IDS Hot Topics
Mar. 6, 2013

How to Train Your Brain to Multitask Effectively
When you run a small business or startup, everything and everyone demands your attention. Constant distractions are part of the job, but they interrupt your focus. By learning how to multitask effectively amid all those distractions, you can stay on top of your work and increase your productivity.More

Colors to Make Dumbo Blush
The New York Times
When Ryan Foster and Anne Maxwell Foster expressed interest in buying an industrial-style loft in Dumbo, even their real estate agent was surprised. "She was, like: 'Are you sure you like this place? It’s very Brooklyn,'" Maxwell Foster recalled. That's because Maxwell Foster is an owner of Tilton Fenwick, an interior design firm known for its fresh take on a traditional aesthetic. She likes tufted upholstery in brightly colored fabrics, vividly patterned wallpaper and other touches that create a sense of comfort and continuity. More

The 7 Stages of Small Business Success
Small Business Trends
With 28 million small businesses in the U.S., it's hard to be a member of planet earth and not have a personal connection to small business. Small businesses play a critical role in the economy, making them a hot topic of discussion. What's the problem if everyone is talking about small business? More

Designers' Favorite Movie Interiors
House Beautiful
Designers share the movie interiors and sets they love. While some are real locations, others are pure imagination. Either way, sometimes we wish we could stay. More

Frequent New York Times Contributor Looking To Talk To Designers Who Have Designed Homeschool Rooms in a House or on a Property
I am an education reporter who writes frequently for The New York Times. I am looking for interior designers in the United States who have designed a homeschool room for an article I am working on. I am looking for beautiful examples to shoot and maybe include in the article. Any information, tips, anecdotes, etc. would be wonderful. I can be reached by phone at 347-564-3312 or by email at

Next Generation of Style: When Design is the Family Business
ELLE Decor
Jobs like "app designer" and "video game producer" may be trendy career paths, but not every recent graduate is determined to live in the cloud. Young designers are devoting themselves to carrying on their families' established brands, creating artisanal and luxurious home furnishings. Armed with tablets and iPhones, these tech- and fashion-savvy entrepreneurs are preserving tradition while pushing it forward. More

How to raise your prices without playing the blame game
Almost every day you experience higher prices at the grocery store, gas pump and a range of other places. From time to time, the government requires you to increase employee wages. Why are you the only one not raising your prices? You may say, "My business is so competitive, and it's all price driven." Most companies make that claim. Your competition may be unwilling to ask for a higher price, but it doesn't mean you should be. More

Working Wallpaper Into Your Closet
The Wall Street Journal
Dara Caponigro keeps her love for wallpaper in the closet— quite literally. Instead of covering her dining room in toile, the editor-in-chief of the lifestyle magazine Veranda pastes up patterns in those hidden, often neglected spaces reserved for receiving coats, cashmere and wellies. Having wallpapered seven of the nine closets in her Riverdale, N.Y., home, from those in her children's bedrooms to the one in the front hall, she recommends the strategy as a low-stress way to take design risks. "I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to pattern and color," said the mother of two, "so using wallpaper was pushing the envelope for me.More

The Versatility of Cork
For many years, cork was associated with bottle stops and worthy but dull flooring. Not anymore. Now it's the design-friendly, eco-friendly material of the moment, and it's banishing any unpleasant memories of yesteryear.More

A Georgetown Stable Recast for Family Living
The Washington Post
When Colman and Richard Riddell bought a tiny Georgetown house that was once a 19th-century stable, they knew they were becoming the latest caretakers of a curious piece of history. The 1,700-square-foot home began life in the 1850s as the carriage house and stables for the mansion next door. The red brick property, tucked beside a quiet alley, was converted into a two-story, three-bedroom residence in 1923. Over the past 90 years, residents have left clues behind: terra cotta religious tiles, red and green stained glass windows and two second-floor Juliet balconies that open into a double-height living room. More

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Small-Business Attorney
When you hire an attorney, that professional will be handling some of your company's most sensitive legal issues so it's important to hire someone you feel comfortable working with. "A good attorney is also a counselor at law," says Ed Leach, a small-business attorney in Charlotte, N.C., and former district office attorney for the Small Business Administration. "When you have a relationship like that with somebody, it's got to be a trust relationship."More

Eliminate 1 Big Time Waste
Design Biz Blueprint
Setting boundaries with your clients around your available time is one of the most important changes you can make in your business. In your Letter of Agreement, it is important that you are specific about what tasks are included, and that you remind your clients of this when needed. More

Modern Venice Home Designed for 2 Couples with Space to Share
Los Angeles Times
Architect Don Dimster and his brother, filmmaker Dennis Dimster, lived together for more than a decade, migrating among a 1924 bungalow on Electric Avenue in Venice that they renovated, two apartments in back of the house as well as a pair of cottages on San Juan Avenue they also fixed up. "It was a bit like the musical chairs game — only with houses," Don Dimster said. So it wasn't a surprise when the brothers moved together into new 3,800-square-foot Venice digs designed by Don — only this time with their wives, Lisa and Noreen.More

Study Says Designers Control the Outdoor Market
Interior Design
Interior Design's latest outdoor product survey reveals how designers tap into the potential of outdoor spaces. When it comes to calling the shots on specifying outdoor products on a project, designers are by far the final word: 86 percent have direct involvement in product choice. More

7 Ways to Get More Twitter Followers Today
Want your tweets to reach more potential customers? New research offers plenty of simple suggestions you can implement today. Social media is an awesome way for small businesses to connect with potential customers, but it's only effective if people are actually listening and sharing your content. A presence isn't enough — what you need is followers. How do you get them? More