HD Talks


Sky High at High Point Market

Posted by on April 9, 2014 in Events

I almost didn’t make it to High Point Market.

Two hours before my flight was scheduled to depart from New York City for Greensboro, North Carolina, it was cancelled. The only thing I could do was momentarily freak out to my co-worker, Managing Editor Katie Kervin, exclaiming via Gchat that I had to find a way to get to the “Furniture Capital of the of the World.” Her advice was to start looking for rental car services. I think she was joking.

Luckily, it didn’t come to that. I did make it to the NEWH North Carolina’s second Hospitality Designers Day at High Point Market on time and without too much drama.

To understand High Point Market, you have to understand High Point, North Carolina. The city has a population of a little more than 100,000, and it’s all about furniture. It is really not hyperbole that it’s the “Furniture Capital of the World.” Walking through the downtown area, you see furniture store after furniture store. Continue reading →

Jury Duty: A Musing on HD Awards Deliberations

Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Events, Projects

“It felt put together; authentic.”

“It was the architecture that got it on my list.”

“Even the way the grain of the wood is pronounced; it’s beautiful.”

These are some of the comments we heard while the judges deliberated on this year’s stellar HD Awards submissions this past Monday. Having managed the submissions process, personally looking through each and every one of the nearly 400 entries, I knew what a challenge our jury members had ahead of them.

“These are pretty unique spaces.”

“What do you do with old roadside motels? Vacant office space? Old malls? It’s solving a problem.”

“It takes a lot to get to that level of simplicity.”

The HD staff gathered at Grupo Habita’s first U.S. property, Hôtel Americano in Chelsea, with our five judges. We drank coffee, ate lunch, and pored over hundreds of project photos for nearly nine hours—we editors, of course, only acting as observers and mediators to facilitate the conversation.  Continue reading →

Dining (With Celebrities) By Design

Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Events | 1 comment

There are two things to know about me: I have a deep wealth of pop culture knowledge (ask any trivia team—they’ll tell you this is both a blessing and a curse), and I appeared very briefly on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters that featured my friend. It was a personal high, melding two of my favorite things: reality TV and popular culture.

This was topped only recently during  DIFFA’s (the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) 17th annual Dining by Design New York Gala dinner, which ran concurrently with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

Because of my deep-rooted high- and low-culture interests, I immediately recognized  TV personality, style expert, and designer Robert Verdi, who designed nail salon experts Essie’s table, standing next to Oprah protégé and interior designer Nate Berkus. (My Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game can’t be stopped right now.)

Although I spent a lot of time acting like a fan girl, hovering around these famous men while sending text messages about my celebrity sightings (which consisted of exclamation points and happy face emojis), I was able to tear myself away to enjoy the beautiful tablescapes. Continue reading →

Jury Selection: The 10th Annual HD Awards

Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Events, Uncategorized | 1 comment

I’ve never appreciated Google Docs more than I do now. I’m organizing the approximately 400 entries that we’ve received for our 10th annual HD Awards—and getting all the materials ready for the jury’s consideration.

Speaking of which, we’ve finalized our judges! We’ve assembled an amazing group of hospitality designers and professionals who will pore over each category’s submissions, selecting those they feel are the cream of the crop. Here they are:

David Davis, Managing Principal, Rottet Studio

Hal Goldstein, Partner, Janson Goldstein

Michael Medzigian, Chairman and Managing Partner, Watermark Capital Partners

Glenn Wilson, Vice President, Global Design Services, JW and MH Brands, Marriott International

Robert Polacek, Chief Creative Officer and Partner, Puccini Group

I certainly don’t envy their assignment—I am amazed at the breadth and talent of design I’ve seen in the submissions so far, and I don’t even have an iota of the experience these professionals do. Continue reading →

Reaching the HD Summit

Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Events

Having never been to Arizona before, much less a Hospitality Design Summit, I had some apprehensions before last week’s event in Scottsdale. For one, I had been stuck in the cold New York polar vortex for so longwould I even recognize the sun? Second, I didn’t know what to expect from our annual event. Was it just rubbing elbows and cocktail parties?

In fact, it was much more.

While the free coffee and breakfast at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn were an enticement to wake up before 7 a.m., it was the thought-provoking speakers that piqued interest, holding everyone’s attention.

During the first day, we heard from Jake Wood, a former Marine, who after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan started Team Rubicon, an organization of military veterans who work in disaster-ravaged areas providing support and supplies. Wood has seen things most people in the conference room would never have to experience. Continue reading →