Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Got lucky in Vegas!

Boy, did we get lucky in Vegas!

We just got home from the Las Vegas Furniture Market, where our first bit of luck was catching up with Arlene Horna, our Traditional Home magazine sweepstakes winner (you'll find that blog post right below this one).

We checked in at the Venetian, where Arlene is the HR manager. Of course we brought her the traditional Hawaiian goodies: Kona coffee toffee mac nuts, coconut and espresso cookies and dried mango. She was a happy woman! Reconnecting with Arlene was a great welcome after our red-eye flight.

Joining me on this trip were Caty, making her third trip to Vegas with me; CM's newest designer, Tonya; here's Arlene in the middle; and me and Kara, who's come to this awesome furniture and interior decor market with me so many times I've lost count.

Our first afternoon, we got to catch up with Susan Dickerson of Home Accents Today. Lucky for me, she interviewed me, and I found myself on the cover of the next morning's Home Accents market daily! It continues to amaze me how quickly they can turn that around!

And who were we there to shop for? Our lucky design clients! The Cathy's Marketplace design team is working on several residential projects, and we found great inspiration pieces ranging from rugs to furniture.

Lucky for you, we can report some exciting trends in interior decor: Lots of neon and bright, bold colors. Fresh white hues everywhere, from furniture to ceramics to lacquers.

Orange and blue are still strong, as are shades of purple, and we didn't see as much of the blue-and-chocolate combo that was popular a few years ago. Also continuing strong is the trend of mixing materials. Here are two examples: a wood-and-metal table and a metal-and-leather chair.

Bling, sparkle, glamour and fur are all still relevant, and Priscilla Presley is now joining in with her own line. Her showroom is a range of hues of purple, a rock 'n roll edge mixed with glamour and femininity. I actually thought she did a pretty good job and her showroom was intriguing.

Having been to Las Vegas Market for several years now, I'm seeing a sad trend: Fewer rooms with one-of-a-kind pieces. I guess many of the smaller vendors can't afford the time and cost to make the show, which means more of the same old. I mean, you do get to see new colors and styles, but I miss the awe and wonder that I felt five years ago, when there were so many more boutique vendors showcasing their new products and ideas.

Oh well, sign of the times, I guess. The only other negative was I didn't get a chance to have my Reuben sandwich from the Golden Nugget! We had some great dinners, like at Sushi Samba, where we let the waiter pick our menu, which was amazing.

Mainly the trip was all about walking and shopping, from 8 in the morning til 6 at night. You'll be seeing a lot of what we found in our upcoming projects as we beautify homes across Oahu. We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winners all around: Traditional Home's Hawaii sweepstakes prize day!

Back in February, we were featured in Traditional Home's Hawaii sweepstakes for the magazine's readers. Besides flying over on Hawaiian Air and staying at the Ihilani Resort, one lucky winner got a package of personalized style tips and touring beautiful homes with us!

As much planning as we put into this day, it turned out to be as much a prize for us as it was for our winner.

When Arleen Horna of Las Vegas walked into Cathy's Marketplace last Friday, her smile lit up the showroom. She had such a bright, sunshiny personality that you couldn't help but smile with her! Her son George was supposed to come along, but unfortunately had gotten too much sun during his surf lessons the day before, so Arleen, Kara and I had a total girls' day.

We started out in the showroom with a one-on-one lesson on training your own eye for design. Arleen was a great student!

"I get it!" she said. "It makes so much sense
now I know what to do with my living room."

Let me tell you, that was music to my ears!

And we were off to the first stop on the road tour we had planned: Queen Emma's Summer Palace. The docents gave us a private tour showing what an authentic Hawaiian home looked like---a home for royalty, that is! It was so interesting to see Hawaiian artifacts that have been so faithfully preserved by the Daughters of Hawaii, who are so dedicated to keeping the queen's story and home and spirit alive, from the beautiful koa pieces to precious gifts from English and other royalty. It was definitely a tour worth taking, and I plan to take Nicki back there sometime soon.

Next stop: lunch! The Plumeria Cafe at the Kahala Hotel was decked out in Christmas splendor, while the terrace upstairs was full of Christmas trees and gingerbread houses. The scene brought to life what we had started learning in the showroom, how layering and repetition of colors and textures bring a space together.

Over lunch we learned what Arleen's job is. It's a perfect fit for this total people person: She's a trainer in the human resources department at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas!

Our all-girls' lunch was fun, but I wanted to give Arleen a sense of top-of-the-line home style, Hawaii-style! We turned to a dear friend, Jeff Fox of Kahala Associates, who was so quick to respond when we made our request, it's no wonder his clients love him.

Here's a link to his listing in Diamond Head so you can see what Arleen saw: a $7.6 million oceanfront estate with the most incredible panoramic views. The pictures don't do it justice. You have to hear the ocean and smell its scent---it was just incredible.

Jeff's other listing, a $2.695 million Portlock property, was not oceanfront but also had great ocean views. Here's the link.

By then it was time for Arleen to head back to the Ihilani. We were a little behind schedule, so Arleen would face full traffic on her drive back across the island and I fully expected her to get in her car and take off. But she's such a sweetheart, she stayed and chatted and did a little Christmas shopping in the showroom.

Our good-bye was a little emotional for the both of us. For Arleen the trip to Hawaii was a dream come true. She told me she's been wanting to come here since she was a little girl. She's going to take what she saw and learned back with her and remember it her whole life. Her time with us truly touched her.

It was a great day all around. Arleen got her prize, but Kara and I got so much back from Arleen's happiness and enthusiasm, we felt like we got a gift too! We are so glad we got to spend the day with this wonderful lady, and we wish her all the best.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ahhh, staycation!

Shortly after my Vegas trip earlier this month, I had a much-needed staycation with my family at Turtle Bay Resort. We brought along three of Nicki’s girlfriends to make it more of a celebration.

Turtle Bay is one of my favorite places and we love staying in the cottages. They’ve got great rooms and a huge lawn with hammocks in front and obviously the bay, where you see turtles coming up to play in the shore break.

So many activities from horseback riding to surf lessons and fun in the sun on the beach and in the pool!

We had a wonderful, relaxing, fun time full of adventure. Next time I need to chill, I’ll be back!

I haven’t forgotten about highlights from Las Vegas Market—that’s coming up next!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Coming to you from summer Las Vegas Market!

Our second day in the desert started and ended with a bang. Caty and I arrived at the summer Las Vegas Market early Monday morning, fresh off Hawaiian Air’s Sunday night red-eye from Honolulu. One of my first missions was to meet with Susan Dickenson of Home Accents Today, who wrote that great article that came out in the magazine’s July issue. If you haven’t read it, here it is.

Fittingly, we met her at Groovy Stuff. Not only is this a perennial design favorite of mine, it was also Groovy Stuff founder Chris Bruning, who once lived in Hawaii, who told Susan about me and what we’re doing at the Cathy’s Marketplace retail showroom, and that’s how the feature story came about.

Here at the market yesterday, Susan did a quick interview with me and said it would be out in Home Accents’ Las Vegas Market daily paper today, and lo and behold, here it is!

As if that weren’t exciting enough, the day ended with an appearance by POTUS, aka the former President of the United States, Bill Clinton! Caty went to hear him encourage designers to work together to keep America competitive in the face of global challenges ahead.

Too bad I missed Mr. President himself! Oh well, tomorrow’s our third and final day at Las Vegas Market, and Thursday we’re back home in Hawaii already! We’ve got people to meet, new products to ogle, and interior design trends to keep an eye on! Full report later, I promise!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Still recovering: Cathy's Marketplace warehouse sale

If you were one of the hundreds of people who came to our first-ever warehouse sale in Kakaako last Saturday, mahalo!

It was definitely a first for us. We signed the lease on a 4,800-square-foot space next to Powerhouse Gym a few weeks ago, and when it filled up we needed to move things out of there! People were lined up at the 10 a.m. start, and of course they got the best deals on designer furniture and accessories that we just didn't have room for at our showroom!

Just about everything you see in these photos was snapped up in the short three-hour sale window (I know, short and sweet!). Many buyers were simply looking to update their rooms; others were Realtors grabbing up perfect pieces for staging houses. (These are before-photos, since once the sale started, Kara, Caty, Courtney, Dave and everybody else was too slammed to remember to take any more!)

It was a tremendous week of unpacking all sorts of consigned sofas, consoles, beds, rugs, you name it! And then arranging them into vignettes, dusting off everything, pricing, tagging: Our crew definitely worked hard!

And it was definitely rewarding meeting all of you. Stay tuned, we'll be having more sales and events, both at the CM warehouse and our CM showroom in Moiliili. So remember, if you have pieces you'd like to consign with us for sale, you're always welcome to give us a call at 738-8488.

And thanks again for coming out and making our first warehouse sale a huge success!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The best birthday ever

Today is my birthday... I won't tell you which one, but I will tell you that I just got the best birthday gift ever from my 11-year-old daughter, Nicki.

Nicki set our table with flowers she bought herself and made a tablecloth with fabric we had leftover from when we redesigned her bedroom. She is making dinner tonight for our family and gave me this homemade card that had me bawling! It was so special that I wanted to share it with you because I am so proud of the young lady she has become.

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

You get me up in the morning and make me breakfast.
After school you ask me how my day was.
You taught me how to walk, now I can run.

You were my first singing coach, and now look how far I've come.
I've done a lot of hard things to do, and I've accomplished many things, but all with the help or because of you.
I want you to know that when you are older and can't make your own breakfast, I'll make your breakfast, and after work, I'll ask you how your day was.
I want you to know that when you're older, and can't walk, I'll be your legs.
Age is not a bad thing, when it represents how many years you've been around people who
love you.

Nicki Lee

Friday, May 13, 2011

New KITV appearances, right from the showroom!

It's been absolutely crazy these last few weeks, renovating and filling the Cathy's Marketplace showroom while organizing a grand opening gala on-site for 400 people. I mean, phew! And now that we're officially open for business, I've finally been able to pick up my homestyle segments on the KITV morning news show again.

There have been some big changes here as well. First, I'm on Sunday mornings now, every Sunday morning instead of every other week, and my segment will air twice: Once at 6:15 and again at 7:15 a.m.

Second, every segment is videotaped right in the showroom. If you've already been by to check us out, you know that means I'll have at my disposal literally scores of furniture pieces, accessories, wall colors, rugs, lamps, throws and unique accents. No more lugging around a few props to spread on a table. My new homestyle tips will be able to illustrate so many more style ideas using the whole array of real-size, real-life pieces!

The first airs this Sunday, May 15 on the morning show with Jodi Leong and Paul Drewes. I met Jodi at the showroom and she is a blast! We hit it off right away.

So please tune in for or Tivo my new homestyle segments every Sunday on KITV, and please tell your friends!