Design & Wine

Friday, September 28, 2018

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A delightful and frank discussion about interior design was had this past Tuesday. Janelle Pantry-Coke invited interior designers Nicole White, Joelle Smith and Vanessa Paisley-Clare to her design studio and furniture store Spaces, for Design & Wine — An Evening of Conversation and Inspiration. The third day of Jamaica Observer Design Week JA 2018 presented by Kohler saw industry professionals, homeowners, financiers and design buffs gather to hear about design trends, the psychology of colour and the reason for hiring an interior designer.

Samantha Martin-George of Party of Ten Catering created an impressive and well-composed charcuterie and cheese board comprised of sweet stout-glazed picnic ham, beef pastrami with pesto, potted shrimp, callaloo cream cheese dip and an assortment of cheeses, veggies, preserves, bread and fruits.

Moderated by Design Week JA conceptualiser Novia McDonald-Whyte, Design & Wine got to the core of why it's beneficial to engage an interior designer. Members of the audience learnt where to save and where to splurge during home renovation projects. Full disclosure: splurge on cabinets, tiles, mattresses and sofas. They, too, learned what trends are here to stay; these include “bringing the outdoors in”, “matte finishes” and “large square tiles with minimal grout lines”.

Besides tips, the three panellists discussed their pricing structures. This refreshing move, prompted by McDonald-Whyte, allowed the designers to really “lift the kimono” on what it costs to hire a designer. According to White, an award-winning and internationally published interior designer, hiring an interior designer can save a client tens of thousands of dollars. “I extend my trade discount that is oftentimes 30% to my clients. So yes, they are paying my fee but I can save them a lot of money compared to them doing it on their own,” she shared. Good to know.

White, Smith and Paisley-Clare also shared best practices with each other on how to build their brands and attract more business. From having a robust Instagram presence to blogging to staying in touch with clients (and those who have yet to become clients) — all these things work together towards building trust and allowing designers to endear themselves to future clients.

Design & Wine — An Evening of Conversation and Inspiration was intimate and well executed. The event offered guests a peek into the business, psychology and benefits of good interior design and gave design inspiration to those who sought it.

Jamaica Observer Design Week JA 2018 presented by Kohler continues until Sunday, September 30. Design Week JA 2018 is made possible by Tile City & Home Centre, National Commercial Bank, Caribbean Airlines, Spanish Court Hotel, Business Access TV and Wealth Magazine.

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