Custom Design & Collaboration with Elizabeth Demos

www.elizabethdemos.com

Elizabeth is a multi-talented designer, content contributor, producer and  writer.  I had a great time working with Elizabeth and it’s no surprise that her client list is as extensive as it is.  She knows what she wants and finds a way to make it happen.

Truth be told, I love working with designers.  And my favorite part is the mutual thought process and collaboration that is done between the maker and the designer to bring an idea to reality.  

Back in April of this year Elizabeth Demos contacted me about a lighting dilemma they were having for a DIY Network giveaway house.  We chatted for a week or so about the project and landed on a lighting solution that worked for both of us.  It was sort of a whirlwind of ideas all leading to a rather quick turnaround custom piece for this show.

I was a bit surprised to hear back from Elizabeth this week when she sent me links for the DIY Network Ultimate Retreat Giveaway home that my fixture is proudly hanging in the kitchen.  Elizabeth was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer some questions on how she came to choose my company and my work for her very special DIY Network project.

Brad:
So Elizabeth, the Ultimate Retreat home in VT is simply amazing!  As the designer for the show it must have been quite an undertaking picking all the vendors and products.  What made you look to a small business like mine for one of your pieces?  
Elizabeth:
Thank you, I think Ultimate Retreat is pretty amazing too! I love to work with artisans and local makers whenever possible so I knew I wanted to incorporate items that fed to my taste for unique details. I also had a challenging situation with an off center kitchen island that only a custom fixture could remedy.
Brad:
I was so happy that we compiled both of our ideas to get to the final custom fixture.  Do you find yourself collaborating with makers for the perfect custom pieces or trying to find ready-made items?  Or both?
Elizabeth:
It depends on the clients, the budget and the timeline. I like to think I dress a house in a way that combines custom with some off the shelf items. In the end the entire look feels layered in and purposeful. I'm a big "save here, splurge here" kind of designer.
Brad:
How did you find my little company in the sea of lighting out there online?
Elizabeth:
I’m fairly certain I typed something like “vintage multi-globe pendant” online. I was immediately drawn into Lucent Lampwork’s lovely story, beautiful selection and simple vintage styling. I also liked that I could choose finishes and wire options to customize the look. Best of all you sent me a speedy reply and were game from the very start even with the tight turn-around time I requested.
Brad:
How important is efficient communication between makers and yourself when working on date specific projects?  
Elizabeth:
Efficient communication is crucial and in my experience not something I encounter with independent artisans. I wish everyone was as responsive and positive as you were when approached about a project like this. I do I understand though, because with sweepstakes homes I have to keep the details a secret but business is business and a client is a client, no matter how mysterious.

Brad:
I can tell with the amazing outcome of the design of the home that you have an eye for quality products and thoughtful and smart design.  Do you have any suggestions for a small business like mine in navigating the design trends that seem to come and go so fast?  
Elizabeth:
I flip back and forth with the whole idea of trends and I think I sway more toward freshened up classics. For example I love subway tile but try to tweak it a bit with a different size or textural look like I did in the Ultimate Retreat kitchen.  Another great nod to classic is in the lighting I selected. I chose very traditional circle shaped chandeliers in the dining room and living room but by incorporating the open globe theme it took it in a bit more modern direction. In fact by choosing globe fixtures in the main open spaces I was able to walk that line of trend and classic. Lucent Lampworks fixture over the kitchen island elevated the look to the next level. It pulled the globe look into the space but amped it up with a modern asymmetrical suspension.
My advice, find your niche (as you have), stick to classic looks but put your spin on it. Follow trends to know how to place yourself in the market, observe color and scale trends but don't let them dictate your product line. Influence perhaps, but not dictate.
Brad:
Thank you Elizabeth for your time in taking these questions.  I look forward to working with you for years to come.  All the best to you and yours.

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