Not only do I get to see gorgeous interior design, I love seeing the different mailboxes of my clients. Here’s my latest collection of the mailboxes of Naples and Marco Island, Florida.
Not only do I get to see gorgeous interior design, I love seeing the different mailboxes of my clients. Here’s my latest collection of the mailboxes of Naples and Marco Island, Florida.
As a newlywed, I faced what many new brides must deal with after moving into their new husbands’ spaces — transforming a bachelor pad into a home. Without a pool table in the middle of the living room.
As you can see, our starting point of the master bedroom bathroom had been handled with bachelor care, i.e., “Yeah…that’s easy to fix. Later.” One of the towel rack handles had been broken off, electrical outlets needed to be updated into the 21st century and the mirrored medicine cabinet was literally falling out of the wall.
I wanted to create a bold, luxurious master bedroom for us, making sure to carry the sexy undertones into our en suite. To Pinterest I went! This gorgeous wall, pinned by DesignDazzle.com, would be my inspiration.
Measure the entire wall. Look to your inspiration for a game plan. I wanted three major columns vertically, so I began my calculations on a sketch pad with each column being 12 inches wide. I then added additional inches inbetween each column to evenly space them, and added inches at the left- and right-hand ends to evenly center the pattern on the wall overall. Repeat the same process for the length. It doesn’t matter if you sketch is drawn perfectly to scale, in crazy freehand such as mine, or drawn over the photo, what matters most is your numbers. As you start to mask out the pattern in painter’s tape, adjustments on the fly may be needed. Keep your calculator handy.
First, prep your wall. Repair and fill any holes, dents, etc., as you can see, we totally removed the towel bar and kept the assistance handle. For one, any towel hanging on the rack would hang directly in the way of the assistance bar and, we plan to sell our condo in the next couple of years, living in the retirement hub of the world, Southwest Florida, an assistance bar would be considered a bathroom asset.
Next, paint the entire wall the color you wish the pattern itself to be; I used Pantone in Mood Indigo in Valspar Signature with an eggshell finish. Make sure this layer has a even and full coverage; let dry overnight. Using a ruler, pencil and Scotch Blue 1.5-inch Painter’s Tape, start applying your pattern. This the most tedious part of the project, as you MUST measure from every point to ensure the pattern is even vertically and horizontally. Believe me, if you are off even the slightest bit, it will be noticeable. Slow and steady wins the race here in taping out the pattern. I would tape out a square…take a break…stape out a square…take a break. I won’t lie, this took about four hours over the course of one evening to complete.
After painstakingly applying the pattern, paint the entire wall your top coat color. And, yes, completely cover your pattern. I used Pantone in White Aparagus in Valspar Signature paint in an eggshell finish. Make sure to coat with full and even coverage, perhaps two coats, and let dry for two to three days. Yes, two to three DAYS.
After letting your top coat completely dry, test the waters by gently peeling back the edge of one section of tape. When completely dry, the tape will peel off easily without smearing any paint, leaving a clean, crisp line. Continue to gently remove the tape, one piece at a time. After the whole pattern is revealed, some touch up will be necessary. I completed our wall by adding a contrasting decorative leaves I painted a burnt orange, which ties our accent wall and colors into our master bedroom rug.
Wall la! Le pattern!
The easiest and fastest way to sell your home is to give potential buyers a canvas as blank — or as neutral — as possible. Potential buyers need to be able to instantly envision where their stuff is going to go in your home.
Just like your knick knacks, your nursery turned up to 11 in Pepto Bismo pink or your kitchen nook in screeching yellow will be the only thing remembered — not your fabulous location, in-law suite or custom built-in bookcase. Invest in a neutral color paint and cover your walls. Beige may be boring, but beige sells.
Living in a coastal area, one of your home’s best selling asset is your outdoor living space. Floridians know, when the snow birds fly south, especially with the winters the rest of the nation is buried under, all they want to do is be outdoors.
Staging expert and founder of StagedHomes.com, Barb Schwartz recommends creating an enticing outdoor living retreat comprised of three unique areas. For example, dining table with chairs dressed with colorful place settings, cozy seating such as cushioned wicker chairs or chaise lounges around the pool, and/or a small bistro table with chairs perfect to read the morning paper while drinking coffee right outside the sliding door.
Creating a neutral canvas also includes your windows. If your window treatments still scream Golden Girls chic, just like your leg warmers and fanny packs, it’s time for an update. Potential home buyers do not want to see the extra expense of replacing super outdated blinds or draperies, they want the reassurance, any updates or replacements can wait. Remove outdated top treatments or side panels and repair any broken products as well; make the window as plain, clean and simple as possible.
Staging your home does not mean simply packing your belongings; think in terms of arranging furniture or accent pieces to reflect and enhance the architecture of your home or lifestyle of your location. Staging your home means to create a warm, inviting space with unique personality — subtle personality. That sells.
Choosing window treatments can be overwhelming for home buyers when they do not have the time, confidence in their design skills, or product knowledge beyond the very basics of window treatments.
Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters of Naples, Florida offers these fun and fabulous no-fail ideas for window treatments:
Just as one glass slipper changed Cinderella’s life, using one simple product on your windows can do the same for your home. A show-stopper product, such as Hartmann&Forbes’ handcrafted, American-made line of artisan natural wood blinds can transform a simple house to luxurious home.
Fabulous window treatments are all about light control. Many times homeowners keep the standard-issue products which came with their home or previous owners left behind and many times they are opaque products, blocking out most, if not all, natural light. Products such as Norman Portrait honeycomb cellular shades are light filtering, which offer privacy while still allowing plenty of natural light.
The easiest way to make the biggest impact in a room, big or small, is to use color. Or a pattern. Or a colored pattern. Most product lines are incorporating some color choices beyond the standard whites and neutrals. Think, Smith + Noble’s customizable soft roman fabric shades in tangerine or canyon stripe, berry. Using color will make tiny spaces appear bigger and brighter while using warm and dark palettes can make larger spaces feel more cozy and inviting.
Learn from every great 80s movie ever made — the lead character always ends up with the non-traditional, geek or punk rocker outside of their circle of friends. Using a non-traditional treatment such as stained glass (my mother’s calla lillies piece below on the left), Tableaux faux wrought iron or something geek-chic, will instantly transform windows treatments into one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork and are like, totally rad, fer sure.
Know when to call in a professional. Booking an in-home consultation with window treatment specialists when paralyzed by time, design confidence and product selection will save time, energy and yes, money.
With over 30 years experience in both custom window treatments and interior design, Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters of Naples, Florida provides a luxe concierge experience by creating a personal showroom for clients, bringing product samples in different styles and color for homeowners to view in their home, on their time, with their décor.
Using a keen eye for detail and sophistication, Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters eliminates the guesswork, helping homeowners confidently achieve the look they have in mind, matching furnishings — and personal style.
by Guest Blogger, Edward Montalvo, www.idakoos.com
We have all been in the position of seeing someone else in a shirt that you own. Suddenly your favorite shirt doesn’t seem so special anymore. As much as you want to still like that shirt, it will never feel the same. Everyone would love to have a unique t-shirt. In the past, this was an expensive and difficult endeavor, limited to your location or know how. Now the internet has opened up many possibilities.
There are many ways to show the world who you are by expressing your inner self. One of the best, least permanent ways is to design your own t-shirt. Personalized t-shirts are the perfect way to show off your inner talent or show your interests without the worry of having a cookie cutter design. Websites such as Idakoos, Cafepress, and Spreadshirt let you download your own design or image to put on a t-shirt. They also have a library of images you can choose from, or you can mix your own image or design with one of theirs to make something completely different. You can release your artistic side and create the fashion style you crave.
Adding text to your image can bring your voice into style. Any words that you come up with are bound to be unique to your own shirt, even if its a known phrase, your font and color can make you stand apart.
Other options in designing your own t-shirt include the array of quality and color in the t-shirt. You can choose thick quality shirts or lightweight summer shirts. With most shirts and colors, you can order as few as one shirt to make something completely unique. Different fashion styles can be achieved just by changing a neck line or color.
The Style you create can be shared with as many or as few people as you choose. This is great for family reunions, vacations or picnics. Designing your own t-shirt can also be used for work, team building events, fundraising and races that are unique themselves. The more t-shirts you order, the price per shirt drops, making your own fashion design economical and fun.
Personalized t-shirts are a great way to have a unique look while keeping within your own personality. Next time you see somebody in a shirt you had found special, remember you can design your own t-shirts and create your own fashion style with the click of a mouse.
For the past two years, one of the biggest news sites, The New York Times, has been working on a complete overhaul of their website architecture – finally. The pace of updating technology is relentless for any online platform, however, visiting the Times’ was like visiting Gramma in her wood-paneled living room. The immediate need for remodeling was always glaringly apparent.
The NYT 5 (an internal code-name) project released updated sections in staggered segments, but as with any design renovation updating the archaic into future tense, things got wonky. Watching the Times dust off their CMS backend, update web standards, adapt to a plethora of mobile devices all the while keeping up with reader expectations over the past 24 months has provided an all-you-can-eat buffet of form, function and construction reminders all designers, developers and web owners alike should completely binge ingest.
The Times’ NYT 5 Project is a milestone. Responsive design is imperative in creating architecture in today’s mass media data-infused future in order to respond to the ever-evolving reader habits and expectations.
I had the pleasure of attending a personal appearance by Aerin Lauder, founder of AERIN, a global luxury lifestyle sub-brand of the esteemed Estee Lauder powerhouse, last week at Clive Daniel HOME, here in Naples.
I must admit, on the drive there I was still crossing my fingers this appearance wouldn’t be some strange rendition of Avenue Q – where someone’s hand is up Aerin’s derrière, making her lips move with all the right brand-speak, proving she is nothing more than a mere placard for a super brand trying to cash in on its heir.
In researching the World of AERIN’s design philosophy before attending, I became drunk with consuming in access all “effortless beautiful living” has to offer – stunning photographs of modelesque homes, men and women, $3,735 golden side tables, lavish musks, costume jewelry and eyewear – I could barely keep from slurring my words.
As I kept drinking it all in, the veteran marketer in me started to step in, throw me in a cold shower and sober me up. As I surfed from page to page, I saw AERIN the brand in literal physical form, but where was Aerin the interior designer, fashion trend setter, entrepreneur, creator? That part of AERIN the brand and Aerin the founder, was – in all efforts – missing.
I wanted to learn her thought processes when curating her furniture pieces, her inspirations when creating her different product lines, where she studied design, and the details of each furniture piece. There was nothing. There was no effort given in telling AERIN’s story as an artist, overall brand or history-rich heir. To be a successful marketer, it’s all about storytelling – creating narrative around your products to give them life, appeal and status; AERIN’s strive for effortless living has indeed created an air of lack of effort.
It was disappointing to me as a designer, marketer and consumer to realize I had had beer goggles on while falling in love with the World of AERIN. Unfortunately, my disappointment grew worse. As I viewed each product under Furnishings, I was astonished to discover there was no information listed about the origin, details or designer. How can AERIN expect consumers to pay in upwards of $10,000 for a single piece without knowing any sort of provenance?
What was even more disappointing you may ask? To hear her unable to answer the question, “Where is your furniture manufactured?” at the event. Aerin, in true lack-of-effort style, had to refer to another AERIN executive next to her for the information. Heavy sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, Aerin seemed lovely, gracious and kind; after my research and attendance, I simply lack respect for her position at AERIN. For me, especially as both a business owner and professor, do your homework, know your product, and at least pretend to be the driving force behind the company you allegedly founded. Whether you are indeed the roll-up-your-sleeves, hands-on founder or mere 16-million-share-holder marionette – make the effort – be professional.
Shutters have forever had their origins associated with the rise of the Historic South, casting vivid images of old, magnificent cotton plantation homes, Georgian wrap-around front porches, and Gone with the Wind, of course I always tend to instantly flash to Carol Burnett’s Went with the Wind myself. While shutters were popular during that era, they actually date back to Ancient Greece.
Originally designed out of marble as a luxury for the Greek aristocracies, their function is the same as it is today, thousands of years later – provide light, sun and temperature control. With the rise of the Roman Empire, window shutters began to spread into Western Europe as one of the first interior design trends. King Louis XIV of France is rumored to have insisted on their presence in his domicile; shutters enabled the royal women to nap comfortably without shutting out air circulation and allowed the cooks to control the sunlight heating up the kitchen.
As craftsmen improved design and function, paneled and louvered styles – similar to the modern interior shutter – emerged out of cosmopolitan areas such as Italy. By the 18th and 19th centuries, shutters were being used in American homes, particularity in the South, where they acquired their new name, “Plantation Shutters.” Known for their elegance, grandeur and practical use, shutters became an integral part of both interior and exterior design.
Today, Plantation shutters are considered fine furniture and a mark of discerning style and sophistication. Interior shutters still provide design, privacy, and light control as they have through history, but they also enhance the value of a home. Like any home investment, only products of exceptional quality will provide long-term value and increase appreciation.
At Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters, we believe the best shutter is the result of meticulous management of each step in its creation. Every step—research and development, product design, raw materials sourcing, handcrafting, quality control, and even packaging—are carried out with one goal, to bring you matchless quality, durability, and long-term value in your investment. One of our salespeople will bring our full-line showcase of premium custom shutters. No matter what size, shape and color—we have you covered.
Call 239.595.2243 or email Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters for a free in-home appointment today.
At Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters, LLC, we pride ourselves on providing the highest-quality window treatments with superior service, impeccable installation and complete client satisfaction.
We offer top manufacturers including Norman, Hunter Douglas, A Better Blind, Horizons by B&W, and Unique for a wide variety of Plantation shutters, sunscreen shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades, wooden blinds, verticals…and much, much more!
We believe and are committed to:
At Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters, we know the importance of providing the highest-quality shutters, blinds and shades. We only partner with the leading manufacturers to ensure our clients receive the best products possible on the market.
We believe our clients deserve the very best we can give. We pride ourselves in expertly delivering personalized service for each and every order. We are relentless in our goal in ensuring you are completely satisfied, have had an extraordinary experience and are delighted with your new Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters purchase.
Prompt and courteous, each one of our professional installers has over 30 years experience leveling, drilling, balancing and fastening the full gamut of our product catalogue and fully-custom pieces – ensuring your order is impeccably delivered.
Serving All of Southwest Florida
Whether you live in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers or on Marco Island, Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters brings the showroom to you! We are ready to meet you in your home, at your convenience to expertly provide a solution that fits your style and needs.
Originally from Greenwich, Connecticut, Ann and Joe Arciere, Sr. began Mr. Vertical/Florida Interior of Naples in 1982. For over 25 years, the Arciere Family built a longstanding reputation for what is now Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters based upon trust, integrity and craftsmanship as the region’s leading authority in window treatment needs.
Today, Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters is still based in Naples, Florida headed by the new president, Amy B. Perrault. A New England native named Western Massachusetts’ Top 25 Women to Watch and Hartford, Connecticut’s 40 Under Forty, Amy has over 20 years design, marketing and style experience, providing our clients a luxe concierge for their blind, shutter and shade needs with keen eye for detail, sophistication and passion for making their houses a home.
Naples Bay Blinds & Shutters is still dedicated to its founding mission – the most important windows in Southwest Florida are yours.
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Since an early age, I have been continually told by my parents, teachers, childhood fairy tales, and the leading ladies of television and my toy box, I can do anything I want to do in life – the world is my oyster – an oyster filled with unlimited choices. I can be and do whatever I choose. I have endless choices. But, how do I choose the right one? Barry Schwartz’s best seller, The Paradox of Choice, addresses the paradox of choice, comparing life’s choices to choosing toothpaste to a generation’s paralysis in finding their life’s direction.
As a child of the 70s, a decade still feeling the 1960s’ second wave of feminism, I have been bombarded with images of princesses finding Prince Charmings with glass slippers, Amazon women fighting crime with golden lassos of truth and flying invisible jets, and a 5’11’’ blonde bombshell living the American Dream with her dream career du jour, in a dream house, with a dream guy, driving a dreamy pink Corvette. Cinderella, Wonder Woman, and Barbie made finding the man of my dreams, fighting crime, and choosing a career seem as easy as shopping out of the Sears catalogue.
I have been told I have unlimited options. But, do I really? What if I wanted to wear my glass slippers as I flew my invisible jet to my dream house? Can I have all the choices I choose? And, what if I get bored with my invisible jet, can I park it while I drive my pink Corvette? Do these unlimited options truly mean my options are limitless?
Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice addresses the dilemma many female thirty-somethings are facing, are our force-fed infinite choices, determining or detrimental? Just as Schwartz’s describes his quest for a pair of jeans as most unbearable, Gen X girls are “forced to invest time, energy, and no small amount of self-doubt, anxiety, and dread” in their quest to make their biggest life choices.
Schwartz’s psychological and social study demonstrates how, as Schwartz’s book cover states, our culture’s abundance is robbing society of satisfaction, an anthem, if you will, for female Gen Xers like myself. Schwartz proves chapter by chapter, from shopping for toothpaste in the supermarket, to picking a college, to the psychology behind picking toothpaste and a college, “…as the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negative escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates”.
As more and more female role models came on the scene – Samantha from Bewitched, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, and the girls from Facts of Life – the stress and anxiety level of my generation grew into obsession with our looks, our bodies, our fashion, having children, and obtaining the corner office with a view. My generation was told we needed to choose all of the above – but, without genie or superhero powers. We were told we needed “it all.”
Deciding the direction of my life is still alike shopping in the toothpaste aisle at Super Stop & Shop. The options lay before me on two-thirds length of an aisle taking up four shelves; I can choose Crest ProHealth, Crest with Scope, Crest Healthy Radiance, Crest with Cavity Protection, Crest Nature’s Expressions, Crest with Tartar Control, all in a variety of flavors and consistency, Lemon Ice, Clean Cinnamon, or classic Mint in gel or paste. What should I choose? What do I want? What do I need? Should I get more than one?
I find these choices, like Schwartz, debilitating – both in life and in the supermarket. Is life – and oral care – really this difficult? What is the significance of the abundance of these peripheral choices? Why can’t life be as simple as my grandmother’s – meet a boy, get married, have kids, buy plain Crest? Christopher Caldwell of The New Yorker agrees, “Nor is the “paradox of choice” limited to the shopping aisle. It helps explain why so many people at age thirty are still flailing about, trying to choose a career—and why so many marriageable singles wind up alone. You await a spouse who combines the kindness of your mom, the wit of the smartest person you met in grad school, and the looks of someone you dated in 1983 (as she was in 1983) . . . and you wind up spending middle age by yourself, watching the Sports Channel at 2 a.m. in a studio apartment strewn with pizza boxes” (Caldwell, 2004).
I agree with Schwartz, “the ‘success’ of modernity turns out to be bittersweet, and everywhere we look it appears that a significant contributing factor is the overabundance of choice”. I do not hold a grudge against Cinderella, Wonder Woman, or Barbie; they were just doing their jobs.
After surviving childhood and my teenage years, I still have faith the world is my oyster – still filled with unlimited choices. In regards to my life’s direction – and oral care – I follow the instructions of my female role models: I do my best in all that I do – and I stick with the basics – plain Crest toothpaste in classic Mint flavor.
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Caldwell, C. (March 1, 2004). Select all: Can you have too many choices?” The New Yorker.
Retrieved March 3, 2008 from http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/03/01/040301crbo_books?currentPage=1
Schwartz, B. (2004). The paradox of choice: why more is less. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.