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    DESIGN, Florida, Interior Design, Naples, Tips + Advice

    Simple Staging: Easy Elegance to Sell Your Home Fast

    The Golden Girls
    The easiest and fastest way to sell your home is to give potential buyers a canvas as blank — or as neutral — as possible.  Potential buyers need to be able to instantly envision where their stuff is going to go in your home.
    • De-Clutter. No, Really. Pack the Knick Knacks.

      Potential home buyers want to see the space. Not your collection of Princess Diana plates. Take this opportunity to start packing, sorting and purging your belongings. Give home buyers a clear view of wall, floor and shelving spaces. Make your home unforgettable — for all the right reasons.

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    DIY, Interior Design

    DIY: How to Paint a Patterned Accent Wall

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    As a newlywed, I faced what many new brides must deal with after moving into their new husbands’ spaces — transforming a bachelor pad into a home. Without a pool table in the middle of the living room.

    As you can see, our starting point of the master bedroom bathroom had been handled with bachelor care, i.e., “Yeah…that’s easy to fix. Later.”  One of the towel rack handles had been broken off, electrical outlets needed to be updated into the 21st century and the mirrored medicine cabinet was literally falling out of the wall.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    I wanted to create a bold, luxurious master bedroom for us, making sure to carry the sexy undertones into our en suite.  To Pinterest I went! This gorgeous wall, pinned by DesignDazzle.com, would be my inspiration.

    Inspiration

    Step 1:  Map out your wall.

    Measure the entire wall. Look to your inspiration for a game plan. I wanted three major columns vertically, so I began my calculations on a sketch pad with each column being 12 inches wide. I then added additional inches inbetween each column to evenly space them, and added inches at the left- and right-hand ends to evenly center the pattern on the wall overall. Repeat the same process for the length. It doesn’t matter if you sketch is drawn perfectly to scale, in crazy freehand such as mine, or drawn over the photo, what matters most is your numbers.  As you start to mask out the pattern in painter’s tape, adjustments on the fly may be needed. Keep your calculator handy.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 2:  Tapping the pattern.

    First, prep your wall. Repair and fill any holes, dents, etc., as you can see, we totally removed the towel bar and kept the assistance handle. For one, any towel hanging on the rack would hang directly in the way of the assistance bar and, we plan to sell our condo in the next couple of years, living in the retirement hub of the world, Southwest Florida, an assistance bar would be considered a bathroom asset.

    Next, paint the entire wall the color you wish the pattern itself to be; I used Pantone in Mood Indigo in Valspar Signature with an eggshell finish. Make sure this layer has a even and full coverage; let dry overnight. Using a ruler, pencil and Scotch Blue 1.5-inch Painter’s Tape, start applying your pattern. This the most tedious part of the project, as you MUST measure from every point to ensure the pattern is even vertically and horizontally. Believe me, if you are off even the slightest bit, it will be noticeable. Slow and steady wins the race here in taping out the pattern. I would tape out a square…take a break…stape out a square…take a break. I won’t lie, this took about four hours over the course of one evening to complete.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 3:  Top coat.

    After painstakingly applying the pattern, paint the entire wall your top coat color. And, yes, completely cover your pattern. I used Pantone in White Aparagus in Valspar Signature paint in an eggshell finish. Make sure to coat with full and even coverage, perhaps two coats, and let dry for two to three days. Yes, two to three DAYS.

    How to Paint an Accent Wall

    Step 4:  Peel and fix.

    After letting your top coat completely dry, test the waters by gently peeling back the edge of one section of tape. When completely dry, the tape will peel off easily without smearing any paint, leaving a clean, crisp line.  Continue to gently remove the tape, one piece at a time. After the whole pattern is revealed, some touch up will be necessary.  I completed our wall by adding a contrasting decorative leaves I painted a burnt orange, which ties our accent wall and colors into our master bedroom rug.

    Wall la! Le pattern!

    How to Paint an Accent Wall



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    DESIGN, Graphic Design, STYLE

    Idakoos.com: Create your own fashion style, using personalized t-shirts

    Custom T shirts

    by Guest Blogger, Edward Montalvo, www.idakoos.com

    We have all been in the position of seeing someone else in a shirt that you own. Suddenly your favorite shirt doesn’t seem so special anymore. As much as you want to still like that shirt, it will never feel the same. Everyone would love to have a unique t-shirt. In the past, this was an expensive and difficult endeavor, limited to your location or know how. Now the internet has opened up many possibilities.

    http://www.idakoos.com/

    There are many ways to show the world who you are by expressing your inner self. One of the best, least permanent ways is to design your own t-shirt. Personalized t-shirts are the perfect way to show off your inner talent or show your interests without the worry of having a cookie cutter design. Websites such as Idakoos, Cafepress, and Spreadshirt let you download your own design or image to put on a t-shirt. They also have a library of images you can choose from, or you can mix your own image or design with one of theirs to make something completely different. You can release your artistic side and create the fashion style you crave.

    Adding text to your image can bring your voice into style. Any words that you come up with are bound to be unique to your own shirt, even if its a known phrase, your font and color can make you stand apart.

    http://www.idakoos.com/

    Other options in designing your own t-shirt include the array of quality and color in the t-shirt. You can choose thick quality shirts or lightweight summer shirts. With most shirts and colors, you can order as few as one shirt to make something completely unique. Different fashion styles can be achieved just by changing a neck line or color.

    The Style you create can be shared with as many or as few people as you choose. This is great for family reunions, vacations or picnics. Designing your own t-shirt can also be used for work, team building events, fundraising and races that are unique themselves. The more t-shirts you order, the price per shirt drops, making your own fashion design economical and fun.

    Personalized t-shirts are a great way to have a unique look while keeping within your own personality. Next time you see somebody in a shirt you had found special, remember you can design your own t-shirts and create your own fashion style with the click of a mouse.

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    DESIGN, Graphic Design

    The NYTimes.com Overhaul: A Designer’s All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

    New York Times

    For the past two years, one of the biggest news sites, The New York Times, has been working on a complete overhaul of their website architecture – finally. The pace of updating technology is relentless for any online platform, however, visiting the Times’ was like visiting Gramma in her wood-paneled living room.  The immediate need for remodeling was always glaringly apparent.

    The NYT 5 (an internal code-name) project released updated sections in staggered segments, but as with any design renovation updating the archaic into future tense, things got wonky.  Watching the Times dust off their CMS backend, update web standards, adapt to a plethora of mobile devices all the while keeping up with reader expectations over the past 24 months has provided an all-you-can-eat  buffet of form, function and construction reminders all designers, developers and web owners alike should completely binge ingest.

      • Always put reader engagement first.
        Readers take their online experience with your website personally – especially media outlets. The Times eliminated page breaks allowing readers to continuously scroll as well as formatting their backend architecture to be easily accessed on all mobile devices.  Small adjustments deepening engagement makes a huge impact on reader experience.
      • Think “back to the future” for architectural design.
        The flux capacitor of your site, both back and front end, should have technological trends, future user use and expectations for the next two to five years in mind. Main architectural framework should be created allowing future upgrades, renovations and restructuring to be done with easy, compatibility and logic.
      • Design and build around business goals rather than focus on backend data packaging. How does your reader consume your product? Structure design should evolve around how and why your reader uses your product, services and information, not what is easiest for behind-the-scenes templates, CSS and code.  The Times’ multimedia-rich publication of Snow Fall did just that. Snow Fall gave readers interactive maps, intense videos, personal portrait photographs and an immense story, all of which created an incredibly personal and exciting online experience with the real focus on the front of the house versus backend priorities.

    The Times’ NYT 5 Project is a milestone. Responsive design is imperative in creating architecture in today’s mass media data-infused future in order to respond to the ever-evolving reader habits and expectations.

     

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    DESIGN, Interior Design

    AERIN’s Effortless Style. Literally.

    I had the pleasure of attending a personal appearance by Aerin Lauder, founder of AERIN,  a global luxury lifestyle sub-brand of the esteemed Estee Lauder powerhouse, last week at Clive Daniel HOME, here in Naples.

    I must admit, on the drive there I was still crossing my fingers this appearance wouldn’t be some strange rendition of Avenue Q  – where someone’s hand is up Aerin’s derrière, making her lips move with all the right brand-speak, proving she is nothing more than a mere placard for a super brand trying to cash in on its heir.

    Aerin Lauder

    Immediate left:  Aerin Lauder, Founder of AERIN | Photo Courtesy of Clive Daniel HOME, via Zee Anna Photography

    In researching the World of AERIN’s design philosophy before attending, I became drunk with consuming in access all “effortless beautiful living” has to offer – stunning photographs of modelesque homes, men and women, $3,735 golden side tables, lavish musks, costume jewelry and eyewear – I could barely keep from slurring my words.

    As I kept drinking it all in, the veteran marketer in me started to step in, throw me in a cold shower and sober me up. As I surfed from page to page, I saw AERIN the brand in literal physical form, but where was Aerin the interior designer, fashion trend setter, entrepreneur, creator? That part of AERIN the brand and Aerin the founder, was – in all efforts – missing.

    I wanted to learn her thought processes when curating her furniture pieces, her inspirations when creating her different product lines, where she studied design, and the details of each furniture piece. There was nothing. There was no effort given in telling AERIN’s story as an artist, overall brand or history-rich heir.  To be a successful marketer, it’s all about storytelling – creating narrative around your products to give them life, appeal and status; AERIN’s strive for effortless living has indeed created an air of lack of effort.

    It was disappointing to me as a designer, marketer and consumer to realize I had had beer goggles on while falling in love with the World of AERIN.  Unfortunately, my disappointment grew worse.  As I viewed each product under Furnishings, I was astonished to discover there was no information listed about the origin, details or designer. How can AERIN expect consumers to pay in upwards of $10,000 for a single piece without knowing any sort of provenance?

    AERIN Home Furnishings

    AERIN showroom floor | Clive Daniel HOME, Naples, Florida

    What was even more disappointing you may ask? To hear her unable to answer the question, “Where is your furniture manufactured?” at the event.  Aerin, in true lack-of-effort style, had to refer to another AERIN executive next to her for the information. Heavy sigh.

    Don’t get me wrong, Aerin seemed lovely, gracious and kind; after my research and attendance, I simply lack respect for her position at AERIN. For me, especially as both a business owner and professor, do your homework, know your product, and at least pretend to be the driving force behind the company you allegedly founded.  Whether you are indeed the roll-up-your-sleeves, hands-on founder or mere 16-million-share-holder marionette – make the effort – be professional.

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    Coastal Living, Interior Design

    Naples Best Dressed Fine Furniture: Plantation Shutters

    Naples Bay Shutters
    Gone with the Wind

    Left: Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh’s “Gone with the Wind” (notice the shutters behind them!); Right: Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman’s  (and my favorite) “Went with the Wind”

    Shutters have forever had their origins associated with the rise of the Historic South, casting vivid images of old, magnificent cotton plantation homes, Georgian wrap-around front porches, and Gone with the Wind, of course I always tend to instantly flash to Carol Burnett’s Went with the Wind myself. While shutters were popular during that era, they actually date back to Ancient Greece.

    Shutters in Ancient Greece

    Ancient Greece Shutters

    Originally designed out of marble as a luxury for the Greek aristocracies, their function is the same as it is today, thousands of years later – provide light, sun and temperature control.  With the rise of the Roman Empire, window shutters began to spread into Western Europe as one of the first interior design trends.  King Louis XIV of France is rumored to have insisted on their presence in his domicile; shutters enabled the royal women to nap comfortably without shutting out air circulation and allowed the cooks to control the sunlight heating up the kitchen.

    As craftsmen improved design and function, paneled and louvered styles – similar to the modern interior shutter – emerged out of cosmopolitan areas such as Italy.  By the 18th and 19th centuries, shutters were being used in American homes, particularity in the South, where they acquired their new name, “Plantation Shutters.”  Known for their elegance, grandeur and practical use, shutters became an integral part of both interior and exterior design.

    Today, Plantation shutters are considered fine furniture and a mark of discerning style and sophistication.  Interior shutters still provide design, privacy, and light control as they have through history, but they also enhance the value of a home. Like any home investment, only products of exceptional quality will provide long-term value and increase appreciation.

     

    Naples Bay Shutters

    Naples Bay Shutters

    Naples Bay Shutters

    Naples Bay Shutters

    At Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters, we believe the best shutter is the result of meticulous management of each step in its creation.  Every step—research and development, product design, raw materials sourcing, handcrafting, quality control, and even packaging—are carried out with one goal, to bring you matchless quality, durability, and long-term value in your investment.  One of our salespeople will bring our full-line showcase of premium custom shutters. No matter what size, shape and color—we have you covered.

    ___

    Call 239.595.2243 or email Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters for a free in-home appointment today.

     

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