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Super Summer Deals!

Summer sales are GREAT and everyone loves super summer deals! You can get a lot of new things for the house and great deals can make even the most reluctant drag-his-heels-thru-the-store husband or partner feel the ‘fun’ of shopping. It’s always a thrill to get those items into the house, unpacked and first used – whether it’s a new outfit, a new computer gadget or a simple bathroom throw rug. Unless it’s something hubby has to assemble. But even then, there’s a kind of excited thrill in ‘assembling things’ because almost everyone has experienced the huge sense of relief felt from having ‘completed’ the dreaded task.  As soon as the product has been freed from the can’t-for-the-life-of-me-break-this-plastic-package-wrapping issue; one can immediately begin to enjoy the product. Here are a few fun items that require little or no assembly:

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SAGE Water Coolers
Sku#: SAGECBLK
Price: $649.99

The SAGE water cooler filters and removes 99.99% of all contaminants and bacteria and comes in 9 super-cool & bright countertop colors: black, silver, blue, green, orange, purple, white, red metallic and red! It has an advanced Programmable LCD interface for programming of hot, cold and room temp water temperature from 41 degrees F – 208 degrees F, Programmable Child Safety, Date, Time, and Energy Saver/Sleep Time Functions. LCD Screen alerts when UV Lamp or Filters need replacing.

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Kichler Lighting 65424 Mini Pendant 1Lt Berkley Collection

Sku#: 65424
$217.80

The fanciful bounty of this 1 light mini pendant from the Berkley collection is a playfully inspired art glass revelation. With bold patterns and warm colors it is sure to delight any home. Size: 8 x 10 x 4.75”/Incandescent 100W.

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Yosemite Home Décor ‘Colored Roses’ Original Hand Painted Wall Art
Sku#: FCK8353-2
Price: 169.10

Brighten your living area with a rainbow of roses. Hand painted roses in a variety of vivid colors on a neutral beige painted canvas. This painting is hand stretched on canvas and ready for wall mounting. Overall dimensions: 40”W x 40”H

  • Original hand painted
  • acrylic painting
  • Wall mounted
  • Ready to hang out of the box

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make us happy. A warm, soothing bath. A bottle of wine shared on a summer eve with a few friends. A kitty cat on one’s lap. Sometimes just one new purchase for the house is enough to make a slow smile last almost forever.

For some great deals, check out our summer closeouts!

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Vacation Home – Smart Updates

A long summer season can induce even the laziest couch potato to rise to the occasion of setting a bare foot to grass. There’s just something about nature that draws us to it like moths to light. So it makes sense to look about the yard with a scrutinizing eye as one lazily strolls across it, making note of the small things that could stand a little ‘brushing up’ or possibly even, full replacement. The same holds true for vacation homes. A few ‘smart updates’ can aesthetically carry a summer season, a long way. Here are a few vacation home smart update ideas:

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View Marine Grade Fixtures

Start Outside In
Warm weather climates can wreak havoc on a home. Water, wind and salt can cause corrosion in wood and metal over time. Spruce up key fixtures that will add instant value to the home. Update all outdoor lighting fixtures, doorknobs and landscape lighting. Replace worn out fixtures with marine grade ones that come with extra powder coating (PI67 Grading) or are made of rust free polyester materials. They are specifically designed to help offset damage done by water, wind and salt. Because they are, they tend to last longer as well.

BLOG-2View Patio Dining Sets

Address the Lawn Furniture
Relatively small garden adornment purchases can magically transform a small backyard into an outdoor paradise. Consider a new lounge and seating area, upgrading the grill, and adding a few decorative garden ornaments. It doesn’t take a lot of money to replace worn out garden furniture. Be sure to look for weather coated canvas, rattan coated with powder coating and stick to easy-to-clean plastics.

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Water Creation Sink Options

Revamp Kitchen Appliances
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a clean and sterile environment for food preparation is essential. It is also one of the most used rooms in the house, thus, its appliances, and even the kitchen sink can take a beating over time. Upgrade the most used items in the home with high quality products. Stainless steel is popular due to the durability of the material, its easy-to-clean surfaces, and its ability to match and enhance any exiting appliances finishes in white or black. Kitchens are the best investments and usually get somewhere from 80% to 90% of their value back. That means that if you put $30k into your kitchen, it will value out at $23k to $28k worth.

BLOG-4View Plumbing Fixtures

Same Rule Applies to Bathrooms
Update the main bath fixtures for the obvious reasons – usage. Toilet, sink and tub basins and especially faucets should be considered. Make sure everything is sealed properly with caulk, including where the tub meet the floor, since water tends to splash from the shower, regardless if a shower curtain is used. Make sure all faucets are clean and new. Replacing all fixtures and appliances will add instant value and curb appeal in your home. It will also set the ground stage for many maintenance free years to come, and will enable you the option to rent out your vacation home without worry; because you will have taken good care to prepare the fixtures that people will use the most.

BLOG-5View Home Decor Accesories

Update the Fun, Everyday Activity Things
Lastly, buy a new bedspread for each of your bedrooms along with a few new lamps. Upgrade to a flat screen TV and do away with old CD players, bulky old stereo receivers, and even the outdated toaster or microwave. Put a guitar in a corner stand, just in case guests can play. Load up the firewood bin for cozy fire nights. If the walls look good, just paint the trim and window sills; which will make each room look shiny and brand new. Lots of minor changes can magically transform any room and aren’t all that hard or costly to do!

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ikea

Anchor your home furniture to prevent injuries

On June 27, 2016 Ikea decided to recall approximately 29 million of dangerous dressers!  They reported that there were at least three deaths of children with one of their dresser series and they strongly urged to “Please take them out of the room”.

ikea

While we all know Ikea to be a well-known brand that offers inexpensive furniture, cheap isn’t always the best.  Not only for quality, but also for safety.

Prevent furniture tip over injuries and deaths!  The safest way is to anchor them into the walls for safety.  Anchoring furniture that could tip over is fairly easy and proven to save lives.  The fix is relatively inexpensive and well worth every penny if you have little ones that love to climb and don’t realize the dangers.    Losing a child is devastating to any parent and family and being able to prevent it at any cost is well worth it!  You can purchase Safety 1st Furniture Wall Straps here at Babies R Us for $4.99.

straps

When anchoring your furniture, be sure to:

  1. Use two restraints for each piece of furniture, anchoring them on either side.
  2. Make sure to install them into solid wood and into the wall studs.
  3. Ensure the restraints are tight and check them regularly

 

At EliteFixtures.com, our talented team scans thru products and puts them thru a rigorous screening to see if it meets our standards as we take the safety of each product sold at EliteFixtures.com very serious.  Check out our Dining Room Furniture, Living Room Furniture and Bedroom Furniture for brand names and great prices.

 

 

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Bugzey Rates Jeco Gravity Chair – Paws Up!

We receive many happy responses from our customers…but every once in awhile a special one comes along. This one we just had to share. Meet Bugzey Santucci, the luxury Pug.

Bugzey-on-PIllow

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…luv, luv pillows.

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 Bugzey-on-Blankie

Blankies too…..but gettin’ older now. Sometimes wake up with sore neck….

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Bugzey-Shops-EF

Went shoppin’ online. Need somethin’ to go with outfit. NOW…how to get MA to buy it for me?

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Bugzey's-Cards

Tried bribing Mumsy with cheese. No go…… So I threw my cards on the table & flat out begged.

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BUGZEY-PAWS-UP

Gotta luv her for luvin’ me! Luv, Luv my gravity chair!

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BUGZEY RATES THE JECO GRAVITY CHAIR:

Set Up? EZ! I watched. Ma set it up.
Head shade… yup, good, good.
Superb views. Beatsa open jeep.
Lotsa colors besides Bugzey blue.
Tray can hold a doggie dish!
MA…can you lower my pillow now?
Bugzey ready for another nap…..

About The Jeco Oversized Olefin Zero Gravity Chair with Sunshade and Drink Tray
Relax in this Over-sized Zero Gravity recliner. The chair has a sunshade built into it to protect you from the sun. The removable drink tray is great for keeping a beverage at hand. The locking mechanism allows for an infinite number of recline positions and a headrest is provided for additional comfort or use as a lumbar support. The recliner folds for easy storage and transportation. The Jeco Over-sized Gravity chair can support up to 300 lbs and comes in several colors. View all Jeco products.

Thank you Bugzey Santucci and Bugzey’s Mum for sharing!

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Re-Defining Twine

Elk-Blog-Image

 Elk Lighting 15902/5 Pearce 5 Light Chandelier

As a proud planetary guardian of several indoor cats, I can with absolute certainty declare that the feline species has taught me many things no human could. One message in particular that stands out when viewing the new twist Elk has put on the Pearce Collection – is the importance of simplicity. Lighting manufacturers are heavily challenged to constantly produce new styles, so as to keep up with yearly fashion trends in home decor. In some years, there is definitely a flood of fresh new styles, which can often spark a home design buying frenzy. In other years, fixture designs can be ho-hum boring – as if we’re seeing the same old ‘same olds’, coated in different finishes or colors, in a weak effort to mask ‘designer’s block’.

Similar to the many times I’ve attempted to keep the household kitties entertained – some toys that I truly thought would entice them – completely bored them. Yet one year, when the funds for kitty entertainment was somewhat low, I took to finding things around the house. Feeling somewhat an incompetent fur nurturer, I tossed down some cut up toilet paper rolls and dribbly twine and tried to coax them to play. To my utter amazement, no coaxing was needed. The kitties entertained themselves for hours – winging the TP rolls up in the air and grabbing the twine by mouth and running about – which caused a trail of followers who dappled at the bouncing tail-end as if a live mouse were about. It’s as though my furry friends were telling me to nix the harmful plastic human creations and stick to the more ‘natural’ things in life – the simple stuff.

When I normally write for the company blog, I typically don’t interject personal experience into the pieces. But when I saw this twine-version fixture by Elk Lighting, I half wondered if the designer of that particular fixture had a cat. Sometimes, a little bit of rope can go along way. And though the fixture design itself might be something I’ve seen before – bravo to Elk for re-defining twine and coming up with something other than just another coating of color.

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Rug Matters

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Sacred Cow Rugs  ~  Labryinth Rugs   ~  Ancient Egypt Rugs   ~   Earth Motif Rugs

When considering flooring, there are always rug matters to consider. Will the new room have a hardwood, cement, tile floor …or a carpet? For about a decade now, there has been a clean sweep on the carpet industry, as more and more homeowners have chucked the wall to wall rugs and picked up on the hardwood floor trend. There are a lot of advantages to bare wood floors. In terms of maintenance and allergy considerations alone, it’s not surprising that wood floors are here to stay. Wood floors are easy to sweep and clean. Wood floors can open up a room to make it appear larger than it is. Wood floors allow accent décor to become the focus point of a room. Wood floors don’t collect permanent citizens called allergens.

While many hardwoods can be absolutely beautiful in terms of color, layout and border design, there is still the issue of human warmth and comfort that comes into play. Human feet seek soft ground and sometimes, a rug is not just general floor covering; it can also offer an element of genuine human comfort into the décor equation.

Humans are highly visual and often people think according to only what they typically see – which at human eye level, is approximately 5 to 6 feet off the ground. In fact, so much time can be spent choosing the right lighting, the right window treatments, the right furniture and the right wall art that quite often, people tend to forget to look down, to address the floor. Today there are so many styles, shapes, colors and types of rugs that it can be daunting to try to match a rug up with the décor you’ve already chosen and purchased for your newly renovated room. There is no greater way to add pizzazz to a bland or neutral style room than to add a wild pop of color or fabulous printed pattern to the floor. One great area rug can significantly alter a room’s entire atmosphere and is a terrific way to ‘redecorate’ sans having to really do anything more to the room. It’s a wonderful way to keep the budget in check when keeping within budget, matters.

When thinking about re-decorating your next room, it might be a good thing to at least, mentally start from the ground up. Ancient Sanskrit teachings emphasize grounding the mind and soul into the physical body via Yoga. Painters use grounding compounds as an underlying support that will hold and bind their acrylic and oil paints to the canvas. Builders construct their buildings from the ground up. When all is said and done, perhaps after all…rug matters.

View Momeni Rugs    View Dynamic Rugs   View Anji Mountain Rugs  View Uttermost Rugs

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Consider All Weather Wicker

jeco-furniture

All Weather Wicker Conversation Set by Jeco

Every few years, and it goes without saying, a spring-time review of last year’s outdoor furniture often provokes a weary sigh. Did we forget to rinse down the pieces before storing them for the winter? Has the dirt and grime has now settled comfortably into every nook and cranny? Are the cushions faded or grimy enough to cause you to spontaneously burp to your guests, ‘Oops, let me wipe that quick, before you sit down’? Might we have left them out a bit too long and dead fall leaves made permanent imprints, that now won’t remove with even CLOROX? These are all signs directing you to go look for new furniture. But what should you buy?

jecochests

All Weather Wicker Patio Deck Box by Jeco

Consider all weather wicker. With durable, all-weather resin wicker over a powder-coated steel frame, this kind of product is built to withstand anything life throws your way. Unlike real wicker which dries out and cracks, resin wicker is flexible and fade-resistant, which means it stays like new season after season. What’s more, all-weather wicker doesn’t absorb water and also allows for air flow, making it the perfect choice for the poolside! All weather wicker is virtually maintenance-free and cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with your garden hose or wiping it clean with a solution of mild dish soap and water. That makes it Eco-friendly too – because you’ll save on water, and won’t need to use caustic cleaning agents to get the mud and dirt off.

Jeco-chairs

Introducing the Over-sized Zero Gravity Recliner by Jeco

Additionally, if we segway off to the pool area, one might think about relaxing in an Over-sized Zero Gravity recliner. This chair has a shade built into it to protect you from the sun. The removable drink tray is great for keeping a beverage at hand. The locking mechanism allows for an infinite number of recline positions and a headrest is provided for additional comfort or use as a lumbar support. The recliner, made of high strength and durable powder coated steel frame, folds for easy storage and transportation. It comfortably supports up to 300 lbs of human weight. The fabric is made of textilene, a long lasting outdoor grade fabric. It comes in twelve exciting color combos.

The Spring and Summer seasons should be all about relaxation, family festivities, restoration and contemplation about life’s forward moving journey. Easing out of household duties, including the pesky after-winter yard work should be a pre-spring priority, so that by the time both seasons arrive – you’re already there.

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Uttermost

Products for Pooches

Uttermost

Introducing a dog friendly company: Uttermost

Every human dog guardian knows that the word ‘family’ ABSOLUTELY includes the fur beings that co-habit with them. In keeping with home furnishing trends – and advancing human consciousness, we at Elitefixtures.com 100% advocate the idea of providing a few luxury products for pooches. It’s a way of showing not only an appreciation for the millions of moments of unconditional love all humans are bestowed by them; it also ensures that they know, that we know, that they should be acknowledged once in awhile for the great humanitarian work that they do.

UttermostProducts

Sku#  23624                  Sku#  23025              *Clearance Sku#  23212             Mac Cooper/Uttermost

There is indeed a huge difference between tossing a random ratty pillow or old used rug on the ground for ‘the dog’ and… going that one extra step to demonstrate to him or her that he or she is truly, a beloved family member; via a luxury bed! Dogs, cats and birds for that matter, have sensitivities we don’t always understand. Stopping for a moment or two to let your pet know it is a special member of the family, goes a long way in terms of its mental and emotional well being. And yes, your dog thinks and feels very deeply. Otherwise he or she could not LOVE YOU so intensely.

Providing your beloved with its very own, very special bed can do much to sooth a restless spirit,  a bored buddy or an elderly fuzzball that’s spent over a decade with you already. A ‘personal bed’ allows a dog to innately feel a sense of belonging, security and permanence. With humans coming and going all the time, laughing and talking right over their heads, including being overly obsessed with texting friends right in their silent presence; a dog can feel very lonely, even when surrounded by everyone in the family. We don’t always recognize how our human behavior affects those who exist in a living reality two or three feet below our own heads.

Sku#23626UttermostProduct

Sku# 23626

If you don’t want your dog on your bed sleeping with you every night, or on any of your precious furniture pieces; or if he or she seems to be exhibiting a sense of insecurity or restlessness of late – perhaps you’ll consider purchasing your dog a REAL bed! You might be amazed at how calm and stable he or she suddenly becomes. And your heart will feel good that your dog’s heart has been touched by genuine human thoughtfulness!

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Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

Designers Define Inspirational Sourcing

Pablo Solomon Image by Jeb Thomas

We’ve asked some designers to define their inspirational sourcing. Here are their thoughts:

Inspiration is an interesting phenomenon. Sometimes you are literally inspired out of the clear blue sky, in the middle of the night; a concept just pops in your head out of nowhere. Other times you feel as if you must search out new vistas and new experiences to stimulate your creativity. After decades as an artist and designer, I have found that the real key is within you. You must maintain a positive, inquisitive and open mind.

The Japanese have a term –mind of no mind–this is concept that roughly translates as having an alert and open mind, but not a mind that expects or does expect, judges or does not judge–you are open to what the world around you reveals. I have found that everything and everyone I come in contact with can spark inspiration.

Of course the cliché walk in the woods, the visit to a museum, a vacation in a new culture, etc. can spark ideas. But so can things as mundane as a pattern on a fabric, a color on a street sign, the curves in a walkway and the list is endless. The key is that your mind is open and active and always processing the world around you. When something seems beautiful or balanced or proportional or interesting to the point that your mind has a response, you must be ready to try to understand why you saw beauty or got pleasure from that split second. Then you must allow your mind to come up with random thoughts and juxtapositions and combinations and mutations and blurring and sharpening and flowing and freezing–until you have something that you think will work. The next step is really what separates the true artist/designer from the dreamer–to actually take your idea and turn it into some sort of reality–a sketch, an object, a song, a dance, etc.

As far as staying on top of the latest trends, I often create trends. Some I have been instrumental in developing over the years–the resurgence of black and white in art and design, vertical greening, mid century modern, the seamless flow of interior and exterior design, etc. ( Currently I am guiding other designers in the rediscovery of the beauty and practicality of laminates ). Do not be afraid to be a design leader. But also, do not fail to recognize new directions that have merit.

While you should be aware of what is being promoted currently as a big deal, you should filter all that hype with your own experience and tastes. A good designer never allows his/her clients to go overboard with fads, but rather presents design based on balance, proportion, harmony, quality, ambiance, etc. Never lose track of that the secret to great design is not only how something looks, but rather the feeling that the object, room, landscape, etc. evokes. Great creativity is when your vision becomes a reality that projects a feeling which your client was hoping to have.

Pablo Solomon
Artist & Designer
www.pablosolomon.com
Pablo has been featured in 29 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film. Beverly consults with clients on art as an investment, design for home and office, vintage collectibles and fashion.

PatriciaDavisBrownDesigns.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

Every project brings with it a new canvas, so each of my projects have their own unique design. I have no signature look, because if I did then it is my vision not my clients vision and they keep my designs fresh.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

With that said, I think it is important to attend industry shows and seek out artisans with unique looks. It is part of my job to find inspirations that I can pull from when a design calls for it. I just got back from Las Vegas, where I attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and the International Builders Show and I expanded my mental library by seeing what is the latest in decor and technology for the home.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

My artisans are my secret weapon to creating something never seen before or applying a technique differently than how it was intended to be used. Sometimes I visit an artisan studio to get inspirations to apply to a wall, floor or an architectural object to create a wow factor.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Many times it’s nature. I live on the inter-coastal waterway, in Florida, and one day while riding in our boat I noticed the uprooted trees on the spoil island. Their organic aesthetics intrigued me and I had a coffee table base designed and made with driftwood for a client, it was beautiful. Originally, I wanted to use it in a meditation room of a mansion I was doing on the ocean, but I couldn’t sell the idea to the owner. I wanted to take one of the giant root systems and apply it to the wall, which would have been awesome, maybe one day.

Patricia Davis Brown is an award-winning interior designer whose work has been featured in Florida Architecture, Traditional Homes & Design, Florida Design, Qualified Re-modeler Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath Ideas and The Kids Space Idea Book.

Patricia Davis Brown, ASID, NCIDQ, CKD, CBD
Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC.
professionalkitchenandbathplans.com
PDBHomeStore.com
digthisdesign.net

ImagebyAmbience.ca

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I read a lot, speak to design industry professionals and am always looking for new ideas and trends that allow me to keep my designs fresh and current.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

I do a lot of reading online and in design books as well as take interior design courses to keep up the latest trends and design advancements. Being on the cutting edge of sustainability and wellness of spaces is something we continue to strive for.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

We have a vast library of home decor products we can access and depending on the project and budget we also reach out to some talented artisans that can create something special for our clients based on our custom designs.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I believe that inspiration can come from anywhere. We believe in making space in your life for inspiration to flow, whether it be during a walk in nature or on vacation. Sometimes the best ideas come when we are not searching for the solution. When the inspiration strikes, I write it down and find a way to apply it to the space I am working on. At Ambience Design Group (ambience.ca) our process and philosophy is unique – we take a holistic view on design – we see the complete picture and ensure that all elements of your space are working cohesively together. We have developed our own proprietary design process, Ambience Living Spaces, that incorporates sustainability, wellness, and accessibility in custom spaces.

Josie Abate
Owner, Design Director
ambience.ca

ImagebyWaldronDesigns

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I have to give a lot of credit to my college professors back in the days of design school. They really weeded us out well. Half our class was cut at the 50% point of the program, and those who made it through did so because it was what we thrived on. We simply must design. For me, it’s not something I can burn out on. It’s something that I simply cannot live without. Design is a part of me. That said, I keep involved in the design community. I go to presentations given by manufacturers and craftspeople and their energy is contagious! Continuing education is not scarce. There are so many associations: NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association), ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association) as well as local groups. Whether or not a designer is a member, courses and presentations are available to the trade.

I also like to talk to the people I am working with and that my clients are working with. I show up at the job site and observe the tile installation so that I may learn from someone who is actually doing the work. I watch the cabinet maker build my cabinets and watch him mix and apply the stain.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

While the presentations generally cover the latest trends, I actually avoid a lot of them. I don’t care if white kitchens are the new thing. What is important to me is what will last and what moves the homeowner. Now, I do care about new products that allow me to create a better space, but trend predictions are rarely accurate. I think more important is watching the homeowners and seeing what the vast majority are interested in and attracted to in order to truly understand the trends. Product reps keep us up to date with presentations on their latest products and if I’m looking for something new, my reps are a great resource to rely on.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

I sometimes go to direct artisans. I live on an island full of artists and craftspeople, and I love and prefer to work locally and support small businesses. But, it ultimately depends on the homeowner and what they are looking for.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

Fantasy: I am strongly inspired by movies! I love set design and think that often dreams come from watching films and imagining ourselves there. I personally love the 80’s fantasy/adventure movies, like Labyrinth, The Never ending Story, Legend, and The Goonies. They bring out the child in me- the child with the limitless imagination!

Deterioration: I love the mystery of peeling wallpaper and rooms that are boarded up. Our innate desire to cross the line and explore, to see what is hidden inspires me to create little surprises in each space.

In regards to subject matter – I have recently begun offering “Lifestyle Design” with a Yoga instructor and a Home organizer! It sounds like an odd mix – but I think that when people are looking for a major life change, such as a remodel, they are truly looking for a lifestyle change.  The Yoga Instructor (Emily Herrick) and I also are recording a radio show that we expect to air this month!

Rachel Waldron, Interior Designer/Owner
new construction | remodel | furnishings, finishes, and fixtures
waldrondesigns.com

LindsayPennington.com

How do you keep it fresh after designing for so many years?

I find that seeking out new experiences always keeps my design senses fresh.  I love to travel, and bring home new ideas each time I return from a trip, whether I’ve been wandering the halls of museums in Paris or soaking up the desert colors of Palm Springs.  Naturally, movies and art provide lots of visual stimulation and provoke new ideas, but even simply picking up a book can get your design juices flowing, because they require you to use your imagination to picture detailed backdrops for their characters and adventures.

Where do you go to learn about and source the latest trends?

As a designer, I strive to think outside of the box and not necessarily follow trends!  But it’s so important for designers to be aware of new products, from fabrics to furnishings to fixtures, and to find innovative ways to integrate current market pieces into our clients’ homes.  I rely on digital and print publications (such as magazines and blogs) to keep up-to-date on the best and most interesting new products, but just being aware of the latest ideas for any aesthetic is crucial.  For example, for several years the interior design marketplace has been responding to customer demands for green products that incorporate recycled materials, and for products that rely on vegan or organic textiles,  to reduce environmental impact.  This trend gained a lot of momentum when the food industry started thinking about new ways to promote farm-to-table and organic ingredients in their menus.  Keeping current on what matters to our clients in all aspects of their lives is necessary to my design education.

Do you go direct to an artisan when seeking home decor products?

Absolutely.  Each client deserves a designed space that is personal and authentic.  So we reach out directly to artisans to help craft those one-of-a-kind pieces that separate a “catalog” look from a specific interior vision that really reflects the client.  This can be as simple as commissioning a painting or a picture from an artist that the client loves to as complex as designing a suite of furnishings for a client using bespoke fabrics that are made in a workroom precisely to the client’s specifications.

What unusual places have you extracted inspiration for a room?

I love to consider my client’s wardrobe when designing a home for them.  For example, a woman might gravitate to brighter colors and lots of jewelry, so her home should reflect a more layered, colorful, and bohemian point of view.  On the other hand, a man might wear a gray or navy suit to work everyday, and drive a sleek black sports car, so his home should similarly be a reflection of the way he chooses to present himself to the world everyday in his office and professional life.  Of course, I’ve had male clients that wear bright colors and jewelry and female clients who wear suits to work every day, but the fun of the job is tailoring each environment to my individual clients, no matter what they wear!

Lindsay Pennington
Designer, Owner
lindsaypenningtoninc.com

Again, we thank our participants for their insight and willingness to let the public peek into the ‘interior process’ that ultimately manifests into visually beautiful and functional environments for their clients.

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4 Smart Ways to Update Your Home

WB1815DWZ-LED

Start Outside-In

If you’re in a warm weather area, here are 4 smart ways you can update your home without spending a fortune or an exorbitant amount of time doing so. For those in cold weather regions, spring is just around the corner and a quick walk around your property with a notepad in hand will give you a brief start list of things to address. Starting outside-in gives you a break from your everyday indoor living environment and it can spark fresh ideas; simply because you’re breaking your everyday visual viewpoint and daily routine. Seasonal weather climate changes can wreak havoc on a home. Water, wind and salt can cause corrosion in wood and metal over time. Start by sprucing up key fixtures that will add instant value to the home. Inspect and update outdoor lighting fixtures, doorknobs, planters, mailboxes that are broken or show wear and tear. These items are not particularly expensive to replace or repair and it’s absolutely amazing what a new paint job, fixture or doorknob can do to spruce up curb appeal. Consider replacing worn out fixtures with marine grade ones that come with extra powder coating (PI67 Grading) or are made of rust free polyester materials. They are specifically designed to help offset damage done by water, wind and salt. Because they are, they tend to last longer as well.

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Small garden adornment purchases can magically transform a backyard into a sweet paradise. Consider a new lounge and seating area, upgrading the grill, and adding a few decorative garden ornaments. It doesn’t take a lot of money to replace worn out garden furniture cushions, repaint the wicker or add a bright and few decorative pillows. If shopping for new garden furniture, be sure to look for weather coated canvas, rattan coated with powder coating and stick to easy-to-clean plastics.

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Revamp Kitchen Appliances

If you’re really serious about making some indoor changes, the kitchen is the heart of the home and a clean and sterile environment for food preparation is essential. It is also one of the most used rooms in the house, thus, its appliances and even the kitchen sink can take a beating over time. Upgrade the most used items in the home with high quality products. Stainless steel is popular due to the durability of the material, its easy-to-clean surfaces, and its ability to match and enhance any exiting appliances finishes in white or black. Kitchens are the best investments and usually get somewhere from 80% to 90% of their value back. That means that if you put $30k into your kitchen, it will value out at $23k to $28k worth. If on a budget, you’d be surprised how a new microwave oven, blender or toaster can instantly brighten the look of your counter-top area. So might a newly installed faucet or sink basin. Look to the things you use the most and consider a new purchase of just those few items.

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Same Rule Applies to Bathrooms

Update the main bath fixtures for the obvious reasons – usage. Toilet, sink and tub basins and especially faucets should be considered. Make sure everything is sealed properly with caulk, including where the tub meet the floor, since water tends to splash from the shower, regardless if a shower curtain is used. Make sure all faucets are clean and new. Replacing all fixtures and appliances will add instant value to your home. It will also set the ground stage for many maintenance free years to come.

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Update the Fun, Everyday Activity Things

Lastly, buy a new bedspread for each of your bedrooms. Upgrade to a flat screen TV and do away with old CD players, bulky old stereo units, receivers, and even the outdated DVD’s. Put a guitar in a corner stand, just in case guests can play. Load up the firewood bin for cozy fire nights. If the wall paint still looks good, then just paint the trim and window sills; which will make each room look shiny and brand new. Removing dusty old nick-knacks and purchasing just a few new home décor accent pieces can instantly change the look and feel of a room. Consider bright pops of color in vases, candles, lampshades, statues, accent consoles and even scenic coffee table books.

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, when faced with the prospect of having to update or repair worn out fixtures or face clearing out non-needed collectables. Reduce the stress and anxiety of your to-do list by staring with very small fixes. Begin replacing the smallest things first; such as a new doorknob, a new back wall fixture or planters. Starting small will spark you to continue on, for the results will perk you up, and inspire you to do more. Small steps at a time always lead to the greater picture ultimately.

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