Hey guys! Abigail the intern here! As many of you know or for some who don’t know, I have been interning for The Simple Life Decor the past few months as part of my Interior Design Degree at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin.  This being my first internship ever, I learned a lot and I would like to share with you some of my experiences!

I was very excited to get to know Wendy and The Simple Life Decor! At first, I was a little nervous because, well, this is my first internship and the fact that I was working for an online store was something very different! But I was ready for a challenge! At first, Wendy got me going on the whole social media gig. For the first couple of weeks, I began updating Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest with new ideas to share with the world and some for us to try ourselves! Looking up ideas on Pinterest and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter really helped get the growing business attention! It wasn’t always easy though, I couldn’t always post things I like, but what the store has for a style. I also learned that styles do vary depending on the person. For example.. view of cottage/cabin is very woodsy and another persons view may be very chic.

This would be my example of a cabin/cottage.

Via http://www.foothillsfurniture.com/cabin-decor.php

Where this could be another example..

via http://organic-linkbuilding.info/cottage-decor/

Both ways are technically correct, but I have also learned to ask the right questions when asking about certain styles because they can get so easily mixed up.

Another thing I’ve learned is that it’s not what you want, it’s what the customer wants. Yes, you may be the designer but in the end, if you client isn’t happy, you’re not going to be happy! When you are becoming a designer and starting out, it’s so important to gain trust from your clients, and that’s what I stride to do! If a client isn’t happy, figure out why and fix it the best you can! But remember, you can’t please everyone in the world!

Blogging is also something I have greatly enjoyed doing for The Simple Life Decor! I’m honestly not the best writer in the world but it’s always been easy for me in a way. I really enjoy giving you guys tips and advice about new design trends that are going on! The design world is constantly changing and it’s never easy keeping up with everything but why not try?! 🙂

Another thing I have learned is that I can’t let myself get flustered with myself if a client isn’t pleased with a project I put together for them. Yes it hurts my feelings and I tend to get really down on myself sometimes, but then I have to stop and think about the bigger picture. Just because one client didn’t like my work, doesn’t mean the rest of the world won’t like it! It’s all part of learning, and a lot of learning is what I did with this internship!

All in all, you guys have been just wonderful! Thank you for letting me be part of your designing journey!

Oh! Before I forget! Check out this slide show I made of the store that just Officially OPENED!! 

http://www.kizoa.com/Video-Maker/d20620425k3249998o1/diaporama%20kizoa

Thanks again for this wonderful experience!

-Abigail 🙂

The Simple Life Decor is OFFICIALLY OPEN FOR BUSINESS in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin!!

 

As you guys know, I have been online mainly for a couple years now and I’m happy to share with you guys that I have an official store! The Simple Life Decor is located in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin in the beautiful Door County.

Let me take you through my store and show you how hard myself and my team have been working to make this dream come true! All of these products are for sale in our store ONLY! So come on in and check us out!

We’re open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sundays all summer long!

Like I’ve said, officially OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!

Photo Credits to Abigail Schoenike

Slide Show Credits to http://www.kizoa.com/

http://www.kizoa.com/slideshow-maker/d20620425k3249998o1/the-simple-life-decor

 

Don’t Forget!!!!

I have an instagram page now!! Look up: Simple Life Decor

https://instagram.com/simplelifedecor/

 

Have you guys heard of the High Point Market located in High Point, North Carolina? This is actually a pretty cool event that happens twice a year in April and October!

 

What is the High Point Market? 

The High Point Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months. Serious retail home furnishings buyers can be found in High Point twice a year because if you can’t find it in High Point…it probably doesn’t exist.

It consists of…

  • 180 Buildings
  • 11.5 Million Square Feet of Show space
  • 75,000 Attendees Each Market
  • More Than 2000 Exhibitors
  • 100+ Countries Represented
  • Tens of Thousands of New Product Introductions
  • Approximately 10% of Attendees Are International

“Market Facts.” High Point Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.

What can you find there?

You can find one of a kind products that have yet to be introduced to the designer world! Furniture, accessories, and so much more to discover throughout every single building! There are also a bunch of educational events, seminars, and other social events to help you learn, social, and network with in the designer world.

This is a picture of the map from April 2015. A map of the event in October will be available late September 2015.

Designers! Designers! Designers!

This event is known for its wide variety of designers from all over the world! But who exactly can be seen here? Past designers and companies include:

Antonello Italia

Modern contemporary dining tables, sideboards, bookcases, TV stands, coffee tables, consoles, complements. Made in Italy.

Imports Decor Inc.

Imports Décor is located in Hillsborough, NJ. We carry an extensive line of stylish and elegant interior accessories and high quality doormats. Our products are manufactured in India, ensuring the highest quality and lowest price.

Kravet Fabrics

Kravet Inc., established in 1918, is the industry leader in to-the-trade home furnishings. This fifth generation family business distributes fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, trimmings, carpets and accessories. The family’s commitment to innovation has helped the company transform from a small fabric house to a global leader, representing brands and designers from all over the world. Kravet Inc. owns Kravet, Lee Jofa, Groundworks, GP & J Baker and Brunschwig & Fils, all high-end fabric houses that specialize in style, luxury and exceptional design. With locations in North America and worldwide, Kravet Inc. offers the highest level of customer service, quality products and web technology for today’s design professional. For further brand information, please refer to www.kravet.com.

 

…and many, many more!

“Find Exhibitors.” High Point Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.

Here is a short video on the exciting new products that are to come!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7l0xW13NAOs

“News & Videos.” High Point Market. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.

I’ve been on a tropical punch lately with summer approaching! The tropical style has been around for years and years, but lately I have been noticing it showing up more and bolder than ever! 

Let’s picture an island. What do you see? Palm trees? Sand? Vibrant colors? Let me give you some inspiration!

Bora Bora

British Virgin Islands- St. Thomas

Phi Phi Island- Thailand

 

Okay, those pictures are almost too perfect and basically thousands of miles away! Why not bring some of that tropical  into your very own home for a vacation you never have to leave?!

Colors! Colors! Colors!

This is the perfect opportunity to bring out those big, bold colors and prints! Come on now, don’t be shy with those either! The more colors, the better! Pick at least 3 different colors to start out with! Here are a couple of different color pallets that are fun and tropical!

Sherwin-Williams

Paint colors from Chip It! by Sherwin-Williams

The “Escape Hues” color palette from Design-Seeds.com is one of those amazing palettes which offers a tropical palette with less than typical shades.  We used Let’s Chip It! from Sherwin Williams to see what colors they recommend using

Better Homes and Garden

2015 Better Homes and Gardens Color Palette of the Year.  Gorgeous colors!  Especially loving Fresh Berry and Behr Essential Teal. Paint color names and brands on link.

Patterns

Lets add some patterns in there with those colors!

#pattern #flamingo Encontrado en americanapparel.tumblr.com

14wehi Tropical Hibiscus & bird of paradise, plumeria flowers, vintage apparel style fabric.  More fabrics at: BarkclothHawaii.com

Liberty of London: Flower Show – Botanical Garden Digital Prints

Don’t Forget That Greenery!

Here is a great go to guide for those greens to add into your space! Remember… there are more plants out there than just palm trees!

Statement Leaves glossary via Justina Blakeney

Lets Put It All Together!

There’s only one thing left to do and that’s to put it all together! Remember, this is your tropical vacation spot! You can alternate any of these designs to make it all your own!

relaxed and laid back feel for the sitting room, no tv's allowed in here. this room is for reading and chatting

The lesson here is the versatility of a basically white palette.The tropical accents can easily be switched out to quickly transform the room.

THIS. IS. BEAUTIFUL!! although I would like it much better if the counter wasn't floating

Martinique Wallpaper (made originally for the beverly hills hotel and reproduced for years since) - I REALLY want to have this wallpaper in some home, at some stage of my life...so far I haven't been able to convince anyone I have co-habitated with that it's fabulous, psshh what do they know!?

Tropical Bedroom design by Tampa Design-build Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Tropical Guest Bedroom Idea... love the colors

 

I hope this gives you some inspiration to design your own tropical paradise!

Images found on Google and Pinterest

***For more inspiration check out our Pinterest Pages at

https://www.pinterest.com/thesimplelifede/a-tropical-touch/

https://www.pinterest.com/thesimplelifede/color-is-beautiful/

 

 

BONUS!

Here is a simple recipe I have found to enjoy while in your vacation spot 🙂

 

Ingredients:
Large Batch:
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1/4 cup strawberry puree (approximately 10 strawberries blended well)
– 3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
– 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup pineapple puree (crushed pineapple works too)
– 1 gallon water

Single Serving:
– 2 Tbsp lemon juice
– 1 Tbsp strawberry puree (approximately 3 strawberries blended well)
– 3 Tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 Tbsp pineapple puree (approximately 6 pineapple chunks)
– 12 oz water

Directions:
– Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher or a large glass until sugar is dissolved and well mixed.  Serve over ice or chill in the fridge.  Enjoy!

http://www.whilehewasnapping.com/2014/07/strawberry-pineapple-lemonade/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Simple Tips to Create a Relaxing Home   

By Guest Blogger Susan Shehata

I believe that one of the reasons that vacations are so relaxing is that you are surrounded by a peaceful environment.

Not just that beautiful beach or that lovely mountain view, but the indoor surroundings as well. You are often staying in a place that is free of clutter, and visually appealing.

You can bring that same serenity to your own home as well, by following these five simple tips:

Assign a home for clutter

Start by collecting any objects that are randomly hanging out in the space.  Assign a home to any of those items that do not already have a designated spot to live. If you don’t have enough space for that to happen, then it means that you have too much stuff for your current living situation. Begin the de-cluttering process by eliminating doubles of items, things you don’t use, and things that you “just don’t get around to” repairing.

Surround yourself with what you love

From paint color to furniture to décor, be intentional about what you choose to surround yourself with. Often these choices were made on the fly, or out of convenience. Do not underestimate the importance of consciously selecting things that make you feel good in the space. When you have objects that you are indifferent to, or actually dislike, it subconsciously affects your feelings about the space.

Have clear systems

Clutter happens when we don’t have a system in place that works for you. Whether it’s the incoming mail, the sporting equipment or the laundry, if you don’t have a clear process for how objects move from point A to point B, things get backlogged. Address your most problematic areas by implementing a system that works for you. If you have a system in place, and things are still chaotic, that is a sign that the system is not in alignment. Proper systems take experimentation. Keep trying until you find something that works for you!

Designate a Maintenance area

Often stuff that requires our attention hangs out in our active living areas demanding our focus, and yet these objects get ignored. After a bit, they start blending in with everything else and become part of a cluttered landscape, stealing our peace of mind. Designate an area where these objects will be stored until they are handled. And so they are not forgotten, create an actual time in your schedule, such as when you are doing other household chores, to address one or two objects from this area.

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Add vacation spot elements

Whether you are drawn to the beach in Bali or the museums of Rome, surround yourself with items that evoke your favorite vacation destination. This might mean seashells, sheer curtains and lanterns or ornately framed artwork. You decide! What physical elements do you think of when you think of relaxing? Add these items into your living spaces.

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Ready to relax? Don’t miss the Fabulous Paper Purge this April! Release your paper clutter & clear your mind with the free 7 day online guided event. Connect with Susan on Facebook for her weekly tips.

Susan Shehata, also known as The Space Guru™, is an Educator, Holistic Guide and Performing Artist, who specializes in helping you identify and release hidden obstacles that hold you back from an Inspired Home & Life. Though her offerings are varied, the goal of her work is the same: to clear the deep patterns of resistance in people’s lives. www.SusanShehata.com

 

 

I have recently moved out of my parents house and into the “big” city of Appleton, WI. Now, with the house I’m living in at the moment, it’s fairly tiny, and basically doesn’t have a front porch. I take a look at my neighbors and some have all different sizes of porches, but they aren’t taking advantage of the space they have. What my “front porch” consists of is a cement walkway from the sidewalk, 3 steps, and wrought iron railings. Even though that is a very small space, I thought, “why can’t I still decorate this small space cleverly?” I hope some of these tips help you out and make your porch a little more welcoming!

Greenery 

One of the easiest ways to bring your small porch to life, is to add a little life in it! By that I mean, add some greenery! Plants and flowers are a great way to catch by-passers eyes and make them think, “WOW!” My mother and I are always looking at houses with a little extra effort put into the flowers around the house or on the porches. If you’re not a very good plant grower, fake flowers and greens will work just as good! Give some greenery a try!

 

Add Color!

I’m a huge fan of color and as the seasons change, more opportunity for different colors! With spring just around the corner and summer hopefully not too far after that, playful colors are a guaranteed way to brighten up your porch space! Dig into your memory of when you were little! Remember all those colorful Barbie clothes? How about those bright colored race cars? Bring those colors back to life and into your porch setting!

 

Make it Friendly

Whether your porch is big enough to have a cook out, to just sit at, or just enough room to put a couple of potted plants on it, you want to make sure your porch area is welcoming. Picture that old neighbor who always sits in the chair rocking away, and saying hi to anyways who walks by! You get that sense of welcome and that’s what I think is the most important key to having a great porch, no matter the size!

 

Images found on Google.

 

Please check out our outdoor furniture to complete your front porch! 🙂

http://thesimplelifedecor.com/cottage-garden

Do you have a relatively small kitchen space? Whether the small space is at home or at a cottage, you can make the most out of your small spaces with these few hacks and tricks!

1.) Small furniture in a small space isn’t always best. A bigger dining table or chairs can often be better than a smaller size. Bigger doesn’t always mean over powering.

2.) Combine like objects such as garbage and recycle into a cabinet space. Have it “hidden” within the cabinet space.

3.) Use mirrors or glass to bounce light around, it’ll make the room look more spacious.

4.) Think vertically! Vertical lines make the room “reach up to the sky.” This can involve cabinets, artwork, and appliances.

5.) To the ceiling cabinets. Cabinets that stop before the ceiling really show how small the room may be.

6.) Light colored cabinets. Light colored cabinets and cabinets with glass front doors lighten up the space where dark colored cabinets give the impression that the room is much smaller that it is.

7.) Let light in. Don’t have a window treatment that blocks a lot of light entering the room. Rooms that don’t have a lot of light entering them tend to downsize them.

 

8.) Put function FIRST. Create the space based on your natural habits. If the first thing you do in the morning is get a pot of coffee going, then make sure that is a very accessible spot verses putting in storage and taking it out every morning. That way, it’ll be easier to go about your daily routine.

9.) Make sure you can move efficiently between the stove, sink, and refrigerator. This is what’s called the work triangle. According to NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) standards, space between the sink to the refrigerator should be no more than 9 feet. From the sink to the stove should be no more than 4 feet. Obviously in a smaller space this isn’t exactly possible, therefore adjustments would be made.

 

There you have it! Hopefully these great tips will help enlarge your small area of a kitchen within your home or home away from home! If you have anymore tips or tricks, please share with us in the comment box below!

Please check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more great inspirations!

https://www.facebook.com/TheSimpleLifeDecor

https://www.pinterest.com/thesimplelifede/

https://twitter.com/TheSimpleLifeDe

 

Images founded on Google.

 

Buying new furniture or getting new carpet installed is a huge commitment. When you bought your first set of brand new furniture, did you plan on having children? Pets? Children and pets can play a huge role when it comes to picking out the right fabric for your brand new furniture pieces. When you got the basement or living room refinished with new carpet, did you expect all those juice and pet stains? With today’s manufacturing, there are many choices when it comes to fabrics. Even if you want to go a more natural fiber route, the choices are sure to please!

I’m going to give you a little intake on what I believe are appropriate fabric choices for select furniture and carpet. All of this information, I received in my Textiles class this past semester. We learned all the different types of fabrics, how they are made, how to take care of them, and especially what works best for your individual home.

First fabric I would choose for furniture is 100% Polyester.

Favorable Properties

-Durable/strong

-Soft hand

-Abrasion resistant

-Wrinkle resistant

-Easy care

-Thermoplastic (capable of softening or fusing when heated and of hardening again when cooled)

Unfavorable Properties

-Oil stains can not be removed

-Pills

-Static issues

-Doesn’t breathe well

 

The second fabric I would choose for furniture is Acrylic.

Favorable Properties

-Thermoplastic

-Easy care

-Light weight

-Less expensive than wool

-Resist wrinkling

-Resist wear and fading

Unfavorable Properties

-Variation of quality

-Elongation

-Poor wet strength

-Heat sensitive

 

The fabric I would use for carpet is Olefin.

Favorable Properties

-Absorbs nothing

-Durable

-Excellent abrasion resistant

-Resists sunlight

-Strong fiber

-No shrinkage

-Excellent wicking when thin

Unfavorable Properties

-Appearance

-Must be solution dyed

-Melts easily

 

All of these fabrics can be combined to create a better taste or feel to the original fabric. Whether you have kids who are spilling all over or have pets that regularly spend time on the furniture, these fabric choices are guaranteed to make you less stressed about that beautiful new sofa or chair in your household.

For more great tips, please follow the link below 🙂

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/lessons/basics/guide-to-upholstery-fabrics/

 

Bibliography

Nielson, Karla J. Interior Textiles: Fabrics, Applications, & Historical Styles. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. Print.

 

Whew!! January is almost over! Do you know what that means? SPRING IS COMING!! If you’re anything like me, I love spring and the freshness it can bring to your home after the long, cold winter months. To get us over some of our winter blues, I thought I’d share with you some of my techniques to making your home feel refreshed and brand new for the spring months to come!

1)Color

Adding color throughout your home is a great way to re-freshen the energy that may have been dulled with these cold days! What colors should you add you ask?

Citrus colors are guaranteed to make your household more lively. Think of a bowl of fruit with oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit… you have your pale yellows, pinks, greens, and oranges. These colors will leave a long lasting impression on your home throughout the rest of the year!

2)Accent Pieces

Lets talk about accent pieces! These are extremely easy and cheap to add to your blooming household!

~Preppy green centerpiece

~Fruits and flowers make great accents!

~ Don’t forget about patterns!

~Metallic Pieces!

 

~ Floral Pattern Valances!

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~Natural Fibers!

-Jute

– Sisal

 

Hope these tips are helpful when decorating for spring!

Lastly don’t forget—Choose a color or pattern that makes YOU happy 🙂

 

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/spring/spring-decorating-ideas/

 

 

Images found on Google

Color is every where… we can’t escape it! Have you ever thought about what color does to you? To your emotions? Color can affect our brainwaves, motions, and biological systems. Now, when decorating your bedroom or living room, have you ever really thought about the colors your using? Here are some examples of how colors can affect you~

Red: courage, excitement, love, passion, sexy, increases appetite, festivity ( holidays).

Negative- hatred, aggressive, rage, war, raises blood pressure, fear.

Consumer Behavior- used to increase impulse buying

Blue: associated with water, cool, calm, comfortable, clean, relaxing.

Negative- Introversion, sadness, depression, cold, low class, isolation, loneliness, gloominess

Consumer Behavior: Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. Lighter shades have been used to symbolize luxury.

Green: relaxed, growth, renewal, eternal life

Negative: poison, envy, inexperience, immaturity, sourness, disease, guilt, rawness.

Consumer Behavior: Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients.

Orange: warmth, fruitfulness, brightness, happiness, strength, endurance

Negative: brashness, danger, increases pulse rate, inexpensive/cheap

Consumer Behavior: associated with inexpensive items and highlight sale items.

Yellow: cheerful. happiness, gold, sun, wisdom, self-esteem

Negative: Caution, sickness, nervousness

Consumer Behavior: Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads and pencils

 

Take a look at these photos and think about how these rooms make you feel…

 

 

blue-living-room-design-ideas4

 

 

 

How do you feel about these spaces? Did the colors make you anxious? Did they relax you? How much time do you think you’ll be able to spend time in these rooms? Hopefully next time when you’re in a room where there may be a bright yellow vase, you’ll be able think about why that vase may or may not bother you!

Images found by Google.com

Reed, Ron. Color Design: Transforming Interior Space. New York: Fairchild, 2010. Print.

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My name is Wendy and after leaving a stressful career, I am on a journey to a simpler life. I have started a business called The Simple Life Decor (thesimplelifedecor.com) specializing in mid to high end cottage style furniture and decor for cottages and primary homes. My blog is focused on living a simpler life whether it be through creating a serene environment in your home or simple living tips! Subscribe to my list and shop TheSimpleLifeDecor.com!

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