7/30/10

Color Spots

I do love being a Lifestylist®, and getting the opportunity to travel across the country meeting new people and spotting new trends. Recently I was up in the 1,000 Island area of NY and spent a day just driving and looking at the magnificent architecture and natural beauty of that area.

When I found this little cabin tucked by the river I fell in love - especially with the brightly colored Adirondack Chairs in the front of it. Of course I took a picture and never forgot what a great, happy look this was.

Then the other day I was walking through Home Depot and found these bright, happy chairs and I had to have them! Especially since they were only $12.00 each and maintenance free. I love what a difference they made in the backyard of the Idea Factory - even when I'm not out reading a book or birdwatching on them I love just being able to look out the window and seeing the burst of color.

It's easy to use an accent of color to wake up any space. It can be done with pillows in a living room, towels in a bath or with plates in a dining room. Great, fun design doesn't have to be expensive - you just need to be brave enough to try different ideas out.

7/29/10

I Want My Home to Look Like a Model Home

Nothing makes me happier than when I hear these words from buyers - it means the model home that I merchandised is on target. And when it is a new homeowner saying this it's music to my ears. This model is the one that I showed how we were inspired in the previous post - I think you can see where the colors and design ideas came from.

The new model home at Timber Banks is attracting traffic and buyers. Just yesterday I got an email from the @home Builders Design Center saying that a buyer wanted to replicate the model down to the furnishings and draperies! Fortunately with out new Lifestylist® Designed homes that's possible. We have been working with the Ashley HomeStores and JCPenney to use merchandise in the models that people can buy themselves and make our paint colors available through the builder. Lifestylist® Design Inc. also provide training to the on-site sales team on why we used specific colors and played up a specific lifestyle so they will have lots of great speaking points to share with potential buyers.

If you are preparing to do a new model home or need to update your existing model to increase traffic and sales, contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com

7/28/10

Getting Inspired by Your Surroundings

When I work on a model home, my first priority is bringing the outside in - what's going to make the buyer feel like what he experienced before he walked into the model continues into his model experience?
My son just gave me the perfect example - he is buying a new home in Florida, and was troubled after seeing the new model home because they didn't like the colors or feel of the home after it was merchandised. It bothered them so much they actually considered canceling the sale. The colors and the lack of lifestyle felt like they could have been in any city in any community, but it didn't have the warmth that they anticipated their home would have.
At Lifestylist® Design we focus on lifestyle, and what they buyer hopes to experience in his new life in your new home. We just finished doing a Lifestylist® Designed home for @home Builders in Baldwinsville, NY and I thought I'd share the thought process on how we came up with this home.
Timber Banks is a new incredible planned community near Syracuse, NY that features an 18 hole, Nicklaus designed golf course, river frontage with it's own marina, clubhouse, and a stunning, natural beauty all around you that you can call home. It seemed only natural that I would bring this lifestyle and the colors I saw all around me into the design of the model. We went with some of the foggy greys, clear blue sky, river rocks and eco-greens that we discovered on our walks and as a result when you are in the home it truly pulls the outside in.  Plan a visit to the Timbers yourself and see what we accomplished - contact Teresa Carpenter with @home Builders for more information at:  315-635- 6006.

Getting Inspired by Your Surroundings

When I work on a model home, my first priority is bringing the outside in - what's going to make the buyer feel like what he experienced before he walked into the model continues into his model experience?

My son just gave me the perfect example - he is buying a new home in Florida, and was troubled after seeing the new model home because they didn't like the colors or feel of the home after it was merchandised. It bothered them so much they actually considered canceling the sale. The colors and the lack of lifestyle felt like they could have been in any city in any community, but it didn't have the warmth that they anticipated their home would have.

At Lifestylist® Design we focus on lifestyle, and what they buyer hopes to experience in his new life in your new home. We just finished doing a Lifestylist® Designed home for @home Builders in Baldwinsville, NY and I thought I'd share the thought process on how we came up with this home.

Timber Banks is a new incredible planned community near Syracuse, NY that features an 18 hole, Nicklaus designed golf course, river frontage with it's own marina, clubhouse, and a stunning, natural beauty all around you that you can call home. It seemed only natural that I would bring this lifestyle and the colors I saw all around me into the design of the model. We went with some of the foggy greys, clear blue sky, river rocks and eco-greens that we discovered on our walks and as a result when you are in the home it truly pulls the outside in.  Plan a visit to the Timbers yourself and see what we accomplished - contact Teresa Carpenter with @home Builders for more information at:  315-635- 6006.

7/25/10

The Truth About Towels

One of my favorite lifestyle items that many people don't think about is towels. Think about how many times a day you use one, but when it's time to make a purchase we spend more time worrying about cost and color than value. A typical family of 4 owns 15 towels, and we tend to hold on to them longer than maybe we should. My parents own a lake house and received 20 beach towels that were promotional items at least 10 years ago and we still use them!

My favorite store to buy towels from is JC Penney. They always have sales going on, but you can get a luxurious bath towel in beautiful current colors for under $10.00. As a Lifestylist® and model home merchandiser I buy a lot of towels for my job, and JC Penney is always my first stop for this purchase. Their sheets and bedding can't be beat as well. Instead of buying all of your towels the same color, try buying coordinating colors. That way you can mix and match, and each family member or houseguest can have their own color so you'll always know which is yours!

7/24/10

Having Fun With Foursquare

Have you discovered Foursquare yet? It's another form of social media that's catching on like wildfire and is as entertaining as it is informative. To "play" you need a smart phone that supports apps. When installed, the app uses the GPS of your phone and let's you know what stores, restaurants, etc are nearby. You then check-in, can add comments about your experience, and what's really unique about this app is that you can also share what you wrote to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Because of this you can make one entry and update three of your forms of social media.

The game part of this is every time you check in somewhere you receive points, and the points add up to award you different badges. If you frequent a particular location a lot you can become the "Mayor", and some establishments give special rewards and perks to their mayors.

Check out our recent Foursquare entries on our Twitter page, @lifestylist, or better yet follow us and you can get our updates immediately.

7/17/10

Til Midnight at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Sometimes it's just to hot to cook at home, so last night I decided to let the Wolfgang Puck team at the Nasher Sculpture Center do it for me. They have a wonderful series titled 'Til Midnight at the Nasher, and as part of that you can order an amazing picnic basket of goodies and then enjoy it under the stars and amazing works of art. This was my second time to attend, and it's quickly a must attend event that I'm looking forward to every month. If you aren't a member of the Nasher you should be - besides getting invitations to special events it also gives you access to the members tent where this month they hosted an organic wine tasting that was wonderful.

Being a Lifestylist® is all about helping people live their lives with style, and I can't think of a better place to do that than here!

7/12/10

Culinary Comeback for Previous Next Food Network Star Contestant

We just read on our favorite foodie blog - SideDish - that Lisa Garza has been seen around town in Dallas and is poised to make a culinary comeback. Nancy Nichols seems to always get the inside scoop so we'll be anxiously awaiting more details and report them here as soon as we find out more!

You might remember Lisa from her appearance on The Next Food Network Star a few seasons ago. For some reason the judges never warmed up to her, but she was the one talent on the show that prepared anything I'd ever want to eat. Plus she always had lots of style and was a delight to watch and learn from. I still think about the marmalade she prepared, and here's hoping there will be a place we can purchase some of that soon!

7/11/10

Sleep Experts Understand Their Community

When I needed at mattress set at the last minute for a model home for Champion Homes of Texas in Tulsa, I wasn't sure where to go. The budgets for model homes don't leave a lot in the bedding category so I needed something cost effective that would look big and fluffy to the buyer. Fortunately I happened to drive past a Sleep Expert Store and a new love affair was formed.

Customer Service? This company really gets it. From the moment I entered the store to the moment I drove away from the dock I felt pampered. My sales person Kevin Harris could not have been more helpful and less threatening. When I went to pick up my set at the warehouse after they got my information they immediately inquired if I would like coffee or a bottled water. And the warehouse? Spotless. Clean, well organized, and I would have been very comfortable sleeping on any mattress in there.

The other great thing about Sleep Experts is that they really give back to the community. When people have their existing mattresses picked up, Sleep Experts have them reconditioned and donated to a charity.  The good that they do with this program can't be documented in words - it really has to be seen in person by the shelters and groups that have such a huge need for safe bedding.

If you are in a market that has a Sleep Expert Store, give them a try -you won't be disappointed.

7/7/10

Lifestylist® Advisory: Free Travel Resources From Yelp

One of my favorite new resources is yelp.com - an online resource that can help you find restaurants, hotels, nightlife and shopping in your local area, or wherever you are traveling to. Members review and talk about stores and services and help you find where "the locals" go. I've tried this in several cities and have gotten great suggestions. One of the great things about traveling is getting to try new things, and with the yelp app on my iphone I'm good to go! It will also help you find the closest gas station and emergency services if you ever need them.
You can also also go directly to the reviews of a member you like or trust - please check out this Lifestylist's reviews on Yelp here.
This is another great resource that can help you save money and time when you are making your travel plans. Let me know what your profile is and I'll follow you as well!

7/6/10

A Hometown 4th of July

The 4th of July definitely had new meaning for me this year after viewing Restrepo, and now when we celebrate I celebrate in thanks for all of the sacrifices our soldiers are making for us overseas. It also has made me appreciate my family even more, so this 4th of July was a meaningful celebration.

Since my parents are selling their beautiful lake home at Hideaway Lake this is probably the last 4th we will all celebrate there. After 20 years we have lots of great memories, but now it's time for someone else to enjoy it. Hideaway is the place to be for the 4th! A private lake and community, the 4th is celebrated with great food, competitions at the pool and of course the infamous boat parade. We've entered a lot of years and have never won but we sure have fun trying! This is a perfect example of the Lifestylist® movement - people enjoying their lives in style.

The fireworks this year were some of the best I've ever seen, and getting to view them from the boat with my family made it even more special. Happy 4th of July to all and remember how lucky we are to have the freedom that we do.

7/2/10

Restrepo: A Life Changer

I'm a huge believer that things happen for a reason. We may not know why at the time, but people, places, and events come into our lives because there's something we need to learn or change.

The USA Film Festival has been a part of my life for over 20 years - a good friend was in the film industry here in Dallas and got me involved. It's been a wonderful organization that my kids have grown up being a part of as well. We now have friends and memories that will last us a lifetime. When I got the screening notice for the USA Film Festival screening of Restrepo I was intrigued- not the type of film I would normally watch but worth taking an evening to stop working and go see. I had no idea how my life would change by this decision as it has with many of the other films I've been able to see as part of the festival.

If you haven't been fortunate enough to hear about this film, I'm honored to fill you in. Restrepo is a documentary about a platoon that is stationed at a 15 man outpost in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan - Restrepo. What this film isn't about is politics. One of the reasons I love it so much is when I sat down in the theater I thought I'd be watching a film about a war, instead I was treated to a visual and emotional  rollercoaster which by the end had me experiencing every emotion and left me wanting to see the film again, and again, and again. I thought I could come home and write about what I saw, but it's been really hard to put into words my emotions about what I watched. I just can't stop thinking about the film and the men in it, but I consider that a great thing because it's made me re-evaluate lots of things in my own life.

Directors' Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger didn't shoot this on a sound stage, have a 100 million dollar budget or spend their time interviewing generals - they personally spent 14 months with the courageous men of Restrepo doing the filming and everything the soldiers do except guard duty and shooting back during firefights. This is what makes the film so special - they became a part of the troop and were able to capture the very personal side of war.

As a Lifestylist® I spend a lot of time listening and watching to understand the needs and lifestyles of the client. Watching the film and having the opportunity to meet some of these courageous men has given me an entirely new insight on the sacrifice the men and women of our military make for us every day. National Geographic Entertainment is presenting this film and the director's uncanny gift of showing you details that you normally would overlook but you'll now never forget reminds me of the style I love in their media. Bullet shells falling into the soldiers shoe during a gun fight, children in the middle of a burned out war zone in brightly colored clothes, soldiers struggling to carry on after losing one of their own, and most of all looking into the faces and eyes of these very brave men - many who don't even look old enough to drive but are protecting our country.

We were so honored to have director Tim Hetherington and two of the soldiers from Restrepo at the screening to share their thoughts and experiences with us. Respect is something that is earned, and you could tell that all of these men respected each other. Another thing I loved about the film was the way it portrayed the personal side of these men, and even though they were in a war zone they still loved to play practical jokes on each other and just laugh sometimes. USA Film Festival hosted a reception after the film and we were able to ask more questions and learn more about the film and the people. During the Q&A a woman stood up that has a husband stationed in Afghanistan right now, and she said that she wished that every soldier's family member could view the film. It helped her understand what her husband is dealing with on a daily basis.

Restrepo isn't a big budget, big studio film, but it has a story that needs to be seen and told. Show your support and help get this important message out by joining the Restrepo Facebook page and by letting your local movie theaters know that this is a film you want to have come to their venue.

I had mentioned that Restrepo is a life changer, and for me it has been. From now on when I see someone who is serving I'm going to thank them for serving and protecting myself and my country. There is so much we take for granted, and I'm going to try and change that in my own life. With this being the 4th of July weekend Restrepo has given me a lot of think about and be thankful for.