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Create your home's "Year of Style"


Plan a year's worth of beauty projects for your home and plan to save in February. With a little French inspiration and historic furniture discounts starting next month, you can create your home’s “Year of Style.” Here’s how.


One of my favorite books is Frederic Fekkai’s “A Year of Style.” The French stylist shares his monthly self-care and beauty ideas - a different set of ideas for each month - that are simple, practical, and luxuriously self-nurturing.

Suggestions range from “paint the inside of your closet a cheerful color,” to “make a cup of hot chocolate the Swiss way.” Such seasonally-inspired ideas inspire me to take better care of myself all year long.

My home is an extension of my year-round self-care. Each season inspires different desires: January makes me crave cozy floor rugs and July inspires family time on the patio with comfortable chairs for sunset dinners.

When it comes to styling and designing these moments for my family -- finding a good value tops the list of self-care.

Plan a year’s worth of projects and purchase during February’s furniture savings

February is the still one of the strongest month's to get the best price on quality furniture. Think Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale, when you get a personal invite from your favorite associates to view upcoming styles. Their sales associates know that July is the time to buy the best at the best price. And the sale is legendary.

In the furniture industry, February is to furniture what July is to fall at Nordstroms. In February, manufacturers want to clear the aisles for new designs. But when you're buying from a quality furniture maker, these styles don't fall out favor or fashion.

Create your home’s “Year of Style”

Take a look through this list of ideas. Send me an email with your project list and I can create a personal style calendar to help you find the right design - and best value - for your vision.

Warm, cozy rugs in January

A sweet heart gift in February--such as a love seat or dining set

Create a cozy reading nook in March

Let there be light, lamps, and chandeliers in April and May

June weddings and special “first home together” gifts

July patio furniture

August means Mohitos on a southern-inspired front porch

In September, suit up and organize your home office

Update the family’s entertainment centers for fall sports

Upfit the guest room in November

Upfit your bedroom in December

In January, relax and reflect on the year in something special -- like a chaise lounge

Email me at with ideas for your home’s “Year of Style” and we’ll make it a beautiful, nurturing, New Year.

Shopping with a spouse? Pull up a loveseat.

Lillian August Loveseat I’ve seen this scenario many times: Lovely, smiling, happy couples walking arm in arm through the furniture showroom doors. Hours later that same couple is cross-armed, fighting over an end table.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Do a little extra prep before you leave the house and this can be the furniture shopping trip of your dreams. Here's how.

Give a little more elbow room. Know when to let your partner move forward in one direction, so you can move forward in another.

What are you fighting for? Some couples fight over the furniture when the disagreement is really about last night’s tiff. Leave it all at the furniture showroom door and make a commitment to help each other to stay focused.

Dream a little dream. Try not to get lost in the details and remember why you’re doing this furniture project together. Remind yourself of the “big picture,” such as seeing your family and friends together around the dining room table over the holidays.

Make the easy decisions in advance. Measure the rooms you’re shopping for and know how many chairs, sofas, or end tables you’ll need. Sketch out the room’s lay out and how you want the furniture to fit the room. With that information in hand, you can eliminate the argument about the size of the room and focus on the furniture.

ADVISOR TIP: The Icovia Room Planner can help you create a floor plan. Many furniture companies partner with the Icovia site to assist clients.

I found the room planner on the Ashley Furniture site easy to use.

If you’re web savvy and feel comfortable starting your own account, feel free to peruse all the of the options on the Icovia Room Planner Web site.

We’ll see you in High Point!

Furniture Financials 101

As goes furniture, so goes the economy. With over 15 years in the retail furniture business, I can almost predict what’s happening in the economy before it ever reaches the news. Even before the recession started in December 2007 -- the date officially marked as the start of this most recession according to the National Bureau of Economic Research -- I had noticed furniture sales started slowing. The same thing happened before the tech recession in 2001. Both times, furniture sales dropped long before the media took notice.

These days, and more recently at the Fall 2010 High Point Furniture Market, I’m seeing signs indicating otherwise. Last year I received maybe one or two calls a month from clients. Now I’m getting about four phone calls a week.

Some people have a knack for knowing whether or not it’s going to rain. Now, I may get caught in the rain a time or two, but I know people and their relationship to furniture. And I’m seeing clearer days ahead.