Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
Sorry it's been so long since posting! 2015 ended up being a bit of chaotic year filled with much sadness in the endings that occurred & ending the year with much happiness as it felt that everything finally fell into place. So, on that note, 2016 has been off to a great start, so it's fitting that the first post of the year is on Year of the FIRE Monkey!
Here are some Feng Shui tips that you can implement to get your New Year off to an auspicious start....
From Ellen Whitehurst's facebook page: .....Here are a few suggestions for making this a prosperous and loving New Year! Make a resolution and write it in red but make it a seemingly impossible dream. The first day of this Year of the Monkey will bring good fortune the whole year through if you hang some faux firecrackers immediately inside the front door and leave them there for the first 15 days of this year. On the second day go visiting and gambling - generally setting a precedent to have BIG fun for the year. And whenever you meet anyone today and want to wish them fortune and luck say this :"May you live in interesting times." This is considered a stronger wish than a prayer. Cook a wonderful meal on Day Four while also acknowledging your Kitchen Spirits as you ask them to nourish you in every way possible. Lastly, give away mandarin oranges to friends and family as they represent immortality and good fortune.
From Feng Shui London, this is a WONDERFUL article on how to apply Classical (compass) Feng Shui for the Fire Monkey/2016, color & to various rooms. Check it out here.
AND....if Chinese New Year celebrations weren't enough...here comes Valentine's Day right around the corner!! Make sure to listen to the upcoming Valentine's Day episode on DeAnna On Design podcast found here.
Feng Shui quick tips include:
One of the BIG initiatives that I launched this year is the Healthy Year, Healthy Home, Healthy YOU consultations. Encompassing clutter-busting & a healthy home analysis, these 1 hour consultations will feature the client's choice of a Life Area goal to focus on (if a client wants to work on more than 1 Life Area, the subsequent choices will be billed at 25% off HYHHHY cost).
Learn more on this initiative by listening to these episodes on recent DeAnna on Design podcasts:
Know Your Labels
Allergies, Mold & Mildew
Universal Design Tips
Interested in learning more? Contact us here to schedule your consultation. And remember, we offer consultations via video & Skype so geographical location is not an issue!
We have got the DeAnna on Design youtube page up & ready to view interviews, designs & Feng Shui design minis! We are also on instagram & pinterest. Make sure to follow us for all updates & to be inspired!
I've also been honored to part of the inaugural program w/NKBA, due to the success & popularity of my KBIS Voices of the Industry talks & sessions, to teach & offer exclusive workshops to NKBA chapters here in the US & Canada! I got to travel up north to Ottowa Canada to present to the #NKBA chapter there on Feng Shui tips in the kitchen & bathroom, as well as presentation skills. Check out the Speaker Info page for pictures. :) So looking forward to traveling more & visiting more chapters.
....while Ossie & I currently live in Charlotte, I'm not a Panthers fan. Can't take the green & gold out of THIS WI girl! However, I do love football & congrats to the Broncos & Peyton Manning for an entertaining game & going out on a high, record-setting note. Class act all the way!
Sorry it's been so long! Got way too caught up in a work situation, the holidays, a family emergency & the death of my beloved dog-Libby. It's been a tough few months, however, we're now up & ready to get this party...er, year, started!!
So....let's talk High Point Spring Market!! First off, here's the audio from the 1st in a series on the market from my DeAnna On Design podcast.
MAT Basics-gorgeous hand-loomed rugs, cushions & poufs!! Incredible designs & colors that will add that perfect setting and/or pop of color to any design & decor stylings.
Polart-outrageous cool new line of color & furniture!!! Imagine classic & barouque furniture reworked w/a BLAST of color. It reminded me of an Andy Warhol painting come to life. LOVED it!!
Scents & Feel-think cool, crisp linens in washed colors...towels that double as table runners, wash cloths that act as napkins...I know...who'd a thought. I first loved the feel & texture & quality of the linens, & really enjoyed the new perspective & double duty of how to use the product.
VITA-1 of my fave finds! While I'm including this in the NEW category...it's one I've used in a past project of a home I rehabbed. I used a lower end version of the lamp pictured at the top of this post. Their new styles include the CLAVE (metal) & a gorgeous feather pendant that comes in 3 sizes...think ultra luxe. Definite worth a look-see.
Sugarboo Designs- Down home, handcrafted art decor, calendars & accessories. From word art & block print, to pillows, driftwood hearts (!) & quotations. Perfect for almost any room (especially office, kitchen, hallways & laundry rooms), affordable & almost any design decor.
Trowbridge Gallery- Not only did I get to have brunch w/designer & former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star, Thom Fillicia, I also got introduced to his line of art as well as a wonderful new vendor of high end art & accessories. From black & white to vintage, landscape to nature photography...almost anything can be found here. VERY impressed with offerings!
Couef- Despite the name making me giggle a bit (those of you who know French might get where I'm coming from), the name of this out-of-the-box thinking furniture company is an acronym for Chair, Ottoman, Upholstered, End Table & Function.....not a bodily function! This line has 3 price points to fit almost any budget AND, this is my favorite, offers "secret" tables that you can slide out for added room and/or place to put your drink, book or laptop! Seriously cool design on display here!
Joybird Furniture- So you want a truly custom piece of furniture? LOVE mid-century modern? Then this is your furniture line! Good price point for a custom piece of furniture, great color & fabric selections. Wonderful option to create it if you can't find just what you want!
Phillips Collection- This 30yr old company derives its designs from global travel, mixing media & organic form. Each piece is truly a work of art & sure to be a conversation starter in whatever room you place it in. My fave is the tables that are in the shape of stones. Cool
Oggetti- This line may not be for everyone, but if you love metal, math, love design & unique shapes...THIS is the line for you! It looks like you're sitting on a piece of geometry...seriously, the engineer or math geek in your family will love this line.
UMA Enterprises- It would not be complete w/out some outdoor furniture! From umbrellas &simple chaise loungers, to curved sectionals complete w/their own shade...this furniture will have you not wanting to go back inside!
Sustainable Vendors & Furniture Designers...
One of my favorite take-aways from Market is the influx of eco-friendly & sustainable & reclaimed offerings!! FINALLY!
WISH Designs- Not only do I share a name w/the designer/owner (deanna), but a love of re-using everyday or scarded items & creating something new & beautiful. From reclaimed leather made into rugs being made into custom sizes using velcro (!) to lights & chandiliers made from twig, branches & cleared brush.
Kristin Drohan Collection- This is a higher-end line of sustainable furniture from designer Kristin Drohan. Nice lines, made in Hickory NC
Malouf- It doesn't get better than Malouf!!! Spectacular bedding in bamboo, tencel & flannel....fabulous selection of pillows...ahhhhhhhh....Malouf will literally help create the bed of your dreams!!
Sugarbone Goods- Straight from the swamps of Louisiana!! Reclaimed Pecky Cyprus is made into gorgeous furniture, despite the fungus caused pores, using a unique process of permanently filling the holes to add stability & reinforce the wood to create chairs, stools, desks & tables. Very cool, funky & unique!! And made here in the US.
Rustbelt Reclamation- Yes, I've said the best for last....This out-of-the-box company based in Cleveland OH takes reclaimed materials from factories & foundries & creates spectacular accent pieces & furniture w/a specialty in bars. According to 1 of the designers I spoke with, they started designing/installing for hospitality/bars & now are moving into scalable products for residential. I guarantee you'll never look at a pipe or casing in the same way again once you view what creative bunch can do.
What DeAnna's Up To....
After the craziness of the past few months & a stint at KBIS in Vegas, baby, Vegas...I'm getting back in the swing. While I won't be offering hourly consultations anymore, rather, project pricing dependent on square footage,contact us for more details....I will will still be posting here, on Facebook, twitter, the DeAnna On Design podcast & even expanding the DeAnna On Design PINTEREST page & creating video content for our video channel. I look forward to the creativity bug to unleash itself again!!
I'd also like to end with a brief tribute to my dog, Libby. This little, grubby, naughty dog was above all else a fighter. Surviving being paralyzed 2x & a cancer surgery which ended w/the removal of an orange-sized tumor & 1/3 of her liver, she stayed strong & a fighter. Her tail always wagged, she was stealth whenever CHEESE was mentioned appearing out of nowhere & loved going for walks w/her brother Ossie, even if it was only to be carried to & from a grassy area at the park to the car. Her little body finally gave out on 1/17 & it was time to take her on 1 last car ride after a visit to her beloved park. Our vet, Dr Susan...a true angel...made sure she was comfortable & even made sure that the treat Libby refused was tucked in next to her "just in case she got hungry on her trip to heaven". Ossie & I miss Libby every day...especially when a furry woodland creature wanders into the yard...but know that she is now pain-free & chasing squirrels w/abandon. RIP Libby.
While the above picture might not look like YOUR holiday table...isn't this festive & fun? So many of us are so stressed & filled with anxiety at this time of year we forget to have FUN & enjoy the time of year. It's easy to get caught up in work, buying gifts, hosting guests or traveling to & fro...however, it's vital to your peace of mind, sanity & to your loved ones that you take the time to breathe & remember the meaning of the season. Appreciation. Thanks. Joy. Reflection. Fun. Even if you're on your own, like I am, this holiday, it's so important to make time for yourself...whether it's in ritual of past holidays or creating your own (I started my own traditions when I moved south & had to create a "new family" with my new friends). So while the above photo may make you say "not at MY house"...think about how you can incorporate some fun into your traditions & crazy schedule! And remember, you can never have to many twinkling lights!On the "twinkling lights" note: my new fave product are LED GLITTER STRINGS!! They come in a variety of colors, run on batteries & can be controlled by a remote. How cool is that?
From our friends at RotoRooter, here are tips on keeping your plumbing happy & healthy....your house's plumbing not your internal plumbing...that's another article!
Tips to help you prepare your home’s plumbing system for the Fall:
Tips to guard against drain disasters:
Creating the Perfect Guest Room....
This is my Hot Topic for November! Make sure to check out the DeAnna On Design pinterest page for product ideas & the latest DeAnna On Design podcast for more info.
What's New w/DeAnna?
DeAnna On Design is pleased to announce new MINI Life Area design sessions! These are 20 minute, laser focused design sessions which the client picks 1 of the 9 Life Areas (career, health, relationships, abundance, success, family, creativity/kids, travel/helpful people, knowledge) to focus on. Tips shared include: clutter-busting, color, accessory and/or space-planning advice. Sessions are conducted via the web thru Skype so a web cam is necessary so DeAnna can see the room & geographic location is unlimited! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Until next time...Happy Thanksgiving!!! deanna :)
I LOVE this time of year! The crisp cool air, FOOTBALL season, falling leaves....ahhh fall! While some look at fall as a time of getting ready to hibernate & cocoon, I look at it as my most creative time of year. I'm planning for new workshops for the next year's conferences, workshops for my clients who have kids as they tend to have more time this time of year, rather than over summer, retail clients gearing up for the holidays....THIS is why I love this time of year.
On that note, this blog will be brief as I'm getting ready to launch 2 new design packages for you: The Empty Nester (started in August) & The Clutter Counselor 2.0! I wrote & spoke about The Empty Nester in the last blog & while that introductory price is no longer available, the design package still is. This is perfect for those of you who suddenly find yourself the owner of some extra space...lucky you!
The Clutter Counselor 2.0 is the FULL clutter-busting, design package & organizing services offered. This is really exciting as to round out this program, I've created a 3rd workshop (which will be offered as a telecall at the end of September) entitled, Does Your Stuff Nourish or Negate Your Soul?...how lovely is that? This is getting deeper into the energy & psychology of your stuff & the whys & hows we keep it. I did an introduction to this workshop on my recent DeAnna On Design radio show. Listen to the episode here. For more info on this new service, make sure to LIKE us on Facebook and/or fill out the Contact Us form to be added to the list. This is going to be exciting!!
Not design related but need to share...
For those of you who follow the news, James Foley was the first of the US journalists who have been beheaded recently while covering events in the Middle East. James was a fellow Marquette alumni, & while I didn't know him personally (he graduated a few years after me) he was & is part of the my beloved Marquette University family. The Marquette Alumni Association has dedicated a page to a photo slideshow, Jame's speeches on MU campus & a link to the James Foley scholarship fund. Click here for more information.
Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.
The above picture is one I took a few years ago as I walked & explored the Uptown area of Charlotte as I was making my decision on what city to move to. This is part of the Greenway at a beautiful park located right in the middle of downtown. Quotes from poets, little bistros & wonderful seating areas offer a gorgeous respite from the crazy that living in an urban area can bring. I visit this area each time I venture uptown.
I realized it has been a long while since I wrote so wanted to write a quick note as to what's been going on....not much sums it up. Finishing up the projects on current home & was ready to get it on the market....however, I couldn't find anything to move TO. You see, Charlotte is in the midst of a huge housing SHORTAGE. Properties are being sold w/in days of being put on market...& anything that hasn't sold asap is either priced too high, has had very poor remodeling work done (future DeAnna On Design podcast) or is so far gone it takes someone like me to see the potential in it. Que current situation....I have found THE house, however, it's a short sale. Being self-employed has many upsides, however, one of the big DOWN-sides is that you aren't a great loan qualifier. (Purchasing a short sale requires you have the funds in your account at the time of the offer NOT at time of closing like in a traditional sale). So, I'm in midst of trying to raise/manifest required funds to submit an offer & for required remodeling work as it requires a complete gut & rehab....but it will be so worth it!! So, fingers crossed!!
Business-wise, I'm part of a wonderful summit on The Smart Woman's Guide to Weight Loss w/Michelle Greenman. Here's the details if you'd like to learn more about this FREE tele-summit on healthy weight loss.
You are going to love this, and I know it will help you in the BIGGEST way.
I am sharing my story and step by step guide on The Smart Woman's Guide to Weight Loss Summit: Your Guide to Losing the Weight Naturally, Now and Forever.
Have you ever felt stuck when it comes to losing weight? If you are like me you are ready to do almost anything to break free and have permanent success because you know it will help you regain control of your life!
If you are struggling with your weight and feel as though you have tried it all yet, you are still looking for the answer, then I have some good news for you!
I know what it is like, I have been there and I want to give you the motivation and education to make it happen NOW.
Here’s the good news. It doesn’t have to be a life long struggle.It simply takes the right mental shifts and healthy habits for the fat to melt away.
I can prove it. I was asked to share my personal story and my most effective weight loss health tip on The Smart Woman's Guide to Weight Loss Summit starting in a few days.
----> Register here
I wanted to ensure you had a chance to learn what you have been missing and learn from the world's top weight loss experts. I am pleased to be a part of this free and life changing event.
This is my personal invitation to you – please join me in receiving and sharing this invaluable resource - it will not only motivate you, but give you the best next step for your permanent weight loss journey.
Why you can’t miss this:
There are some amazing and powerful necessities you will learn…
Join us for this free event and discover the secrets you can do to have a body and life that you love!
----> Register here
P.S. I am giving away a special gift to all those who register, one that will give you a clear step by step guide to how to breakthrough. Sign up here to get access to this amazing event today!
New DeAnna On Design episodes.....
Empty Nest Design...this is a HOT topic right now & will also be addressed in an upcoming issue of Real Life magazine!
What Does An Interior Designer Really Do?....this is a bit of a vent that is the result of a recent "discussion" w/an individual who stated that "no degree is needed" & that "anybody can do it...all you have to do is install high end fixtures & you're done". DeAnna addressed this. Hint: not true.
In honor of all the "about to be" Empty Nesters...
I'm offering an Empty Nester consultation....a brand new consultation that you can choose either a 3hr web consultation OR an email consultation w/30 min web follow-up for only $750! (this is a savings of over $600). Consultation will address clutter-busting, a Feng Shui analysis of the room to create a space that will support the NEW FUNCTION of the space, color suggestions & any design advice on an as need basis. This offer will be good until Aug 31, 2014, 11:59p edt. Contact me here to schedule.
Until next time....happy designing! DeAnna
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you dies each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.”-Ernest Hemingway
High Point Spring Market
Well, I HAD intended to attend High Point Market a couple of days, however, due to schedule & the weather I only got to attend for 1/2 day on the Monday. Bummer, however, after a bit of a bust of a lunch for the Sustainable Furnishings Council (GREAT food & service, panel talk...not so much. They seemed more about pushing their self-promotions rather than talk about the topic & how it relates to the industry) I did get to walk around the main pavilion & check out new comers & trends.
Here's what I saw:
.....LOTS of tufting. Seriously, I think we're about to jump the shark on this trend. It was everywhere!
.....ottomans & poufs in every size, shape & color
.....Made in America was hot & many new manufacturers this year as opposed to previous years. VERY excited about this!
For more on my thoughts, here's the audio from the DeAnna On Design radio show on High Point Market.
Summer Plumbing Tips:
Below are tips to maintain your home's plumbing throughout the summer from the fab plumbers at Roto-Rooter:
Consider the following to keep your drains flowing freely as PLUMBING corresponds w/MONEY & WEALTH according to Feng Shui!
That's it for now...almost done w/the rehab of a South Carolina home & getting ready to put it up for sale, buy a new property AND getting ready for jury duty. Seriously? I'm throwing out to the universe that this house sells fast & that I quickly find another home back in NC so I don't have to do this. Or, I'll just show up w/my copy of Liberty & Tyranny...that will probably make sure I don't get picked! Enjoy Mother's Day to all the moms out there...ESPECIALLY my Mom! Thanks for everything...all the love & support & even flying across the country to take care of the dogs while I travel for work!! Love you...DeAnna :)
This is me at the Kohler booth w/my new MOXIE showerhead! Click here to find out more about this state-of-the-art, wireless, bluetooth synced showerhead. I'll post more about this when I have it installed. #moxie
Well, as I'm now in the midst of one of the worst ice/snow storms the South has seen in over a decade, I'm comforted by the warmth of my memories from Vegas & KBIS (Kitchen & Bath Industry Show). This is one of my FAVE trade shows of the year & one I look forward to attending & speaking at. I've been honored to be asked, since its inception, to be a speaker in The Voices of the Industry series of workshops. This year I got to introduce 2 topics that are part of my Designing the Business of Your Dreams division of workshops/sessions for the trades, small businesses & entrepreneurs. This year I gave the Business Etiquette & Marketing 101 workshops. The interaction by all participants & reception I was given was awesome!
The other part of KBIS which I look forward to is the parties! And while these are professional & all for networking, a good time is had by all. Below I've included a slideshow of some of the photos I took from the NKBA Meet & Greet I was invited to at The Las Vegas Hotel in the penthouse suite, lovingly referred to as "the Elvis suite". It was over the top fabulous. All I can say.
I've also included the link to my recent DeAnna On Design podcast about KBIS if you prefer to listen.
This is what I found as the HOT trends & products this year:
- The main focus this year was on TECHNOLOGY. Technology of the faucet & showerhead & heating implements integrated into tubs. Wireless showerheads (the Moxie), lead-free gaskets in faucets....it's a tech geek's dream.
- Granite is still one of the most requested countertops, although more & more solid surface countertops are being shown w/some new laminates & eco-friendly options being shown. Granite is still king though.
- LOVE Insinkerator's new steaming hot faucet!! a) whoever did the promotion for their KBIS booth was a genius teaming up w/Starbucks & VIA & Tazo Tea to introduce the new styles & b) it can be installed w/a 4 hole sink (i.e. doesn't require a separate sink, just install in place of the soap dispenser). I even had a great discussion w/the rep about incorporating WINE here...stay tuned!
- Found a fab new line of electric fireplaces that are the size of a big screen TV. One style even has a stand that you can move & place around your home wherever needed. No venting means you can inset it into your wall just like a built-in, you just need access to electric.
- And my absolute FAVORITE item from KBIS is from Armstrong Flooring. I not only have Armstrong flooring in my home & LOVE it. They introduced a new line called American Scape which is made right here in the USA & are the exclusive flooring partner for Home for Our Troops. This is a wonderful line of engineered & solid hardwood flooring, that's made in the USA w/American workers & gives back to our service men & women. Fabulous.
Here are some other scenes from KBIS....
Want to hear the podcast regarding KBIS & DeAnna's experience? Just click on the Eco-Shui Woman link to the left for the DeAnna On Design podcast on blogtalk radio!
The "Elvis" suite at the Las Vegas Hotel where we had a networking event....
With all the craziness that's been occurring the past few months, I think I'm finally caught up. New twitter & facebook page are done & all connected. Make sure to follow us! I'm also re-introducing the Design the Business of Your Dreams series of workshops & have devised 2 design sessions that can be done via the web, like the design consults. Fill out the CONTACT US page if you'd like more info & would like to schedule.
So until next time...stay warm & safe! DeAnna.....:)
Some BEFORE & AFTER pictures of DeAnna's latest project....
***Clutter is the physical manifestations of our emotional baggage***
-DeAnna Radaj, from The Clutter Counselor
I've discussed in previous articles about the importance of dealing "with your stuff" around your home...but what about your work space? Think of all the paper clutter, email clutter and over-flowing office supply cabinets stuffed with items that we "may need" (30 boxes of binder clips as in the case of one of my client's rooms even though they no longer used them in presentations!) or that were sent by mistake on an order & you just never "sent them back". Remember, clutter tends to congregate in areas that we are either "working on" in Feng Shui terms (i.e. the 9 Life Areas) or are "stuck in." I guarantee this.
***The 9 Life Areas are: Career/Life Journey, Knowledge, Family, Wealth/Abundance, Success/Fame, Relationship (personal, business, romance), Creativity, Helpful People and Health).***
If you missed "the BIG clean" of Oosooji on December 28th and you're still recovering a bit from the holidays, remember to start small. You will NOT be able to go through your entire office/store-front in a day or over the weekend! Each item must be picked up and/or tried on. If the item doesn't serve a purpose or state who you are NOW, it must go. There are 3 questions you need to ask yourself: Do I use it? Do I need it? Do I love it? If you answered "NO" to any of these questions, the item needs to go. As you are going through your items, you have 3 piles to choose from: Keep, Sell/Dontate and Toss. Once an item is in a pile, it stays in that pile!! And, due to our current economic climate, there are numerous non-profits, schools, libraries and even animal shelters that would be very happy to receive donations of office supplies!
But DeAnna, you say, I don't have a problem with physical clutter...I have "paper clutter" or "too much on my calendar clutter" (or relationship clutter)...what do I do about that? In a nutshell, in regards to "people" clutter-if you find yourself screening phone calls and emails and avoiding any and all contact with these people, see if you can stop it. Not to be rude or mean, but start to disengage from the relationship and focus on relationships and events that serve a positive purpose in your life. In relationships that can't be "gotten rid of", try to be focused in the encounters, only see them when necessary (a family member you may only have to see 1x a year, or a co-worker who walks past your desk for coffee) and have as little contact with that person as you can.
***To take control of your schedule, you must logically evaluate these business relationships (vendors, clients, sales reps) and analyze what value they add to your business & your success...OR do you only take calls from the sales rep who takes you out for great lunches? Be honest & schedule accordingly.***
Paper clutter is a menace everyone faces. The goal with mail clutter is to only touch the mail once. Sit down and figure out your mail routine and see what/how you can cut down on how many times you touch the paper. (In the case of a staff member handling the mail, sit down with them & go through what THEIR process is & design a system around that NOT on how YOU think it should be handled!). Have a shredder and paper recycle bin nearby. Shred and recycle asap! File bills asap (or pay immediately on-line, or write out the check), put magazines/newspapers where you/staff will sit down and read them. If you aren't reading them in a timely manner, cancel the subscription and get news updates on-line. Contact your accountant or the IRS website to see how long you need to retain various expense documents, tax returns, mortgage papers...Shred what you no longer need to keep.
It is vital when going through your files & other paper items that you don't just "stuff items into a drawer". You must be able to easily access files, know where they are filed (are all of your deleted organization files in 1 spot? are all your contracts of active clients in 1 spot?) and have room for NEW client paperwork. (you do want new clients, right?).
Remember, if you don't love, need it, use it OR have it out to appreaciate it...it's CLUTTER and is serving no purpose other than a dust collector. Get rid of it. Make room for new items (growth, opportunity) to come into your life. Keep these tips in mind...declutter...and let that fabulous NEW energy flow into your office!
DeAnna in the media....
Expert tips to help fix common DIY mistakes. Click here to read the article.
DeAnna offers COLOR advice for conference room signage here.
This posting is more a clearinghouse for some of the craziness that's going on right now...AND my new features: DeAnna's Soapbox Issue of the Moment & HOT Design Trends. This should be fun! ha ha
Thanksgiving here in the south was quiet & spent w/my making a tofurkey for me & the doxie duo. I'm also busy working on the new offering DesignLEAN for Weight Loss & the first workshops to introduce this starting in January! Stay tuned for more.
So for now, enjoy all the goodies following below!
DeAnna's soapbox issue of the moment...
Seriously...I can't believe I didn't think of featuring THIS sooner...what is bugging me in the design, real estate or construction industry sooner. Ugh...oh well, better late than never. I will highlight podcasts and/or articles on the topic du jour. This time around? Realtors & how they may be misleading home buyers in their home search. Sidebar: not ALL realtors fall into this category, HOWEVER, a high number DO focusing on the aesthetics of a property rather than the mechanics & bones of the place. By focusing on carpeting (it can easily be changed), paint (see previous), countertops (again...it can be changed to one you LIKE AND fits YOUR taste not what's trendy at the moment...i.e. granite)...I could go on. When looking at a property to call home, whether it's your 1st home or 7th, looking at the roof, mechanicals of the property (hot water heater, HVAC unit...& if they're OVER 8yrs old you have negotiating room!), age of windows & shape of the siding are MORE IMPORTANT to the value of the home (after location) than the countertops & flooring. While you may have to put in a little elbow grease (or your contractor/designer of choice) you will INCREASE the value of your investment by improving the aesthetics of the property yourself, besides getting a home that suits YOUR taste.
If you find THE home but the the mechanics are aging, by YOU improving how your home works by installing a new hot water heater, windows, siding and/or HVAC unit YOU get the tax credit & any increased value of the property when you go to sell it. Part of becoming a home owner is knowing HOW your home works & how to increase its efficiency (thusly lowering your utility bills as well!) & properly maintaining it. Otherwise, when you're ready to sell, you'll get a low ball offer (from someone such as myself who buys distressed properties) and/or see your investment decrease in value.
Here are some resources:
DeAnna On Design podcast: Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
DeAnna On Design podcast: Fall Maintainance Tips
HOT Design Trends...
DeAnna in the media.....
Key Biscayne magazine's Dena Roche interviewed me for a great article on Subconscious Design...how your space can impact your emotions & health. Read article here.
I also wrote an article for Simple Steps, Real Change magazine entitled How To Have a GREEN Christmas. Check it out & let me know in the comments section if you employed any of the tips & what you thought.
Great articles that may peak your interest....
Here is a GREAT article on tips to keep you warm in case your heat/furnace goes out from SurvivalLife blog. Read article here.
Here are the Top 10 Toxins Found in Your Home w/a great iconograph...while I agree w/all of them, they forgot TWO huge ones: paint/stains & MDF. How healthy is your home?
With the holidays fast approaching, our thoughts not only turn family and friends, and all that we have to be thankful for, but to our “to do” lists of all we need to get done, presents that need to be bought, food that needs to be prepared and any remodeling projects that need to be finished (or started) and any traveling plans……Is it any wonder that our thoughts, and wishes are for January to hurry up and get here?
With all that we need to do, how can we get everything done and still keep to our commitment to being eco-friendly? First, let’s look at eco-friendly travel to and from our holiday destinations. Whether you are staying with friends and/or family, or planning a holiday getaway, it is possible to travel without the fear of becoming sick from unhealthy interiors. When booking a hotel or other lodging look for places that offer filtrated water, organic bedding, bans of cologne, perfumes and any other scented bath and body products. Another question to ask is if they use natural cleaners in housekeeping, organic pesticides and repellents. From a design and architectural standpoint, the use of GREEN building materials, furniture and textiles should have been used in the space’s build. Bedding should be made of organic cotton, bamboo or jute. Mattresses should be made from wool, cotton or of rubber latex.
***Check out the Safer Travel Directory (www.safertraveldirectory.com) to help find lodging.***
If you are driving to your destination, check out hybrid options for a rental car to help save on travel costs. Most car rental companies offer hybrids as part of their fleet now.
In regards to any unfinished remodeling projects, if they haven’t been started chances are they won’t be finished in time for the holidays. If you were planning on purchasing new furniture for a new look, at this late date if you were planning on purchasing a custom item, you won’t receive the item by the arrival of your first guest. Most custom pieces need to be ordered anywhere between 4-12 weeks in advance to ensure timely delivery. You can purchase an “in stock” item that can be delivered in time if you find one that meets your needs. Any and all major renovations need to be put off now until next year. Obviously if you need a new roof, a tree falls through a window or your furnace breaks you need to get it fixed ASAP. I’m speaking about the need to refinish your cabinets, getting a new countertop or putting in new bedroom flooring.
***In planning for next year, all renovations need to be started by September to be finished by the holidays-no matter what your contractor may tell you.***
OK-now on the good stuff…food and decorations! After all, that’s what really drives us during the holiday’s right? What neighbor has the most over-the-top light decorations and what party has the best buffet. You can implement Integrative Lifestyle Design principles to achieve a great color scheme for your holiday decorations, a great seating chart for family harmony and a colorful, balanced menu.
Thanksgiving, and all of November, is a time of abundance and giving thanks for all that we’ve been given over the past year (or harvest). In Feng Shui, an integral part of Integrative Lifestyle Design, the colors of purple, green and any metallic color are symbols of Wealth and Abundance. The shape is organic, free-flowing lines and the element is Water. Therefore, in your “Thankful for the Abundant Harvest” color scheme use the abovementioned colors for the “perfect” décor. Many decorations include pumpkins, scarecrows and cornstalks-in Feng Shui terms wouldn’t work (although pumpkins are OK for Halloween). Scarecrows are meant to “scare away” crows and other birds that would eat the crops, in FS terms, you don’t want to “scare” away anything, but rather bring it towards you. You want to cultivate good energy and new opportunities. Cornstalks typically used are dried and dead, literally. If you remember from previous articles, you don’t want to use anything “dead” in your décor as you don’t want “dead or stagnant” energy in your space. Instead, use chrysanthemums in a variety of colors as mums are the Chinese flower for Fall, plus they come in many colors to create a vibrant atmosphere. A cornucopia filled with flowers, gourds or anything else that represents abundance to you can be a great tabletop centerpiece that by its nature invites abundance to you. Any type of vines or branches with leaves can be draped in a free-flowing way, to represent water, around entryways, on curtain rods or on railings to bring in the Water element to the design décor. Use accessories that embody abundance to you-it doesn’t matter if it makes sense to anyone else. A friend uses sunflowers as sunflower fields represent abundance to her. To another it could be lots of table linens. What works for one, doesn’t work for all. What represents abundance to you? Then use it.
The decorations or party favors should be in purple, green and can incorporate metal accents. Use deep, saturated, jewel-tones here. Personally, I like to use silver as my “metal” of choice. This time of year though, gold is the most popular choice. Gold is warm, along with copper and bronze, while silver and platinum are cool. Gold therefore should be used for smaller more intimate gatherings, while silver should be used for larger gatherings to promote more mingling.
For your party or Thanksgiving menu, you want to include foods that represent the colors purple, green and metals (silver/gold/copper).
Examples of green foods are:
v Lettuce, celery, artichokes, green beans, broccoli, peas
v Green bell peppers, zucchini, spinach
v Olive oil
v Green grapes, kiwi, limes, pears, green apples
v Tofu, curds, natural yogurt
v Peppermint, parsley, tarragon, garlic, fennel, comfrey, oregano
Examples of purple/violet foods are:
v Purple grapes, plums
v Beets, radicchio, purple cabbage, globe artichokes
v Purple sage, thyme, feverfew, lavender
From the above examples I’m sure you can already envision a veggie plate and appetizers. Now I’m not telling you to forgo the turkey, but you can make these additions. Here are some menu suggestions to try (recipes can be found on-line or in cookbooks):
v Spinach pasta (or any other green pasta) and asparagus salad
v Avocado dip w/chicory
v Lemon and zucchini quiche
v Glazed baby beets (personal fave!!)
v Eggplant puree
v Purple plum pie
v Purple broccoli salad
v Lavender tea
v Lavender ice cream
It’s most important to remember in planning any type of holiday party, that the object is to be able to spend time with your guests. Make dishes that are easy to prepare and can be shared amongst the guests. Buffet tables that are set-up in different parts of the room for appetizers, main courses and desserts can also get people mingling and moving around the party instead of sitting in the same place.
***For a more formal party, it may be worth it to hire someone to help clear and serve so you can pay attention to your guests.***
You can also create a great ambience using aromatherapy. Each element also corresponds with a particular scent. The water element can be “activated” by using Bergamot and Geranium scents. When using any type of aroma fragrancing in your space, make sure you are using essential oils and/or candles that are made of natural ingredients and burn cotton wicks. My products division, 3E Products, offers Environment Sprays that correspond with the Bagua Board in Feng Shui. The Wealth/Abundance spray is Bergamot. The November “pick 3” offers: Bergamot (Abundance), Ylang Ylang (Relationships) and Lemongrass (Family). Visit www.bantedesign.com for more info.
Incorporating any of these tips can help to make a great holiday party or to decorate for Abundance in this time of harvest and giving thanks for all we have. We are in some crazy times right now and it is important that we keep our family and friends close, and give thanks for all that do and still have. And in keeping with the theme of this column, THANK YOU to all of you who choose to read this column and my family, friends and people who have supported me personally and professionally!