{colors of the day: red, white, and blue}

Celebrate Flag Day with these patriotic inspirations.

How did the iconic red, white, and blue come to be? These shades now synonymous with freedom, equality, and baseball inspire patriotic pride throughout the country. The rich story behind these historic hues may surprise you.

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Let red, white, and blue serve as your color palette.

DIY American flag

Display your patriotic pride year round with a DIY painted flag.

History of the Flag

What is known is that the first unofficial national flag, called the Grand Union Flag or the Continental Colours, was raised at the order of General Washington near his headquarters outside Boston, Mass., on Jan. 1, 1776. The flag had 13 alternating red and white horizontal stripes and the British Union Flag in the canton.

The first official national flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The blue canton contained 13 stars, representing the original 13 colonies.

After Vermont and Kentucky were admitted to the Union in 1791 and 1792, respectively, two more stars and two more stripes were added in 1795. This 15-star, 15-stripe flag was the “star-spangled banner” that inspired lawyer Francis Scott Key to write the poem that later became the U.S. national anthem.

In 1818, after five more states had gained admittance, Congress passed legislation fixing the number of stripes at 13 and requiring that the number of stars equal the number of states. Before 1912 there were no specific guidelines as to how the flag should look. President Taft presented guidelines regarding the configuration of the stars in the 48-star flag. The last new star, bringing the total to 50, was added on July 4, 1960, after Hawaii became a state.

Through the words of the founding father himself, we gain a perspective of the American flag. “We take the stars and blue union from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty,” interpreted George Washington in 1777.

Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with six white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

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.

{DIY season is here: the best projects to do yourself}

Spring is the start of DIY season. After a long Minnesota winter, it’s natural to start your spring cleaning and start dreaming of home improvements, as well. But don’t forget the low-hanging fruit, the easy-to-do inside projects that can make a quick impact. These are a half-dozen DIY inspirations that you can do right away, or wait until you run into a rainy day.

Paint the Front Door

Like we’ve always suggested, painting your front door and adding a few accessories is one of the fastest changes that can completely transform your curb appeal. And if you want to experiment with something like this yellow, it only takes a little more paint to change it to a less springy color for fall and winter.  Click on this link to see the proper way to paint a door.

Makeover the Front Porch

A simple porch makeover can create an outdoor hangout for the whole family. Add some pillows, hang some curtains for privacy, throw out a rug, and voila! The perfect place to read a book.

Credit: Country Living

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{friday finds: how to create the perfect home office}

Home offices are certainly popular. After all, working from home is convenient and efficient. But creating the right kind of workspace can be tricky. So, if you’re looking to carve out some office space at home — or improve what you’re already using — here are our tips to create the perfect home office.

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Scribner Desk from Vanguard Furniture | Hirshfield’s Design Studio

  • First, find the perfect location. Repurpose an unused room in your home, but make sure you are aware of what’s nearby. If you know you need peace and quiet to work, then the guest room next to the playroom may not be the best spot. Be aware of your working style and go from there.
  • Don’t have an extra room? Try claiming the space under your stairs. A pretty chair, a work surface attached to the wall, and a cork board for pinning inspirational images are all you need to create a fun and functional home office.

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{how to warm up your home without using heat}

January is fast approaching, yet the winter weather has been pretty easy on us, so far.  Still, we’re bound to have plenty of cold weather ahead. Warm up your room and make it cozier without turning up the thermostat with these easy tips and tricks.

Credit: Most Beautiful Things

Credit: Most Beautiful Things

  • Paint your room a warm color.
    Although painting a room won’t make you physically warmer, the hue will make the room cozy and inviting — and the perfect place to warm up to a cup of hot cocoa on a chilly, snow day. Reds, deep oranges, and even neutral browns are great shades to start your warm getaway.
  • Change your sheets.
    A simple change to stay physically warmer is to change your sheets from cotton to flannel. Flannel sheets are cozy and inviting on a cold winter’s day. Adding a down blanket can help to conceal the heat as well.
  • Using warm light can make a once cold, drab room look inviting.
    Simply adding a colored shade to a lamp can make even the brightest bulbs emit warm light throughout a room.
  • Remember your feet.
    Wearing cozy socks around the house is helpful, but buying a fuzzy rug for an otherwise chilly room is a great and stylish way to spruce up a space and make it feel warmer this winter.

    Credit: Etxeko Deco

    Credit: Etxeko Deco

 

  • There’s nothing like wrapping up in a warm throw while lounging as a family.
    Buy an assortment of nice knit throws that incorporate the colors of the room they will be stored in. Just make sure there are enough to keep the whole family — and maybe some friends — warm and bundled!
  • Incorporate candles everywhere and anywhere!
    Candlelight is warm and if you don’t have a fireplace, lots of candles can bring that warm, fiery feel into any room.
  • Fire up the fireplace.
    Fireplaces are a wonderful gathering spot to play board games, enjoy a drink, or warm your toes — and your child’s — after a long day in the snow.

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.

{wallcovering wednesday: wood walls without hammer and nails}

There’s something about the look and feel of wood. From the rugged wood walls in a rustic farmhouse to reclaimed wood in an industrial chic loft, wood brings a certain depth and character. And now you can achieve that look without a hammer and nails. These super-realistic photo murals and ultra-detailed wood grain wallcoverings let you change looks as quickly as you can change papers.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed Wood Photo-Mural from Brewster

Brewster’s breathtaking photo-murals are hard to distinguish from the real thing. This beautifully constructed, reclaimed wood mural (above) has fascinating depth.

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{diy trees and wreaths}

8 Unique Holiday Decoration Ideas

Let your creative juices flow this season by decorating for the holidays with a little sizzle and festive flair. Whether you have a small space, a large loft, or just want to break free from the traditional tree in the corner, we think you’ll be inspired by these exciting and unique holiday decoration ideas!

Grab a cup of coffee or a pot of tea, and take a peek at some of these do-it-yourself trees and wreaths:

Chalkboard Tree

Tight on space but have huge holiday aspirations? This chalkboard paint wall will take your breath away. A little paint, chalk, and a string of lights can transform any room into a Christmas scene.

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{friday finds: easy decorating tips for the holidays}

7 Ways to Warm Up Your Home for the Holidays

Holiday gatherings and parties with family and friends are a sure way to warm up even the coldest winter nights in the Midwest. And, for a host, it can also mean an opportunity to highlight your creative side. Decorating for the holidays can be a fun way to express your personality as well as embrace the season.

With the holidays fast approaching, here are 7 easy decorating tips for the holidays.

Embellish A Wreath

A simple can of white spray paint can turn an old holiday wreath into a winter wonderland. Don’t be shy and spray the entire wreath in a well-ventilated area, of course.

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{friday finds: easy decorating tips for fall}

7 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home This Season

Fall is marked by loss of daylight, as we glide from the equinox to the winter solstice. Seasonal decorating can help take away the sting of that loss of sunshine.

Here are seven simple tips to brighten and lighten for fall:

Welcome the Season

Wreaths made of gourds, colorful leaves, squash, twigs, pinecones and bright twine set the tone for the season. Using ‘found materials’ adds a personal touch. Welcome the season, as well as your guests, in fabulous fall style with a homemade wreath on your door.

Fall Decorations

Living Rich on Less

Paint Your Pumpkin

Turn your favorite seasonal squash or gourds into ghostly decorations with a few strokes of leftover white (or any light color) house paint. These look great on your front steps for outdoor use, or your fireplace mantle for indoors. Consider stenciling your house number on a large pumpkin as a fresh way to mark your turf. 

 

Frame It

Take fabric or wallpaper scraps and cut pieces large enough to fit a medium-sized frame. Find a location on your wall that needs a boost of light and hang it!

Make It Sparkly

Trace a leaf on the side of a large terracotta pot. Fill in the leaf outline with durable glue, and sprinkle with sequins. Voilà – bright, seasonally appropriate color! If sparkle isn’t your thing, you can easily paint designs onto your smaller pots for a warm welcome outside your home.

Don’t Give Up On Your Porch

Add throws, blankets and plush pillows to your wicker furniture and you can extend your front porch season. Nothing beats a sunny but cool day for a refreshing nap. Choose earthy fall colors to add warmth.

Switch Out Your Table Coverings

Change it up by switching to fall coasters with leaf or pumpkin prints. Table runners and napkins can be mixed and matched in solid fall colors or prints. A subdued tablecloth becomes the background for a colorful fall feast.

Chalk it up

Wall-mounted chalkboards are great for quick notes or schedule reminders. Add a festive fall border and orange chalk, and see if there is an artist in the house.

Get crafty, soak up the season, and most of all, have fun with your fall decorating this year!

WARNING: Decorating can lead to entertaining. Proceed at your own risk!

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.

{wallcovering wednesday: brewster wallcovering app}

Brewster Home Fashions Wallpaper Finder

“Discover the new way to shop wallpaper for every room in your home.” – Brewster Interior Wallpaper Finder – by Brewster Home Fashions

Offering seemingly endless possibilities and eye-candy galore, this is a must-download app to play around with when decorating your home. The pre-determined categories include:

  • Brands – Find the ‘usual suspects’ from Beacon House & Brewster to Warner Textures and Warner Studios
  • Collections – Think Artiste, Belgian Luxe, Layla, Pandora, and Virtuoso
  • Styles (e.g. kids, masculine and retro) – everything from zebra-striped borders to purple butterfly wallpaper, “Northwoods Lodge” to backgrounds and stripes
  • Product Types – Borders, paintables, wallpaper sidewalls, etc.
  • Themes – Here you’ll find categories such as: “Americana”, “Beach”, “Geometrics” or “Vines”
  • Colors – blacks, metallics, neutrals or pastels are but a few choices

But don’t forget the ubiquitous “Search” function which, in this case, is great fun.

Brewster Wallpaper App

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{window treatment wednesday: the layering effect}

WTW: Layering Window Treatments

When you move into a home, you want to create a space that reflects your interests, style, and vibe. Through furniture, decorations, paint and little touches, bit by bit, it becomes your own. Another way to make a home personalized is by adding visual interest with window coverings.

Shannon Scarrella says that it’s common for people who move into a used home to add visual interest with window coverings. “Layered window treatments provide a finished look to the room,” Scarrella explains. “For example, maybe the home has honeycomb shades in a nice, neutral shade—this is great, but some people feel it’s an unfinished look. This is where panels and toppers come into play.”

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