Color Swatching

Color can be a very intimidating thing. The choices are limitless, and making a bad decision can haunt you for a long, long time.

When I first started doing model homes, the thought of making color selections terrified me. These colors would be in these models for years and could truly affect how well the homes sold. After I got over that initial fear I found out it’s something that I’m really good at and by putting my Lifestylist® philosophy to work and listening to the client I was able to do some really exciting homes, including winning a National award from The National Association of Home Builders for Best Model Home Merchandising.

Lifestylist® Design has been a team member with Riedman Development for the Hammocks communities for over 10 years, and their latest community, The Hammocks at Canandaigua I think is going to be one of my favorites. It’s in a beautiful area, and every time I visit I don’t want to leave. I very much want the interiors and colors to reflect how truly special this community is, so finding the perfect paint colors has been top priority.

The way that I chose colors can be used by anyone, and it’s a great way yo make sure that before you commit to painting an entire room you are sure that you’ve made the right choice.

1. Go With What You Love Most good paint stores can do color matching these days. If you have a favorite dish, leaf, piece of fabric, or even a photo of a home where you liked the wall color take it to your paint store and see what they can come up with. They will usually have a wall of paint chips that you can select from as well – before you buy choose your favorite chips and take them home to see how they look in your surroundings.

2. Try Before you Buy I thought I knew which color I wanted at the Hammocks, but after I brought it home and painted the actual color on a wall I realized it was too green. Most paint companies will now let you buy a little sample size – Sherwin Williams who is my favorite paint sold me a quart sample for around $6.00 which was a great investment. I painted some approx. 2′ x 2′ squares of each on my kitchen wall, because it got lots of direct and indirect light during the day and also because I knew if I made this commitment  it would force me into finally repainting this wall! I also walk by this wall all of the time, so by observing the colors in different weather and light I made a decision I’m thrilled with.

3. Prep Your Walls Properly They always say you get what you pay for, and this is especially true with contractors. When I first moved into the Home Idea Factory this wall wasn’t finished, and the contractor I found did a lousy job tape and texturing it. The paint highlighted the flaws, so before I spend the money to re-paint it I’m going to be sure that the wall is taped properly and that all flaws, holes, etc have been filled in.

4. Paint Finishes Paint comes in different finishes including flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. Flat is usually the least expensive, but is also the most absorbent as far as fingerprints, grease, etc. and the hardest to clean. I usually go with a satin finish because I like the way it plays with light and is the easiest to keep clean, and use semi-gloss on my trim work it make it stand out. Keep in mind though that the more sheen the paint has, the more any imperfections you have on your walls or trim will stand out.

5. Tools Before you start, be sure that you have the right tools including a drop cloth, paint brushes, blue tape for masking off areas and a paint roller and pan. There are lots of cool products on the market to make painting easy for everyone.

Now that I’ve made my decision I can’t wait to get started on my new projects – which paint color do you think I decided on? Which would you have chosen?

 

What is a Lifestylist® ?

 

 

 

One of the questions I always get asked is exactly what is a Lifestylist®, and what is unique about the Lifestylist® Lifestyle. The second most asked question is what makes me a Trailer Diva!

The Lifestylist philosophy is about “Life Celebrating Style”. Our clients life and style is what dictates how a Lifestylist® works with you. My favorite example is I had a client in Phoenix, Arizona that was a major Phoenix Suns fan, and their team colors are orange and purple. The client wanted their entire home done in these colors. What they wanted is what they got, complete with a child’s room with a hardwood floor striped like a basketball court. They wanted to stylishly celebrate their interests and love of their home team and we did!

I just spoke to a friend who’s dog just dug up their entire garden and her daughter slammed the door on the neighbor’s hand – all in about 30 minutes time. Her needs and lifestyle are completely different from my son – no kids, no dogs, and lives in front of his computer. What my style is wouldn’t work well for either of them which is why I need to understand the client and what their “hot buttons” are. It’s takes extra time and sleuthing to achieve this – many times the client has trouble putting into words exactly what they are looking for but they know it when they see it. I take the responsibility very seriously – a person’s environment can truly change their lives in a positive or negative way. If someone is happy in their home their quality of life improves.

Next to being a mother, becoming a Lifestylist® is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to expanding the concept and what it offers in the years to come. – we will be launching a new food line this Spring!

The Lifestylist® Companies Support Smal Business Saturday

We are so proud to be involved in the home building business, and many of our customers are small privately owned companies that build homes for local families.

All of our Lifestylist® companies are built around the idea that if we buy from local companies and support our local businesses we help them to become homeowners and live the all American dream of owning a home of your own.We loved the 8 years that we were the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes – we always did at least one Patriotic themed model home, and I think they were my favorites.

I’d like to say that I’m an example of dreams coming true – I married early, never finished college but here I am owning my own business and being able to help others.

If you are looking for a Lifestylist® to help merchandise and add Lifestyle to your homes, please contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com, or take a look at our website at: www.lifestylist.com

Let’s all support locally owned businesses and bring jobs back to America!

Tricks and Treats From The Lifestylist®

Even though it’s been a very busy month, we made a point of catching up with one of our favorite Jr. Lifestylist’s to see what he was doing for his annual Halloween party.

Sam Davis’ parties are legendary, and this year was no exception. With over 75 kids attending this year’s bash we wanted to create fun, themed treats that he could serve outdoors. Take a look at what we came up with  – Witch Hats and Krispy Pumpkin Treats.

We also worked on some tabletop ideas for the Fall holiday season that were inexpensive but would put our guests (and ourselves!) in the mood. The Lifestylist® Designed homes for SE Homes of Texas were full of ideas that visitors could do in their own homes.

While we were on the road we discovered the Great Pumpkin Patch in Clarence Center, NY – if this doesn’t get you in the mood nothing will!

Have a wonderful Halloween and be sure to “like” our videos on our Lifestylist® YouTube Channel.

Great Finds at the Ronald’s House Sale

One of my favorite places to find unique items worthy of being in a Lifestylist® Collection every year is the Ronald’s House sale in Rochester, NY. This year the sale will be held Oct. 13-15, and it promises to be one of the best years yet!

Take a look at a video we produced showing some of the amazing finds in the past. There are old books and cameras in the video that we used in a very special home a few years ago that was built by @home Builders. This Lifestylist® was asked to completely furnish and LifeStyle a home using items that had been donated to the sale and create a Homearama House for the home tour. All of the merchandise was then auctioned off, and @home Builders was able to raise over $25,000 for Ronald’s House!

If you are looking for a special vintage cookbook, amazing glass, a Victrola or anything in-between, you need to check out this sale. All proceeds go to fund The Ronald MacDonald House in Rochester, NY

Summer Savings

One sure sign that summer is almost over is the sales of colorful, outdoor inspired items at the stores. A lot of the department stores start clearing this merchandise our right after the 4th of July to make room for school items, but the home decor stores tend to wait until Labor Day weekend.

One of our Lifestylist® inspired blogs is Dollar Store Decors – items that cost less than a latte. I was out shopping for the 5 new model homes we have to install mid-September, and I was amazed how many cool things that fit this criteria that were giveaway deals, and I also found some great items that I’m going to use to display my “pick-ups” from my summer travels.

World Market was full of treasures today -up to 90% off! I found this great chair and two others that were marked down to $9.95 – 90% off. They had two great outdoor dining tables that were at the same savings, but I tend to collect tables and I know I didn’t have room for them. But the chairs had such great style, I know I’ll be able to re-purpose them in a living room, or use them as seating in a guest room. I’m tempted to paint them with a metallic paint or possibly a turquoise color, have cushions made and really make them special – at under $10.00 I don’t have much to lose.

The painted table was a find at Hobby Lobby where I was able to find two matching ones at 80% off. I loved the colors and character they had, and I’m thinking about stacking them and using them as a display piece. What do you think?

I’m also collecting glassware and baskets that I can use to display my pick up pieces – I love picking up found items when I travel as a memento instead of buying a T-Shirt or shot glass. I’ll share how to make picture frames and other ideas with these later, but I’ve got to get back to my model home shopping and taking advantage of these sales – I’ll let you know what else I find soon!

The American Dream

We all have our own version of what the American Dream is – for many that includes owning your own home.

My dream was to have my own Home Idea Factory – a place where this Lifestylist® could live and work, would have the character that would let me “practice what I preach” and have some room to garden. I was also hoping to have enough space to continue to help with the animal rescue groups I’ve joined. All of my dreams came true, and now I have a space that will never be “done”, but always evolving.

My father told my mother when they got married that some day he would buy her a place on a lake, and he did! Their Hideway Lake home has been the place that many of our family holidays, wedding, and birthdays have taken place, and it is full of wonderful memories.

There are people who are looking for an affordable place with a yard to raise their families, use as a second home or retire to and land lease communities can be a great solution for these people. Land lease communities are those where factory built housing are placed in communities where homeowners lease the land the homes are placed on in a community – many times with amenities such as pools, clubhouses, and tennis courts. I have always believed this is the perfect solution for affordable housing because it can be so cost effective, and I’ve been wanting to be a part of this solution hands on.

The time has come! Lifestylist® Design has been asked to re-brand and enhance the lifestyle options of two communities in Florida – Parkwood in Port Orange, FL and Countryside Village in Tampa. I can’t wait to get started – these communities are a great example of how affordable the American Dream can be. Be sure to get our updates on the progress at Parkwood and Countryside Village Facebook pages.

Sweet Dreams

Nothing is more important than a good nights sleep. If we don’t have the right support from the mattress, the right pillows or the right temperature in the room, sleep might not come easily.

When LifeStyling the corporate apartments for The Hammocks at Timber Banks and Southern Hills, I wanted to be sure that the they truly felt like a home away from home and the clients would enjoy their stay. I stayed in some of the apartments designed by other companies to get a feel of what worked and what didn’t, and spent a lot of time speaking with residents and getting a feel for the lifestyle of each and what made them unique. Having a comfy sofa and a flat screen TV was important, but nothing was more important than the bed.

As a Lifestylist® I always take into consideration how a bed fits into a room, and Ashley Furniture now offers beautiful beds with a low foot board or platform that makes any room still feel spacious. Many companies (and consumers)use just a metal frame and no headboard with their beds, but by using a headboard, foot board and rails you create a much more stable platform for your bed which adds support to the mattress. Plus it looks so much better! Be sure to check out the new options that Ashley Homestores offer – great value and style.

An area that I won’t ever compromise on is the mattresses and pillows. We use a pillowtop that offers a great nights sleep that was manufactured to our specifications by a local company, and I found pillows that I love at KMart – under $10 but they feel much more expensive.

One of my biggest surprise finds was Sears – I found a “Bed in a Bag” they offered for under $50.00 online! A Bed in a Bag includes a comforter, dust ruffle, shams, and a complete set of linens. Something to always watch out for when choosing a comforter that you will use every day is to make sure it is washable, and this set was. When they arrived I was thrilled to see that they were well made, and in beautiful, happy colors.

As I always say, great design doesn’t have to be expensive, and these are great examples of that. I know I’ll be adding Sears and KMart to my shopping resources now, and I’ll be sure to share with you other great buys that I find.

How To Save Money Decorating Your New Apartment

Have you ever wondered what you could do in your apartment to make it colorful and exciting without having to forfeit your security deposit? Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber visited The Hammocks at Orchard Park to LifeStyle the model apartment. This video highlights the beautiful community and shows before and after shots of the apartment. It’s a great example of what a difference you can make on a small budget.

The other new segment has the Lifestylist® discussing the changes she made and offers great decorating tips that can be used in any home.

Please “like” our new segments and let us know what you think!

Re-Decorating Your Home

I recently wrote an article for the Great Southwest Home Show that had some easy and inexpensive ideas that might help you.

You can be frugal and still have a beautiful home -the key is to really put together a plan with what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend before you start shopping.

When a start on a Lifestylist® Designed home, the first thing I do is think about the homeowners lifestyle, and how they’ll be living in it. Do they have kids? How Old? Pets? Are sports important? Do they like to entertain? Do they enjoy spending time in the kitchen or would they rather share “Take-In” with their guests?

Making over your home can be as simple sometimes as just moving some things around -by giving the room a different “flow” and feel, you might end up with just the experience you were hoping for!