Decorating For The Holidays

I love this version of holiday decorating. It’s simple yet sparkly!

There’s a bit of organic whimsy here that I find especially appealing. I’ve decided to sell my fake tree and get a branch from nature. How are you decorating your home?

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Home Offices

The home office. It’s become quite commonplace in homes today. Here’s some inspiration.

A home office in San Francisco

Chalkboard wall on one side and library design wallpaper on another in Vancouver

This one is about the view, and the bookcases.

A bright and airy upper level office in San Francisco

Under the stairs in Toronto

Thoroughly modern in Miami

Creative use of a dish drainer!

Another sunny spot, with room for family or friends to sit and read or listen to music or be creative

Luxury, man-cave version of an office space

Blue velvet and silver silk bring glamour to a woman’s home office

An accessible main floor office in Atlanta

A variety of textures and colors create a sophisticated home office in San Francisco

A closet home office can be closed off when not in use

Room for two in Portland, and both have a view

A pretty desk area off the kitchen in San Francisco

Traditional detailing and a stylish color palette create an inviting space in Minneapolis

An office with a Murphy Bed doubles as a guest room

Light and dark decor and glass shelving

“Homey” home office in Atlanta

An office in a bedroom closet in Minneapolis

Now that’s a view! In Boston

Incorporating the office into the living room with a mix of glamour and modern decor

Eclectic elements come together in style in this home office in Chicago

Elegant gold accents in this home office in Orange County

Floating desk and shelves in a condo home office

Eclectic elements in an interior designer’s home office in San Francisco

ASID-MN first place award winning office, craft and laundry room.

Fun with red and white in Chicago

Snazzy in Seattle

Utilizing pull-out shelves to hide equipment

Minimalist design with an artistic touch in Hong Kong

As you can see, the possibilities for a home office are endless! There are so many styles to love. What style will you create in your home?

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Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen

I love hardwood floor in a kitchen. I know some people get concerned about ruining them due to all the cooking that takes place here. There’s really not a need to worry though. Hardwood flooring is durable with some care. Mostly we swept our floors. It’s a low-tech, quiet way to care for them. Wood is  also warmer both visually and underfoot than tile and concrete. Wood offers natural beauty and an organic nature that has timeless appeal. It adds so much to a kitchen.

Have you been on the fence about putting wood flooring in your kitchen? Does this help you make up your mind?

The homes I grew up in had wood floors in the kitchens. We had three dogs and numerous children in our house. My parents still prefer wood floors in their kitchen.

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A Beautiful Living Room

Here’s a beautiful room that reminds me of summer. I love the dark wood floors, the white walls and furniture, the wood accents (coffee table and chair arms), the fireplace, and the wall of windows. This is a great example of bringing nature inside your home. Isn’t it inviting? The pet dog seems happy enough.

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It’s Color Time!

Happy First Day of Autumn

Look to nature when considering color palettes for your home. Learn what colors you are drawn to. See which color combinations catch your eye and please you. Some colors are calming, soothing. Others pop out such as these wine and red-colored leaves against their green background. Bring the beauty of the earth into your interior spaces.

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Fall 2012 Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes (New Homes)
September 8-30

Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30

Homes open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm

There are very few new homes on the Parade this year compared with other years. There are far more remodels. This is not surprising given the real estate marketplace of late.

We’re featuring these two St. Paul remodels because we recently had clients close on their new home in St. Paul and they plan to do some remodeling. They are seeking to make the new space blend and match the original period of the house. This is always a good way to approach a remodel and addition; big differences in the feel of spaces will hurt sellers when it comes time to sell.

839 Osceola Avenue, St. Paul

Here is a description of this project from the Parade of Homes website: “This kitchen and bath remodel in a historically significant house in Saint Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood illustrates how to remodel the heart of a house without losing its soul. Next Level Renovation, with designer David Heide, replaced the 1980’s kitchen in this 1890 residence with a space that features period sensibilities and the latest amenities. The original house was designed by Cass Gilbert, the turn-of-the-twentieth-century architect, notable for his classic homes and other buildings, including the State Capitol in Saint Paul.”

683 Portland Avenue, St. Paul

From the description on the Parade of Homes website: “Come and see how the convenience of a modern kitchen blends seamlessly with a stately home in the historic Summit Avenue neighborhood of St. Paul. The three-story addition also provides an art studio, main-floor laundry/mud room, and a cozy wine cellar with tasting room. In collaboration with architect David Herreid, McDonald Remodeling proves again that you can have it all: character, style, and convenience in your existing home!”

Contact us for more information if you are considering a remodel or an addition and would like to discuss keeping your home and design as salable as possible. Visiting the Remodelers Showcase homes is a good way to meet remodelers and see their work in person.

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Kate and Ellen Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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The Bike in the Bathroom

Interior Design or Art?
Both.

Art Prints

Artist Benjamin Bullins has taken a discarded bike and created a bathroom vanity. Bullins doesn’t stop with the bike vanity. The mirror has been fashioned from an old trombone case. A snare drum has been made into a ceiling light fixture. The bike’s handlebars are now towel bars (not shown). And what’s not to love about the basket as a towel holder?

Bullins aims to create sculptures that reflect the culture of his hometown of New Orleans. He successfully achieves this here and manages to be creative, functional and green at the same time.

Sell Art Online

What do you have around your house that can be re-purposed and re-used in a new way? I suspect many of you will love this bathroom bike vanity design. If you’re not the Do-It-Yourself type, contact Benjamin Bullins about buying his mixed-media artwork. Yes, artwork. And vanity and mirror. Both are available for purchase through the artist. Contact him at his artist website.

Read more about the very talented artist and photographer Benjamin Bullins.

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The Dining Room

A Showcase Series of Dining Rooms

– Dining Room 1 –

This dining room is surrounded by glass on three sides and features a vaulted ceiling. The view provides a relaxing ambiance.

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Boosting Your Home Appeal at Low Cost

There are plenty of good tips in this article from The Associated Press. If you want tips specific to your home and getting it ready for selling, give us a call. Our background in antiques and interior design has paid off for our sellers with faster than average sale times.

Low-Cost Things
Homeowners Can Do to Spruce Up Property

When times are tough, women who can’t afford a new dress often purchase a new accessory or lipstick to recharge their wardrobes. Known as the “lipstick effect,” the tendency applies to homeowners too.

Barry Culkin, CEO of Questech Corp., a tile manufacturer in Rutland, Vt., noticed sales of his $5 cast stone and marble switch plate covers rose whenever the economy faltered. Last year, sales of their covers at major retailers were up 15 to 20 percent.

As homeowners rein in spending, more opt for small indulgences and postpone major renovations. Whether the goal is a new look for a worn kitchen or simply an injection of color in a room, here’s a list of some of the best ways to give a space a quick uplift. Many cost much less than a designer lipstick and a few don’t require any financial outlay.

“I am seeing quite a bit of Yankee ingenuity in my customers. They are getting pretty smart about using and repurposing items to add some zip to their living spaces,” says Shirley Walsh, owner of Kalembar Dune, a vintage home decor shop in Boston.

Simply moving furniture and accessories around and borrowing from other areas of the home can give a room a whole new look. If you want to splurge, consider hiring a designer who specializes in redesign.

The instant gratification of having it all accomplished in a day is hard to resist but “it’s also low stress because it uses familiar furnishings,” observes Pam Faulkner, owner of Faulkner House Redesign in Oak Hill, Va. The cost to have Faulkner make over a room ranges from $400 and $700 depending on the space.

A little elbow grease also can go a long way. Sparkling windows bring in light and make the entire house shine. Often, all carpets and rugs need is a thorough cleaning and they will feel almost new. The same holds true for wood floors and trim.

Nothing is a better quick-change artist than paint. But you don’t have to go all out. Rather than entire room, paint an accent wall, trim or piece of furniture. “Never underestimate the power of paint and pillows, always the best lipstick for your home in any shade,” advises Marcia Richards, a Phoenix, Ariz., interior designer.

Give a living room or bedroom a facelift by shifting the color scheme. Pillows add instant color, but to complete the look, mix in color keyed accessories, such as a throw and new lamp or lampshade. If your budget allows, go a step further and add a rug and/or slipcovers.

Orders for fabric by the yard are up, says David Petersen owner of Maine Cottage Furniture in Yarmouth, Maine. He notes that more consumers are re-covering rather than replacing worn furnishings.

Small luxuries can have a big impact on our moods and our homes. Flowers and new plants inject new life and color to any space. Try replacing regular light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs which are more like sunlight.

Sometimes all it takes to spark up an entire room is a unique accessory or piece of individual art.

New hardware is traditionally a quick fix for dated kitchen cabinets. But elsewhere, exchanging old doorknobs for polished bronze or nickel can give an entire house an up-to-date look. Using levered handles also increases a home’s universal design quotient.

And maybe you can’t afford to change the tub or the tiles, but a dated bath can get a quick uplift simply by altering a few elements. Instead of remodeling, Michelle Samuels spent about $150 to give a bath in her Mill Valley, Calif., home an update. She replaced her antique gold towel racks and faucets with updated brushed silver versions. She painted the frame around the mirror a soft silver with craft paint and completed the effect with new door handles.

Removing old fluorescent lights and replacing them with pendants or a more contemporary fixture also has a big impact.

Don’t wait until you can renovate to give your kitchen a new look. Sometimes changing only one facet can refocus the entire space. New hardware and light fixtures are quick and inexpensive. Don’t forget refacing or painting cabinets if new is beyond your budget. If the countertops are in good shape, consider tiling the backsplash. Reorganize cabinets so the space works better. Add new accessories or update countertop appliances so they coordinate.

Increasing curb appeal is traditional advice for anyone selling their home. But nothing is more akin to applying lipstick than revamping the entry. Replace a worn front door if the budget permits. Otherwise give the old door a new look with paint. Seasonal plants, new house numbers, a new doormat and trimmed walkway will make you feel like you are coming to a new house.

Shop thrift and consignment stores for some unique finds; then polish and paint. Also think about creating your own artwork in colors that will make a room pop. You will save a bundle and possibly discover an inner artist you didn’t know existed.

© 2010 Camilla McLaughlin, Associated Press

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Ellen Walsh | 612.220.3304 | emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh | 612.220.3309 | info@designhouse9.com

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The Master | Mistress Bedroom

What’s Your Style?

–Number 2–

This is the second image in a series on the master bedroom. I’ve changed the title of this post to Master | Mistress Bedrooms for several reasons. First of all, the main bedroom of the house used to be referenced as the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom. The master had to be invited into this room by the mistress.

Secondly, a majority of real estate purchases made today are by single women. I suspect most of these women would prefer to call their bedroom the mistress bedroom rather than the master bedroom.

The word mistress has several definitions. The first definition listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a woman who has power, authority or ownership”. Here’s the link to the Merriam-Webster site with the definition for mistress. I’ve given the abbreviated version.

And now on to the space pictured above. This bedroom features a vaulted ceiling, colorful walls and bedding, and an eye-catching graphic piece of art over the bed. Does this style suit you?

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Adding Artistic Color to a Room

Pillows That Double as Art

The other day I wrote a post about getting inspired and adding color to your home. One way to do this is to add colorful pillows. Here are some that are not only colorful, but artistic.

Some of these pillows can be found at Three Rooms at the Galleria in Edina, Minnesota. Here’s information on the shop Three Rooms:

“A gallery devoted to the ingenuity of American artists and craftsmen, Three Rooms, with its 38-year history, is an art institution in the Twin Cities where you’ll find fine art, unique lighting, furniture, decorative accessories and hand-crafted jewelry.”

Three Rooms is one of my favorite shops in the Twin Cities. It appeals to the artist in me. Here is a link to the hours and directions to Galleria.

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Architectural Antiques Sale

Vintage Goods at 40% Off

Hand Hammered Iron Lantern

If you’re a fan of architecture and antiques, here’s a sale to check out this weekend. Explore a vast array of unique and desirable architectural pieces. These rescued items are the real thing, not reproductions. Categories include lighting, doors, windows, hardware, mantels and cabinets, ecclesiastical, and iron and stone items for both home and garden.

Original 1930's School Room Clock.
Glass Knobs
1904 Iron Exterior Door

Architectural Antiques has been offering their salvaged, antique decor for over thirty years. They’ve been written about and featured in most of the prominent interior design, antiques and restoration magazines. Stop in and have a look. And, yes, that’s 40% off everything this weekend.

Sale Dates and Times
Friday, September 30th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 1st: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 2nd: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Architectural Antiques
1330 NE Quincy Street
Minneapolis
612-332-8344

Map for Architectural Antiques

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Spring Style Hunt

Finding New Uses for Vintage Objects

The folks over at The Cottage are at it again. They’re opening their doors for their once-a-month sale. Find both vintage and newer items for your home. It may not yet be spring here in Minnesota but one can still be on the hunt for style. Peruse more items and goods at the antique stores and the Mary O’Neal & Co consignment shop on Water Street. Enjoy lunch or a snack at one of the restaurants on the main street.

A sampling of some of the vintage items for sale.

A writing desk that is perfect for a small space.

Meander through two levels of rooms at the Old Maple Inn.

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Sale Dates:
Wednesday, March 9 – Saturday, March 12

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily

441 2nd Street, Excelsior, Minnesota

Just one block off Water Street.

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A Horse in the Window

Photo of the Day – February 13, 2011

A beautifully created wooden carousel horse strikes an energetic pose in this window.

 

What’s in your house?

Do your possessions spark conversation, stir creativity, beget imagination, inspire you?

Are you a lover of antiques or must everything be new?

What sort of people are the owners of this carousel horse?

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Adding Curves to Boxy Rooms

I find this sofa refreshing. I can picture it in a corner, breaking up the boxy and angular feel of a room. I can envision two of them in front of a fireplace, face to face or at a right angle. Create a cozy and comfortable conversation area for two or four. Imagine the possibilities.

Available to the trade.

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William Yeoward started his career making reproductions of antique crystal. His company then added china, silver, country glass, and table linens. He’s now adding furnishings to his line.

William Yeoward Furniture Collections

William Yeoward’s tips on how to care for your crystal, china and silver.

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Frugal or Inspired Wallpaper?

Inspired:

Illustrated covers from The New Yorker magazine get a second life in a Twin Cities home.

Some years ago I marketed a home here in the Twin Cities where the owners had decorated their small bath with old covers of The New Yorker magazine. It brought plenty of color, art and charm to an otherwise unattractive, lower-level bath.

The New Yorker is known for their funny cartoons.  I think I’d have added some of the cartoons into this mix, either as part of the wallpaper itself or framed and hung on the walls, to add a dash of humor to an otherwise mundane part of life.

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