Saturday, February 21, 2009

An incredible home fashion show-and-tell

When I was asked to do a mini-workshop at Macy’s, I knew right away what I was going to teach. How I was going to teach it was another matter!

The topic of the evening would be shopping with focus, and how you can easily transform a bedroom, a bathroom, even a living room space on any budget. The exciting part was that the workshop would be on a special stage next to Macy’s Ala Moana’s fourth floor home department. What a dream come true for a local girl!

But that was exactly the challenge as well—I’d be right in the middle of the department store, meaning no PowerPoint images to illustrate my points as I would normally have. It was also theater seating—no tables, which make it easier for people to take notes.

I knew I had to do something completely different. Macy’s is known for fashion, so how about a fashion show for the home? Instead of models changing clothes, how about switching out onstage props? By changing clothes—whoops! I mean changing colors, textures and styles with bedding or towels or accessories, I’d change the look of three rooms!

About 100 people came on a Thursday night, and culinary students in chef’s whites circulated through the crowd with trays of fantastic pupus and non-alcoholic drinks. I felt bad that lots of people had to stand, but people were so nice and even gave up seats for each other.

I started out with bedrooms. ICI Paints was nice enough to paint 6x4’ poster boards in different colors to serve as my “walls.” Against purple and lavender shades called Pinot Noir and Wildflower, I showed how to create a beautiful plum-and-silver space in three different price points by changing bedding, pillows, lamps and accessories. And yes, I did use Bed in a Bag (but not just any Bed in a Bag—this was Martha Stewart’s line!).

Then I moved on to the bathroom. The point there was even if you’re stuck with white walls, you can create a spa-like bathroom or even an over-the-top diva glam bathroom by changing out textures and accessories like towels and soap holders.

I topped off the evening by transforming a living room from an island to a contemporary to an Asian look, all in five minutes, by changing paint colors and accessories.

Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It was fun, fast and furious. When it was over, I thanked Macy’s Deena Nichols, who had invited me, for the opportunity. She made one of my childhood dreams come true—being part of a fashion show at Macy’s! All of this was not only fun, it was for a great cause. It was a free workshop, and we also raised some money for the American Heart Association.

And I have to give a high five to our fabulous crew, who came through as usual. Thank you to everybody who stopped in on a Thursday evening! Thank you, Macy’s! We had a ball!