{friday finds: window treatment project keeps kids safe}

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A special project completed during National Window Covering Safety Month will have a lasting impact for children in Anoka.

The stock vinyl mini-blinds at the Little Blessings of Anoka Early Childhood Learning Center were a safety hazard, so the non-profit, Awareness of Blind Cord Safety (ABC’s), organized a project to fix it.

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Old Mini-Blinds at Little Blessings of Anoka had Hazardous Cords and Needed to be Replaced

Hunter Douglas, Hirshfield’s, and Blind Installation & Repair worked together to bring the safe, new window treatments to the learning center.

Hunter Douglas contributed Applause® honeycomb shades with a LiteRise® operating system for every classroom, while Blind Installation & Repair took down the old blinds and handled the reinstallation.

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Out with the old, in with the new.

The final installation of the shades was celebrated at a grand re-opening event during National Window Covering Safety Month in October. Window covering safety packages were also distributed to all of the families at the unveiling event.

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New Look: Applause® Honeycomb Shades with a LiteRise® Operating System

The Hunter Douglas product line features the widest selection of child safety products that eliminate lift cords or substantially reduce access to them. The Window Covering Safety Council sponsors National Window Covering Safety Month every October to increase awareness of the potential dangers associated with corded window coverings.

The Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents and caregivers move all furniture, cribs, beds and climbable surfaces away from windows, and follow these basic cord-safety precautions:

  • Keep all window cords well out of the reach of children.
  • Install only cordless window coverings in homes with young children.
  • Make sure tasseled pull cords are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords on draperies and vertical blinds should be pulled tight and anchored to the floor or wall.
  • Be sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit inner-cord movement.

The Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits if you prefer to keep your older window treatments.

Hunter Douglas has plenty of great cordless options, including PowerView Motorization System and Pebble Remote Control.

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.

{friday finds: 2016 interior design trends}

It’s January — time to bring on the bone-chilling cold here in Minnesota, and time to make predictions for the new year in the design world.  It seems like everybody wants to predict what colors, materials, and styles will be hot this year, so we sifted through some of the best to bring you a look at the top interior design trends for 2016.

Matte Metal Tile by Miami Kitchen & Bath Fixtures Eden Mosaic Tile

The Wall Street Journal interviewed 26 top interior designers and picked black metals as the top trend for this year. Los Angeles designer Barclay Butera noted that “there is nothing fussy about iron and blackened steel,” which is showing up in simple hardware, bathroom fixtures and even flatware. Contemporary designers, such as Jasper Morrison blend it with wood and glass, or sometimes create entire pieces of matte black metal. “Welders are the new rock stars,” enthused New York designer Julia Haney-Montanez.

Kitchen by Tampa Appliances Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers

Houzz.com agrees. A compilation of discussions on the design site identified colored stainless steel appliances as one of the top trends.  “Black stainless steel is making a buzz on Houzz,” the article says. “In a poll, nearly two-thirds of Houzzers say they would consider the dark alternative to shiny silver metal.” Examples include LG’s new Black Stainless collection (above), and Whirlpool’s Sunset Bronze finish.

Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: historic christmas letters}

For many people, the holidays are a time for reflection. For others, a time for tradition. At Hirshfield’s, we like to review the following exchange of Christmas-time letters as a symbol of both. We look back at these letters, written during WWII, and see the remarkable bond between our Hirshfield’s family and an employee serving overseas during the war.

The letters — one sent on Christmas Eve, 1943 — were written to a friend and colleague named Gilbert, who was serving in the army’s medical corp, eventually becoming a POW. When the war ended, Gilbert came home and came back to Hirshfield’s — where he continued to work into his 80s.

Hirshfield's Christmas LetterHirshfield's Christmas LetterHirshfield's Christmas Letter Hirshfield's Christmas Letter

These letters give us a glimpse into Hirshfield’s history, and that of our country. When you see a reference to “Mrs. Hirshfield and the Doctor,” they are referring to Hans’ grandfather, who not only ran the business but was also a physician. Apparently this surprised some of his patients who, when they noticed the doctor’s paint-splattered shoes, questioned the validity of his credentials.

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.

{friday finds: 8 unique ways to hang christmas stockings}

Hanging your stockings on the mantel above the fireplace is the traditional way, but what can you do if you don’t have a mantel? Or maybe you’ve decided it’s time to switch things up this year. Whatever your reason, we’ve created a list of some unique ideas to shake the stocking décor up a bit this year:

Wall Art

If you don’t have a fireplace for stockings, this is an easy, creative way to use a wall instead – with a rustic DIY framework to hang and support your stockings. Read the rest of this entry »

{friday finds: 8 tips for your outdoor christmas decorations}

There’s nothing quite as beautiful as Christmas lights reflecting off of the winter’s first blanket of snow. So, to make sure your home is prepared, inside and out, for the Holiday Season, here are 8 great tips for outdoor Christmas decorations.

1. Make Christmas Light Balls

Credit: Christmas Lights, Etc.

Credit: Christmas Lights, Etc.

If you have a home full of little ones, or even just a love for whimsical Christmas décor, try these DIY Christmas light balls to go in the yard. They resemble large ornaments and can be made in any color you choose. Find out how to make them Here.

2. Use Mason Jars

Credit: All Things Heart and Home

Credit: All Things Heart and Home

This simple look is beautiful and classy—and so easy to make! Mason jars are so trendy right now, and this hanging mason jar chandelier is the perfect simple alternative to hanging lights everywhere outside. Choose whatever color of light you want, and the burlap can be exchanged for colorful ribbon. Get creative with this simple DIY outdoor décor.

3. Dangle Lights from a Tree

Credit: xxx

Credit: Small Garden Ideas

Instead of wrapping your lights tediously around the tree, why not hang them for this beautiful effect. Just imagine how magical this would look after a fresh snowfall!

4. Ornaments Outdoors

Credit: Real House Design

Credit: Real House Design

Why limit ornaments to your indoor Christmas tree? These huge ornaments are bold and fun, and they make a drab, leafless tree look holiday-ready.

5. Wreath

Credit: Whispering Welcome

Credit: Whispering Welcome

This wreath is beautiful and chic, and not only is perfect for the Christmas season, but all throughout winter. Either buy your own or go to your local craft store to create one. The fun in creating one is you can make it as simple or as whimsical as you’d like.

6. Decorate with Pool Noodles

Credit: Sweet Pickins Furniture

Credit: Sweet Pickins Furniture

This innovative idea uses pool noodles to create a larger than life wreath for either outdoors or indoors! Choosing colorful, fun ornaments like those shown above, or gold and silver ornaments can make for a simple and elegant large wreath. Consider adding lights to make this wreath even more eye-popping!

7. Set Up Signs

Credit: At The Picket Fence

Credit: At The Picket Fence

Signs are simple to set up and simple to put away which makes them a great decoration for outdoors. If you have the time and penmanship, you can even make your own!

8. Decorate with Lanterns

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This is a creative way to use lanterns that you may already have! What’s great about this project is that you can include any color scheme you desire, and add fun lights for décor that will light up the night. These are great for both indoor and outdoor Christmas decorating, and are a quick and easy project for any home or apartment.

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.

Here’s How the Color in Your Home Affects Your Mood

Two weeks ago, Fawn Chang from Color Guild International gave a presentation at Hirshfield’s Design Studio called “How to Use Color in Space”. We’ve gathered some of her best points for you here.

Whether we like it or not, our space affects our physiology and mood. In fact,  color and space affect us so much that we can use these elements in our design to drive specific behavior in that space. Let’s take a look at how this works.

When designing a room, the first question you should ask yourself is, “What is the purpose of this room?”. If you’re designing your living room, do you want it to be a lively and vivacious space, or do you want it to inspire close, intimate conversations? Once you’ve decided on your room’s purpose, that’s when you can start thinking about color.

Colors will influence how a space makes you feel, which means you want to choose your color palettes carefully.  Whites, as well as tints, will activate and energize you. This energy will not last forever, though – after awhile, it will exhaust you. Blacks, and deep shades of color, will draw the energy from the room and our bodies, making the room much quieter.

dark gray room heart To Home Magazine

Heart to Home Magazine

To create excitement in a room, choose vibrant colors and strong contrast.

benjamin moorebluelagoon2054-40

Benjamin Moore Blue Lagoon 2054-40

If you’re designing your bedroom, your best bet is to choose a warm, neutral flesh tone – anywhere from a pale yellow to a rich cocoa tone will do the trick.

Pink will relax you and reduce disruptive and aggressive behavior, which makes it a great option for a nursery or a playroom.

There is a place for many different colors in your home – the key is using them in the right rooms.

For more information on how color affects us visit Fawn’s website.

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.

 

 

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