Eye on Design (ASID)
Feb. 24, 2012

Design outlook positive for 2012
Although early indications pointed to another positive month, the ASID Interior Design Billings Index in December slipped just below the line into negative territory, at 49.4. The Inquiries Index, however, stayed positive at 52.0 for the second month in a row. Despite the year-end dip in billings, ASID firms expect business conditions to be better in the future. The ASID Business Outlook Index for the fourth quarter was 74.3, up substantially from the prior quarter's index of 56.4.


Oscars preview: The year's best sets
Architectural Digest
"Architectural Digest" spotlights the 2012 nominees for Best Art Direction and talks to the designers behind the five visually stunning films.More

Builder confidence rises for 5 consecutive months
Homebuilder confidence in the market for new single-family homes increased for the fifth consecutive month in February, rising from 25 to 29 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released Feb. 17. It is the highest level the index has reached in more than four years.More

Top kitchen and bath design trends for 2012
Woodworking Network
Although the use of cherry wood in cabinetry is declining slightly, the preference for darker finishes continues to grow. These and other findings are among the top design trends for 2012, as determined by a recent survey by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.More

Heading the bed in a new direction
The Wall Street Journal
When it comes to the bedroom, one painless route to design bravery is to modify the furniture arrangement. The, um, nonmissionary approach would be to "float" the bed slightly into the room. Fabric or a screen can be used to create the illusion of a back wall or headboard.More

Palette pusher: Technology transforms images into palettes
One Kings Lane
While no one is suggesting it will replace Pinterest as the newest image addiction, the folks at One Kings Lane are hooked with the discovery of Chip It! on the Sherwin-Williams site. The technology allows you transform any image into a paint palette instantly.More

Measuring sustainable return on investment
The sustainable return on investment process monetizes social and environmental effects related to projects. It also provides the equivalent of traditional life cycle cost metrics, or financial return on investment, in its analysis. Other relevant incremental social and environmental impacts include air quality, water quality, waste reduction, human health and labor or productivity costs.More

Joining the national health care conversation
Healthcare Design
What role does the built environment play in providing better health outcomes and reducing the cost of care? The Center for Health Design's Debra Levin discusses how the health care design industry can take a seat at the table as the nation redefines the U.S. health care system.More

The small but smart kitchen
Kitchen & Bath Design News
Attention to detail is the foundation of designing small but smart kitchens. These projects demand creative planning so the finished space fits the most important needs of your client's family. You must establish your client's priority list, understand how the family cooks and lives in the kitchen space and determine whether it's necessary or even possible to expand the area's boundaries. Be ready to think creatively, plan obsessively and work flexibly to deliver a well-executed design.More

Keys to a successful hotel lobby redesign
Lobby redesigns not only create a more welcoming first impression, but also improve hotel functionality and generate more revenue. But before you begin any lobby renovation, it's important to prioritize planning and strategy.More

Affordable prefab? LivingHomes C6 debuts during Modernism Week
Los Angeles Times
The concept is simple: Make a modern, prefabricated home with the lowest environmental impact — and price — possible. The C6 is touted as the first production home designed to achieve LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and it's the first to incorporate a range of products certified by Cradle to Cradle.More

Wayfinding with color
Research Design Connections
Need to help people find their way through a maze of corridors? Recent findings about color in hallways can help you get travelers to their destinations — a task made more complicated by the increased modularity of interior design. While cost-effective, it can lead to spaces that seem to be repeating, causing visitors to lose their way.More

The next office: Why CEOs are paying attention
Steelcase 360 Research
Executives everywhere are being asked to deliver higher performance from every company asset. Yet they often overlook an asset that's both highly leverageable and pivotal to the organization's success: the office.More

LED ceiling features for restaurants, bars
Interior Design Source
Lighting systems in interior design provide one of the highest visual impacts upon entering a space. In the same way color affects the senses and has the ability to create a mental and physical reaction, lighting sets the tone and atmosphere of a space — perhaps nowhere more than in public bars and restaurants. More

Time to spring-clean your management practices
Hospitality Style
No principal or project manager who works in the design services environment has enough hours to do what needs doing. Here's a checklist of good habits aimed at helping you streamline management practices and fuel your staff's creative fire.More

Everything you wanted to know about benchmarking — but were afraid to ask
Maybe you've heard about benchmarking your business but weren't sure how or why to do it. We've got the answers you're looking for.More

Using your clients' learning style to close sales
Regardless of what a client is like, a good part of your sales success will relate to his or her personality and how it personality relates to yours — and, more important, how this relates to your sales approach to them. For that reason, it's critical to understand how to identify your prospects' learning styles early in the sales process and tailor your presentations and closing techniques accordingly.More

Self-promotion: Are you a pro or a no?
How effective are you at blowing your own horn? It's a key element of a successful business. Take this quiz of "toot your flute" tasks to see how you rate.More

Designers on how to succeed in business
The Editor at Large
Panelists at the recent Student Design Day, sponsored by ASID and The Editor at Large, offer insight on the trials and tribulations of getting started in a design business, landing that first job and recognizing their big break.More

Easy, inexpensive ways to build your own media list
The Huffington Post
Traditionally, public relations firms spend a lot of money on yearly subscriptions to online databases that give them access to every media contact in the U.S. — and sometimes in the world. As a business owner, speaker or author, you don't need a media list that big; you just need a strong set of contacts you can reach when you have a news item, a launch or an interesting story to tell.More

Working solo
Design Biz Blueprint
The one-person design studio is a business model with a lot of advantages: flexible hours, low overhead, unlimited creativity. But do you know the biggest problem facing single-practitioner designers and preventing their businesses from being successful and profitable?More

4 rules of successful negotiation
American Express OPEN Forum
Small-business negotiations are common with vendors, employees and customers. Michael E. Sloopka, the negotiating coach, explains how to negotiate calmly and come to an agreement that satisfies all parties.More