{when is it too hot to paint outside?}

painting outsideHas the heat and humidity kept you inside this summer, forcing you to neglect some of your exterior home improvement projects? Maybe you’re feeling guilty (or maybe you’re not?) that you’ve chosen the comfort of your air conditioned home over your desire to up your home’s curb appeal. And now here we are, half way through summer and you’re wondering if those projects will ever get done…

Well the paint experts at Hirshfield’s are here to help clear your conscious. When it comes to exterior paint work, if the temperatures are too hot you may be better off spending the day indoors. The outside temperature should be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit before you start painting, but if the outside temperature is more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the paint can end up “baking” rather than drying, resulting in a less than favorable outcome.

Wind and humidity also have an impact on whether or not you should start an outdoor painting project.  If the wind is too strong, it can blow loose debris onto wet or damp paint, and it can also dry things out too quickly. If the humidity is high then condensation can form on surfaces in the late evening or overnight.  This can cause streaks, fading, or poor adhesion to the surface. If it’s too hot with low humidity, or too hot with high humidity, you can have application issues. Uncertain? Pick up the phone and call your local Hirshfield’s paint expert!

Read the rest of this entry »

{tips for lightening and brightening a dark space}

When you have the right design plan, you don’t have to worry about accepting a space as-is. There are very few flaws that can’t be “designed away!”

For example, if you have a room that feels dark and gloomy try these design tips and tricks to make it feel lighter and brighter!

Add a mirror
Mirrors trick the eye into thinking that a room is larger than it really is and also help reflect light. Add a floor-to-ceiling mirror for a dramatic effect or combine small, tile mirrors for added interest. Yard sales and estate sales are great places to find mirrors at affordable prices.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore Color Stories, Sea Glass CSP-735 on the walls and City Shadow CSP-60 for the wainscot.

Add some white
White gets a bum rap for being “boring.” But when done properly, an all white room can be dramatic and sophisticated – not to mention bright and airy! To really make a statement, go all out with the white, white Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: adding a touch of black}

home decorating

It’s that finishing touch that just makes a room feel complete; a touch of black. Black is the “decorative weight” or grounding force that creates a sense of completeness in a room. Best of all, it goes with everything so no matter what your decorating style you can always incorporate a touch of black.

decorating with black

Better Homes and Gardens

Minneapolis paint

Four Walls and a Roof

minneapolis decorating

My Life By Design

Minneapolis paint

Apartment Therapy

Are you someone who likes to add a touch of black to every room? Or do you ignore the rule all together?

For more decorating with black inspiration, check out our previous post, Basic Black.

Hirshfield’s is your local Minneapolis-St. Paul paint retailer. The experts at Hirshfield’s are here to help you with everything from window-treatments to paint colors. Hirshfield’s manufactures paint right here in Minneapolis.

{window treatment wednesday}

Sidelights are the long windows on either side of your front door or French doors. Offering a hearty welcome, doors with sidelights tend to be the focal point of the front or back of the home. Covering the sidelights for privacy can be challenging, as not all window treatments are available for that size of window.

Hunter Douglas’ dynamic duo, Sally and Jen, have these recommendations for covering the sidelights.

The windows on either side of your front door are known as sidelights. Keep in mind that when the front of the house coordinates, you make curb appeal more attractive. Most of our products are available in a 12″ size, so putting the same product on your sidelight that is on your other front facing windows is a smart option. The first product that I recommend is Silhouette® window shadings. They are essentially a soft 2″, 3″ or 4″ fabric vane that has a sheer to the front and back. In the open position, you will have filtered visibility outside with the sheer. Sheers always look elegant and are very practical for a sidelight as well. Close the vanes and you will have your privacy. Then with the pull of the cord, they roll up to disappear up into the headrail when you want full visibility outside. These are a perfect solution for your sidelights!!

Sally recommends Hunter Douglas Shutters. Sally has them in the sidelights in her own home, and they make a dramatic statement with curb appeal (also because they are on all of her windows that face the street). The fact that you can tilt and turn the bold louvers for privacy and light control is very appealing. She has Heritance® hardwood shutters, but there are several other Hunter Douglas shutters to choose from. Jen

 If other windows in your home are sporting honeycomb shades then the Duette Honeycomb shade should be considered.  The Duette is available in an non-operable sidelight, meaning you do not have the option of lifting the shade up and down, or is also available as a cordless operable sidelight, with the option to add Top-Down or Top Down/Bottom-Up. The top and bottom rails are stationary with both shades.
Hunter Douglas Silhouette
 Hirshfield’s window treatment experts can walk you through all the nuances of window treatments and offer up their many years of expertise. Your style. Our expertise.

{top exterior paint colors for your home}

This time of year, the paint experts at Hirshfield’s are busy helping customers select the best exterior paint color for their home. So I decided to ask Hirshfield’s color expert, Mark Masica, what colors he would choose as his top exterior color picks for the season. And the results are in!

Mark says the overall trend in exterior colors reflects colors that are found in nature. There’s just something about natural colors that Minnesotans relate to! These colors make us feel peaceful, happy and at home.

Grays with a warm undertone also remain popular for interior and exterior paint. Grays with warm undertones tend to look better on a home’s exterior throughout the year, as the seasons change.

Sage green is also a popular choice for exterior paint color this year. This color reflects the “nature” trend and looks great year round in Minnesota weather.

Here are Mark’s favorite exterior paint color picks:

Minneapolis paint

0561 Indian Hills

Hirshfield's paint

0568 Cloudy Today

Minneapolis paint 0574 Shark Fin Read the rest of this entry »

{bits & pieces: leather flooring made from… }

How seriously cool is this leather rug repurposed from belts? Can you stand it? I have to give credit to Cupboards for sharing the Ting love. Did anyone else instantly think, ” I can do that?” Head over to Cupboards for more leather love!

Wall treatment from belts

{friday finds: working trends into your home decor}

It’s been fun following the Tangerine Tango trail since it was chosen as Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year. It is everywhere, except in my house. Try as I might, I could not get the oranges to co-exist with the colors in my home. Not every design trend is going to work in your home, so just like in fashion, there are many trends to choose from.

Experimenting with current trends is an excellent way to freshen up your space. Accessories can be an inexpensive and easy way to test the waters of your favorite trend. Adding the new with the old, and mixing it up with your sentimental favorites, is what makes a house a home.

Here are three examples of current home decor trends and how you can make them work in your home.

Color-blocking which has been so popular in the fab world of fashion made the leap into decor. Work with three of your favorite colors and see where it takes you.  If you start adding more colors you can end up with a home decor disaster.

An inexpensive and easy way to add color is to paint to the back of open cupboards or bookcases. In the examples shown above, you would only need a pint or quart of paint for each color.  You can also gather “like colored” items from around your home and group them together in an energized color-blocked collection.*

Buy fabric in your favorite colors for accent pillows and a DIY steal-the-show shower curtain.

I love how color-blocking was used in this living room with neutral walls and neutral furniture: the rug, stack of green books, draperies, ottoman cushion, and the luscious green pillows. It all works for me.

Here color-blocking is used in the artwork, rug, side chairs, and accent pillows. The finish of the coffee table also reflects the colors of the entire  room.

Nautical is crazy popular right now for the home. The traditional nautical colors of red, white, and blue, paired with tailored stripes, gives off the clean, crisp vibe I love. Make a total commitment with one of Pottery Barn’s six nautical themed bedrooms, or accessorize with the simple, yet fetching, “You anchor me” piece of artwork.

Benjamin Moore Harbor Haze and Spellbound paint colors were used in this bright and cheery space.

If the style of your home doesn’t lend itself to the sea, desk accessories, anchor pillows, sea shells, wooden ships or knot artwork are smaller pieces you can work into your home decor.

Stingray hide

Shagreen (shuh-green) – before last year I don’t remember ever seeing this word in print. The Pink Chandelier tells the story:

 Much to the chagrin of most sharks and rays, their skin, shagreen, has been used on decorative items and furniture since ancient times. Egyptians adored its pearly texture and Japanese samurais used it on the handles of their swords. Louis XV and Madame Pompadour were huge fans of the luminescent, pebbly leather and had exquisite wig boxes covered in it. During the Art Deco period, furniture and boxes were commonly upholstered with shagreen and dyed in soft pastel shades. Today, shagreen is still coveted and used on luxurious furniture and decorative objects because of its amazing texture that is reminiscent of tiny beads.  Luckily for sharks and rays, faux shagreen is an alternative option and unless you are an expert, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Faux shagreen wallcovering from Hirshfield’s Design Studio

Kathy and Greg (Hirshfield’s Design Studio) tell me shagreen was very, very popular at High Point Market this past 2012 spring, showing up on furniture, accessories, wallets, bar carts, and lamp bases to name a few. Kathy also told me it’s desirous to have a shagreen covered item with the larger white spots on it.

Vintage Pirite Shagreen Commode or Chest

Ann Sacks black shagreen tiles…the real deal.

When I am looking to add a little luxe glamour to my interiors, I look to a shagreen-finished object like a tray, accent table or box…The Pink Chandelier

This is a trend that is building momentum; in the next six months we’ll be seeing more shagreen products mass marketed. I would love a shagreen box to hold all the remote controls, and I would consider a lamp with a shagreen base. Shagreen covered items add another layer of texture and interest to a room.

Just like with fashion not all trends will work for you. Your home should be comfortable and reflect your personal style, but yet don’t be afraid to freshen it up every so often. You’ve gotten rid of your mom/dad jeans, haven’t you? Maybe that valance in your kitchen needs to go…oh wait, that’s my valance that needs to go!

*Half painted walls another form of color-blocking?

Images: Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, Styleathome.com, Martha Stewart, Interiorholic, Pottery Barn, RatedPeopleBlacklist Studio PrintsElle, Style Theories,?, House To Home, ?, Full Chisel Blog, Hirshfield’s Design Studio, Old Plank Road,Oly, Apartment Therapy

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