{6 unique DIY christmas tree ideas for 2015}

Late November marks the time when many families begin to decorate their homes for Christmas. Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, these are some DIY takes on the traditional Christmas tree that will wow your friends and neighbors.

Papier-Mâché  Snowman

Credit: Available Ideas Blog

Credit: Available Ideas Blog

This funky snowman tree is an easy, hassle-free alternative to hanging hundreds of ornaments. This tree is especially fun for the kids, and if there’s a lack of snow around Christmas Day, then this snowman will fill the void. All you need is a white tree, some branches, a scarf, a hat, and papier–mâché to make your one-of-a-kind snowman head! It’s simple, easier to clean up, and is a fun and exciting twist on the traditional tree.

Tree of Lights

Credit: Architecture Art Designs

Credit: Architecture Art Designs


If you have a small space such as an apartment or loft, this fun Christmas tree idea keeps the height of a traditional tree as well as holiday spirit. It also has a quick and easy set up/clean up. This string of lights tree also saves floor space, so even if you’re dealing with a small room, you can still enjoy the holidays without the fuss of a tree overtaking your living space.

Fishin’ for Fun

Credit: Not Martha

Credit: Not Martha

These modern trees are made with fishing line and ornaments. The trees are sleek and impressive, and will definitely be the talk of holiday parties. Get as creative as you’d like by hanging different colored ornaments, or even using your favorite handmade or family ornaments that usually adorn your tree.

2-D Tree

Credit: The Photographers Wife

Credit: The Photographers Wife

We love the idea of having another tree for your little Christmas helper. This felt tree is simple, inexpensive, fun, and safe. This can be an addition to the traditional tree, or if your little one has a hard time keeping his or her hands off of your natural Christmas tree, this can be a fill-in for a couple of years.

Reading Tree

Credit: My Modern Met

Credit: My Modern Met

For the bookworm or teacher, this is a clever alternative to the traditional tree. It’s colorful, inexpensive (if you have a large collection of books), and a guaranteed conversation starter. There is no limit on height or size, and you can get as creative as you want with lights, garland, and colors.

Decorate a Ladder

Credit: Tattered Style

Credit: Tattered Style

And finally, a DIY trend that’s all over the internet — so why not try it in your home? Decorate your ladder for a funky, Christmas work of art! Easy set up, and easy clean up, too!

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.

{interior design: when to DIY and when to work with a professional}

Cable TV is full of Interior Design shows. Click a channel, and you’ll see somebody remodeling a home. And those designers make the makeovers look so easy — like you could just do it yourself.

Inspirational, for sure. But is that realistic?  In other words, when can you DIY, and when should you hire a designer?

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

“Not every project has room for a designer, and as a designer, I realize that,” says Carmin Meyer of  Carmin Meyer Design Consultation. “It might be financial reasons, or just the feeling that they have a good grip on things.”  They’ll get ideas from the Remodeler’s Showcase, Parade of Homes, Pinterest, and Houzz.com, and she says that works well for some people — but not for others.

“There are people that are creative that way, and there are others that are a little bit house-blind.” In other words, when you’ve lived in a home for awhile, you may not realize some of the flow problems — or opportunities — that a professional will see.

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

Project Size Matters

Carmin breaks interior design projects into two categories: facelifts and makeovers.

“A facelift is cosmetic, more about painting, new furnishings, and accessories,” she says, “not really changing the floor plan or layout of the space, not really making a huge investment in construction.” You might be able to handle those kinds of projects on your own. “After all,” she says, “you can always paint over a color you don’t like.”

Makeovers are full-service projects, with more construction and bigger budgets — like kitchen and bathroom remodels. “Those are the most expensive areas of the home to update, because there are quite a few pieces and parts that go into them,” she says. “And really, when you look at what you’re total investment might be, with a designer, to get really good advice regarding layouts and material selections and things like that, it’s a very small fraction of what you’re paying for the project as a whole.”

Credit: Carmin Meyer Design Consultation

So, what happens when people try to tackle a full-scale makeover on their own? They end up calling her afterwards, looking for help after the construction is already done.  “Oftentimes I’m going into projects that have recently been done, and we’re tearing certain pieces apart and redoing them to get things to look the way they had ultimately intended them to, but just didn’t know how to.”

Places to Prioritize

If you want to save some money on a big makeover, at least start with a designer for the major decisions. Carmin says these are the priorities:

  1. Space planning.  You can’t really make any of the other decisions until you have a good layout.
  2. Cabinetry is a big expense, so have an expert select a material and finishes that will last as well as possible.
  3. Countertops and appliances are also expensive, so use the pro to make good choices.

Once those pieces are in place, you may be able to handle the backsplash tile, cabinet hardware, and lighting and plumbing fixtures on your own.

“After all, your cabinetry is going to stay, your countertops are going to stay, trim is going to stay, but then other things are a little more cosmetic,” she explains. “You can remove a cabinet knob and change it out if you get sick of it in a few years. It would be pretty easy to remove backsplash tile and redo that. And paint is paint — you could paint your walls a different color every day if you wanted to.” No wonder we like the way she thinks.

You can contact Carmin at carminmeyerdesign.com.

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.



{getting your guest room ready for the holidays}

Now that the holidays are almost upon us, it’s a great time to make sure that your guest room is in top shape. Even if you don’t have the time for a full redesign, there are still things you can do to make your guests feel more at home in your guest room. Here are our best tips to fix up your guest room so it’s ready to go for the holidays:

1. Fix any scratches on wooden surfaces.
This is an easy way to quickly upgrade the look of all of your wooden furniture. Simple rub a walnut or pecan gently across the surface of the scratch – this will fill in the scratch, and the natural oils will ensure that it sticks.

2. Add a few extra blankets.
We all know that Minnesota winters can get pretty chilly, but your guests may not. Be sure to set an extra blanket or two at the foot of the bed to make sure that nobody wakes up with cold toes.

3. Keep the room simple.
Your guest room is not the place for all of those pictures and trinkets that you don’t know what to do with. Give those things away! Or, at the very least, stash them underneath the basement stairs. Just not in the guest room.

4.  Does your guest room need some new decor? A new comforter is an easy and not-too expensive option. We all know that you can find some great deals on Black Friday.  You can also give the room a fresh coat of paint using Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint. It’s no VOC, which means that you can paint to your heart’s content, and you won’t even need to crack open a window.

Also, a bonus tip: If you’d like to go the extra mile for your guests, leave a few bottles of water and some fresh flowers on the nightstand. This adds a great final touch!

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.

{bachman’s holiday ideas house 2015}


Bachman's Holiday Ideas House Kitchen

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Bachman’s historic homestead on Lyndale Avenue South. Festive floral and table arrangements, one-of-a-kind pieces, repurposed pieces, and new items all nestled alongside each other for a “making it merry” home. Props to the design team for sharing their awesome creativity!

Key trends to look for in this season’s Holiday Ideas House:

  • Words of Wisdom – Text written across pillows, glasses, and décor put you in the holiday spirit.
  • Luxury – Drape yourself in luxe details found in gold, plaid patterns, copper, and fur accents.
  • Mixed Metals – Juxtaposed bronze, copper, and gold are paired for added visual interest.
  • Make it Merry – Find inspired ideas for Christmas in every corner to make the season bright.

Enjoy our mini-tour of the Holiday Ideas House 2015.

Living room Bachman's Holiday Ideas House 2015

Chimney breast wrapped in wallpaper that looks like horizontal wood planks.

Christmas tree Bachman's Holiday Ideas House

Christmas tree? Candy cane? Use your imagination with these cute wooden boxes.

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: enhancing your decor for the holiday season}

November is a season of change. From autumn towards winter. From Thanksgiving towards Christmas and the new year. And we just love to decorate for the seasons. So, while you warm up for colder weather, we have some tips and tricks to make your home look perfect for the holiday season.

Credit: AThoughtfulPlaceBlog.com

Credit: A Thoughtful Place Blog

If you have the handwriting for it, chalkboards are all the rage right now. And what’s even better is that you can just wipe it clean and change the design as the seasons change! This simple design is fun and Wintery, with the help of some fun lyrics, and some easy-to-make snowflakes! You can even make your own chalkboard with Benjamin Moore chalkboard paint you can pick up at your local Hirshfield’s. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: beautiful botanicals and fabulous ferns}

Even as the cold weather begins to hit, there’s nothing more beautiful than interior décor that is stylish and chic, and even brings a hint of lush nature indoors. We’re not talking plants that you have to care for every day, but stunning wallpapers that bring the outdoors inside.


Nature has been a strong influence and source of inspiration for decor this past year. The beautiful botanicals, fabulous ferns, and pretty palm leaves have seen a resurgence in popularity. The iconic palm leaf style actually originated from Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper, which was created by decorator Don Loper in 1942 for the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The bold wallpaper has since been transformed to more classic looking styles that can be used for any room and not just upscale Beverly Hills hotels.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Is that the lovely Lesley Ann Warren?

Read the rest of this entry »

{8 tips to get your home ready for winter}

Although it’s not as fun as holiday decorating, preparing your home for the upcoming winter months is crucial for saving money and keeping your home cozy and warm all season long. And no matter how mild our weather has been so far, you know the cold weather is coming. So, here are eight tips to get your home ready for winter.


  • Rake your leaves before the snow hits. Although they look beautiful, if snow covers your leaves, it can inhibit spring regrowth.
  • Take a lap around your home to look for any simple home repairs that need to be made before the temperature drops too low to mend them.
  • Check your pipes to prevent any unwanted pipe bursts this chilly winter. Make sure that they are all properly insulated and ready for the temperature drop. Turning off your water to the outside water faucets is also an option.
  • Make sure to reverse your ceiling fans! The tricky little switch on your fan will turn your fan clockwise and push warm air down into the room.Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.43.36 PM
  • Stock up on all of the winter necessities. The winter cold means ice and lots of snow, so make sure you have snow shovels, salt for your sidewalks, emergency kits for your home and your car, and also make sure to have ice scrapers for your car windows.
  • Just like your car, your heating system needs occasional tune-ups. If you haven’t taken the time to make sure your heating system is in tip-top shape, do so. Many different companies offer free checkups, so take advantage of them. Did you know you can check out Home Energy Kits and Power Check Kits from your local library? Compliments of Excel Energy.


  • Create a draft blocker for underneath drafty doors to save money on energy this winter. You can either buy one or make your own. You can even roll up an old towel and set it at the base of your door.
  • Caulk or weather strip around areas where cold air may leak in. Anywhere where there are corners or different materials meet in order to prevent your energy bill from going up.

These are just a few simple steps that you can take in order to prepare yourself for the cold months ahead. So get to work, and have a safe and warm winter.

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.


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