OnTrend Gallery Inspiration: Q&A with Designer, Sarabeth Zales
When you enter the new On Trend gallery at Furnitureland South, inspiration is inevitable. Find out how you can bring the latest trends in fashion into your own personal space. Explore 17 artful vignettes by designer Sarabeth Zales, each with a different trend to showcase and a unique story to tell. In an interview with Sarabeth we’ll take you behind the scenes of these vignettes and see how inspiration becomes reality.
What was the inspiration or the goal of creating the OnTrend Gallery?
Sarabeth: The inspiration behind Furnitureland’s first-ever OnTrend gallery was to display the hottest and newest trends. Not only did we want to show how you can mix vendors, but we also wanted to show how you can mix different price points. Fashion and home interiors go hand in hand–whatever is trending in fashion is usually what’s trending in interiors (and vice versa), so this was very important to keep in mind when designing this area. We also wanted the OnTrend gallery to be very inspirational.
Each room has a poster that shows its inspiration. How did you create these posters?
Sarabeth: I wanted these photos to show the overall feel of the space without being too literal. Each board has a variety of different textures, colors, architectural elements, nature and even fashion. I really wanted the person looking at the rooms to say “Oh! I see the relation between the poster and the vignette!” Selecting these photos was one of my favorite parts of the project, I have to say! It was so cool to see how even the simplest things could relate to design in some way.
How do you begin staging a room? How many times do you change your mind?
Sarabeth: For this particular gallery, I started with researching ideas and inspiration through Pinterest, blogs, magazines, etc. and then started to create the stories behind each room scene. From there, I worked closely with the buying team and started selecting furniture and fabrics. Once the fabrics were finalized, I started choosing linens, rugs, artwork and accessories. The design process the next go around, however, could completely change—it may be that I start off with a rug (or even a piece of artwork!) and then work the room around that particular item. It’s never the same, which is fun and exciting! As far as how many times I change my mind, that would be several! Sometimes things don’t always go as planned and when that’s the case, you have to either completely change your idea or change it so that it works.
I’ve heard a writer say, he knows he’s finished writing when he’s putting the same commas in that he just took out. How do you know you’re finished with a room?
Sarabeth: This is a tough question actually. Normally, I know when a room is finished when I stand back and can see that everything makes sense and works well together. I usually get this feeling of excitement when I see a room that I feel is finally completed. A job is usually never completely done when working in retail though, things can sell any minute of the day, so you are constantly having to replenish items while still making it look good.
What is unique about this gallery compared to others at FLS?
Sarabeth: This gallery is all about mixing vendors and price points. It’s also a destination that provides inspiration for home fashion.
Anything else you’d like to share about the OnTrend Gallery?
Sarabeth: Each vignette has a story behind it as well as a name. (Think OPI nail polish colors—each one has a clever name!) Naming the vignettes was another favorite part of mine.