3 Reasons Why You Can’t Afford to Miss the 2nd Annual Interior Design Business Success Summit

 

Maybe you’re on the fence about registering for this year’s summit. Perhaps the idea of investing in yourself sounds a little rich, or you’re just not sure it’s the right thing to do right now. Both of those reasons are valid, and I’m sure all of the other ones you have swirling around your brain are too, but please listen to me when I say you won’t regret the decision, and in fact, attending Summit 2021 might be one of the best decisions you make. 

I could probably do an entire Summit on the benefits of attending said Summit, but in the event of saving time, I’ve put together my top three best, most important, tip top reasons why you have to attend this year’s 2nd Annual Interior Design Business Success Summit. All five are coming up next.

 

You Get a BTS Sneak Peek of the Dallas Market Center

That’s right, THE Dallas Market Center, “leading wholesale marketplace in North America.” And you’re getting an up close and personal view of it all. During your tour you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the newest collections from your tried and true vendors as well as those lesser known newbies that are ready to make an impression on designers like yourself

If you’ve ever wondered what five million– yes you’re reading that right, a five and six zeroes — square feet of marketplace looks like, you’re about to find out. This insider info will help set you apart from other designers. While you’re exploring the hundreds of new, cutting edge design products, you’re getting a major leg up on the competition. 

 

It’s a Vacation and Business Trip

You need a vacation, plain and simple. But let’s be honest, there’s always a touch of guilt when you’re sneaking off for some quiet time on your own, or spending money on yourself. Not this time, babe! This is a business trip, strictly for the most serious of interior designers… at least that’s what you’re going to tell everyone. 

Nobody has to know what happens outside of your 8:30-4:30 days spent listening to those badass speakers and doing all the design things. You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re also going to be joining your peers for a welcome cocktail hour, and experiencing a special cooking event at Ferguson’s. 

And those are just a few of the fun and fabulous experiences you’re getting on this “business trip.” Who said business has to be boring? Nobody, that’s who. A vacation/business trip is exactly what you need to reinvigorate your love of the design biz, and to gather new inspo for current and future projects.

 

 

Social Interaction… with Adults

Yes, those are angels you hear singing in the background as you read that. It’s finally time for you to get out of the house and enjoy some time with other adult humans doing the same thing. Not only will you be surrounded by like-minded designers wanting to grow their business (hello, networking) but you’ll also get to hear from, and bump elbows with some of the biggest names in the industry. 

Who are these big names, you ask? And how can these design gurus help put money back in your pocket? I’m not one to drop names… but for Summit’s sake, I’ll give you just a taste of who you can expect to see, and what they’ll be sharing:

  • Gage Edwards presents “Raise Your Profile and Grow Your Business Online”
  • Rick Campos on “Your Business By Design”
  • Maureen Mwangi’s “The Secret Ingredient to Being Your Own Brand”

… and again, these are just a few of the big speakers we have lined up for you. And each one has something new to share with you, so you can start building your own design empire. 

As the interior design industry continues to evolve and grow to the ever-changing marketplace, the need for outside the box thinking and coming together as a community is needed more than ever.

And after a year like 2020, we deserve an event where we can come together and discuss it all — and so much more! Between these three reasons and the impending FOMO you’ll have from seeing your designer friends’ social posts while they’re at Summit, I think you know what your next move needs to be. Click here to register, and I’ll save you a seat. 

 

Preparing for Holiday Guests: 4 Things You Can Start Doing RIGHT NOW

Let’s be honest, your house is the most fabulous in the family. This is why everyone always wants to be your holiday houseguest. And really, you did spend all that time, effort, and money on your pristine home, so why not show it off?!

Even though you have a chic, daily setup that works for you, there’s always a fair amount of preparation to be done right before the guests arrive. Your guest space looks great, but to be the ultimate hostess and make your guests feel as comfortable as possible, there are a few things you might want to put on your to-do list right now. But don’t boggle your brain trying to figure that out, we have it all figured out for you. Just stick around for this quick read on what you can do to be prepared for holiday guests. 

 

Clean and Declutter

Woof. This is the least exciting part of guest prep. But it has to be done. Move any unnecessary clutter to a storage closet, far away from the guest space. Friends and family will be living here, so make it easy for them to move around. They don’t want to have to worry about bumping into that super expensive picture frame and breaking it. 

Want to make your cleaning life easier? Use cloth diapers (clean ones, of course) for cleaning. They’re fantastic for all the surfaces! And they’re so absorbent, they can take a stain out of just about anything.

 

Create Additional Space

This doesn’t mean start that over-the-garage guest suite addition you’ve been waiting on. Don’t get too crazy. All you need to do is create space within the rooms you already have. Make sure there’s space in your coat closet, add a guest laundry basket to the mudroom, and free up extra drawers and closets in the guestroom. This is why decluttering and moving things out of the guest space is important. Especially if your guests are staying longer than just an overnight visit. 

If you really want to go the extra mile, you can add a coffee bar in your guest space or kitchen. You can also make snacks and beverages easily accessible by adding a mini-fridge and treat basket. Remember, the ultimate goal is to make your guests feel at home, without you having to wait on them hand and foot. And, it helps you avoid awkward conversations when someone has to ask you for something. 

Putting extra stools at the breakfast bar and chairs at the table also helps guests feel more welcome. Additional seating is like a subliminal message to guests that they’re free to sit wherever, no need to wait for an invitation. 

Our designer Debbie is basically the queen of houseguests, here are a few of her suggestions for making a guest area more functional:

  • Make sure the guest bed is layered with plenty of pillows and extra blankets. Also, make sure there are more in the closet. 
  • Bring in an extra chair or bench, if you don’t already have one. Guests need a space to put their belongings, like a handbag, that isn’t the bed.
  • Fresh towels are a must! And lots of them. 
  • Provide good mirrors. A magnifying mirror in the bathroom is great, and a full length mirror in the bedroom. 
  • Add a blow dryer and let your guests know they don’t have to bring one.
  • Provide makeup remover sheets, your towels will thank you!
  • Keep a vanity cabinet empty so your guests have a place to store their items and keep the counters free from clutter.
  • Stock those small bottles of water so your guests don’t feel like they’ll disturb the household if they need some water in the middle of the night. 
  • If your guest room was previously one of your kiddos’ room, make sure it’s updated to be a true guest retreat. Tuck away any of those high school relics that might usually live in this room. 

 

 

Stock Up

Now THIS is the fun part. It’s time to shop… for the guests, of course. Your endgame here is to get everything you need for your guests to take full advantage of the space you’ve already designed. Here’s a quick list of things you might want to buy while you’re on your shopping adventure:

  • Breakfast foods and late night snacks
  • More toilet paper and paper towels than you think you’ll need
  • Outdoor activities for the little ones
  • Treats for any traveling pets
  • Extra toiletries 
  • Additional phone chargers
  • Adult beverages (little bottles are cute to have on display in your guest space)

 

 

Add the Finishing Touches

Before you stand back and brush the dust off your hands from a job well done, we have a list of things you can do to make sure your guests remember who is the most wonderful host in the whole world. Give them a stay they’ll never forget by “polishing” your space:

  • Add a welcome sign or a simple handwritten note.
  • Make a list of nearby coffee shops, cafes, and grocery stores.
  • Add motion detector night lights in any areas where guests might venture out to in the night.
  • Make a playlist of background music and share it with your guests… holiday music is a bonus.
  • Put together a basket of toiletries in the bathroom and a separate snack/bev basket in the bedroom. 
  • Frame your wifi password for easy access, or just create a QR code so guests can have it handy at all times. 
  • Add fresh flowers wherever you can. And, to keep it festive, add just one or two holiday decs. You still want to keep it minimal, but festive at the same time. 

 

 

Now you can take a step back and admire your hard work. Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax… until the guests arrive, of course. And, if you’re realizing you really do need more space, or you’re ready to design that home addition you’ve been dreaming of, we’ve got your back!

 

Michelle Lynne Interiors Group is a Dallas-Ft. Worth based Interior Design team that specializes in creating homes that are happier and more efficient for busy people. If you’re ready to take your Dallas hospitality to a new level with a smart, stylish, and fun space give us a call or reach out via our contact page

 

Need A Respite? These 4 Dallas-Ft. Worth Staycation Destinations Could Be Your Fix!

Raise your hand if you’re ready to get the heck out of town?! There’s no doubt that you could use a serious, two week long vacay, with another week off tagged on for the recovery from completely disconnecting on the vacay. But finding time to squeeze in a solid chunk of restorative time is a challenge – it’s almost more mind boggling than relaxing. 

The solution? A staycation! And lucky us, we live in an area with some incredible destinations, all within driving distance. Our group of experts, aka ML Interiors Group’s designers Megan and Debbie, put together a list of their favorite local-ish escapes. So pack a cooler and snacks, find someone to watch the kiddos, or even bring them along! These four DFW staycation destinations need to be on your radar (and in your maps app).

 

A Full Foodie Experience in Celina

If you hop on the tollway and head north, you’ll run right into Celina, a small Texas town that’s inhabited by native Texans and transplants alike. Our teammate and fellow designer Debbie also calls Celina home. So you can plan your staycation here, knowing it’s been personally approved by a Celina local. 

“The Square,” or downtown area, has recently been updated to bring on a hint of modern flavor while still maintaining the small-town-Texas feel. This is where all the magic happens, with country music playing throughout the town square, just to pack as much Texas as possible into every moment of your adventure. 

While you’re in Celina, you HAVE to check out the Toasted Walnut. Chef Joey Dawkins cooks up an incredible menu, including top secret offerings that are only revealed on Facebook. But, if you want to know a secret within a secret, we have the inside scoop from Debbie, so lean a little closer and listen carefully… order “The Italian,” a sandwich, and ask for it “Tribiani” style. That’s right, Tribiani, as in one of our favorite “Friends,” Joey! Clearly, this is our kinda restaurant. And yes, Chef Joey gets a little nod in the name, too. 

If you’re lucky enough to stay in Celina for a couple of meals, be sure Tender Smokehouse is on your list. While most Texans can recognize some good BBQ, Tender is a nationally recognized brand for having some of the best smoked meats in the entire country. Their brisket is so good, Chef Joey uses it for a few menu items at Toasted– that’s what the locals call the Toasted Walnut, so now you can sound like you’re “in-the-know” when you visit. 

The Little Wooden Penguin is a fabulous little gem that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from The Square. This is the ideal spot for those that like a little action with their wine (or beer), there’s an outdoor space with games, including a putt-putt! But this spot really takes off on the weekends, when food trucks roll in and guests enjoy live music. And, as if all of that wasn’t enough to satisfy even the most energetic of bar-goers, LWP has a succulent bar, where you can make your own adorable little party favors! 

Wine Not Check Out Anna

Next up, Anna- a sweet little town, just Northeast of Dallas proper. You could easily make Anna a day trip, but your main event in Anna is visiting Barn Hill Vineyards, so do yourself a favor and just  book yourself a place to stay for the night. 

Not only is the local wine selection just what you need to take your staycay to the next level, the obscene amount of fresh air makes your escape from the city (or the ‘burbs) really feel like a true getaway. Barn Hill also features live music, only this time in the form of 80s tribute bands… 80s music + wine? Do you need any more convincing?

Channel Your Inner Farmer in Gunter

When you need a mental break but can’t make an overnight happen, put on your best farm gear and head toward Gunter. This little town has one of the best places to buy trees in the entire DFW area. 

The town itself  has classic small town Texas feel, so be sure to stop for a few snaps along the way. Especially if you’re dressed to impress in your Texas-best boots and hat combo. You’ll need proof that you didn’t just wear them for looks, you’re actually putting in some work down on the farm. 

Now for the real fun, make your way to Treeland Nursery, where all the cool kids go to pick out their own trees for home landscape. You’ll find plenty of inspo on the grounds, so hop in one of their golf carts available and take notes… just make sure someone else does the driving. And be on the lookout for animals! There are geese, goats, and even a giant turkey that call this place home. And here’s a little insider tip to keep in your back pocket… this place is especially gorgeous in the fall when leaves change colors, not to mention it’s not a million degrees outside so you can walk around and enjoy your trip without melting. 

 

Escape to the Other Big City

Fort Worth is still a major metropolis, but not nearly as busy as Dallas. This is what makes it such a perfect staycation destination! For starters, book a night or two at Hotel Drover, brilliantly designed with Texas’ history in mind, with a sprinkle of modern. 

You don’t even have to leave the hotel, 97 West Kitchen & Bar is on-site and fantastic, but within walking distance is Atico. Here you can take in city views with your meal, or just make it a pit stop on your way to more exploring. But if you’re really in the mood for drinks, like drinks, drinks, Texican Court is a must. They have an entire room dedicated to tequila tasting! Megan loves the Mexican vacay vibes in this joint and highly recommends adding it to your staycation list. 

But let’s be honest, what’s any kind of getaway without shopping?! Fort Worth is full of fabulous boutiques and shopping areas, but here’s Megan’s list of faves, so you know they’re good:

  • The Shops at Clearfork: all the high end shops packed into one area, along with a bowling alley and movie theater. A definite must if you’re bringing the whole fam. 
  • Beehive: a trendy boutique with fashions latest and greatest.
  • Esther Penn: another FW area shop overflowing with clothing and accessories. 
  • Archie’s and Guardado Gardens: if you need to satisfy your green thumb, check out either (or both) of these two nurseries. 
  • All of Magnolia Street: if you’re in a hipster sort of mood, you’ll love taking in all of what Magnolia Street has to offer, including oh-so-much artwork and lovely eateries. 

So no more excuses. Fill up your gas tank and go. Don’t overthink it, your brain’s already been working overtime lately. Your obligations will still be here when you get back, but you’ll be much more equipped to handle them after a little time off. 

And… if one of those lurking obligations happens to be revamping your existing home design, or finally creating a more functional space, we know a gal (or three) that can make that happen for you. You know where to find us when you’re ready to create the home of your dreams… unless you really don’t know where to find us, then we’ll leave that info right herea the end of the page. Enjoy your staycation!

 

This is How You Style Your Home With Beloved Travel Mementos

Traveling is one of the best ways to create lifelong memories, yet when you return from a great trip, you’re left with a bit of a post-travel let down. We call this, “Post-Vacation Depression” and folks, it’s a very real thing. It’s that massive feeling of “womp, womp, womp” that creeps up on you the second you walk through the door of your home and have to unload that beautifully curated suitcase. 

Adding travel mementos to your home is a great way to keep those sacred travel memories alive, and add a little spice to your existing design. That doesn’t mean dig out all your Spring Break ‘00 or fortieth birthday souvenirs and sprinkle them throughout your home, or go room to room adding a travel-inspired theme. There’s a definite balance to incorporating your travels throughout the home while keeping your home stylish and efficient. 

Do you love to shop while on vacay, looking for those hidden gems that bring you and your family joy? Are you in constant “memento mode” on your vacations, snagging anything and everything in an attempt to keep these magical moments alive when you return home? If the answer to either of these is yes, then stick around. If you’re planning a trip and you’d like to better understand what to look out for while shopping and exploring, stay right here. This blog is sharing all the deets (and by “deets,” we mean details of course), of how to properly style your home with your beloved travel mementos that will bring you daily joy for years to come.  

 

Planning a Trip? Make a “Shopping List.”

 

Before you hop in the car or jump on a plane, do a little research to find possible places to shop. Look for artisan markets or shops frequented by locals. When you get to your destination, ask around, see what people are saying, and then go exploring. 

Your goal should be to find unique, inspired, hand-crafted or one-of-a-kind items that you can use in your home, as opposed to loading up your coffee table and built-ins with knick knacks. And, things you will use daily will always keep your travels fresh in your mind. Purposeful, intentional, and thoughtful are the keywords here.

 

 

Smaller Decor Items 

 

Although not impossible, bringing home your favorite chaise from a Parisian furniture boutique poses a few logistical challenges. Instead, opt for smaller pieces that blend seamlessly with your already established style. This will allow you to enhance the individuality of your space, without taking away from the cohesive design you’ve already worked so intentionally to create.

Here are just a few ideas of travel tokens that fit in your suitcase, that will also add an extra level of happiness to your home: 

  • Linens, handkerchiefs, and handmade cloth items to use as table runners and placemats
  • Handmade artwork from local artists
  • Baskets to use as wall hangings, table decor, or even hire someone to turn into a light fixture if you’re really feeling creative
  • Smaller area rugs
  • Handcrafted picture frames 
  • Christmas ornaments

 

Clever Ways to Incorporate “Souvenirs” with Style

 

There are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to styling your souvenirs. Our very own designer, Debbie Pratt, notes the importance of creating a cohesive space that doesn’t “resemble a theme park,” and to make sure that the spaces “speak to each other, yet still retain their own identity.”

Our design on Pasadena Ave. showcases our clients’ love of international travel with pieces they brought home, as well as travel-inspired decor. The natural flow of the decor and the home in this design are a perfect example of travel-inspired design, done right.

 

 

Another important tid bit, from our other fab designer, Megan Fornes, is to consider your souvenirs carefully. Choose pieces that tell part of your travel story. Make sure everything you add is important and brings you joy.  

 

Balance Existing Decor with Tangible Travel Memories

 

When you bring home something from your travels, it’s essentially a memory that you can hang onto. While the sentiment is lovely, it’s important to strike a balance between your existing decor and these pieces, so you don’t find yourself living in what looks like a tropical hotel gift shop, or mountain lodge. It’s all about balance. 

When you add collected items from older trips, make sure to consider the balance and scale. Ask yourself, and answer honestly, does it fit in the space or does it look out of place? Avoid smaller accessories grouped together, this can appear too cluttered. 

Your existing color story has to be part of your thought process as well. Make sure you’re thinking about the room and surrounding spaces, so everything has a natural, seamless flow, including your newly added accessories.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The bottom line is you don’t have to leave all your travels behind, you can bring them home with you. And, because you’re you, and your home is a work of art, all of these travel mementos can be incorporated into your existing design in the most tasteful, classy way so that you can continue to have the most beautiful home. 

But, if you’re staring at all of your travel mementos and feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of how to integrate them into your impeccably styled home, don’t worry. You don’t have to approach it alone. We’ve helped plenty of clients with this very challenge. 

Contact us today to enlist the help of our professional design team. We’ve had years of experience designing homes to be happier and more efficient throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. You can feel confident that our team creates a space that accurately fits your style and provides the solutions you need to make your life even easier. If you’re ready to take action on your space, contact us today to get started.

 

 

 

Start NOW To Make Your Home the Most Merry This Holiday Season

 

It’s July in Dallas-Ft.Worth, you’re sitting by the pool with a refreshing beverage in your hand, deciding how much longer you can possibly take the heat. The thought of diving into the pool crosses your mind, but you’re having a really good hair day and a commitment at 7 o’clock, so that’s just not really an option. What you’re not thinking about are the holidays. That’s right, Christmas… Hanukkah… we said it, NOW is the time when you need to start prepping for the holiday season. 

To avoid the stress with last minute holiday scramble, unavailable items, vendors, and services, and overall being stuck with less than your creative mind has brilliantly imagined, stick around. This blog post has everything you need to know about efficiently making your home (and your gatherings) everything you want them to be this holiday season with ease and plenty of time to spare. 

 

 

Make Your Lists 

 

Checking things off a to-do list is really soul satisfying, but making a list is equally fantastic. Whether you keep a handwritten list in your planner, or add everything to a color coded calendar, lists are life and the holidays are no different. 

Your best route here is to make multiple lists. The obvious list is your gift list but let’s expand on that a bit with gifts to make, gift ideas for yourself (this will save you from getting something random from the husband that tried really hard, but missed the mark just a tad), gifts for any parties or special events (no one likes to arrive empty handed – especially not during the holidays). 

Additional lists that have proven oh so helpful are lists of events or gatherings you plan to attend (and let’s go ahead and get those on the family calendar now), menu lists – anything that’s non-perishable you can buy ahead of time, which will save you the heartache when you inevitably can’t find that one rare ingredient two days before Christmas dinner. 

If you’re hosting your family’s Hanukkah celebration, you HAVE to visit your local Kosher meat shop now to make orders for your menu. Many specialty shops do their orders weeks in advance, and you don’t want to be responsible for ruining Hanukkah dinner, do you? This also includes Thanksgiving and New Years, we can’t say it enough. There’s no harm in ordering now. 

A few other must- have lists: any travel plans and necessary packing items and a “supplies list” for gift wrapping and any homemade gifts you’re planning to create. 

By now, there’s probably a major brainstorm going on in your creative mind. So run with it! Go get your favorite notebook… or go out and buy a brand new one, because shopping is fun (and so are fancy notebooks and planners)! 

 

Choose a Theme

 

You may or may not do themes at your house but everyone has a specific style when it comes to holiday decor. It could be around your tree or your table settings – whichever it is, nail down yours. If you do this early one, you’ll have a much clearer vision in your head, which helps in making decisions when shopping. 

For those visual learners out there, gather images for inspo. In addition to helping you build your vision for a cohesive design, it’s also really fun to pour a glass of wine and scour the web for photos.

 

Take Inventory 

 

What do you have? What do you need? What can be thrown out? Once you have a better idea of your theme, take inventory of what you already have. The holiday season is packed with activities, so take advantage of a more laid back schedule and test those tree lights out now. 

Look for any broken items that you might need to replace and where needed, thin out your collection. There are plenty of places that would love your unwanted decorations, so make a donation to a local thrift shop or shelter, so they’re in the hands of someone new by the time the holidays roll around. While some organizations will resell these items at a discounted price, there are others that will use them on-site, like a women’s shelter or foster care organization. 

For the items that align with this year’s plan, organize them separately from the bulk decor. Next, create one more list of what is needed to achieve your goals for this season.

 

Plan, Plan, Plan 

 

You have your lists ready and a solid inventory of your decorations. Now you can start taking action in the planning department and get things set up as much as you can, without interrupting your day to day life. 

Holiday Cards

If you take family photos for your cards, or have them custom made, now’s the time to get those scheduled. 

Gift Wrapping Area

Save yourself the hassle of ribbon rolling across the floor when you drop it while looking for tape and create a dedicated space for a gift wrapping with plenty of room to create those dreamy pinterest-perfect packages. If you have a room with a lock that you can set this up in, you can even use it as gift storage. 

 

 

Get on the Books

 

Book any and all catering and vendor services as early as possible. As in yesterday! Not to send you into a full panic, but the best of the best (which is who and where you want to book) book-up quickly, so you want to get on their calendar right away. 

Caterers 

If you plan on having any catered events, even if it’s just a few appetizers, contact your caterer right away. This goes for any specialty food items, like cakes or cookies. You’ll never be sorry you ordered ahead.

Reservations

This goes for restaurant reservations as well as travel plans. Everyone wants to have a special holiday meal, but the best restaurants book quickly. Same for travel reservations- the best flights are already full if you book in October or November. There’s no harm in booking any of these early.

Venues

If you’re in charge of planning Christmas dinner and you have a big family, or you really just don’t want to host it at home, consider booking a private room at a restaurant or renting an event space or large outdoor tent, all of which take planning.  

Event Planners

For bigger parties and holiday soirees, hire an event planner to help remove some of the workload. Event planners can help with the smallest tasks, such as day-of coordination, or take over the event entirely. 

Other Rentals

Florals, tables, table linens, chairs, flatware, additional furniture, etc., you name it, you can rent it. And, rental companies will set these things up for you for an additional fee, which is a huge timesaver during this incredibly busy time of year. 

 

In Summary 

Christmas in July may sound a bit ambitious, but you’ll thank us when you’re able to enjoy the holidays without having a lurking sense of “I have SO MUCH to get done.” Host that cookie exchange and enjoy it! Go to the neighborhood mingle and jingle without having to rush home to send out holiday cards. Planning ahead gives you the freedom to step back and absorb those holiday feels.

If the idea of doing all the holiday things in your home makes you realize there are some areas that need a little work, we’ve got your back! Contact us today to enlist the help of our professional design team. 

We’ve had years of experience designing homes to be happier and more efficient throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. You can feel confident that our team creates a space that accurately fits your style and provides the solutions you need to make your life even easier. If you’re ready to take action on your space, contact us today to get started.