While we are head over heels for rugs here at Landry & Arcari, we also know that not everyone lives, dreams, and breathes the same passion for rugs that we do. After many years of experience, we know how to make expert functional design suggestions for rugs and carpeting, but nothing beats the trained eye and experience of an interior designer when it comes to the overall look of a yet-to-be-finished room.
We were lucky to have time to attend the Interior Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta last week. Our goal was to gain a deeper understanding of all the additional effort and passion our interior designers put in to be as successful as they are - and we got it! Along with some excellent design and blogging tips.
Here are our top 5 takeaways from the conference...
 The Power of Contrast
Candice Olson, host of Divine Design, gave very clear descriptions on how she warms up her contemporary designs - with CONTRAST!
Below, Candice adds warmth to the cool, sleek contemporary elements with rustic, traditional elements in this living room.
- Cold chrome drawers of the media center
- Sleek lines of smooth, stacked brick fireplace
- Metallic end table
- Black lacquered candle stands
image via HGTV.com, Candice Olson - Contemporary Interior Design
Candice explained that the coldness of the sleek, polished lines of contemporary design can be intimidating. Which is why she always includes traditional elements. People are used to traditional, it's familiar to them, they know it and recognize it. By adding tasteful traditional elements to contemporary designs, "it's like walking into a party full of strangers and seeing an old friend, you're instantly at ease because they are familiar".
It's why we love our transitional rugs. Jeff Arcari recently used a similar explanation when describing the appeal of one of our most popular transitional rugs from the Tissage Collection
The traditional Agra pattern of this rug is welcoming and familiar, but the fabulous watercolor effect provides a contemporary twist. This rug rocks the sweetspot of what it means to be a transitional style element.
 Know Who You Are, What You Stand For, and STICK TO IT!
A common theme throughout all of the speakers at DBC2014 was to know who you are, BE who you are, and stay true to yourself. From Jan Bill’s (www.twowomenandahoe.com) awesome, mile a minute, talk about how she established her captivating social media presence simply by being herself. To Jeremy Parzen's compassionate story (and impromptu wine tasting!) of how the purpose of his blog, DoBianchi, surfaced organically from his journeys – every speaker at the conference had a clear sense of who they are, what their business, style, and passions are, and how they share their passions with the world.
Thanks to DoBianchi for the lovely wine tasting!
As the first day of the conference came to a close, it became very clear that being true to who you are and sharing that with the world has great potential to naturally capture the attention of others, establish your presence in the digital world, and put your company on the map.
While we always shine a spotlight on our rugs - because we love them - Landry & Arcari is a company of enthusiastic, friendly, and passionately rug obsessed individuals. We have to thank Jerry Arcari for inspiring a love for rugs and carpeting in all of us, and passing his obsession on to his children - Jeff, Julie, and Jay - who continue to grow the community of rug lovers based out of our showrooms today.
Jay, Jerry, Julie, and Jeff Arcari.
 Keep it Simple
Whether you're writing a blog post, defining your style, or designing a room - keep it simple!
Jed Williams of BIA Kelsey gave a brief but insightful talk on the business of a blog and how keeping it simple can lead to success. Jed stressed simplicity - ONE call to action, ONE lead, ONE idea, ONE message. In today's digital world, everyone's receiving information from multiple sources simultaneously - keep it simple. It increases the chance that a lead will follow through on your call to action.
It's tough to keep things simple if you don't know who you are or what your brand is (takeaway #2!). But keynote speaker Timothy Corrigan had that covered. He stressed the importance of defining your "brand essence" in two words. He defines his own style and brand essence as "Comfortable Elegance". Two words easily understandable but broad enough to encompass a variety of designs.
If we were to describe our own brand essence, we would probably say "rug & carpeting obsession". Walk into any of our showrooms and you'll find rugs piled up to waist height and a wealth of carpet samples and custom opportunities. Why do we have so many rugs, so much carpet, and so many styles? Because we.are.in.love.with.them. It might be a bit of an unhealthy obsession, but it means we find the best rugs and carpeting in any and every style. By doing so, we know we can share rugs and carpet worthy of our clients' longlasting love, because we've already fallen for them!
 Give Them What They Want
If you take a look at Jan Bill's Facebook page, her numbers reveal the importance of giving clients what they want. With over 100,000 followers, 100s of likes and over 1,000 shares per post, we can learn a lot from Jan! She explained how she gives her followers what they want: useful tips and suggestions pertaining to landscape design (what her business actually does). But she even takes things a step further. She assumes that when people are on Facebook, they're looking to take a break and browse through light and digestible information. If you take a look at her Facebook page, you will only find comics, jokes, and pictures that include landscaping tips and flower choices that reflect Jan's taste in landscape design.
With nearly 8,000 rugs in our inventory, a wealth of in-stock and economical carpeting options, and an expert custom rug program - we pride ourselves on giving our customers what they want. That also includes a full service rug/carpeting experience from finding a rug, trying it at home (compliments of us!), delivering and installing it, loving it, living it, cleaning it, and repairing it - we give our customers whatever they could possibly need from the rug world!
 Embrace Your Community
From the busy Twitter feed (#dbc2014) that was alive throughout the conference to the spirited conversations of attendees, there was a strong sense of community amongst interior designers old and new. Without the shared stories of success from the interior design keynote speakers, we couldn't have received as much useful information tailored towards building success in the interior design world.
Embrace your community, whether on Twitter, in a community of bloggers, or around town - building and nourishing these connections can only help establish your presence and expertise.
Join us at some fabulous Boston and North Shore events over the next two months! Here are some events that keep our communities of Boston's Design District and the North Shore thriving on design!
- March 20th-30th, Boston's first annual Design Week. Many events will be hosted throughout the Boston Area, but we're especially excited for those taking place in the Park Square Design District.
- Stop by our Boston Showroom on March 25th from 5-7PM for some light appetizers and cocktails to meet and mingle with us and ask any lingering rug questions.
- Design Week will be kicked off on March 20th with the ASID Gala, and ramp up to its finish with the AD 20/21 show March 27th-30th.
- Wednesday April 2nd @ 6:30PM Engage, Educate & Empower with Barakat World - Julie Arcari, our CEO, is on the Board of Directors for Barakat World, a charity based in Cambridge, MA whose goal is to empower education for women and children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This charity means a lot to us because it directly impacts the rug industry abroad.
- Thursday April 17th @ 6PM - Love Your Home event. Thanks to our wonderful friendship with Northshore Magazine, we sponsor a sweepstakes with a handful of other Northshore design companies and get to announce the winners of the sweepstakes at a party sponsored by Northshore Magazine! Dave Seymour and Peter Souhleris of Flippin' Boston will be hosting the party!
Overall, we came home from DBC2014 with lots of useful information and insight! And it's always lovely to spend some more time with other interior design enthusiasts!