{interior decorating: when to save and when to splurge}

Interior decorating is fun. But it can also be expensive. If you start to redo a room, it feels like the budget is never big enough for all the things you dream up. So, where should you splurge, and just as importantly, where can you save? Kathy Basil is the manager of our Hirshfield’s Design Studio, and she has some great advice: “I do my investment piece first, and then I work from there.” Every room is different, but for a living room, Kathy suggests starting with the rug and the main piece of furniture — and saving on accessories.

When To Splurge

“You have a budget, and you spend it where you need to spend it and you save it where you need to save it, but every room, in my opinion needs to have an investment piece. Or a couple, if you can.”

“I want a great rug,” she says, “and I’m going to spend some money on this rug, because if I buy an inexpensive Olefin rug (made with a polypropylene fiber), it’s going to look good for a few months, and then it’s going to compact and collect every bit of dust around it. And it’s going to stop looking good, and I’m not going to be happy.”

Vanguard Furniture at Hirshfield's

Vanguard Furniture available at Hirshfield’s Design Studio

Read the rest of this entry »

{6 reasons gray and greige are so popular}

Mention gray to many people, and they’ll think it’s drab and boring. But most designers consider it exciting. There are now so many shades of gray that its reputation of being cold or unwelcoming has changed as trending gray paints have taken on a warmer undertone that is desirable for any room of your home.

Benjamin Moore Color Stories Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray from Benjamin Moore’s Color Stories Collection

Want proof? Just check Pinterest, where gray and greige (a warm mixture of gray and beige) are showing up on everything from coffee cups to bath tubs. So, here are 6 reasons you should consider gray or greige for your next painting project:

Read the rest of this entry »

{wallpaper solutions for your home}

Wallcovering Wednesday: Fabric-Backed Vinyl Wallpaper

Fabric backed vinyl wallpaper is a great solution to many common wallcovering problems. This wallpaper has durable fabric backing and a vinyl surface, which makes it almost invincible. They’re a superhero against dings, scratching, stains and standard wear and tear without being damaged. The benefits of fabric-backed vinyl are virtually endless. They come in many different textures that are just not achievable with paint, they can be easily cleaned with water, soap and even most household cleaning agents without ruining the wallpaper. If your home has wall damage, this wallcovering is great at covering up imperfections.

Fabric-Backed Vinyl

Thibaut’s best-selling fabric-backed vinyl is Bankun Raffia. It adds natural flare to a room in a wide variety of agreeable shades.

Read the rest of this entry »

{wallpaper trends for your home}

Wallcovering Wednesday: Wallpaper Trends

Wallpaper is big. It’s not just for your grandparent’s 100 year-old cottage, or for that antique store around the corner. Wallpaper is modern, fun, young and trending. Kathy Basil from Hirshfield’s design studio realizes that not only is it trending, but it’s become a necessary addition to your home. Wallcoverings are flying off the shelves and onto feature walls, half bathrooms, children’s rooms, master bedrooms and anywhere you want a little charm and bold personality.

The patterns Basil sees in the spotlight are ones with a floral flare and intense texture. Designers are going bold.  Eden Verbena from Romo’s Black Edition takes the popularity award. It’s beautiful Monet-like flowers are great for a space with fun atmosphere.

“In one pattern, Eden describes a whole trend. It’s large scale, playful, floral, not too serious, modified, even hippie.”

Wallcovering Trends

Eden Wallcovering Verbena

Romo Black Edition

Romo Black Edition

Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: celebrity style}

Window Shades of the Stars

When we’re thinking of redecorating, remodeling or changing something in our home, sometimes we need a little inspiration. At times that comes from magazines, home remodeling shows, our favorite furniture store, or online—maybe even stargazing at celebrities’ homes via photos on the Internet.

Here are some celebrities’ former homes and lessons we can take from their window treatments. Shannon Scarrella, a Minneapolis window coverings expert at Hirshfield’s, has some insight to share about these stars’ windows.

#2 Katy Perry. Scarrella liked that the window treatment was darker than the walls and added some drama to the room, but thought the drapery rod should have been either extended or made shorter to line up with the window. Read the rest of this entry »

{home design trends: outdoor kitchen}

Decorating Your Outdoor Kitchen

Bobby Flay outdoor dining

Outdoor dining at Bobby Flay’s Hampton home

It’s cold outside now, but this weather won’t last forever. Before we know it, spring will be here, and then glorious summer—the reason we endure these single-digit days. While you’re snuggling down and stuck indoors, it’s the perfect time to start brainstorming ideas for your home. Don’t forget the outdoor spaces, too, including outdoor cooking and dining areas.

Summertime is when we want to be outdoors as much as possible. One way to encourage your family to be outdoors more is by spending time now thinking about your outdoor kitchen and how you can make it more comfortable and appealing. Here is some food for thought.

Consistent Style. When you’re decorating your outdoor kitchen, you want it to flow with the style of your home. If you have a traditional home, you may want your outdoor kitchen to feature a stone fireplace, brick oven, wood components or other traditional materials. If your home is contemporary, sleek lines, stainless steel and simplicity may shine. Read the rest of this entry »

{window treatment wednesday: warm up your home with window coverings}

Window Treatment Wednesday: Warm Up Your Home with Window Coverings off-center window treatments

It’s the time of year when snow boots, hats and mittens get put back into the outerwear rotation. Some mornings you might have to warm up your car before driving. Daylight hours are fewer and the house is chilly in the morning. Is there a way to help your house stay warmer—can Minneapolis window coverings help?

According to Hirshfield’s expert Scott Anderson, window treatments can make a big difference in keeping your house warm. “Windows are the weakest link on your outside walls,” Scott says. “They’re where the warm air goes to escape and the cold air tries to get in. Any window treatment will slow down that exchange, and some are much better at it than others. The slower the rate, the more heat you’ll retain in your home.”

Scott says that the best insulators are Honeycomb Shades. They’re versatile and efficient—the air pockets they create keep the sun’s hot rays out in summer and insulate the window in winter. Hirshfield’s carries a number of styles from various manufacturers.

If you love your current window treatments, there are accessories you can add that will help them trap in warmth.

“One accessory that can be ordered with Hunter Douglas Honeycomb Shades is called the Literise Trimkit,” says Scott. “It’s a pair of tracks that mount on either side of a window frame—for an inside mount. The moving rail of the shade actually travels inside the track to create a very snug seal. When combined with the Hunter Douglas Duette Architella Honeycomb Shades, it creates a strong enough barrier that the federal government has ruled it eligible for a federal tax credit until the end of 2013.” More details on the tax credit can be found at www.hunterdouglas.com/tax-credit.

As you look at your windows and their coverings, make sure that your windows are locked shut. If they aren’t latched properly, they aren’t completely interlocked to keep out the cold. If they’re locked but you can still feel a draft, you may want to consider using an insulator kit. That’s where you apply a plastic film and use a blow dryer to shrink it for a tight seal. Also make sure your window is adequately caulked around its frame.

When you live in Minnesota, your window coverings can make a big difference in the efficiency of your home. It’s a good thing to consider, especially when the cold weather hits.

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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 169 other followers