Although we have a deep-rooted passion for couture elements throughout our designs, ultimately interior decorating and design should be beautiful, affordable and unique! Hopefully we will inspire you through our blog and website to create a beautiful space that you will love for years to come. Please visit our website for more inspiration!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Something borrowed

While I always strive for new and innovative content for my readers, occasionally I find a friend or colleagues blog post so engaging I need to pass it on. Case in point, Organized Audrey, a speaker in which I was fortunate enough to see many years ago. She is a professional organizer for individuals and businesses. Here is an article that came to my inbox this morning from her which speaks to all of us. I encourage you to sign up for her e-newsletters. They are short, sweet and helpful.

In Minnesota, the cooler weather is our first hint. Then comes the first frost. Eventually the snowflakes will make an appearance and then before we know it, we'll be acting surprised that the holidays have snuck up on us once again.

The holiday season represents a time of year when lots of memories are in the making. And because one of the biggest components of being organized is planning ahead, this is a good time to think of things you can do in the next month or two that will help you to celebrate the holidays with less stress.

Here are a few things I hope to work on over the next 4-6 weeks:
• Review family photos to find the one I plan on sending to friends and family and order reprints online.
• Write our Christmas letter and update our mailing list.
• Get my carpets cleaned in time for holiday entertaining.
• Hang outdoor lights before the snow arrives!
• Order wreaths from the Boy Scouts.
• Purchase as many gifts online as possible.
• Plan out my baking list and purchase all of the ingredients needed.
• Be prepared to ship out-of-town gifts the week after Thanksgiving.

Link to sign up for Organized Audrey newsletters and free articles.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Are you a know-it-all?

This is a little story that I like to call the curse of the know-it-all. We have all met one, seen one, avoided one or perhaps you ARE one! Regardless, I want to share a little story from my life that I hope will help you at some point in the future. Last week, I was asked to install what was described as a very simple drapery job. Original installer had hung the 4 motorized drapery tracks and the sheer drapes closest to the window. I was to arrive, hang outer drapes, program the remote control and steam out any wrinkles- easy enough (or so I thought). Upon arrival, homeowner had informed me of what they thought was a wiring issue. While, I don't claim know everything there is to know about home automation- I have the necessary contacts to find out what I need to get the job done. So while I was on the phone with the drapery track motorization company (and sending pictures to the company of the current wiring) they determined that the initial installer did not set up system with all correct parts to program the draperies to function properly. Furthermore, since the home automation system runs these drapery track motors an infrared remote would not work. I realized soon after this why the original installer was not asked back to finish the job, incompetence. As soon as the necessary parts arrive later this week I will be going back to program the system alongside the home automation company next Tuesday. I will never claim to know all there is to know about the home furnishings industry, that is a ridiculous thought. We live in a world where items are updated and outdated constantly. All I can stress is to have a great support team to call if you do have problems. Get to know your reps, sales staff, customer service and product manuals. It is not embarrassing to call a support line and get the right answers. It is however embarrassing to lose a job because you were too embarrassed you did not know everything. Hint: you will never know everything.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I am proud to annnouce....

That I begin training at the end of this month to be a lead instructor for bedding and pillows at the Custom Home Furnishings Academy in Pineville, North Carolina. I am thrilled that I have been given this opportunity to share my knowledge and love of learning with students from all around the world. I will be teaching on a part-time basis, around 4-6 weeks per year. This still gives me plenty of time to run my business, design and sew for my wonderful clients as well as continue my duties within the WFCP Program as their Workroom Certification Director. I will be busy yes, but I always seem to get more done in an extremely efficient manner so I welcome this with open arms.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Workroom Wednesdays with WFCP Series- How to Fabricate a Flat Roman Shade

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10am CST/ 11am EST/ 8am PDT/ 9am MST. This is the first webinar in our "Workroom Wednesdays with WFCP" series which will take place the first and third Wednesdays of each month. In this class you will learn how to fabricate a flat-roman shade using the most up-to-date safety standards. WFCP Workroom Certification Instructor Sharon Konrad will share with you many of her unique tips and techniques for beautiful and efficient flat roman shades. Click HERE to register. $35.00 for WFCP Members, $50.00 non-members

Monday, September 16, 2013

New products- new possibilities

WINK The clear, dry erase coating that lets you turn any paintable surface into a write-and-erase canvas. Now, let the true color of your wall show through, without the limits of a whiteboard. Wink is not your typical whiteboard, this is red-board, orange-board or purple-board. You can write on any color wall with stuff-very cool.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pantone's top color for Spring 2014 is.....

Dazzling Blue! When I see this color, royalty comes to mind. Specifically Kate Middleton in that smashing blue lace dress she wore a few months back. Or perhaps my fondness stems from its keen resemblance to Facebook. Nonetheless, what a rich, luxurious addition for 2014. Can you imagine injecting a little of this hue into your wardrobe- or your homes interior?

Monday, September 9, 2013

SteamPunk Interior Design

Steampunk style gained its popularity through a compilation of different literature genres, such as science fiction, fantasy, and alternative history. Now that it has evolved from fashion to interior design, you can clearly see the Victorian Era elements throughout. What distinguishes Steampunk interior design from other design styles are of course the gadgets that are supposedly designed during the Victorian Era. These details of interior are the future’s elements seen in a Victorian Era perspective. Even if it is a computer, a machine for XXI century, it is visually perceived as a machine designed in XIX. Additionally, the colors that are used in Steampunk design are often tinted with copper.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of attending MinneCon in Minneapolis, MN. Although a relatively new design tradeshow, I was delighted to come out of the show with some great inspiration. Formica, one of the oldest laminate companies, has come up with a few new "woodsy-like" patterns! Okay they are not actually supposed to be "woodsy" but that is what immediately came to mind when I saw these featured earlier this year. I thought these would go perfect in the bar area of that "man cave" or a cabin kitchen. What do you think?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cord Safety for Workrooms

Cord Safety for Workrooms with MaryAnn Plumlee Friday, September 20, 2013 10 am CDT/11 am EDT/ 9 am MT/ 8 am PDT This webinar explores the hazards posed by corded window products. The objectives of this webinar are to learn ways to prevent death and injury, discover hidden hazards, and learn about exposure to risk and liability. Attendees will learn what "safety standards" mean, specifics of how many accidents have been reported, and what types of products have been involved. WFCP Members $35 Non Members $50 LINK to PURCHASE

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Lesson in Design Education!

As a designer it has always been my job to not only be the expert, but to teach my clients the true value of the products in which I specify for a project. Years ago when I was about 22 years old, I learned the difference between the big box stores and the "real deal". What I am talking about? Well, it was my first house and I bought a fixer upper. It was a 1970's townhouse that needed a great deal of TLC. One of the first projects- new tub faucet in the main floor bathroom. I went to a big box store (Menards or Home Depot, can't recall). I thought I was so smart buying a "name brand" faucet- thought I was making a great financial decision. Boy was I wrong! So I hired a plumber to come in and install the tub faucet, paid him $250.00 and all was good (or so I thought). Within a few days this thing was leaking ALL over. I was so upset. I called the plumber to come back out to take a look (I was convinced he did something wrong). He said that the internal PLASTIC parts had went bad-very typicial of these units. After contacting the company for replacement parts, I was so discouraged. It was going to take 3 weeks for a replacement PART to be sent to me. Definitely NOT what I thought I paid for. Later on, during my design education I learned that the difference between these "name-brand" companies products from a "big box" store versus something you would purchase from a kitchen and bath showroom is the INSIDE PARTS, the stuff that you don't see on the outside (very deceiving). The innards are what make the product perform flawlessly (duh!). So to make a long story short- you may THINK that you are purchasing a great product from a "big box" store-but more than likely you are NOT. Ask your plumber or design professional for their recommedations BEFORE you buy any plumbing product. It could really save you money (and discouragement) in the long run.

Friday, January 25, 2013

4/19/2013 –The Great Imagination Heist: Inspiration from the 2012 Design Competition Award Winners– 11:00-12:15 Have you ever wanted to know what an award winning treatment is comprised of? We will use selected WF Vision 2012 Envision Design and Ingenuity Workroom Competition award winners as our inspiration in this class. Attendees will learn how to dissect and analyze these award winning treatments/rooms and how to further use these methods to create design masterpieces all their own. We will also discuss the various WF Envision categories that treatments can be entered into, what judges look for (with interviews from past judges) and the entry process. This class is certain to contain the next award winner! Attendees will receive a PDF PowerPoint of this class after completion. 4/20/2013 –Window Design Portmanteau: Flaunting Your Talent – 9:00-10:15 Would you invest $25,000 for a new car without seeing it and test driving it first? Probably not. Our clients spend a great deal of money decorating their home and put a great deal of trust in us, their interior designers. It has been proven the best way to sell a product or your services has always been to show samples. During this class we will discuss comprehensive methods in which to create and showcase your talents and to sell more soft furnishings to your clients with a brand new version of the retail appointment trunk show. We will cover essential components, important space-saving methods and numerous creative ways to embellish your beautiful work. We will cover all of the basic and slightly complex window treatments you should have including panels, top treatments, cornices, awnings, headboards, bedding, pillows, and cushions. Please bring your camera along to take detailed pictures of all of the examples that we will be showing in class. Attendees will receive a PDF PowerPoint of this class after completion with all pictures shown in class. 4/20/2013 –The Unconventional Window: Using Unique Materials to Create Functional and Artistic Solutions for Windows– 11:00-12:15 Become inspired by some of the most innovative, gifted interior designers and window treatments specialists of our time. You will learn ways to incorporate some of these ideas into unique treatments all your own. You are also invited to bring your camera to take photographs of some of the methods we will be showing during class; some uniquely created and others replicas of some of the interior design greats. Attendees will receive a PDF PowerPoint of this class after completion with all pictures shown in class.

Fresh New Start!

The New Year is already upon us and many have tackled the daunting task of creating New Years Resolutions. The New Year always comes with a sense of hope; and unfortunately a whole bunch of pressure. Hope that things can be better than last year and the pressure to make it so.

Yes, it is a good idea to make a list of things you want to change or focus on, but don't let this list overwhelm you. The New Year should bring you hope and excitement. Despite our best intentions, keeping on-track of one's resolutions is just plain hard. Which is why it is so important to take a little bit of your time each day and relax, renew, and refresh. Maybe you can't get away to the gym or take take a well deserved trip to the spa, but try to take 5 minutes each day for yourself. Let's face it, if we don't make the time, no one else is going to make it happen.

Here are some simple ideas:

1. If you want to increase your physical activity for 2013 and you just can't get out for a walk because of the blustery weather – try a little yoga, do a couple lunges, or some stretching in your living room.

2. Take 5 minutes and try to get some peace and quiet. Those with children might find this a little tough! Find a quiet space – your bedroom, laundry room, or even the bathroom and enjoy the quiet.

3. Instead of trying to solve all of the worlds problems right away, make a list and tackle a few things each day.

4. Try to sit and relax while you drink your morning tea or coffee instead of gulping in down on your way out the door.

If you must make a new years resolution list, make sure you include things you can achieve and be realistic. And make it a daily goal to focus on yourself – the decompression time can be incredibly restorative. Here's to a great new year!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Granite versus Quartz

One of the most costly per square foot home renovations occur in the kitchen. Since this is one of the largest investments that you will probably make in your home it is important to educate yourself on solid surfaces for your countertops. Solid surfaces are certainly not a budget-friendly alternative by any means. However, many homeowners have been swayed in recent years into choosing granite by the misrepresentation that it is maintenance-free, this is false. Granite can chip, crack and stain if not taken care of properly. One solution I suggest to those homeowners that are interested in solid surfaces is to consider quartz, an engineered solid surface. View the pros and cons of quartz countertops here.