Friday, September 26, 2014

Wish You Were Here Sweepstakes!

Jennifer Adams has been a subject of blog posts on Landfair on Furniture since 2008. Adams is an interior Designer and local who started her career as many have, at Heritage School of Interior Design. We have many friends in the trade, who started their training at the school; one is famous for seminars at the Home & Garden show, another gave up a career in micro-biotechnology to pursue her career in interior design. No graduate, though, is as famous as Jennifer Adams.

I know marketing is a big deal with Interior Designers. For most, marketing is an obligation, a duty. For the few, marketing is the way into the world of slick designer magazines, TV where they get to showcase their talents; websites where they can bring their ideas directly to the world. Some interior designers are as good at design as they are at marketing. That’s a rarity.

We were one of the first furniture stores to use a blog as our primary marketing vehicle; Jennifer Adams was one of the first interior designers to add a blog to her website. It allowed her to communicate directly with her clients and prospects.

Then in 2012, I wrote that Jennifer Adams had taken a jump by teaming up with Costco: “Costco stores will soon offer The Jennifer Adams Home collection consisting of bouclé-upholstered sofas, hardwood headboards and hand-crafted dining room tables, some priced at upwards of $4,000.

“The collection, made in California, will consist of 83 pieces.”

I wondered at the time about the impact of Costco furniture on the high-end furniture retailer. It’s easy to say, “Our high end customer would never think about buying their furniture that way.” They will learn about quality the expensive way, when they put the new furniture on the curb sporting a “free” sign. I also wondered if Costco shoppers would plunk down $2,000 to $4,000 for furniture and special orders delivered in six weeks.

Turns out that Jennifer Adams had a nice feel for the pulse of America. I’m sure that America will continue to like her warm and breezy approach to in home design as she graduates to television,
Now you can make your own connection with Jennifer. Join her VIP Club which rewards you for doing what you already do - watching videos on home improvement, decorating tips, do-it-yourself projects, and more. Plus by joining you will be entered into the Wish You Were Here Sweepstakes!

Should you win, you will receive 3 days and 4 nights at the world renowned L'Auberge Hotel in Jennifer's rehabilitated condo. The condo is situated on one of California’s best beaches in the picturesque coastal village of Del Mar near San Diego. You will have lunch with Jennifer and then take private tour of the fully renovated Del Mar condo that she took down to the studs reinvigorating this 30+ year old home! It’s an opportunity to ask all your burning interior design questions and get Jennifer’s opinions.

Join Jennifer Adam’s VIP Club today. I did!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pare Down To A Simpler Life



Laura Gaskill really hit a nerve when she wrote "5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door" in Houzz, Let's face it, many of us are downsizing and getting rid of stuff and many of us have just too much stuff. Gaskill says we must, if we are fighting the "bulge," say no! Say no to that cute object of art at Fred Meyer's, say no to the broken wing on the table by the curb. The one that yells "FREE!" And say no to gifting and receiving gifts at life events. Instead of thinking about more, if we are fighting to de-clutter we must say less is more.

Gaskill suggests a shopping mantra, "Clean And Specious." I like that. It's an affirmation and affirmations work. Before shopping and during shopping, picture the rooms of your house as clean, everything in its place. Everything stands on its own two, three or four feet with space to breathe.There's plenty of light flushing out the dark ideas of old living.When shopping bring up that mental image of your look at home and compare it to the new potential addition. There's no space for it is there?

Gaskill has good advice to move away from gifting altogether, She suggests alternatives. Instead of buying a kitchen gadget, buy some lessons to cook. Instead of buying some gadget for the garden, how about some welding lessons and make your own trellis.

A gift is supposed to say how important the other person is to you. What we really might want is a way to spend quality time with the other. Not practicing what I preach, I asked my daughter what she wanted for her 40th birthday. She thought about it and said, "Dad, I really would like to explore the Ape Caves with you." We spent eight hours together, driving to the caves, hiking in the cave, congratulating each other for completing the hike as I wiped blood from my legs, hiking back to the car and enjoying a meal on the way home. We will never forget this adventure. Already, we are planning next years adventure to the4 John Day fossil beds.

Judging by the number of comments Gaskill received on her article, a lot of us think enough is enough. We can do better, live better and be more relaxed by living simpler.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mike Scores with What Color Means For Your Bedroom

According to a survey published in Houzz and conducted by Travelodge in the UK, if you want lots of intimate moments, paint your bedroom caramel. If you want great sleep, paint your bedroom blue. Funny about colors. Colors make us feel a certain way.

Mike over at FabNest has lots of advice about the use of colors in the bedroom.

Monday, September 08, 2014

7 Easy Ways to Add Character to a Bland Apartment

The upside of renting is that you’re not responsible if anything goes wrong.  Dishwasher breaks? Call the landlord.  AC not working?  Call the landlord.  It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

The downside, however, is that you’re pretty limited when it comes to making aesthetic improvements that make the place feel like it embodies your design style.  You don’t own it, so you can’t change it.
But that doesn’t mean your hands are tied.  There are several easy and affordable ways to upgrade a bland apartment without breaking the terms of your lease or risking your security deposit. 

1.       Faux Molding
One of the best things about older buildings is that they come ready-made with all kinds of character – built-in hutches, beautiful mantle pieces and old wooden floors.  Newer construction, while less temperamental, usually lacks these unique touches. 
Fortunately, it doesn’t take too much time or money to add beautiful architectural details like a chair rail, crown molding or even wainscoting.  You can now buy ready-made versions of all of these, which can be installed with just a hammer and nails.  These small details will add instant character and interest to any lackluster room.

2.       Accent Painting 

If you’re allowed to paint anything in your apartment at all, chances are you also have to agree to paint it back to the original egg shell or dove grey color when you move out. Let’s face it, the idea of painting a room once can be daunting, let alone twice.  But how about just one wall?  Or a door? 

Sometimes accent painting like this can have an even greater impact than painting the entire room because it really stands out against the more neutral walls. Plus, when you’re ready to move on, it won’t be quite as big of a chore to return the area to its former color. 

3.       Decal Wall Paper
If your landlord won’t let you paint, well then you certainly won’t be able to put up wallpaper either.  Enter the miracle of modern decal wall paper.  You can buy sheets of the stuff to hang on walls, and then just peel it off when you move out.
 All you have to do is measure the wall or walls you want covered and order the right-sized panels for your needs – no glue, no damage to the walls, just instant style for your walls.  There are several online stores and Etsy shops that offer a huge range of patterns, styles and colors, so you’re sure to find one that’s a good fit for your place.

4.       Framed Art

Let’s assume that you know you need décor up on your walls – this is a given, right?  What might not be a given is that any artwork or photos you put up needs to be properly framed.  Posters that are taped to the wall scream “college dorm room” no matter how lovely the posters are.  But custom-frames immediately elevate the look of whatever they surround.  It’s best to spend a small amount on an art print and then invest a bit more in good quality matting and framing. 

5.       Eclectic Furniture
There’s nothing quite as boring as a blah apartment filled with cookie cutter IKEA furniture in neutral colors.  If the unit itself doesn’t have any character to speak of, well then you had better make up for it in the furnishings. 
Instead of buying everything in one place, look at the furnishing process as a treasure hunt.  If you buy pieces in different styles from several different stores, you’ll end up with a much more natural and beautiful overall look. 

6.       Window Treatments
I don’t know about you, but I find cheap aluminum blinds to be pretty sad and very boring.  Add a little luxury and flair by outfitting your windows with window treatments that match your style.  Custom window treatments can easily get expensive, but you can also go the much more affordable route and just pick up drapes in a unique pattern or vibrant color.  If you don’t want to mess with the existing blinds, just add a curtain rod and put the drapes up over them for a much softer and inviting appearance.

7.       Pulls, Knobs & Light Switch Covers

You’re obviously not going to put custom cabinetry into a rental apartment.  But you can quickly transform the look of built-in cabinets, drawers, doors and light switches by changing out the hardware.  There’s a huge variety of unique and affordable drawer and cabinet pulls available from any hardware store. 
Or if you prefer a vintage vibe, check out the selection at local antique stores – for a funky and artistic look, get a few different styles to combine together.  Once you pick your favorite, all you need is a screwdriver to easily and quickly personalize the look of your kitchen and bathroom. 

Doing all of these small projects at once may seem overwhelming, but just pick one or two to start with and you can gradually personalize your place to make it reflect your tastes.

Author Bio:  Noah Tennant is the CEO of the Chicago Apartment Leasing Group, a top agency that helps renters find the most desirable and luxurious apartments in the city.  In addition to the work he does for his clients, Noah contributes to several online publications about real estate, design and stylish living.  To find out more, click here and connect on Google+.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Designing An Office That Is Truly Efficient

Your business does not have unlimited space in its office, and you may move to a new office that is still not unlimited. You need to make smart decisions that will save space in the office while making the office look impressive at the same time. You might not have thought that sliding door hardware would be impressive, you can utilize your space in untold ways with just one major change.

The Office Layout

The way you set up your office is up to you. You can place all the management offices around the perimeter of the space, and your employees can have cubicles in the center. Your workers may have small nooks to work in while the managers work in one large office on the side of the space. You can choose any layout you want. You have complete freedom to make your office look the way you want, but you must use that freedom wisely.

The Sliding Doors

In every office layout you use, sliding doors are going to be your best friend. Sliding doors provide you with space that you did not have before you installed them. Every office floor plan you have seen in the past showed the way in which each door in the office was going to open. Your new office layout eliminates the need for space to open doors. Sliding doors do not swing open, and they slide behind a wall or a large window. You are not taking up any extra space by using sliding doors, and you can utilize this space for other things.

Utilizing The Space

The space that you save by using sliding doors can be used for much greater purposes. You can put a file cabinet where a door would have opened. You can put seating outside an office where a door would have opened, or you can install another door. Two offices can be right next to each other without the worry of both doors obstructing the hallway outside the office.

You also get a break from the fire marshal when you use these doors. The space that was once taken up by opened doors is now clear, and the fire marshal cannot complain about your sliding doors. Also, you get much more secure doors.


Sliding doors are far more secure than traditional doors because of the way they lock. The sliding door slides it lock into a part of the door frame that is flush with the door. These doors cannot be kicked easily because of the sturdiness of the frame and the frame of the door itself. Also, these doors take special locks that are hard to penetrate. Your office can feature a non-traditional locking system most thieves will not understand.

Privacy and Openness

When you need privacy in your office, you can close the blinds on your sliding door easily. When you need to let a little air into your office, you can raise the blinds on your door and make the room feel much bigger. You can make sure people cannot see what is going on in a very important meeting, or you can make sure everyone can see what you are doing. This quick change from openness to privacy is very important for managers and executives.


When you are creating a new office, you want it to look as modern as possible. People who visit your business and see an antiquated setup are going to be disappointed. Sliding doors have a futuristic feel that you cannot replicate in any other way. Also, you will find that these doors are much easier to care for, and this saves money on repairs.

Your office can look amazing when you install new sliding doors, but you have to get the layout right. Save space, utilize it wisely and create an office anybody would be impressed with.

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, wellness and interior design. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Depave Movement: from parking lots to paradise

Portland,OR depave movement: from parking lots to paradise

Some Still Like Tubs

I thought the tub was over for adults. In fact, we've thought about taking out the tub and replacing it with a walk in tile shower big enough for two. Now according to Breathe Modern, it looks like freestanding tubs are in. Take a look at these:

Fall 2014 Home Decor: An ensemble production

Beth Kushnick, set decorator for CBS' "The Good Wife," has created her own furnishings line, which debuts this fall." She has some interesting opinions on what we will be seeing this fall season in home decor.

Los Angeles-based designer Trip Haenisch also chips in with her ideas for fall. All this in the article by the AP.

The surprise? "Midcentury modern takes the lead this fall and winter. Accent chairs are armless or lower-profile, and furniture has either a California-chic or Danish-modern vibe."

Houzz Survey Surprising

A recent survey by Houzz has some surprising information: 

Forty-four percent of the home owners surveyed say they would like to do a complete overall of the décor of their homes, while 36 percent say they just want to refresh their existing décor.

What’s guiding their décor decisions? Personal style and comfort, the survey finds, while basing decisions on current design trends is a low influencer.

Younger home owners tended to say more often than older home owners that they wanted to get more “bold and dramatic” with their décor choices, such as incorporating wallpaper and brighter color schemes.

Among some of the survey’s findings:

  • White paint is the most popular wall covering.
  • Artwork is sprucing up more wall décor. One-in-five of home owners say they use art prints and original art to decorate their home’s walls.
  • Accent walls remain popular but are most likely to be reserved for the study/home office, followed by a kids’ room or the master bedroom.
  • Solids are the most popular fabric choice, followed by classics like stripes and florals. However, home owners under the age of 45 are more than twice as likely to use Chevron patterns than home owners over the age of 45.
  • Hardwoods are the most desired flooring throughout a home, but 38 percent of home owners also said they planned to add carpet in the master bedroom.
  • Nearly two-thirds of home owners are creating living rooms in the master bedroom by adding seating, a fireplace, or even a mini-fridge, the survey found. (If hanging out in the den, with a beer and the TV is a couch potato, could a person inhabiting a bedroom living room be a bed bug?)
  • Dining rooms are getting more use and attention. Nearly three quarters of home owners surveyed say they use their dining room on a weekly basis. They most want to decorate the dining rooms with rectangle tables in dark wood or glass tables, with seating available for up to six people.