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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.

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.

 

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.

 

Lots to be grateful for! Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Photo via www.thelilypadcottage.com

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Give your bar a nautical flair with this nautical bar!

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Last October, I opened my store, TheSimpleLifeDecor.com.  It has been overwhelming at times (okay, most of the time)  to sort through all that needs to be done and trying to balance it all.  I also have a full time job and am raising a young family so simple living with so much going on seems unattainable. But I’ve discovered that it is as much a state of mind as it is a product of my surroundings.  One important lesson that I’ve learned is that quieting the noise around me is the best way for me to be successful.

Anyone with young kids is probably thinking that “quieting the noise” must be metaphorical, and that I could not have possibly found the Holy Grail of child rearing.  In many ways you are correct. There is not a great way of quieting the kids (my kids at least). There is a time when this magic occurs though… 5 am.  I get up at 5 am nearly every morning before I head off to my full time job and have over an hour of complete peace to grab my coffee and work on whatever I need to get accomplished before the harried day begins. More on the power of 5 am in a future post.

What I really want to focus on though is quieting the noise from the metaphorical sense.  In a new business, there is so much to do and it is difficult not to compare myself to other long-established businesses.  There are customers to serve, products to add, SEO to complete, blogging to do, networking to be done on several social media platforms, books to read, blogs to read, podcasts to listen to learn how to improve, prices to monitor…. the list goes on and on.  It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.  There have been three very powerful lessons that I have learned recently though that have helped me in quieting the noise.

The first lesson comes from “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. I ask myself this question which is the premise of the book: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” By focusing on the ONE thing and not letting the noise from the rest of the world distract me, I am able to complete the most important thing that I need to get done.  Once that ONE thing is complete, rinse and repeat. “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” and on and on chipping away at the things I need to accomplish. Instead of being overwhelmed by the mountain, I can focus on the step immediately in front of me.  I still struggle with this as a multi-tasker at heart but the book also discusses how multi-tasking actually slows down progress.  I am starting to believe it and I’m working at focusing at the one task at at hand rather than trying to do many tasks.

The second lesson is from Jon Acuff to not compare my beginning to someone else’s middle. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game and see that another business/site/employee/parent you name it is doing better than I am. It’s important not to compare especially comparing where I am to others who have been long established. Everyone starts somewhere and so have I. Rarely do we get to hear the struggles that it’s taken to achieve the success that we compare against.

The third lesson is to quiet the voices (seek help if you really hear voices : ) but what I mean is the voices that tell you you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, dedicated enough … They may things that you tell yourself or people around you that don’t support your dreams.  These voices are often wrong and destroy more dreams than failure ever will. They don’t deserve any real estate in your head.

There are many lessons to be learned about staying focused in a noisy world if you seek them out. They say success is a journey, not a destination. We need to treat ourselves with grace and be patient to take the next step without beating ourselves up if we stumble.

 

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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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