Thursday, January 31, 2008

On a Mission

Today was all about inspiration pieces. One of my priorities coming to the Las Vegas Market was finding furniture and accessories that can inspire future rooms that I’ll do, new ideas and exciting starting points. Another priority was finding stuff for my daughter Nicki’s bedroom. We moved a few months ago, and I’ve been so busy I’ve yet to do her room and she’s been dying for me to do it. She’s 8 years old and she wants a pink room.

The day started out slowly, found amazing things but not exactly what I was looking for. Then I saw a loft from Berg Furniture’s Kids Headquarters Collection. Nicki’s been asking for a bunk bed for the last five years, and we’ve always said no. But now I realize that if she’s going to enjoy one, it will only be for a couple years more. My baby is growing up so fast, I want to keep her my baby for a little while longer! This bed is pink and white and it has a desk area underneath where Nicki can do her homework. It has steps, not a ladder, which I think is safer. What’s great about it is the steps are drawers for storage! It’s fun and functional. Little kids love to have something above their heads, like a little cozy clubhouse, and the bunk bed loft will do that.

Then I found this really cool shaggy rug, and another one with lots of texture, sort of iridescent, like there’s millions of pink origami papers glued on top, so I’m going to think about those. It’s so much easier once you’ve found your large inspiration pieces, to find other pieces that will coordinate with them. Now I can determine all the other colors for Nicki’s room.

The day was really beginning to take off! I loved what I saw from MZ Artes from Brazil. They had this really cool 4x4 wall art, panels and paintings using a wood indigenous to Brazil that’s all handmade and stunning, definitely great focal points and inspiration pieces. I took a picture because I may use it somewhere, someday.

I was thrilled when I came across a ZBOX chair—it’s a really cool white chair that sits up at an angle on chrome legs. It’s just very funky and contemporary. The line is Bellini Imports, designed by Stanley Jay Friedman. This is a piece you could build a room around. You just imagine James Bond lounging in it, sipping a martini, undressing a woman with his eyes … ! Anyway, this would be great for a bachelor pad or for a woman with high style. The room could be all-white, with an amazing rug underneath, or a concrete floor. There’s so many possibilities, but it could all start with this one amazing piece. I definitely see a martini with it!

The last picture I took is with people I ran into from Hawaii. Richard and Carol have a store called Pacific Orient Traders, one of my favorites. It was the end of the day, the market had closed, and we sat down at Four Hands, where they had just made some purchases, talking about the things we’d seen and eating pistachio nuts and the most amazing, decadent chocolate cake!

So it was a great, inspiring day. Lots to think about tonight—tomorrow is the last day of the Las Vegas Market, and I’m going to have to make some decisions on what to buy. It closes at 4:00, so it’s going to be a whirlwind day. I’m going to bed early because tomorrow it’s all about work!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Unleashed in the Las Vegas Market

It’s freezing cold! Vegas is in the 30s—this Hawaii girl is not used to that! I broke out the scarf and gloves. But once I got inside the World Market Center, I truly felt like a kid in a candy store. I’m here with Kara Wagner, RSVPstyle’s office manager. When people hear we’re from Hawaii, everyone is so nice. They’re asking us what RSVPstyle is all about, and I show them my Style Kit and they love it, they think it’s a great concept and it’s great that we’re teaching people to train their own eye for design and décor.

We started off today at one of my favorite discoveries, a line called Phillips Collection. “Every piece a conversation” is their tagline—I love that. We met Mark Phillips, who took a picture with Kara and me in front of their resin sheep. They have a white sheep and a black sheep, which are really cute, it’s a matter of whether you consider yourself a white or black sheep! I’ve always considered myself a black sheep, so there I am. Every piece you see in there is amazing, like the seatbelt chair that I lounged in, very comfortably. Just the most interesting, unique and beautiful pieces, and I’m going to be buying lots of them!

We saw a lighting line, Nova, and what I loved about it was they had lights that had color in them. They have these floor lamps that not only illuminate a room, but can also be used as dividers. So it’s a way to create some division for apartments where you need a portable wall, or it would be great for large rooms that you want to section off and add some color to.

Oh, another store that I just smiled when I went into is Global Views. There were these cute eggs, they look like ostrich eggs, and there are feet on them, and they’re walking away. You know how I talk to people about getting something with a touch of whimsy? This was a perfect example.

The center closes at 6:00, and Kara hasn’t been to Vegas in 11 years, so at 6:00 we went to the Bellagio, and they have the most beautiful garden display. They’re celebrating Chinese New Year, which lasts 15 days, so the whole garden is decorated with colorful red lanterns and yellow flowers, and a giant sculpture of a Chinese man in ancient silk robes that must be at least 20 feet tall! This is the Year of the Rat, so there’s a rat topiary that’s so cute! And there’s a beautiful zigzag bridge, which is good feng shui, good because the spirits can’t handle crossed lines and corners.

It’s just so fascinating and vibrant and beautiful, so we had to take a look there before heading to Cheesecake Factory because we’re dying for some cheesecake. We’ll call it an early night because the market opens at 8 a.m. and I want to be there—there’s too much to do and not enough time. Kara and I are just so excited that we’ve been surviving on coffee and the refreshments all the stores put out. It’s 9 p.m. and this is our first meal of the day!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

BIA Home Show

Before & After Booth Transformation


I’m at the airport waiting to board a plane to Las Vegas, and I’m still on a high from the BIA Home Show in Honolulu. RSVPstyle’s very first show. We built an amazing set right in the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall to show people that if you can create a beautiful space in a concrete exhibition hall, you certainly can do it at home with a little inspiration, color and texture.

The feedback was incredible. Some people wanted to move in. Some asked if they could buy the booth! The funniest thing for me was that some people actually came to the show with Homescape magazine for me to autograph. I was just so shocked! Why would people want my autograph? But it was very sweet.

We debuted our Style Kit and it was a big hit. People loved the quality of the shoulder tote, DVD set and workbook organizer. A
bunch of people signed up for our upcoming February 23 workshop, and a lot of those who signed up online came by just to say hello. People told us we were inspiring people, and that made us feel great. We heard over and over that we’re doing something unique—teaching people the skills to beautify their homes in their own styles. That’s exactly what I need, people said. But what really made us feel the best was when BIA, the Building Industry Association, told us we were the number one requested booth at the show!

So it was a great success, but we are exhausted. I just realized, more than ever, what a really great team of people we have. Everybody chipped in and came and worked at least a shift because it was a grueling four days. Everyone’s been so supportive, even my parents, who brought us lunch because we had to eat on the fly. Everyone we’ve worked with came to help out. I’ve always believed in surrounding yourself with great people. Everybody worked so hard.

Now I’m looking forward to going to Las Vegas to see what’s hot, new and exciting in the world of design and décor. The Las Vegas Market at the World Market Center will feature 1,500 companies from around the world showing home furnishings and accessories in 3.2 million square feet of exhibit space. Furniture and accessory finders from around the country come here—they’re looking for the latest, greatest, most exciting new lines and products. Designers come looking for items for their clients. Buyers from all kinds of stores will be here, too. Las Vegas Market has two shows a year, one in January and one in the summer. There’s just so much to see and not enough time. We’ve got three days and we’re going to see as much as we can. I’ll blog about the latest from the first day of the show tomorrow. I can’t wait!