DSA Newsletter - June 2009

Notes from Natasha

Welcome! If you are reading this, you are evidently one of many new members who have recently joined this exciting networking opportunity. We want DSA to become your number one "go to" resource for all your design professional needs. Our organization is a fantastic opportunity to communicate with like minds and industry professionals from across the country.

We want to get to know you! As part of our newly designed member newsletter, we are including a Designer Spotlight each month, an opportunity for one of our members to sing their own praises. What better way for us to get to know one another? If you are interested in being considered for this member profile in our newsletter, send some information about yourself, your background and some of your projects. Be sure to read about this month's featured designer - the fabulous Scott Cunningham of San Francisco, California.

To increase your chances for referral, please take time to complete your designer profile on our website. This is your best opportunity for referrals and we want potential clients to see how much talent we have to offer. Don't forget to post photos of your projects - a picture really can be worth a thousand words!

See something missing? This is your newsletter! We welcome suggestions and requests for information to be published in upcoming issues. Our inbox is flooded daily with people just like you looking for a place to dialog, gain valuable education and locate industry partners such as our many vendors and industry service providers. We want this newsletter to become an invaluable source of information for all of our members and industry partners.

Feel free to contact us at any time with questions or issues we may be able to help you solve. In the meantime, encourage your design peers to join us. Remember, the more the merrier!

Warm regards,
Natasha Lima Younts
Founder, DSA

A Message from IDPC

If you have not been following the increasing efforts to impose licensure on the interior design profession, there's no time to waste! The Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) was founded with a very specific mission: to resist the efforts to monopolize the interior design profession and to protect the rights and livelihoods of all interior designers. That includes everyone who practices even one aspect of interior design - whether aesthetic or technical - which would be negatively impacted if restrictive regulations are allowed to be enacted across the country.

Why regulate interior design? Why indeed! While proponents purport that it is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, at no time during the 30 year push for licensure has even a single piece of evidence been presented which would warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy. Twelve government agencies have evaluated the need for regulating interior designers and - without exception - all concluded that regulation would add absolutely nothing to protect consumers beyond measures already in place, but instead would serve only to artificially increase prices and offer consumers fewer choices. Click here to read all 12 reports: http://www.idpcinfo.org/Govt-Reports.html.

The true motive behind the push for regulation is to eliminate fair market competition - in effect, to have the legislature become the marketing agent for a minority of elitist insiders who would then have an unearned state-sanctioned enhancement, placing the rest at an unfair competitive disadvantage.

Prior to the formation of IDPC, restrictive interior design laws were passed, under-the-radar, because the design community was largely unaware when practice or title bills were introduced or hearings were held. But IDPC has changed all that… We are fighting back! And we are winning. Despite an unprecedented lobbying campaign over the last three-and-a-half years, IDPC staff and supporters have helped defeat or derail more than 85 attempts to expand or enact new legislation!

But the fight is not over. The Designer Society of America is our strong and trusted ally, and we need YOU to participate. When you receive action news alerts about legislation in your state, please do your part. IDPC provides information and analysis of legislation, along with training for grassroots opposition. The rest is up to you. Be ready to contact your legislators. Be ready to attend hearings. Be ready to be a part of the winning team. Be ready to fight to retain your freedom to design! For more information, please visit www.IDPCinfo.org.

It's Easy to Be Green!

Are you looking for support for green design practices? Check out Easy to be Green, an online, subscription based, advertisement-free green design resource created by an interior designer for interior designers. We provide fundamental sustainable design information useful to our peers in the design industry.

Green products are organized in handy charts for quick review. Bi-monthly articles and book reviews allow designers to stay ahead of the fast paced learning curve in green design. Additional links and resources give you the support needed to be a responsible, sustainable designer.

Please visit our preview section at www.easytobegreen.com today for a glimpse into the type of information and support you will find as a member. I look forward to the opportunity to serve you!

Sue Norman,
Managing Editor

P.S. Here's a link to a snippet about us on the Panel Source website: http://panelsource.net/resourcecenter/links/EasybeGreen.html

Designer Profile - Scott Cunningham/Cunningham Design

Scott Cunningham is an interior design professional with more than 20 years in the industry. Owner of Cunningham Design, a green interior design firm, located in the San Francisco Bay area, Scott studied painting and sculpture at the Portland School of Art in Maine and interior design at San Francisco State University.

A highly sought after design professional, Scott is a true artist, specializing in decorative painting, with an extensive portfolio of remarkable projects. His work has been featured in Sunset magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Marin Independent Journal.

Scott also creates exquisite custom pieces for clients, from green and renewable furnishings to reclaimed wood architectural features. "I love to create dynamic interiors, but am passionate about making them green," shares Scott, who estimates 30 percent of his projects are green.

A proponent of eco-friendly design, Scott is an ASID Allied Member, a Certified Green Builder and a former Green Resource Center Volunteer "Ask the Expert." Scott is also a member of the board of directors for the Housing Corporation of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, for whom he serves as a source for green design for the center's affordable housing projects.

For more information about Scott or to view more of his work, visit his website at www.cunninghamdesignsf.com.

Music by Design

While it may sound incredulous, the latest interior design news is that music has been added to the interior design services repertoire. Music/architecture specialists from New York and London to Aspen and Belize are creating customized playlists synchronized with their clients' decor.

"Hearing the wrong music in the wrong space can be very disorienting," explains DJ Coleman Feltes, who has created mixes for Versace, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana fashion shows. Music stylists charge between $50 and $250 an hour for the custom designed playlists, which are then downloaded onto iPods or sent as CDs by mail. For the discerning, high-end clients, atmosphere is everything and the perfect music fits into that paradigm, he adds.

A free interior design audio gift awaits you at Mike Selvon portal site, where you can enrich your knowledge further about interior design news.

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mike_Selvon

Economic Effects Spotty on Interior Design

The economic doldrums that have hampered most industries aren't stopping some local interior design businesses from expanding. Interiors By Kurtinitis in Columbia Tusculum (Ohio) has invested about $800,000 to $1 million to boost the size of its store along Columbia Parkway to about 14,000 square feet, doubling its size and showroom space to display everything from complete bedroom settings and sell more home accessories.

J.W. Fleckenstein, designer at Interiors By Kurtinitis, said the store's expansion started about a year before the economic downswing, but also was continued so the store could be prepared when the economy turns around. Fleckenstein owns the business with Marianne Kurtinitis, president of Interiors By Kurtinitis.

The expansion comes as some other local interior design firms have restructured or downsized. The House of France closed its Montgomery store May 23, said co-owner Bill France. He said that location was closed because it was too close to a newer and larger 9,000-square-foot retail location the business will continue to operate in Oakley.

France said more businesses - including interior designer stores, automobile dealerships and jewelry stores - that sell big-ticket, luxury and discretionary items could be forced to downsize or closed over the next year.

The latest data for interior design services, which includes everything from consulting firms to stores that sell home accessories, show sales were $11.5 billion in 2008, down from $12 billion in 2007, said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBIS World, a Los Angeles-based industry research firm.

Nationally, the numbers would indicate there is a lot of churn in the interior design business, Van Horn said.

Source: Excerpt from Cincinnati Enquirer 6/1/09