This past Sunday, my sweetie and I wandered into a hidden gem: BOOKS & BOOKS... a bookstore specializing in art & architecture books. They only have three locations here in Florida, one in the Cayman Islands, and an online store. This location, in SoBE, is tucked back off the beaten path on Lincoln Road...

In the bookstore, covers play a crucial role.

While I was prepping this post, I saw a tweet: "In E-Book Era, You Can’t Even Judge a Cover" (NYTimes post here), and that got me thinking... If books do furnish a room, how could we furnish a room with a Kindle? You can't stack a Kindle. You can't fill shelves with them. You can't use as a riser for your favorite dish or to highlight flowers. You can't cover a table, or make a table from them. You can't even up-cycle an old Kindle into a clock like Danny Seo (HERE) did from a book yesterday on NBC TODAY SHOW.

Goodwill Store Lighting

Even the cases the books come in are recreated into visual wonders...

J Crew Autumn Tree of Books Window 2009

Danny Seo Book Light

I sure do hope the Kindle and Saturday's intro of the iPad don't destroy the book industry like iPod did to vinyl or like outsourcing did to Fashion... I'd so miss disappearing in an aisle on the floor in Barnes & Nobels.... I'd miss sitting with coffee and flipping through magazines at Borders Books... and I'd miss wondering into rooms in Books & Books...

What are ways you use books in your home?


Miami has some cool design stores, and has even tried to establish a Design District, so I went to the show expecting to see them: no such luck. Why wouldn't they use this show to promote their business, prospect new clients and try to capture market share? Why wasn't Florida's Design Center Of The America's presenting? DCOTA is having a sample sale coming up in April. I really would have liked to see them, and others set at the show...

DCOTA's Design House

Maybe it's time to give the show a revamp? The show is too dated and doesn't feature enough relevant design products. It's actually called the "Home Design and Remodeling Show"... but WHO, especially in South Florida, is spending money on remodeling? Have they not read the news: people are underwater in their mortgages, people are unemployed, and foreclosures are at an all time high.

A few bright spots did happen to shine through the cluster of infomercial-like booths, hurricane storm shutters, hot tub displays, and stacked-out sheet sets. Towards one end of the show, vignettes were set, with the designers standing nearby, engaging in conversation with people. THIS is what I was expecting to see more of! The few that caught my eye were Mondani, DOXA Hospitality, Floridian, MEDUSA Design: Loft, and Verdugo Design Group, Inc.

This was a little 'too' white.
Could have amped it up painting accent wall in
SATC pink, apple green, burnt orange, or charcoal grey.

Above space by Mondani

Space above from DOXA Hospitality Design

Space designed by Michael Verdugo, from HGTV's Design Star.

Also known as Mikey V, his company is Verdugo Design Group, Inc.

Mikey V had the BEST overall presentation in the entire event.

A few product highlights of the show were modern styled planters at half off from, beautiful hand painted murals from, a contemporary photo & design studio called and an economical counter-top upgrade from granite transformations.

And although she was rushed to catch her flight after her presentation Sunday, it was nice to get to meet Sabrina Soto. Her father works in the television production industry and her mother is a designer. Her profession is the perfect mix of them both... and she actually found the HGTV hosting job for Get It Sold through Craigslist!

Come to think of it, I don't even recall seeing any branding for HGTV.
Sabrina talked about ways to get on TV, so why wouldn't HGTV be there to recruit some people for their shows? David Bromstad's Color Splash (and he even LIVES here in Miami), Sabrina's Get It Sold or Bang For Your Buck, My House Is Worth What? or even The Unsellables. These are all programs relevant to the Florida market.

I really hope when the show comes back for the Fall in Ft. Lauderdale, it is updated with more furnishings, textiles, wall coverings, accessories, and lighting. Even highlighting some of the local vintage stores selling through 1st Dibs like Stripe, Vermillion, and Gustav Olivieri Antiques...

799 North East 125th Street
North Miami, FL 33161

765 North East 125th St.
North Miami, FL 33161

Gustavo Olivieri Antiques

750 NE 125th Street 20th Century Row
North Miami, FL 33161

Home Depot could even have highlighted the new Martha Stewart products, especially since not everyone knows about it... This sort of mix would help to refresh this tired event...

People aren't investing bookoo bucks anymore into their homes. They are trying to create "a look for less", stage the home to sell, or re-purpose what they already have for their cocooning and stay-cations. It would be nice if the people organizing the show were more aware of this and updated the venue to reflect it.

They even needed a "Tweet Suite" or a "Bloggers Block" for designers or brand ambassadors to be marketing the event more to the field and possibly help turn our market around...

That's just my opinion. What do you think?


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