The creative endeavors of several talented people are featured in this month's issue. Each was recognized through his or her recent selection as a winner in a design contest. In our cover story (page 24) we visit with Natia Dyer of Spectrum Decorating in Tulsa, OK. Dyer was selected winner of a contest challenging dealers to use a new cornice product. Looking beyond the immediate challenge, Dyer went to work adding leaves and decorative edging that she hand-cut from a wallpaper border. She didn't stop there. She added pleated fabric in a coordinating color then furnishings, accessories and artwork. Not bad, perhaps even expected, if done for a favorite, good-paying client. But Dyer's efforts went into creating an outstanding vignette display for a showroom or home show.
One of the most exciting ways to showcase creativity is through work done for a designer Showhouse or for a model home in a builder's Parade of Homes. Our Special Report this month (page 44) features several decorators and designers who created rooms—and in some cases, whole houses—featuring one of the most popular window treatments of the past year. First place winner Steve Rile of Ida & Norma's Draperies, Spokane, WA, faced the challenge of decorating a home in a Far Eastern, Zen-like style. His master bedroom with a shoji screen-like cornice is particularly noteworthy.
As thrilling as it may be, winning a contest is not the only validation of creativity. Nor is it the most important one. The admiration of peers is a very strong incentive to do your best work, but best of all is the look on a customer's face when he or she sees what you have created and says, "I love it!"