Archive | October, 2010

What’s All this Fuss about a Color?

28 Oct

Your mind often associates a color with a thought, a memory or a time, sometimes without you even knowing it!

Marketing and advertisement firms know this and do their best to get “you” the consumer to associate a color in buying a product, that they’ve been hired to sell.  It’s so clever! 

This is why interior designers and decorators pay very close attention to the color schemes each year, it helps in their presentations to potential clients.  

Let me show you what I mean…. I am going to take one color in particular, where both men and women can identify with, without really knowing it!  Immediately as clean, relaxing, rich and classy?  The color palette is …..

Tiffany & Co

If you notice, Tiffany & Co® uses this as a signature color for their store, advertisements and gift wrapping.  The Tiffany box with this color conveys expensive, quality, classy and its timeless.

Aveeno® has used this same color to represent clean and fresh for their products also, knowing that a woman would be quickly drawn to the color while walking down an aisle at either a CVS, Walgreens or Wal-Mart, picked off the shelf than any other product; just because of the color.   Marketing firms have researched this color and have found that it does encourage a removal from the shelf to a final buy at the cash register.  Based on sales ratio, this color does just that! 

Aveeno

 Clinique® uses this color also for their cosmetics and skin products, which represents pure, clean and fresh.

Clinique

For the home, let me give you another example.  Here you have two bedrooms, which are beautiful and look very inviting; after a long, long day <just push those pillows right off the bed!!>

When looking at the photos, which bedroom are you drawn to first?   Most people would choose the bedroom on the left, simply because of the color, the mind is being triggered.  It’s clean, fresh and relaxing.  

One more!  This bathroom was just considered ordinary, before the owner added some paint color.  There’s nothing special about the bathroom, it has all the typical features. When picking a paint color; 8 times out of 10, guess what color is chosen for a bathroom?  Yes, the same color I’ve been talking about <giggle>!

Even a paint can has this color! The color wheel is so fascinating, it becomes more intriguing when you associate the color to a person, place, a smell or a thing where our minds are triggered. 

This is why when selecting a paint color; there is so much indecisiveness!  Or you may know the color; however when you get home the color is all wrong! 

The pigment might be off just a little, it’s too light or it’s too dark.   Not quite what you had in mind!  I say keep trying until you get it right!  That’s what primer is for!  And now the paint and the primer are together in one paint can; which is simply brilliant!    

So when picking a color, whether its furniture, the wall or bedroom ensemble, take it a step further and see why you’re selecting that particular color.  What does it remind you of?  If you want to share, leave me a comment!  Now, if anyone asks you “So, what’s all this fuss about a color?”  You can say to them…..it’s EVERYTHING!

Be well – Lee 🙂

Bedding from Horchow Collections, Harmony paint by Sherwin-Williams, Bathroom photo by starterhometodreamhome.blogspot.com.

 

Buttons, Buttons & More Buttons!

26 Oct

Stephanie out of Charlotte N.C., a mother of two beautiful children, a 4 year-old girl and a 6 month old boy asked me this one! 

“Where did buttons come from anyway, I’m curious?” 

Yes, she asked it!  To tell you the truth, I have a love affair with buttons, because as a girl, my mother sent me to Singer sewing classes <the company who manufactured sewing machines> and from then on I realized how important buttons are; for it is so hard to master putting them on a garment when sewing at the age of 11!!!

So, Stephanie…here’s your answer, quick and short!

Buttons originated in China, 2000 BC.  They were used to conspicuously smuggle items out of the country, rare gems, diamonds and sometimes opium.  The buttons would be adhered to a garment and go under the radar of a search.  Once discovered, other ways were thought of to smuggle these items, leaving the button to always be carefully looked at! 

Throughout the centuries, thereafter buttons became the focal point of a garment, quite expensive and rather delicate.  Which allowed the button types to vary in order to lay correctly on a garment (shank, four holes, two holes, etc.).  As you may have seen, a button can be covered with fabric or jewels; today colored resin or plastic in all shapes and sizes.   Did you know the thimble became the welcomed partner for the button when sewing?  You see needles may have been carefully dipped in poision; where a simple prick was deadly, so the thimble was created as a safeguard during the 1st century AD!

There are museums which hold the most authentic type of buttons, made of real gold, porcelain and even diamonds!  Very serious stuff! Very serious!   There are people who collect the rarest of buttons; similiar to collecting rare coins and stamps.

There is a such a lovely little shop in NYC, called Tender Buttons on 62nd Street & Lexington Ave; which has an inventory of all kinds of buttons you can’t even imagine.  The boutique owner, Dana Epstein authored a book about buttons and their history, The Button Book.  For you and those who may be interested, it’s available on www.amazon.com for a mere $4.95.  It has gotten nice reviews!

How do I know about this place? Well, my youngest daughter wanted a new headboard for her bed.  Looking through various magazines, I ‘d decided that we can make it ourselves.  So we went to Home Depot® with the measurements, brought wood and while we were there, had them cut the wood based on the dimensions we needed. 

A drill and a lot of hammering with nails…headboard!  Then we both went to the local fabric store and selected the fabric, batting, foam, etc. covered the headboard using a staple gun!   The headboard was going to be tufted, so my daughter did not want plain shank buttons.  She wanted jeweled buttons, so the search was on <felt like a crusade>!  Tender Buttons was the place to get 40 buttons to place on her headboard! The buttons were carefully placed in their own drawer; giving the impression that it was a found treasure! Woo Hoo!  I remembering saying, “Happy daughter with happy headboard!”

The price range for a button could be from $0.50 to $100.00 a piece or more!  Will buttons always be that serious, I am afraid so!

Stephanie; thanks for your curiosity about buttons; which is so wonderful!  This may have sparked others to start paying close respected attention to their buttons; leaving them smiling!

Be Well – Letia  😉

P.S. Oh!! I have a trivia question for all of you!  What common known phrase is used all the time with the word “button”?  Comment with your answer, I’ll post the answer in a few days!

Tender Button photos by Shanna Ravindra,  New York Magazine

If you have any questions, e-mail lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com

answer: cute as a button!

What Ya Doing for Halloween?

22 Oct

Halloween!  It’s less than a week away and everyone should have figured out by now your costume, dressed up the front yard and loaded up on all the candy, remember it’s a kid’s dream!

Whether it’s the mummy cookies <* see recipe below by Kelly, they are great>, the pumpkins laughing at you with a glow or the selection of a costume, like my 9 yr. old nephew being Spiderman; consecutively for 3 years now!!!  Halloween is a whole lot of fun!

Is there a haunted house in your area or do you dress up your house like one?  Do you play scary movies like, Halloween with Michael Myers, Beetle Juice or just being silly with your own videos?   What’s your favorite candy of all time? <Reese’s peanut butter cup is mine>.   Next to December’s Holiday season, Halloween comes in second for the most celebrated, decorated holiday; it’s the preparation and the pizzazz!

I am so looking forward to seeing the Halloween parade held in NYC!  I know there will be so many Lady GaGa’s, Avatar Blue people, the infamous Sponge Bob(s) or Miss Piggy(s)!!!!   Whatever you decide to do or be, make sure you have fun.  I always think  that Halloween is just for the kids, even though the grown-ups somehow seem to take over; completely! And teenagers, seem to want the eggs in the fridge; the whole carton with no intention of eating them!

Happy Halloween!

If you ever get a chance to come to NYC in the fall, around this time.. there is a place you must go!  For those who are near, you have to experience it.  Travel north of the city called Westchester County, to a town called Sleepy Hollow!   The town of the Headless Horseman, you know the folk story!  Talk about a Halloween celebration, I cannot describe how much fun is to be had by all!  I’ve been a couple of times and I had a ball!

There’s the Horseman’s Hollow, which takes the tale of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow to it’s darkest measures. For eight October evenings, historic Philipsburg Manor transforms into a terrifying landscape ruled by vampires, witches, undead soldiers, ghouls, and ghosts, all serving the Headless Horseman himself!

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is 20 nights of family-friendly fun featuring more than 4,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated Jack O’Lanterns.     And for those who are not familiar with the tale, Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk offers a dramatic performance of Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow!.  Here is the website for more information; if interested in tickets or knowing more about the events. http://www.hudsonvalley.org/index.php.

Still haven’t decorated?  You still have time, Target® has some great decorations with budget prices.  Candy? Walmart® is great too.  If you are baking, the local supermarkets usually have sales on the basic baking items.

Remember, as we get nearer to the 31st, all stores will want to move the Halloween items and if you want to buy for next year; these same items will be reduced 50 – 75% after the 31st!

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!  Enjoy!

Boooooooooo! 🙂

Lee

* https://noemptychairs.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/yummy-mummy-cookies/

Make your own Halloween face, click here!

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