{ask Hirshfield’s a question}

If you have a decorating question, we’d love to hear from you.

Questions about what’s the best finish to use on your painting project; what steps need to be take to properly prepare a surface; should you prime or should you dare to cut corners; do window treatments offer energy-saving insulation; can I retrofit old blinds in my kid’s room; which store has the best wallpaper library; refinishing woodwork; staining the deck; et al.

Use the LEAVE A COMMENT link below. We’ll put a Hirshfield’s expert on your case (but give us at least 24 hours to post a reply).

If you desire anonymity, you may write us at this address.  You can also visit our Facebook Fan Page.

Thank you.

{what every self-respecting kitchen deserves}

Looking at the stats for Hirshfield’s Color Club blog, we notice a fair amount of people coming to this site have used “kitchen” as part of their search terms. The list includes: Kitchen island, kitchen cabinets painted white, counter top for white kitchens, white cupboards, and so on.

Just as every kitchen needs a sharp paring knife, every respectable kitchen deserves beautiful and easily maintained walls (think wallpaper or paint), cabinets, woodwork and ceiling. Hirshfield’s can help you with that. But, if your search brought you here looking for something else kitchen-related, read on for exciting news. . .

To all interested “kitchen” parties, our friends at Warner’s Stellian opened a Miele gallery just last week in their Edina location. This is the only Miele gallery in the United States, mind you!

Miele is a German company with clean lines and a contemporary design. Come to think of it, so is our company.

Miele kitchen

Miele kitchen

{remodel your bathroom in three easy steps}

I’ve moved many times – in fact, in 17 years of marriage I have had 2 apartments and 5 homes.  One of my favorite things about my newest home is that I finally have a huge tub in my master bath; I can officially get my whole self under water all at one time!  This was a major selling point for me in choosing this house, but the rest of the bathroom was not exactly what I was hoping for…

So in order to make my bathroom a place I can truly enjoy while I soak, I found ways to take the focus off the parts of the room I didn’t like and turn the attention somewhere else.  There are three areas that you can look at in order to improve your bathroom, without necessarily doing a major remodel.

Your bathroom can be more than just a room of necessity; it can be an oasis.

Your bathroom can be more than just a room of necessity; it can be an oasis.

Read the rest of this entry »

{there is more than bland behind beige}

Beige, beige, and more beige

Beige, beige, and more beige

Beige is a best selling color, and to stretch its reach even farther you can include off white as a pale version of beige. Not only is it a best seller in interior colors but also in exterior colors. Its scope extends from the rich tones of tan to the grayed nuances of taupe. Beige is not a color family, only a tone in the family of Orange. Its big brother Brown is the darkest value of that tone and it is also a winner in the marketplace, enjoying a revival as of late. So what is the mysterious allure of beige? Why does it play such a key role in decorating today?

Not so bland beiges

Not so bland beiges

There are a number of reasons why we are inundated with beige. First of all it is a neutral, a color that plays well with others and is a great companion. In the scheme of things it is in the correct hemisphere, the warm side of the color world. Warm colors outsell cool colors by quite a large margin. They are comforting and offer refuge from an over colorful world. Color love comes from a memory of things that are pleasant, familiar and predictable. Our minds make connections with colors we see around us every day, such as our natural surroundings and objects we love and cherish. We see these warm tone colors in the trees around us, the earth beneath our feet and in the wildlife we cherish. So as humans we have a strong connection to this color family and it translates into big sales in a broad range of products from carpet to siding and from low end to high end. It looks good on flat surfaces such as walls and on textured surfaces like carpet. It is rich as a best selling metallic or pearl of automobile finishes and even on plastic wastebaskets. How can they possibly make it look fashionable and new?

Tone on tone neutrals can suggest a rich, luxurious look. High end fabrics made of silk, wool and cashmere can add ambiance to a humble color like beige. Pair that with our memories of the familiar and it doubles its power. In today’s economy beige is a proven winner as it can live a long time in a home environment. It is easy to punch it up with a broad range of accents, both warm and cool, giving it an even longer life.

I used to call beige a chicken color, not the color of a chicken but a color for people who were too chicken to pick a more colorful hue. I take my words back, easy or not, beige is where its at!

Our thanks to Pat Verlodt, CMG, Color Guild spokesperson, and author of this post.

Used with permission of The Color Guild.

{minneapolis’ monet}

Loring Praking Ramp

Loring Ramp

Sun setting on the Loring Ramp

Setting sun on the Loring Ramp

Props to City Council Member Lisa Goodman for her inspiration to have Loring Ramp owner, Alatus LLC, team up with Forecast Public Art, St. Paul artist Joshua Sarantitis’ interpretation of Monet’s water lilies, and our friends over at Sunrise Painting & Wallcovering, for a great looking paint job.

Read more in Amanda Kushner’s downtownjournal story.

{fine finish envy}

I’ve never been a fan of rag rolling — even in it’s heyday when it was first introduced. So when my neighbor invited me in to show off her new faux walls in her family room, I prepared a few niceties in my head to match her enthusiasm. To my big surprise, I loved what I saw. The walls were painted a rich reddish brown; it looked like they had been covered in textured leather (seriously, I touched it expecting a polished feel), and it gave the room a warm, cozy and inviting look. I instantly saw why my neighbor was so euphoric. “I feel like I just updated the entire room,” she cooed, and I had to agree.

Of course, it didn’t take much time for me to hop on Hirshfield’s website to learn that the rag rolling of the late ’80s that I remembered has been replaced with updated techniques, colors and textures for seriously beautiful results.

I’ve got to go; I’m on my way to remind my neighbor that to copy someone is the highest form of flattery!

A beautiful faux finish can really transform a room.

A beautiful faux finish can really transform a room.

Read the rest of this entry »

{green paint – it’s not just a color anymore}

The sense of smell has an amazing power when connected with the memory!  For me memories flood when I smell ginger cookies, green bottle polo cologne and new baby. They all hold the memories of firsts: my first day of school, my first kiss and my first child.  I love firsts.  One of my favorite first memories is our first home.  My husband and I flipped three homes in 7 years, often picking the diamonds in the rough that just needed some lipstick and rouge to shine.  That always meant a LOT of painting!

I was 8 months pregnant when we were “still” painting our first home, working hard to move in before the baby came.  Using latex paint, which I was told was safer than oil based, we brushed every square foot of the home.  At the same time, the kitchen was getting finishing touches, including a new gas stove.  Excited to see the stove finally working I turned on all the burners.  In moments a smell started to fill the air – the mixture of natural gas and latex paint fumes.  That curious smell filled the house as we quickly opened the windows, turned off the stove and aired the place out.  That smell will always remind me of our first home (and a few painting jobs that followed!).  However I am not too sure I will smell this memory much in the future.

Recently I used one of the new green seal certified, low VOC paints on the market and was surprised at the almost odor-free experience.  I have always been a pretty loyal paint brand customer and after so many painting jobs I have learned a trick or two.  Trick Number One: Use good paint if you want good results.  So I was hesitant to try “green” paint.  But looking at the benefits from low odor to more importantly low toxins, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.  Much to my relief, it yielded great results for coverage and color quality on top of contributing to a healthier home environment.  My thanks to “green” paint for a new no-smell memory of a great first experience!

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