{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.

{wallcovering wednesday: should I use wallpaper or should I paint?}

Design Decision: Paint vs. Wallpaper

Before there was Apple vs. PC, Coke vs. Pepsi, or red vs. blue, there was a primal conflict that drew sharp battle lines. When you wanted to make a change in your surroundings, which did you choose: paint or wallpaper?

If wallpaper sounds a bit old-fashioned, you may have missed a few rounds of that battle. While paint may be the wallcovering of choice in home improvement stores, specialists know that wallpaper is back, in a big way.

“I love wallpaper; I love what it does for a room,” says Beth Zentzis, a design consultant at Hirshfield’s Woodbury location. She’s seen an upsurge in interest, which she attributes to some powerful pulls.

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{tips for painting exterior wood trim}

Paint Your Exterior Trim – the Right Way

In these crazy Minnesota seasons, the do-it-yourself homeowner knows that painting an exterior can be tricky. Let’s face it – we don’t want to tackle this project again until we get truly sick of the color. The majority of your home’s exterior trim is wood, which expands and contracts with temperature extremes and retains moisture once the paint film is broken. Unfortunately, this may cause your exterior paint to peel. Hirshfield’s experts Ron Clarin and Mike Adochio from West St. Paul give some stellar tips to make sure you have the least amount of maintenance as possible.Exterior Paint Peeling

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{patterns in small spaces}

Friday Finds: How to Play with Patterns in Small Spaces

It might seem counterintuitive—but if you have a small space, pattern can actually make it come alive and seem bigger, not smaller and cluttered as you might expect. Using patterns in small spaces can offer you a chance to show your personality and take risks. Since it’s a small space, it’s less of an investment in time and materials.

Let’s take a look at how you can play with patterns in small spaces to add pizzazz to your home.

  • Incorporate wall coverings.

Today’s wall coverings are nothing like the wallpaper from back in the day. New versions are like pieces of art with amazing colors and design. You can use wall coverings with bold patterns on an accent wall to give a small space an artistic feel or unexpected feel of luxury.

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{friday finds: how hirshfield’s creates the best paint in the twin cities}

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As grownups, looking at the paint colors at Hirshfield’s can make you feel like a kid in a candy store. All of the colors, the finishes, the possibilities!

How do they create all of these beautiful, amazing colors? I was curious about how the process works and thought others might want to find out too. How does Hirshfield’s create the best paint in the Twin Cities?

First of all, it’s a large, busy operation. Did you know that they make 4,000 gallons of paint every day? Much of the paint goes to customers in the Midwest, but some goes across the world, even as far away as Japan. Here’s what they emphasize during the process.

Quality
I learned that the Hirshfield’s process starts off with high-quality raw materials and have never contained lead, crystalline silica, mercury or other unsafe materials. They realize that consumers have a number of options, so they remain vigilant in their efforts to make sure that their products are of high quality and perform to high expectations.

“If you do not have the product and it’s not of high quality and a fair price, your product is not going to be selected,” says Hirshfield’s Jason Boedigheimer. “In addition to the servicing and the commitment to our customer, we feel that we have a very strong product in the market, the quality and performance that’s needed.” Read the rest of this entry »

{home trends in 2014: beyond the color of the year}

Home trends to try in 2014.

Sometimes we crave something new. We want to check out a new store, buy a new pair of shoes, try a new restaurant or travel to a new city. Change can be fun, exciting, and energizing. The same concept holds true for your home. It can be fun to add a zip of color here, a dash of style there. At the same time, we can’t redecorate our home constantly—no one has the time or energy for that. But there are ways to update your home to give it a fresh feel without breaking the bank.

Color expert Kate Smith knows a thing or two about how to refresh a home. She keeps up on the latest trends in design and offers knowledgeable, fresh interior paint tips for homes. She says that there are ways to update the look of your house without having to redo an entire space.

“What’s really interesting and on trend at the moment is to add in a really unexpected color,” says Smith. “Take your scheme, maybe a traditional scheme that’s even been around for a while, and all of a sudden bring in an acidy green, or a swampy brown, or even a red violet, but a color that you just generally would not ever think to use with the other colors that you have going on.”

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{friday finds: vt wonen loves to paint}

vt 12-2013 cover zonder rug en fluo-1

VT Wonen is a fabulous home interiors magazine from the Netherlands. I haven’t seen the magazine in real life, but their on-line presence is outstanding. Great images. They’re not afraid of color. I love how they get a little crazy when they paint.

ceiling

Painting the ceiling and bringing the color down the wall, creates a cozy feel to a room with high ceilings. Add a couple of pieces of furniture painted in the same color family and you have a one-of-kind look for your room.

rug

Can’t find that perfect rug? Try painting one on your floor. To pull off this look you’ll have to move to a Scandinavian country, paint all your walls white, then paint your floor. You’ll find  more “moody blues” right here and here. Read the rest of this entry »

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