Archive for November, 2009

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Rustic & Elegant Home Furnishings (Eclectic)

November 25, 2009

This new display at Furniture Studio in Wisconsin Rapids is ahhhhhhhhh, just dreamy!
The colors are subtle and relaxing so it’s the details like texture that make it different.  The multi-colored knots on the bottom of the curtain panels, wicker on the basket, rope on the outside of the lampshade, etc…  We’ve seen a lot of different designs with lamps over the last few years like beads, tassels, and fringe, but this is NEW!  It gives it a natural almost organic feel.

It’s a mix of rustic and elegant…
Rustic elements: the buffet has a distressed, handscraped look, the mirror has a weathered ‘rock’ look (really made out of plastic or resin), and the picture up high on the wall has what looks like sticks glued to the picture.
Elegant elements: Silver lamp with beads, shimmery curtain panels and pale colors.

Easy decorating tip: hang your curtain panels from a copper rod (from Home Depot) for a unique look.  Add some finials.

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GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: How About a Spec Home?

November 25, 2009

Thinking about building a spec home in Wisconsin Rapids for 2010.

Maybe I’ve gone completely crazy!  Some days it seems to make complete sense and other days seems like a gamble that’s too risky.  It started with an idea to make it be a smaller ranch style home between 1300-1600 sq ft with details to showcase Furniture Studio and the difference having a designer involved can make.  The original goal was to have a home that would price out under $249,000.  That still seems to be the price that is selling ($150-220,000)… probably because of the first time home buyer credit, but I’m finding that it’s very difficult to build a house for that price.

Everything that looks good, cost more (Gasp!).

If it happens at all, we are considering adding some green elements like a reclaimed wood floor throughout the main living areas and “No Added Urea Formaldehyde” cabinets in the kitchen.  The reclaimed floor is a white oak that came from the roof of a building in New London, WI.  The No added Urea Formaldehyde is potentially less harmful for people with allergies.

Because the economy plays a huge part in the stress level of everyone’s lives, things that bother us (like cramped closet space or dysfunctional kitchen cabinets) sometimes have to wait until there is job security or A job!

Not sure what the end result will be… so at this point it’s just a dream!

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Frustrated by Home Decorating?

November 25, 2009

I have been recently puzzled by the number of people overwhelmed or frustrated when trying to decorate their home. Can you relate? Is it because you aren’t able to find what you like, afraid to make a mistake, lack of money, or something else?

Some seem to be like artists looking for just the right piece to reflect themselves in the amount of space they have to work with. They will know it when they see it!

Others, seem to want the home to look JUST RIGHT, and not sure how to do it. They are afraid to make a mistake!

One of the customers at Furniture Studio suggested it’s because of lack of money. A feeling of not having the money to do what they want!

Could it be that the last home furnishings purchase experience wasn’t a good one? Maybe the quality was poor, the item didn’t last as long as they had hoped, it was too big, too small, uncomfortable or just something was wrong. Buyer’s remorse!

It seems like there is more anxiety related to purchasing home furnishings or decorating the home than other purchases like jewelry, clothing, cars, etc… Maybe it’s easier to justify our mistakes or there is value to be able to resell the products.

How can we eliminate or reduce this anxiety?

My experience is that working with a designer costs less in the end because you make less mistakes, but you have to be willing to give up some control to trust and that can be very difficult. Maybe it’s just not possible to reduce the anxiety when purchasing home furnishings.

What do you think? Take our brief survey!

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Table Top Decorations

November 25, 2009

The perfect recipe for great floral arrangements:
Start with a unique pot add some dried florals, silk florals, and greenery… maybe a pinch of something else and WAH-LAH!

The decorating can be seasonal or just coordinating with your current furniture pieces.  Florals can add color and softness to a room while greenery adds the softness, but with a neutral & natural coloring.  I may have mentioned florals in a previous blog, but it’s that time of year where you’re looking for ideas to decorate for the seasons.

This first floral has a subtle winter feel with the icicle, berries and reindeer head.  Very natural and appealing.  It could be dining table centerpiece or even an accent next to the hearth/fireplace area.

Below is another natural option with the dried grasses, acorns and leaves.  It’s amazing the amount of color that can come from a very neutral palete.  The pot has a unique burst of two-tone color to perfect the look.  The vertical shape of this one makes it good for on a console table or above a low bookshelf where you need some height.

Happy & lighthearted.  A mix of small florals offers a large variety of color and the white pot is light and bright.  It’s easy to add or take away from this to create an updated look.  Florals bring color and texture to a room in a 3-Dimensional format that a picture can’t.  Really, what other accessory can?

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Organize the Chaos

November 25, 2009

If your home is anything like mine, we need a professional organizer to come in and get us organized before school starts.  There really is an organization for finding professional organizers (www.napo.net), but if you aren’t ready for that level here are a few functional furniture pieces and accessories to get you thinking.

Stylish letter holders from Global Views make a statement and provide a convenient storage area for the envelopes and paper products that can easily clutter up a home or office. 

Some of my personal favorite storage pieces are made by Howard Miller and designed by TY PENNINGTON.  Fully customizable, change the finish, change the arrangement.

By TY Pennington
http://www.howardmiller.com/Category/ProductListing.aspx?CategoryID=334&IsViewAll=true

This EVERYTHING CART is fully functional with makeup storage, magazine storage, and more storage!  Ideal for a guest bathroom or small space.

The HOME ORGANIZER CABINET works for the mini-office.  Space for a laptop, notes, mail and plug-in areas to charge cell phones and ipods.

True to it’s name, the EVERYTHING CABINET, is as the name implies. Wonderful for a small home, guest room or large bathroom. Smart features include a flip-up ironing board, towel rack, storage areas, and full-length mirror.

Find more functional furniture storage pieces at www.howardmiller.com.

Now, I have one more problem.  I need a professional decision maker to select the most functional pieces for me.  Do they have a professional decision making organization?

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Accents and More…

November 25, 2009

Look to the floor by your fireplace where you have an empty space that could really use something special, it’s been bothering you for a long time.  The piece needs to be just right

A large decorative vase or pot is just what you need!

Imagine a large decorative vase or pot like the ones pictured in this email to not just fill the space, but take the space from functional to cozy.  Decorative accessories are to a home like jewelry on a person.

These pots are made by hand so each one is slightly irregular or unique.  The vases have a fantastic variety of color, allowing you to coordinate with your room or add a punch of color.  Create a softening effect by adding some greenery or florals to your vase.

If this is a new look for you, the pieces may seem overly large, but that’s the trend.  Small and cluttered is out, single pieces that are individuals pieces of artwork is in.

Ok, so maybe you don’t even have a fireplace, but I’m sure you have an empty corner or table that would look great with a decorative vase.  Even if it is smaller than the one shown here.

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Personal Taste

November 25, 2009

Everyone has a unique and personal decorating preference, including you!  Not everyone has ‘design or decorating’ talent, but everyone has a style preference.

What’s the difference?
Let’s start with decorating talent.  Someone with decorating talent can take any room and place the furniture in the room giving the room the right amount of balance, texture, color, etc… The layout will feel good to anyone that walks in the room.

Personal style is different.  Even if you can’t bring it all together to make it look good, you know what you like.  You will be drawn to certain colors and styles no matter what the current trends are.  Let’s start with dining tables… which do you prefer?  (or which one makes your heart beat faster!)

  • Country Tuscan: Even though this isn’t as strong as it has been, it’s still well liked by many.  Bright colors and easy to look at landscapes.

  • Rustic: We are the ‘Northwoods” and we are love our log cabin homes or decorating our homes with pictures of animals and rustic frames.

  • Western: We have scattered horse farms in our area, but we don’t have many people that decorate their homes in western themes.

  • Landscape Traditional (Most Popular in our area):  Easy to decorate around, easy on the eyes, very ‘safe’.

  • Formal Traditional: In any traditional home, there is usually one room in the house that calls for the drama of something formal and european.

  • Contemporary: I’ve added 2 pictures for contemporary because it seems to be a trend that is becoming more popular.  Especially if it is mixed with traditional furniture.

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: The Designer in You

November 25, 2009

Everyone has a unique and personal decorating preference, including you!  Not everyone has ‘design or decorating’ talent, but everyone has a style preference.

What’s the difference?
Let’s start with decorating talent.  Someone with decorating talent can take any room and place the furniture in the room giving the room the right amount of balance, texture, color, etc… The layout will feel good to anyone that walks in the room.  Personal style is different.  Even if you can’t bring it all together to make it look good, you know what you like.  You will be drawn to certain colors and styles no matter what the current trends are.  Let’s start with dining tables… which do you prefer?  (or which one makes your heart beat faster!)



(http://www.brazilbaroque.com/catalog/colonial/CLN-DIN-PT-602a/default.htm)

(http://www.bernhardt.com/marthastewartfurniture/rooms.php?ROOM=289&COL=Turkey%20Hill&CATABR=DR&VIEW=roomdetail&CAT=Dining%20Room)


(http://www.ambellahome.com/index.php?id=66&backPID=41&begin_at=32&tt_products=1182)

This is only a sample of different styles that could appeal to you.  I can’t fit everything in this small blog, but wanted to give you a taste.

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Let Your Creative Side Show

November 25, 2009

Don’t be afraid to move the furniture and accessories around in your home.  I’ve seen homes that had things arranged in the same place for ten, twenty, even thirty years!  Give your home a ‘mini-facelift’ by taking everything you have, put them in a pile and start all over.  If you can’t see past what was there before, have a friend come over or hire an interior designer.  They will take the items in the pile that are usable and put them in fresh places to give the room a new look.

You’ve seen it done on TV, but it can be done in your home too.  Try it every 5-7 years to keep it fairly fresh.  Change out a lampshade if it’s starting to see wear or just plain dated.  For fresh color and texture, add pillows to your sofa, a new throw or a rug.  Honestly, it doesn’t matter how old your furniture and accessories are… don’t get discouraged!  Some of the best accessories are ones that have memories attached to them or age (almost antique).  An eclectic mix can be really fun!

Lampshades: Today you can add lampshades that have fringe, beads, patterned shades, or different shapes.  Be careful to keep in mind where the lamp will be to make sure the amount of lighting is right for the space.  If you need it for reading, you will want a sufficient amount of light.

Pillows: We have some great pillows at Furniture Studio right now.  One is very neutral in color, but is made up of tiny shells – giving it a shiny, much textured look.  Another one is a faux mink pillow.  These are the two customer favorites right now.

Throws: throws can be fairly inexpensive, and by themselves may not do much, but with some new paint, pillows and a fresh layout they will add to the feel of a room.

Lastly, another reminder … don’t forget to paint!

P.S. Your furniture doesn’t have to be against the walls.

GoRapids.com Home Design & Trends: Northwoods Getaway

November 25, 2009

We are seeing a lot of our summer cabin customers this week who are up to enjoy their cabins. They are looking for furniture to decorate their cabins on a budget!  Here are a few of my favorite cabin or cottage looks…


Carmel TV Stand 48
This carmel 48″ TV stand is great for only $868

Florence Side Chest
Side chest with storage for only $443

Montecito Queen Bed
Monticito Queen bed $1487


Ashley Furniture is always a great style at the lowest price
Table and 4 chairs $499