Monday, March 27, 2006

Harebrained Idea of the Day

Okay. I just googled "Interior Design Podcast" - not much out there. Hmmmm..... Perhaps Christian and I can create some fun content... Could be kind of cool!

Cabinet update: Chuck the contractor says we were the 2nd worst installation he's had the pleasure of working on (is this an honor I should be proud of?). Apparently there is no such thing as a plumb wall in my 1920's house. He planned for the install to take about 5 hours. Well, he and his brother arrived at 8am and left a bit after 6pm. And there are still more to go. As Christian says, "Have a plan, then be flexible".

Remember a few weeks ago I was complaining about our 1st Hate Mail? Life has a way of balancing out, and we got a truly lovely letter from a reader this weekend. Ironically, it was in response to our "Do's" column which was written to counteract the "Don'ts" column. The reader is actually going to read our column aloud at her club meeting on Tuesday. Nice!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

M:I 2

Going in ... how exciting (and what a mess!)


Cabinets get delivered this morning... between 7 and 9am. Chuck the contractor says he'll have all the boxes installed by this evening. Wow!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Favorite New Colors

Last week I gave a talk to Cancer Lifeline Friends Committee about color - the physical effects of color and new color trends. The most interesting phenomenon that I observed is how energized we all became when we looked at the colors. Especially since my talk was given in a hospital meeting room that was painted a bland off-white - not very healing!

Here are some of my favorite new C2 Paint colors:
"Venus Envy" (okay, let me pause here and confess that I actually was allowed to name this one!) - sizzling hot fuscia
"Diva" - classic deep red
"Vixen" and "Temptation" - two pink-based reds
"Pillow Talk" - soft peach-pink
"Cutie" - even paler peach
"Impeccable" - one of my absolute favorites; deep coppery brown
"Al Green" - impossibly fresh green
"Urban Dweller" - is it greenish, is it beigish? It's a sophisticated neutral
"Bluetonium" - it's a good blue... not too grey, not to intense
"Death by Chocolate" - yum!
"Luxe" and "Vicuna" - two perfect neutrals
"Final Straw" - might be my new living room color
"Paper Clip" - a grey that I actually like!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Partner Benefits

One of the great things about my C2 involvement, is that I can take advantage of all my other partners' knowledge and experience. Because wallpaper has been a weak category, I have been keeping my eyes open for other products to promote in my stores. One of my Ontario partners has developed a very nice lighting business, and I now am looking at adding some lighting products to our mix because of his success. Some of my New England partners have done quite well with decorative hardware... Is that a category that would fit well with the Daly's model?

Actually, I think hardware could be pretty good, since we do so much with wood finishing and stains. Hardware might be a natural next step in the refinishing process...

Another New England partner sells tons of ready-made valances. I don't think that's the right fit for us, I don't think Seattle and Bellevue can support a huge valance program. At least not our stores, it's not a good fit for our personality.

But what if we had a selection of tasty lighting fixtures and hardware??? A Daly's "look"? Might have some legs...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Uba Tuba Wins!

After much deliberation, Uba Tuba is still the front runner in the grand granite discussion. It just looks so rich.

Painting is actually happening tomorrow, and the walls are going to be C2's "Radiate" with "Coconut" trim and ceiling. Tasty! Chuck, my contractor has never used C2, so I am looking forward to getting his reaction to the product.

Getting past this point will be grand, there is wallboard dust on every single surface in the house! I can honestly say that I am looking forward to doing some cleaning this weekend, and yes, THAT statement is a first.

Yesterday, I ran into a client whom I helped with many decorating projects about 15 years ago. Her twins are now seniors in high school. It just can't be true! They were little boys! What's really cool is hearing that her wool challis draperies in the den still looks as good as the day they were installed. She always chose quality materials, and this is a perfect example of how well quality can last... She's not replacing them yet, simply updating the wall treatment in there.

How many of us can say we have the same window treatments we had 15 years ago? Or even the same house?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

There's Nothing Like the Last Minute...

Yikes! My contractor informed me last night that he plans on painting the walls on Thursday. Thursday! Ohmygod, I'm not even sure which granite I'm using yet, so how in the world will I choose a wall color???

Today, I decided I needed to go countertop shopping. Overwhelming about sums it up. Wow. There are a lot of shiny rocks to choose from. It was very interesting to walk amongst the rows filled with slabs of granite, marble and travertine. Our earth produces such beauty... But to choose that little piece of mother earth for my home is turning out to be a bit more difficult than I expected.

Just as I never thought I was a maple cabinet gal, I am turning into dark countertop gal. Will wonders never cease? Uba Tuba seems to be our rock of choice, and it's even in the lower realm of the price range... Am I losing my edge? Our budget isn't being being blown to smithereens, at least not with the counter. However, there's always the backsplash...

Like other projects I've undertaken in my home, I find it immensely easier to help others than to wade through the choices for myself. "Decorator, design thy home!"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's Cool What You Can Find on the Web

I just just noodling around on the computer (I should be out weeding the garden), and I Googled C2 Paint. I found a website that posted finished kitchens and realized how familiar this one was... I am positive I consulted on the colors for the whole house last year - typically I don't get the chance to see the finished job, so this was a bit of a shock to see when I wasn't focused finding it! Cool!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Had a "Don" Good Time

I am recovering from an intense few days of great meetings at the fabulous Don CeSar Resort in sunny St. Pete Beach, FL. The reason I flew across the whole country was not really for the sun (which admittedly was nice), but to be with my paint posse . Quite honestly, after a couple hours by the pool, I'm done with the relaxing part. Besides, I think I increase the light reflectancy value (there's some paint terminology for you) for everyone else around me.

I love the opportunity to spend 5 days talking exclusively about my passion - being an independent paint retailer with like-minded folks. I know, I know, it sounds REALLY interesting...

What you've got to understand is that we don't just sell this brand of paint, we all own a part of the company. Think of a co-op; but with business stakes that make it feel like a marriage or partnership with 50 (and growing) of your closest friends. It's a heady experience.

I remember when we had less than 12 partners, and that wasn't very long ago.

I did finally make it to the beach at about midnight on the last night of the trip. But at that hour of the evening, it felt more like Seattle than St. Pete's. The sand is so velvety between my toes and the water is so blue... Maybe there is a bit of a beach babe lurking inside of me.

Mary, another of my C2 partners, came up with a great color name: Eye Candy. Sounds like a clean, mid-value blue undertone pink to me. See... it never stops, even with the temptations of the resort!

Speaking of temptations - what a colorful bunch of partners I have. I think our whole partnership is really a great collection of alpha males - men and women. We represent Best in Class of our business, and that makes for some intriguing exchanges between people.

What other group of friends can I go out on "Date Nite with Harry" and be accompanied by 20 "Chaperones" to make sure nothing happens between me and my date (and yes, my husband is fully aware of my Gentleman Caller!).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Demo, Dinner and Decisions

I am now officially in the throes of a full-blown kitchen remodel. Demolition started on Monday, but our work really began on Saturday.

We had to clear out almost the entire contents from our storage room which is located beneath our kitchen to give our contractor easy access from below. We used this as a perfect opportunity to get rid of those things that have been cluttering up our storage room (and our life).

What a messy job! I filled the mini van full of things to go to the local charity. Good stuff, too. Just not things we want anymore and won't be using in the future. Framed posters, small appliances, full sets of dishes. Like I said, good stuff.

What a feeling of lightness! Well, that is until we realized that this was only part of our efforts for the weekend. We also had to empty out the kitchen in time for Monday's demolition party.

14 storage containers later, we had everything labeled and stacked neatly. We also created a temporary kitchen in the basement with a hot plate, microwave and griddle (and one really handy 18" deep rack as a temporary pantry). So far, we've only bought one take-out meal. Not bad!

As I was telling my girlfriend though, our meals are not so elaborate. We are consuming things like turkey dogs and baked beans. Lots of pre-bagged salad for the adults while the kids want Annie's microwave mac. If we can keep it easy and interesting, I'm hoping we can maintain this. the less we spend on take-out, the more that's left over for the remodel!

I've been feeling a bit of pressure to make sure I choose the correct finishes for the kitchen. I have settled on a lightly stained maple cabinet - which came as a surprise, I never really envisioned myself as a Maple gal - with rich marble counters. Our stainless appliances are already in the house and waiting to be installed... The door style is very simple, to fit with my 1920's house - not a true Shaker door either, I didn't want to date to kitchen with too specific a look. Yikes! I feel my customer's pain, I understand what they go through to make decisions!