{friday finds: favorite blog posts of 2011}

It’s hard to believe that we have entered into the final week of 2011. The year 2011 will be remembered as the year of the royal wedding, the year Gabrielle Giffords inspired us all with her heroic recovery and the year we said farewell to the Oprah Winfrey show.

It will also be remembered as they year of Benjamin Moore, wallpaper and sliding barn doors. Well, at least according to the Hirshfield’s blog! We took a look back at our most read posts of 2011 and wanted to take a moment to revisit them and reflect on the most talked about design topics of the year.

We’ll start with Benjamin Moore 2012, our most popular blog post of 2011. This post showcases some spectacular photos featuring Benjamin Moore’s 2012 trend colors. This post also announces wythe blue (HC-143) as Benjamin Moore’s 2012 Color of the Year.

Walls: Sharkskin (2139-30), ceiling: Wythe Blue (HC-143), trim: Battenberg (AF-70), stencil: Fresh Olive (2149-30)

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{adding color to your home : Tangerine Tango}

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

We’ve all heard that Pantone has selected Tangerine Tango as the color of the year for 2012. This energetic color has already made a splash amongst fashion designers and the cosmetics industry. Nanette Lepore, Tommy Hilfiger, and Elie Tahari have incorporated the vibrant hue into their spring 2012 collections, and Essie and OPI have released several Tangerine-esque nail polishes.

Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection


But how can you incorporate this color into your home? A bright color such as Tangerine Tango can be intimidating to work with, unless you know the tricks of the trade. Maryland-based interior designer Samantha Friedman shares her insight into decorating with this fresh and fun color, without going overboard.

Friedman recommends starting small. Pillows, throws, and accessories are the quickest way to update a room. But tread lightly, because one too many additions can have your home resembling a radioactive pumpkin. “The color has a lot of energy, so it needs to be toned down with neutrals and patterns,” she says. “It’s also important to spread it evenly throughout the space. You don’t want to oversaturate one area with the color.”

For a touch of glamour, Friedman suggests pairing Tangerine Tango with hints of gold, like shimmery picture frames, hardware, or trims.

Samantha Friedman

From How to decorate your home with “Tangerine Tango,” Pantones 2012 Color of the Year – The Washingtonian


Belle Maison

{friday finds: happy holidays}

Front window of Hirshfield's South Robert

Happy Holidays from everyone at Hirshfield’s!


{fighting the winter blues}

Now that winter has reared its ugly head it is time to prepare for the winter blues. The term winter blues comes from the fact that many people get depressed during the short days of winter. It is also referred to cabin fever since it is assumed that being stuck in your home for months on end causes us to be glum.

But the fact is that this morose mood is caused by lack of sunshine otherwise known seasonal affective disorder syndrome, S.A.D.S. This is most common in the northern climes as their days are shorter than those in the southern countries or those near the equator.

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{books to give to design lovers and DIYers: part 2}

Last year the team at Hirshfield’s got into the holiday spirit and compiled a list of some of our favorite books for design lovers and DIYers to share with our readers for some holiday shopping inspiration. We’ll we’ve decided to play the role of Santa’s Little Helpers again this year, as we bring you our employees’ favorite design and DIY books, part 2!

This book brings together the world’s top designers and leading decor experts including Kelly Wearstler, Amy Butler, Jonathan Adler, and many others to share over 1,000 tips, ideas, and solutions for every room and every budget. Written and compiled by Holly Becker, founder of the hugely popular design blog Decor8, and Joanna Copestick, acclaimed lifestyle writer.


Pantone: the 20th Century In Color
Pantone, the worldwide color authority, invites you on a rich visual tour of 100 transformative years. Longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker identify more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, decor, and fashion, and carefully match them with 80 different official PANTONE Color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues.


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{friday finds: kanthas}

An Indian Summer

Look what Greg brought back from market; beautiful, one-of-a kind, handmade throws called Kanthas.

Kantha refers to a running stitch, or stitched motif, on vintage cotton saris, or other pieces of worn cotton textiles which can no longer be used as clothing. The kantha is pieced, layered, stitched, and is very similar to a thin quilt. Kanthas are embroidered by women from West Bengal, India and Bangladesh; and like American quilts, they are made for special celebrations, such as a birth, wedding, and other special occasions.

A kantha is one of those versatile pieces that can move from room to room:

  • In the bedroom, it can be folded at the end of a bed
  • Use as a bed spread
  • I just saw a headboard and chair covered in a suzani;  you could do the same with a kantha.
  •  Draped on the arm of your sofa, chair, or pouf in a family room or living room
  • If your room is looking a little too matchy-matchy, a kantha would add that “unexpected”
  • Cushion covers for your patio furniture
  • Pillows
  • Perfect for napping.*

Stop by Hirshfield’s showroom if you’re interested in these one-of-a-kind originals; a great gift idea for a special person.

*TACTILE ALERT: Because the fabric is worn, the fabric hand, or the way the fabric feels to the touch, is so incredibly soft and smooth. If you’re a tactile person you know what I’m talking about.

{christmas colors : beyond red & green}

The holiday season is full of traditions – the traditional Christmas tree, the traditional Christmas cookies and the traditional Christmas color combination of red and green. And while we would never mess with the traditional Christmas tree or cookies, when it comes to colors, we like to bend the rules a little bit.

Being complimentary (opposite) colors on the color wheel, red and green create nice visual interest when used together. But we think this non-traditional color palette of candy apple green and chocolate brown creates a gorgeous, rustic holiday atmosphere.

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens

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{window treatments : hirshfield’s premier collection}

Shannon is here to talk about the Hirshfield’s Premier Collection of window treatments. This collection includes six different products, everything from wood-grain blinds to roman shades to natural shades. Every product in this line is custom ordered to fit your unique home decorating needs.

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{friday finds: guest post from Pat Verlodt: the color of the future}

I attended the Color Marketing Group Conference earlier this month to participate in their workshops where color directions for the next year or more are discussed and identified. Color Guild has several members who belong to this prestigious group of color professionals that help define where we can look for color to take off in the coming year.

It is no surprise that the talk was centered on the economy and our reaction to it. Global events and influences are commonplace in the group as our members come from all over the world and sharing palettes from those countries made for some interesting observations. For example, when palettes from Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America were consolidated it was determined that purple was represented more than any other color family.

Majestic Plum 1214

Color Is Majestic Plum 1214 represents the forecasted purple, not a surprise when we consider looking at things differently. Designers spend a great deal of time putting a new face on current products, one way to do that is to color it in an unexpected hue. Purple had a reputation for being a feminine color but has mainstreamed to the masculine market in recent years.

Fresh Take 1278 and Paternoster 546

Blue, never absent from the palette, is destined to be a red cast blue such as Color Is Fresh Take, 1278. Neutral Grays such as Color Is Paternoster 546 is a perfect backdrop for this bright and lively blue. Gray was the topic of discussion as a replacement for the common beige, not overtaking it, but giving neutrals a fresh new look.

April Love 1061 and Bad Hair Day 0564

Oranges are down to earth, homage to our appreciation of our planet. Color Is April Love 1061 is a rich deep terra cotta and pairs well with the forecasted Bad Hair Day, 564. This deep green infused neutral is a natural complement to the brighter pops of color.

Best of the Bunch 1068, Heat of the Summer 1025 and Origin 791

Enter the 70’s, a scary thought when most of us remember the 70’s. Colors that populated that period of time are returning in newer and fresher versions. The bright orange Color Is Best of the Bunch, 1068, A yellow cast orange, Color Is Heat of Summer 1025 and a new take on avocado Color Is Origin 791 makes this pattern hop into the 21st century.

Perennial Garden 759 and Petals Unfolding 1092

Color Is Perennial Garden 759 brings the beauty of our gardens into our homes to give us a Mother Nature boost. A soft pink, Color Is Petals Unfolding 1092 adds to this garden bonanza as a soft feminine pink.

Delicious 438 and Dodge Pole 157

Sun rooms are back in style, lots of light and nature’s neutral, green, create a peaceful retreat. Color is Delicious 438 and all the other colors on that stripecard are perfect backgrounds for ecology minded haven. Wood tones complement this look in Color Is Dodge Pole 157, a warm woodsy brown.

The economy has affected all areas of our home, mostly our pocketbooks. With this in mind consumers are taking the economic route of repainting rather than redoing. Take advantage of this trend and show your customers ways to repaint while making a huge change in their environment.

ABOUT PAT VERLODT: Pat has been involved in the world of color for over 40 years. As an advisor to dozens of building products companies – including paint systems, GAF roofing, Alcoa siding and more – Pat shares her expertise in color design, forecasting and trend analysis. Pat has the unique ability to explain color technology to the novice and to combine the scientific with the aesthetic. Pat is a past president, lifetime member and senior chairholder of the Color Marketing Group. Ms. Verlodt makes presentations at trade shows, corporate sales meetings, conventions, seminars, web conferences, and on television and radio. Whether speaking about color trends and where they come from, she gears her talks to the product mix and the audience and has presented all over North America, Europe, China, Australia, South America and South Africa. She has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Better Homes and Gardens and in Harold Linton’s, Color Forecasting, a book about the methods of various color forecasters.

{how to stain : tips for staining furniture}

Staining wood furniture is a great way to bring out the wood’s natural beauty. But just like with painting, there are some rules and guidelines that should be followed to make sure that your staining project turns out perfect. To get some professional advice on the matter, I turned to Greg, a paint and stain expert with Hirshfield’s in Coon Rapids.

Greg first points out that when starting a staining project it is important to keep in mind that all woods take stain differently. For example, hard, dense woods like maple and hickory don’t absorb stain well so it’s harder to stain them to a darker tone.

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