{friday finds: connect the dots}

I was biking around Anna Maria Island taking photos of all the pretty sherbet colored houses when I happened upon this pièce de résistance. I was hoping to find a honeysuckle colored house, but then to find a honeysuckle house with polka dots, I was in heaven. I was only able to snap one quick photo as there were four dogs in the front windows barking at me, the windows were open, and it was 8:00 AM. I peeled rubber getting off the block.


25 year anniversary of The Heidelberg Project


Apartment Therapy


LIFE magazine, July 1951 from I Adore Style


Container home from Slovenia architect Jure Kotnik

These homes express the home owners’ individuality, but are they also the eyesores of their neighborhoods? I wouldn’t mind a polka dot house in my neighborhood. If it brings you joy, go for it!

I do have issues with the pink and purple house from Apartment Therapy. Why not paint the entire house? Obviously, they did not seek the advice of the knowledgeable sales staff at Hirshfield’s. Don’t you make the same mistake.


{celebrity homes}

The Oscars are almost here! On Sunday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor the year’s best in film at the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Stars will line the red carpet in designer gowns and million dollar jewels, expressing their unique style and chic sense of fashion.

From New York to Los Angeles, celebrities also communicate their approach to style and fashion in their homes. Lavish abodes of the stars on both the East Coast and the West Coast incorporate luxury, elegance, and flair.

In East Hampton, New York, director and two-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg calls this $25 million estate home. The house features a state of the art film studio, stables, and a guesthouse.

The East Hampton home of director Steven Spielberg.

In New York City, actress and four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore’s modern West Village loft provides exquisite living quarters. The living room’s neutral color palette, combined with big windows that provide plenty of light and views of the nearby Hudson River, offer peace and tranquility.

Julianne Moore's New York City living room.

Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick, unwind in their weekend residence in Bridgehampton, New York, with kids James, Tabitha, and Loretta. The 19th-century farmhouse, just blocks from the beach, is decorated throughout much like this master bedroom – with bright colors and a relaxed feel.

The bedroom of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's weekend retreat.

Friends star Jennifer Aniston has made a seamless transition from small screen to big screen. Her New York duplex in the heart of the West Village boasts three grand terraces, herringbone floors, fireplaces, and a staircase straight out of a grand Hollywood mansion. The master bath, shown below, is encased in glass, from shower doors to the intricate tile floor.

One of the bathrooms in Jennifer Aniston's New York City abode.

Moving across the country to Los Angeles, take a peek inside the mansion of actress Demi Moore and husband/fellow actor Ashton Kutcher. The couple’s dwelling features ultramodern architecture that effortlessly blends indoor and outdoor elements. A look at their dining room illustrates the modern classic interior and open floor plan.

Demi Moore's L.A. dining room combines outside and inside.

Finally, no Hollywood home would be complete without lavish amenities. The home of actor Nicholas Cage, a 1995 Best Actor Oscar winner, does not disappoint. Dean Martin’s former estate, the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom Bel-Air estate manor includes a theater room, a pool, and lush grounds with gardens and manicured shrubbery.

Nicholas Cage's California estate includes a lavish theater room.

Enjoy Sunday’s Academy Awards knowing what your favorite celebrities will be going home to after the ceremony!

{friday finds: distinctive staircases}

Living Etc.

Levitate Architects

Stairs in Poplar Bookstore

Ferm Living


Censational Girl – DIY staircase

Stairs at Benetton’s Oxford Circus store

Tamotsu Yagi Design


Henna party with DesignAmour

Whether your staircase is the first thing your guests see when they enter your home or it’s the staircase going down to your basement, nondescript should not come to mind. I wish I would have seen these staircases before I carpeted (yawn) my stairs. Oh well, a girl can dream can’t she?

Make certain you check out the Censational Girl link. Her “before” is like so many Minnesota stairways; nothing really wrong or bad with her staircase, but a little DIY magic and her stairway is making a huge statement.

Door Sixteen offers up more inspiring  staircase images in this post if you need more inspiration.

{decorating with red and pink}

Break out the red and pink – the lovey-dovey feeling of Valentine’s Day is still lingering! While you’re decorating your home with the colors of this lover’s holiday and adding heart-shaped pillows, placemats, and rugs to your space, do you know why we use these symbolic hues every February?

The three principal colors associated with Valentine’s Day are red, pink, and white. Each has a unique meaning to add to any Valentine’s Day celebration, and all can be used in your home separately or in any combination.

Décor Pad

Red represents desire, strength, and passionate love, and is connected to beauty and courage. It’s no wonder that red roses are so popular this time of year.


When you’re thinking pink, you should think of grace, gentility, and joy, three characteristics of this color. Pink is also associated with youthfulness and warmth.

Country Living

Finally, white evokes innocence, modesty, admiration, and elegance.

Elle Decor

Fill your home with love the corresponding colors of Cupid this Valentine’s Day!

{romantic design}

Ahhh.. love is in the air. It seems like everyone is a romantic these days. With Valentine’s Day upon us, it seems flowers, chocolates and teddy bears are just as common as accent pillows and window treatments in our homes.

And while the overwhelming pink and red may get a little, shall I say, nauseating, after awhile we should not be so quick to discount romanticism as a source of design inspiration.

Romanticism refers to the complex artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe. In essence, romanticism is the complete opposite of realism. It rejects the precepts of order, calm, harmony, balance, idealization, and rationality and embraces the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental.

For interior design, romanticism means that everything can be exactly the way it was created by the artist-designer. Different rooms in the same house can be stylistically united or absolutely opposite.

Notice how the shape of the chairs is carried from the dining room to the kitchen in this house,

Hamilton Design Associates, by House of Turquoise

while this room mixes colors, fabrics and textures.

House Beautiful

Indulge in pieces you love and don’t be afraid to use luxurious fabrics or bold colors. Embrace the juxtapositions of drastically different items, like silk next to straw or modern art next to a classic chandelier. If you love it, use it!

House Beautiful

Even though romanticism is often interpreted as very feminine, some say that the Gothic aesthetic is very closely associated with romanticism. It confirms the idea that everything that is very free, high and tending to the skies is in fashion.


The main focus of romanticism is to really just let go of any preconceived notions of what design should be. Follow your heart and your imagination and you’ll create a design you love!

{friday finds: online magazines}

In the past few months, mentions of online design magazines have been popping up in the blogosphere. I started combing through the bits and pieces I saved, thinking I would have a few magazines to share with you. Well, as you can see I was clueless. I came across 10 online magazines and two more launching later this year.

Here is an opportunity to check out a full lineup of online decorating and lifestyle magazines. Props to the photographers.

Nesting Newbies

This online lifestyle resource is aimed at newlyweds and new “nesters.” Offering up tips on decorating, cooking, and entertaining. Don’t be an embarrassment to your spouse…save it for the kids. Launched 2009.

A ray of sunshine was felt by many with the launching of Lonny back in October 2009. Two former Domino co-workers combined their knowledge of the business and put out this internet inspiration on a monthly basis.


Pure Green Living

It’s all about green living and green design. This bimonthly online publication is an extension of the Pure Green blog designed by Celine MacKay. Launched July 2010.


Adore Home

It always confuses me for a second when I read the words “summer issue” on a December/January magazine cover. This Australian home and lifestyle magazine was founded by designer Loni Parker. Launched Oct/Nov 2010.


Ivy & PiperFashion for the Home

Two Australian designers who met in design school…fast forward a few years, and their first issue was launched November, 2010.



This bimonthly digital shelter magazine was formed by four design bloggers who met via the Internet. Launched September 2010.

That a good can of paint atones for a multitude of sins.

That inspiration is everywhere.



High Gloss

This new magazine appeared on the screen a mere 11 days ago.  A lifestyle magazine featuring interior design, fashion, entertaining ideas, and travel.


Covert Garden

Inspiration grows here. We are interested in spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators and that, above all else, reflect the passions and interests of those who live in them. Covet Garden is a Canadian monthly online magazine and each issue is one story. They just started a blog in January  2011 to complement the online publication. Launched September 2010.

Clover … challenge ourselves and deliver the most succinct and informed news on design, art, fashion, and culture. This online publication is an “old-timer,” as it’s been around for five issues.

Sweet Paulchasing the sweet things in life as a food and prop stylist and crafter. Started out with his blog Sweet Paul and launched the online magazine back in the Spring of 2010.


New kids on the block:

What do you get when you combine Lonny and Traditional Home? An online magazine called trad home. The first issue will release on April 12, 2011 on lonnymag.com. The Simplified Bee has the dish on the first issue.

Dabble Dabble Dabble. Let’s face it. It’s just fun to say.

But that’s not exactly why we picked the title. It has more to do with Dabble’s subject matter,
encompassing interior design, travel and food. Diverse topics that work in tandem to create
Life Well Designed. Launching February 28, 2011.

Is there room in your world for online and print magazines? I still like holding the print magazine in my hands and feeling that small sense of accomplishment when I reach the last page. And I appreciate the “zoom” feature and the “full screen” option offered by the online magazines. It’s good to have choices.

{best paint in Baxter}

Created by Kristi, Grade 5, Forestview Middle School, Baxter Mn

The lovely Miss Kristi captured the essence of Hirshfield’s…make your houses look great with Hirshfield’s paint! Plus, we do make the best paint in Minnesota. The girl is a marketing genius!

Kristi participated in the Kids Ad Design Project sponsored once again by the Brainerd Dispatch. The Dispatch showcased the work of these future “Mad Men and Women” in their paper on October 29, 2010. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.


Linda Hurst of the Dispatch shares the history of the Kids Ad Design Project:

“All of the ads are done by area 4th and 5th grade kids in Brainerd, Nisswa and Pillager.  We’ve been doing this several years now so the teachers have gotten to the point where they incorporate this program into their lesson plan.

Each classroom is assigned a specific advertiser.  We (or a rep from the business) go into the classroom to talk to the kids about advertising guidelines in general – elements to include, design and layout considerations.  Then we talk about the specific business and what types of goods or services are sold.  As we like to tell the kids, it’s not always the best drawing that wins – it’s the message.

The kids have a few weeks to come up with their ads before we pick them up and deliver them back to the business.  Each advertiser gets 15-25 ads to choose from.  They select the winning ad to print.

From the ads chosen to print, the Dispatch selects a first, second and third place overall winner from each grade.  Those kids win prizes (such as water park passes, $100 gift card to Target, etc.).”

Linda said out of everything they do at the Dispatch this is her favorite.

{cozy colors}

Cozy. Snug. Comfortable. Warm.

Your home should be synonymous with all of these words – a place where you feel comfortable, a place to relax and a place to get away from the craziness of your day-to-day life. So how do you bring a little extra coziness into your space? Read on!

Color and texture add instant warmth to a room. Bold reds or a rusty orange are popular color choices. If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, consider going tone-on-tone, creating vertical or horizontal stripes. You could use different shades of the same color, or paint one color in a glossy sheen and one in a matte finish.


Lava Lamp / Wild Rose

Textured wall coverings are a great compliment or alternative to paint. Grasscloth and raffia wall coverings have great natural texture. Kathy from Hirshfield’s Design Resource says about textured wall coverings, “It puts an imaginary blanket around you. But you don’t have to use it everywhere—one well-chosen accent wall can transform a room.”

Phillip Jeffries

Texture can also be brought into a room through fabrics. Rich velvets make for dramatic window coverings and can cozy up a couch. Faux fur accent pillows or rugs also add warmth.

House Beautiful

Creative Accents

Make your home a cozy, private retreat with custom shutters from Hunter Douglas. Custom shutters are a classic and charming addition to any room.

Hunter Douglas

Hunter Douglas

We all know winter can last awhile here in Minnesota! So stay cozy and warm inside no matter how long Old Man Winter sticks around!

{bring literature to life in your child’s room}

A child’s bedroom is not complete without a bookcase full of fairy tales, fables and funny stories about family and growing up. Not only can books inspire your child’s imagination, but they can also inspire their decor!

The first week of February is celebrated as Kid Author & Book week, which got us thinking about new design inspiration for kid rooms. How fun would it be to draw inspiration from the beloved characters of Winnie the Pooh, Curious George and Charlotte the spider? With just a few simple touches, you can bring the pages of your child’s favorite book to life right in their bedroom!

Let’s start with one of the best-selling children’s books of all time – Charlotette’s Web. Wilber, Charlotte, Fern and all their barnyard friends can make their home in your child’s room with this mural from RoomMates.

Wall Pops

Add a warm quilt to your child’s bed or a comfortable rocking chair to complete the country look!


And who can forget the tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff? Winnie the Pooh and all his friends from the Hundred Acre Woods will come out and play with the help of some wall art from Wall Pops.

Wall Pops

Since Winnie the Pooh is a classic character that has evolved through time, consider mixing classic and modern elements. Start with a classic white background and then add in fun modern patterns and accents, like in the photo below. If you look closely, you can even see Christopher Robin’s rain boots!

Design Sponge

Curious George is a timeless character that every child and parent knows. You can share the fun and excitement of George’s adventures with these fun wall decals.


Pick any one of Geroge’s adventures as the basis for your inspiration, or go with a more neutral jungle theme if you just can’t pick! Just don’t forget to add in a a big yellow hat!


Take advantage of Kid Author & Book week to spend some time reading with your child – or decorating!

{thibaut + alpha workshops = the artisan collection}





La Gioconda

Alpha student printing wallcovering

The wallcoverings shown here are a few of the offerings from the new The Artisan Collection by Thibaut. This collection is a collaboration with Alpha Workshops and Thibaut. The Alpha Workshops is the only not-for-profit organization in the country that trains and employs people living with AIDS/HIV, in the field of decorative arts. How cool is that? Their areas of expertise are wallcoverings, tables, lamps, faux finishes, gilding and restoration. The quality products and finishes from the Alpha Workshops are found in residential and commercial settings, including Gracie Manor, the residence of the mayor of New York City.

For Thibaut, the license with Alpha presented an opportunity to work hand in hand with the creators of Alpha’s designs to shape their new interpretations. The Alpha Workshops recognized that in Thibaut, they had a partner who could capture the handmade quality of their designs and make them widely available.

This sounds like a win-win situation for both parties. The best thing about their collaboration is a percentage of the sales for the licensed designs will be paid to Alpha Workshops Studio School.

You are thinking about putting wallcovering in your home this year, aren’t you? Please consider the papers in the The Artisan Collection.  For your viewing pleasure, click here for a peek at the new book. The books should arrive in our stores next week.


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