Saturday, April 21, 2018

SHOES! Fashion for you feet!

Fashion for your feet and terrific ideas for trims, appliques, treatments for your home. Have to dedicate this post to my daughter, Erika.... a shoe addict!
I am one of the lucky ones who just LOVES what I do!
I love my job and the creative license I have to design; to interpret and create new ideas for home textiles. Often heard coming out of my mouth "home textiles in not rocket science"
It is challenging to come up with new ideas that will resonate with the end use consumer... something new, a different take on what is currently in stores online and actual stores that you peruse through when you have time. I still love to physically be in a store to touch and feel the merchandise! That being said, it is rare to have the time and then when you do need something, it is more of a chore, so not so much fun.
In January, I was lucky enough to go to the Germany, England and France, looking at what the Europeans had to offer. As all of us in fashion were taught that they are "light years" ahead of us.... not so true anymore with all of the online shopping we do and "speed to market"
My goal is that when everyone is going left, I want to turn right... why offer what everyone else has?
Why shop for inspiration where everyone else is looking - that might be boring and wind up looking like everyone else come time for Market Week. I mean you want to be "on point", and at the same time, offer some new fresh look that no one else thought of, right??
So you might now be asking... why did I title this SHOES?
I will tell you, as much time as I spent looking at home textiles and furniture and decorative accessories in Europe; I spent equal time looking at fashion.... and shoes stood out BIG TIME this trip - take a look at the photos and tell me if you agree.... Amazing techniques, trims, fabrics, treatments, re-designed heel shapes and placements, fur everywhere! From the well know designers including Jimmy Choo, Mui Mui, Prada, United Nude, Dolce.... all the way through every collection! EYE CANDY
I post today, as I search to replace my loved simple black loafers and realize the depth of design in shoes... and I just want classic low heel loafers, lol!
Enjoy!.....
First up..... HEEL ARCHITECTURE!
Here are just FUZZY SHOES!!! Crazy fabrics, poms, fur.... lots of fur and texture!
JEWELS! DRIPPING IN JEWELS AND SEQUINS- some classic... some crazy!
ANIMAL SKIN PATTERNS ... still popular!!
and good, anything but old- fashioned.... COMBAT BOOTS!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Home mimics Fashion!

My life has been about noticing details, everywhere with everything.... there is beauty and inspiration all around us, we just have to open our eyes and notice. For me, I take photos of it all, even floor patterns and rod iron gates. While in Paris my charge was to "FIND THE TRENDS"
How to find the fashion and interpret it into the home market.. I had to post this perfect example: High Couture Fashion to High Fashion Lampshades!
So many amazing fabric techniques, trims and manipulations are interpreted in home textiles; ruffles on sleeves and dresses are used in bedding! In fact you will see a lot more of that in the stores moving forward! Look at this best selling bed from Amrapur Overseas! This is Antonella and one of the best beds we offer! Look at the ruffles, paired with pinch pleats and decorative trim as an accent.
Look at your favorite style, a belt, some pom poms or an old piece of jewelry or beads, see how you might add a spark to your home by interpreting it to fit your style
- buy trim at the fabric store and tie back your drapes to change up the look.
You could even sew a ruffle on to the edge of the panel for a softer more farmhouse touch!
Bring Fashion into your Home!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Last touch on the Laundry Room!

What helps create mood in a room? Color and lighting are a big factor when considering how a room "feels"!
When we renovated our Laundry Room (which was over 3 years ago.... as I said, it took me forever to write that post) we knew we wanted a feeling of fresh, clean and welcoming. After all, that is the room that has the door that leads to the backyard, the door that we come and go from all year long and most importantly as room where we do our laundry, lol, can't overlook that!
After the renovation, we looked around so happy and proud of the change! One thing stuck out... the terrible builders fixture.
And what made that worse, when we purchased the house, the builders fixture was here and the house was built in the 1970's- OH NO! A designer never keeps builder's fixtures! Not ever! Here I was the shoemaker.... (for all who get that reference, lol)
I wanted to do something creative and different here... I got this great idea from a dear friend; Emad.. thank you! I found a fun trash can one day at Home Goods, on sale with great lines and the perfect size.
I then went with my handy husband to Lowe's to buy a light kit. My handy husband drilled a hole (more like punched a hole) in the bottom of the trash can. This is no easy task; you need to be sure you find the center of the bottom, measure the item that needs to be inserted for the bulb and then proceed with caution... the right tools, protective eyewear & gloves. Next step was measuring how low you want the light to hang (our brothers are VERY tall so we needed to consider this) secure the wire at the right height, then proceed to turn off the power to the room before we (wrong pro-noun... before HE, lol) did the installation.
I could not be happier with the outcome! The design in the wire container gave off such great shadows, and added that perfect touch to my room! Funny thing was as I was tossing the tag to the trash can, the name of the item I noticed was "lantern"- how appropriate!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Laundry Room continued.... tub sink top

So my last post was about my new laundry room... not so new, it just took me forever to post it! I teased and told you that two special touches I added to this room made it mine.. I feel it is important to use the space you have in the best way possible.... today's key word would be small space living or small space solutions. With the popularity of the HGTV shows and booming thoughts of home renovations and "making the space your own" it was about time I got this into writing!
One of things we did in our renovation was to add a utility/ tub sink. I paint an awful lot, and my husband and I do many home renovation projects. We always found ourselves washing the paint brushes out in the kitchen sink and the mess it made, let alone the guilt that "we eat from this space" and paint does not mix with this thought.... I always wanted a "work sink"!
The issue was that I didn't want to store things IN the sink for everyone to see ... and saw this as a missed opportunity to use this space the best way I could. So I had my handy husband cut a piece of wood to fit the top. He did amazing cutting the top corners to best fit. I sanded the edges so they were rounded and he cut a hole where the faucet would sit over in case of dripping water.
Well I could not leave this white, oh no! I set out to figure what inspires me in this room... how can I express a message of fun and creativity?
I chose a theme that suits my family; Kody our family pup being washed in a tub, a tree of life framing the space with the leaves encompassing the entire work... musical notes as life is full of song and so is our home! I stole a few of the pieces of the art that lives on our daughters (in their tatoos- the butterfly, treble cleff and notes with the small 3) and a single sock on the line in honor of all those "lost socks" over the years!
I continued with some quirky messages that I found funny and appropo... Got Soap, Loads of Fun, Normal is just a setting, Check your pockets (for all the tissues that go thru the wash and litter my black clothes), Self Service Wash... a message to all, lol!
I coated the completed work of art with 10-12 coats of poly urethane allowing it to dry the required time in between... so as to have a hard finish and not to worry about chips and scratches. As you can see, I now have a practical surface space, and can hide all our rags and things in the sink under this top! So it worked for two things - storage and surface space! What could be better!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Updating a Laundry Room for Today's Living

Mud Rooms/ Utility Rooms - they are not just for laundry anymore!! Practical every day living includes the understanding that it is almost impossible to keep our homes in "model home" condition. That being said, I am a strong advocate for a central "dumping ground" if you will. Families, especially those raising kids, need a designated place for all of the shoes, coats, back packs, school papers, calendars, etc. (I could go on and on!) that find their way home during the school year and bathing suits, sandals, towels, etc. during the summer months. Our laundry room is off the kitchen, just inside the garage door entrance. This makes it conducive to being much more of a family space than just a room to do laundry!
Updating this room can mean a world of difference to the everyday clutter.
I want my laundry room to be a place that is clean and practical at the same time. Our renovation was small, with fantastic results!
Here is what we did:
- changed the flooring to a larger ceramic tile; better look and easy to clean
- added a utility tub sink; great for puppy baths, washing out paintbrushes, and all the messy jobs you don't want in your kitchen sink!
- added a cabinet to store all of the cleaners
- racks for towels, baskets and hanging all of those clothes that you fear will shrink in the dryer
- tore out the closet and made a "folding" station shelf with cubbies underneath and shelving above - added hooks for coats
.... a fresh coat of paint in a fun colors ( soft sunshine yellow) and a rug for feet wiping!
There are two special things I added to this renovation; my creative twist!
I had my very handy husband cut me a top for the utility tub sink... and painted it to create additional counter top space Last but not least a creative light for that final touch... but these projects deserve their very own blog post! STAY TUNED

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Trends.... what actually makes it a trend?

As I prepare to leave for a 16 day journey to Europe I am reflecting on what I learned last year, and wondering what fun inspirations are in store for me.
Everyone talks about "trend" but what is that exactly....
I would define this as a look or colors that are everywhere- in retail stores in all categories; apparel, bedding, candles, even nail polish colors - the way I see it, they are colors and ideas that are seen in stores, or online, that resonates with the majority. However... I am a realist and I ask myself, are they self fulfilling prophecies? Pantone along with Cotton Inc. (to name a few) and paint companies assign their "color of the year". Then everyone starts "pinning" their products available in these colors. If paint companies and color companies say it is so and manufacturers all follow these ideas, then products are made in these colors, to fit the idea of what is "on trend", and retail buyers then "see it everywhere" when shopping for the next season, and purchase it for their stores, so then that is what is available in the stores.... so that is what the consumers see, and so it is true, and so it becomes the trend!
Growing up I clearly remember when a true trend meant that something is "IN" or "OUT"
My clearest memory of this is skirt lengths - Mini was in... mini skirts, hot pants, the shorter the better. The next season... it was definitely OUT and Midi was in - calf length; culottes, gouchos ( crazy name for flaired capris!) .... the next year MAXI WAS IT! If you look at that trend, I would say that is the start of the Boho look that is "so on trend" now!
It seems to me for well over 15 years now, skirt lengths are "in" if they flatter your figure, look nice, are paired with the right shoes and are well pulled together.
Style Portobello has a great article on this exact topic! Fashion is cyclical
In apparel... looks and colors come and go and come back again - the exact reason I have always held on to my velvets! Same goes for our homes and how we decorate; the color we paint our house, the walls inside, the towels and bedding we buy. The same applies to kitchens and bathrooms; stainless appliances were the hottest thing, now black stainless is being introduced, darker woods in flooring and cabinetry are all "trending" right now! • New materials, new substrates, new colors Who will come up with the next great color combination and will it stick? Will it resonate at retail and add volume to sales?
Here is what I think... you can never go wrong with classic clean elegant colors in your home- vintage or antique white, greys, tans and flax hues with pops of the colors you are "feeling at the time.
My advice? look at what is being shown in the stores, on pinterest, online shopping.... then go with what resonates with you - nothing is "OUT"
Trends are in the "eye of the beholder"