Keeping Your Favorite Products On Hand™

Help! The holidays are right around the corner, and I know I've got holidays items stashed from last year that I don't want to buy again.

Getting and keeping organized is not one of the things I'm best at, but as a Lifestylist®  I'm always trying out new products and ideas to help me stay focused and de-cluttered. And I found one that is so brilliant I can't believe someone hadn't thought of it before - On Hand™ by ODL.

With houses getting smaller and square footage being at a premium, ODL came up with a great way to go vertical and use an area that you already have in your home -doors. On Hand™ fits into a flush door and can be used in a solid core or specially braced hollow core door. It makes use of both sides of the door - one side gains valuable storage space and the other side become a display and communication area. Everything is adjustable and can be customized for your lifestyle.

I love this product because I am able to get smaller items out of the "mystery drawers" and put them in a place where I can actually find them. It's the ultimate way to organize spices, my canning supplies, and all of those kitchen gadgets I can't live without.

The drawers and cabinets in my bathroom always become a black hole as well - On Hand™ made it easy to find all of my girly stuff that I have to keep buying because I don't know where it went, bath products and even makeup.

In the utility room it became the pet organizer where I was able to hang leashes, collars, treats and there other goodies where they were easy to find and keep together.

The other side become a message center where you can write to do lists or phone messages on the glass with a erasable marker, and put soccer and bulky trash schedules behind the glass to keep up with everyone's schedules. I'm thinking it might also be the perfect place to display all of the Christmas cards we get this year as well.

I'm in love with this product, and I can't stop thinking about all of the fun ways I could incorporate this into The Home Idea Factory. My clients are loving it as well, and Reidman Development will be one of the first builders to offer it to their customers in their new Hammocks at Canandaigua.

This is a brand new product, but can find more information on the ODL website or feel free to contact us at: and we'll be happy to help you find a place that you can purchase this in your area.

Color Swatching

Color can be a very intimidating thing. The choices are limitless, and making a bad decision can haunt you for a long, long time.

When I first started doing model homes, the thought of making color selections terrified me. These colors would be in these models for years and could truly affect how well the homes sold. After I got over that initial fear I found out it's something that I'm really good at and by putting my Lifestylist® philosophy to work and listening to the client I was able to do some really exciting homes, including winning a National award from The National Association of Home Builders for Best Model Home Merchandising.

Lifestylist® Design has been a team member with Riedman Development for the Hammocks communities for over 10 years, and their latest community, The Hammocks at Canandaigua I think is going to be one of my favorites. It's in a beautiful area, and every time I visit I don't want to leave. I very much want the interiors and colors to reflect how truly special this community is, so finding the perfect paint colors has been top priority.

The way that I chose colors can be used by anyone, and it's a great way yo make sure that before you commit to painting an entire room you are sure that you've made the right choice.

1. Go With What You Love Most good paint stores can do color matching these days. If you have a favorite dish, leaf, piece of fabric, or even a photo of a home where you liked the wall color take it to your paint store and see what they can come up with. They will usually have a wall of paint chips that you can select from as well - before you buy choose your favorite chips and take them home to see how they look in your surroundings.

2. Try Before you Buy I thought I knew which color I wanted at the Hammocks, but after I brought it home and painted the actual color on a wall I realized it was too green. Most paint companies will now let you buy a little sample size - Sherwin Williams who is my favorite paint sold me a quart sample for around $6.00 which was a great investment. I painted some approx. 2' x 2' squares of each on my kitchen wall, because it got lots of direct and indirect light during the day and also because I knew if I made this commitment  it would force me into finally repainting this wall! I also walk by this wall all of the time, so by observing the colors in different weather and light I made a decision I'm thrilled with.

3. Prep Your Walls Properly They always say you get what you pay for, and this is especially true with contractors. When I first moved into the Home Idea Factory this wall wasn't finished, and the contractor I found did a lousy job tape and texturing it. The paint highlighted the flaws, so before I spend the money to re-paint it I'm going to be sure that the wall is taped properly and that all flaws, holes, etc have been filled in.

4. Paint Finishes Paint comes in different finishes including flat, eggshell, satin, and semi-gloss. Flat is usually the least expensive, but is also the most absorbent as far as fingerprints, grease, etc. and the hardest to clean. I usually go with a satin finish because I like the way it plays with light and is the easiest to keep clean, and use semi-gloss on my trim work it make it stand out. Keep in mind though that the more sheen the paint has, the more any imperfections you have on your walls or trim will stand out.

5. Tools Before you start, be sure that you have the right tools including a drop cloth, paint brushes, blue tape for masking off areas and a paint roller and pan. There are lots of cool products on the market to make painting easy for everyone.

Now that I've made my decision I can't wait to get started on my new projects - which paint color do you think I decided on? Which would you have chosen?