Who Makes the Best Santa?

Having trouble seeing the photos? Click to open your browser.

Wait a second or two… Study the photos! Pick your favorite!

santafaceFINAL

Traveling Trends; A College Town Christmas

 

main

Cornell Campus, Ithaca NY. Above the shore of Cayuga Lake. The first snowfall of the season

petrune

Great typography at Petrune

The mood was perfect; snow falling, cool crisp air and a town of “small shops” all ready for the quick approaching holiday season. Ithaca is truly a college town, located in central New York and home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. 28,000 students fill the city when college is in session. These students, as well as Ithaca’s local community, like to “shop small”; both in a place called The Commons as well as College Town.

 

The basic vibe of this college town is updated vintage with a modern twist. A great example is Petrune, a store which just opened its second location in Brooklyn on 223 Fifth Ave. Trending at Petrune are great mixes of clothing; “Classic Clothing from Every Decade” and very hip home accessories and vinyl records. The wall decor and typography are college town appropriate with sayings like “Boys Club, Bro Shop or vintage bowling alley graphics. In Ithaca, Petrune is located at 126 The Commons and their website is www.petrune.com

Vint

Awesome finds at The Vintage Industry

 

 

Another great find in Ithaca is The Vintage Industry located at 113 West State Street; buying and selling antiques and vintage items. Their vintage window display was so fab that anyone walking by had to check out what was inside. I spotted a Santa cookie jar and Mr. & Mrs. Claus salt and pepper set that were in pristine shape and so awesome and unique.

Olivia Royale

 

 

This is Olivia Royale, owner and designer of The Art & Found Shop located at 117 East State Street at The Commons is a fair trade, sustainable clothing indie brand store that designs many of their clothes right in the store.  When asked what was trending, she said “Our plaid free flannel cardigan is because it is a style that is cozy and comfy especially as it is wore as a wrap.”

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your Favorite College Town Christmas….Happy Holidays!

Mentoring Cornell Students

by Nancy Fire

Nancy Fire. Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International

Nancy Fire. Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International

 

After 25 years as Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International, I love that I still get inspired by my colleagues as well as our clients. I’m excited now as I get to add students to my list of aspirational influences.

 

On Dec 2nd I was asked to review the final semester projects from the Fashion Management Class at Cornell because I started off the semester in late August talking to the students about industry and how macro trends in the world effect the fashion and home industry.

Tasha Lewis PHD

Tasha Lewis PHD

 

It all began last year when I was introduced to Tasha Lewis, PH.D. and Assistant Professor of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Professor Lewis asked me if I would consider mentoring the class because of my experience in the design industry. I told her that it would be my honor to be inspired by young talent! The students work in teams of 4 or 6 and each student has a specific job to cover.

 

The class is divided into teams consisting of the following:

  • Merchandising Manager
  • Color, Print & Textile
  • Product Development and Design
  • Production & Sourcing
  • Buying, Planning and Distribution
  • Brand Marketing and Visualcornell

The Product Categories consist of:

  • Women’s Woven Blouses
  • Men’s Woven Bottoms
  • Women’s Woven Tops
  • Men’s Woven Tops
  • Women’s Knit Tops
  • Men’s Outerwear
  • Women’s Outerwear

Company Choices:

  • Forever 21
  • Gap
  • Nike
  • J. Crew
  • Victoria Secret

The magic of this project is that the students really need to think “outside of the box” and present an entire “Style Deck” consisting of the following:

Customer Profile

  • Concept Board Reflecting the “Four P’s” for their brand. (Place, Promotion, Product, and Price)
  • Competitor Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis-Strength Opportunities Weakness Threat
  • Color Story
  • Product Line Sheet
  • Environmental Score Sheet
  • GANTT Chart-Bar Charts
  • 6 Month Merchandise Plan
  • Cost Sheet
  • Pop-Up Concept
  • It was necessary for each team to incorporate home products into their product assortment because of the influence of LifeStyle Brands today.

During the entire class, 7 teams presented their aesthetic vision and in the end I was pretty impressed with the outcome.

cornell-08

I think for me as a person in industry what struck me was the thought process that each team was challenged to provide with all the details that really happen “in the real world”.

I like completion as a designer and director, and I felt that most of the teams projects were well thought out, some were more evolved than others. As a special bonus at the end, 2 young men who are NOT even fashion majors at Cornell, (one in the Hotel School and the other in the ILR), actually presented samples from a business that they started at the beginning of the semester designing shorts.

It was inspiring to see a group of their peers give them actual feedback on how to improve their product…talk about a “real life focus group”.

Trend Board Tuesday… The Softer Side of Color

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio. Since the “softer side of color” is so pretty we love mixing these updated pastels with tones of grays and taupe. Our prints are a bit spontaneous mixing dots, stripes and simple graphics.

copyright©2014 Design Works International

copyright©2014 Design Works International

Cyber Monday 2014

Cyber Monday was created in 2005 to persuade people to shop on-line and for the past 14 years, on-line sales have grown considerably; so much so that the 2014 projected on-line sales could bypass in-store purchases for the first time in history!
 
Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Japan, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom by on-line retailers and are generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot complete with the big brick-and-mortar retailers.
 
According to WWWMetrics in “The Growth of Shopping Online” online shopping is only going to become more popular as time goes by and purchasers worldwide become more comfortable with security and the on-time delivery of their purchases. On-line shopping is one area of merchandising that continues to have a positive outlook far into the future.
How are you going to shop this Holiday season?
photo by Nancy Fire

photo by Nancy Fire

A Word of Advice

as seen at Surtex.com

NANCY FIRE, Design Works International, New York City:  
“The best advice I have ever been given was ‘to stay true to yourself’ and ‘believe in your talent.’
187c45bc-6a1b-4654-ad67-c3fd1ca72528

That’s important advice because when you are in an industry that is ‘hyper creative’ you can really lose your sense of self.  If you lose these qualities, you lose your passion, and without passion, I feel that my day would be about just existing, not creating!”

Click here to read the full article

Happy Harvest… in all shapes and sizes!

Did you know that “Gourds” are part of the plant family called Cucurbitaceae. The term refers to a number of species and subspecies, many with hard shells and even some without!
The bottle gourd, one of the earliest known gourd species, dates back to 13,000 BC and has even been discovered in archaeological sites. It has served many purposes throughout history including tools, musical instruments and objects of art. Many artisans today use gourds as their artistic medium and carve and paint them. Some even use as them drums to make music and even bird houses!
We love that gourds come in all shapes and sizes as well as amazing colors and patterns… no two are alike which means they are truly “one of a kind”… like each designer and their designs.
So next time you look at these beautiful “sculptures from nature” we hope that you too can appreciate their uniqueness from a designers standpoint! Happy Thanksgiving!
photo by Nancy Fire

photo by Nancy Fire

The Harlem Meer in Central Park

Located on the Northeast corner of Central Park at 110 Street and 5th Ave  is the Harlem Meer which was built in 1861 and restored between 1983-93.

The word “Meer” is Dutch for lake which is home to The Charles A Dana Discovery Center that was built in a Victorian style to emulate the original Victorian structures of Central Park.

The waterside plaza that sits next to the discovery center is used from mid-June through September for Sunday afternoon performance festivals….and good to know that if you like to fish you can participate in the catch and release program that is a summertime favorite for many in NYC!

Harlem Meer

photo by Nancy Fire

 

Trend Board Tuesday – Landscape

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio to create beautiful prints, patterns and trend lifestyle.

Landscape is a romantic watercolor story that is rich in technique and style. Tones of purples and blues are combined to create prints that are inspired by nature.

11-25

copyright©2014 Design Works International

 

Street Art in NYC

NYC is truly the center of the creative universe; amazing museums, film festivals, concerts, Broadway shows. One of the wonders of NYC is wherever you look there is some sort of art to inspire you. Just this morning, walking to our studio this morning I was greeted by this great “graphic graffiti” inspired truck… great inspiration to start the week.

Street-Art-2

25 Years In… And We Still Hand Paint

We are getting in the spirit a little early this year with our HAND PAINTED Holiday Collections. Twenty-five years ago, Design Works International started as a hand paint design studio. The brush and pencil were the tools of the day. Now, technology has affected every aspect of our lives, including what we do here and we are PROUD to say that we are still hand painting many of our designs.

Whether you are influenced by classical or modern artists, being able to create traditionally is essential. From the Cubist portraits by Picasso and Salvador Dali’s Surrealist creations  at The Museum of Modern Art, we look to the brush for inspiration.

The Metropolitan Museum of art just opened their exhibit “Madame Cezanne” to showcase the artist’s most painted model. While at the Met we can also find John Singer Sargent’s most important works as well, which include an extensive collection of gorgeous watercolors.

copyright© 2014 Design Works International

copyright© 2014 Design Works International

A Glimmer of “Book Hope”

Book Culture, an independent bookstore in New York City, announced its plan to open a third location at 450 Columbus Ave. They hope to connect with the neighborhood and drum up excitement to meet its yearly sales goal. Chris Doeblin, the owner of Book Culture, has invited Upper West Siders to “Post It” graffiti so they can write their feelings about having a neighborhood bookstore. They’re trying to get the  community involved and committed to support this independent bookstore!

BookCulture

 

 

Trend Board Tuesday – Vibrations

At Design Works International we love creating Trends Boards that inspire our work in the studio…Vibrations is all about bright, fun colors mixed with substrates like wood and lucite. Our print focus is large scale geometric patterns in one or two colors that can be mixed and matched together creating a bold, yet clean, print and pattern story.TBT11-18

Design Works International’s Sneak Peek into our Heimtex 2015 Collection

We are so excited for the launch of our Home Collection which is a collaboration of prints and patterns exclusively for the Home Markets,  with a focus on bedding, wallpaper and upholstery. This collection is truly a “Worldwide Collaboration” as we are working with designers from our NYC studio as well as international designers in both CAD and hand painted styles.

For the past 20 years, Design Works International has attended Heimtex reporting on trend and products, but this year in addition to trend reporting, we will showcase our newest Home Collection. We are excited and honored to be a part of this International Textile Show in Frankfurt Germany from January 14th-17th 2015

Come visit Design Works International at Booth G81 Hall 4-2.

photo by Nancy Fire. All designs copyright©2014 Design Works International

photo by Nancy Fire. All designs copyright©2014 Design Works International

Throwback Thursday – The HGTV Conference Room

As seen at I Heart HGTV on January 7th, 2014 

The HGTV Magazine staff started out the New Year with a refreshed, refurnished, and revamped conference room! All thanks to our friends at HGTV HOME!

The redo experts took our boring office space, and transformed it into a stylish, colorful, and cozy spot for meetings, brainstorming, and okay, a little partying! Check out our before and after pictures below. Plus find details on specific paint colors, fabric patterns, and more HGTV HOME furniture and products used in the makeover.

Left to Right. Nancy Fire, HGTV HOME Design Director, Sara Peterson, Editor in Chief HGTV Magazine, Carol Crawford, Director of Marketing, Consumer products at HGTV HOME

Left to Right. Nancy Fire, HGTV HOME Design Director, Sara Peterson, Editor in Chief HGTV Magazine, Carol Crawford, Director of Marketing, Consumer products at HGTV HOME

HGTVConfRm

  • Chairs: HGTV HOME Furniture Collection Dining Chair (2572 and 2572-02A) in Smoke (HG73, fabric and 9, color) with nailhead trim Dining Table:
  • HGTV HOME Caravan Rectangular Dining Table in Two-Tone (4386) Credenza:
  • HGTV HOME Caravan Entertainment Credenza in Midnight (9486) Rug: HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw Nirvana in Gray (00500) Tray Tables:
  • HGTV HOME Design Studio at Bassett Style Boost Tray Table (6HG7-K604) in Green Pillow Fabrics:
  • All HGTV HOME fabrics are available at Jo-Ann fabric stores or joann.com. Like a Diamond in Fog (window seat), Round Trip in Lagoon, Souvenir Scroll in Lagoon and Fog, and Chevron Chic in Harvest Paint Colors:
  • HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams in Cooled Blue (SW 6759) on the walls, and Sealskin (SW 7675) underneath the window seat.

new-before-after-conference

Small Holdings

This past weekend I happened to stumble upon what I call “A Treasure Chest of Goodies” at the Small Holdings Farm in Aquebogue, NY. For all us designers out there, it is getting harder and harder to find great antiques and “barn finds” that are affordable and allow us the opportunity to be used for our DIY projects.

The Small Holdings Farm is home to a large barn filled with many trinkets, furniture and rustic finds outside on the perimeter of the property. If you like to repaint, reclaim or just repurpose, I would highly suggest paying the Small Holdings Farm a visit!

They specialize in farmhouse decor, painted furniture, country cottage, industrial, reclaimed and renamed items. It is truly one of North Fork’s best kept secrets on Long Island NY. They are located in Aquebogue at 965 Main Street and their number is 631-722-3342. Winter hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.    -Enjoy Treasure Hunting!

SmallHoldings

photos by Nancy Fire

Trend Board Tuesday – Urban Collective

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in our everyday designing in the studio. Urban Collective showcases a unique and sustainable lifestyle with detail in woven and textured fabrics. Colors are earth-toned with pops of mid-tone accents.

urban

 

 

Open your eyes… Design All Around Us.

Sometimes we find design in unexpected places. Often we are so distracted by the environment that we don’t see what is right in front of us.

People don’t go to Las Vegas to see beautiful design, but if you look around… it’s there… often right under our feet!

Las Vegas 2

photos by Christine Johansen

Fusion of Fashion and Home – Bill Evans

Often at Design Works International we talk about “The Fusion of Fashion and Home”. Recently, at The High Point Furniture Market, I had the pleasure of interviewing a colleague of mine, a gentleman who is somewhat of a Renaissance Man; Mr. Bill Evans of Charlotte, North Carolina. Currently Bill is designing fashion pieces from home furnishing fabrics. He admires these types of fabrics and loves the vintage sensibility he can bring to fashion. His many “One Of’s” fashion pieces, including vintage tweed jackets with button details can be acquired through him in Charlotte.

He began his career at The Bell Telephone Company after he studied at Wake Forest University on a Football Scholarship. After 4 years at Bell, he realized that his passion was design and started to design furniture case goods for Kewaunee in North Carolina. His passion for design grew and Bill turned to the automobile industry and he worked for Jaguar for many years before finally committing to fashion design full time. He too is a true believer in “The Fusion of Fashion and Home” philosophy.

Connect with Mr. Evans on FACEBOOK

MrEvansCollage

Photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Market – Global Views

Global Views is a home decor wholesale company with collections that blend various styles to make pieces that are elegant, exotic and refined.

I am never disappointed with their style and sensibility. They are the task masters in reinventing beautiful styles by updating their collections constantly! From textiles to furniture and decorative accessories, Global Views is on trend in print, pattern and product style… at Design Works International these are known as the “3 Perfect P’s”!!

photos by Nancy Fire

photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Furniture Market – Berry Bliss

Hate to say we told you so but back on September 19th DESIGNWORKSSTYLE.COM spoke about Berry Bliss as a current trend in the market. That was from Nancy’s trip to Europe. We now have these photos from High Point to back up our blog post… Trending are berry tones in woven geometrics, prints and patterns as well as stripes and updated chevrons. These beautiful pics were taken at The Bassett Showroom IHFC, 12th floor and are the perfect mix of berry color combinations.

photos by Nancy Fire

Out and About Town with Mr. Brown High Point Furniture Market

Another post from High Point Furniture Market, but this is “Out and About Town with Mr. Brown High Point Furniture Market”

For those of you attending the High Point Furniture Market… it pays to venture into the town of  High Point and head to Mr. Brown on 114-116 East Kivett Street (corner of Wrenn) and check out their “hidden treasures” of upholstery and case goods with interesting prints and woven designs. Mr Brown is a duplex store with many interesting products for the home and is  not shy of color and personality with a focus on updated classics.

store

 

photos by Nancy Fire

photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Furniture Market – Legacy Home

Nancy here, as promised still sharing from The High Point Furniture Market!!

Market might be over but the excitement is not…. Have to share “Legacy Home” because I was so impressed with their style, sense of color and fabric choices…a well merchandised and styled line of bedding, pillows, drapery and headboards. See for yourself as you view the following fab prints, patterns and weaves! Legacy Home Collections are available through-the-trade and their website is legacylinens.com

photos by Nancy Fire

photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Market – “Dovetail”

One Company… so many different personalities… A fantastic mix of quilted leather,  mixed fabric tufting details and updated classics with old world charm!

I love seeing so many variations on chairs this market in many fabrics and shapes.

Designers were more daring in mixing styles this market especially within each chair silhouette combining raw finishes with elegant fabrics.

Photos by Nancy Fire

Photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Market – HGTV HOME

    After spending the past week at the High Point Furniture Market -The World’s Showcase for Home Furnishings with more than 2,000 furniture, home decor and accessories exhibitors with over 75,000 attendees from 100+ countries, my focus this week on designworkstyle.com will be dedicated to sharing these great styles and sensibilities with you!

    Funny how I never feel overwhelmed shopping at The High Point Furniture Market…so many different styles and sensibilities to see.

    So much talent in one location focusing on the most innovative new products, very unique merchandising concepts and updated trends that keep this wonderful industry exciting.

   Speaking of exciting…..At HGTV HOME  “Fresh Modern” is the newest style with “The City Center Collection”,  an updated take on classic design. Mixing textured fabrics, woven geometrics and melange twists, “City Center” creates a new and inspiring lifestyle through updated furniture pieces that are current on trend and classic in theme.

Photos by Nancy Fire

Photos by Nancy Fire

Updates from High Point Furniture Market

Our Founder, Nancy Fire of Design Works International and HGTV HOME Design Director, spent this past week at The HIGH POINT FURNITURE MARKET in North Carolina reporting on the most amazing Home Trends in the industry. If you are home furnishings fanatics like us, watch out next week for posts on all the amazing chairs, fabrics, sofas, accessories…

IMG_8829

photos by Nancy Fire

Wales

The countryside in South Wales oozes an amazing rustic charm. All the textures that come together to give the landscape and structures such a great feel. Such wonderful inspiration from a beautiful country.

wales

photos by Nancy Fire

Fusion Friday – Cork

Cork is quite possibly one of the better materials for any type of creating; fashion and home included. Oak trees that grow in the western Mediterranean form thick, rugged and corky bark. Over time, this park can develop a considerable thickness and can be harvested every 10-12 years as cork. The harvesting of the cork does not harm the tree, and the a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource.cork

Nancy Fire at High Point Market

 

 

If you have questions regarding the IFDA event at the Surya Showroom,

please contact Dawn Brinson, FIFDA at dbrinson@northstate.net or 336-870-4066.

IFDA

InGlobal Greats: Home Design’s Creative Hits from a Worldwide Perspective | Sunday, Oct. 19 @ 11 a.m.Nancy Fire, founder of Design Works International and design director of HGTV HOME, will share the best in worldwide design gleaned from her recent travels in Paris, Amsterdam, London and Wales. Join us for an inside look at the home, fashion and lifestyle designs that will inspire home product ideas in the coming seasons.

Creative Collaborations

 

 

As much as creativity is an individual, personal act, we believe that being able to share ideas and collaborate with other artists and designers makes us more creative. As you saw in our post last Friday, we began sharing our collaborations with you, today we look back at one of the masters of the 20th Century to inspire us to further greatness. Keep an eye out for our “Creative Collaboration” series to find out how we continue to feed our creativity and grow as designers.Picasso-Quote

Fashion as Inspiration as seen at FrontDoor.com

As seen at

pp-hgtv-front-door-logo

Nancy Fire of Design Works International attended Maison Objet and Paris Design Week and snapped this candid photo of a stylish yet relaxed pair.

“Our friend Nancy Fire, founder of Design Works International, takes inspiration from every part of life and integrates those experiences into her work. Whether it is the creamy foam of a cappuccino with its brown crust or the blush of a young woman’s cheek, Fire is a collector of details. This approach creates designs that are unique and completely original for each client.

Fire recently attended Maison Objet and Paris Design Week and snapped some candid photos of locals lounging around in the Marais area of Paris. This inspired us to seek design inspiration in the everyday things – people and their fashions.”

to read more, go to frontdoor.com

Repetitive Tile Trend

Repetitive tiles are in at Design Works International. We are inspired by soft color textured tiles… a trend that we have been following from ceramic bath and kitchen tiles. Now these beautiful patterns are seen in soft home products to compliment the hard good home sensibility.

tiles

Creative Collaboration I

We’re excited to present the first in a series of collaborations.

Selina Briggs, a senior designer here at Design Works International, will be at New York Comic Con this weekend loads of fun Jelly the Robot collectibles. Make sure you stop by Booth 401 at the Javtiz Center and say hello when you pick up her 3rd comic, “The Story of Jelly the Pirate”! She will be debuting a bunch of new items including some exclusive, custom NYCC items that are guaranteed to sell out!

Click the image to visit her website and find out more!

flyer3

#TBT Throwback Thursday!

NOT!

Throwback Thursday… happening in Amsterdam; vintage inspired furniture and accessories.

TBT

photos by Nancy Fire

#tbt #throwbackthursday

Fusion Geos

Go Bold or Go Home!

The Fusion of Fashion & Home with Bold Geos

fusion-geo-blog

Trend Board Tuesday – Embroidered Pillows

Stunning work by Ankasa in New York City. Talk about artesian hand detail!! Each pillow is uniquely hand crafted with amazing detail.

photos by Nancy Fire

Printed Words

“From typography to calligraphy, from street art to the plastic arts, handwritten or printed words continue unabated.” -Elisabeth Lerich from Maison Objet Osbervatoire Edition No. 25 – “Sharing”

“Without words, there is nothing.” – Nathalie Sarraute

words

 

Still Into those Blues

This season we are “feeling the blues” and we’ve realized… we kind of like it!

blues

Throwback Thursday!

NOT!

…Happened last week in Paris..still stylin’ after all these years! Priceless!!!

TBT

photo by Nancy Fire

#tbt #throwbackthursday

Ah… Paris.

We never get tired of this view… or this color palette. Paris au naturale.

paris
photo by Nancy Fire

Trend Board Tuesday… Global Geos!

Now that “Global” has gone Global…the newness this season is a watercolor influence in technique…along with a pattern play of motif mixing.

 

DW-TREND-201501

Fall into Color

Fall into Color

Burnt Oranges are trending for 2015, but they’re a bit more subdued and just a dash of yellows welcomed into the mix.

postcard_001

All photos by Nancy Fire

Chair Styles

Chair

/CHe(ə)r/ (Noun) -A separate seat for one person, typically with a back and four legs.

Well I have to confess after my trip overseas…many of these bad boys were big enough for two persons!! Shape, fabric, detailing, substrate and color are all so unique!

Shown tenfold from Paris, London & Amsterdam!

chair-stylesphotos by Nancy Fire

FatBoy Outdoor Furniture

I spotted FATBOY at Maison Objet in Paris.

Fatboy is an imaginative lifestyle brand that brings energizing comfort to the outdoors. With their newest collection that uses color and is design friendly, these original outdoor products are just what I needed to ‘chill’ for a while at Maison.

Talk about cozy comfort in style!

Personally, I love the Tipi/Yurt inspired hammocks in tangerine, turquoise and pink!  -Nancy

FatBoyphotos by Nancy Fire

 

Tis The Season in NYC

Had the privilege of touring the NYC Holiday House located in The Academy Mansion at 2 East 63rd Street, which celebrates the best in interior design and entertaining while supporting the fight against breast cancer. The Mansion was built in 1920, has four stories and is 26,000 square feet of beautifully designed rooms filled with creative interiors through November and December.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2a9/23427929/files/2014/12/img_1456-0.jpg