Happening Now:

The staff at Shea-Noel Interiors has an amazing *TREET* for all of you!

From the inside - Historical Preservation VS General Motors

Once in a lifetime an opportunity comes across the radar that will improve the quality of life you live....or, IMPROVE the quality of life you live. Such is the case for a small Tennessee town - Spring Hill.

In the 80's a new landmark popped up along U.S.Hwy 31 in between Spring Hill, TN and Columbia, TN. Now, if you don't know...I was the "first Saturn arrival" at good ole Spring Hill High School.


The first Yankee kid to show up whose parents will destroy our little town...

*translation complete*

Some people were happy with the arrival of the then "Saturn" plant, which made a switch to a General Motors facility a few years back. Then - on the other hand - there were the folks that just plain out didn't like it.

The Saturn plant is a sprawling facility of approx. 445,000 square feet. It is one of the newer facilities GM has on its hands, and when it was built not only was the plants efficiency taken to task, but also the impact on the environment.

Growing up in Flint, Michigan - I know how absolutely ugly a GM facility can be. They are gross...It just is what it is....Then - you see the Saturn facility....Or do you? While driving down U.S. HWY 31 you really don't realize the plant is there. Seriously!?! Those who designed the plant took great care in creating a beautiful scenery of rolling hills around the plant to maintain the history of the area, and even maintained farm land. In fact - Haynes Haven - Is what is described as an old plantation house and Tennessee Walking Horse stable converted into a Saturn Welcome Center??? REALLY???

Totally a true statement. In fact, the photo below? Is in the Haynes Haven home's Grand Parlor 9 years after Saturn acquired the historic home. It was intended to be a Bed and Breakfast for Saturn Executives according to our tour guide on this day our Senior Class Superlative photos were taken....

But prior to hosting my high school, and prior to Saturn - Haynes Haven had something else to boast about. In 1940 a gelding at the ripe age of 12, took home the title of "World Grand Champion" That's right - A Tennessee Walking Horse that took the show by storm - and helped catapult the show to stardom.

Here's an excerpt from the historic detail site

"Strange as it may be, the gelding that was to win the 1940 Celebration had not even been heard of by the show horse world until a few months before the show. Haynes Peacock, a beautiful red chestnut with no marking of any kind, came forward to capture the show and win the big stake for the late Col. J. L. Haynes, Haynes Haven Stock Farm of Spring Hill, Tennessee."

Another landmark Saturn acquired in 1985 along with Maury County - was The RippaVilla Plantation - The two entities formed a 501 (c) 3 to help maintain the historical significance of the site...*there is a hoof mark on the wood floor where a horse walked through the house*...The historical significance is solely planted in the Civil War Battle of Spring Hill in 1864. Confederate Soldiers used the home as...well, you will need to take the tour.

The point being here - is now, the Saturn Plant (as we all refer to it still) is in peril as GM falls to near death. The impact of losing this facility located 45 miles south of Nashville, TN is beyond imagination.

In the 80's Spring Hill had 2 stop lights. They have a few more now, but the basic precept is still there. A warm, friendly community filled with *Southern Charm* - a task mostly amazing considering half of the residents are actually from the north. Hence the reason I insert my sayin - *Born in the NORTH - Polished in the SOUTH* (copyrighted - thanks)

But as I was searching for a Tennessee manufacturer this afternoon, I came across the website for Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) which features his press released statement on his view of the *Saturn* facility.....

The fact the economy may force a community member of a small southern rural area that catapulted growth, preserved the past and promised a great future is almost sickening. And I know in the end all things happen for a reason, but there is NO reason that - in the world we live in at this moment - where green design, efficiency, preservation, and a sudden refocus on where we have been determines where we are going - Should this plant close.

It's strange...The excerpt above? States "Haynes Peacock, a beautiful red chestnut with no marking of any kind, came forward to capture the show and win the big stake" Is so ironic. Saturn came on the scene, won over the community and unlike the preservation Saturn Corp. was hailed for - If GM decides to close this plant - The "no marking of any kind" will not be keeping in sync with past notions that a caring company such as Saturn achieved. Instead, GM will destroy families. Ruin local economy. And let's hope this "move" doesn't put the historical sites in an uncertain world.

For more information on Historical Sites in Maury County, Tennessee Click HERE

The Future of Interior Design Marketing and What it Means for your Business...

If I perchance had a crystal ball, I would predict the future. Since I don't, I am going to anyways.

Business moves at the speed of light. Literally. Catch it if you can, if not, your competitor will. That's just how the world works lately. And, for those of you who know people with no chance of navigating the web....well, you won't have to worry about them in the next 5-6 years. Why? Well, they won't exist.

In the past Interior Design firms have set out on a path to shelter magazines to look to advertise their message. And, smartly so. In, 1998 the average home in the south - had 12 paid subscriptions coming into their homes. Today? 1.4 subscriptions. Why? Well, people have wised up. Gone are the days of people picking up a magazine or wanting a cluttered mailbox full of stacks of advertisements and those monthly print *coffee table gems*.

Magazines are finding it harder to 1 - Convince businesses to advertise with them because the internet is alive. Living well-growing everyday. 2 - To get people to commit to a magazine that shrinks every time it arrives or one that is chocked full of advertisements. 3 - Grow a commendable reader base to justify the ridiculous cost of advertising in them. 4 - Produce results for their advertisers that translate into real business.

When I started my firm in 2002, a 1 page ad was only $1200.00. Today? $2700.00. Why? Less subscribers I guess? But the quality of those magazines have decreased significantly. The homes featured in them are usually hideous, dated, and are only there because someone knew someone. I looked through a popular national publication yesterday in Walgreens.



Nooooo...I've never seen an all WHITE room before!!! Wow! How innovative...*boring*

Well, this is the trend - The pictures were taken 3-5 years ago and by the time they are published? We have all been there, done that.

This is how the industry used to work. BUT, things are a changing! I don't care if you are an Interior Designer, Marketing firm, Publicist, Author, Dog Breeder, Clothing Store....the days in print?...OVER. Well, Almost.

Branding will be around forever. People will continue to pay to put their logo, message and snazzy photo on anything to gain public trust. But the true issue lies in the fact that people don't care that the Home and Garden Expo is sponsored by so and so - they just want to go and use their free ticket.

What will be changing? Read below....and ask yourself "Will I continue to...

have a web site?" No. Only a web address to shift people to your blog and e-commerce site.

print brochures?" No. Only e-mailers.

conduct direct marketing by mail?" No. You will have an E-zine.

stop meeting people?" No. You are on social networking sites.

rely on networking?" Yes. You are on social networking sites.

grow my market share?" Yes. You are on social networking sites, and using the internet.

make money?" Yes. The world is at their mouse. It's an open road.

to grow my profit margins?" Yep. Like never before.

Why? Well, it's easy. It's the internet. Urban sprawl is like a virus - people are tired of it. People want to support small businesses so people can have retirement. They like to KNOW the people they are dealing with, trust them, be able to call them, interact with them, really know them. There's only one way to do it....Do you know how?? I do.

Does it work? Yep. Do I like it? Yep. Will you? Yes. In time...You will love it.

What really does this mean. Well, if you don't have e-commerce site for your clients to interact and rely solely on USPS, better figure that out. Not blogging? Well, jump to it. Not creating a fan base? Well, refer to the magazine gesture above.

So - How is this going to affect your business? You will have an increased awareness of your competition. Competition will work as peers. And Interior Design will ALL be online....So will your industry. Just wait. It's coming. And you need to yourself a rockin' PR firm to help you navigate it. Good luck!

Until next time :)

In the recession - Luxury Wins!

Yep. That's what I said.

Talk to any rep. in the interior design industry and they will tell you the same thing. Sounds a little crazy right?

Well, no. Not really. See, there is this thing called a recession going on. Seems to have been sparked by the housing industry. You know, people that bought McMansions and got "lucky" enough to not have a down payment....a $15,000 a month house note, and could use some furniture, but the milk crates from college will work as they haven't had a job since 60 days before they bought their house???

Well, unfortunately this has been the demise of smaller low to mid interior design/ decorators across the country. Why? Because this is a chance for those who have disposable income (yes, there are plenty of people like this) to get the attention of designers who are used to designing in those McMansions, and hold them captive to create unlimited luxury for them. As you may know - foreclosed homes are a deal right now - And people are taking advantage of the market.

The difference? They have the money to do their home, and do it right.

Sounds a little not like what you've been hearing on the news doesn't it? Well. It's true. Shea-Noel Interiors, Inc. has been creating luxury for a long time. And we are experiencing a tremendous thing right now.....New clients.

And because of this, I have been bringing in new wares for us to create our client's homes with. I have always been known for my use with fabrics and colors - so, let's see what you all think!

These FANTASTIC new wares are among some of the most loved our staff has seen. A new take on paisley, and embroidered silk....As you may now realize, we have a silk addiction.

Our mouths DROPPED to the floor when we caught a look at these...WOW!!!! Velvets on linen, burned velvets, and and amazing theater velvet with a large 20 inch horizontal stripe.... *sings happily*

These fabrics are running mid to high....and WILL be a hit when we put them into a design....So, just a friendly reminder - Shea-Noel Interiors, Inc. IS Life As Luxury....

Why are higher end designers doing so well you ask? Well, you see a lot of designers/decorators have been blogging about products, posting photos about the great new items they have found...We haven't just found them - we use them. And THAT is what potential clients are looking for. Use of material, installation, quality of construction. And locating designers with this experience is becoming harder and harder to find. But once they find you...they keep you!

There is a lot of talk about Quality over Quantity...The recession may have caused some people to spend less, but gone are the days you head to a local furniture store and pick up a $700.00 sofa. People have wised up to the fact that they will have to get a new sofa every 3 -4 years....and they could have just bought the one they loved to begin with for $1600.00 and saved money over the term.

If SALE is your buzz word...approach with caution. If Luxury, Quality, long-lasting, investment and beautiful are you buzz words - Call Shea-Noel Interiors. We have JUST what you are dreaming of.....

If you are a designer - creep out the cheap....It will pay off!

Until next time... :)

Advice for the new grad in interior design...

Recession, Swine Flu, bad economy...congrats! You have just graduated into the real world.


Sorry to disappoint, but you may want to call your Interior Design professor and let them know you "will not be making 150K this year" as she predicted.


I am NOT joking.

Here's the deal. Most interior design programs require you to complete an internship prior to graduation. This can be a really good thing for you to do! If you haven't completed an internship - then you need to. Pay? Nope....It just is what it is.

If you are looking for an intern - You will need to be sure of a few things.

1. They need you.
2. There is a potential you could be hired after the intern is over.
3. You have a well-rounded portfolio to show to the firm.
4. You dress professionally *moving birkenstocks to top shelf in closet*
5. You show up on time.
6. You need to make an impression of "I really want this".
7. Leave your cell phone in the car.
8. Don't admit to your twitter or facebook addiction.
9. Appear well groomed...Put yourself in their shoes - would you hire yourself?
10. You have a copy of your resume handy.

I know I have been reluctant to have an intern on board...Until - She walked into my office. Now, I must admit I am in a special place that allows me to have a laid back office setting to keep up with high demand, but this isn't always the case.

I did ask her a few questions - You may want to listen up to this very important question.....Ready?

Question 1: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Answer: Well, I would like to be working with you. I know of your firm, it's reputation, and the work you produce and I couldn't think of a better place to be.

My reaction: *smiles*

What was good about it? Well, for starters, she didn't tell me she wanted to own my firm, or her own firm, and that - is the kicker for me. I have worked hard to get to where I am, and no thanks on trying to move in on my territory.

Then - after her portfolio, I get this comment: " I really appreciate you taking the time to meet with me. Everyone says such great things about you, and now I know why! This is a great place to be!" Then? she pulls out this....

I was somewhat stunned she had personalized water bottles....and a personalized pen...But....Does it matter??? I mean - not really....she's here today, second day as a Shea-Noel Interiors, Inc. Intern....

So, if you have just graduated from interior design and can't find an internship? All is not lost. ASID has just launched a new Real World Design Week for the upcoming fall. This is an excellent chance for you to connect with one or more professionals in your area. It is self registration, so go there and do that!

I hope this helps in the quest for you to create for the world....And sometimes a little work for free - will open up a door!

Will I hire her??? Time will tell....So far, so good...


Twitter Lesson of the day - don't "auto-advertise"

Usually I don't say much about what people tweet to me. It's all in good fun, right? Well, tonight? I guess either I am just grumpy - or, someone is just not that bright.

I am not that old...
And I have accomplished a lot in my years as an interior designer...
I own my own firm,
have been published,
been on national television...

I mean - no big deal. I take it all in stride, and am just thankful. I am also always on the look out to help other interior designers, that are in fact professional, navigate through the ID world....just like those who have helped me!

TONIGHT??? I get a DM on twitter...

This is what it said...

"Thanks for the follow. Does your Kitchen, Bath or interior need updating? If so, let me know. I can help you no matter where you live."

hmmmm....My first thought???


My reply? (paraphrased)

"I think I've got that covered....thanks for the offer though."


So, I - go back to this person's profile (like I did prior to following this person back) and I just want to make sure this is the right person I thought it was.....And it was! A brand new interior designer...using twitter to OBVIOUSLY gain clients for a "grand opening".

Shheeeezzz! I was insulted!! Are you serious??? LOL!!

So. This is a lesson to everyone out there. If you wish to "add value" and "tweet content" and "create relationships" on twitter - check out those who you follow and those that follow you. Numbers in twitter don't mean a thing if you never interact with those people. You are no longer adding content OR value when you don't first examine the people you are following....

Am I holding a grudge?


I just blocked that person.

Oh well - their loss. I would have been more than happy to tweet with them. I have lots of friends that are interior designers on twitter...some that have a much more storied history of design than I do. I respect that. I know who they are, and I would NEVER ask them to hire me.... HA!

I think that was the MOST USELESS Direct Message, and shows how auto DM'ing people can hurt your quest to be the "most popular" on twitter and often cause people to block you....just like I did the person who offered
- an interior designer -
their services.
Actually - I have clients in California...this person COULD have been of value to me....!

Look at my profile....You would KNOW I am an interior designer. And if you took a moment to "get to know me" and actually visited my website - which is listed - you would see that I just didn't start my profession this morning!

Add value by NOT auto DM'ing the people that follow you. Word to the wise - Don't "auto-advertise"

Have a great night.

Interior Design Legislation...What is it?

Protecting the Health, Safety and Welfare of Consumers...

Sure, that sounds fun. But, what is it? It's simple. TIDC (Tennessee Interior Design Coalition) is a representation of Interior Designers across Tennessee that are working with legislators to produce a bill to pass into law - effectively creating a regulatory situation for the practice of interior design. No, not ONLY regulation...but a standard of recognition so the consumers can take note of the "real" interior designers and not those that are out trying to just make money with no education or experience behind their names...

I used to think all of this didn't matter. Seriously - who cares right? WRONG.

The last time you were in a hospital, and looked at the ugly vinyl covering on a chair you probably thought - "Wow! That's ugly..." And it probably was. But, it's vinyl (enough here - can be a whole post!) But, what you don't see is the fact it is protecting you. Depending on where you live, different fire codes and life safety codes are adhered to by anyone creating a space for the public.

For instance....You have heard not to put your small child in anything that isn't fire retardant while they sleep, right? This is an example of code/life safety. Protection through regulation.

In Memphis, there are countless numbers of folks acting like "interior designers" that are actively pursuing work in a hospital setting...the end user doesn't know better...They just hired someone whom they believe must be legit. Well, SHOCKER...."she isn't". You know who you are if you are reading this...

What does this mean for you? Well, not a whole lot. Unless someone has bled, released bodily fluids, or threw up on the chair you were sitting in....or better yet, unless the hospital burns down....Um. So, I guess I should have said that it means a lot to you. And it does. Depending on your local code - the coverings, the frames and the finishes on commercial/hospitality furnishings will either not catch fire, not put off toxic smoke if lit...effectively saving you and those around you if anything should go wrong.

There has been a lot of controversy and mis-leading information on the bill in question in the TN House, but if you ACTUALLY READ THE BILL...you will quickly realize that IF you do have education, experience, and have/have not been tested, you can register/grandfather in under this bill and be recognized as the professional you actually are. It doesn't put anyone out of work, Tennessee is a right to work state! If you are interested....www.TIDC.org

This bill has actually been pulled from the House committees until all of the "opposition" sits down and comes to an understanding. Which I like too. If you ask someone what they are against in the bill, they don't know! Legislation works when everyone understands the protection it can bring - not only to the public, but also to the industry.... Have a great day! And hire a professional Interior Designer when you decide to remodel, built or create something fantastic...Your project will be forever altered and the outcome? Amazing!


Day 4 - Don't proceed with them...

Yep, That is correct.

What runs and hides and doesn't come running when you call for it??

Give up?

Your car keys....

Go and get your cars keys. Find 1 place to put them.....and repeat...OVER AND OVER...

Now. You will not need to have to run all over your house and find your keys!

Have a great Friday night, now that you all have emailed me to let me know that you have finished the laundry and the closet tasks from last weekend - we are back on track!



Day 3 - "Clothes"t Time

Well...I hope you all have had a blast doing laundry...I was going to post this last night....BUT, wasn't done with it myself...NOW? Totally.

So here is a pic of my personal progress..What an improvement over yesterday.....!!!

Now...tip toe gently into your closet and take a deep breath. Why? You are getting ready to clean up this bad boy and put all your laundry away. *goodie*

Yesterday - you washed, dried and FOLDED....Now, we put away - BUT...you HAVE TO CLEAN YOUR CLOSET FIRST...... ;)

The Symptoms: You can't find ANYTHING you ever need when you need it. Empty clothes hangers all on the racks making putting things away impossible. Shoes are all over the place and your disaster looks something like....

Why we forget: Because there is a door on the closet...LOL!

Why this disorganization causes stress: Similar to forgetting about it - you are only in there a little bit. Just enough to find your outfit and leave. Well, OK...maybe not a little bit. Finding your clothes is probably about as much fun as going to the dentist....PAINFUL.

1. Get ALL of the empty hangers out. Put on your bed.

2. Enter into the closet and start putting clothes on the floor back onto the hangers, hanging them in their sections, and making sure you can SEE your floor. Go ahead and pair up your shoes and line them up along the wall or on your shoe rack.

3. If you have folded clothes, make sure they are in fact folded and in neat stacks.

4. If your significant other has a similar disaster going on, get them in there to help you. *laughing* OK, well nice try. You may have to suck it up and do it on your own, but you will be much happier.

5. if you run across something that is completely ugly, or fit your when you were in the womb - get rid of it....take it to the trash ASAP, or put in a trash bag to take to Goodwill.

6. Vaccum the floor in your closet once you are complete. Yes, there is a floor in there...

7. Now that your closet is cleaned up - put away all of your clean clothes.....BUT -------

8. Pick out what you are going to wear tomorrow. Make a special place for tomorrow's outfit. Shoes, stockings, pants, undergarments, shirt, etc....the whole gang to make your outfit complete...

Stay this way....

Now all of your laundry is done, and put away into your clean closet, your outfit is ready to go tomorrow - repeat in the kids room....Always layout your clothes, and their clothes the night before.....You will not have to think about anything other than rolling out of bed!

This makes life mucho easy...be sure to put your shoes by your outfits too!

All in all - I spent 30 minutes straightening my closet. 30 minutes putting clothes away. 15 minutes in each child's room. I tend to keep their rooms in tip top shape...why? not sure. Maybe I am trying to send them the message that being clean is a good way to go??? Hope so.

I hope you are on track so far!!! If you need any reminders on anything or additional help, leave a comment and I will hook you up!

Now, I plan for tomorrow's goal...


DAY 2- Pile Tackling

No, I am NOT kidding. Those clothes that jumped out of our master bathroom closet from a trip we had a MONTH ago...and see, this pile had an accomplice too...

This is the biggest disaster of them all for me. And since it IS Saturday....Well, you get the point. It's time for you to do laundry.

Definition of "Doing Laundry": Washing, Drying (completely), folding AND putting AWAY!!!!

Yeah, I know. The first two are accomplished with ease...Last two not so much. Well, you are in LUCK! Today, you are just going to do the first 3 steps.....That's right! first 3 steps....

The Symptoms: We just don't do laundry the way we should. That picture above was NOT staged...that baby was cultivated...messes like that don't just "happen".

Why we forget: WE don't! That's the sad reality. We know it's there! We step over it, stuff it into a closet, and "forget about it".

Why this disorganization causes stress: Well, when you can't find any undergarments, your favorite shirt, or jeans....you will know the answer. People say NOT having clean clothing in the right place is the most stressful problem they have.

Find all of your clothes and PILE them into a room that is unconventional..... Like your kitchen. RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR!

Separate everyone's clothes. For example - make the following piles: Yours, your significant others, kid 1, kid 2, towels.

Start washing. Be careful to NOT overload the washer so your dryer can keep up and you will not get frustrated. Try and keep the loads to a comfortable arm full.

Once these items come out of the dryer - take them to a staging place and FOLD them ALL. immediately. And put them together as to where they should go. (see piles above)

Depending on your disaster - this will take you a while to complete.

STAY THIS WAY: Every night, have every member of your household bring all of their dirty clothes to you at the location you do laundry. put a load in. Then move it to the dryer. In the morning when you wake up - FOLD. And put away when you return from work...

So, this is going to take a bit. Period. BUT, you really need to be prepared to have stacks and stacks of clean, folded laundry around you until tomorrow's task. I will be posting it later this evening so you will be sure to have it for the morning...I am hosting a wedding shower at our house tonight, and I am NOT going to say - "I will post at 8 AM..." - I know better...LOL!

Don't hate me for this. We all have this problem. This is the only way we can control it. let's get organized here people...we will be WAY less stressed....!!!!

Okay. Dryers done. Load 5....


DAY 1 - Start with the basics...

Have you seen me lately????

Know what this is? That's right...In our house, this is a norm. An empty toilet paper holder.

Why start with this? Well, pretty basic I think. If you are going to be organized, you have to start off with the essentials...no pun intended.

-The Symptoms-

Why we do this: We leave toilet paper holders empty because we forget about it. Understandable. BUT - not so funny when you are the next one in, and are left stranded.

Why we forget: Too busy? Probably. Or the kids don't tell anyone.

Why this disorganization causes stress: You can let me know that. I am not answering.

Go to where you store the "toilet paper" and..

***If you don't have any - go to the store and buy at least 6 rolls for each bathroom you have.***

Take the toilet paper you have, and visit EACH bathroom in your house. DO NOT "forget" or you will not make it through this first day.

Put 3 rolls in each bathroom. Under the vanity, in the cabinet, closet whatever...just put 3 rolls in a PLACE that you will repeat over and over (repetition breeds good habit).
***NOTE: if the holder is empty, place a roll on the holder, and also store 3.

Now. Your cabinet or storage area should have three stored rolls, and the empty roll is occupied.

STAY THIS WAY: Put on your grocery list (right now) that you need to buy 3 rolls per bath on your next trip to the store. Put it in your general storage area so you will not be without. Repeat.

This will help you eliminate stress not only in your lives, but also those who visit you. Nothing is more embarrassing than hearing a guest scream from an upstairs bathroom. "I NEED TOILET PAPER!!! HELP!!!!" *sighs*

You have until tomorrow at 11 A.M. to complete this task. Report back to me and let me know if you are complete. I will issue Day 2, at 11 in the morning.... Good night!

:) Admitting you have a problem is the first step...

31 days to organization....About the chaos.

Not sure about your lives, but I am assuming "organizing" thoughts only come at desperate moments. I know that is the case for me.

Sad. But true!

Well, that can all change. Starting today. For the next 31 days we are all going to work to become organized in a way we haven't thought of.

Yep - look around you. There is something that could use your attention. No? Put the glasses on...

See? I thought so. From May 1st - to May 31st I am going to organize my disasters along with you. Please comment if you feel there is something you have that is a mess or out of sorts. I can help you with it or at least try.

Why is a creative designer type trying to become organized? Well, because I am a creative designer type...AKA - messy. I feel most comfortable with fabric books scattered all around, mounds of fabrics and tulle for tutu's and my favorite - empty glasses on my desk. (Should've put the office closer to the kitchen)

Since it is later in the day - I am going to organize you in a simple way for today. So stay tuned...we are going to fix this!!!


I'm back to blogging....

Back at it? Yep. Only this time it has moved off of the firm's website....Clever? Not really. Just easier to control.

I am sure most of you don't know me, that's ok. I am an interior designer and live in Tennessee. I am pretty creative. I also am designing a line of children's clothing, just because. Oh! Don't forget the books either.

I am involved in a lot of things to help the community and various interesting non-profits.

I hope you find the blog helpful and insightful.