Preamble: What you are about to read is a very long post about a very fun design challenge we recently participated in. So, grab your favorite fall beverage, ease into your favorite chair, and read on…
A few weeks ago Bruno and I flew to Greensboro, NC to partake in a WWE-style design throw down hosted by La-Z-Boy. By WWE-style throw-down, I actually mean to say that we had one of the most exciting 72 hours ever with some truly lovely people. Instead of WWE, it was more chambray shirts and leather boots; instead of throw-down, it was more lovefest. I was just trying to capture your attention.
Upon our arrival in Greensboro, we were shuttled to the Proximity Hotel, a stunning, haunted hotel that has hosted the likes of Britney Spears. It was at the hotel that we met the La-Z-Boy team and the other design bloggers. Let me digress for a moment here to say that I am continually blown away by the kindness and talent of our blogging community. The blogosphere is so saturated and enormous that it’s easy to feel anonymous and holed-up in your little corner of the Internet. When you get the opportunity to break out of your corner, meet other bloggers, production teams, and designers, you learn new things and add to your wheelhouse.
After introductions (at least 50% of the people there were named Kelly), we all packed into a jumbo limo like a group of high schoolers heading to prom and made our way to the La-Z-Boy showroom at High Point Market.
We were hosted by Kelly Edwards (of Design on a Dime fame) who explained the rules. We received shopping carts, a roll of tape and color-coded tags, and began what is best described as a Supermarket Sweep-style race. We had one hour to make our way through an enormous two-story showroom. Armed with only 50 tags, there were a few hard-fought battles over items. It was a whirlwind, and when it was all over I hoped we hadn’t exclusively tagged furry throws and bronze paperweights.
After the dash, we settled into a beautiful dinner with southern comfort food. It was a lovely end to the evening.
The next morning, we made our way to Kreber Studio, a 245,000 production studio that was an amazing sight to behold.
We were assigned a bay that was empty but for the couch we had designed months ago. This was the first time we laid eyes on our tufted Bijou sofa and all its blue beauty. Beside the sofa were stacked the 50 items we selected from the showroom. And, thus began the 6 hour scramble to arrange, style, and photograph our room.
We set up our space as though real people lived in it, and then we had 30 minutes with a camera crew who kindly showed us how everything looked on screen. And, the truth is, it looked awful. Really very terrible. You couldn’t really see the furniture and the little details got muddled.
The La-Z-Boy designers and Kreber production assistants really saved the day here and we ended up stretching out the entire room in a way that looked crazy in real life, but crazy beautiful on camera. It was a fascinating process that makes me want a part time job in production to learn from these masters.
After our room was complete, we had 20 minutes to race through a prop room that is best described as a flea market on crack. It was filled with floor-to-ceiling metal shelving that was packed with vintage treasures, books and magazines galore, and enough brass instruments to fill a main line parade. A person could spend a year there and discover new treasures every single day.
We selected a few items (mainly books, magazines, and geodes) and placed them in our space. And, that was all she wrote. We had one last celebratory night with new friends, toasts, and conviviality.
Here are a few more glimpses of our room to tide you over until voting officially begins on Monday, November 9th. We’re excited to see the final shots of our room and we’re excited for our readers and friends to see the style and variety of the La-Z-Boy line.
We’ll send another recap on Monday when the voting opens. We want you to vote because one lucky voter will win $10,000 toward a La-Z-Boy room of their own. In the mean time, feast your eyes on these goodies – all from La-Z-Boy (please excuse my washed out phone photos here)!