.

    Nancy Epstein, founder, and president ofArtistic Tiletells me, The high end of the market has moved away from the staid whites and man-made agglomerates that dominated design for the last decade, and is once more embracing the exotic, rare stones, and detailed patterns that have historically defined luxury tile and stone.

    She recommends opting for breccias, richly veined marbles, and onyxes instead. These materials have an incredible history and are once again becoming focal points in the most sumptuously designed spaces.

    As for the ever-popular and timeless carrara marble countertop, while a major part of the white kitchen trend, probably isnt going away, but many people are opting for other materials that provide a similar aesthetic instead. Interior designerCaitlin Scanlon recommends going with a man-made or engineered stone, but emphasizes the importance of choosing wisely There is such a big difference from line to line. Quartzite is a good compromise, she says. It is a product that in-between quartz and marble. It's not an aggregate like Caesarstone and its much more durable than marble.

    And if you must have that marble backsplash, Scanlon recommends ceramic marble tiles as an alternative. It really looks like marble. It's gorgeous.

    New floorplans will provide more privacy

    While it looked like the appeal of the open floorplan was starting to fade at the beginning of 2020, during the pandemic many people learned the hard way that perhaps your kitchen, home office, great room, playroom, and living room shouldnt all be the same space. Lack of privacy ultimately becomes lack of function.

    Now that we have had a taste of what it is like to work from home, while a partner is doing the same, or a child is attending school via zoom at the same time, open floor plans aren't as attractive as they used to be. The need for rooms with doors, windows, and some privacy will make a reappearance,Justina Blakeney, founder ofJungalowtells me.

    But according to Danielle Blundell, Home Director ofApartment Therapy, if your home is currently an open concept, you shouldnt let that be a cause for concern. I don't think this is going to be an overnight change, but I think that the open plan concept is going away little by little. It started already and I think it's going to conclude starting with people adding room dividers, or bringing in a door or figuring out some sort of a solution to add privacy.

    Eventually, more flexible and closed layouts will become the standard. It's just because people want that privacy, they want that little bit of separation. And sometimes it's good to have a door that you can close. Whether it's for containing a mess or just giving yourself that physical and audio separation from other things that are going on in your home.

    Dining rooms aren't just for dining anymore.

    Along the same lines, single purpose spaces and furnishings are also falling out of favor. Say goodbye to the temporarywork-from-the-couchway of life, Roxy Te Owens, founder and creative director ofSociety Socialtells me. When your home doubles as so many spaces, it's important to try and keep some level of separation for sanity! As many of us have adjusted to the new work from home reality, we've realized the importance of keeping a dedicated and organized work from home setup.

    If you don't have a spare room to use, Owens suggests trying your best to get creative. Set up a desk vignette in the corner of your bedroom or transform a section of your dining table into a home office by adding a table lamp, your computer monitor, fresh flowers, and of course your favorite things. A pretty and dedicated space means more productivity, in our opinion.

    Less mass more meaning

    Much like fast fashion, the appeal of inexpensive furniture and accessories that arent made well enough to use for the long haul is on the decline. Our rooms now see daily multi-functional use, and people are customizing them to provide flexible and adaptive living spaces. The furnishings that create these spaces serve in different ways at different times, Bob Williams, President of Design atMitchell Gold + Bob Williamstells me.

    Williams believes that opting for better pieces has a greater purpose beyond quality for the sake of longevity. Alongside their use, these pieces also carry intrinsic meaning. People are creating deeper relationships with the things they have in their rooms because so many more of lifes moments and memories are happening there. Purchasing is more intentional, and people are loving their rooms more because of it.

    We'll be seeing less minimalism in 2021.

    Move over Kim Kardashianinspired homesbecause less isnt more when theres a pandemic. The minimalist trend is on its way out and will give way to more layered, collected, and eclectic spaces. The sheer amount of time and the number of activities we have all been engaging in at home in 2020 makes it very difficult to adhere to an austere or sparsely filled home, says Blakeney.

    Part of the reason why minimalism isnt a sustainable design choice is that the pandemic and frankly, Amazon have made maintaining that look an impossible chore thats no longer worthwhile. The amount of stuff we have accumulated in our homes requires smart storage solutions, but even those solutions are somewhat limited to the surface area in any given home, Blakeney explains.

    Because it is impossible to live in a home where we leave nothing out, the gravitation towards a maximalist look will become the more functional choice in 2021. I think there was a trend for a couple of years for perfect shapes, ultra-sleek design, very modern and neat interiors. Now I can see a return to reality, explains Aurore Martial, interior designer and founder ofDomus Venus. Maybe its the COVID and the fact that we all went back to basics the past year. But, I feel there is an exodus from that perfect world to the profit of imperfection.

    Martial suggests opting for a different look in 2021 by mixing old and new, going away from perfectly lacquered items to more matte finishes, chalk paint and waxed concretes on the wall all reminiscent of crafty, comforting times.

    Entirely neutral spaces will fall out of favor in 2021.

    With the maximalist look is coming back, it's easy to understand whyHomeGoodsStyle Expert and interior designer,Beth Diana Smithsays well nix neutrals in 2021.Design is about exploration, experimentation, and reflecting our personalities. So in 2021, we will continue to gravitate towards more color, visual interest, and playful design.

    Instead, Smith suggests introducing color through bold statement decor pieces like ceramic vases and decorative boxes, along with art. [When Im] looking for inspiration, I head to one of my favorite stores, HomeGoods because I know I can always find unique, conversation pieces especially decor.

    Similarly, Rachel Ashwell, founder ofShabby Chic, says it's time to call it quits with the grey-on-grey look. Without any textural elements, the all-gray look feels a bit too neutral, cold and outdated. This upcoming year will see vibrant, expressive colors come to the fore, whether in a monochromatic style or mixed and matched.

    Keep nature real

    2021 will see less plastic and man-made materials, more natural and organic materials, says Martial. Its all about sustainability and people will prefer stones, wood, natural fabrics, and natural coloring methods. It also means less faux flowers and plants. For those who cant bear the idea of taking care of plants, preserved flowers are the solution, its basically dried flowers that look fresh and last months! Its a big year for biophilic design!

    Slipcovers are becoming obsolete in 2021.

    Slipcovers arent anything new and as fabric technology advances, Dolley Frearson, co-founder ofHigh Fashion Homebelieves this type of furniture is becoming obsolete. With high-tech, stain-resistant fabrics such as Crypton available on most upholstery furniture, homeowners no longer need washable slipcovers, she says. These performance fabrics are so incredibly durable and they can resist all stains from foods, drinks, and other messes by kids and pets. It's a total game-changer.

    Terrazzo is started to look dated.

    For years, terrazzo tiles in bathrooms and kitchens have been a great way to create a fun, unique look. But according to Molly McDermott Walsh, Vice President of Marketing atSemihandmade, this aesthetic is starting to become dated. I never understood this trend and now understand my mothers frustration when trends from her childhood came back around in my generation. Sometimes trend cycles are based on beauty and true innovation and sometimes they come back for an ironic laugh.

    The mid century modern look is a fading trend.

    Mid century modern has become overplayed and overdone. Interior designerAlexander Dohertytells me that this aesthetic is now giving way to warmer, more interesting pieces.Im seeing a return from the brown furniture, mid-century modern aesthetic to the popular art deco design movement that moved into the 1930s and 1940s.

    So what will we see instead? Design elements like vertical lines, sleek craftsmanship, bold geometric shapes, rich finishes, lacquered surfaces, and a rise in material investments like marble and burl wood give way to more sculptural elements that mimic the periods architecture. he says.

    It's time to re-think color in 2021.

    Barbara Karpf, founder, and president ofDecoratorsBestsays dark is done, at least for now. Dark colors are dramatic but they close in a space. Many people will continue to work remotely in 2021 and multi-purpose rooms are a necessity. Dark colors limit the usage of a space and without expert lighting, a dark room is less adaptable.

    So unless you have a big home or a larger room, it is best to go with lighter colored furniture, accessories, and paint.

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    Here Are The Interior Design Trends Going Away In 2021 - Forbes

    Vision Real Estate and Design Partners with Side, Changing the Way Homes are Bought and Sold in Orange County – PR Web - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Vision Real Estate and Design was founded by 17-year industry veteran Robyn Webb, an award-winning Orange County agent and certified interior designer.

    LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (PRWEB) December 16, 2020

    OC Real Estate 411 today announced the launch of Vision Real Estate and Design in partnership with Side, the only real estate brokerage that exclusively partners with high-performing agents, teams, and independent brokerages to transform them into boutique brands and businesses. The alliance will ensure that Vision Real Estate and Design, which provides exclusive real estate and interior design services, is powered by the most advanced platform in the industry.

    Vision Real Estate and Design was founded by 17-year industry veteran Robyn Webb, an award-winning Orange County agent and certified interior designer who offers a visionary approach to buying and selling homes. Webbs Design to Sell business model is the first of its kind, and listings typically sell for 20% more than those of competitors. Webb has assembled a team of compassionate, diligent, tech-savvy agents who provide outstanding customer care to clients from all walks of life. To date, the firm has handled over 290 transactions, completed 100 successful design-to-sell projects, and achieved $200 million in volume.

    Partnering with Side will ensure Vision Real Estate and Design remains at the cutting edge of the evolving real estate market while allowing its agents to continue delivering premium services to their clients. Vision Real Estate and Design agents are fully supported by a one-of-a-kind premium brokerage platform, which provides transaction management, property marketing, lead generation, business growth opportunities, vendor management, and infrastructure solutions.

    Ive worked for 17 years to build my brand, and with Side, my team and I receive the benefits of support of high-end technology without losing whats special about my brand, said Webb. Side doesnt want to change how I do business; rather, they embrace it.

    Side is led by experienced industry professionals and world-class engineers who develop technology designed to improve agent productivity and enhance the client experience. Based on its belief that homeownership is a fundamental human right, Side is on a mission to improve the public good by providing top-performing real estate agents, teams, and indie brokerages with the best system, support, service, experience, and results.

    About Vision Real Estate and DesignVision Real Estate and Design was established with the goal to change the way homes are bought and sold in California. Its groundbreaking design to sell business strategy incorporates model home-like staging and exclusive real estate services to achieve record-breaking results. Headquartered in Laguna Niguel, Vision Real Estate and Design works with buyers and sellers throughout Orange County. To learn more, visit

    About SideSide transforms high-performing agents, teams, and independent brokerages into successful businesses and boutique brands that are 100% agent-owned. Side exclusively partners with the best agents, empowering them with proprietary technology and a premier support team so they can be more productive, grow their business, and focus on serving their clients. Side is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit

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    Vision Real Estate and Design Partners with Side, Changing the Way Homes are Bought and Sold in Orange County - PR Web

    The T List: Six Things We Recommend This Week – The New York Times - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Welcome to the T List, a newsletter from the editors of T Magazine. Each week, were sharing things were eating, wearing, listening to or coveting now. Sign up here to find us in your inbox every Wednesday. You can always reach us at

    Since the Maker Hotel opened its doors in Hudson, N.Y., in August, its become a wish-list destination for locals and New York City dwellers alike. Founded by Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg of the beauty brand Fresh, and the hospitality expert Damien Janowicz, it spans four historic downtown buildings and has 11 private rooms, a cafe, a lounge, a restaurant, a gymnasium and, now, an online boutique. The Maker Shop, a natural expansion of the empire, features a collection of home dcor selected, if not designed, by Glazman and Roytberg. Its our love of design, and our curated point of view of interiors and colors, that weve always wanted to share with our guests beyond our rooms, says Glazman. The shops wares, many versions of which furnish the hotel, are produced by artisans near and far from a handblown decanter set made in collaboration with the Hudson Valleys BowGlass Works (and available in soft gray, deep red and forest green) to a Louis XVI-style steel writing desk handcrafted in France. But perhaps the grandest offering is the Frida bed, which can also be found in the hotels Gardener suite. Stately and sophisticated, the wrought-iron sleigh bed was designed in partnership with the architect Kipp Edick, forged using traditional artisanal techniques and paired with upholstered head- and footboards to achieve an heirloom feel. Topped with one of the shops signature cashmere throws, which are available in solid neutral colors and checked patterns, and are made in Northern Italy on vintage looms by Prvate 02 04, its the picture of unbridled comfort and will make staying in feel just as luxurious as getting away.

    See ThisImmersive Spaces to Escape the Workplace

    One of my peripheral pastimes this year has been waffling between missing the office, where I used to spend a majority of my time, and actively hoping Ill never have to go back. But if and when we do return to those glassy corporate towers, I wonder if or how things will be different. The design collective Office of Things co-founded in 2015 by a group of architects spread out across the U.S. has been grappling with the existential questions of office life since even before the pandemic began. For the last few years, its been investigating how to create a restorative environment within the workplace, which has culminated in a series of meditation chambers, called the Immersive Spaces Series, that were constructed last year inside the Bay Area offices of YouTube and Google. Designed predominantly for single occupants, these rooms are sound and light environments that offer a kind of sensorial and psychological retreat, be it from harsh fluorescent lighting or the sound of an obnoxious co-worker. The firm wanted to create a space that sets you away in a different world, and to use that experience to create calm and refuge, says Lane Rick, the project lead, who runs the New York chapter of Office of Things with Can Vu Bui. Before the arrival of Covid-19, I might have dismissed this as Silicon Valley indulgence, but as I try to conceive of returning to a building packed with people and demands of all kinds well, lets just say I hope my employer is paying attention.

    Upon coming across Mimi de Biarritzs whimsical artwork at the now-shuttered store Brocante de la Reine Victoria several years ago, the British designer Kit Kemp, known for her lavishly decorated interiors and line of boutique Firmdale hotels, became an instant admirer of the artist. Since then, Kemp has incorporated the cheerful oddities coming out of de Biarritzs studio, located, as was the erstwhile shop, in the French city that shares her name, into a number of her projects. From the chandeliers fashioned from seashells to the giant papier-mch beetles with all the detail of entomologically pinned specimens, her artwork is a mainstay and talking point in both my home and hotels, says Kemp. But its the artists terrarium-enclosed papier-mch mushrooms, which sprung up earlier this year at the designers seventh-floor pop-up in New York Citys Bergdorf Goodman a shop offering seasonal baubles and home dcor that have most recently caught my eye. Commissioned by Kemp, these one-of-a-kind creations, perched on beds of papier-mch earth or moss, are hand-painted by the artist in chartreuse, aquamarine, periwinkle and other vibrant hues and housed under glass domes of varying sizes. The results are infectiously joyful, and are poised to play a scene-stealing role on tea trays and mantles alike this holiday season. From $250, Kit Kemp at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10019.

    When Melissa Morris launched Mtier, her line of handmade leather bags, in 2017, it was because she wanted an exquisitely crafted tote that was beautiful and functional, with a place for everything from her lipstick to her laptop. Before 2020, our bags were our mobile offices, she says. Now, thats all changed, so it made sense to apply that same level of attention to pieces for a home office. And so, she has released a small offering of items specifically designed to make your desk more inviting and less cluttered. They include collapsible boxes, inspired by origami, in varying sizes perfect for concealing chargers, Post-it notes and stamps which snap into place with magnets. Theres also a series of notebooks, a collaboration with the 135-year-old English paper maker G.F Smith. The journals, which come in three sizes, comprise silky pages fashioned from upcycled coffee cups and enclosed in black or Art Deco-patterned leather cases made by a father-and-daughter duo just outside of Florence, Italy. Inside, there are holders for business cards and an iPad or small laptop, while under the strap, theres a discreet pen loop. I wanted to create a piece that you can intuitively tuck all your papers in and that just sits neatly off to the side, says Morris. But it can also effortlessly slide into a bag for the days when were back on the go.

    Wear ThisShearling Accents for Your Winter Wardrobe

    This is the time of year when I usually dust off my trusty shearling coat in preparation for the dropping temperatures (its furry texture has kept me toasty through New Yorks coldest months). But this season, a handful of designers have given me more reasons to love the plushy material, incorporating it into a variety of cozy, practical accessories that will still manage to elevate any winter look. This snug, caramel-colored Dries Van Noten tote, for one, is so soft and pillowy you might be tempted to use it as a headrest and so cavernous you could easily slip a change of shoes inside. These shearling pouches by Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta, with their sweeping tassels, are just as dramatic as the floor-length fringe coat the designer debuted them alongside earlier this year. The young designer Jingjing Fan, meanwhile, who has had a cult following ever since the 2015 launch of her accessories brand, Elleme, offers an array of jewel-colored shearling bags in fun shapes, like the Baozi, named after the Chinese word for dumpling and adorned with a hand-stitched loop handle. And while shearling slippers are generally reserved for the indoors, the California-based brand Jenni Kaynes new clog, which features a cork sole and a shearling upper, can be worn just about anywhere. This winter might end up feeling extra long, but thats all the more reason to surround ourselves with comfort and warmth.

    In a year centered around domestic life, the stylist and Dutch Vogue contributing editor Gijsje Ribbens found that dressing up had lost its appeal. And so, during Amsterdams first lockdown last spring, she teamed up with her friend Bart Ramakers, a Dutch fashion agent, who has helped launch brands including Vetements and Halpern, to dress up their homes instead. Thus, RiRa, an interiors concept line that debuts this week with a selection of limited-edition objects, was born. For part of the collection the pieces of which were all designed and made in the Netherlands and Belgium the designer Sabine Marcelis, known for her Candy Cube installations for Celine stores, has created a series of whimsical mirrors liberally splashed with vibrantly hued resins. From the industrial design duo Muller Van Severen, theres a sculptural chair made in collaboration with the fashion brand Kassl and inspired by the latters signature pillow bags. And Vincent de Rijk, the architectural materials innovator who worked with Rem Koolhaass Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) on Pradas New York flagship, has created the Liquidish, a hyper-glossy epoxy-resin bowl whose playful form resembles something between a prophylactic and a red blood cell (it already has a waiting list). You can love it, or you can think its very ugly, but I like that, says Ramakers of the collection. Its outspoken.

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    The T List: Six Things We Recommend This Week - The New York Times

    Making Children’s Books in the Covid-19 Era – Publishers Weekly - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Covid-19 has radically transformed the ways people live and work. For those who are in the business of making childrens bookswhich are as much art objects as works of fiction or nonfictionthe pandemic has forced art and design professionals to both reevaluate their workflow and assess what has been lost and gained in these unpredictable times.

    Many who PW spoke with detailed the dramatic changes to the day-to-day of producing a book and the shift to working remotely. When we moved to a work-from-home environment, we had to figure out very quickly how to maintain a level of quality of our books while limiting the number of touchpoints between those objects, says Raymond Coln, director of production at Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group.

    When physical art is involved, Martha Rago, v-p and executive creative director at Random House Childrens Books, mails original art to China from her local UPS office to be scanned and separated into color proofs, instead of relying on the production department to ship the materials from the office. Some of our artists have shipped artwork themselves from their homes also, she says. All this seemed a bit scary at first, but happily, it works!

    It used to be a special time, to spread out artwork across our huge library table and to share it with everyone in the office and cheer for the illustrators, says Kerry Martin, director of art and design at Holiday House. We have had some creative backyard meetings to review art and deliveries from an editor who lives in Westchester to a production director whose significant other lives nearby.

    Reviewing color proofs has been the biggest adjustment, according to several publishers we spoke with. At home, bright, natural sunlight is best for reviewing proofs, so Amy Bowman, director of production of brands and four-color trade books at Random House Childrens Books, chases the lightoften reviewing proofs in her backyard and dreading cloudy days. I might have to wait all week for one sunny day to review proofs! she says. The amount of proofs and book samples delivered to my house is staggering. I have four other people in my production team, and I see proofs and press sheets for most of the books they work on, as well as an advance copy of every book as it completes. I have many boxes of material sitting in my house.

    Martha Hanson, v-p of production at Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing, says that her team has been color-correcting picture books by comparing F&Gs from sales to those from publicity. [We worked with] one of our printers to standardize a procedure to [share] high-res printed materials via Zoom. Its the closest weve been able to come to color-correcting [as it was] in the lightroom at the office.

    Some of these changes to process and workflow have been beneficial, and will likely become industry standard as the publishing world emerges from the pandemic. Routing proofs digitally, for example, saves time and the cost of an additional set of hard copy proofs to be used for routing purposes, and it allows people to view the proofs from anywhere, says Bowman. Still, others like Coln believe that these ingenious adaptations that have allowed professionals to make books from home are not ideal. Though we have been able to maintain a level of quality, those adaptations that still involve physical objects are not the most efficient and would benefit from a shared environment, he says.

    Missed Connection, New Connections

    Though the benefits of the new workflow are clear, its been equally clear that the absence of face-to-face interactions represents a significant loss, says Dan Potash, v-p and creative director at Simon & Schuster Childrens Publishing. Working from home has magnified the incalculable value of the impromptu meeting, the in-the-elevator exchange, the outside-my-doorway-lunch-plan-turned-brainstorming-session, or spontaneous detour to a designers office to tell them how impressed I am with their work. Its both the obvious and the subtle power of these moments that are missing these days.

    His lament is echoed by many of his peers. Ive struggled to create a space and time for more casual interactions, such as birthdays or after-work drinks, Coln says. Bringing in cupcakes or bagels for the team has not been easy to adapt.

    Some teams have accepted those constraints, and tried to cultivate camaraderie in creative ways. We are a close-knit group and not having in-person proximity and opportunity for day-to-day interactions is something I think we all miss, says Jennifer Tolo Pierce, design director of childrens publishing at Chronicle Books. Although we cant meet in-person, we have found other ways to connect. Her teams monthly meet-up, which took place on a favorite picnic table on the San Francisco Bay, is now a weekly designated Zoom time to celebrate milestones, share projects or inspirations, and otherwise connect. Its an optional meeting so as not to add stress or interfere with deadlines, but its a standing invitation and a time I look forward to every week. Working at home has ultimately fortified our connections with each other and with our teams.

    As removed as remote video meetings can be, they have also created an intense, focused forum for her team to come together during this time of social unrest and to face and tackle the inequities within the industry, says Elizabeth Parisi, v-p and creative director at Scholastic Trade. Our entire trade team, across three divisions, has created BIPOC mentorship programs for publishing hopefuls, open submissions for BIPOC writers, and a book club to discuss race and anti-racism themes, she says. There is something wonderful in seeing a sea of determined faces, all passionate and focused and together in the importance of our efforts. It could be that sitting around a table in a conference room would not have brought us together in the same way, with the same sense of unity and purpose.

    Balancing Work and Life

    As in other industries, professionals in publishing have had to recalibrate their work and personal lives.

    For staffers with young children, often schooling from home, there have been positives and negatives to the current arrangements. My work and home life are very blurred, says Martin. I used to be able to leave the office at 5 p.m. every day and rush to school pick-up. Now I sometimes need to wrestle with my six-year-old to let me finish a conversation with an editor. On the other hand, Jessica Handelman, senior creative director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media, has been able to spend more meaningful time with her daughters, taking them to school or helping with an assignment mid-afternoon, which prior to this period was trickier at times, she says. My five-year-old has helped to color-correct proofsshe had strong opinions about the [color] pink and a unicorn in Oh Look, a Cake!and is learning how a book is made, giving early reviews for Lost and Found, which has been a wonderful bonding experience.

    Flexible work-from-home arrangements are likely to become more prevalent post-pandemic, most believe. Some folks are really thrilled to save on the commute, so long as they can work effectively, Handelman says. As a manager Ive already seen some of the benefits of that flexibility. Its clear to Rago how much value there is in having her team in one location, but there is also value in giving people the space apart and flexibility to focus and maintain a good work-life balance, she says.

    With the adjustment to virtual meetings no longer seeming odd or inconvenient, Parisi assumes many of her colleagues will adjust their schedules to be split between home and the office. More importantly, perhaps we could cast a wider net in future hires of employees and interns to include those living outside [New York City], she says. They would not need to relocate to this expensive town, and that would create wonderful opportunities for young people wanting to enter the publishing field.

    Books in Hand

    There has been a learning curve figuring out how to best work from home, says Danielle Carnito, art director at Lerner Publishing Group. But once shes enmeshed in a project, everything else falls away. Whether its a process question or a book design project or a book Im helping another designer with, Ive learned that making books really is a comfort for those of us who do so for a living, she says.

    For Tolo Pierce at Chronicle, working from home has emphasized how much she loves the physical qualities of creating books. I miss seeing ink on paper and holding the finished books in my hands, she says. I just received some of my first samples of books that went to print during the early days of working from home, and I was practically crying with happiness as I flipped through the books. It never ever gets old, seeing the books in their final physical form.

    Here is the original post:
    Making Children's Books in the Covid-19 Era - Publishers Weekly

    Fashion Group International Honors Rising Star Award Winners – WWD - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Under normal circumstances, a city-stopping snowstorm could lead to no-shows, last-minute cancellations and late arrivals. But none of the above were factors at the Fashion Group Internationals Rising Star awards Thursday, which were held virtually for the first time.

    Weather, like travel, were non-issues for numerous attendees, who watched Aknvas Christian Juul Nielsen and Eppersons Rodney Epperson share the Womenswear award. After Anna Sui named the winners, Epperson chalked up his win to perseverance. Nielsen then followed up with his own thanks, adding that designers such as himself need support now more than ever. FGI was founded by 17 women who banded together to support and promote the role of women in the industry, he said, noting that he created his company to meet a similar goal of empowerment for women.

    Reese Cooper locked up the Menswear honor for his signature collection.After accepting the award from Oscar de la Rentas Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Cooper was succinct in thanking FGI and noting the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into such awards when Zoom rules all.

    Before all of the winners were unveiled, the Grammy-nominated R&B duo Chloe x Halle shared some advice with the young creatives, including listen to yourself, the creative process is messy, dont be afraid to dig in, stay the course even if you get discouraged and find a mentor.

    Halle said, Like all of you Rising Stars know, the real work is done unseen and often in silence. As artists, everyone gets to see all of those magical moments at a performance or hear the the final version of a song. But they dont get to see the thousands of hours of real work that went into creating those seemingly flawless, sometimes not-so-flawless magical moments. And thats true for anyone creative. Were here to say we see you. We know what it takes to be a Rising Star, thats why we are so proud to talk to you.

    During cameo appearances, designers such as Donna Karan and Brandon Maxwell offered encouragement to the crowd. Karan said, Theres never been a more challenging and inspiring time to create the fashion history of the future as there is today. As Ive always said, Its not about me. Its about the we and coming together as a community to create, collaborate and communicate so that we can not only dress but address whats needed to create the industry of tomorrow.

    Maxwell, a 2016 Rising Star winner, acknowledged how being creative in these unstable times can be confusing and uncertain. We are fortunate enough to work in an industry where on our best day our job, our only job, is to go into work and to help someone to feel their best. I encourage everyone to look at this time as a positive. Sometimes in the darkness and the sadness we are pushed toward the light.

    Rick Owens and Michele Lamy appeared to present the All Gender Product award to APOTTS Aaron Potts. The designer said, The expectations of traditional gender expression are so confining for some people. I hope to offer something that allows people to exhale, to go deeper and to embrace every part of themselves their creativity, their inspirations and their self expressions. The more that we can do that for ourselves, the more that we can do it for each other.

    Potts extensive thanks included Willi Smith, Perry Ellis and Patrick Kelly for their brilliant inspiration.

    Another Rising Star category that led to a tie was for Beauty Entrepreneur. Nyakio Beautys Nyakio Grieco and Pause Well-Aging Rochelle Weitzner took home the top prize.

    As a sign of the strength and breadth of the accessories market, FGI has two different Rising Star awards for that area. The first for Accessories-Scarves/Fashion Jewelry was handed to Rory Worby Studios Rory Worby. The second Accessories award for handbags/footwear went to Aeras Tina Bhojwani and Jean Michel Cazabet. The duo were two-time winners Thursday. Aeras founders also picked up the Fekkai Sustainability award.

    Dee and Tommy Hilfiger also gave listeners a fight talk in dealing with the global pandemic. Weve learned that times of collective hardships have a way of changing our priorities for the better. For instance, the fashion industry has come to realize that we need to drastically alter our framework to be more dusty and more inclusive.

    Tommy Hilfiger said, We all know that you will help drive this positive and meaningful change.

    While hundreds of apparel companies are scrambling to invent and adopt more imaginative retail concepts, Fashwire was recognized for its innovation. The Seattle-based company took home the New Retail Concept award. Fashwire is a global platform showcasing apparel and accessories from more than 300 designers on its site and via its app. Collectively, the creatives represent more than 30 countries.

    Another innovator Leaps cofounder and co-chief executive officer Amish Tolia walked away with the Hilldun Business Innovation award, which was presented by Hillduns Gary Wassner. Leap operates retail stores for select direct-to-consumer brands. Launched two years ago, the company uses technology, store management and real estate know-how.

    Tuning in from the comfort of their own homes, guests watched FGI deliver the inaugural Rising Star award for Home Product Innovation. New York City-based Hazy Mae won that for her Hazy Mae Cookie Jar Maker business. Mae sculpts and handpaints all of the cookie jars that she makes with monochromatic color palettes and fashion-infused whimsy. Reinventing classic cookie jars from the Twenties through the Fifties to create ones with a more modernistic edge, Maes ceramics are keepers. Accepting the award virtually seated in front of a backdrop of her creations, Mae was startled to be greeted with an off-camera horn salute.

    Jason Wu was another guest designer, who reminded attendees to never stop learning, to remain curious, to give back and to foster the next generation of designers. With the changing market, we need to be prepared to help those who are talented to be able to navigate the changing industry. Im so happy that FGI continues its mission to celebrate talent and diversity.

    Before the awards were distributed, FGIs president and chief executive officer Maryanne Grisz plugged the events sponsors Hearst, Hilldun, Fekkai, Diesel and Pullquest. She also noted that 350 students were listening in, thanks to a give-back initiative.

    Read the rest here:
    Fashion Group International Honors Rising Star Award Winners - WWD

    The Women of Woods Bagot: Architects Building New Futures – ArchDaily - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Tribeca Rogue. Image Matthew Ziegler Photo Inc. Share Share







    Building more equitable futures begins with community. For international practice Woods Bagot, the firm's three US studios are now each run by women, and their combined leadership is creating more inclusive and dynamic designs that rethink past traditions. Each Director has taken the reins before the global pandemic was underway, and now the trio is working to rethink how the practice can address diverse challenges in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    + 18

    Vivian Lee, FAIA, the New York studio Executive Director, joined the firm in February, a week before the city closed down. Maureen Boyer, AIA, was appointed to the same position in San Francisco in July, while Christiana Kyrillou, AIA, the Woods Bagot veteran, has risen through the ranks and opened the LA studio at the beginning of the year. In an exclusive interview with ArchDaily, the three architects discuss their design inspirations and challenges, as well as what it's like to practice today.

    Why did you each choose to study architecture?

    Christiana: I grew up in a small village in Cyprus with traditional homes, some of which were made of mud bricks. As a kid I would go around the neighborhood looking at buildings with my scale and my pencil, and try to capture them on a piece of paper. Growing up, I saw the traditional homes disappear as my village became a tourist resort and they became service apartments or hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The character of the streets I had walked to school disappeared, and the experience of the town square and village center vanished. I became interested in capturing the cultural evolution of architecture through different stages, and in creating new experiences that endure and reflect a sense of place.

    Thats what made me want to become an architect! I studied both Architecture and Historic Preservation with the intention of going back to Cyprus and joining the preservation movement. Instead, I joined SOM, where I discovered mixed use tall towers which transformed my career and took me along a different journey. I still appreciate older buildings preservation, renovation, repurposing. You have to respect and cherish the old, learn from it, and then find a way to have it coexist with the new.

    When you were in high school Christiana, did you want to study architecture?

    Yes, it was clear in mind when discussing my career options with my counsellor thats what I wanted to be. I grew up in a traditional family, where women are not meant to aspire to careers but rather focus on home and family. With the support of my sisters, and seeing how focused I was and how hard I was studying, my dad helped make my dream a reality.

    Vivian:I lived in Paraguay during my elementary school years. In third grade, I found my calling when I handed in my homework assignment about the sun's orientation. I had drawn with a floor plan showing room layouts that captured the sun and natural light. My teacher said, "Wow, this is really great. You might want to think about becoming an architect." When you are a kid, and a grown-up tells you something, it sticks. I have always been fascinated by how humans inhabit buildings.

    Back then, my family lived in a primitive house with one single faucet. We drew water from a well, gravity-fed it from a tank with a hose through a hole in the wall. Every day, my dad went with a bucket to a nearby creek to get fresh water. We had no other plumbing and used an outhouse. That experience made me aware that people can live sustainably, with very few resources, and use creative solutions to design a built environment.

    I consider myself very fortunate because I always knew what I wanted to do. Coming to the United States, I charted my path to architecture. To date, I have peers who are asking themselves if they are going to continue practicing. Still, I never doubted my decision despite all the challenges this profession encountered over the years.

    Maureen: Your stories are so different from mine. I was born and raised in Southern California to a pretty affluent family. As was pretty typical for that time, I was the first person in my family to go to college. I was always artistic, dreaming, painting and sketching but never thought about architecture as a career. A lot of very modern houses were being built in my neighborhood. As kids, wed go into the houses under construction. We weren't supposed to, but the builders turned a blind eye. Even as a kid, I knew which houses made me feel better, understood how deeply impacted I was by space.

    I took an architecture class in college and absolutely loved it. I had found my calling. As you both have said, I knew it was absolutely the right choice. There was a point where I said to myself, this will be really fun but I'll probably never be an architect, will I? Will I? But you get your first couple of jobs and then you realize, oh my gosh, I'm qualified to take the exams. I've been through tough times in my career, but it's always sustained me.

    Vivian:Over 15 years ago, I worked on a new performing arts high school for gifted kids in Queens. During the design phase, the students invited our team to the end of the year show at their old school. After the performance, they all got up on the stage and thanked the architects for designing their new home. Even now I get emotional when I think about how these students recognized the positive contributions we were making in their lives.

    Maureen:I'm extremely aware of, and profoundly affected, by places where I feel something new and important. When I walk into Grand Central Station, for example, my life is being enriched. A meaningful space can be a home, a room, a courtyard. Scale doesn't matter. But it's nothing to do with our gender. We want to be recognized as architects first, and women second. While we're proud of being women leaders, we're wary of tokenism.

    Vivian:I completely agree. What do we bring to the table is not contingent on being female.

    What are some recent projects you've each been working on at Woods Bagot?

    Vivian: The New York studio just completed a pair of residential buildings in Newport, New Jersey called Park and Shore. The amenities and views are out of this world! It's actually the first condo building in Newport since the financial crisis of 2008. Tribeca Rogue is compact but muscular apartment building in Tribeca that's been winning awards, and was covered in ArchDaily! One of our specialties is adaptive reuse. We are putting the finishing touches on Gramercy Park, the complicated conversion of a former hospital to a four-building apartment building in a historic Manhattan neighborhood.

    Maureen: On the west coast, we have a new residential building at 2177 Third St., in the Dogpatch area of San Francisco. We designed it to maximize light, air, and nature. From the street, you can see right through the building to the bay. It also has a huge living wall that's already a neighborhood landmark. We were the lead interior designer of the Harvey Milk Terminal at SFO, a 25-gate concourse designed to elevate the passenger experience with high ceilings, abundant natural light, intuitive wayfinding, art galleries, integrated technology, comfortable furnishings and food halls. Woods Bagot collaborated with HKS on this design-build project, led by Austin Commercial & Webcor Builders Joint Venture.

    Woods Bagot is a global studio, so designers can work on projects anywhere in the world. We share expertise, so every client has access to the firm's cumulative knowledge.

    Nearly half of all architecture students are women, but they make up about 20 percent of licensed architects and 17 percent of partners or principals in architecture firms. What accounts for the disparity?

    Maureen:It's a long and arduous program of study. There are other professions where you make more money. Construction is still a male dominated industry and let's face it, construction is a really important part of what we do. When you get to that part where you're actually building your building, some women may fall off. I had a call today with a contractor - a real hard boiled, blustery construction dude. But you have to find common ground with somebody like that. We've all come across that kind of crusty old guy who tries to intimidate you. You either get used to it and rise to that challenge, or you say, there's probably other things I could do where I wouldn't have to deal with those types of men. What do you think?

    Vivian: I think this is where mentorship and being a role model is so important for the future generation of women architects. I'm really proud to say, being the Co-Chair of the AIA New York Chapter Women in Architecture Committee for the last 2 1/2 years has been meaningful. It's something I truly believe in. I see the difference that I'm making in mentorship, panels, and discussions that bring people together and build a support system. And you know, Christiana, you're going to do the same in your new role on the Board of Directors at the AIA Los Angeles. It's a great organization.

    Sexism is still prevalent in architecture, but less and less. It's about building alliances between men and women. We need to let young women know we are here to support them when they take a stand.

    One of the main reasons women used to drop out of the profession was inflexible work hours. But COVID is changing that. We can now work from home, manage our schedule, and stay connected with the team, clients, and consultants remotely. There is a silver lining to the pandemic: we are finding more flexible ways to collaborate. This paradigm shift will have a profound impact on the pipeline of women architects. Once, unfortunately, women had to choose between picking up their kids and staying in the office to work. Of course, the family would come first, and their team members or clients might not understand when you have to leave. I hear this from women constantly. But now, everyone is working from home.

    Maureen:Its really important to tell our stories about being a professional. I don't want to hear a man talk about how he met a challenge on a construction site to the same extent Im interested in how a woman deals with situations. It's incredibly valuable for young women in our profession to hear our experiences as well as those of our male colleagues.

    I was working in Singapore on a big construction project and we were having a really hard time with another one of these hard boiled project manager types. I was in my early 30s, and he was on the late side of 50. I scheduled weekly meetings with the guy. I was sick to my stomach before each meeting because I knew hed chew me up and spit me out. Talk about meeting your fear! But this was my job. I had to advocate for my team and for our vision. I bet you both have had similar experiences -- those moments when you really had to confront your deepest fear and all your feelings of inadequacy. Those stories are really important to be able to share.

    What aresome concrete changes we can make, as an industry and as a society, to achieve gender equality?

    Mentorship Building alliances with men Telling, and listening to, women's storiesEnsuring flexible work schedule

    Christiana:We still have a long way to go, because by nature women are caregivers. We choose to give birth to children: that's a natural instinct for most women. We should recognize that care-giving also is becoming more important to men, and at other levels beyond children.

    How do we help women get there? By making sure that they can speak up rather than shy away; by supporting them in seizing a seat at the table. We all want permission at times, but it's recognizing that you don't need that permission to do whatever will take you to the next level. You don't need an invitation to the table. You don't need permission to express yourself and find your voice and contribute in the firms vision, decisions and future direction. Maureen and I were talking earlier about how quiet some of the architects were about as simple a thing as a holiday celebration. Speaking up and being vocal might not propel you to principal or to a partner, but it increases your confidence, your engagement, your visibility. It makes you more confident to get more engaged, to get you speaking more with your colleagues and participating and contributing in the firm. Participation is important if you want to get to that next level.

    Vivian:I want to emphasize we are not just women leaders; we are leaders, period. We lead our entire studio -- not just the women. We are leaders because of our empathy, our experience, our grit.

    Maureen:Exactly! And we don't want to just be leaders, we want to be great leaders. We are all three passionate and driven. I don't think there's anybody better suited than we are because we're thoughtful. We give a damn. We're lucky to work for an organization that places empathy as one of its core values. Notwithstanding the terrible business climate we're going to do it together, because we care.

    Christiana:COVID brought us together to leverage each others strengths, and our staffs strengths. We cant do this alone. By understanding the stress our staff is under, that our business is under we can support and learn from each other and stay positive and forward thinking. By having transparent conversations, leaning on each other and having each others back we will drive the business out of the recession.

    As you look to the future, are there any ideas you think should be front and center in the minds of architects and designers?

    Maureen:The other really important challenge that we need to talk about is climate change. The COVID crisis will end but global warming will not unless we as architects take action. Our industry accounts for so much of the waste. We have a fundamental responsibility.

    Vivian: The culture is so important in moving forward during tough times. At Woods Bagot, it is about empathy, sustainability, design, equity, diversity. We agree it is hard to build and sustain a positive culture with all that's happening. We need to cultivate mutual respect. As leaders, we need to set an example and remain strong. We need to support our staff, and we would like them to support us!

    Christiana: That's very, very well said, Maureen and Vivian. Our shared belief that we can grow our studios and our staff based on these values is what Woods Bagot is all about.

    Read the rest here:
    The Women of Woods Bagot: Architects Building New Futures - ArchDaily

    Gary Friedman wants to design the world – Business of Home - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Theres a maxim on Wall Street: When all the good news is out there, its time to take profits. So when RH delivered its third-quarter earnings last week, announcing that sales in that period had risen by nearly 25 percent to $844 million and that its adjusted net income had jumped to $166 million, traders thought about it overnight and sold heavily the next morning. Their selling shaved nearly 10 percent off of RHs share price in the days that followed.

    RH shares have been on a tear since bottoming in March, rallying nearly 500 percent from their lows of the year. The companys market capitalization is now just shy of $9 billion dollars, so perhaps a pause in the run-up was due.

    Company chairman and CEO Gary Friedman seemed to have a feeling that traders in his companys shares might be getting restless: On his quarterly call with analysts after the earnings were announced, he admonished them not to buy his stock. Its going to get overvalued and undervalued and you are going to not sleep a lot at night, he said of the companys shares. But if you are an investor taking a long-term view, he went on to say, its one of the best places to put capital.

    He then proceeded to outline his own long-term view and RHs plans for the post-COVID utopia he refers to as The World of RH.

    In this world, its all about elevating peoples perception of the brand. He pointed to RH3, the companys luxury yachtavailable to charter in the Caribbean or Mediterraneanas a perfect example. Its not about how many people are going to be on the yacht, he began. Its about how many people are going to appreciate the design, the creativity, the taste and style of the yacht, and how many people are going to be aware of it and talk about it.Generating conversation is the ultimate goal: Others are spending money for their online marketing campaigns ... that no one will ever talk about, whereas we mention weve got a yacht and lots of people are talking about it. Its a brand elevator.

    Elevating RHs brand means continuing to bring on design partners that once only produced products sold to interior designers. He touted his latest partnership with the lighting designer Alison Bergerand noted that she used to sell exclusively through Holly Hunt. (Holly Hunt had been known as the best high-end interior design showroom in the United States, he added in a manner that suggested his hope to be its rival.)

    Rain Round chandelier from Alison Berger for RHCourtesy of RH

    Bergers Fulcrum pendant for RHCourtesy of RH

    Left: Rain Round chandelier from Alison Berger for RH Courtesy of RH | Right: Bergers Fulcrum pendant for RH Courtesy of RH

    Friedman then moved on to his plans for a dramatic expansion of the RH outdoor furniture collection. Discouraged by the dearth of high-end, consumer-facing outdoor furniture stores, he seems to have decided to lean heavily into becoming one himself. (All those rooftop restaurantswith more on the wayare just calling out for inspiring teak furniture among the olive trees and illuminated fountains.) It is a category that has seen rapid sales growth in 2020, and Friedman said that a vast new RH Outdoor collection will be coming in the spring to meet the surge in demand. No doubt David Sutherland, another go-to RH partner from the trade-only world, will have a hand.

    Friedmans frustrations are not limited to the meager outdoor furniture offerings out there; they extend to what he perceives to be a lack of good architecture, landscaping and interior design, as well. He mused for a moment about buying up one of the big home builders out there and infusing them with great taste. Perhaps realizing he had said the words out loud to a group of analysts, he quickly walked it back: Im not saying we are going to do that.

    But it spoke to one of the foundations that is being built at RHarchitecture, landscape architecture, and interior design services all under one RH roof. Sure enough, unable to stop himself, Friedman blurted out his plan for the first stand-alone office offering all of those services, right in the heart of the San Francisco Design District. Exactly when we start, Im not sure yetbut now that I have said it, its like we are committed to it, right? he said. We have been talking about it, but now we are committed. So it will happen.

    For Friedman, the stores are already a way of demonstrating the prowess of RHs internal architecture and design teams. I think today we must be the biggest residential interior design firm in North America, he said. If all of a sudden we become the architect for peoples homes, you are just going to sell them a lot more furniture and lighting and accessories and bath hardwareall the things we sell.

    A World of RH, it would seem, has few limits and lots of momentum. Traders might be catching their breath from the recent run-up, but the Wall Street analyst community got off that call with a newfound ebullience. Several of them raised their price targets for RH shares the next morning; one went so far as to call the company one of the most compelling stories in all of retail. And so far, not even COVID can dampen the enthusiasm for its giant galleries, its rooftop restaurants and its tightly formulated product mix, which continue to be the greatest competition for design centersand for designers.

    Homepage photo: RH Marin, which opened in July 2020 | Courtesy of RH


    Dennis Scully is the host of the weekly BOH podcast, where he explores the changes and challenges facing the interior design community through interviews with industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives. Scully was previously a business development consultant for major trade brands, and has held sales and marketing roles at Domino, Waterworks and Twill Textiles. In his Market Watch columns, Scully calls upon his background as an analyst and longtime securities trader as he explores the ins and outs of the home industrys publicly traded businesses.

    The rest is here:
    Gary Friedman wants to design the world - Business of Home

    Know best indoor plants to buy, how to keep them healthy – austin360 - December 18, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    By Diana C. Kirby| Special to the American-Statesman

    Caring for houseplants might seem daunting, but with a few simple tips, you can master the art of houseplant parenting.

    As with most things, the best defense is a good offense. Healthy, well-cared-for plants are less likely to succumb to pest and disease.Stressed plants are easy targets.

    Research the unique needs of your plant before you buy. Remember, indoor winter air is drier, and plants wont have as much light as they enjoy outdoors. Know how much water and light are necessary for your plant to thrive.

    Before you buy your plant, check it carefully, even looking under the leaves for signs of distress or disease. Once you bring your baby home, always start with clean pots and fresh potting soil, not garden soil.Fertilize regularly, as nutrients wash out quickly from potted plants.

    To enjoy the health benefits of plants, choose varieties that are easy to grow and dont require frequent, fussy maintenance.

    Some of the easiest houseplants to grow include:



    English ivy

    Heartleaf philodendron


    Peace lily


    Ponytail palm

    Pothos ivy

    Sansevieria snake plant

    Spider plant

    ZZ plant

    If you have small children or pets, make sure to choose plants that are safe. Whether they should chew on plants isnt the issue anyone with kids, dogs or cats knows their behavior often defies logic.My dogDakota routinely ate lantana outside the back door and threw up minutes later.I removed the lantana, and she promptly started eating the next (albeit safer) plant as well. Many house plants like poinsettias, commonly brought into homes during the holidays, can be dangerous.Be sure they are placed in a secure area, out of the reach of little ones and fur babies.

    Once your new plant has settled in, if you begin to suspect pest or disease problems, the first step is to move it far away from other plants and begin troubleshooting.Dont "wait and see."If you think theres an issue, there probably is one.Its important to act quickly to prevent infestation or spread.

    Common issues include:

    Leggy plants: When your plant begins to send out leggy stems and grows too tall without filling in, its letting you know it needs more light.You can rotate your plant, allowing the sun to hit the opposite side so it will grow more evenly, or you can find a sunnier spot if that doesnt help.

    Yellow leaves: If your plant develops yellow leaves, its probably a sign of either over- or under-watering. Each plant is different, but you dont want your plants to stay wet all the time, as that leads to root rot. Most plants want to be on a wet to dry cycle.Stick your finger in the pot about 1/2inch and rewater when the soil is dry.Succulents dont need much water at all; you will want to treat them differently and allow them to dry out fully.Plants have different needs and preferences; you will need to learn what works best for each plant.

    You might also have a low-light problem. Revisit your watering schedule, and if that doesnt work, try moving the plant into a brighter location.

    Spotted leaves:Fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases often cause spots on leaves.First, isolate the plant and cut off and throw away any damaged leaves.Prune the plant to increase airflow or put it in a place that gets more air movement.Make sure to water at the base of the plant without getting water on the leaves.Once youve removed all damaged foliage, apply an organic bactericide or fungicide.

    Powdery mildew:This fungus is differentand appears as a white, chalky film on plants.It is often caused by humid conditions.Pruning the plant to allow increased airflow might help.You can make a treatment at home with 1 tablespoonbaking soda, 1/2teaspoon liquid dish soap and 1 gallon of water. Place into sprayer and spray generously.Commercial organic fungicides are also available.

    Aphids:The most common houseplant pest, aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects that suck the sap from new plant growth.They attach themselves to the ends of soft stems and cause foliage to wrinkle and leaves to drop. They also secrete a sticky honeydew substance that can attract other insects or cause sooty mold or fungus.

    To eliminate aphids, you can wash them away with a strong spray of water with a hand-held sprayer indoors or a hose outside.You also canturn the plant upside down and hold it while you dip all the foliage in a bucket of water. If those treatments dont work, look for safe, pesticide-free insecticidal soap to spray on the plants. Make sure you spray the undersides of the leaves because these pests are smart and will try to get away by hiding underneath.

    Whiteflies:If you notice little specks of white almost like dust flying around when you water or touch your plants, its a whitefly infestation.They are prolific and rest on the undersides of leaves.Treat them at the first sign or they will spread. They secrete honeydew like aphids and can be treated with the same methods.They are also attracted to the color yellow. Yellow sticky traps mightwork as well.Be sure to keep the trapsin or on the plant and away from any children or pets.

    Red spider mites:If infested, your plant leaves will get spots, wilt, turn brown and fall off.You might not even be able to see red spider mites, they are so small.They might appear as a reddish film in the bottom of leaves, or you may notice faint webbing or red/brown dots on the leaves. Mites prefer dry conditions; indoor heat in winter can contribute to this problem.

    They are also attracted to dusty plant leaves; keep your plants wiped clean. Treat with miticides made from natural ingredients like neem oil or pyrethrins. You also can use insecticidal soap.

    Scales and mealy bugs:Armored and soft scales are flat and look like fish scales, with no visible legs.Mealybugs are covered with a white, cottonlike material.They all suck on plant sap.Soft scales excrete honeydew and increase plant susceptibility to sooty mold and fungi.If you only have a few, you can scrape away scale with a fingernail or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Or, for bigger infestations, spray with insecticidal soap, neem oilor natural pyrethrin products.

    The key to thriving houseplants is a watchful eye.Give them the right light, water regularlyand keep a lookout for any emerging pesky problems.

    Landscape designer Diana Kirby helps garden lovers by educating anddesigning and installing successful gardens. Follow her at, Dianas Designs on Facebook or dianasdesignsaustin on IG.

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    Know best indoor plants to buy, how to keep them healthy - austin360

    Bobby Berk Knows Working From Home Is Hard. Hes Got Some Advice – NowThis - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Queer Eye star shared easy tips with NowThis on how you can make working from home bearable and modify traditions this year to safely enjoy the holiday season. By Ashleigh Carter

    Published on 12/10/2020 at 10:38 AM

    "Queer Eye" star Bobby Berk shares his ideas for keeping a sense of normalcy this year with simple and affordable working from home tips. | PayPal

    "Queer Eye" star Bobby Berk shares his ideas for keeping a sense of normalcy this year with simple and affordable working from home tips. | PayPal

    Superstar interior designer Bobby Berk knows that working from home has been tough for a lot of people. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many to adapt to remote working or learning, which has led to feelings of stress and being overworked.

    Berk told NowThis that some simple alterations to your home or work area can make a difference in keeping you focused during your work or school day.

    When I'm surrounded by chaos, my mind is chaotic too, Berk said in an interview.

    Berk is best known for his impressive (and quick) home makeovers on the hit Netflix show Queer Eye. As part of the Fab Five, Berk transforms the homes of the heroes, turning them into spaces that are both functional and customized to the persons needs.

    The COVID-19 pandemic completely upended everyones daily lives, and Berk was no exception; the Fab Five had to pause filming earlier this year for the upcoming sixth season set in Austin, TX.

    I think two months into [the pandemic] was the longest I've been home for 10 years, with my design firm before and then Queer Eye, Berk said. So it's been kind of nice. I've enjoyed it.

    Because we're all working from home, we're all on a budget right now, Berk continued. So I've come up with some really cute and easy ways to make your work from home spaces or your school from home spaces easier and doing it without breaking the bank.

    As Berk got used to a new sense of normalcy, so did the rest of the world. He came up with his own Berking From Home strategies to help people focus while staying in one place.

    So one of my main, main recommendations, and this was not just for work from home, but back in the day when I traveled constantly, was noise-cancelling headphones. Especially right now, when working from home, if you have roommates, if you have kids, dogs, or just daydream a lot, noise-cancelling headphones will really help you stay focused and tune the rest of the world out.

    Another thing that always frustrated me when I was working from home at first is all the things I needed to have charged, Berk said. I would have them in random plugs, and cords would knock my coffee over, Id trip on them. So I made sure I went out and got one of those big power strips. So that way all my cords are in one place. They're not coming from all different directions. You have less chaos around you, less chaos in your mind.

    [Make] sure that you've got a good chair. A lot of people are like, 'Oh, I should get an office-y chair If I'm working from home.' No, get something that looks good because you're going to have to look at that chair even when you're not working. So make sure you get a chair that's comfortable and it looks good, but supports your back as well.

    I recommend getting like a nice big tray, like a big wood or plastic or metal tray that when that tray is out, sitting on the bed or sitting on the coffee table or the sofa, and your laptops on it, your coffee's on it, your lights on it: it's work time, Berk continued. But when you put that tray away, work is done. Do not look at your phone for work, do not open up that laptop, do not answer emails. So [tray] out, work time, tray not out, not work time, because it's really important to not only visually separate that space, but also to make sure that, you know, some people that have home offices, you can shut the door. But for those of us who don't, you just put that tray away, and no more work.

    I do always recommend making your bed, Berk said. You need to start out with a task to make yourself feel accomplished especially if your bed is in the space that you're working in as well. It has such a huge effect on your mental health and wellness to make that bed and make sure that you are mentally fit and ready to start working.

    With the holidays approaching, many people are staying at home instead of traveling to see loved ones. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge to record-breaking numbers, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory ahead of Thanksgiving urging people against traveling or hosting large gatherings.

    The CDCsuggested taking similar precautions for the upcoming holidays as well and recommends hosting virtual events instead. And while it might be strange for most people to spend the holidays apart from loved ones, Berk suggested people keep up those holiday traditions from when you were a kid on their own.

    When we were little, we used to always bake cookies, and when friends and family would come over, we'd send them home with a plate of cookies, Berk said. Well, obviously we can't have all those people over this year, so I went out and I bought a big stand mixer, so that way I can make cookies in big batches and I'm going to ship all the cookies.

    Berk continued: The holidays always make us feel warm even though, you know, the holidays are going to look a little different this year. It doesn't mean they still can't be merry.

    Berk said keeping a sense of normalcy is especially important this year.

    We as species like normalcy, we like pattern, he continued. And so making sure that you're doing some of the same things that you would normally do, even if they're a little different, is going to keep us happy and safe this year.

    While everyone continues to grapple with seemingly endless months of living through a pandemic, Berk encouraged people to maintain hope and persevere something hes been known for on Queer Eye.

    That's always kind of the attitude I've had to have is things will get better, Berk said. We'll get through this. It'll be fine Make sure that you're taking care of yourselves, get those work from home things, get the things that you need for holidays.

    Originally posted here:
    Bobby Berk Knows Working From Home Is Hard. Hes Got Some Advice - NowThis

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