DSA Newsletter - January / February 2011

Notes from Natasha

Happy New Year! We've been working like mad behind the scenes to bring you a 2011 full of opportunities to network and gain valuable knowledge about the interior design industry. As a result, we're offering a full schedule of tele-seminars and webinars throughout the year, all designed specifically for our members, who can participate in
two free of charge!

DSA has gone to great lengths to gather some of the most sought after presenters to the interior design community. As a valued member of DSA, you are invited to join us in our 2011 tele-seminar and webinar events. Current members are welcome to participate in two seminars FREE during 2011 and receive a discounted "member's only" rate on additional seminars.

Please take advantage of these opportunities to gain insight into the success of some of the top interior designers in the industry. All it takes is a little of your time and the investment can pay off big for you and your clients. We look forward to chatting and sharing with YOU!

Warmest regards,

Natasha Lima Younts

Designer Society of America

P.S. Not sure if your membership is current? Call us at 866-311-1372 10am-4pm EST Monday through Friday or email us 24/7 at the address above. All emails are answered within 24 hours.

2011 Tele-Seminar/Webinar Line Up

We're going to knock your socks off with the amount of talent we have lined up for our educational seminars this year. See below for a list of industry experts already scheduled to share their secrets to success in interior design:

Mary Dennis, Graceful Lifestyles Designs, Inc. Educator of Feng Shui Design Webinars: Change Your Space, Change Your Life and Feng Shui Soul Satisfying Spaces (See her special two for one offer above for DSA members only!)

Sheri Toth, DSA National Chapter Director Webinars: Best Clients Forward Turning your hourly customer into a loyal client for life! and Turning Obstacles into Opportunities Reinventing the Designer's "Wheel".

Fred Berns, Sales and Marketing Coach/Speaker for Designer Industry Tele-seminars: Supersize Your Success! 7 Steps to Peak Profits in Challenging Economic Times and Sell Yourself! How to Get Them to Buy from YOU

Gail Doby, Co-Founder of Renaissance and Design Success University, speaker, author, social networking strategist Tele-seminars: Contracts, Retainers and Insurance Protect Yourself & Your Business and 2011 And Beyond…A Look Ahead at Trends & Technology For Your Business

Patti Morrow, Founder/Director Interior Design Protection Council Tele-seminars: Draw A Line In the Carpet! And Why and How to Stop Interior Design Regulation

Kelly Galea, the Design Biz Coach Tele-seminars: Help! I Need Clients Now! And Marketing Made Easy Fast Ways to Find Time to Market Your Design Biz

Feng Shui 5 Day Re-design Green Certification Seminar New Dates

Interior ReDesign program dates have changed. The new dates are February 9-13 in Smyrna, TN. Classes held at Holiday Inn Express (15 minutes from Nashville airport). Special rates available only for DSA members. Call (615) 893-9992 and ask for Jacob.

Mary Dennis

Intentional Designer, DSA
Graceful Lifestyles Designs, Inc.
(615) 867-7181

Tele-seminars and Webinars - Learning the Ropes

We have a full schedule of events available to our members this year all free of charge! Some of you might already be familiar with how the technology works regarding tele-seminars and webinars. For those of you who are not, we've provided a simple step-by-step explanation.

What is a tele-seminar, you might ask? Tele-seminar technology is simply a conference call available to many participants by dialing a number and/or clicking an Internet link provided by the presenter. No traveling expenses involved!

How does it work?
Go to the DSA website www.dsasociety.org . In the middle of the page you will see a tab for tele-seminars and webinars. Sign up to receive additional information. Make sure you enter your name and email to register for more information. If you have any questions, call 1.866.311.1(DSA) 372.

Once you register you will receive an email with information such as the time and date of the event. If you choose a specific event, you will also receive the tele-seminar phone number, a link to the seminar and an ID number. If you are using a cell phone or landline to access the tele-seminar, you will need just the phone number and ID number. Those using a laptop or computer to participate will use the link and ID number.

On the day of the seminar, if you are using a phone, call in about five minutes before the scheduled tele-seminar time and enter your ID number. Then sit back and relax while you enjoy listening and learning from several of the most knowledgeable, motivating world-renowned industry experts who have agreed to share their success secrets with you.

For laptop and computer users, it's just as easy. Ten minutes before your tele-seminar is scheduled to begin, click the link from the tele-seminar email we sent you and you will be prompted to enter your tele-seminar ID number. You will also be prompted to download seminar software. This is normal and it won't take long. You will quickly be connected and the announcer will join you shortly. Just relax and make sure that your speakers are on or your headset is available.

Even more exciting is that webinars and tele-seminars are no longer just lectures. They are interactive! You can submit questions before the event and even during the event. It is similar to talk radio except questions arrive by e-mail. You decide how to participate - just listen in and enjoy the information or send in questions.

Also planned for this year are a number of webinars. What is a webinar, you might ask? It's the ability to connect people who are in diverse geographic locations, making it a more attractive option than traveling to a central location. Webinars are similar to tele-seminars in that they connect the attendees to listen to the presenters from the comfort of their own environment without traveling. The biggest difference is that you can enjoy a visual presentation from your computer while listening to the presenter.

How do webinars work? To enjoy the visual portion of a webinar from a laptop or a computer, register on the DSA website to receive a link to the seminar and an ID number. On the day of your Webinar, 15 minutes before your seminar is scheduled to start, click the link from the email we sent and you will be prompted to enter your webinar ID number. After entering your number, you will be prompted to download seminar software. This is normal and it won't take long. Many presenters suggest taking care of your download process the day before. It will only take minutes, but then when you log in on the next day, you will be all set and ready to enjoy your personal presentation in comfort! Just relax and make sure that your speakers are on or your headset is available.

2010 Legislation Recap

Patti Morrow, Interior Design Protection Council

2010 brought another flurry of legislation title acts, practice acts, bidding bills, sign and seal bills. IDPC was straight out protecting the rights of the design community. I personally traveled to 14 states to conduct town hall meetings, training sessions, testifying, etc., and IDPC helped to defeat or derail 22 bills this year.

Unfortunately, in spite of our diligence, several "lesser "bills were able to slip by:

  • Alabama amended their title act to expand sign and seal privileges for NCIDQ-certified designers.
  • Georgia amended the architects' law to allow sign and seal privileges for only NCIDQ-certified designers
  • Illinois amended their title act to exclude registered residential designers.
  • Connecticut reinstated an amended version of the title act that had been declared unconstitutional.

While at first blush these may not appear to be all that restrictive, they are indicative of the master plan to enact seemingly harmless legislation and then incrementally amend it until it finally reaches the true goal full blown occupational licensing in every state. And as we know from our Florida colleagues, licensing prohibits non-NCDIQ certified from practicing interior design and the ruthless prosecution destroys reputations and lives.

So how did this happen? Well, in Connecticut and Alabama, we got very little response to multiple calls to action for grassroots support from the design community. One thing never changes no matter what the state is grassroots opposition is key to killing legislation. In Georgia, due to limited resources, IDPC did not take action since this was essentially the architects' battle, but unfortunately, AIA was not effective in lobbying against the bill and it passed. IDPC did not take action in Illinois because we believe there shouldn't be any interior design regulations at all, but we did alert the residential design community about the proposed change, but similar to Connecticut and Alabama, the registered residential designers' grassroots did not mobilize to keep the NCIDQ from being the only recognized pathway for Illinois.

In addition, there were a few other states where bills were derailed by the slightest of margins, and we do expect to see revived versions next year.

So what's in store for 2011? The same, and more of it… lots more! At the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) annual legislation symposium held in Colorado last October, attendees were encouraged to introduce legislation in all 50 states. At least six bills have already been pre-filed, which is uncharacteristically high given the 2011 session hasn't even begun yet.

What can you do? Join our crusade and take part when you receive a call-to-action! Your right to earn a living could depend on it.

Together, we can and will protect design freedom in this great country!

For more information, please visit www.IDPCinfo.org.

Another Interface by Studio Designer

Studio Designer recently teamed up with Icovia Room Planner to provide yet another interface to make it even easier for interior designers to do what they do best.

With this new offering, designers can create room floor plans in Icovia Room Planner and then transfer the product information from Icovia to Studio Designer to produce proposals, orders and invoices. It's that simple!

In addition, designers can attach links to floor plans from Icovia to Studio Designer so their clients can link directly to the floor plan from proposals.

Icovia Design Edition allows you to quickly and easily design professional floor plans for client presentations utilizing any furniture or product your design requires. Icovia Design Edition fully integrates with Studio Designer. To sign up for Icovia Design Edition, go to: http://www.icovia.com/

Millennium Magic

Mary Dennis

Graceful Lifestyles Designs

We have all been taught the importance of setting intent when affecting a Feng Shui Design, but what exactly is intent and how do we bring it forth into critical matter? This has been a question that has encouraged my search for results. My Feng Shui education is diversified and multi-layered, and it has been my intent to learn all that I can about this dimensional tool for adjusting life's Ch'i. Every Feng Shui book not only increased my education, but also raised my curiosity on how intent works in our world.

Through my studies, I have come to the conclusion that intent is the prevailing force on the Universe. It is the force that changes, reorders and maintains already established aspects of life. Intention is the freedom of the will which gives us the choice in decision making activities and thought processes.

Intent is part of the birth process of reality which stimulates the energy and, with the principles of Feng Shui, aids in creating a supportive environment. Intent is directed by self. It firmly fixes, directs, transforms, alters and causes "immediate effect."

The languaging of our intent, be it in casual conversation or specific ceremony, is of ultimate importance for clear creation. As an example: When using "I am" as part of our personal description, the harmonics of the vowel sound in the words "I am" invoke an unlimited higher power in you to create whatever you say "I am" to. If in casual conversation you find yourself saying "I am tired," "I am angry," "I am annoyed," or "I can't," then you risk creating that as your life experience. But if you say "I am aware," "I know," "Some part of me knows," "I choose," or "I can do that but I choose not to at this time," then the power of your spoken word is being more correctly used.

Clarify your languaging when you are setting intent, and invite your clients to language their intent for themselves when you are aiding them in affecting a cure, for it is our personal words that correspond to our emotional energy.

Anything Exciting

Quantum physics teaches us that our thoughts alone do not bring intent into form; rather it is our emotion that excites the atom that stimulates intent into critical matter. Its use can be as simple as setting a romantic mood. You dim the lights, light a candle, place flowers and add some soft music. Violá! The awareness of that space and the energy it holds is now set in motion.

I liken intention to money. It is like having a personal banking account you can only withdraw what you have put in. As a strong ingredient of Feng Shui, intention gets the energy rolling. This magical ingredient requires faith in the power of your belief to achieve that which you choose to manifest. Always remember, energy follows intent!

There is a philosophy of biology called Teleology, in which the scientist Jean Baptist Lemarck writes that the primordial force in evolution is intent, i.e. the giraffe develops a long neck because it wants to reach the tall tree, the chameleon changes colors to camouflage itself, and that the bird sprouts wings to fly.

There is a silent space between thoughts, which provides us with an arena for creativity, potentialities and infinite possibilities. Intent has infinite organizing powers to bring about that which is intended. You need only to recognize your capacity to change. I call it Millennium Magic!

How To Set Intent

  • First, know what you want
  • Visualize it
  • Clearly language it
  • Write it down
  • Feel the result and hold that emotion
  • Believe that it is yours and allow it to manifest

When you are setting a space with intention, the clearing of clutter, invoking of spirit, music, incense, candle lighting, a favorite prayer, mantra or mudra (a symbolic movement or gesture) may be helpful. All of these actions begin to move the energy and begin to set up your symbols with intent. We know that all things hold energy, so what you are intending with the placement of furniture or accessory will silently, subliminally give you back the message you set to it. Remember, you are establishing a new field of Ch'i energy and influence. The objects and possessions you surround yourselves with affect our attitudes and psyche.

The facilitated space has been given a new definition and power. At this time the energy has been shifted. You, through your initial motion of intentionality, did that. Using an accessory in an area of the BaGua works as the external symbol of the new intention you desired to establish.

Specifically to set intent, I find a quiet space within myself. I take a few breaths - my gift of life and with full consciousness connect with my ability to co-create and influence. I light a candle to bring light, add fragrance to enhance the Ch'i. I honor myself and my work of "creating interior attunement®." I focus on one aspect of my life which needs to be enhanced and cure through erudition, intuition, and intention.

Respect the invisible world of vibration, be alert to its message and your power for Millennium Magic, have discernment, be open for new information and allow time for change. Intention has powerful results!

This article first appeared in the Spring 2000 issue of the Feng Shui Quarterly, a publication of the International Feng Shui Guild. Mary Dennis served as the president and director of education for the non-profit organization. Presently, Mary Dennis is the executive director of the School of Graceful Lifestyles, offering programs in Intentional Environmental Design, Feng Shui education and Conscious Languaging. www.gracefullifestyles.com.

"Dear Vita"

How much money will you make this year?

Dear Vita,
I just got my "books closed" and I'm so disappointed. I worked so hard last year, but when I look at these numbers, I hardly made anything. How can it be? What am I doing wrong?
~Susan, El Paso, TX

Dear Susan,
Let me begin by saying that you're not alone in your grief. Hundreds, if not thousands, of designers are going through the exact same emotions. I see it all too often with my clients as well they've been so busy, but ultimately don't have much to show for it.
Before I make suggestions, let's agree on one thing first: The purpose of a business is to make money right?

Sure it's to give you personal satisfaction. Sure it's to contribute to the community. Sure it's to make people's homes beautiful. But the overriding purpose of any business enterprise is to make a profit. How much profit? Enough to give you financial independence. That's where you can sustain yourself now AND put away for the future.
Now that your Quickbooks are closed and P&L's are finalized, look down at your bottom line. Are you happy with your result? What is going through your mind? Did you make enough to sustain yourself now and put away for the future?

Here's what to do in 2011 to make sure you're on the right financial track.

  1. Know exactly, in no uncertain terms, the following figures:
    • a. Annual gross revenue goal
    • b. Annual net income goal
    • c. Monthly revenue goal
    • d. Number of customers I need to achieve the above

  2. Put these goals where you can see them every day. For me, they are part of my to-do list that I refer to every day. For you it may be a bulletin board or a sheet of paper that you carry in your purse or computer bag. Whatever it is, it must be visible every single day. Looking at your financial goals every day brings an increased sense of awareness. Awareness leads to concrete thoughts, which lead to actions.

  3. Track results. The universe will only bring to you what you're already managing well and tracking. And money loves to be tracked; it's just a universal law, like gravity. Or like the five pounds of pregnancy weight I'm still trying to shed. Track how much you've brought in, how much is pending, how much you still need to generate.

  4. Increase prices. Price is by far one of the most controversial, confusing, and frustrating areas of a design business. It is also the stickiest conversation with the client. We love to design, pick fabrics, buy furniture, and arrange accessories. But how about getting paid and getting paid fairly for our talents? In order to get paid fairly, you need to
    • a. Understand, believe in, and communicate your value this is huge! (More about value in the next issue).
    • b. Select a pricing strategy (or combinations of) that will bring you to your financial goal.
    • c. Do some soul searching and find the true confidence and conviction to state and claim your fees. A great story... A very well known marketer, Dan Kennedy, said once that the reason he is able to get $25,000 for his copywriting is not because is the greatest copywriter in the world, but because he has the guts to look customer in the eyes and say that his price is $25,000.

If you would like to delve deeper into the pricing options, profitability, fixed fees, sticky money situations, and how to charge (and get) what you deserve, you must check out this product - Business of Design Tele-panel: Smart Pricing Strategies in the New Economy. This program is four hours of panel discussion by leading industry experts who tell you how to price-position yourself, how to develop and communicate value, what to do when a prospect is shopping you, and how to price your services for success. For more information click here http://bit.ly/fIoWCh and claim a special $50 off discount for DSA members by entering code DSA2011.

Vitalia (Vita) Vygovska is the award winning owner of Vitalia, Inc, an author, and a window treatment & productivity expert. Her company is devoted to giving home furnishing professionals productivity resources that help them make more money, save time, and run a productive and profitable business. To check out her programs, products, and FREE resources, including FREE CD: 101 Window Treatment Ideas, visit www.VitaliaInc.com.

The Exciting World of Toilets and Urinals

If you've made it past the title, I applaud you. This is certainly a subject we'd all prefer to skip. That said, much has happened in this industry as a result of U.S. legislation requiring improved water efficiency. In addition, the E.P.A. introduced the WaterSense® label which recognizes products that beat the requirements by at least 20%. As you might expect, different companies pursued different methods. This article explains your options.

Toilets Currently, toilets may not use more than 1.6-gallons per flush per U.S. law. WaterSense® toilets may not use more than 1.28-gpf. All toilets must meet a standardized performance requirement. (Without going into details, the flush must remove a certain sized solid from the toilet bowl.)

There are two categories of toilets, gravity-fed and pressure-fed. Gravity-fed toilets are typically used in residential and light commercial applications. They have tanks. Pressure-fed toilets are typically used in commercial applications and they use facility pressure. They do not have tanks. Pressure-fed toilets often have exposed shiny chrome plumbing.

There are three categories of gravity-fed toilets: single-flush, dual-flush and pressure-assist. Single-flush toilets use the same amount of water every time. That amount might be 1.6-gallons, 1.28-gallons or it might be less. Dual-flush toilets offer a reduced flush volume for liquid waste as well as a higher flush volume for solid waste. Pressure-assist toilets capture air during tank fill. This air becomes slightly compressed and is used during the next flush.

There are two styles of pressure-fed toilets, single-flush and dual-flush. Again, single-flush toilets use the same amount of water every time and dual-flush toilets have two options.

Urinals Per U.S. law, urinals may not use more than 1.0-gallon per flush. Per the E.P.A., WaterSense® urinals may not use more than 0.8-gpf. There are two categories of urinals: urinals that flush and urinals that do not flush. Urinals that flush use 1.0-gallon, 0.8-gallon, and there are several that use one-pint per flush. Urinals that do not flush are called "waterless." Waterless urinals require only a drain line; no fresh water supply is needed. However, they typically need daily cleaning.

Choosing toilets and urinals that conserve water is becoming easier. Manufacturers are developing more options and the Watersense® label helps you find them. You can actually sort by this label on many of the manufacturer's websites - making it even easier.

Go Green

Craig Ressler, P.E.

Sustainability Researcher
Easy To Be Green

Influence on Design - Who Was John Ruskin?

By Carolyn Richardson

John Ruskin created a career based on observations and opinions. The first book on architecture Frank Lloyd Wright ever read was Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture. Tolstoy boasted of having read Ruskin. Ghandi stated Ruskin had a leading influence on his life and work. George Bernard Shaw ranked Ruskin beside Karl Marx as the political theorist behind his own programs for social change.

Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, destined for entering the church, gave up the idea after reading Ruskin. Burne-Jones became a painter, and William Morris (a great social reformer) became known as one of the most articulate and forceful contemporary spokesmen on taste and design.
John Ruskin

Ruskin contributed to the assessment of J. M. W. Turner's genius as an artist and his criticism of James McNeill Whistler's paintings led to a libel action, which cost Ruskin his public career as an art instructor at Oxford. Ruskin was an artist; art critic; art professor; architectural critic; writer; lecturer; geologist; political theorist; social advocate for old age pensions, national education, better housing for the working class; and a major influence on 20th century design.

As an only child growing up in the Victorian Era, where children were seen and not heard, Ruskin came from a peculiar family. His father, though well-off financially, never gave up middle class status. They traveled frequently, but never by rail, only a horse-drawn coach. They repeated over and over the same locations, which was fine with John.

Ruskin had his parents, servants, and his own imagination as companions. Toys included keys, a cart, a ball and wooden bricks. Playtime was restricted and his early days were spent observing the lines and colors in his carpet. This childhood habit increased his power of concentration and awareness. With this meticulous perception, the child became an adult whose self-esteem lay in the capacity for seeing things exactly as they were.

Ruskin learned to read at the age of four, and immediately started to write. Paid by J. M. W. Turner his father for every page, by age seven he was writing poems, dialogues, plays, and stories. John devoured every book he was given, pursued drawing without any guidance or prompting, learned geography from illustrations, studied Latin with the aid of a dictionary, but ignored mathematics. He rejoiced in that which was not new and recharged himself over and over from the same subjects, objects, and scenes.

Ruskin's highly concentrated seeing, repetitive, patient observation, and expansion of his visions taught him to see what others tended to overlook. Visual impressions were built by putting together details, rather than looking at the whole. John Ruskin was compelled throughout his life to record all that he had ever seen, experienced, or felt. There was no regard for the opinions of anyone else.

Ruskin's unorthodox education was filled in with intervals of traditional schooling before he entered Oxford. When he attended Oxford, his mother went with him. He never thought her presence was embarrassing. At Oxford, Ruskin immediately began to write for the Architectural Magazine and to write art criticism articles to divert himself from the university's "deficiencies." At age 25 he emerged as an art critic, lyric poet, and had published his first book, the first of 50. He had created a new framework for looking at art as nature and nature as art.

John Ruskin was unlucky in love. His first love ended in rejection, his marriage of six years, was never consummated, and his third love, Rose, was 30 years younger. She was 10 and he was forty when they first met. Probably due to the lack of playmates, he loved young girls. As teacher and benefactor to a girl's school, he would spend time romping, dancing and playing hide-and-seek with the girl pupils. When Rose (still un-married) died at age 27, John plunged into deep despair, suffering attacks of madness throughout the remainder of his life. He accepted these attacks as punishment and atonement for his life in the flesh. Something in his soul needed curing.

The events of John Ruskin's childhood definitely shaped his later life. He had learned that any kind of pleasure was a sin. The child therefore thought of his writing activities as work. Only through writing could he express true feelings. Parental control remained strong through adulthood until the death of both parents. Ruskin was a man who was never a child, and a child who never was allowed to become a man. He followed faithfully the patterns, edicts, and attitudes instilled in him. It was a lifetime of experiences, travels, and keen observations that created this multi-faceted person who wielded such power with a pen. His professional life had been extraordinary; his personal life sad and lonely.

Carolyn Richardson