Inspirational Colors

For many people, choosing colors for their homes is a very scary process. Think about how many people’s homes that you’ve visited and the walls are still “Builder Beige” because they’ve been afraid to make a wrong decision. Do you live a beige lifestyle, or is your life full of color and excitement? Or would you like it to be? It’s been proven that color has a direct effect on our moods, so adding a little to your life might make a world of difference.

Here are some tips to start you in the right direction to find the perfect hue:

1. Ask Sherwin Williams or an expert at your local paint or home improvement store. Color is their life so they can help steer you in the right direction. I personally love Sherwin Williams because of their color palettes that they put together that give me fool-proof coordinates in a family of colors. Be sure to check out their new Concepts in Color - great fresh new colors with brochures that show the colors in an actual room.
2. Be inspired by your surroundings. When I lived in Arizona I fell in love with the desert colors so when I was ready to paint my family room I took my swatches outside to match up the colors that I had fallen in love with in nature. Technology is a wonderful thing (sometimes!) and many stores now have a machine that can match up teh color of almost anything that you can bring into them.
3. Start Small. Before you paint an entire room in a color pin some paint swatches up on a wall in the room and see how the lighting in the room affects them during different times of the day. The perfect blue in the store may become the imperfect violet with your lighting on your walls. When you’ve narrowed down the choices, buy a pint of a sample of the colors you’ve chosen, paint a 2ft by 2 ft section of wall if possible and take a day or two to live with the results. Many times I’ve thought I wanted to go light, but when I see the color up and view how it playes with the colors in my carpets or furniture I decide to go a shade or two richer.

Keep in mind as well that you don’t have to paint an entire room - sometimes an accent wall is all that it takes to give you the look that you’ve been wanting. Paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to remodel your home and your life, and can add thousands of dollars of value if you are selling to a potential buyer who is as afraid as you were of color.

Fair Housing

It's Show time! One of my favorite homes to work on every year is the Brenco Housing show home at the Heart of Texas Fair in Waco. This is the fourth year that I've decorated a home at the fair, and I think this one is my favorite. This manufactured home was built by Patriot Homes of Texas, and people walking through the home were amazed that it was a manufactured home.

One of the questions that I get asked the most is how to decorate a manufactured home, and I think this home shows that you can do it beautifully. Everything used in the home was readily available - the furniture was from Ashley Furniture and most of the artwork and decor items were by Home Interiors and Gifts. As a Lifestylist I'm always taking into account my client's lifestyles and budgets and this home is no exception. Home Interiors is a great resource for affordable, exciting design and made designing this home a breeze.

Builders are having to re-visit their merchandising budgets, and Brenco is no exception. After the fair I'll be helping them "recycle" the furniture and decor items from this house, because a very lucky family has already purchased this home and will be moving into it on their land soon. The merchandise will be used to decorate new model homes that will be part of the Patriot of Texas Show starting November 5th in Waco. I'll be sharing photos of those homes as well - you'll have to see if you can identify what is new and what came from the fair.

Relationship Selling

I'm published! Check out this month's issue of Modern Homes to read about a different way to approach the sales process that I call Relationship Selling.

When we are working with prospective home buyers (and when home buyers are looking for a prospective builder to buy from) it's important to keep in mind that we will be tied to the other party for a much longer time than just the sales process. Builders should be committed to creating a positive experience for the buyer so they will be rewarded with referrals and possibly the purchase of the move-up home, and buyers need to be comfortable with the fact that the builder and the team that they have chosen to build their new home will be available to answer all of their questions before and after the sale.

Modern Homes is a great trade magazine that offers great insight on all aspects of housing. If you haven't seen it recently you should be sure to find out about subscribing to it now!

Signature Style

I treated myself a few weeks ago to a potters wheel, and it has become my de-stressing tool of choice. If you"throw" a pot and try to push it, chances are good it will implode and it's all over. Today was a good day - I ended up with three items that almost look like something. Usually you sign your pieces to make them yours, and I decided that this was the year I wasn't going to be as embarrassed and came up with a way to make them uniquely mine. Z has always been my signature - if you are looking for an alphabet item chances are good z will be the hardest to find. Instead of signing my pieces underneath, I've chosen to stamp the inside of each item with a z. So now, if you see a slightly uneven bowl with a z in the bottom, you'll know who made it.Choosing what your Signature Style is should be about letting people know what you are about, and what your lifestyle is. It doesn't have to be complicated - it should just be about you.

De-Constructing Construction

The great news about deciding to build a new home these days is that you have options and choices like never before.

Current technology has made it possible to build “Factory Built” housing that not only meets the quality that site built housing offers, but in many cases can exceed the quality and value that is available.

For the next few weeks I’m going to go more in-depth about the different choices, and how they compare. The building types that I’m going to review are the following:

Mobile Homes
Manufactured Homes
Park Models
Double Wides
Modular Homes
PreFab Homes
Panelized Kit Homes
SIPS Homes (Structural Insulated Panels)

Please let me know if you have interest in other building processes and I’ll be happy to do the research and share it here.