august “speakeasy” at Frazer’s

August saw another fun & entertaining “speakeasy” event, this time at Frazer’s in Benton Park!  We had a great turnout and enjoyed fabulous eats from Frazer’s!  Thank you!!

In addition, this month, we tested out a new portion to our event, freespeak, a pre-event discussion of relevant topics.  Our goal in creating freespeak is to continue in furthering the conversation between different facets of the industry.  We broached the topic of mentoring students and immersing recent grads into the workforce.  An engaging round table ensued with people voicing their perspective on the topic.  The conversation was so engrossing that we’d like to give it it’s own spot on our calendar.  Look for specific “freespeak” events in 2013 and feel free to give us your feedback to ensure the quality of the topics and events.

Since Frazer’s has a funky vibe, we chose T.F.A. or The Future Antiques as our surprise raffle vendor!  They raffled off a unique set of 3 blown glass ashtrays which could easily double as votive holders!

Lastly, I was having fun with Instagram when I took the pics for the night.  Check out the visual recap of the fun below!




“speakeasy” words of wisdom

DesignSpeak’s August “speakeasy” event was held at Frazer’s Restaurant in the Benton Park area. As usual there was a question needing an answer passing through the crowd.

This month’s question was regarding Words Of Wisdom.  ” What is the best advice you have received or given?”


Don’t fear the unknown. It’s OK to ask for help.


Believe in yourself.


Never underestimate your abilities.


It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big.


Express yourself.


No one said it was going to be easy.


Listen to your client.

Vision is everything.


Do your research.

Other Words Of Wisdom that have been passed down:

Do what you love. Forget the rest.

Don’t quit.

Follow up is key.

Photograph everything.

Don’t be intimidated.

You can’t sit on your butt if you want to make a buck.

Hire slow, fire fast.

Pay in cash. You never know who is watching.

We are what we repeatedly do.       Aristotle

Take the gun, leave the cannoli.    Clemenza

I have to get back to work.   Tom Hagen.





Design 101: Embracing the Recliner by Kimberly Reuther

Ladies, we are going to discuss a topic today that you are very familiar with yet want to avoid at all costs.  Yes, I am talking about the recliner, a piece of functional furniture that is seemingly a vital organ for the men in our lives.  Unfortunately, not everyone has a “man-cave” in their home where they can relegate such offensive pieces of masculinity.  So, we hope to integrate a piece of furniture that is both comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing into our living rooms.

Gentlemen, you are in luck, as the assembly line of products at our disposal is increasing in style and attractiveness.  Here are a few tips and pieces to inspire you to go shopping!

1. Incognito: For me concealing the recliner is key to integrating it into the space.  The design of the chair should stand on its own with the other pieces in your room.  This one from West Elm is probably my most favorite chair/recliner in recent history.  The wool fabric with baseball stitching is phenomenal.

2.  Leather, leather, leather: This is similar to the phrase “location, location, location”.  Quality leather upholstery will stand the test of time and will always add a level of sophistication to your room.  If you choose wisely, like these classics from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn, you will be able to enjoy your chair for years to come and won’t regret your purchase.

3.  Fit & Function:  Obvious to guys, we must pay attention to how well it fits our physique in relaxation mode.  These 2 options from Room & Board offer different back heights, which is key when reclining and supporting your head comfortably.  Testing out the chair before you purchase is recommended, but not always an option.  However, measuring your room and allowing enough space for the chair to properly recline is essential.

4.  Make a statement:  Instead of an eyesore, the recliner can actually be the most intriguing piece of furniture in the room.  For instance, this recliner from Design Within Reach was modeled after a luxury airline seat.  It reclines to 4 positions and comes in an array of leathers and fabrics.  Not to mention, it looks flawless.

5.  Design is in the details:  When choosing a recliner, just like any other piece of furniture, the details can make all the difference.  Nailhead accents, baseball stitching, bold colors and unique bases/leg options all add a bit of personality to your furniture choices.  These options from Vanguard, Thomasville and Lee Industries are all great examples of stylish recliners.

Hopefully, this ends a few debates in your household!  Happy designing!

This was previously posted on AT HOME’s website.  View the post here.
You can view more of Kimberly’s work at

Here are the links to the above recliners:

Room & Board 
Harper Recliner
Harper Tall Back Recliner

Normandy Recliner
Tate Recliner

Lee Industries

Design Within Reach
Flight Recliner

Pottery Barn
Manhattan Recliner

Hightop Recliner

Restoration Hardware
Lancaster Recliner

West Elm
Sedgwick Recliner

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