Just wanted to share a little about the GREAT time I had down in Miami recently, photographing the HD Boutique (now known as HD Americas). It was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center–just a few blocks away from the heart of South Beach.
The “HD” stands for “Hospitality Design” and it’s basically a trade show for the designers of boutique properties in the hospitality world: hoteliers, general managers, interior design firms, architects, and everyone in between. There were seminars on everything from collaborating effectively on a large project to the design inspiration to the themes from famous designers and the famous spaces they created. I was able to see quite a few different design trends in the industry, and a whole lot of eye candy in the form of furniture and fixtures!
I came out from behind the curtain to share my experience with you because I really loved photographing this event…boutique design is my jam. If you put clean lines, crazy fabrics, textures, animal prints, and stark contrasting design elements from an eclectic mix of periods and influences — there I am!
My affinity for this type of design came to me quite honestly: my Uncle Jim is a fantastic interior designer. Throughout his life he purchased amazing historic homes and transformed them into modern design showpieces. The three most memorable properties of his that I remember were the home he and his wife built (complete with mirrored walls, black hardwood floors, an eight person marble hot tub in the master bath with the 5-foot chandelier over it), the bed-and-breakfast he created in the late 90’s (with an actual car–a Thunderbird–coming out of the wall above the kitchen sink and a larger than life size sarcophagus guarding the main staircase), and finally, an old filling station he renovated into a personal abode that was featured on HGTV! Not bad for a guy with no formal training living in L.A.! (That’s “Lower Alabama” not Los Angeles!!) He was a tremendous influence on my “eye” and so walking into the HD Boutique in South Beach was not just an exciting shoot for me, I was waxing nostalgic over fond memories of seeing the over-the-top designs in my younger years.
During the day we spent most of our time in the convention center at classes for new designers, existing designers, and for the vendors catering to the hospitality market. During the evening is when the fun really started…fabulous parties hosted at the most design-centric fabulous venues in Miami! We were treated to a wonderful event the first night at Lantao Social Club at the Surfcomber Hotel.
The second night was a CityScene sponsored party at the W. Hotel South Beach:
And the final night event (my personal favorite) was hosted at The Light Group’s FDR, acclaimed underground speakeasy style club situated in the basement of the famous design icon, the Delano.
Fabulous doesn’t even begin to describe the whole experience and Uncle Jim has already volunteered to assist me next year!