It is so exciting to see the changes that are coming in the design world. Technology is making a huge difference in the way we live, and with LED lighting becoming more affordable there are some really exciting changes coming in lighting and how we use light.
As a Lifestylist® it’s really important to me that I keep up with changes and trends so Sunday I’m heading to the Las Vegas Market. Usually go for a day or two, but there are so many great seminars this time I’m going to spend a few extra days to learn about what’s new and what we’ll be seeing in 2014.
When you walk model homes today you can definitely see a difference in the attitude of buyers – we’ve gone from dark, gloomy homes without a lot of color to light open floorplans and design that bring the outdoors in. White kitchens and baths are trending, and the more natural light the better in every part of the home.
The Lifestylist® Brands are super busy and we are getting to work on amazing homes that are innovative and “push” the normal boundaries we’ve been working with. We are even working on a residence with it’s own bowling wing!
Here’s a few photos of some of the clubhouses, residences and apartments we’ve been working on – let us know what we can help you with.
Another year is almost behind us, and I think most of us are looking forward to a fresh start in 2013.
Last year made it clearer than ever that nothing is more important than relationships. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend time with my cousins I hadn’t seen in years, had some great sister time and what was most important, got to spend a lot of quality time with my kids and grandkids.
Being around the grandkids reminded me how wonderful it is to always be looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunities it brings. The amazement of what a fantastic job my kids are doing as parents, and how talented their Jr Lifestylists are keeps reminding me how important it is to spend time with family.
Here’s hoping that 2013 is filled with hope for all of us, and we remember what brings us joy.
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?
There’s nothing I enjoy more than getting to go visit my kids and grandkids in Florida, and I’m always interested in what housing trends work for their lifestyles. My son-in-law made a great observation – they built a home that has a large open kitchen with an island, and he said they thought the kitchen was huge when they built it, now they wish it was larger – especially with a more functional island.
Factory built housing has been a trendsetter in this area for years, and the islands that you can find in a manufactured and modular home exceed what you find for the same value in site built homes. Besides being large they are functional and often offer seating, storage for small appliances, bookcases and enough countertop space to be able to cook for a crowd.
SE Homes excels in their island design, and the use of Formica’s new 180f/x® laminates look like you have a granite or marble countertop without the price. SE Homes of Texas now offer a backsplash in their homes that looks like tine ceiling tiles – and the mix of these metals with the dark cabinets and granite-look countertops is stunning.
Factory built housing is all about achievable design, and many of the kitchens you find in these homes make you wonder why you would have considered anything else.
This Lifestylist® spends a lot of time trend tracking so I can help my clients decipher what current fads and forecasting really applies to what they do and their customers. Something that seems to be getting a lot of “Buzz” recently is that people are no longer interested in the smaller sized homes that have been so popular in the last couple of years, but they are back to wanting more square footage.
This may sound good in a news article, but in fact what we are seeing is people want more liveable space – in other words, what they want is every square foot of their new home having a function and no wasted space that they have to heat, cool and clean. Living in a Home Idea Factory like I do may sound glamorous, but with all of this square footage comes a mountain of cleaning that needs to be done every day and maintenance that never ends.
Factory built housing has always been a great example of great use of space. Since every home is engineered, I’m always amazed with how large and functional the kitchens are in a small amount of space. Using as little space as possible for hallways can make a huge difference in the footprint of the home, and taking the time to “space plan” – seeing what furniture will work where and the traffic flow that will happen because of that furniture placement – can alleviate a lot of problems after the home is built.
This Champion Home is a great example. It is a model home in Hobbs, NM and I was asked to re-merchandise it so potential customers would get a better feel for the lifestyle that was possible with this home and how they could live and entertain in it.
What we changed was so successful they sold this home the first day! A rancher bought it and loved the mud room, large flowing entertainment areas, and the ranching lifestyle featured in the model.
When you are looking for your next home, have a seat in the model home and really think about the flow of the home and how your family will utilize every square foot of the home. You might be surprised at what you really do and do not need.
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!
As a Lifestylist® I always say that design should be more about lifestyles than trends. Trendy design details and decors tend to cycle out quickly and leave the owner with a home that looks and feels dated.
In 2002 I was hired to be the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes - an amazing factory built housing company based in Elkhart, Indiana. I had worked on factory built homes in the past, but never at this scale. This is one of the first homes that I LifeStyled for them -it was at The Louisville show for their EnergyMate division. Jumping ahead 10 years, I’d be happy to show or live in this home again – it was well designed, the floorplan was open and perfect for entertaining, and the island was larger than anything else being shown at that time.
Be sure to notice the pendant lighting. I know we were one of the first to show them and we were ahead of our. All of our lighting was part of a partnership I initiated with Home Depot.
When you look at this home, it doesn’t look like a factory built home, or a modular home – it just looks and feels like a well designed home no matter how it got to the site. Who knew even 10 years ago we were designing the future of housing construction? Factory built homes are definitely here to stay.
One of the questions I get asked the most is how I ever decided to become a Lifestylist®, and where did I get my training.
I’ve been called a storyteller many times and it’s an accurate assessment – I use my talents and materials to tell a story in a home. Hopefully this story explains to the potential homeowner why their lives would be better by living in this home, and what they can expect from the community, the builder, and from the experience. To tell the story, I collect thousands of items – old and new – that I incorporate into my LifeStyled homes.
This weekend I decided it was time to go through some of the things I’ve collected, and it’s been quite a trip down memory lane. I discovered a trunk I forgot about that had family photos from the early 1900′s that gave me a glimpse into my family history I hadn’t been aware of. Through this discovery I’m finding I come from a very artistic family full of risk takers. This ostrich photo with my great aunt will now always be one of my favorites.
It seems I’ve been in the media longer than I remembered for my decorating skills. My mother and both grandmothers were very talented in the design fields, and I was lucky enough to be nurtured and inspired by them. This article from 1969 shows me as a 13 yr old showing off some of my skills with my mother and sisters. Apparently I also had my own booth at the church bazaar selling paper flowers and copper enameled jewelry that I made. What’s funny is that after seeing this, I may have to try this again – it’s really a fun idea!
I’m honored to be a Lifestylist®, and I love having the opportunity to help others find their passions in life. This holiday season remember what makes you happy, and share that passion with your friends and family – you might even find a new career by doing it!