In this economy it would seem that cutting out the middle man has become a battle cry! I would like to make an argument for hiring an interior designer. Designers do in fact save the consumer money because a designer can save the consumer from making costly mistakes.
Designers are more willing than ever to think out of the box for pricing their services. Many designers are not only offering their services at an hourly rate many designers are bundling their services with a reduced rate on the cost for the furnishings.
How does one find an interior designer? The NWSID and the Seattle Design Center are two formidable options. The NWSID is a trade organization representing independent designers in the Northwest.
Another tremendous benefit to hiring a designer is that designers create homes and mixed use spaces that are layered and complex, largely because professional designers have far more resources than general consumers. The results are more dynamic and beautiful, and spaces are more functional as well.
Today on our show we honor veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Last week I felt first hand the pain of losing a soldier.
My nephew Kevin lost his battle to recover from injuries sustained in Iraq as the result of an IED attack. There is so much that could be shared about my nephew. I have chosen just one of the many treasured experiences that Kevin left for our family to remember him by.
When kevin got to Iraq he was struck by how friendly and inquisitive the children were. Kevin noted that while schools were being rebuilt there was a real need for school supplies. Kevin wrote to his mom and asked if his church would collect school supplies. He asked for the basics that theses kids who had won his heart lacked; notebooks, paper, magic markers, and backpacks. He asked if the church could personalize the backpacks so that the kids would connect US compassion with the gifts. Kevin inspired the creation of 252 backpacks lovingly sewn and filled by the ladies of his church which he distributed to the kids in Tekrit.
I could say many things in projecting the long lasting goodwill such philanthropic gestures could render, this photo sums it up. We lost Kevin last week. His memory lives on in my heart as well as the countless kids in Iraq who experienced first hand why our men and women in uniform are the very best this country has to offer. Thank you Kevin for your many gifts to those of us who had the privilege to know you.
Most people go with a neutral sofa or bedding, and the great thing about that is it basically becomes a canvas!
Think of throw pillows as jewelry for your furniture. Almost like little accessories that can change seasonally. It's a good way to add texture and splashes of color that tie a room together. The best part is it doesn't have to be very expensive, either.
How will I be spending Mother's Day? I will be happily planting flowers, something I try to do every Mother's Day.
When I was a girl my father always honored his mother by planting beautiful flowers around our home; to him it is one of the things that made our house a home. My dad grew up in the Great Depression, and even though they had no money, my grandmother always found a way to plant seeds and have lovely flowers around her home. It instilled a value in my father and in me that even if you have no money, you can still take pride in making your home beautiful, and in the process forming loving bonds with your family.
Today on my Inside Out radio show on KOMO radio from 10a-Noon we will be sharing stories and discussing what makes your house a home.
On Tuesday we had our first Interior Design Protection Council Northwest meeting and it was a huge success.
Patti Morrow, the Chair of the national IDPC gave a power point presentation outlining the history and future of both the national and Washington regulatory schemes. Among the many issues discussed were:
*The different types of interior design regulations and how ALL of them would negatively impact the design community - which includes related businesses like retailers, showrooms, contractors, stagers, kitchen & bath industry, etc.
*The misinformation perpetuated by the cartel vs. the TRUTH.
*IDPC's spearheading of the Freedom Movement and their amazing results over the last 4 years.
*Why it absolutely imperative that Washington state have both local and national representation on this issue.
*The differences between WAPPDF and IDPC-NW, i.e. their current investigation into compromise legislation, why IDPC believes NO compromise is needed. A public invitation was given to WAPPDF (5 of their board members attended the meeting) to join us in our mission to keep WA totally regulation free.
*Call to action to participate in the process that has a direct impact on their future.
I was happy to follow Patti to say a few words on how I became involved, the impact of the proposed legislation on Washington state, and the need for the design community to help us reach our goals - protect the livelihoods of all designers. It is not okay to just sit by and allow a select few to marginalize the majority who do not fit their one-size-fits-all vision for our industry.
NO DESIGNER LEFT BEHIND!
Join me today as we discuss the progress the IDPC-NW made this week, as well as helping you with your design dilemmas.
We are excited about our rapidly expanding Northwest chapter of the IDPC! Please join us for our first meeting on Tuesday, April 27th at the Seattle Design Center.
Patti Morrow, Executive Director from IDPC national headquarters will be coming to speak to us about the national trends, how they impact us here in WA, and what we need to do to stop the licensing scheme for once and for all and for good.
Our goal is to unify the various design organizations and independents with our positive and tenacious approach. We could not be more enthusiastic!
NO DESIGNER LEFT BEHIND!
There will also be time for some fun, networking, and light refreshments.
Walking down the street, you might see a lot of $1/ yard signs and people with shooting bubble guns on the sidewalks... But inside these sketchy looking stores, you will find amazing fabrics at a fraction of the cost you would buy in the design center or other high end fabric stores. And everything is up for negotiation.
Above is a selection of raw dupioni silk that I talked down to $7.50/ yard.
Bijan is a man who moved here 20 years ago from Iran. He works at his shop every day and has managed to pay for his children to go through medical school and law school. And it's great because on the weekends, quite often you'll see his wife and their two sons stop by and see if his father needs help in the shop. Such a nice family.
Just a small selection of the fabrics I loved.
Okay, I know it seems crazy, but it helps to know who to ask and get a good recommendation on which hot dog vendor you go to after... Bacon wrapped hot dogs are hard to resist after you've passed 6 or 7 stands along the way!
I Love to shop! Today on Inside Out the subject is where do you secretly shop for one of a kind items? Here is a tease; I have a secret webste to find rare antique hardware. After the program we will post the best suggestions here on this site.
Replacing windows for an entire home can feel overwhelming. I hear advertisements for windows that claim to be manufactured specifically for the Northwest to protect a home from damage due to our weather conditions. Consumers often feel confused. Windows are NOT confusing; sales tactics are. The goal of this blog is to simplify purchasing of widows for the consumer and to give a couple of websites that consumers can go to for more information.
What do most consumers want when replacing windows?
1. Energy Savings (This is very boring to describe, all of the details for energy ratings will be on our KOMO website). Most windows are now Energy star rated http://www.energystar.gov/. Another rating system is the NFRC rating, which is the most accurate description for rating energy efficiency. The details will be on our web site http://www.nfrc.org/about.aspx. Double pane vs triple pane? The energy savings for double vs triple pane windows is nominal. On our web site there is a table to help the consumer compare the actual energy savings, vs the cost of the window.
2. Aesthetics People want an improvement in the overall look of their home. There are really only 4 types of window materials available.
Clad windows (vinyl covered aluminum)
When replacing windows simply ask yourself what you want your windows to look like? Cut out pictures of windows and shop for the look for your home. The bottom line is that the majority of in home window sales are pushing vinyl windows. Vinyl is the least expensive and least desirable from the aesthetics perspective.
3. Increased value to a home. My advice is to drive around the neighborhood and look at the windows in your neighborhood. Note: look AT the windows not IN the windows! lol
In my opinion there are many good choices for the consumer. Never feel pushed. There is not a window that is superior to all other windows. Consumers need to remember what their goals are and determine if a product meets their objectives.
In 1972, Washington state passed the Shoreline Management Act to manage the use and development of our state's 28,000 miles of shoreline. Specific regulations and implementation of the Act was left to local municipalities, who develop Shoeline Master Programs. The creation of the Shoreline Master Programs are controversial as the interests of enviromentalists, private property owners and politicians collide.
Join me today from 10:00 AM to Noon as we discuss Shoreline Master Program issues. I will be taking calls and letting the public present its vies on this hot topic. Please listen and join in.
I am pleased to announce that we now have a local chapter for the national organization IDCP (Interior Design Protection Council). I have been named as Head chair for the IDCP for the State of Washington, http://www.idpcinfo.org/NorthwestChapter.html.
It is my goal to open a dialog with our State Representatives and assist them in better understanding that restricting the title and practice of interior design to benefit only a small minority of Interior Designers is not necessary, and will result in the loss of thousands of jobs in our state. Please put July 17th on your calendars as we are in the planning stages for a picnic to benefit the IDCP.
Patti Morrow will be my guest today to discuss this opportunity for all designers in our state to have a voice. For more information about IDPC visit http://www.idpcinfo.org
In this economy many homeowners are facing home improvement projects that could break the bank. Bathroom remodeling, kitchen cabinet replacement, ugly wood floors and out dated appliances are just some potential big ticket items. I have resources that can reface ugly and expensive home items for significantly less money.
(Photo credit: N Hance)
Ugly wood surfaces such as cabinets or wood flooring can be refurbished. Chipped, flaking, oil stained, floors and cabinets look dramatically better at a fraction of the cost. The old finish is refurbished professionally using various solvents and oils to blend flaking finishes and enhance the overall look of the grain of the wood. Refurbishment works quite well to update Amber or dark colored cabinets such as "Golden Oak" or "Pecan" colors that were popular during the 70's & 80's. The cabinets can be lightened or darkened as part of the refurbished and updated look. The resource that I have used for this service is N Hance.
(Photo credit: Country Living Magazine)
As for ugly appliances... Simply changing the color of old kitchen appliances (remember Harvest Gold?) can be another way to save money and update the look of a kitchen. The process that I recommend is called electrostatic painting. The paint is transferred directly to the appliance using an electrical current and it is gorgeous. Spray paint can "orange peel", while electrostatic paint looks like a new automobile.
And finally, ugly showers or bathtubs are extremely expensive to replace. There is a process called reglazing which is professionally applied and has the same warranty as a new tub. The coating forms a molecular bond to the tub and covers hard water stains, rust, chips, and even an ugly color. You can customize the color so that your newly recoated tub can match your Biscuit colored sink, or have a dramatic color if you wish. I recommend Bathcrest of Seattle for this service.
I am thrilled that my guest on today's Inside Out radio show is the inspiring Sunny Kobe Cook. Sunny founded Sleep Country USA with $5,000 in 1991, serving as CEO and Company spokesperson for many years. Her company enjoyed considerable growth and success, including the first retailer to be recognized as a "Best Place to Work". She sold the retail chain store in 2000 and has gone on to be a celebrated author, motivational speaker and consultant.
Sunny Kobe Cook has long been known as a person who cares deeply about her community and generously supports a number of charities. She started the Kobe Foundation, which expand the education of our youth beyond the classroom.
Join us today from 11am to noon on the Inside Out show.