July 2015

This is an extra long newsletter, please click on "view entire message" at the bottom for page 2.



Industry Partners

Eileen McComb - Farrow & Ball
Hilary Carlin - Design Builders & Remodeling
Robin Montgomery  -  
The Container Store
Bobby George - Urban Stone
Sebastian Meitus
- CADO Modern Furniture
Scott Ackley - Ackley Cabinet
Philip Zaleon -
Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens
Marianne Donahue - J. Namnoun Oriental Rugs
Sharon Leichsenring - Leichsenring Studios

Allied, Associate and Student Members

Stephen T. Patrizzi, Allied ASID
Dianne B. Bernhard, Student ASID 
Marjorie Sobiloff, Student ASID 
Yvonne Ferris, Associate ASID
Amani Mohammed Alahmari, Student ASID 
Geraldine I. Elsinga, Allied ASID
Erin M Kelly, ASID
Fangtian Ni, Student ASID 
Anne Aaronson, Student ASID
Kristina Asay Larson, Allied ASID
Meghan Kearney, Associate ASID
Anne T. Young, Student ASID
Chelsea Rae Cessario, Student ASID
Ann Pestalozzi, Student ASID
Jose M. DeLaHoz, Student ASID
Erin Marie McLevey, Student ASID
Isabelle Leitner Lisi, Student ASID
Cassandra M. Pulos, Student ASID
Karen Varsano, ASID
Erin Tina Strickland, Student ASID

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors

Thank you to our Bronze sponsors

Sponsorship Opportunities 


Please visit our website or contact
 if you would like more information about partnering with ASID CT, advertising in our enewsletter, or sponsoring an event. We look forward to working with you!


Click Here for Event Sponsorship

 and Annual Sponsorship

How to Upgrade your Designer Portfolio


 Go to the Log In tab at then select your chapter and log in by entering your Firstname.Lastname.membership number (enter exactly as shown, using capital letters and periods)

then use your ASID member number again as your password.

Once you have logged in you will see your member preview and a place to upgrade your portfolio.  Also when you are logged in you can edit your profile and add photos.

If you have any problems or don't know your member number please email 

The ASID CT Career Center is available to post a position, upload a resume and find a job on our website!


  Click the following links to explore our career center:


Find a Job

Upload a Resume

Learn Something New
ASID Academy will support professional development and CEU credit fulfillment


ASID has launched the ASID Academy, a new Learning Management System (LMS) with a curated, peer-reviewed course catalog that provides an improved experience for online professional development. The catalog presents content that focuses on the four key principles that apply to all practice areas of interior design: Impact of Design, Leadership Development, Practice of Design, and Business of Design.

ASID Academy offers online CEU courses in a variety of formats and will support the December 31, 2015 member CEU requirement. The LMS reinforces the Society's commitment to online learning and continuing education for our members and the interior design profession. All credits earned through the Academy are reported directly to the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC).

Start learning and earning now at the ASID Academy.
To All Members
from Craig J. Smith, ASID

As I am gearing up for the start of my term as President of ASID CT, I have assembled a list of members who have expressed a desire to volunteer their time as a special committee member to help us make our chapter, our events and the value of your membership the best it can possibly be.

We currently have openings for the following committees:

Fundraising Committee/Sponsorship Fundraising Committee- Chaired by our Chapter's President- Elect Hollie Sutherland and our Professional Development Director Marcia Taylor Reid.  You will assist in exploring/engaging in ideas/events for fundraising for our chapter and coalition (CCID).


Community Outreach Committee - Chaired by our Chapter's Communication Director "position is currently open" and our Membership Director Leo Robitaille.  You will assist in reaching out to our membership communities and encourage volunteers to participate in chapter events and membership drives.


Student Affairs Committee - Chaired by our Chapter's Student Representative to the Board Kristin Firine and our Membership Director Leo Robitaille. You will assist in promoting student membership, participate in student membership drives and coordinating each school chapter's organizational involvement.


If interested in volunteering please contact our Chapter Administrator Maureen Judge


ASID has partnered with Houzz to increase public awareness on the impact and value of interior designers. The Impact of Design Showcase is a joint initiative to bring unparalleled visibility to the field of interior design.


As we celebrate the first 40 years of ASID, we want interior designers to showcase what they believe the next 40 years of design will look like and how it will impact the human experience. All entrants will receive exposure to 35+ million people in the Houzz community, and the showcase winners will be awarded great prizes, like $1500 in photography services, a one year ASID membership (if eligible), a free copy of the Evidence-Based Design for Residential Environments publication, and one free ticket to a 2016 ASID National event of their choice (up to $195 value).

We want to see your work! Here's how to enter:

  • Step 1: Upload images of your design project or add photos from your existing design projects on Houzz.
  • Step 2: Write a brief description sharing the details of your project and the impact your design will have on people's lives.
  • Step 3: Share your entry with your friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to vote. That's it.

The showcase ends at 12 p.m. PST on October 30, 2015. Submit your projects early. The earlier you enter, the more opportunities you have for people to vote for your project.


Even if you don't enter the showcase personally, you can still help move this important initiative forward by "liking" your favorite projects, or saving your favorite photos to your ideabooks on Houzz. Create a professional profile on Houzz in order to vote.

Don't forget to take advantage of the extensive benefits Houzz has set up for the entire ASID community. Learn more.

Two Session Houzz University Workshop at Karen Berkemeyer Home

Date: Wednesday, October 7
Location:  Karen Berkemeyer Home, 175 Post Road West, Westport
Time: 1st Session - 8:30-11:30 am.
Space Limited to 18 with light breakfast
2nd Session - 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Space Limited to 18 with light lunch

Further information to follow via email and website


On a chilly February night ASID CT hosted an escape from the winter blues at the lush surroundings of Terrain Garden Center and Home Furnishings in Westport.

Terrain's own Debra Herbertson provided an inspiring and fun talk to our members on "Bringing the Outdoors In". Debra has an amazing talent for creating lovely and easy arrangements out of driftwood, branches and plants.

The venue provided a winter escape among the greenery while nibbling specialty cheeses and sipping wine. The evening provided an opportunity to meet the many new members that have joined our chapter and that have brought a refreshing vibrancy to our chapter. Many members enjoyed dinner afterwards at the adjoining restaurant for a special relaxing evening among friends and colleagues. 

Click HERE for photos


Greetings Connecticut Members!

Now that my tenure as President is nearing a close and the intense event planning of Design Matters Forum is behind me, I now reflect on my involvement with ASID Connecticut Chapter.  It began early on while I was still taking courses at University of New Haven.  My professors encouraged us to take some valuable time out of our school schedule and in my case also my home-life (as I was an older student with children).  I put my toe in by volunteering on the committee for the Design Awards way back in 2005, if I recall the date correctly?  Robin McGarry, Betsy Steiner and Barbara Schmidt were heavily involved in the planning of that huge undertaking.  The outcome was phenomenal.  As a part of that group of volunteers real and lasting connections were formed and continue more than ten years later! 

The privilege of creating bonds with members cannot be overstated.  Sara Hopkins and I a year later worked on an Annual Meeting event at the Inn at Long Shore in Westport many years ago now.  That was the first time I met Sara and we are still friends today.  I don't view any of my ASID friends as competition.  I see them as mentors and friends.  With each event I participated in, I gained a new friend and another way to learn.  I was able to see into their design world, observe the way they do business and what niche they chose. We talk about our struggles and successes and share some of our frustrations and achievements and resources. While we are all designers working in the same state, we all have our own flavor, distinct way of doing business and focus or niche to emphasize.  I firmly believe that those individual aspects draw our clientele to us so there is no need then to compete. 

As I reflect also on the philosophy of the chapter, we are here to support and build up our membership individually.  As volunteers we continue a chapter model that has been working for many years.  While at the same time, under its new leadership at the very top, we have a fresh and respected voice in Randy Fiser.  The organization has deliberately removed obstacles that divide and exclude.  For example, the recent addition of the Associate Membership status allows us to bring in new members with serious experience in all aspects of design.  This allows for broader thinking, renewed innovation and to build on the solid foundation of this organization that welcomes all educated and experienced interior designers. As one voice for 40 years, it is our responsibility to lead the larger design community and welcome all in new ways to serve it in order to advance our profession.  So if you are still asking yourself, "what's in it for me?" when considering membership or its renewal?  Think instead about what you get back when you put in.  Attend events, then work on a committee, perhaps try out a position as committee head.  You will see that what you get in return is not quantitative but qualitative.  


More Information to Follow via Email

ASID Chapter Leadership Conference

Last month, more than 300 dedicated chapter leaders engaged with each other, with content leaders, and with the Society's national board and staff at the Chapter Leadership Conference in Boston. The result: one of the strongest and most well-attended CLC events in the 40 year history of ASID. 



Edward Bottomley of Cama Inc. and Trudy Dujardin of Dujardin Design Associates Inc.  bestowed the highest title of ASID Fellow 2015.

ASID CT is proud to announce that two of our members, Edward Bottomley and Trudy Dujardin have been named as Fellows of the American Society of Interior Designers which is the highest distinction a member can receive from ASID nationally.  Five Individuals from across the country received the prestigious title this year.

Each Year the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) bestows the title of Fellow to individuals who demonstrate outstanding service and contributions to the Society, the profession, and the interior design industry.

The 2015 ASID Fellows are recognized for their significant contributions toward improving the built environment and its effect on the human experience. Said Sonya Dufner, FASID, chair of the ASID council of Fellows and principal director of workplace strategy at Gensler.  "The designers selected for this honor are trailblazers in our industry and, through their contributions to our profession and their dedication to design they each have made a far-reaching impact on the quality of our lives."

The 2015 ASID fellows are Edward Bottomley, ASID; Trudy Dujardin, ASID, LEED AP+D+C ; Joan Kaufman, ASID; Jean Pinto, ASID, CID; and Patrick Schmidt ASID, RID. They were inducted on July 18th 2015 at Celebration: The ASID Awards Gala at  the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. 

Edward Bottomley
With a staff of 10, CAMA, Inc. is a small design firm. Yet it counts three past-presidents of the ASID Connecticut Chapter among staff members, and is responsible for countless hours of volunteer work on the chapter's behalf. Craig Smith, a Connecticut designer and chapter member, credits Edward Bottomley, one of the firm's partners, with creating a culture of volunteerism at the New Haven health care design firm."The culture that Ed has fostered at CAMA, Inc. has allowed its employees to serve their profession," Smith said. "This has been manifested through the freedom to volunteer and offer the firm's resources to support each other in that endeavor."

A native of Newport, Rhode Island, Bottomley holds a bachelor's degree in the history of art and architecture from Yale University. He has spent the past 30 years designing interiors for health care, corporate, education, hospitality and residential environments. In addition to ASID leadership roles at the chapter and national levels, he has served the New Haven community as a volunteer, including as a board member with the New Haven Preservation Trust.

Trudy Dujardin
Trudy Dujardin has built a reputation for designing interiors defined by "eco-elegance and sophisticated style." In addition to managing her firm, Dujardin Design Associates, Trudy Dujardin with offices in Westport, Conn., and Nantucket, Mass., Dujardin frequently presents her seminar "Holistic House," on building sustainable homes, and serves as an adjunct professor at Fairfield (Conn.) University. She recently published the book Comfort Zone: Creating the Eco-Elegant Interior .

Dujardin earned her bachelor's degree from Southern Connecticut State University, completed graduate work at the Parsons School of Design and New York University, and is a LEED accredited professional with a specialty in interior design and construction.

"Trudy is a passionate educator on environmental issues," said Annette Stelmack, founding principal of Inspirit-llc, a sustainable design consultancy firm in Louisville, Colo. "She is involved with some of the nation's leading organizations dedicated to protecting the environment."

As a co-founder of the Design Futures Council's Architects Environment Summit, in 2002 Dujardin helped create the Nantucket Principles, which continue to serve as guidelines for sustainable built environments.

"Excellence in Design Education" this spring where the chapter delves deeply into career development for interior designers each year. 

The venue was generously offered by Fairfield University. ASID Connecticut Past President, Sara Hopkins and Development Director Rachel Belden planned a night celebrating with students, educators, designers and industry partners.  Students from our Connecticut design schools including Fairfield University, University of New Haven and University of Bridgeport shared portfolios reviews with members of the professional design community.  Professionals Karen Raines Davis, Trudy Dujardin, Linda Shockley, Beth Santa and President Elect, Craig Smith volunteered their time to critique students work and encourage their career direction and development.  A highly motivational speaker, Kia Witherspoon provided energized insights to her audience.  Kia is a dancer turned soldier who fell in love with interior design and who uses the cutting edge communication of social media to boost her career.  Kia used this speaking platform to encourage the audience to use passion with the purpose as a way of moving careers forward, at whatever stage.   She encouraged students to get out of the classroom and into real life experiences in design!


The chapter also launched a new student led project, ASID CT STUDENT CHAIRity Challenge!  Students refinished, reupholstered and repurposed donated side chairs that were later auctioned off at our May ASID CT Design Matters Forum event.  ASID Connecticut Student Representative to the Board of Directors, Samantha Jones spearheaded  the plan to select a local charity to benefit from the proceeds of the CHAIRity Challenge.  This first year, Her Haven charity benefited.  Industry partners Sherwin Williams provided paint and a quick upholstery lesson was provided by Keith Hayes of Custom Interiors & Upholstery during the Design Directions event.  Her Haven's Carey Dougherty was very pleased to accept the ASID Connecticut Student ChAIRity Challenge!  Her Haven provides women in need with the surroundings she deserves through charitable contributions of goods and services.  The chairs were auctioned off and in some cases donated back to Her Haven!  A great start to a new program for ASID CT!


ASID thanks the 22 Industry partners who showcased and supported the future of interior design by displaying their cutting edge goods!  Spinneybeck, Benjamin Moore, Architex, Bassett Furniture, Dean, Design Source, Duralee, Porcelanosa, Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring, Kaoud Rugs, Knoll, Knoll Textiles, Prosource, Teknion, Robert Allen, LaPietra Marble, Design Within Reach, Kebabian Rugs, AKDO, Alix Unlimited, Custom Interiors & Upholstery, Connecticut Lighting and Sherwin Williams.  


ASID CT President, Amy Eisenberg closed the evening with words to encourage students to "be present" by utilizing the connections at the event, to "be heard" by reaching out to introduce themselves and to "show up" in life in order to be the one who benefits. It was a wonderful evening of connections and insight!

Click HERE for photos


Design Matters Forum / Clodagh Keynote Speaker and Guest Panelist


May 20th 2015 was the date of ASIDCT Design Matters Forum held at REALM in South Norwalk,
Realm is a service provider of smart home and business technologies.

Amy Eisenberg, current President of ASIDCT and an Interior Designer with Karen Berkemeyer Home created the exciting and comprehensive trade conference to benefit chapter members and the greater design -build community.  


The evening offered a full roster of programming on topics relating to Design Ecology. Throughout the evening, educational CEU's were offered by REALM'S Conor Coleman on Aesthetic Integration of Technology. Alix Perrachon of Alix Unlimited offered a CEU on The ABC'S of Handmade Oriental and Decorative Rugs.  Doug McDonald of The Pure Home presented a program on The Passive Home Building and Materials. Doug's insight and forward thinking approach to building environments that are healthy and energy efficient created great interest and discussion.


The keynote speaker of the evening was internationally acclaimed celebrity designer, CLODAGH . Widely recognized as a leader in the green design movement, Clodagh's design work involves a deep integration of design ecology, sustainability and the modalities of feng shui, chromotherapy and biophilla.  Her use of sustainable materials has enriched her projects with an unmistakable look. Clodagh aligns herself with companies and vendors who also embody this ethic, a well as fostering relationships with companies who strive to contribute philanthropically to their communities.  The presentation inspired us all to explore and specify green products for the health and well being of our clients and our communities.  RevitaRugs an Industry leader utilizing a clean air quality and healthy environment approach to rug cleaning was the leading sponsor of the event with their generous support of the keynote speaker Clodagh. Many thanks to Azita Goldman of RevitaRugs and Clodagh!


 Another highlight of the evening was a panel discussion on topics of sustainable design, and the health and well- being of our office and living environments. The panelists, all leaders within the Design Community and specialists in Green Design   included keynote speaker Clodagh, Trudy Dujardin, ASID, LEED AP+ ID+C , Azita Goldman, of RevitaRugs, Hollie Sutherland, ASID LEED AP, and Alix Perrachon of Alix Unlimited.  Thank you to all of the panelists for their participation and thoughtful discussion.


The event also provided a trade showcase featuring vendors with products relating to green building, green living and industry products and services. Thank you to the following vendors for participating in the event.


Alix Unlimited, Susan Reed Artist At Large, The Pure House, Carlisle Wide Plank Flooring, Circa Lighting, Hera Designs, Karen Berkemeyer Home, Porcelanosa Tile, RevitaRugs, Sunshine Floor Supplies, Kohler, Nana Wall Systems, The Clean Bedroom, EleMar ME Marble & Granite,  Ellis Group and Benjamin Moore.


A special thank you to our ASIDCT President Amy Eisenberg Allied ASID for her vision, enthusiasm and commitment to develop the Design Matters Forum for our membership.  Thank you to Rachel Belden ASID, Professional Development Director for the details of arranging the venue and the delicious food. Thank you to REALM, which generously provided the space for the Design Matters Forum.

Click HERE for photos



Leo Robitaille 

Industry Partner Rep. for Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Membership Director ASID CT Chapter


As a new member of the board, I would like to thank everyone who has put their confidence in my ability to grow the CT Chapter.  Fresh from CLC, I have had a chance to closely interact with the new board.  I am thrilled to be part of this board.  It's fantastic to be part of a team who is extremely talented, positive, and enthusiastic.  The CT Chapter should have a fun and exciting year.


My career in wood flooring began at a young age.  I apprenticed with my older brother, who arguably is one of the finest installers on the east coast.  On a 98 degree day, after swinging a hammer all morning, my brother suggested I go to college.  It didn't take me long to agree. Two degrees in management later, I became a Human Resource Manager.  Although I was great at HR, I could not shake my passion for wood.  I decided to move back to CT and start a wood floor install and finish company.  I grew the company to one of the largest in CT, with three showrooms and a distribution center.  After 15 years, I needed to find a balance between career and quality of life.  Which lead me to my next venture in wood?  I co-founded a wood flooring mill that specialized in antique lumber.  I had an exciting time traveling the US in search of antique lumber.  Throughout my travels I had the opportunity to learn the rich culture and history of old structures.  I took pride in the fact were helping preserve history.


Late in 2013 Carlisle made an offer I could not refuse.  I began my career at Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, the iconic wide plank floor company, in January 1014.  I am a Wide Plank Specialist at Carlisle.  For me, I have the greatest job on earth.  I work for a first class organization that actually creates the longest, widest, center-cut plank floors available in the world.  We take pride in handcrafting and finishing the finest, Made-In-America flooring - which Carlisle has been doing for nearly 50 years.  Our customer service is impeccable. It is fantastic being part of an organization who is at the pinnacle of their industry.


In my spare time, I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family, and gardening.  I look forward to serving the CT Chapter.  If there is anything I can do to help enhance your experience with the ASID please don't hesitate to contact me.   I look forward to hearing from you.

Ellen Hyde Phillips - Associate Member ASID
Fairfield Interiors

I was sitting on the beach in Newport, Rhode Island many years ago with my dearest friend Nancy. We were discussing the work we were doing and I said, "I've become an interior designer" (art was my main focus then ). Nancy replied, "You've always been an interior designer, did you forget you designed all of our apartments when we first got married". And so my journey an intern for a high end interior designer. I learned from the designer the importance of color, texture, and getting every aspect of the project to be just right. Along with that I learned the not so fun part of design, the business side. This internship helped me realize that I wanted to open my own design firm and Fairfield Interiors was born.

Fifteen years ago Fairfield University asked me to teach a section of their Interior Designer program. I was thrilled and accepted the opportunity. The class is called The Business of Interior Design. I also have been given honor to teach a course at The University of Bridgeport, it is called Commercial and Hospitality Design. I thoroughly enjoy working with the students. Some of the students that I have taught over the years have become my interns and peers.

Two of my protégés are Amy Eisenberg and Brittney Anderson. I am extremely proud of them both. Amy is the current president of the CT Chapter.

My business has also evolved into selling to the trade where I currently offer multiple lines of furniture and accessories discounted to designers.

Becoming a member ofASID is something I have always wanted and now as an associate member of ASID I will do my best to give back to the organization and our community.

Kristin Firine, Student ASID

Student Representative to the Board

I am a junior at the University of New Haven working towards a B.A. in interior design. I am excited to be featured in the newsletter as the incoming student representative to the board, as well as the president-elect of my student chapter.

My enthusiasm for interior design started as a ballet dancer growing up with a love for all things creative, and a passion for rearranging my bedroom as many times as possible. The opportunity in the field is constantly evolving, enabling expression to transform a space to achieve function, safety, and attraction, while creating an experience and sense of place for the client. Being involved in ASID has given me the means to meet classmates that I now consider some of my best friends, and has challenged me to strengthen my networking skills by connecting with business professionals. This summer has been spent gaining real-world experience through two internships focused on both residential design, as well as design through an industry partner. This has enabled me to be a part of projects from start to finish, gaining knowledge about conceptual drawings for clients, project management, construction documents, and even product purchase and install for these clients. The interconnected relationship between the internships has been the most beneficial way to remain engaged in design throughout the summer, as well as dive into the different professions of interior design during my college education. This invaluable experience would not have been so easily achieved without ASID and its network, which is why I hope to engage as many design students to be active with ASID as I can, so that they are exposed to the real-world experience that ASID has offered me, and so that we may all connect as emerging professionals together.