Posts Tagged ‘professional’

American Clay Announces Winners of Its First Annual “Room Makeover Contest” 2009

September 24, 2009



PRO-living room before

PRO-living room before

PRO-living room after

PRO-living room after

DIY-kitchen after

DIY-kitchen after

DIY-child's room after

DIY-child's room after

Albuquerque, NM (September 2009) – The winners of American Clay Enterprises, Inc.’s first annual Room Makeover Contest have been announced!  The team of Steve Gonzales and Dave Amundson from Missoula, MT, is the Grand Prize winner for the Professional category, and El Paso, TX’s PJ and Yukie Liu are the Grand Prize winners for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) category. The contest ran from January 1, 2009 – August 1, 2009 and Professionals and Do-It-Yourselfers submitted projects in their respective categories to show off their remodeling and renovating skills using American Clay’s award-winning, patented, all-natural earth plasters to re-do a room.

“We were so impressed by each project submission,” salutes Carol Baumgartel, VP of Sales and Marketing for American Clay.   “All of the winners proved the transformative nature of American Clay, drastically changing the look and feel of their space by applying our earth plasters to the walls, with creativity, beauty and skill.  Even before taking any additional steps in the remodel or spending extra on additional elements like furniture, just adding American Clay gave the walls a depth and texture that made the room look completely different.”

For the contest Steve Gonzales and Dave Amundson resurfaced the ceiling, walls and fireplace–the entire living room—using American Clay’s Loma in the colors Snow Canyon, Jasper and Nantucket Gold. The judges were impressed by the beautiful craftsmanship, how color accents balanced with the more subtle main walls, and that their work made the statement that American Clay is a “craftsman” material. Steve and Dave’s Grand Prize consists of a private artist training class ($1500 value) taught by an American Clay professional staff member and $500 worth of product.

PJ and Yukie Liu remodeled their kitchen and two bedrooms using American Clay’s Loma and Porcelina in the colors Dakota Red, Santa Fe Tan, Snow Canyon and Chimayo. The judges appreciated that the whole family participated—even the kids!—a process that American Clay encourages. The clay plaster’s use in the modern-retro, interpretation of the interior remodel–90s bold colors to subtler ones with soft light–created a grounded, timeless feel that sealed the deal.  PJ and Yukie won $1500 worth of product as their Grand Prize.

In the Professional category the Runner Up is Alicia Armstrong of Palm Desert, CA, and Honorable Mention goes to Janet Elich of Frisco, CO.  In the DIY category, the Runner Up is Laura Guthrie of Fairfield, IA, and Honorable Mention goes to Abby Paffrath of Wilson, WY.

Three rounds of judging resulted in five finalists chosen for each category – Professional and DIY.  Submissions for each project were judged based on aesthetics, creativity and use of materials. Project submissions required four to six photos of a room in the applicant’s home redone by using American Clay (including one before and one after photo), as well as a project description which includes a depiction of the processes carried out during the project, a list of the products used to complete the project, and type of finish used.


American Clay produces patented, award-winning, all-natural interior wall finishing products. Their Earth Plasters and the commercial “Enjarre” single coat plaster are a unique combination of clays, aggregates and natural pigments that offer builders and consumers a natural and elegant option. There is no off-gassing nor inherent waste on-site. The plasters contain zero VOCs, are non-flammable, are mold resisting (without toxic fungicides), absorb odors, provide temperature and humidity buffering, repair/clean easily and come in recyclable packaging. American Clay, with an extremely low carbon footprint, is uniquely manufactured in and made of materials found in the U.S. American Clay Enterprises, Inc., is based in Albuquerque, NM.  The product and various workshops are available through their New Mexico office or through one of the growing number of retailers and distributors across the U.S. The website,, offers information on products, ordering, technical specifications, product application and additional resources and links.

U.S. PAT No. 7,485,186 B2



Revolutionary Interior Design Site Empowers Consumers to Spend Smarter w. A La Carte Design Services

August 26, 2009


Long Beach, CA (August, 2009) – Ava Living ( is an entirely new way for consumers to engage in design.  Consumers love to design their space and find their own personal style for their rooms.  But, sometimes the results don’t turn out the way you hope.  While, consumers may want to access professional designers’ skills, vision and product resources, most want to do it at their own pace at home, and often in an a la carte fashion.  Enter, Ava Living, with their “Help Me Do It Myself” platform.

The first of its kind, Ava Living was conceived as a trusted, community destination to provide affordable access to interior design resources, and designer-driven room evaluation tools / advice portioned a la carte. Ava Living provides consumers a resource to research interior designers, get free room reviews (from designers of their own choice) on their existing space, and purchase entry-level, specific design advice to improve their particular room.  With an international network, consumers now have access to select and choose their most compatible designer from anywhere in the world.

California consumer Synthia checked out Ava Living after some disappointing designer experiences and found Texas designer Terri Symington.  Synthia shares:  “I took my time reading the Designer profiles, viewing the photos of their work [they had posted], and reading their Room Reviews.  I noticed that most of the rooms…submitted for evaluation were typically…nothing special;   ;homes like mine.  I immediately felt less intimidated!”  In the initial DRR report, designer Terri Symington “took [my] dilemma seriously and offered objective, thoughtful, helpful suggestions”, which made Synthia feel more “confident”.  She decided to take the next step and paid a small fee for Terri’s “Designer Advice”.  Continues Synthia, “I knew that if I clicked on that button, good things would happen!  And they did!  Terri’s advice was specific and creative.  It had some surprises too, and was extremely helpful AND doable.  She provided me with an overall plan that I could prioritize and implement at my own pace and within my own budget.  … I now have Terri’s plan to keep me focused and heading in the right direction.

The revolutionary Designer Room Review (DRR) program was developed specifically with the consumer in mind.  Recognizing that many people are interested in addressing one-room-at-a-time, the DRR provides a venue for consumers to get a free ‘appraisal’ of an existing room. The DRR places members on a path to spend smarter, while tapping professional advice that can be researched at their convenience.  If the consumer likes the designer’s DRR, they may elect to pay a small fee ($39-110) and purchase specific advice through the Designer Advice program.

“Our goal is to democratize design, help consumers spend smarter, and grow designers’ global client reach,” states Ava Living co-Founder and CEO David Bassett-Parkins,  “Consumers are often intimidated by the assumed cost/risk factor of working with a professional designer.  We hope and expect to become ‘E*TRADE’ for interior design.”

The DRR is a simple, FREE three-step process accessed from the Home Page.  After reviewing designers’ work, the consumer selects a designer to review his/her room, names the room / room type, and uploads room photo(s).  Within three business days, the designer rates (1 to 3 stars) the room based on five design principles (Harmony & Unity, Balance, Rhythm, Emphasis, Proportion & Scale) in a template and states briefly what does (not) work in the room.

Consumers can have more than one designer review their room.  Upon receiving their DRRs, they may find one designer with whom they resonate and would like to know how the designer would ‘design’ their room.  This leads to the next level in building that client-designer relationship called Designer Advice, in which the designer addresses the “7 Most Important To Do’s For Your Room” in more detail.  The points are selected from a checklist that includes fabrics, furniture, space layout, wall finish, window treatments, etc.; but the advice is unique.  After this stage, the ongoing relationship continues offline between the consumer and the designer.

The DRR is a core offering of the site’s mission to serve as a meeting place for consumers to interact with designers, a marketplace, to source design, a designer showcase, and a first stop for all things interior design.

Ava Living also provides a social networking aspect to facilitate easy interaction.  Members may create a member page (similar to Facebook) in a fun and easy-to-use networking environment, and then post blogs, connect with other members, post their own and ‘inspiration’ images among other things.  Consumers, aka design enthusiasts, can view designer pages, become a ‘fan’, and search professionally designed rooms based on room type, color, or tags that are divided by ‘style’ or ‘mood’.  These engaged consumers tap their creativity and start to see which designers’ work they relate to the most, by reading their articles and posts, and by viewing the rooms they present through single photos or through AvaVision (loading multiple photos to a 360 degree view).

Media inquiries and image requests, please contact Julie Du Brow ( or Agnes Gomes-Koizumi ( or at 310-821-2463 or 323-937-5488.


Ava Living ( is an international vertical social network combining interior designers, consumers, suppliers and advertisers from around the world.  Ava Living inspires and informs consumers while providing access to simple, professional-grade design tools to execute their a la carte design projects from inception through execution.  The mission is to serve as a showcase, marketplace, and ecommerce meeting spot to create more design consumers, increase the velocity of consumer spending in the design industry, and transform the international design paradigm.  Ava Living is founded by successful entrepreneur veterans and 15-year business partners David Bassett-Parkins and Hanh M. Ngo