Last week in Austin, we launched Design Camp  to a warm crowd of over 100 top interior designers, speakers and the industry’s best vendors.

Design Camp the best interior designers

Of course we thought Design Camp was a good idea and were reassured when so many well known and respected vendors and speakers wanted to be involved. But nothing could have prepared Kelli and I for the experience we had with our campers.  From students, to newer designers, to folks in their third decade of interior design business, to builders, stagers, real estate agents, artists, bloggers and design lovers… everyone was engaged, happy and enriched by our time together, especially us.

Here’s  how it went down:

Celebrity Interior Designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis

After installing the Marchesa Theater, we gave a quick on camera interview for and

Design Camp Austin

Seeing our name on the marquee was surreal after looking at our Design Camp inspiration boards for the last 10 months.  Visualization works!

Design Camp Austin Opening Night Cocktail Party

Design Camp Counselors Katy Garrett, Lori Dennis, Ronda Carman and Shay Geyer

We started with cocktails at Austin’s Back Door to the Trade.  Stockton Hicks Laffey, Sonno, Objets Ltd and Black Sheep Unique opened their doors and shared their collections of the finest furnishings and accessories available today. We especially loved Damian’s (Black Sheep Unique) black berry martinis and German tap dance video with Paul’s Boutique soundtrack by the Beastie Boys playing while dancin’ and groovin’ on thirty thousand dollar carpets.  Totally our vibe!

Design Camp Counselors Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis

Day one was all about Design and Trends.   With speakers like  VandM’s Bill Indursky,  Carmen Busceme from Hansgrohe and topics like Olio Board, we  provided fresh content and TONS of design inspiration.

Keith Granet Words of Wisdom

Day two was back to business.   We loved these words from Keith Granet’s book, the Business of Design. How many of your clients offer you a glass of water when you come to their homes? Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Susanna Salk at Design CampAdam Japko of Design Sherpa at Design Camp

Ronda Carman All the Best Blog at Design Camp

Industry A-listers like Susanna Salk, Adam Japko (Design Bloggers Convention) and Ronda Carman (All the Best Blog) gave invaluable, actionable nuggets.  We couldn’t take notes fast enough.

Celebrity Designers Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis with top interior design bloggers of Belle Maison and Decorology

Campers had plenty of time to mingle and network with top interior design bloggers and Design Campers Julie (Belle Maison Blog) and Ashley (Decorology Blog).

Design Camp Austin a place for the best interior designers

A few of the campers jump on stage for a photo op. Campers arrive uncertain and disconnected, they leave as DESIGN STARS!!!

Ronda Carman, Shelly Rosenburg, Bill Indursky, Kelli Ellis, Shay Geyer, Lori Dennis, Susanna Salk at Design Camp

Some of our fabulous speakers and sponsors!

Lori Dennis Green Interior Design

Susanna Salk Be Your Own Decorator Book Signing

A few book signings in between lots of learning, eating Whole Foods catering and cocktails.

Design Camp Austin

More words for a designer to live by, presented by Katy Garrett of Connexion Software.

on stage giveaways at Design Camp with Kelli Ellis, Dallas Pintrest Party and Lori Dennis

As we closed camp with on stage give aways from Hansgrohe, Troy & Sons Moonshine, Wendover Art, Modern Lantern, Suite Sleep, Dallas Pintrest Party and VandM, we knew there were no “good byes”.  We’re only getting started!!!

Come see what all the buzz is about and become a part of our community when Design Camp comes to Atlanta January 30 – February 1, 2013.