Why the ARTS Awards Matter

Above: seatbelt chairs from    Phillips Collection   , winner of two ARTS awards on Friday

Above: seatbelt chairs from Phillips Collection, winner of two ARTS awards on Friday

If you're familiar with the furniture design industry, you know that the annual ARTS Awards Gala is more than just the capstone event of the winter Dallas Total Home & Gift Market  (currently running through this Tuesday, January 23 at the Dallas Market Center. )


It's definitely a Big Deal in its own right, but, like the Oscars, it can be easy for outsiders to pass off the annual ceremony as just another self-congratulatory echo-chamber of industry cronies in formal attire.

We've all been to those, but here's why this event is different, and why it's good for interior designers and retailers everywhere:

 ART values and rewards risk-taking in the home furnishings industry.

Let's face it, fresh ideas and designs don't always bring instant financial rewards in the marketplace.  As the consumer market becomes increasingly commoditized and cheapened by the big online merchants, furniture and accessories manufacturers have less incentive to step out of the safe-zone of the tried-and-true.

This leaves professional designers fewer choices when it comes to offering their clients the chance to be trendsetters with products that aren't already in the mainstream.  By celebrating those designers who are constantly re-inventing their product lines, ART allows the marketplace to take notice and hopefully continue the cycle of creativity in furniture design.

ART values and rewards excellence in showroom design and salesmanship

The brick & mortar landscape has clearly changed, but having a network of physical locations to showcase products is still an essential part of the furnishings merchandising mix, whether you're a big box consumer chain or a bespoke trade-only maker.   And it's even more critical to the professional interior designer whose reputation and repeat business rests on personally choosing the most appropriate products for their clients.  As the number of retail showrooms continues to shrink, the B&Ms who are constantly raising the bar with exceptional displays and customer service are all the more important.

The ART Awards brings together a unique cross-section of industry professionals you rarely see together anywhere else

While the ARTS Awards Gala boasts its share of highly recognizable designer names and social media darlings, there are plenty of people and companies behind the bold-faced names that are worth knowing.   In today's interior design world, opportunities to expand, publicize, and improve your business can come from a surprising variety of sources.  The ART Award's attendees, panel of judges, and board of directors comprise a powerful mix of industry players and influencers.   The good news is, you don't need to attend the gala in person to benefit from their experience and support.


Mingling at the 29th Annual awards,from l-r: Molly Mays of Rizzy Home, Santhi Yarlagadda of KAS, Shawn Hughes of Steelyard, Donna Moss of Donna Moss Designs, and Ryan Ranzino of Crystorama

Here are the Product Design Finalists and Winners from Friday's award presentation:  (See the full list of nominees here and the full list of winners here.)

Product Designer:

- Dann Foley, Dann Foley Lifestyle
- Aimee Kurzner, Currey & Company
- Libby Langdon, Libby Langdon Interiors
- WINNER: Jason Phillips, Phillips Collection
- Michelle Workman, Michelle Workman Interiors

Interior Designer:

- Denise McGaha, Denise McGaha Interiors
- WINNER: Erinn Valencich, Erinn V. Design Group
- Kerrie Kelly, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab
- Kim Scodro, Kim Scodro Interiors
- Shay Geyer, IBB Design Fine Furnishings

Area Rugs

- WINNER: Loloi Rugs
- Company C
- Nourison
KAS Rugs

Accent Furniture

- Noir
- WINNER: Phillips Collection
- Bliss Studio
- Abbyson
- French Heritage

Home Accents

- WINNER: Regina Andrew Design
- Sagebrook Home
- A&B Home Group, Inc.
- The Howard Elliott Collection

Home Textiles

- Villa by Classic Home
- Lacefield Designs
- WINNER: in2green
- Daniel Stuart Studio

Lighting Fixtures

- WINNER: Currey & Company
- Visual Comfort & Co.
- Varaluz, LLC
- Feiss (Generation Brands)
- Progress Lighting

Outdoor Living

- Castelle
- Kannoa


- DIMOND Lighting (ELK Group International)
- WINNER: John-Richard
- Port 68, LLC


- Abigails
- Juliska
- WINNER: Vietri
- Montes Doggett
- Caskata

Wall Décor

- WINNER: Oliver Gal
- Paragon
- RFA Décor
- Design Legacy by Kelly O’Neal
- Uttermost

Congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners.  It's you who keep the industry moving forward!

Are you a member of Steelyard yet?  It's always free to professional designers.  Sign up now.



Sandy HughesARTS, Awards