Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lifestylist® Designed TX Lake House For Sale

Looking for the perfect home to enjoy lake front living all year long? Look no further - this beautiful 5 bedroom home is what you have been searching for!

Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber and photographer Lisa Stewart visited this week to stage, photograph and help the owner market their home. See why Lifestylist® Marketing can give you the edge you are looking for to help you sell more homes.

Take a look at the You Tube video of the home, or contact Norma K. Smith for more information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shopping at IKEA The Lifestylist® Way

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.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shades of Green

Tony Lucas, the designer for Palm Harbor Homes and I had a great conversation when we were in Las Vegas for the MHI Congress and Expo. We were talking about the green revolution and what consumers are willing to pay to "do the right thing" and Tony used a great term - Shades of Green. We all want to make a difference, we just do it in different shades.
Living and working in a 1942 factory helps you find out quickly how important energy efficiency is, and amazingly enough there were some ideas that were designed into my home that make a lot of sense today. I always wanted a concrete home, and the Idea Factory is made of cement blocks and stucco. It really helps with sound and it does tend to keep the heat in during the winter and the cool in during the summer. We had no insulation anywhere and with a flat roof it was hard to add but we did.
The Idea Factory came complete with a 1956 Carrier air condition that used water cooled freon - similar to what many commercial buildings still use. the water takes the heat away from the air by the freon, travels outside and is then cooled by traveling across fins that let the air cool off the water. The cooled water is then returned to the system and the process starts over again. This is a very amateur description of the process, but I knew nothing when I bought this place but after the first summer I quickly found this system was worth keeping.
Imagine doing the inspection of your new home and having the inspector see this wood, falling apart structure that is a main component of your air conditioner. Obviously they were not very excited - water and raw wood are not a great combination. I saw it as a Lifestylist® Designed challenge, signed all of the papers and it was mine! Fortunately I have great team members that are used to my ideas, and we came up with a new design sculpted out of concrete and metal that is not only functional but a work of art as well. With hard work, a lot of head scratching and even more creativity today we started it up and it is purring like a new machine!
This is my shade of green - incorporating form, function, elbow grease and paint to come up with a system that has cut my cooling bills by over 60%.  Plus it looks great and I love the sound of it outside my kitchen window. I can't wait to do more green projects to my home, but until I can afford more I am very conscious of  how shade can help my bills and letting the trees overhang my roof, keeping the cooling up or heat down to save on utility bills when I'm not there, and turning off lights if I'm not in the room.
What is your shade of green?