30 Dec

Join Us in Vegas for Designology, IWCE and Las Vegas Market

Designology_logo-1logo Deb and I have been busy getting ready for Design and Build Week in Las Vegas January 18-25 which will include the IWCE show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.   We will both be teaching at the Las Vegas Market,   at IWCE,  as well as providing some intensive education  and experiences at DESIGNOLOGY  on January 19, 2015.  Here’s what you can look forward to:

Monday, January 19

DESIGNOLOGY is a unique opportunity for more—more learning and more time to learn; more in-depth discussions and more hands-on; more focus on you and your business needs. Scheduled for January 19, the day before IWCE opens, the master classes of DESIGNOLOGY will give a select few the chance to truly develop new skills or gain advanced training in specific areas. These four courses include pre-show webinars, post-show follow-up and individual one-on-one time with each instructor—totaling more than 7-10 hours of credited education for each. The Designology Concierge services include: a light lunch, snack, evening networking event with drinks and additional special bonuses exclusive to each course.

Digital Design Pro Presented by Deb Barrett 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

A hands-on coaching program developed specifically for design professionals eager to master powerful digital technologies.Through demonstrations and real-life exercises, you’ll start to build your digital brand both on the important social media platforms and with your tablets and laptops. Specifically developed to suit the needs of the design industry, the small class size will allow Deb to provide focused attention to each individual. Session strictly limited to 10 people. 5 WFCP Credits $495

What Happens In Vegas – The VIP Red Carpet Design Tour

Organized by Jackie Von Tobel 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Spend a fantastic afternoon with local Las Vegas and soft design expert Jackie Von Tobel as she guides you through an exclusive, behind the scenes, red carpet, tour of Las Vegas as only she can.  We will begin with a VIP tour of a few of the newest and best hotels in town and their amazing soft furnishing designs, explained in detail by the award winning  designers who came up with the fantastic concepts and brought them to life.   Learn some of their best tips and tricks and secret sources they use to create magical interiors on The Strip. Then we will move on to the Las Vegas World Market Center where you will be treated like design celebrities as you visit four of the hottest soft furnishings showrooms at market and learn how they can help you build your soft furnishings business. Jackie is making sure that you will be pampered and treated like a design high roller with cocktail receptions, light nibbles and much, much more along the way.  You will never look at Vegas the same way again! Transportation provided Attendance is limited 6 WFCP Credits $295

Tuesday, January 20

IWCE Show,  Las Vegas Convention Center 6TU – 11:00−12:15 Quick Sketching System Jackie Von Tobel

Anyone can learn to draw professional quality sketches using my proven system. You will learn step by step methods that simplify and systemize the drawing process that can be used by beginners and experts alike to add speed and accuracy to their sketches. Using my simple shapes combined to produce fabulous sketches is easy and will improve your communication as well as your bottom line. 1 WFCP Business Credit and .1 CEU WFCP Certified Member: $35 Non-Member: $50

Build Profits and Elevate Your Business with Private Label Products                    Presented by, Jackie Von Tobel                                                                                                                 Las Vegas World Market Center 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | BLDG C, Surya Seminar Room C174

Take advantage of new technology and to-the-trade services available today to easily design, manufacture, and sell private label products to your customers. Open a whole new stream of revenue for your business by offering exclusive home décor items to your clientele that reflect your design aesthetic and signature style. Learn step by step, how to enter into and profit from this lucrative market while using it to elevate your brand at the same time. Private Label Products not only add to your bottom line but they impart a level of professionalism and expertise to your business that sets you apart from your competition. You will learn about the basic techniques, skills, and technology needed to easily design products and bring them to market. Use these products to turn your website and blog into a profitable source of residual income through product sales while growing and promoting your brand. Jackie Von Tobel is an award winning product designer, author and interior designer who has self-produced product and licensed her designs for signature lines through established manufacturers in home decor product categories such as fabrics, drapery hardware, tabletop, gift, and garden. (0.1 CEU)

IWCE Show,  Las Vegas Convention Center4TU – 9:00−12:00 SUPER SESSION: Designing the Future: A Simulation to Connect with Today’s Custom Client

Deb Barrett and Susan Schultz

A full workout for you and your business! This immersive experience kicks off with a pre-show webinar outlining the trigger issues for the Millennial Client, at the end of which, you’ll get a client assignment to fulfill once we all meet up in Las Vegas. At the show you’ll have the opportunity to interview your client in person and shop for product. There will be twists and surprises as you work to finalize your design presentation for your client—which will be done “Shark Tank”-style on the show’s main stage—with prizes for the winning designs! You’ll stretch your creativity, exercise your time management and team-building skills, and develop presentation and marketing abilities and so much more. Learn and retain these new skills by doing, not just listening. You’ll walk away understanding the Millennial Client, the drivers behind purchasing custom, and the keys to communicating your unique abilities, how to navigate changing projects specs and many more aspects of what it takes to close a sale with today’s custom client. 3 WFCP Design Credit and .3 CEU WFCP Certified Member: $220 Non-Member: $265 STRICTLY LIMITED TO 32 PEOPLE

Wednesday, January 21

IWCE Show, Las Vegas Convention Center 2WE – 9:15−10:30

Deconstructing the Window Deb Barrett, Principal, Window Dressings, WFCP Certification Director

This visual exploration of the materials and techniques found in custom window treatments will help you look at the window with a renewed perspective. Did you realize there are more than 100 decisions the designer makes in the custom window design process? And at any one step things can go wrong. Deb will dissect inspirational images layer by layer, analyzing the individual design decisions that go into making a truly exceptional window treatment. Not only will she discuss proven methods, but she’ll share some new tricks and solutions to make your projects easier and more efficient for the entire team. Communicating the right techniques, options, and details between the client, workroom and installer helps everyone understand what comprises a truly custom window fashion—and ensures the completed design will be a stunning success. 1 WFCP Design Credit and .1 CEU WFCP Certified Member: $35 Non-Member: $50

IWCE Show Las Vegas Convention Center 13WE – 2:30−3:45 Jackie Von Tobel

Profit through Signature Products: Elevate Your Business

Learn to take advantage of new technology and services available today to easily design, manufacture, and sell signature product lines to your customers. Open a whole new stream of revenue for your business by offering signature fabrics, pillows, decorative throws, etc. that represent your brand and design aesthetic. Jackie will show you step by step, how to enter into and profit from a lucrative market while using it to elevate your brand at the same time. 1 WFCP Business Credit and .1 CEU WFCP Certified Member: $35 Non-Member: $50

World Tour: Smart Designs from the World’s Top Markets                                              Presented by, Deb Barrett                                                                                                                            Las Vegas World Market Center,    1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Building C, Surya Seminar Room C174

Las Vegas Market attendees will discover the latest color, product and material trends sourced from the top international design markets. Covering a year’s worth of trade shows, you’ll see the most interesting, innovative and beautiful new fabrics, furnishings, lighting, accessories and more from Heimtextil, Maison&Objet, IMM Cologne, Decorex, 100% Design, ICFF and several other events. We’ll take a look at the social, consumer and cultural currents that will impact design in the coming years through the introductions of these new design products and services. This whirlwind tour brings the latest design themes to you, outlining how certain products and style references develop from one show to the next. Hundreds of photos are complemented by dozens of actual product samples. Plus, Las Vegas attendees will be the first to see what innovations were launched at Heimtextil 2015. A well-known award winning designer, editor, trend strategist, speaker and industry presence for more than 30 years, Deb Barrett attends dozens of industry trade shows and design events to keep abreast of the hottest new trends and product innovations. Tracking the most cutting-edge developments of the ever-evolving art + science of design puts her right at the forefront of the industry. (0.1 CEU)

There is still plenty of time to sign up for these events at IWCE 

signUpThe seminars at the Las Vegas World Market Center are free and do not require per-registration to attend.

11 Dec

T is for Tartan


Just in time for winter’s first chill, tartans are back and hotter than ever. As San Francisco Designer and lover of all things Tartan, Scot Meacham Wood says, “Tartans have a romantic quality.” For me, Tartans bring back childhood memories and just say COZY. I am mad for the plaid.

Scot Meacham Wood Design, House Beautiful

Scot Meacham Wood Design, House Beautiful

If you love symmetry, then Tartans are for you.  It is a perfect grid pattern- what happens in the warp; happens in the weft. Tartan is uniquely associated with Scotland and Scottish kilts. Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket.  Tartans originated as woven wools, but now they are appearing on all kinds of other materials.


What is it?

Tartan is made with alternating bands of colored (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill weave, two over — two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where the different colors cross, which give the appearance of new colors being blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of color repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett.

Historically, Tartan designs were produced by local weavers for local tastes and would usually only use the natural dyes available in that area. It wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that many patterns were created and artificially associated with Scottish clans, or institutions who were associated in some way with a Scottish heritage. The Victorians’ penchant for ordered taxonomy and the new chemical dyes meant that the idea of specific patterns of bright colors, or “dress” tartans could be created and applied to a faux-nostalgic view of Scottish history.

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Ronda Rice Carman’s Sheil – Purple

The colors used in tartans can be altered to produce variations of the same tartan. The resulting variations are termed: modern, ancient, and muted. ( These terms refer to color only.) Modern represents a tartan that is colored using chemical dye, as opposed to natural dye. Ancient refers to a lighter  color shade of tartan. These shades are meant to represent the colors that would result from fabric aging over time. Muted refers to tartan colors which is shade between modern and ancient. This type of tartan is very modern, dating only from the early 1970s. This shade is said to be the closest match to the shades attained by natural dyes used before the mid-19th century.

Did You Know?

Tartan has a storied and tumultuous past. Seen as a symbol of Scottish rebellion, Tartans were banned with The Dress Act of 1747 until 1782. They became trendy again when Queen Victoria made her royal residence Balmoral and used her favorite setts in the décor. She loved the Scottish tartan kilts so much she ordered plaid carpets for the castle.

qvictoria tartan

Victoria tartan designed by Queen Victoria

Prince Albert personally took care of the interior design, where he made great use of tartan. He utilized the red Royal Stewart and the green Hunting Stewart tartans for carpets, while using the Dress Stewart for curtains and upholstery. The Queen designed the Victoria tartan, and Prince Albert the Balmoral sett that are still used as a royal tartan today.

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Balmoral Tartan designed by Prince Albert. Designed in 1857 it’s the private property of the Royal Family and can only be worn by permission.

Like Queen Victoria, today’s design icons love tartans too, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger’s lines regularly feature plaids and tartans. Vivenne Westwood takes setts to a whole new level. I have been spotting tartans on all kinds of home furnishings Think about adding a little plaid to make your wintry nights homey.


Is it Polished, Preppy or Punk?



Alexander Julian visionary behind Jonathan Charles whips up a case goods collection inspired by his Scottish Heritage. What better way to showcase his love of tartan textiles than to translate it into this Haberdashery chest inspired by the classic MacLeod tartan.

 Tartan Redfined

tartan hololandandsherry

Holland and Sherry’s tartans in the window of their Paris showroom.

holand sherry trim tartan


tartan rochebobois

Even Euro  contemporary powerhouse Roche Bobois gets in the act.


Tartan done in modular carpet tiles by Flor.


Spotted: Antique tartanware from at Craig Ringstad, Fairway, KS in the Antique and Design Center at High Point Market.


Not your typical tartan- Ronda Rice Carman recently introduced  Ronda Rice Carman Fine Fabrics available to the trade and consisting of 350 wools and cashmeres. She’s given the classic cloth a modern twist with unusual colorways and playing with the pattern’s scale.


Ronda’s Highand Collection as seen in Robert Pascal’s office. Combining the finest natural fiber, with time honored techniques; The Highland Collection takes its historical inspiration from the natural splendor and breath-taking colors of the surrounding Scottish Highlands.



More inspiration from Plinth and Chintz


Want to learn more about tartans? Check out Tartan, Romancing the Plaid by  Jeffery Banks.