Interior Design Camp


I was very fortunate to win my way to Design Camp this year!  I entered the Olioboard Inside Out Design Challenge sponsored by Hayneedle, and my board (out of over 500 entries) was selected by celebrity Interior Designers, Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis, as the winner along with 2 other beautifully designed boards.

Olioboard Contest My Winning Entry

My winning Olioboard for the Contest

To make my trip even more fun, Kelli and Lori generously offered me a great deal so I was able to bring along my very good friend and fellow interior designer, Kathleen, to experience all of this excitement with me.

And now here’s a little secret.  I’ve been doing Interior Design for over 25 years now, so I actually didn’t think there was THAT much they could teach me . . . and boy was I ever wrong!  I learned so much about the ever-changing world of social media and marketing as it relates to the business of Interior Design, made some wonderful friends and connections, and found inspiration and fascination around every corner.


The first night we arrived, we took a cab to the Las Vegas Market buildings and were thoroughly impressed.  As we drove up, we were greeted by 3 story gigantic sponsor signs on the buildings. It felt like Time Square!  This place was immense with three buildings of which two have sixteen floors. Thats a lot of stuff for the Home!

I stayed at the new and very modern and beautiful, Vdara.  It’s unique for Las Vegas because its a non smoking Hotel and it has no Casino.  All the rooms are very cool, small suites including a kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and larger bath.  Across the driveway was the Aria Resort and Casino where they have a fabulous dessert and candy store which, of course, I had to try out just to make sure it was delicious. Oh and it sure was!



ROGER THOMAS: I had the honor of meeting design icon, Roger Thomas, the creative genius for Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Roger Thomas
SUSANNA SALK: On day two of Design Camp I had the distinct pleasure of meeting host, author and editor Susanna Salk. She shared some amazing and insightful advice on getting published.

LYNDA QUINTRO-DAVIS: I also met Lynda Quintro-Davis of Focal Point Styling.  She was the 1st place winner of the Inside Out Design Challenge. She’s a very talented designer, stylist, merchandiser, and social media wiz. She has over 3 million followers on Pinterest.. yes I said MILLION!

JESSICA PRESSLER: I connected with Jessica Pressler, an interior designer from Seattle, who had worked for Lori Dennis.  We’re now Facebook friends. 🙂

I found these talks to be particularly fascinating and highlighed a few key take-aways for you:

ROGER THOMAS: Design Icon, Roger Thomas, is a wonderful and inspirational speaker.  When talking of designing for the Wynn Hotel, he explains that “it’s just a very large home”. He and his team work on the Wynn Hotels full time and he finds inspiration all over the world. They are continually re-doing the rooms, casinos and restaurant to keep them fresh, current and accommodating the needs of their guests. Roger said to minimize errors in the construction process, the key is well drawn documents and making sure the contractor has the financial where with all to complete the project.

Here’s a peek at some of Roger Thomas’ amazing design work at the Wynn Las Vegas:

SANDRA ESPINET: Luxury Interior Designer, Sandra Espinet, had a fantastic slide show with all of her travels and great finds.  If you ever have a chance to hear her, I highly recommend it. She mentioned that she is discussing the idea with Lori and Kelli of doing a World Travel Camp where you can travel with her to to these great locations around the world! Yes please. Sign me up Sandra!

KIMBERLY SELDON: I was also very impressed with Kimberly Seldon, the author of the Business of Design.  She had some great advice.  She recommends to style and photograph your projects right when they are done.  You can borrow the accessories and the client typically buys 90% of them.  Many or her suggestions are the way I already practice, but it was nice to have some extra validation.  I loved that she encouraged us to mark up products – which I already do. When I have a minute to breath I plan to buy her books.

SUSANNA SALK: I was excited to hear wise advise from the very engaging and down to earth Susanna Salk. She suggested we take many photos of our work (all with resolution of 300dpi or higher), own the rights, and have them ready when an editor is looking for a particular shot. She also recommended submitting photos to your favorite design blogs to get exposure.

BILL INDURSKY: Trend expert and Co-Founder of Design Life Network, Bill Indursky, had good advice on website design and a ton of information on trends. He thinks the next trend is peasant times romanticized or rococo over the top.

HELENE HOLLUB: Helene Hollub, an award winning contractor in Florida, said we should become familiar with the project and plans early in the project – the more we understand the better. Stay with-in the budget, when deciding the style of the house.  It will be primarily defined by the style of the roof, flooring and kitchen.

ADAM JAPKO: Social media expert, Adam Japko, spoke about content marketing and emphasized that anything you share to engage customers can lead to business. From what Adam says, it sounds like we all need to have blogs. They are going strong, so f you don’t have one already you should learn about them.

JENRY LEIN: Attorney Jenry Lien recommended an ASID contract and a non- disclosure agreement if you are showing someone a product design and need to protect your design.

JEANNIE AND BRYAN HAYES: Jeannie and Bryan Hayes are fabric designers that specialize in global and cultural style. They discussed the process of designing fabric.  They started out with a blog and then featured some of their pillows on other design blogs. Jeannie spends lots of time on Pinterest and finds inspiration there.  She also uses the Pantone color forecast to stay ahead of the trends.

KATY GARRETT: Katy Garrett, with Design Tech Summit, introduced us to some of the new products that are being developed to help us in the future to communicate with our client on- line. Mydoma is an edesign platform, Adornable is for 3d virtual rooms and 3Dream is an on-line room planner.

PATRICK DRAGONETTE: Patrick Dragonette, shared some of his amazing interiors and his views on 20th Century Collections.

I am so grateful for this opportunity that was afforded to me by Olioboard, Hayneedle and Design Camp!  I learned so much, found renewed excitement and inspiration, and made some wonderful lasting memories.   I can’t wait to go back to Design Camp.


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