Trend Tracking at The Las Vegas Furniture Market

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It is so exciting to see the changes that are coming in the design world. Technology is making a huge difference in the way we live, and with LED lighting becoming more affordable there are some really exciting changes coming in lighting and how we use light.

As a Lifestylist® it’s really important to me that I keep up with changes and trends so Sunday I’m heading to the Las Vegas Market. Usually  go for a day or two, but there are so many great seminars this time I’m going to spend a few extra days to learn about what’s new and what we’ll be seeing in 2014.

Customers visit model homes to see what’s new, and showing them new design trends gives them a reason to want to buy a new home. The Lifestylist® Brands visit at least 4 trade shows a year to make sure that we know what’s hot and what’s not.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates right from the show.

Ground Breaking: The Hammocks at Canandaigua

Our goal at Lifestylist Design is to accent the community lifestyle in every home that we merchandise, and The Hammocks at Canandaigua has lots to work with!

Located on a beautiful ridge just about Canandaigua Lake and the historic town of Canandaigua, residents will be able to sail and kayak on the lake, hike or ride bikes on the miles of trails around the lake, enjoy brunch or dinner in one of the quaint locally owned bistros in town, or just hang out on their patio and enjoy the view.

Construction is well under way, and the rental office is already open so potential residents can chose their favorite location in the community. We have had so much fun working on the interior for the clubhouse – I can’t wait to have it all in place and complete!

We’ll have more photos soon – I can’t wait to see all of the progress.

Welcome To The Neighborhood

Happy Labor Day weekend! I was checking in with my kids and grandkids, and loved the fact that both of my kids are really enjoying their homes and neighborhoods this weekend. I’m proud to say that both of them bought new homes in new communities, and the model homes really did make a difference in their decisions on which home to buy.

What really “sealed the deal” for them was the fact that they would be living in planned communities -my daughter lives on a golf course and my son lives on a lake. Security, schools, and the kids having lots of kids nearby to play with made all of the difference. My daughter-in-law was thrilled to have a couple move in across the street with a baby just a month older than theirs, and they are really enjoying play dates and taking the kids out for walks. My grandkids have made lifelong friendships with great kids in their neighborhood, and most weekends are spent having a block party where the adults all make a dish or grill and they hang out together in the guest home of the week.

Lifestylist® Design is all about Life Celebrating Style. Celebrating the attributes of the community is something that we excel at, and our clients appreciate the extra homework we do to make sure that the models to represent the lifestyles of the potential buyers.

When you are planning your next model home, look beyond the colors and be sure that the model will accurately tell your story and the story behind your community.

How Dramatic Are Your Homes?

As a Lifestylist®, I spend quite a lot of time touring homes in different cities looking for new ideas and trends. Last week I was in South Haven, MI meeting with a client and discovered a great store – Props – who’s slogan is: “Your Home is Your Stage… Add Some Drama”.

So many times the drama is missing from our homes, and the customer loses interest in the home before they finish their tour. Here are some inexpensive Lifestylist® Designed ideas that  you can use to add some drama to your model homes.

Color Color can be a really easy way to wake up a home that has been sitting on your lot too long. Paint is one way, but you also do something as simple as changing out the pillows on your upholstery to give a room a new look. Artwork is also a very effective way to change the feel of a room and make it more memorable.

Emotion Do your homes pull at the potential buyer’s heartstrings or just leave them uninspired? Accessories and textures can add warmth and emotion to a home. One of my favorite staging tricks is setting the dining table and having it look like the new buyers are getting ready for a dinner party. Plates, napkins, and glassware can only cost a few dollars each but can give your home a festive feel that the buyers will remember.

Shake Things Up Have you ever noticed that by moving furniture around and changing out accessories you can make the room have a completely different feel? Freshening up your homes might not cost you a dime – it might take a little muscle.

These are only a few ideas that we would love to share with you. If you don’t have the time to work on your models yourself we would be happy to provide the services necessary to make your sales center more dramatic. The Home Idea Factory is All About You, and we would love to become your “go to” resource for all of your design needs.

Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we do at:

Being Inspired by Your Surroundings

When I work on a model home, my first priority is bringing the outside in – what’s going to make the buyer feel like what he experienced before he walked into the model continues into his model experience?

My son just gave me the perfect example – he is buying a new home in Florida, and was troubled after seeing the new model home because they didn’t like the colors or feel of the home after it was merchandised. It bothered them so much they actually considered canceling the sale. The colors and the lack of lifestyle felt like they could have been in any city in any community, but it didn’t have the warmth that they anticipated their home would have.

At Lifestylist® Design we focus on lifestyle, and what they buyer hopes to experience in his new life in your new home. We just finished doing a Lifestylist® Designed home for @home Builders in Baldwinsville, NY and I thought I’d share the thought process on how we came up with this home.

Timber Banks is a new incredible planned community near Syracuse, NY that features an 18 hole, Nicklaus designed golf course, river frontage with it’s own marina, clubhouse, and a stunning, natural beauty all around you that you can call home. It seemed only natural that I would bring this lifestyle and the colors I saw all around me into the design of the model. We went with some of the foggy greys, clear blue sky, river rocks and eco-greens that we discovered on our walks and as a result when you are in the home it truly pulls the outside in.  Plan a visit to the Timbers yourself and see what we accomplished – contact Teresa Carpenter with @home Builders for more information at:  315-635- 6006.

Something Old, Something New

The Home Idea Factory received the biggest compliment the other day I could ever hope to get.  I was speaking to a potential new client and after they reviewed the work and philosophies of almost every model home merchandising company out there they said The Home Idea Factory was the company who’s work stood out. They remembered our homes because of our unique way of blending  new items with cherished antiques and accessories. The client said it really gave them a feel of who would be living in the home and in fact it did feel like home.

I take what I do very seriously, and that’s why I became a Lifestylist® instead of just a traditional designer.  Helping a buyer visualize how amazing their life can be in their new home when they move into a new community can make the difference between them buying my client’s home or buying a pre-owned home or a foreclosure. Introducing the buyer to the new schools, neighborhood activities and other reasons why this would be the perfect place for them to live is a great reason to have a merchandised model – unfortunately not many builders take advantage of this opportunity.

What makes your models stand out from the rest? I hope this will give you some new things to look for when you are anticipating doing some new model homes.

BeauFlor – the Next Generation of Flooring is Here

As a Lifestylist®, one of the things I spend a lot of time on is sourcing and specifying products for the home. Flooring is especially important, and I’ve seen a movement lately from what we’ve always expected to see in a home to some really exciting, unexpected products. Your lifestyle should play a huge part in what you want in different rooms in your home – do you have pets, kids, allergies to be concerned about  or do you lead an active lifestyle? All of these should be considerations as to what type flooring you have in your home.

The Home Idea Factory is a perfect example of this. Living and working in a 1940’s building has lots of different challenges – add to that all of the animals we rescue and grandbabies – what you end up with is a need for something that is easy maintenance & a lot of style as well to make this Lifestylist® happy. I’ve been looking for years to find the perfect flooring for my media room which is my favorite room at the factory and where I spend most of my time. It is large so tiling or wood was cost-prohibitive, I knew carpet wouldn’t last since the dogs enjoy this room as well. I also wanted something with some sound barriers since the photography studio is below. When I discovered BeauFlor I knew I had my answer.

Believe it or not, this is a resilient vinyl flooring that is available in wider widths which means less or no seams. It also doesn’t have the paper backing that many vinyl floors have which can add to mold issues, and it is “lay flat – stay flat”. The patterns are absolutely amazing – I have been in homes that have BeauFlor in them and I have seen customers get on their hands and knees to see if the flooring was real tile or wood – actually it looks better in some cases! Plus you get the cost savings of a resilient flooring and the savings on installation – what more could you ask for?

Champion Homes of Texas has been using this flooring in their homes, and the customers love the look and how easy it is to care for. If you get a chance, be sure to take a look at this product in the nearest Champion Homes to you, or contact Syntec Industries to learn more about this amazing product. I can’t wait to have it in The Idea Factory to spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying!

New Champion Homes are XTreme!

We did it! With a lot of help from the wonderful team at Champion Homes of Texas, Lifestylist Design Inc. was able to complete 4 model homes in a week’s time. And the response has been tremendous – retailers have been flocking to the Champion Sales Center to see these amazing new XTreme floorplans.

This week really proved to me what a difference a great management team and leadership can make in the success of a company. I can’t say enough about how everyone stepped up and did whatever needed to be done. Even though we had to work on Saturday and Sunday in 100 degree weather there wasn’t one person who acted like there was any place they would rather be. The loyalty to their company and attention to detail really shows in every home that they build as well. No matter what price point the home was, it was still XTremely well constructed and I would be proud to call any of them my home.

If you are looking for and XTreme Home to call your own you should check out these new homes. Contact Marc Medders at 800-414-2605 for more information and tell him The Lifestylist® sent you!

DalTile Listens

There are days (actually most of them!) when I love being a Lifestylist®, and this week was a great one. I was able to work with the amazing team at Champion Homes of Texas and finish the XTreme Model Home Challenge, then I was invited to the corporate headquarters for DalTile to view some new products they are working on.

Honestly, I don’t know why more companies don’t ask for our help – being able to give input to DalTile helps all of us in the long run. They get to learn about what we need and haven’t been able to find, and by learning about what DalTile is working on I’m able to be sure that my clients know about these amazing new and current products so they can take advantage of them as well.

DalTile has always done an amazing job of understanding the needs of designers and builders and delivering beautiful products that are exactly what the homeowner is looking for. After spending a few days with their team, I think I know know how they achieve this – they listen. The innovative new products they will be launching that we got to see are obviously the product of really listening to and understanding the lifestyle of today’s buyer. With more people wanting the ease of maintenance that tile affords as well as it being so family and pet friendly, tile is going to become even more important in tomorrow’s homes. I can’t give everything away, but soon you will be seeing tile that is so simple to install even I could do it 🙂 and they are using new technologies to produce glass and mixed materials into mosaics that are worthy of being hung in a museum, but you will be able to easily install them in your own home. It was like they could read my mind – things that I had only dreamed about being able to use in my homes will soon be a reality.

Tile can be very intimidating to a novice homeowner, and with so many beautiful choices it can be very hard to choose what is your favorite. DalTile has helped take some of the guesswork out of this by having an easy to use website full of ideas. They also have design centers around the country that are staffed with some of the most knowledgeable designers I’ve ever worked with, and they are full of inspirations on how you can use tile to create your own dream home. They were very helpful to me when I was working on the new Design Center for @home Builders that will be opening soon – if you have a chance to stop by you should. They also helped me design the great kitchen backsplash for the new model home that just opened at Frisco Ranch for American Custom Builders.

Now it’s my turn to listen. I would love to hear about how you have used tile in your home. Feel free to contact us at: and share your beautiful rooms with us!

XTreme Model Homes Update – IKEA Saves the Day

We are making progress!

On of the toughest things to do when you have to merchandise or stage a home quickly is find the right furniture for the space. I don’t like to stock furniture because then you end up putting things that just aren’t quite right into a space because you have them. Lucky for me, there is an IKEA in the area so after having no luck even with being able to rent and make budget for this client, I decided to see what I could find online. IKEA is truly a lifestyle, and as a Lifestylist® I know this is a great resource for designing homes with lots of personality.

In the last few years, the IKEA website has become very user friendly. It’s well organized, easy to find what you are looking for by room, and they also have great inspiration photos which can be a huge help. A new to me feature is the Shopping List. You can add an item in your shopping list and by doing so and entering which store you’ll be picking up at the site will then prepare a list that not only has a photo and cost of the item, it will also tell you specifically where in the store that item will be! If you have ever been in an IKEA store you know that because of the size of the stores and all of the great room vignettes it can easily take you an entire day to shop. But you’ll never go hungry -they all have a great cafe that is as reasonably priced as their furniture in them and also a take out area if you are eating on the run.

With the help of the website I was able to make out a very detailed plan for each home and know exactly where I would find it and if it was in stock. When I arrived at the store I was able to pull everything and get it to the delivery window in 2 hours so I was thrilled! I think that was a record for me but I stayed focused and only bought what I knew I needed. When you are working on XTreme Homes with XTreme budgets the key is to only buy what you know you need or your budget can go off target in one shopping trip.

For you all not used to the IKEA experience – be warned – their great pricing comes at a cost. Most of their merchandise is “Flat box” which means it is designed to take up the minimum amount of space when it is being shipped. After you purchase the item most of it will have to be assembled, even the sofas so keep that in mind if you aren’t especially great with a screwdriver. They do have outside companies you can contact to put your items together though but this would drive up your costs. The other thing is that you are literally shopping in a warehouse, and you have to pull the merchandise from the shelves and bring it up to the check out lines. This may not be a problem if you are only buying a wicker chair, but if you are buying houses of furniture be sure to bring help and a truck to take it home in. I used their delivery service but didn’t have a great experience so I’d only use this as a last resort.

Everything got delivered yesterday, they are finishing up the houses today and hopefully I get to start making them look like home tomorrow! Can’t wait to see how they end up.