As you may have noticed, we are BIG fans of Lee Industries. Why is this? We’ve been in the furniture industry now for about 23 years, wholesale and retail. Selling an excellent product from a company who will stand behind their goods simply makes the life of a designer or retailer easier.
We’ve represented many line of upholstery over the years, some are still around, and many are not. Regardless of price or any other consideration, we have simply found that Lee makes a product that is undeniably comfortable, sturdy, practical and stylish. What else can you ask for? After 18 years in retail we have NEVER had a Lee Industries piece of upholstery come back to us! I think that’s a remarkable statement.
When you buy a Lee Industries piece of upholstery, with good care, you will never have to replace it. This is a piece of furniture worth reupholstering when the fabric becomes worn or tired.
Another bonus with Lee is that most of their frames are slip coverable. At my house, I have two sets of Slips for every piece. Summer is light colored linens and cottons and winter is velvet, chenille and mohair in rich jewel tones. It’s an unbelievable pleasure to be able to change your room with the seasons. At the end of a long, cold winter, I can’t wait to put on my linen shorts and flip flops and it seems my living room can’t wait either. Suddenly, everything is fresh. I launder or dry clean my winter slipcovers and put them away in sealed plastic tubs with a little bit of lavender and forget about them until fall. Put this in your repertoire and I swear you’ll never go back to looking at the same old sofas and chairs for 10 years!
Local and otherwise, we will travel pretty much anywhere (we love to travel). So many people think that a designer has to live in your city, sheikh is far from the truth. In reality, depending on the project, many times one to two consultations on site are plenty and lastly being on hand for installation.
The most important thing is to meet with a designer ad see if your personalities and taste are a good match. Redoing a room or a whole house should be fun and seeing eye to eye with your designer is a must.
To help your designer, keep a notebook or Pinterest account of rooms that you love. Most people will see a recurring theme when doing this and will help your designer define your style and put your personal signature on it.
Quite by accident, after installing an Ikea kitchen in what was then our ‘temporary” home and where budget was the main concern, we fell in love with the Ikea kitchen products….but NOT the process.
Since then we have designed and installed many beautiful and efficient Ikea kitchens for budget conscious clients. Ikea products are well made, well designed for efficiency of use and about a third to half as much as your typical Home Depot or Lowes kitchen.
Two things you DON’T want to do:
Let Ikea’s free “kitchen designers” design your kitchen. Let’s just say that you get what you pay for!
AND most definitely do not use their “professional installers”. You’ll find yourself using swear words you didn’t know you had!
Frankly, I will never ceased to be amazed at how many people wanting to sell their homes do not take advantage of a staging professional. For the most part I am not talking about your realtor who took a weekend course, I’m sure there are exceptions, however, I wouldn’t expect my dentist to do my knee replacement surgery.
The statistics are readily available on your google machine folks. The facts are: Staged homes sell blank % faster and garner blank % more of the asking price.
So, which part of this sounds like a bad idea? I actually had to convince a client recently that NINE crucifixes were about NINE too many. And another client who couldn’t understand why, even though, her “California Raisons” collection might gain some real speed on Ebay, it just wasn’t the message we were after in selling her home quickly.
To have your home appear warm but not too cozy, uncluttered but not cold, spacious but not austere, you need the help of a professional. Trust me on this one thing. Really.
De=cluttering is another area where the help of a professional is invaluable and I’m not talking about hoarding, that’s a whole different ballgame, you need a psychiatrist for that one.
I just mean the typical clutter that every household has that sometimes gets out of control. And especially when you’ve reached an age when you have inherited Great Aunt Betty’s dining table with 6 leaves, 12 chairs and a china cabinet. Yes, guilt is involved in this situation but it’s okay to let go of something you never wanted in the first place and is not your taste. And unless it’s very valuable, rarely the case, there’s always the option of donating for a tax write off and making it possible for another family who didn’t have a Great Aunt Betty to have it and enjoy it. Go ahead. Do it. GIVE IT UP. The world will be a better place and so will your home.
There is a lot to say about this subject and this isn’t the proper forum, but I would like to say this much. This is not a fad, people. This is a thousands of years old practice in the placement of furniture inside your house, and a home or business on a piece of land and how these decisions affect you and your family’s health, longevity and prosperity. I highly recommend that you look into this. This may be one of the best investments you will ever make in your home.
While being 100% heterosexual, it’s fairly obvious to anyone paying attention that I have a well-developed masculine side.
For example, as a child, my after school routine was to race home, grab all of my “baby” dolls, (I had four) change their diapers, feed them, rock them, put them down for their nap, change into my baseball uniform and rush to practice where I exceled in just about every position, but first base was my favorite because I could catch ANYTHING and I wasn’t afraid to use my body to block a runner.
The first time I was hired by a male client was to renovate and design the interior of a small ranch style house with a pool at the Polo Club in Wellington, Fla..The client, was a developer in DC, lived in Virginia and played polo avidly as a hobby. He was married, but the place in Florida was really just for him and his buddies to enjoy during polo season when he could get away from work. He hired me after seeing a West Indies style beach house I had done and loved the simple but elegant lines. It appealed to his masculine sensibilities, but had a definite romantic twist that he knew would appeal to his wife who visited occasionally.
He gave me a realistic budget, told me that he would be very happy if I came in about $1.00 under and set me free.
Some of the highlights of this fun creation were the 120’ long, distressed tobacco leather and tapestry sofa flanked by 4 french inspired leather club chairs. The centerpiece of this setting was a big gorgeous square, Ironwood coffee table situated so that 8 guys could put their feet up with their boots on of off and do no damage. All they wanted to do was crack some beers, order a pizza and watch the videos taken at their games that day.
But the piece de la resistance was the simple but elegant 4-poster canopy bed. How can a canopy bed be masculine? Like this..(pic) He wanted to make sure his wife visited occasionally during the season so a little romance was needed.
It worked. Shecam down the first time on Valentines day to fresh roses in a sparkling crystal vase, champagne chilling in a silver trophy won the previous year and Godiva chocolates on her pillow.
We had placed these beautiful rustic “firepots” every 6’ ft around the pool and their reflected image was flickering in the pool, we turned on the music to a romantic Pandora station that we love and headed out the door. As we were turning out of the Polo Club’s main entrance, they were pulling in, he winked at me and held up his crossed fingers. She never knew what hit her!
The best part of this experience was my own self-discovery that I love designing for men. Here are some of the differences that I observed (ladies don’t get offended!).