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Z Gallerie: From Soap to Sofas

Finally! The cooler weather is almost here and the stores are filling up with beautiful new accessories and goodies to seasonalize our homes with. As a Lifestylist® I like to constantly be on the prowl for what's new and exciting, and get an idea of what people are really buying for their homes.

I love Z Gallerie - they are my favorite "go to" source when I am working on a new model home. They are masters at offering personality pieces that help make a room or home memorable, and they also stock those big exciting works of art that you can never find when you need them. But on a recent visit they made me think of them for something I hadn't purchased from them in the past - furniture.

Z Gallerie started out in 1979 as a family run poster shop which has quickly grown to include 54 locations in 18 states! Their beautiful stores have expanded into becoming a one stop shop which make it easy for consumers to get everything they need for their home in one place. The stores are organized into different color stories which make it easy to find everything you need. They offer great accessories and furniture that are so unique people would think you had them custom made.

Speaking of personality pieces, as soon as I walked in the store I fell in love with two chairs I think I'm going to have to have - "Eddie" and "Bella". Eddie was just stunning in leather that was the perfect shade of teal, and Bella was a pearl grey fabric that was just sexy. You know you found something you must have when you can't stop thinking about it, and that's the case with these two chairs.

Make Z Gallerie a destination for your next shopping trip, and let us know what you fall in love with.

Cleaning Out The Clutter

It's hot as heck here today - the 1st day of August and it's supposed to reach 106 degrees! So today instead of even trying to do anything outside I decided to work on one of my new goals and start simplifying my life and style.

Have you noticed how easy it is to make impulse purchases now and how things just start piling up? I think I inherited a little of my parents recession-fear mentality and it's hard for me to pass up anything free like the little soaps and shampoos that you get in hotels.  As a Lifestylist® I'm always picking up cool and unusual items that I plan on using for staging or merchandising a model home - thanks heavens the Home Idea Factory has lots of storage or I'd be in big trouble!

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to The Family Place - an amazing resource for abused women and families. I serve on the board for HomeAid / HomeBuilders Care in Dallas and we just built new apartments, a clinic and a school room for them and it was so rewarding to see what we were able to accomplish. We were also able to meet some of the women who live there and what a difference the Family Place has made in our lives. As we toured we also found out what a great need they have for some of those things I've been collecting and today I'm going to start simplifying my life to help them with their fresh start.

Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, NY is another charity very close to my heart.  A few years ago we did a home that was merchandised completely with items that had been donated to the charity, then auctioned off to benefit Ronald McDonald House. I'll be forever grateful to the volunteers and Rochester community who donated such beautiful items to work with!

Towels, sheets, bath products, diapers... these are all things we may have an abundance of but don't want to throw out the ones that we don't use as much anymore. Stuffed animals that we tend to collect at fairs and in crane games would be cherished by a child that had to leave everything behind to get to safety.

It feels so good to clean away some of the clutter and know that these items are going to help someone else. The less you have to organize the easier it will be!