Last week I attended a really fun (and snowy) afternoon at the Boston Design Center (BDC) where LuAnn Nigara, of the “A Well Designed Business” podcast fame hosted a panel discussion on “The Next Generation of Design.” LuAnn, a charismatic, entertaining, and insightful host interviewed Kyle Hoepner (Editor-in-chief of New England Home), Tori Mellott (Style Director for the Creative Services of F Schumacher & Co) and Rachel Reider (of Rachel Reider Interiors) about how the design industry has changed in recent years and how we, as designers, can best serve the needs of younger clients today.
The BDC description of the event was:
The panel specifically discussed how millennial clients, in the 20 to 40 age range, have a radically different value proposition for interior design services and a different mindset on how to acquire furnishings for their homes. The panel was unanimous in their conclusion that the younger client today is seeking the design process to be “an experience,” an opinion that I heartily share and have showcased on my website in the “Client Journey”.
What a terrific event, thanks BDC for inviting me to attend! I was joined at this event by many of my Boston area colleagues, and after the panel discussion, I had the pleasure of having lunch with LuAnn and my friends from the Massachusetts Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) Chapter. In the photo below, you’ll see - from left to right - Renee Rucci, Julie Wood (past president of the National WCAA Organization), me (Barbara), Julie Gould, LuAnn Nigara, and Linda Woodard. It was great fun to get all of us drapery people together for an interesting afternoon full of lively discussion. LuAnn, along with her husband Vince and business partner Billy, owns WindowWorks in Livingston, New Jersey – so she had lots of great insights specifically applicable to the window coverings business.
One of the reasons that I really loved the afternoon was that I’ve spent a lot of time listening to LuAnn’s podcasts (especially as I drive to client appointments all over the Boston area). LuAnn interviews top designers and professionals in marketing, law, and other fields that participate in the design industry. Her podcasts are really interesting since the business of design is far more than just the beautiful décor we deliver to our clients. Like any industry, the business side is just as important as the creative side, and that’s why some businesses, like my own, have been around for 18 years, and others don’t last. Thanks, LuAnn, for your dedication to the podcasts and for always finding interesting people to interview -- I learn something new from every one of your podcasts. You can listen to them here:
To cap off the afternoon event at the BDC, Waterworks hosted a reception at their new 1st floor showroom, a gorgeous kitchen and bath showroom you will certainly want to see for yourself. Below are photos of some of the new offerings from Waterworks; first-class designs that will meet the test of time…what I strive for in my designs with my valued clients.
The whole day was so great that I was very glad that the "real" snow held off until we were all out of the BDC and driving home in that wonderful Boston traffic. As always, if you want to tour the Boston Design Center for a project of yours let me know and we can make the trip together.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.