The Lifestylist® Goes on Record

One of the questions I get asked the most is how I ever decided to become a Lifestylist®, and where did I get my training.

I’ve been called a storyteller many times and it’s an accurate assessment – I use my talents and materials to tell a story in a home. Hopefully this story explains to the potential homeowner why their lives would be better by living in this home, and what they can expect from the community, the builder, and from the experience. To tell the story, I collect thousands of items – old and new – that I incorporate into my LifeStyled homes.

This weekend I decided it was time to go through some of the things I’ve collected, and it’s been quite a trip down memory lane. I discovered a trunk I forgot about that had family photos from the early 1900’s that gave me a glimpse into my family history I hadn’t been aware of. Through this discovery I’m finding I come from a very artistic family full of risk takers. This ostrich photo with my great aunt will now always be one of my favorites.

It seems I’ve been in the media longer than I remembered for my decorating skills. My mother and both grandmothers were very talented in the design fields, and I was lucky enough to be nurtured and inspired by them. This article from 1969 shows me as a 13 yr old showing off some of my skills with my mother and sisters. Apparently I also had my own booth at the church bazaar selling paper flowers and copper enameled jewelry that I made. What’s funny is that after seeing this, I may have to try this again – it’s really a fun idea!

I’m honored to be a Lifestylist®, and I love having the opportunity to help others find their passions in life. This holiday season remember what makes you happy, and share that passion with your friends and family – you might even find a new career by doing it!

Thermador Exceeds Consumers Expectations in The New American Home 2011

The Home Idea Factory was asked to be the Lifestylist® for The New American Home 2011, and we loved getting to see all of the new product innovations that were included in the home.
Thermador provided the appliances for this beautiful home, and visitors fell in love with the steam oven, refrigeration columns and the eye catching Sapphire dishwasher. Besides it’s SBL (sexy blue light) technology, this workhorse could fit 18 stemmed wine glasses, had three drawers, and made it possible to clean everything from fine crystal to heavy, dirty pots and pans.
We did a video of the Reidman Development and @home Builders team experiencing this dishwasher, and also showed what consumers thought. What did the homeowners like the best? They said that Thermador’s customer service was the component that won their loyalty. The Thermador team was always there when they had questions, and went above and beyond to make sure that the new homeowners weer happy with their new home.

Treats and Tricks by a Lifestylist®

Even though it’s been a very busy month, we made a point of catching up with one of our favorite Jr. Lifestylist’s to see what he was doing for his annual Halloween party.

Sam Davis’ parties are legendary, and this year was no exception. With over 75 kids attending this year’s bash we wanted to create fun, themed treats that he could serve outdoors. Take a look at what we came up with  – Witch Hats and Krispy Pumpkin Treats.

We also worked on some tabletop ideas for the Fall holiday season that were inexpensive but would put our guests (and ourselves!) in the mood. The Lifestylist® Designed homes for SE Homes of Texas were full of ideas that visitors could do in their own homes.

While we were on the road we discovered the Great Pumpkin Patch in Clarence Center, NY – if this doesn’t get you in the mood nothing will!

Have a wonderful Halloween and be sure to “like” our videos on our Lifestylist® YouTube Channel.

Feeling Fabulous After 50

It’s hard to believe that I used to look like this, but I wouldn’t go back to those days for anything. I’m open to meeting in the middle though, and a lot of what’s important is not necessarily looking good but feeling good. Even if you look amazing but don’t feel that way, what’s the point?

I’m fortunate enough to have the resources to find people who can help me achieve my goals, and I’m going to start working with a very special individual that there isn’t a set category for. Dr. Larkin Page has made a name for himself in the Miss America network by training quite a few of the girls who have been Top 10. He understands that beauty comes from within, and I’m looking forward to his help. Don’t worry, there are no pageants in this Lifestylist’s future, I’m just looking forward to feeling like a winner :)

Lifestylist® Beauty is all about feeling beautiful inside and out, and we’ll be sharing our journey there – join us!

Summer Savings

One sure sign that summer is almost over is the sales of colorful, outdoor inspired items at the stores. A lot of the department stores start clearing this merchandise our right after the 4th of July to make room for school items, but the home decor stores tend to wait until Labor Day weekend.

One of our Lifestylist® inspired blogs is Dollar Store Decors – items that cost less than a latte. I was out shopping for the 5 new model homes we have to install mid-September, and I was amazed how many cool things that fit this criteria that were giveaway deals, and I also found some great items that I’m going to use to display my “pick-ups” from my summer travels.

World Market was full of treasures today -up to 90% off! I found this great chair and two others that were marked down to $9.95 – 90% off. They had two great outdoor dining tables that were at the same savings, but I tend to collect tables and I know I didn’t have room for them. But the chairs had such great style, I know I’ll be able to re-purpose them in a living room, or use them as seating in a guest room. I’m tempted to paint them with a metallic paint or possibly a turquoise color, have cushions made and really make them special – at under $10.00 I don’t have much to lose.

The painted table was a find at Hobby Lobby where I was able to find two matching ones at 80% off. I loved the colors and character they had, and I’m thinking about stacking them and using them as a display piece. What do you think?

I’m also collecting glassware and baskets that I can use to display my pick up pieces – I love picking up found items when I travel as a memento instead of buying a T-Shirt or shot glass. I’ll share how to make picture frames and other ideas with these later, but I’ve got to get back to my model home shopping and taking advantage of these sales – I’ll let you know what else I find soon!

Looking at Life Differently: The Dali Museum

Being a Lifestylist® is about looking at the world through the eyes of your clients, and understanding their wants, needs, dreams and desires. This is different for everyone, and the challenge is to listen and learn.

I visited a gem in St. Petersburg Florida on my recent trip to rebrand Countryside VillageThe Dali Museum. It had been housed in a smaller building the last time I visited, but the new building is nothing short of spectacular. The architecture was as quirky and thought provoking as Dali’s works are, and Cafe Gala – a wonderful cafe featuring Spanish cuisine is included in the beautiful new surroundings.

You can’t take photos in the actual galleries, but put aside any preconceived ideas you have about Dali’s work and see for yourself the brilliance of this master. You can tour with prerecorded tapes that explain the works, or tour the collection with a docent, which I recommend. The one I toured with was passionate, informed, and gave me a whole new appreciation of this talented artist and his work.

There are lots of great places to walk and reflect around the museum, so save some time to enjoy everything this area offers. To learn more about the museum, you can visit their website which also list the special events taking place.

Peeps

I made a great discovery the other day while I was out exploring at The Home Idea Factory. A Cardinal started being agitated by my presence, and when I looked to find out why I discovered her nest! There were 4 beautiful blue speckled eggs in it, and since I had my camera with me I was able to get a few photos before she ran me off.

Yesterday I decided to go back and see if they had hatched yet and sure enough, when I  got closer I saw 3 little heads poking out at the top. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I thought they were some of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. They had a lot to say – hopefully Mom came back soon to feed them.

As with any wild animal, I was very careful not to touch or disturb anything around the nest and the babies – disturbing them can make the mother reject them. I’m looking forward to watching them grow up and someday have nests of their own.

The New American Dream Home

We all have our own version of what the American Dream is – for many that includes owning your own home.

My dream was to have my own Home Idea Factory – a place where this Lifestylist® could live and work, would have the character that would let me “practice what I preach” and have some room to garden. I was also hoping to have enough space to continue to help with the animal rescue groups I’ve joined. All of my dreams came true, and now I have a space that will never be “done”, but always evolving.

My father told my mother when they got married that some day he would buy her a place on a lake, and he did! Their Hideway Lake home has been the place that many of our family holidays, wedding, and birthdays have taken place, and it is full of wonderful memories.

There are people who are looking for an affordable place with a yard to raise their families, use as a second home or retire to and land lease communities can be a great solution for these people. Land lease communities are those where factory built housing are placed in communities where homeowners lease the land the homes are placed on in a community – many times with amenities such as pools, clubhouses, and tennis courts. I have always believed this is the perfect solution for affordable housing because it can be so cost effective, and I’ve been wanting to be a part of this solution hands on.

The time has come! Lifestylist® Design has been asked to re-brand and enhance the lifestyle options of two communities in Florida – Parkwood in Port Orange, FL and Countryside Village in Tampa. I can’t wait to get started – these communities are a great example of how affordable the American Dream can be. Be sure to get our updates on the progress at Parkwood and Countryside Village Facebook pages.

Sweet Dreams

Nothing is more important than a good nights sleep. If we don’t have the right support from the mattress, the right pillows or the right temperature in the room, sleep might not come easily.

When LifeStyling the corporate apartments for The Hammocks at Timber Banks and Southern Hills, I wanted to be sure that the they truly felt like a home away from home and the clients would enjoy their stay. I stayed in some of the apartments designed by other companies to get a feel of what worked and what didn’t, and spent a lot of time speaking with residents and getting a feel for the lifestyle of each and what made them unique. Having a comfy sofa and a flat screen TV was important, but nothing was more important than the bed.

As a Lifestylist® I always take into consideration how a bed fits into a room, and Ashley Furniture now offers beautiful beds with a low foot board or platform that makes any room still feel spacious. Many companies (and consumers)use just a metal frame and no headboard with their beds, but by using a headboard, foot board and rails you create a much more stable platform for your bed which adds support to the mattress. Plus it looks so much better! Be sure to check out the new options that Ashley Homestores offer – great value and style.

An area that I won’t ever compromise on is the mattresses and pillows. We use a pillowtop that offers a great nights sleep that was manufactured to our specifications by a local company, and I found pillows that I love at KMart – under $10 but they feel much more expensive.

One of my biggest surprise finds was Sears – I found a “Bed in a Bag” they offered for under $50.00 online! A Bed in a Bag includes a comforter, dust ruffle, shams, and a complete set of linens. Something to always watch out for when choosing a comforter that you will use every day is to make sure it is washable, and this set was. When they arrived I was thrilled to see that they were well made, and in beautiful, happy colors.

As I always say, great design doesn’t have to be expensive, and these are great examples of that. I know I’ll be adding Sears and KMart to my shopping resources now, and I’ll be sure to share with you other great buys that I find.