Part 2 – Upscale Shopping at the Indiana Design Center

A Lantz Design and Consulting 
Interview with Barry Lantz, Owner and Designer  
Describe your career in design.
My career began over thirty years ago in an upscale furniture store north of Indianapolis. Since then I have worked throughout Indiana and thirteen states in the country. After establishing a client base I focused on the finer things in furniture, fabrics, art, lighting and accessories. I’ve been very fortunate in my profession and have built long lasting relationships with customers and manufacturers.
What prompted your move to the IDC? 
It was evident the Indiana Design Center would become my base. The convenience of having so many vendors within steps of my office was too enticing to pass up. It is the best move I have made in my professional career. The building and location is the place to be for anyone in the design industry. I’ve been able to let go of my personal sample library and work closely with to-the-trade showrooms. There is a priceless energy here and the stage provided by the IDC is very valuable.
What design and color trends do you see in 2014?  
I am not much of a “trend watcher.” What is good for someone is good regardless of the trend of the day or year. Good design is timeless. Overall, I do see people wanting less and going for the understated look. Comfort is always important and maintenance seems to be the way of the future. I welcome it.
What advice do you have for clients who want to redecorate their home?
Make a list and set a path. First you need to decide on the areas that need attention. Be realistic about costs. Chances are it will take more than subtle changes if you have not updated in years. Cosmetic changes may seem easy and affordable but in many cases, a minor refreshing can make everything else look even more dated.
Finally, get help. Do not go it alone. Ask the professionals to assist you with your plan and design. Designers are professionals who have been trained in all aspects of a project. They make it look easy on television. It is not.
The Premier Group 
Interview with Jason Barth, CEO / Owner
What is the first step towards purchasing a home security system?
Because of the recent number of home invasions, many of them on the north side, security has become a hot topic. Everyone wants to safeguard their home and family. The first thing we ask a client is if they have had experience with a home security system before. In many cases there’s an outdated one in place and it’s not used. Older systems communicate analog over phone lines and are historically difficult. New systems operate on the home network with access from smart phone apps that are intuitive and easy to use. So update by replacing the central control system and go high tech with a state-of-the-art internet system? That’s the first decision. 
What areas in and around homes can a security system protect?
The most important priority is to cover the perimeter of the home to make it difficult for someone to get in. We then concentrate on all major pathways within the home including the staircases to make sure no one can get to the bedrooms. 
Home security easily expands into home automation, providing an added level of safety and security. Network based technology provides access to four additional elements crucial to home safety: automatic door locks, cameras, lighting and thermostats. Door locks and cameras are self explanatory but lighting control adds another layer of protection since invaders prefer the dark. Also, a high temperature reading may indicate a fire and the fire department will be called; too low and the owner will be alerted to prevent pipes from bursting. Home security not only keeps the bad guys out; it also protects the house itself from damage.
Is the learning curve challenging?
It’s incredibly simple. Most people today have smart phones so they’re at least familiar with technology. There’s even an app with a tutorial and videos which eliminates the need for a manual. The best part is that you can monitor everything away from home on your smart phone. Forgot to turn on your system as you head for the airport? You can do that in the car. Need to unlock the doors for a delivery? Doors can be unlocked and locked again on your phone. Everything is in real time and instantly accessible. That’s the kind of security that leads to peace of mind.
Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs
Interview with Tony Wright, Director of Residential Services
How do you help customers choose between carpet and hard surfaces? 
Over the last decade there is no question that hard surfaces are supplanting carpet. We’re seeing more and more customers use them in every room of the house. Lots of reasons dictate their popularity, including ease of care, durability and the wide range of options available in both tile and hardwoods. Polyurethane continues to be finish of choice on wood because it’s so easy to maintain and provides such good protection.
What trends do you see in contemporary home floor selections?
Carpet selection tends to be design driven with emphasis on color, pattern and texture. Tile surfaces have become very dramatic with large scale formats available in virtually unlimited styles and colors. Hardwood planks are also becoming wider as warping is no longer a concern. This emphasis on “big” is made possible by modern technology. 
Does your business include remodeling as well as new construction?
It’s not unusual for us to have a number of projects that are large in scope. Currently we’re working on several homes with over 10,000 square feet that require carpet, tile and hardwoods. No job, however, is too small. Deciding to retile a backsplash or recarpet a room takes customers through the same process of discovery as it would if they were starting from scratch. By funneling their input through our experience and expertise, we can help them successfully choose from a wide array of designs, colors, sizes and shapes. The result of this collaboration leads to satisfied clients and beautiful surfaces.