4/22/11

Vote For Your Favorite Lifestylist® Designed Kitchen!

Voting starts today on the Lifestylist® Designed kitchens in the @home Builders YMCA Dream Home, and we are anxious to know which one is your favorite. Go to 13Wham.com and be sure to watch the video at the bottom where I show the different styles, or for more information on how we made the choices we did, go to Lifestylist TV!

4/21/11

Lifestylist® Designed Apartment Model Debuts

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!

4/20/11

Remembering Tim Hetherington

One of the great things about being involved with the USA Film Festival is that many times we have guests and films that I may not know about before we come, but after meeting them and seeing their films you never forget them.
Tim Hetherington was one of those very special people. I didn't know anything about Tim or his film Restrepo before we screened it, but I became one of it's biggest champions after seeing the film and getting to spend time discussing it with Tim.
Restrepo is about the war in Afghaninstan, and it makes the war and our soldiers who are over there fighting for us very personal. Tim made it clear when we talked afterward the film wasn't about politics, but it was about people. He didn't go and stay at the Afghanistan Inn every night - he lived like the soldiers did which is why the film was able to give us such an intimate portrayal of what life was like.
Today I learned that Tim was killed in Libya by a rocket propelled grenade. He was working on his ongoing multimedia project that was to highlight humanitarian issues during wars and conflicts. His ability to put things on film and make you feel like you are there right beside him is going to be missed.
When I met Tim and the soldiers that came with him to the screening, I couldn't stop hugging them. The sacrifices they make, and Tim's personal sacrifice won't be forgotten.

4/19/11

@home Builders Gives Back With a Lifestylist® Designed Home

We are honored that @home Builders has asked us to help design the YMCA Dream Home!
This home will benefit the YMCA of Greater Rochester, and will have a lakeside lot in The Preserve. What really makes this home unique is that YOU can go to www.13wham.com and vote on what materials and lifestyle will be included in the home. There will be 3 Lifestylist Designed choices every week for a month, and at the end bidding will open on the home.
This video explains how we used the @home Builders Design Center to make the choices.

@home Builders Uses Lifestylist® Designed Home to Give Back

We are honored that @home Builders has asked us to help design the YMCA Dream Home!

This home will benefit the YMCA of Greater Rochester, and will have a lakeside lot in The Preserve. What really makes this home unique is that YOU can go to www.13wham.com and vote on what materials and lifestyle will be included in the home. There will be 3 Lifestylist Designed choices every week for a month, and at the end bidding will open on the home.

This video explains how we used the @home Builders Design Center to make the choices.

4/9/11

How to Design Your Own Model Homes

There's a trend these days to have a staff member decorate a builder's model homes. With budgets so tight that could be a great way to save some money, and I know lots of you have questions as far as if this is the right way to go. For those of you are thinking of going in this direction, I wanted to share a basic timeline of what needs to be done to organize and merchandise your new model homes so you will have an idea of what is involved in the process.

1. Meet with builder and their team to get information. Find out what the demographics are of the potential buyers, plans of the models you will be building, who the competition is, and what your budgets will be. It's also critical to know what the time frame is for completion and if there are any grand openings or other events planned.
2. Shop the Competition. I'm always amazed when I go out and walk model homes, and it's obvious that the decorators or merchandisers didn't take a look at the competition. I've seen homes with the same colors and even the same furniture right next to each other! You want your buyers to remember your homes over the competition, and an easy way to do that is to make them unique and memorable. If you can take digital images of what you see you can shaare these with your team to help them understand the competition as well. As a Lifestylist®, this is one of the most important parts of what I do. Understanding the buyer's lifestyle and what's important to them helps me prioritize where I should spend my budget.
3. Trend Tracking. Do you have an idea of what's hot and what's not to your buyers? Hard to change out items, such as flooring, cabinets, and bath fixtures need to be on-trend but not trendy. These are items that the customer are going to have to live with for quite a few years. Window treatments, wall colors, furniture and bedding are areas that you can "trendier" colors and designs since they can easily be changed out.
4. Space Planning. One of the biggest reasons to merchandise and model a home is so that the buyer can become emotionally attached to a home and understand how the home will flow, and their furniture will fit into the rooms. Using the right scale of furniture is critical, and using items that are too big, too small, or the wrong style can turn a buyer off from the home. A floor plan needs to be evaluated and furniture should be drawn in to scale on the plan. This also give the builder an idea of what will be included in the cost of the model.
5. Product Selection. Another important part of the decorator or merchandisers job is to help with the selections for the home. Having the proper lighting, flooring, trim, and details in a home is an important part of making it all come together, and if the builder is selling options and upgrades, showing these in the model properly is very important.
6. Ordering. You now have a plan, a budget, and a direction that you are taking, now it's time to place the orders. One of the advantages a professional merchandiser has is relationships and wholesale accounts with the appropriate manufacturers. If you don't have these you can buy at local retail stores, but keep in mind the extra time it will take to find the perfect items, purchase, move to a warehouse or staging location, and possibly assemble the items. A builder wants you to install a model home as quickly as possibly, so everything really needs to be taken to one location then taken to the model in one trip.

So you have your items ordered... what next?

There's lots more to do, but you'll have to check back to find out what else needs to be done. I'm off to Rochester, NY to work with one of my favorite clients - @home Builders to install a beautiful new model home and to kick off a wonderful program where @home Builders and Riedman Development are giving back to the community they love. If you can't wait to learn more, contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we'll share our insight with you first!

4/8/11

Animal Rescue Corps Saves Animals from Puppy Mill

Animal Rescue Corps has been busy in Tennessee this week saving over 120 animals from a life of squalor and sadness.  Devoted volunteers have been working night and day to give these animals a better life, and the outpouring of love and compassion from the people of Tennessee as well as others from all over the country has been amazing.
One of these amazing volunteers is Rachel McAuley. She and her severely handicapped daughter run their own non-profit with horses, and Rachel has spent several days at the ARC shelter helping out with this rescue. Rachel decided to do a "Letters to the Puppy Mill Dogs" event, and her daughter Mary who is 9 years old shared the following:
Hello Puppy Dogs,
My name is Mary and I have Special Needs just like you have Special Needs. I can't walk because I am in a wheelchair and your past has kept you from walking due to cages, but don't worry because your little paws are about to hit the ground. I can't talk like you, but I can express myself with my eyes, sounds, and body language just like you. You have special needs that includes someone taking care of you all day with the respect that you deserve. I wear diapers and you use potty pads. I like the couch and you will like the top of a couch someday or a lap to lay on or a pillow to lay above your owners head. I like to be recognized, just like you want to be recognized. I love my parents arms and you are getting that feeling right now being in someone's arms. Isn't it nice, warm, and a safe feeling? Don't worry my friends because you are going to get to experience this world that includes grass, playgrounds, children, and the roam of a house.

Make sure puppy dogs, that you Thank Animal Rescue Corps for coming to get each and everyone of you and the volunteers that are snuggling you up, by not biting when they put their hand in the cage to care for you.
You are Special!  Sleep Tight and Hang Tight because your world is about to be full of colors.
"God is always on your side, after all He created you."
Trust Me,
Mary McAuley (9 years old)
My mom can type my heart!

If this doesn't make you love and appreciate everything you have and cherish what an amazing role model Mary is to all of us...
Please help support Animal Rescue Corps and the amazing work they are doing. My very own special 9 yr. old Jr. Lifestylist® Jenna made her birthday party a fundraiser for Animal Rescue Corps - if she can help you can as well!
This Lifestylist® is trying to do her part by opening a store on eBay, and at least 10% of all of our sales will be donated to Animal Rescue Corps. All of these haunting photos were taken by the talented and compassionate Kristina Bowman.
Please join us in making a difference!

4/6/11

Animal Rescue Corps Saves Animals at Puppy Mill

Animal Rescue Corps has been busy in Tennessee this week saving over 120 animals from a life of squalor and sadness.  Devoted volunteers have been working night and day to give these animals a better life, and the outpouring of love and compassion from the people of Tennessee as well as others from all over the country has been amazing.

One of these amazing volunteers is Rachel McAuley. She and her severely handicapped daughter run their own non-profit with horses, and Rachel has spent several days at the ARC shelter helping out with this rescue. Rachel decided to do a "Letters to the Puppy Mill Dogs" event, and her daughter Mary who is 9 years old shared the following:

Hello Puppy Dogs,
My name is Mary and I have Special Needs just like you have Special Needs. I can't walk because I am in a wheelchair and your past has kept you from walking due to cages, but don't worry because your little paws are about to hit the ground. I can't talk like you, but I can express myself with my eyes, sounds, and body language just like you. You have special needs that includes someone taking care of you all day with the respect that you deserve. I wear diapers and you use potty pads. I like the couch and you will like the top of a couch someday or a lap to lay on or a pillow to lay above your owners head. I like to be recognized, just like you want to be recognized. I love my parents arms and you are getting that feeling right now being in someone's arms. Isn't it nice, warm, and a safe feeling? Don't worry my friends because you are going to get to experience this world that includes grass, playgrounds, children, and the roam of a house.


Make sure puppy dogs, that you Thank Animal Rescue Corps for coming to get each and everyone of you and the volunteers that are snuggling you up, by not biting when they put their hand in the cage to care for you.

You are Special!  Sleep Tight and Hang Tight because your world is about to be full of colors.

"God is always on your side, after all He created you."

Trust Me,
Mary McAuley (9 years old)
My mom can type my heart!


If this doesn't make you love and appreciate everything you have and cherish what an amazing role model Mary is to all of us...

Please help support Animal Rescue Corps and the amazing work they are doing. My very own special 9 yr. old Jr. Lifestylist® Jenna made her birthday party a fundraiser for Animal Rescue Corps - if she can help you can as well!

This Lifestylist® is trying to do her part by opening a store on eBay, and at least 10% of all of our sales will be donated to Animal Rescue Corps. All of these haunting photos were taken by the talented and compassionate Kristina Bowman.

Please join us in making a difference!