San Francisco Decorator Showcase as a designer. This year, due to my travel schedule, I could not participate in the exhilarating rush of reshaping a room in a scant three months.
I missed it, actually, because it is during this time I get my one chance each year to spend time under the same roof with so many talented colleagues in the business, and there is an atmosphere of camaraderie when a large number of the area's best decorative painters are all working on the same house. Oh of course there can also be a little drama, but for the most part everyone is trying to do their best work and finish before the press arrive, sometimes working late into the night, often running to the next room to beg a roll of tape or ask advice.
Showcases are especially great for ideas. Working without a "client" the designers get a chance to show off what they are interested in, what inspires them, and their best new finds.
A few years ago a nice book came out called "Decorator Showcase Houses" which compiled the best 250 rooms of 50 different showcase houses from all over the country. I recently flipped through this idea-packed book looking for a room I remembered from a previous showcase, and was really struck by how fresh and interesting even 7 year old projects look. This is because these designs are not the "trends" so much as each designer's personal vision, which, if anything, will set the trends for the future.
(look for my work on pages 137, 176, and 186!)
See the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase , through May 25 at 2830 Pacific Avenue.