This past week I received an intriguing hear Sharon Gauci, Director of Design of General Motor's North America design studio, speak about interior car design, color and trim. For Australian readers you might be interested to know that Sharon was invited to serve on the core judging panel for the 2006 Australian Design Awards. This experience was a personal highlight for Sharon as she was the first female to be part of the core judging panel in 50 years of the award.

I was uncertain about attending but fortunately Annie of Bossy Color sent me an encouraging email. I'm happy that I went as Sharon's presentation was extremely interesting. Thank you! Plus, it was great fun to meet Annie too.

I had never given much thought to the process behind the interior design of cars but it was apparent after hearing Sharon speak that it is both a technical and artistic endeavor. Just as designers in fashion and interior decor forecast the new color and finish trends, so do forward thinking car designers. Each year GM introduces 22 new exterior colors and right now Sharon said they're creating the interior color and finish schemes for 2012! In tightening markets, color can can be a critical factor for a customer' s experience of the car. Let's just say after viewing GM's cocoa color scheme it left me feeling a bit sad for my own car's interior. At least there was a small bright spot - when I returned to my car the "check engine" light didn't turn on again as it had earlier in the week. (Maybe my car sensed my sadness and was trying to show some love?)

A perk of attending the GM event was the opportunity to take pics of The Washington Design Center's Fall 2008 Design House. The theme is Casa Couture and it's open through Dec. 13th.

Gentleman's Retreat by Wayne Breeden of E.Wayne Breeden

Love the detail and personalization this initial brings to the metal table. This is definitely a do-it-yourself possibility.

Entry foyer by Yveette Piaggio of Piaggio's Loft

Kitchen by Todd Martz of Todd Martz Interiors

Study by Pattie Gunter and Tami Hatch, Gunter-Hatch Design Group, LLC

Outside the Design House is a screen with running video featuring interviews with all the designers.

Living Room by Emily Bishop of Emily Bishop Interior Design, Inc.

Dining Room by Michelle Pilon of Michelle Pilon Interiors, Inc.

Bedroom by Michelle Miller of Jenkins Baer Associates

Blogspot why are my pics so small and why can't I enlarge them the way I used to?

Gentleman's Retreat by Wayne Breeden of E.Wayne Breeden

Another close-up of the table initial. Really like this.