{home design trends: outdoor kitchen}

Decorating Your Outdoor Kitchen

Bobby Flay outdoor dining

Outdoor dining at Bobby Flay’s Hampton home

It’s cold outside now, but this weather won’t last forever. Before we know it, spring will be here, and then glorious summer—the reason we endure these single-digit days. While you’re snuggling down and stuck indoors, it’s the perfect time to start brainstorming ideas for your home. Don’t forget the outdoor spaces, too, including outdoor cooking and dining areas.

Summertime is when we want to be outdoors as much as possible. One way to encourage your family to be outdoors more is by spending time now thinking about your outdoor kitchen and how you can make it more comfortable and appealing. Here is some food for thought.

Consistent Style. When you’re decorating your outdoor kitchen, you want it to flow with the style of your home. If you have a traditional home, you may want your outdoor kitchen to feature a stone fireplace, brick oven, wood components or other traditional materials. If your home is contemporary, sleek lines, stainless steel and simplicity may shine. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: warm up your home with window coverings}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Warm Up Your Home with Window Coverings off-center window treatments

It’s the time of year when snow boots, hats and mittens get put back into the outerwear rotation. Some mornings you might have to warm up your car before driving. Daylight hours are fewer and the house is chilly in the morning. Is there a way to help your house stay warmer—can Minneapolis window coverings help?

According to Hirshfield’s expert Scott Anderson, window treatments can make a big difference in keeping your house warm. “Windows are the weakest link on your outside walls,” Scott says. “They’re where the warm air goes to escape and the cold air tries to get in. Any window treatment will slow down that exchange, and some are much better at it than others. The slower the rate, the more heat you’ll retain in your home.”

Scott says that the best insulators are Honeycomb Shades. They’re versatile and efficient—the air pockets they create keep the sun’s hot rays out in summer and insulate the window in winter. Hirshfield’s carries a number of styles from various manufacturers.

If you love your current window treatments, there are accessories you can add that will help them trap in warmth.

“One accessory that can be ordered with Hunter Douglas Honeycomb Shades is called the Literise Trimkit,” says Scott. “It’s a pair of tracks that mount on either side of a window frame—for an inside mount. The moving rail of the shade actually travels inside the track to create a very snug seal. When combined with the Hunter Douglas Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades, it creates a strong enough barrier that the federal government has ruled it eligible for a federal tax credit until the end of 2013.” More details on the tax credit can be found at www.hunterdouglas.com/tax-credit.

As you look at your windows and their coverings, make sure that your windows are locked shut. If they aren’t latched properly, they aren’t completely interlocked to keep out the cold. If they’re locked but you can still feel a draft, you may want to consider using an insulator kit. That’s where you apply a plastic film and use a blow dryer to shrink it for a tight seal. Also make sure your window is adequately caulked around its frame.

When you live in Minnesota, your window coverings can make a big difference in the efficiency of your home. It’s a good thing to consider, especially when the cold weather hits.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

{customize your furniture}

Create your custom-crafted Vanguard Furniture at Hirshfield’s.

Vanguard Furniture available from the Hirshfield’s Design Resource gives you the opportunity to truly transform your home. Vanguard Furniture’s artisans hand-apply all finishes in the USA; taking careful steps to make sure that each piece has the care and attention that is required to enhance the natural character of your furniture. No two pieces are the same – every piece of furniture is truly unique.

Make any Vanguard upholstery or case piece identified with a paintbrush icon uniquely yours. Simply select your wall paint. Then choose from three distress levels and complementary sheen choices. There is even a base stain choice! Vanguard will paint your piece to that exact color specification, distress level, sheen choice and base stain selection – it’s that simple. There are hundreds of colors to choose from, and now Vanguard and Hirshfield’s can make any of them YOURS. The possibilities are endless. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: how to photograph a before and after room}

It’s not as easy as it seems to photograph your home. More goes into it than a click and a flash. If you’re trying to show home improvements in before and after shots, it is especially important to photograph the room in it’s best light for the after shot. There are some tips to accentuate the positive changes you have made. These photographs are meant to emphasize what a wonderful job you’ve done transforming the drab to fab!

A side-by-side comparison shows the vast changes you can make to a room.

A side-by-side comparison shows the vast changes you can make to a room.

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: emerald & gold color combinations}

Hirshfield’s Design Resource brings together trends, designs, and inspiration to transform any room from drab to fab. The professionals in Hirshfield’s Design Resource lend their expertise to architects, interior designers, contractors and building professionals with a wide variety of quality wall finishes for hospitality, health care, corporate interiors, tenant finishes and commercial spaces. Kathy Basil from Hirshfield’s Design Resource shares her favorite finds to keep your rooms on trend.

Emerald and Gold

Emerald green evokes simultaneous feeling of energy and the tranquility of nature, making it a diverse choice for Pantone’s Color of the Year. This rich hue can be found everywhere from the runways to rooms. The color can be livened up by mixing with various shades of green or a stark white. For the glamorous look though, gold is the go-to accent.

Emerald and gold has the power to transform an outdated room into instant sophistication while feeling fresh. The metallic and matte combination creates eye-drawing drama that anyone can emulate. This duo isn’t reserved for the luck of the Irish anymore.

Green, Gold, and Grey

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Grey is the perfect neutral to tone down this powerful color combination, while remaining elegant. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: 5 simple home upgrades}

No matter the year, painting remains the easiest and most affordable way to get your home on trend and feel refreshed. This do-it-yourself transformation adds personality to any room. Whether you’re starting from the bottom up and reworking the whole house, or changing one room at a time, here are five ideas to inspire you. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: pallets project}

Wood pallet project ideas embrace the inner do-it-yourselfer. They range on any level of expertise and the ideas never run out. From chic and elegant to country rustic, wooden pallets accentuate decorations and room color. These often discarded pieces can easily be attained. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Read the rest of this entry »

{when to splurge and when to save when decorating your home}

Furnishing a home can be a major investment. You have the necessities – a table, bed, dinnerware, and a place to sit. Then you have the “nice to haves” – wall art, fancy lighting, a glam rug, and accessories to tie the space together. When you’re excited about decorating, and anxious to get started, the line can easily become blurry between the two categories. Which is why we love Apartment Therapy’s post on when to splurge and when to save when furnishing your home.

Here are some of their tips:

Splurge where your health is concerned.
This means mattresses, office chairs and work surfaces at the proper height for the job at hand. If you’re lucky you may find these items at a bargain price, but generally I’d suggest budgeting more for items which directly affect your health and comfort.

A comfortable looking office, color on the wall is Benjamin Moore Hot Apple Spice 2005-20.

We would also add that along with furniture that affects your health, products that affect your health. Consider going with a low or no VOC paint to cut down on odor. Hirshfield’s offers Preserve LOW VOC INTERIOR LATEX FLAT with Microban® antimicrobial product protection and Benjamin Moore Natura® Zero-VOC Interior Paint.

Splurge on statement pieces.
These are the pieces that you love, that you’ll take with you when you move, that make your home feel like yours. The Eames chair which detracts from the big-box store sofa, or the vintage armoire which makes putting away the laundry fun. It goes without saying that falling in love with pieces that are also functional is advisable, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

Read the rest of this entry »

{creating a sophisticated kids room}

Ask any parent and they will tell you that kids grow up just too darn fast. So when it comes to decorating their bedroom, you want to make sure you invest your dollars wisely to create a space that can grow with them.

Decorating a nursery
Decorating a nursery for baby is one of those special moments in parenthood. And when you first bring your sweet baby home it it can sometimes be hard to imagine that one day they won’t be needing a changing table, crib or rocking chair. So when planning the decor for your nursery, think about adding pieces that can transition from baby to toddler to tween to teen.

In this European-inspired nursery, a neutral wall color offsets the whimsical curtains and furniture. The paint color, Benjamin Moore‘s Caramel Apple, will serve as the perfect neutral backdrop for many years to come. The fabric on the window treatments is playful, yet sophisticated. And the changing tray can be removed from the chest of drawers for an easy transition from nursery to child’s room.

nursery

Design Dazzle

nursery

Design Dazzle

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: inspiration rooms: loft design}

Loft:

  • A large, usually unpartitioned floor over a factory, warehouse, or other commercial or industrial space.
  • Such a floor converted into an apartment or artist’s studio.

Demi Moore's loft in "Ghost"

The word “Loft” has shifted meaning over the years. It used to adhere to the standard, textbook definition above. But in the 1990s, developers started building “lofts.”

But whether it’s an industrial rehab or new construction, nowadays “loft” is a loose way of saying: “This place is very, very hip.” Yet despite it’s “hipness”, lofts can sometime be challenging to decorate. Wide open floor plans make it challenging to define individual spaces,  and cold, industrial elements can make it hard to create a homey environment.

When you land your dream loft, keep these decorating tips in mind:

  • Defining the Space: Start by walking around your loft to find the best spot for the living area, sleeping space and dining room. The living area should have a room with a view, so arrange your sofa where you will be able to take full advantage of the scenery. However, for your bedroom you probably want to choose an area that has a little less sunlight so as not to disturb your beauty sleep.
  • Choosing a Style: Most lofts lend themselves to a more contemporary or modern style of décor, with sleek lines and smooth surfaces. However, you can soften the look of the space by combing traditional antiques with modern furniture or by placing plants or other natural elements throughout the loft.
  • Choosing a Color Palette: A common color scheme in decorating a loft is neutral, with hues of beige, taupe and white throughout. Since most lofts are made up of one large, uninterrupted space, it’s usually best to stick with a single color palette. But don’t be afraid to go bold with an accent wall or wall art!
  • Dealing with High Ceilings: Ceilings in lofts tend to be high, and usually feature exposed ductwork and beams. To visually lower the ceiling and camouflage some unwanted features, consider painting the ceiling a darker color like a rich brown or even black. You can also add architectural elements like crown molding to bring the ceiling height down.

Read the rest of this entry »

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