One would think that by the time one reaches the age of 58 1/2 and has been in the business of interior design for over 30 years - teaching at college level; working as head of a department in an architectural/engineering firm; owning my own companies; designing various show houses for charities; handling major renovations in multi-million dollar homes; guiding builders through the process of designing the bones of a spec house; being published and honored for my work; etc. etc. etc - one would have developed a thicker skin! One would think!
Over the past 2 days, I have once again entered the "school of hard knocks". Ouch! Business has been a bit slow lately, so in an effort to "up" my profile, I signed onto HGTV and posted some photographs of my work. Some of those same photos appear in my AVA Living pages. Some of the comments posted are absolutely amazing! Shocking! Nasty! Mean spirited. It appears some people have nothing better to do in the middle of the night but surf the internet and take some perverse pleasure in belittling someone else! What's the line from Steel Magnolias? "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit by me!" Well, don't come sit by me, don't even come into my room until you learn some manners!
I am amazed by the negativity and vituperative nature of so many of the comments. As a designer with more years' experience than I sometimes want to admit, it is obvious from some of the comments that these people are not professionals; do not have a knowledge of design and/or color theory; and are not exposed to the finer elements of design; and do not understand the nature of the work we do when we work on behalf of our clients and take our clients' tastes, preferences, styles and personal belongings into consideration as we work on their behalf. Many comments - all public by the way - focus on a narrow element or a specific item - failing to see or understand the big picture or the overall guiding theme.
I was particularly amazed at the comment of one person about a dining room where not one piece of furniture - other than the chairs - were "matched". The comment was that the furniture was too "matchy" for their tastes! Huh? Each piece was selected on its own merits. Yes, it was all from the same period but only the chairs matched one another! I did, however, like the comment by someone else that most Americans' tastes run to the more mundane, less upscale in decorating (paraphrased). I guess that comment assuaged my hurt ego a bit!
I believe the comment is true, though and that this truth is reflected in the quality and calibre of the shows and level of interior design that we now see on TV. People have the false impression that interior design professionals work for free; show up in dungarees and knock down their walls; that we "design on a dime"; that if you want your kitchen renovated for $40,000 with free labor you must choose between design A or design B; and that room makeovers can miraculously happen in 30 minutes or less by contractors and fabricators with portable sewing machines with never a mention of the cost of the project or work completed!
Ah, well, I vent! It's time to toughen up! Lighten up! Laugh at the absurdity of many of the comments. Move on. Chin up! Hold head proudly! Be confident and secure in the knowledge that my work is acknowledged and continue to serve those clients who are at the same level of quality as myself and who expect only the best!
Moral: Ya posts your pictures - ya takes your chances!
I went to church last Sunday. There's nothing unusual about that, I attend Roswell Presbyterian Church on a regular basis and am a soprano in the Chancel Choir. However, ever since Memorial Day weekend, I have been attending on a hit or miss basis - ever since I had to face facts and make the decision that The Legacy Groups could no longer afford to remain in our charming bungalow location in the historic district of Roswell.
That decision had forced my husband and myself to begin the process of closing the studio and reallocating space in our home so that we could move the business office back into our house. Doing so meant losing one of our guest rooms and moving the furniture, etc. I'm sure you can imagine the massive undertaking it has been!
I had missed the previous two Sundays due to the work required over the weekends to facilitate this move. However, on Sunday, June 21, the choir was performing the Cantique de Jean Racine - one of my very favorite choral works. I believed I was working my schedule to be at church in order to participate in this beautiful song. Ha!
The sermon that day by Emily Wright, was about how we live our lives on a daily basis. Through all our turmoil, it is important to slow down and think about what we are doing; what we are saying; how we are living.
They were words I needed to hear. For three weeks, I had been living my life getting through each day, compartmentalizing each task, overwhelmed by the enormity of the havoc the current state of the economy has wreaked on my business and personal life. Getting through each day was a monumental task.
For everyone else out there who is experiencing a major downturn in your business I hope you'll join me in taking a few minutes each day to be thankful and grateful for the blessings we experience. I know it's hard. But if we can live with an attitude of gratitude and believe in the positive, we will attract those things into our lives.
My businesses will survive - they'll just be reincarnated one more time. Change can be a good thing. We will get through this and be stronger for it.
Slow down. Be thankful. Be grateful. SAVOR LIFE!
Legacy Design Group will participate in the 2009 Atlanta Holiday House by Steven West Custom Homes.
Watch for more info on this stunning home! Steven West is building a 22,000 sq. ft. French Chateau in Atlanta which will be the home of this year's Holiday House, to be decorated top to bottom by Atlanta's premier interior designers! Dates are November 21 through December 20, 2009. Advance tickets $20. $25 at the door. This Holiday House will benefit Save A Smile Foundation.
Vicki Posey and Kelley Ivie Boyd of Legacy Design Group have agreed to design the master bedroom - a massive space containing an oval domed ceiling that rises to 24' above the floor! With gorgeous dark hardwood planked flooring and a honed marble fireplace, the designers have chosen a color scheme of soft silvery blue and cream. Kelley will be designing a custom made upholstered bed specifically for the room and Vicki has already submitted her design for a custom designed chandelier, The Poschette.
For more information, view the website at: www.atlantaholidayhouse.com
View of main section of house
If you haven't heard of Mel Fisher's Treasures and the sunken Spanish Treasure Fleet off the Florida keys, then by all means, go to www.melfisher.com and learn more!
Bernie and I just returned from our Division Week trip and what a blast! In 1622, the Spanish ships, The Atocha and The Margarita, sank in a hurricane off the Florida coast and the treasure that was on board was lost for almost 400 years - that is until Mel Fisher, intrepid diver and treasure seeker, found it. Today Mel's family carries on his vision and legacy and you can be a part of history!
In 2008 we joined in the venture and each year in May, the investors descend upon Key West for Division Week, parties and treasure hunting and just good times! The week culminates in a banquet on Saturday night. This year's theme was Celebration In White and Show Us Your Pearls!
Here we are, dressed in white and I've got on a lot of pearls! We dined with fellow investors from Texas and even someone who has seen the Titanic up close and personal!
To learn more about how you too can become an investor, dive the site, or just visit the Mel Fisher Museum in Key West, log onto www.melfisher.com.
Happy Treasure Hunting!
Vicki Posey, President
The Legacy Groups: Legacy Design Group, Inc. & Legacy Linen Group, LLC
Well, I made it through my firstTrade Show! Thanks to my biggest supporter, husband Bernie, who not only built my display racks but was there to set up and knock down the booth, and to Tess who worked all 3 days and Kelley and Courtney who came down to help and support me!
Booth 1553 Proud Lady!
IWCE is the International Window Coverings Expo by Grace McNamara, Inc. and this year it was held May 13-16 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Thanks to some great prior publicity by Vision Magazine, interior designers and retailers actually came looking for booth 1553 to see my product!
Attendees were not disappointed! The Bath Collection, my line of 22 ready made, extra long designer shower curtains is even better in person! I sold all my prepared Designer Library Binders and received orders for customized binders for designers to keep on their shelves.
Think about it! I am the only designer/fabricator of this product in the U.S.! If you have tried to purchase really nice extra long shower curtains, you know that before Legacy Linen Group, they just didn't exist. It was customization all the way! Not anymore!
Now everyone can have a beautiful 90" designer shower curtain that looks like a custom made product. Simply shop on line at www.legacylinengroup.com The Bath Collection.
And remember, if you are a designer or retailer, simply fax your tax i.d. certificate to us at 678-585-9040 and we'll get you set-up with the trade pricing!
Vicki Posey, President
The Legacy Groups: Legacy Design Group, Inc. & Legacy Linen Group, LLC
Vicki Posey, President of The Legacy Groups, has launched THE BATH COLLECTION, her newest venture into the home fashion world of designing and manufacturing an upscale product for the savvy shopper!
"As a Designer, I needed something better than the average or standard fare offered in the big box stores when designing my clients' bathrooms. I began to wonder, Who decided that a shower curtain should be 72" x 72"? And, they're so poorly made! The only alternative was to have something custom fabricated."
"I began doing my research into the world of extra long shower curtains and found that no one was offering anything. That is how Legacy Linen Group was born!"
"I've been the President of Legacy Design Group since 1999, so it was only natural that when I was trying to come up with a name for my new venture, that I use my already branded name - just changing the word Design to Linen. Voila: Legacy Linen Group!"
The initial collection contains 22 designs and includes something for just about every style and decor. We have a tropical print called Paradise - for the home where the Palm trees sway. (Shown below). We have beautiful Toiles, each designed with an attached valance in a complimentary check with a lavish tassel trim. Fun animal prints for the young or just the young at heart. My favorite is Lion Eyes. Available in 3 colorways: red, black and natural, the design includes 12 large grommets and an 8" bullion trim to represent the lion's mane. (Shown below in Red).
Each drapery is fabricated here in the USA from first quality fabrics and trims. They all have designer touches: contrasting fabric banding or valances; 4" double hems; serged seams; beautiful detailing; large color coordinated grommets on the less formal curtains. Most importantly, each shower drapery is 90" long! That's a full 18" longer than the standard. Retail pricing starts at $249.
"One could argue that the shower curtain is the most visible decorative element in the bathroom. Why should the consumer settle for what has always been offered? Legacy Linen Group now makes a beautiful, designer shower drapery that anyone will be proud to display!"
To view the entire Collection, go to www.legacylinengroup.com Shop On Line: The Bath Collection. Designers, don't forget to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your trade protected designer discount code.
Also, watch for The Bath Collection to appear shortly on the Trade Only Design Library. If you're planning to attend the IWCE in Atlanta in May, The Bath Collection will be shown in Booth 1553. Mention Ava Living in an e-mail to me to receive a free adminission pass!
Designers, I'm counting on your support! Send me your feedback!
"I have confidence in confidence alone. Besides which you see, I have confidence in me!"
I love musicals. I love music. I love theater. I spent a lot of time on stage in my past life in Southern Maryland. For the past 10 years, my creative efforts have gone into building my business and I don't pursue acting any more. I get my vocal fix through participating in my church choir.
This morning, I heard that you can buy a share of GE stock for less than the cost of 2 GE lightbulbs. The commentary was that we seem to have lost confidence.
As one of my designers, Kelley Ivie Boyd (who was literally a God send and continues to be a blessing to me both personally and professionally) has stated, "I know they say we're supposed to be in a recession, but I refuse to participate."
Good for her! I have to have confidence. Confidence in human nature, in our ability to make a comeback, to rise to the occasion. I cannot participate in this malaise. Can you? Will you? I'm staying busy, working hard. We're designing, partnering, networking and advertising. This too shall pass and I intend to remain at the forefront when it does.
So, what does all this have to do with chocolate chip cookes? I also heard this morning that chocolate chip cookies were invented during the great depression. I have invented and invested in a new product. I found a hole in the home fashion industry and decided to fill it and create a niche market with my up-scale product: extra long fabric designer shower curtains. I have to have confidence. I cannot fail. I will not fail. This is a great product and while it may not become as ubiquitous as chocolate chip cookes - they cost a lot less - I am confident that I will change the industry standard and the expectations on what a shower curtain should be.
To quote another song, (I think Cole Porter.) "When I'm discouraged and cannot sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep, counting my blessings.
Let's all count our blessings. I have many. I hope you do too.
Vicki Posey, President The Legacy Groups Roswell, GA
www.legacy-design-group.com and www.legacylinengroup.com
Ouch! The latest issue of The Emissary, Legacy Design's bi-monthly newsletter to clients and friends, was just released on Thursday and it seems I stepped on some very touchy toes!
I've attached the article below for your enjoyment. I think I approached the subject with a light touch, poking fun at myself, but making a point and ending with the message that we here at Legacy Design don't take our work or our relationship with our clients lightly or for granted. Still, I've received some responses saying that I was rude and too blunt.
How does that old saying go? "You can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all of the people all of the time". Here's the article. Let me know what you think.
If you'd like to read more or receive past issues of The Emissary, you can sign-up through our website at: www.legacy-design-group.com.
Have you seen the latest issue of Architectural Digest? In it, Paige Rense, who has been the Editor-in-Chief since I have been in the field of interior design, makes some very interesting comments.
"...think you can decorate? You probably can't. Think you have great taste? You probably don't. Think you have style?"
Well, you can guess what she says next! When you have been the arbiter of interior design for over a quarter century, you have earned some respect and the right to emphatically state your views. Paige Rense has the guts to say what so many design professionals wish we could say!
"...let the decorator do it. They have created hundreds... of rooms. How many have you done? They can do it better."
I gotta agree with her! I believe in my heart that she is right. After all, I learned to sew as a child in 4-H but I don't do it well! I learned about drapery fabrication from actually setting foot inside a fabrication plant and watching and learning about the specifications and process. Would I sell you a product I fabricated? Not as long as I'm in my right mind! My point is, I let the fabricator make the products because it is not what I do. I know a lot about it, but that doesn't make me "good" at it!
Can we do it better? I believe we can! That is why I and the talented designers who work at Legacy spend so much time keeping up with current trends and attending educational seminars, trade shows and conferences. We don't toot our horns much here but I've recently had to pull together Bios for each of us and let me tell you, we're a pretty impressive bunch! I'm pretty darn lucky to have such truly gifted and talented designers who truly care about each of our projects and the end result. Our clients are very special people and we take pride in the work we produce on their behalf.
Interior design is a collaborative process. Open and candid discussion is the life blood of a successful partnership. Many of our clients do have wonderful taste; others rely upon us to guide them in the selection process. Appreciation and respect are mutually offered and accepted.
So go ahead, hire a professional interior designer! Just pick up the phone and call Legacy, send an e-mail or contact us via our website: www.legacy-design-group.com
The Legacy Groups
Dear Design Professionals and those who love interior design:
In one of the Ava Living Groups, someone posted a request for advice after moving into her new home. I decided to give her some advice. Here it is:
"Interior design is a profession. If you are looking for free advice, you are insulting the professionals who practice the art and business of design. If you are willing to pay for the advice you seek, contact any of the professionals in your area."
I guess she didn't like my advice! She told me I could keep it and she wouldn't be calling me. That's o.k. These are public posts, so anyone on Ava Living can see them! Anyone out there willing to give her free advice?
The blatant disregard for interior design as a profession and the assumption on the part of a great deal of the public that we should offer our experience and expertise up on a silver platter for zero compensation is one of my biggest pet peeves. How do you feel about this if you are also a design professional? I'd like to hear from you.
I assume that this woman works and is compensated for the work she performs. That is how our capitalistic society works. Interior Designers charge by the hour for their time and expertise, as well as a percentage mark-up on the goods and materials they recommend and sell to their clients. I am running a business - not a charitable institution - although sometimes I think I'm the charity case! Like any business, I have overhead and expenses in addition to the income I work so hard to earn.
Actually, up until this economic downturn hit so hard, I was beginning to see an upswing in the public's perception and acceptance of paying for the expertise offered by a professional interior designer. It was gratifying. Seems we're taking a few steps backwards. I have even heard famous interior designers mention in presentations to other professionals that even at their level, clients still want to negotiate and reduce fees. Information that was both disheartening and gratifying - even the famous have to explain and fight for their fees.
Stand firm fellow professionals. After all, we work hard. I know I do. When I tell people what I do, they think this is a glamour profession. That all we do is work with pretty fabrics and make things look pretty and anybody can do what we do. I call those people delusional. I have termed the pseudo-professionals, "Debbie Decorators". You know, the ones who think they know what we know and can do what we do - but they don't and they can't.
The editor of Architectural Digest is right. You may think you can do what professional designers do but you can't. We can do it better. We should do it better. We owe it to ourselves and to our profession and to the public to do it better.
Ava Living is a site for those who love interior design. I love my work. I work hard and I'm good at what I do. My staff is good at what they do - they're incredibly talented and I'm proud of each of them: Kelley Ivie Boyd, Courtney McEachin and Tess Brancato.
Speak up professionals! Don't let HGTV or any other medium or person allow any of us to feel as if we don't deserve to be paid for what we have studied and worked so long and hard to achieve.
I am a professional interior designer. I deserve to be compensated for the work I perform.
Victoria Posey, President The Legacy Groups: www.legacy-design-group.com and www.legacylinengroup.com
I am constantly amazed by the number of professionals who do not know how to treat Palladian windows when it comes to window treatments and design. I was recently asked to be a judge for the Window Fashions 2009 competition. Some of the entries were appalling but there were some that were quite wonderful done by decorators and designers who understand that interior design and architecture go hand in hand.
It is NEVER correct to cut the line of a Palladian window. Yet I see too often photos of completed rooms where the decorator has placed a window treatment across the top frame of the windows, just below the arched window.
Treating a beautiful window like this breaks the line of the architectural statement and creates dis harmony or "dis" ease in the room. The eye will never be allowed to come to rest. The occupants may not know why they are uncomfortable in the space.
There are several methods and styles for properly treating a Palladian window with fabric. Any good designer should know what they are. If you don't, learn! But please, do not break the line of the design.
I've run out of time for today! I'll have to blog again on the proper treatment of Palladian and demi-lune windows.
You can see an example of how to treat a single demi-lune window on my website in the photo gallery of a living room I designed that was featured in Spectacular Homes of Georgia. The rod mounts above the window and drapery panels fall on each side. Simple, elegant, correct.
Vicki Posey, President Legacy Design Group, Inc.