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Entries in tips (29)


Home Decor Tip: Introduce Yourself to New Artists

Philippe Lardy, Life Forms, 2012Irwin Weiner ASID - You shouldn't be afraid to make new art friends! They won't bite. They come in peace. And they can add fresh oomph and much-needed juice into your home decor. I often say that interior design is not about turning your home into a museum. Just because you've already hung things on the wall doesn't mean they have to stay there forever (even museums change it up every so often).

Philippe Lardy, Oscillations 5 and 6, 2011

We just got back on Monday night from a week in Paris and was introduced to the work of an American illustrator Philippe Lardy whose works of fine art are represented by Galerie Menus Plaisirs. We admired the graphic forms and confidence in his work, but the point is to go out to galleries, look at online resources (even inexpensive ones that offer fine art like 20x200), and find something new for your walls. And you can always switch artwork back or move one or more items to walls in other rooms. Go wild. (Click on artwork for more information.)

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Videos Show Off Today's Luxury Homes for Sale

Irwin Weiner ASID - Social media and Internet marketing are the keys to successful home sales, according to many realtors. People like to see many photographs of a home on the Multiple Listing Service - you should definitely take advantage of the full 25 photographs possible on any MLS listing if you're trying to sell your home - and short 3-minute videos help capture the lifestyle aspect of walking through a home. Keep your home videos brief and let them tell a simple story:

  • Set the scene and show the beautiful area where your home is situated, or views directly from your house.
  • Enter the front door and begin the home tour.
  • Simple pans to the left, right, up, and down are all that's needed to show the scope of a room and focus on extra details of interest.
  • Turn on all the lights and the gas logs on your fireplace to show off the space to maximum effect.
  • Stage your home so it looks clean, spare, and minimal. It must show "clean."

Post your video on YouTube, Vimeo, and other sites where real estate videos are featured. Title your video the address of your property and use descriptive tags besides the address to attract people who are searching online for a home to purchase. Here's an example of an excellent, short-and-sweet real estate video from realtor Bobbi Vogel, Prudential in Oakland, CA (that's her going through the front door in the video).


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Tips for Haggling and Navigating Local Flea Markets

Irwin Weiner ASID - Flea markets are irresistible to me. The concept of finding home decorating treasures amidst trash is compelling. It's even better if you can find a great deal - "the steal" - and drive home with something absolutely amazing that you purchased for a song. While visiting my new grandson Oliver James Joyce in Minneapolis, I found some great tips for flea markets in the inflight magazine (an excellent one, at that, with a focus on design: for a free subscription, go to Complimentary Cambria Style Magazine); here were some of my favorite tips from their Navigating the Flea Market article.
  1. Bring some helpful supplies with you whenever you "flea." Cash is an essential, naturally. But bring a measuring tape or retractable steel tape so you can size up potential purchases. I oftentimes know that a client will need a specific size console, dresser, sofa, or painting to accommodate a certain dimension within their decorated space; without measuring, there's always an element of doubt (so eliminate it!). Also bring a cell phone. I snap photos of an object and email them with a description to my clients; they're usually eager to okay a purchase on the spot. Courtesy tip: Always ask a vendor if it's alright to take a photo before you take it.
  2. It's a worthy goal to practice civility and friendliness at your local flea market. Create a dialogue with a vendor if you're truly interested in a certain piece. Ask questions about how they found a certain object, how they started out in business, and the like. The Cambria Style article quoted Manhattan vintage shopper Lauren Linton: "Ideally, you both want to leave a transaction feeling like something positive happened." And isn't that great advice for the workplace, your family life, and living in general?
  3. No price on an item? Ask for the vendor's "best price," then be quiet and let them do all the talking. Many times the price will surprise you because it will be lower than you expected, so never be the first one to offer a dollar amount. 

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Diane Paparo - How to Finish Fine Furniture

Irwin Weiner ASID - Studio furniture maker and interior designer Diane Paparo sat down with Design2Share recently and kindly shared with us her tips on where to begin when it comes to dealing with wood finishes, stains, and treatments. It's one of those practical decorating considerations that most people "wing it," but we wanted to hear what a strong furniture maker had to say. Diane has designed furniture for fine homes around the world - even the executive office suites at Revlon. Let's see how someone who combines luxury, quality, beautiful detailing, and thoughtful functionality handles furniture finishes.

Choosing a furniture finish can be a tall order. First, you'll want to consider the design scheme and how the finish can be integrated into the whole, but you'll also want to think about maintenance and repair.

1. Let's tackle color first. You have four options: natural, stained, dyed, and painted. Some woods are naturally beautiful with just a clear protective finish, but most look richer when they're stained. Stains give you the option of deepening a wood's natural color or mimicking another wood's color. 

Stains don't penetrate the furniture's surface deeply; they lhave a transparency that enhances the grain. Stains can also accentuate imperfections, so inspect the finish carefully.

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