Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goin' to Chicago

Vacation time is arriving quickly! I'm leaving this afternoon for an AWESOME weekend scrapbooking (I know, I know - a whole weekend scrapping????) in the Windy City! In homage to my trip, I wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our items with a Chicago theme.

Some of the manufacturers we deal with are located there, or at least have showrooms. A few you could check out would be Beacon Hill, Duralee, Stroheim & Romann and LumiSource.

I hope to make a few posts while I'm gone, just for a change of scenery. Y'all have a great week!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Wonderful World of Tiffany

Home decor styles and trends change like the wind. Ideas, colors, looks, everything changes from season to season but the one thing that has stayed the same and stood the tests of time are Tiffany Lamps.

The first Tiffany lamp was created in the late 1890s by Louis Comfort Tiffany. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of the famous Tiffany and Company.
Louis was a painter and became interesting in glassmaking in 1875. He worked at several glasshouses in Brooklyn until 1878 and then in 1879 he joined Candace Wheeler, Samual Colman and Lockwood de Forest to establish Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists. The company thrived but Louis still had a strong desire to work in art glass. In 1885 the firm broke up and Tiffany established Tiffany Glass Company. It became known as Tiffany Studios in 1902.

When he first began his work with art glass he designed windows for some of the most prominent interior design companies in New York as well as church and cathedrals. Many of the stained glass windows seen today all over the Northeastern part of the United States were designed and created by Louis Tiffany. The Holy City
made in 1905 for Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland is one of 11 Tiffany windows Louis designed for the church. Having 58 panels it is one of the largest ever made by Tiffany Studios.

In 1899 after a few years of working with windows Louis had the idea of creating lamps. The first Tiffany lamp was created in 1899 with a bronze base.

Every lamp is prepared by using the Copper Foil Method. First the pattern is drawn out on a heavy piece of cardboard. Next a number and glass color is written on the pattern piece. After the pattern is drawn and labeled, the glass is laid over it and traced. Once traced, the pieces are cut and grinded to the correct shape. Next the pieces are cleaned so the copper foil can be applied to the edges and the copper foil solution allows the pieces to adhere together. After the lamp has been placed and fully bonded, the edges are soldered together for a firm hold. Lastly, it is cleaned to bring out its magnificent beauty.

Louis Comfort Tiffany closed down Tiffany Studios in 1932. He is still to this day one of the most recognized artist in the world. His work with art glass has inspired the birth of some of the most well known Tiffany lamp companies still in business today such as Dale Tiffany, Meyda Tiffany and Paul Sahlin Tiffanys.

Tiffany Lamps are timeless, beautiful, and no matter what your decor they are the perfect accent in any room.

Fun fact: The record price for an original Tiffany Studios lamp at a public sale exceeds US $8,000,000.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New Product Spotlight:

There are some amazing new collections being introduced right now. I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorites, so far!

These are all new from Robert Allen! They have some FABULOUS new indoor/outdoor fabrics that you absolutely have GOT to check out! You can view the collections here, here, here and here. These collections range from fabrics to trim to drapery hardware!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meet the Staff: Pam

It's been a busy week at Interior Mall. A lot has been going on. We will be featured in a large spread for the community magazine Entertainment Fort Smith. Make sure to check that out when it hits news stands. We also lost one of our office mascots Blackie. Despite the craziness around the office everything must go on as normal. Being that it's Friday it is time for a new Meet the Staff and this week it's Pam.

Pam's been working for Interior Mall as our accountant for 5 1/2 years. She's sweet, funny, hard working, and a junk food junkie. Although by looking at her you would never know makes me sick! =)

Carrie: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Pam: The challenge and the people.

Carrie: How would you describe your personal interior design taste?
Pam: Good. (I was told she has lots of beautiful antiques and LOVES roosters.)

Carrie: How do you spend your time outside of work?
Pam: Gardening, reading, and caring for my grandchildren.

Carrie: One random question: How would you describe your perfect day?
Pam: Meeting all of my deadlines with a little time to spare.

R.I.P. Blackie

Yesterday at 4:30 p.m. Blackie one of our beloved mascots had to be put to sleep due to a severe case of Feline Aids. This is a very serious feline disease that is extremely contagious to other cats. If you fear your cat might be infected please, please don't hesitate to get your cat(s) tested. To find out more.

R.I.P. Blackie
You will be missed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Meet the Staff: Stephanie's Friday. After the crazy weather that came through Arkansas a couple of days ago it's nice to hear the birds chirping and see the sun out. You can definitely tell it's Spring. The weather is changing, flowers are blooming and people are redecorating their homes for a new season.
For those out there that might need a little help in that department I am introducing everyone to our in-house designer Stephanie. A 15 year veteran of Interior Mall, she's the fiery little red head that does all our design consultations from how to measure for bed spreads, to creating custom draperies, to picking colors and patterns that coordinate for the perfect look. She is fabulous!

Carrie: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Stephanie: All the different people I come in contact with each day, and the ability to be creative for my job. Everyday is a new adventure around here.

Carrie: How would you describe your personal interior design taste?
Stephanie: I like clean lines and a sophisticated look. I tend to be transitional- I like different aspects of Traditional and of Contemporary. I love color - whether it is a soothing color for bedrooms or a bold statement for an accent wall.

Carrie: What's been your most fulfilling job experience since working for Interior Mall?
Stephanie: That is a very difficult question to answer. I would say it was when I changed a children's treatment center from beige and drab to colorful and inviting.

Carrie: How do you spend your time outside of work?
Stephanie: With my family. I love to cook and spend at least one full day a week in the kitchen. I also volunteer on different committees within my church and cook whenever they need additional help.

Carrie: One random question: If you could have any other job in world, what would it be?
Stephanie: I would love to be a wildlife biologist and spend time in Africa. The world habitats have been changing significantly in the past decade and I fear for the existence of our animals.

Next week.......Pam

Friday, April 4, 2008

Meet the Staff: Shelly

It's cold, it's over-cast, and it's time for a new Meet the Staff. Today we are introducing Shelly. Shelly not only works hard at being the Office Manager and Web Developer but she's what I like to consider the office Den Mother. She is always around when we need to talk or to give us words of encouragement. She's been here over 7 years and it would be strange around the office without her.

Carrie: What do you enjoy most about your job?
Shelly: I enjoy the variety of things to do and the fast pace. Watching the business take off and grow has been exciting as well.

Carrie: How would you describe your interior design taste?
Shelly: I love contemporary things-the sleek lines, simple details, and metals. One the other hand, I treasure my heirlooms from my family. My home is quite an eclectic mix of contemporary furnishings and treasures from my past.

When not working, how do you spend your time?
Shelly: My family and church are the most important things to me. I love to cook-but soccer practice and science fair projects seem to take precedence these days. I also give a lot of time to the children's ministry at our church.

Carrie: One random question: If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Shelly: Other than I can't wait to meet Jesus, I think I would love to have a conversation with Dr. James Dobson. His radio programs and parenting books have been very influential in my upbringing and in my parenting.

I think next week I'll introduce everyone to our in-house designer Stephanie.

Going Green, Part Three

(clipart, copyright

For part Three of our "Going Green" series, I wanted to talk about a few different things. One thing that is important to consider is what happens when the lifespan of a product is complete? Many things can't be thrown into the landfill, such as technology products - computers, tv's, batteries, etc. It is important to know what happens after you've finished using it. Some general things to know are these: Is it recyclable? But, before we tackle that one, lets learn about some of the different types of recycling.
1. "recycling" - this is the type of recycling that you hear about on a regular basis. Soda cans, newspapers, magazines, glass and plastics; these are all types of recycling that we all probably have taken part in at some point. I'm sure many of your towns have recycling programs that are easy to participate in. While many items can be recycled, there are different types of plastics, for instance, that can be recycled in different ways. In "recycling", items are typically ground down to their basic form (take glass, for example) and remade into other products similar to what was recycled. For example, take a glass bottle. You take it to the recycling center, it is ground down to sand, then goes through the process of becoming a glass bottle again.
2. "downcycling" - in downcycling, a product which is recycled is made into a product of typically inferior quality. Tires that are recycled are a good example of this. You take old tires, they are ground up and turned into mulch for playgrounds or something similar.

Other than recycling, there are other characteristics that are important when shopping for decor items. How do you take care of it? If you have an item that requires chemically-heavy cleaning processes, but is produced in an eco-friendly manner, perhaps it is time for them manufacturer to think of a new way to allow for cleaning. Chemical cleaners let off gases that can be harmful to you and your environment and typically offset any environmental "attaboys" of the original purchase.

Sometimes, these chemical gases can simply be a by-product of the item itself. One common example is treated wood products. They can let off gases such as formaldehyde (which is used to preserve things for biology class, for instance). Do you really want that in your home or on your deck? I wouldn't. There are many ways you can determine this information before purchasing. A few websites that are helpful are here and here.

After the strange weather we have had in this part of the country, it really makes us all wonder - are our actions truly contributing to global warming? Even if they're not, what is it going to hurt to live a little greener?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Going Green, Part Deux

Myspace Backgrounds - Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

How was your EarthHour Celebration? Many reports show it was a great success, while just as many say it was a "fad celebration" that no one would continue in their regular lives.

As we near Earth Day, I am continuing our series on Green decorating. I have a few more things to look for when working to decorate green.

3. Where did the material actually come from? Are they locally produced products? Did it take alot of energy to get them to you? The farther from you a product is manufactured, typically (a) the higher the costs and (b) the higher the carbon footprint. Reason being is the transportation to get it to you. Choosing locally produced products not only helps the environment, but also your local economy.

4. How did it get here? Was this product manufactured in a "green" factory? Does the manufacturer use natural ingredients in their products, to include natural energy? Is your product created in a factory with black-smoke billowing chimneys or one that recycles its waste into reusable energy? Many manufacturers are moving to a more green way of doing business, such as using renewable energy sources like wind, water and solar power. How does the manufacturer control their carbon footprint and amount of greenhouse gas emissions? These are all questions that may take a little bit of research to learn, but can make a big difference in the way you shop.

Next up in our series on "Going Green", we'll talk about durability and reclamation of goods we use.