Category Archives: Interior Design

Carpet Crash Course: Expert rug advice from a generation of new makers.

Carpet Crash Course

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed by The Chicago Tribune with my cousin Ashley — STARK’s Senior Vice President of Design — about the company’s evolution and our plans for the future. Check out the article here for advice, tips, and to learn about some exciting new developments in the world of STARK!

 

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How to Build Trust with Your Clients and Get Your Way

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For the DDB Spring Market on June 8th, STARK hosted the opening keynote moderated by  Sophie Donelson with Jamie Drake, Sarah DePalo, and me on the panel! It was a wonderful discussion with lots of insider tips of how interior designers build rapport with their clients, and make sure everyone is thrilled with the final outcome of the project. Check out the article on Go Design Go! and watch the coverage of the panel HERE!

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Summer Kick-Off Soiree!

Last week my friend Jake Baer – CEO of Newel – and I hosted a kickoff to the summer cocktail party for our friends and colleagues! Jell-o Shots, delicious hors d’oeurvres and an epic photo booth were the highlights of the evening. Check out the article on Editor at Large about the festivities!

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DFA General Membership Meeting!

I posted previously about being elected President of DFA. Next Tuesday, June 7th is my first meeting in my new role, and I would love to see you there! Check out this article on Editor at Large about the meeting.

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Denver Spring Market

Chad Denver Showroom Presentation

Last week I delivered the keynote at Denver Design District’s Spring Market! In a presentation titled: “Knowledge is power when information is everywhere: Tools and strategies to connect with today’s tech-savvy Luxurians” I addressed how a designer’s in depth knowledge of the industry is their most useful tool when working with a client base that is increasingly comfortable with the widespread DIY culture, and endless free design resources available online. Check out this article on the event!

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AD kicks off inaugural Washington Design Center Market Day

Last week, at the Washington Design Center Market Day, I had the pleasure of moderating a conversation on carpets between Charlotte Moss, Paul Sherrill, and Lindsey Harper. Hearing their thoughts at this event was a fantastic experience, and we received nothing but positive feedback on the discussion! Check out Editor at Large’s Article on the inaugural event!

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“Chad Stark appointed DFA President”

I am thrilled to announce that the board of the Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) has elected me to serve as the next President of the organization! I am honored to have the opportunity to offer my leadership skills to this esteemed group of design professionals. Editor at Large interviewed me for their Article announcing the news. Check out the transcript below!

What are your goals as president? What do you plan to do differently, and what will continue as is? 
My goal as DFA president is simple: to continue the mission of growing and sustaining the professional interior design industry. However, our strategy to accomplish this will change a bit as we evolve into a widely inclusive voice of the industry: the marketplace, the media and the design community, all uniting to speak to consumers about how their lives can be enhanced by design. We will shift our primary focus from industry education to consumer outreach. We will continue to educate trade vendors on best practices, but we also will be leading an industry-wide effort to galvanize the perception of professional design in the eyes of consumers who can afford these services but choose not to because of various misconceptions about the industry.

Additionally, we will have an increased focus on trade organization partnerships. There are so many passionate groups who all have the same goal. I want to make sure the DFA’s approach is unique, so that we can better coordinate our resources with others to cover more ground.

As a millennial, how is your perception of the industry unique? How will digital strategies be a part of your plan? 
I was fortunate to have grown up in a professionally designed home, so I’ve always understood how beautiful and functional design can positively impact one’s life. However, many of my peers were not as lucky. I find myself in many conversations trying to convince these peers who can now afford design services that they should hire a designer, but I’m met with skepticism and doubt because millennials perceive interior design as unattainable, too expensive, and as a mysterious and laborious process.

Most services in today’s world are very straightforward—they are transparent about pricing and easy to understand. Professional interior designers all have different pricing models, and the industry was built on exclusivity. This approach and diversity is now hurting the outsider’s industry perception, because millennials think secrecy is not trustworthy. The negative perception is perpetuated by a lack of clear and consistent communication about the value of design through the content channels millennials consume daily, which is why digital strategies will be a major focus of the DFA’s efforts moving forward.

What are the greatest assets of the DFA? 
The DFA members are our strongest assets. We represent a knowledge and experience base that is as high or higher than any other trade organization in the industry. Additionally, because all of the members are principals of their respective firms, we benefit from the expertise of the industry’s leading decision makers.

Do you plan additional programs or outreach? Whom will you target? 
Our main focuses will be launching an industry-wide effort that unites all members of the trade—designers and vendors—with a unified message to increase the number of interior design projects by inspiring, informing and engaging consumers. The DFA will be backing an online resource center and advertising campaign—similar to the dairy industry’s “Got milk?” campaign—for the interior design community to promote the use of interior designers. We will be targeting consumers who have the means to afford these services but don’t engage them for any number of reasons. This initiative will have a digital-first approach, and we will be exploring different fund-raising platforms, likeKickstarter, to crowdsource support. To stay in the loop with our efforts, please enter your e-mail address here.

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Newel unveils new showroom on East 61st Street, Manhattan

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening of Newel’s new showroom on East 61st Street. It was great to see so many exceptional designers come together to celebrate such an exciting new chapter for Newel. Jim Aman & John Meeks did a beautiful job designing and staging the new space, and I was thrilled to attend! Read more about it in the Editor at Large Article.

Congratulations to Jake Baer, Newel CEO, on the beautiful new space!

DFA Board Membership, CHECK!

I’m delighted and honored to have been invited by the Decorative Furnishing Association to join their organization as a board member! This organization truly gets what we need to do in the luxury furnishing business and I’m excited to contribute in any way that I can. See below for the announcement from their website about this exciting news!

Welcome DFA’s New Board Member: Chad Stark

September 2015

The DFA is excited to announce that Chad Stark has joined the DFA Board of Directors. Chad is the Senior Vice President of Stark Carpet & Fabric, a leader in the interior design industry. Chad’s fresh approach to issues in the design industry and his take on the value of design make him a valuable addition to the DFA board.

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DFA and ASID summit in Boston talks marketing, education

I was on a panel last week at the Boston Design Center discussing how to appeal to different design markets, including the younger generation of interior designers as well as design enthusiasts around the world. Simply put, it was AWESOME! This is the second event where I’ve spoken to a large group on a similar topic – the first was at the Luxury Retail Summit a couple years agoBelow is an article posted from Editor At Large summarizing the event. Enjoy!

How can the Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) better collaborate on promoting interior design? The two organizations met on July 16 at the Boston Design Center in their second-ever industry summit to discuss just that, with a focus on how to promote the value of the interior design trade to luxury customers and to a younger, DIY-conscious generation. Representatives from Fabricut, Dering Hall, Donghia, Jerry Pair, Duralee,Robert Allen, Stark, Kravet and design centers, in addition to members of the media at Hearst, Cottages & Gardens and Meredith, attended the daylong program.

Small group sessions brought designers, media and furnishings leaders together.

The day’s panel, moderated by Steven Nobel of DFA, with Chad Stark of Stark Carpet, Katie Miner of ADAC, and Tabitha Evans, ASID designer, explored how to better educate and inform customers as well as how to effectively market the industry to the do-it-yourself generation. “It’s not really about talking to each other,” shared Miner. “It’s about talking to people who have the means ” but not the understanding of design’s impact. “Our job,” explained Stark, “is to show them the difference between what they can do and what a professional can do.”

Collaborative small group sessions followed, with designers, furnishing company execs and media pros answering a series of questions about the state of the industry, ways to improve outreach, and current challenges, among them the Internet’s impact on pricing and the client’s desire for instant gratification and lack of education as to the value of professional design. Groups identified cross-marketing (such as targeting customers of the fashion and luxury vacation industries); launching an internal campaign to promote the value of design to the end user; pushing showrooms to take the lead on education and networking, such as through “speed-dating” mixers hosted in-house; and running regional outreach in areas not serviced by major designers, as a few key strategies.

Craig Cross, who was appointed DFA’s director of public relations and community outreach earlier this year, delivered an overview of the DFA’s marketing initiatives, and DFA members were introduced to the organization’s recently revamped site, to be launched later this month. The afternoon concluded with a branding talk presented by Susan Battista, a strategist with Visual Dialogue Boston, who discussed five particularly adaptable industries and their top players.

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