Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hearst Design Group Inside Design Event At ADAC

The Inside Design Event at ADAC was a compelling case for Dovecote Decor to embark upon a spring road-trip. With two days of design luminaries and publishing pundits discussing our favorite topics, we headed down to Atlanta anticipating the prospect of hearing and meeting Hearst Design Group's editorial director Newell Turner, among others. In addition, daughter number 3 was down in Atlanta assisting House Beautiful's food editor, Alex Hitz, test recipes for his second cook book. We could not resist the prospect of poking our heads into his kitchen, to watch a culinary maestro  direct his gastronomic alchemy and hopefully sample some of the results.

 Alex Hitz, author of the best selling cookbook, My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist, with his new assistant. 
Believe me when I say that sampling his recipes from the day before prompted an instantaneous proposal of marriage, and yes it was a humble potato salad that sent me over the edge. A man fluent in mirepoix short circuits my synapses. His curried chicken salad and cold asparagus soup leave me wondering where these recipes have been all my life. We were in the illustrious Soiree Catering space owned by the legendary chef, restaurateur and caterer, Mary Boyle Hataway. Mary mentored Alex as a lad--starting him as a dishwasher during his school holidays. Decades later, they collaborate with the same cooking brain in two separate bodies. D3 (daughter #3) says they are seamless. 

I haven't mentioned Mary Boyle Hataway was a Vogue model in the 1960's, a business woman and is a very kind, soft spoken person, who so dazzles me I lose myself in the moment--without being in a tortuous yoga pose. Right, and it is only 10:00 a.m..... Christine, my wing-woman, and I motor off to ADAC high on life. 

This is the first time Hearst Magazine's trifecta shelter trio: Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda have hosted an Inside Design series. To say the least, there was nothing half hearted or scattered in this inaugural design fest. The first keynote presentation was Amy Preiser, digital web editor for Elle Decor hosting Susan Ferrier and Capella Kincheloe to discuss how the web has been a game changer for the interior design industry.

Our take away from this discussion was to become familiar with the wide array of social media options, then to pick a few that you are comfortable with and use them. Susan and Capella use pinterest in very different ways to connect with clients successfully illustrating the fluidity of applications. There is no right way but the path that works for you. Social media is a tool, but we are not its tool if you get my drift.  Amy is a person who is comfortable in her own skin and clearly loves her work. Four days before her wedding she was an animated and funny moderator who is fast on her feet, go figure. Most women in this position are dotting calamine lotion on their hives. Happy wedding day!!

Newell Turner gave a stunning presentation exploring the visual ways we make sense of our lives. Drilling down to the impulse to both build and chronicle we were treated to a compendium from stylish birds nests to the unbelievable actual cocoons by Hubert Duprat.  Humans are not the only species with a predilection for  decoration. Duprat noticed the cocoons for the larvae of the caddisfly were eclectically chosen from their environment. His question was: "What if we change that environment?"

Placing the flies in an aquarium at the delicate moment, filling it with gold flakes, turquoise, small pearls and opals, those little pests went to work like any self respecting prospective parent preparing a nursery.    Duprat is Kafkaesque--absolutely, combining the surreal with the ethereal. 

The male Bower bird builds a nest and decorates it with colorful objects to attract a mate--yup. This bachelor pad is guaranteed to attract the Kate Middleton of Bower babes. Kidding aside, actual humans have a powerful desire to create an environment around ourselves that expresses our sense of beauty and reflects our lives in the thousands of ways we've found to forge that idiom. As technology evolves, we create endless vehicles to chronicle that journey. Newell Turner built on this theme with an informative history of the scrapbook, diarists and journals culminating in the work of Peter Beard.

I am also fond of the Baron de Cabrol illustrated diaries, that I found in Thierry Coudert's Cafe Society:  Socialites, Patrons, and Artists 1920 to 1960. The real fun is in the creation of the ever evolving stage for the times of our lives. We have magazines, bloggers, instagram, pinterest, tumblir to show us every creation from the coolest dorm room to the ultimate burger (Alex?)

We have a tsunami of information overwhelming us. We can drop in and filter that avalanche through the shelter magazines. They are the front line of taste. Even if you detest a house or garden, there is a reason to see it. The magazines are scrapbooks of people's homes, dogs, and dinner parties inspiring us to create glorious memories for family and friends. It was great to meet all the wonderful editors and publishers from the Hearst shelter team.

Thank You Hearst for Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Veranda and all the work that went into the new Inside Design Series! 
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