Kitchen design trends on long island-

One topic of conversation when discussing a new kitchen renovation is what cabinet style is the most classic and timeless? That's a great question and not just one answer.

A classic raised panel in a warm cherry wood or a Shaker style with a clean, white painted finish are just a couple of samples of what can be timeless. There are plenty more to choose from but these two were the first that popped into my head on this rainy Sunday morning.

I will have some pics to attach a bit later, so stand by!

My High Point Market Adventure

My High Point Market Adventure

 I came home from my first High Point Market experience about two weeks ago. For those who may not know what that is, it's a market place for designers to see the new collections of their current lines and a great opportunity to seek and find new product lines to offer to their clients. It's also an opportunity to go to seminars or meet famous designers like Thom Filicia & Libby Langdon.

Many blocks, many blding, many hundred of thousands of products. As designers we are all out to find amazing wonderful things for our current projects as well as future. 

I traveled with a colleague of mine of whom I have know for over 11 yrs, Rose. We had a great time, learned a ton from one another and had so much exhausting fun. Pics below show some of the amazing finds from some of my favorite providers of lighting, furniture & accessories.

It was a great experience to really learn and share this experience with not just another designer but a friend.

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Cork, who knew?

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Guest Picks: Put a Cork in It

Best of NYC Interior Design Blogs

There are a ton of interior design blogs on the internet and finding the best stuff can be difficult. To help you sift through it all, I'm going to share some of my favorite posts and columns from some of the most popular interior design blogs in NYC. A lot of the columns can spark up great ideas for your own home. A few more can help you make interesting decorative and furniture. The DIY’s are a definite must-see and try as most of the items are hard to find even in the vast interior retail stores accessible for residents in NYC.

Design Sponge’s Before and After Column

Design Sponge is a rare find of practically anything and everything that has to do with design: from living spaces to iPhone cases, clothing to rugs, entertaining wares to notepads and chairs, designer profiles to sneak peeks of stylish homes.

The blog features posts from various creative contributors. This naturally gives you generous servings of unique products, DIY’s, ideas, themes and concepts every day of every week. Design Sponge has carefully laid out its blog so that categories are easy to spot and ads are tastefully lined at the right side.

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The person behind the design blog is one who never runs out of style herself: Grace Bonney has been featured on TV and has worked in various home and style and even food and wine magazines.

My favorite column: Before and After

There are plenty of home makeovers being featured on TV but there’s nothing quite like having a handy how-to guide or even just a set of pictures you can constantly refer to while working on your own project for your home.

Design Sponge’s Before and After column provides ample images of a space’s before and after looks. Photos of a noteworthy piece, a corner, or an entire room’s before and after are pitted against each other, side by side, one on top of the other.

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Details like unique paint jobs, knobs, hardware, decor and artworks are often given their own moment on each post.

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Scrolling through this section of Design Sponge should set off creative juices to inspire your own ideas for home projects.  If you ever decide to pull off one of or a part of the looks, details on where to buy and what materials to use are often included in the posts. Otherwise, the blog and the column itself have more than enough followers that you can interact with at the comments section.

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Little Green Notebook’s Creative DIY’s

It’s easy to love The Little Green Notebook. The blog comes off as very personal and warm even as it tackles furniture, fabric and DIY’s. These are things Jenny Komenda is very passionate about and her blog consistently showcases these passions along with her style and her expertise as an interior decorator.

Going through the blog will have you coming up with fresh new ideas: for a wall paint job you’ve been putting off or for a piece of furniture you’re undecided about.  Jenny’s work has been featured in many design publications like the Wall Street Journal and Better Homes and scrolling through her blog is always time well spent. The best thing about it is Jenny lives just around Brooklyn. Any stores she mentions could very well be a stone’s throw away from where you live.

My favorite column: DIY’s

The thing about DIY’s is that they make coveted, hard to find pieces well within reach. The Little Green Notebook has just the right column for anyone who has the knack for making things or for those who simply can’t find a piece available in stores anywhere in NYC.  

Jenny also makes sure you can replicate her DIY’s by letting you in on the materials and the entire process which are usually relatively easy to find and do, respectively. She’s very detailed so you shouldn’t miss out on anything.  In instances that you do miss out on some steps, you’re always welcome to email her or comment.

These are just some of the pieces I’ve been fawning over at her blog.

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This Sputnik Chandelier looks elegant and expensive and I’d wager one would never initially think this didn’t came out of a box as is and that this could be done overnight! 

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Another one of my favorite DIY’s from LGN to date is these Shades Made out of Mini Blinds. They’re particularly easy to do and significantly inexpensive compared to custom or retail ones.

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You can even choose the exact folds you’d like to have.

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Lastly, I have to feature this tufted headboard that I know many would want to have to fancy up their bedrooms. 

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You can pick out as many or as less tufts as you want and you get to make the whole thing out of the exact color and fabric you have in mind.

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Material Girls’ Furniture Friday

Material Girls is best described as a fun interior design blog. It’s written in young and fresh tones by equally young designers that are based in five of America’s major cities, NYC included. The design finds anything and everything that has to do with design including home features, furniture pieces, rugs and hardware. Each post also seems infused with a little pop culture.

If you want to be in the know of the latest in design and architecture, this is a blog you’d like bookmarked or to be subscribed to. Material Girls also feature designers, books, events and places to shop.

My favorite column: Furniture Friday

Furniture Friday provides no nonsense features and posts of the more unique and interesting furniture available all across America and the web. Each post is basically composed of some basic yet good photos of notable pieces, the column writer’s opinions on each piece and the price, brand and retailer of each.

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The landing page has the categories all lined up neatly in one page so you can skip to a page that has all the particular furniture you’re looking for. There’s a page for coffee tables, armoires and etc. Furniture Friday is a really organized resource for furniture finds and inspirations.

NY Design Agenda's New York Top 10's

The general concept of the blog NY Design Agenda is pretty much similar to that of Material Girls except that it focuses on just NYC alone and the tone of blogging is more neutral.  

The author blogs about architecture, home and hotel interiors , books, events, trends, details, stylish places to see around New York, furniture stores and everything that has to do with design. It’s the best spot on the web to go to if you want to see all that NYC has to offer in terms of art and design.

Favorite column: New York’s Top 10

With all the information the blogosphere has to offer, I really appreciate the occasional posts that pare down those info for me. Extra points for when they come in numbered lists.

This is why I highly recommend looking out for NY Design Agenda’s occasional Top 10 posts. They don’t have their own category but they usually go under NY City Guide. Here are some of my favorite NY Top 10s to date:

Top 10 Design Stores in NYC

The post makes mention of venturing outside of Ikea and discovering exotic pieces that just might work for you like this sculptural lounge chair from VOOS in Brooklyn…

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Or a futuristic lighting fixture perhaps?

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Top 10 Design Hotels in NYC

I like exploring or browsing through chic establishments. Hotels in NYC are simply some of the more modish establishments in the world and this post highlights the bests of the bests.

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The Bowery Hotel                                                         Crosby Street Hotel

Lastly, I love the post that covers the 10 best places to wine and dine in NYC in terms of aesthetics.

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Bouley, 163 Duane St.

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River Café, 1 River St.

6 High Tech Trends in Kitchen Remodeling NYC Residents Need to Know About

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, New York City residents have a well-earned reputation for being quick to adapt in the latest innovations. In recent years, however, trends in high-tech features and components having been advancing at a faster pace.

Here are the top six high-tech appliances every NYC kitchen should have:

‘As Use’ or ‘On Demand’ Water Heaters

They're commonly referred to as both “as use” and “on-demand” water heaters. No matter what you call them, they are one and the same. These appliances get hot quickly and are able to heat up without using as much power. They’re a great option for somebody who's looking for a way to cut their carbon footprint during a remodeling project.

As use or on-demand water heaters don't use a tank and that is where the energy savings comes in, because there's no tank to keep hot when it's not in use. The hot water is produced immediately on-demand as it comes out of the faucet, and these water heaters are also available in several sizes. There are larger models to heat water for an entire home and smaller compact models that tuck in easily under a kitchen sink.

Ultra Realistic Synthetic Polished Stone Countertops

Another trend NYC residents are catching onto is synthetic polished Stone countertops. It’s difficult to tell between these countertops slabs and real cut and polished marble or granite. So why would someone opt for fake stone when it's actually more expensive than real granite or marble?

This newer polymer-based product fuses together seamlessly to give countertops a solid one-piece appearance. Scratches also sand out easily, and these countertops aren't as vulnerable to staining like real stone is. It's also lighter, too, so it's a perfect choice in boats and recreational vehicles.

Spotlight on New LED Lighting

LED lighting has been around for decades now, but it was it's high cost that kept it out of reach for only but smaller, more limited applications. New, improved methods of manufacturing, however, have led to more affordable pricing, so now for kitchen remodeling NYC residents have yet one more new option when it comes time to design their lighting scheme.

LED lighting comes with several benefits. First, you don’t to have to change bulbs. Also, the light emitted by LED crystals also diffuses more evenly, so there is no bright center and no dim region in an area that's being lit. The LED technology is also an energy-saver, as it uses only 12 volts of power.

Kitchen Sink Resurfacing Kits

New technological developments have made kitchen sink renovations a cinch for just about anyone. Resurfacing products have been around for decades but they just couldn't hold a candle to what's available now in today's kits that contain everything you need for the job.

There are more choices in brighter, more vibrant colors and the finished results resists cracking and chipping and deliver a longer service life. With resurfacing, not only do you save money by not having to purchase a new sink, but you also save money on labor.

Green Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to flooring and kitchen remodeling, NYC residents tend to not think high-tech. The bottom line: modern advancements in manufacturing technologies have created alternatives to hardwood flooring that are beautiful, affordable and renewable. Now, you can have the look of a hardwood floor without any of the guilt.

Bamboo flooring is one of the more popular styles, and no, it doesn't look like bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass, so it grows readily without the heavy use of fertilizers and insecticides. Another renewable domestic alternative is eucalyptus-flooring tiles that are made from trees grown in arid areas of Australia, rather than environmentally sensitive rain forests.

Using Appliances Via the Internet, Mobile Phones

When it comes time to start in with kitchen remodeling, home and condo owners will also find that it's time to buy new appliances. Manufactures have been in direct competition with one another to see who can cram more features into refrigerators, stoves and ovens.

These days, you can activate appliances when you are away from home. With the help of the Internet or a smart phone, you can have a hot meal ready and waiting when you arrive home. Then refrigerators are also available with technology that allows them to track how fast and how much of your favorite foods that you're using and even automatically re-order them and have them delivered.

Kitchen Remodeling Long Island: 5 Common Mistakes

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, Long Island homeowners don’t have many resources to teach them how to do it. So it's 'learn you go', which in turn can have you learning some real tough lessons. Nobody wants to flub up the kitchen, as it’s the most expensive room in your home to remodel.

Many different decisions have to be made throughout the project, and all of them have money riding on them. Then, don't forget that you're going to be left with the results, so you'll be stuck looking at your bad choices for years to come.

Here are five common mistakes that you don't have to make.

Overdoing it through Overspending

One of the first most common mistakes in kitchen remodeling is going overboard on a project. Homeowners start out with a reasonable budget, and as the project unfolds, they just have a way of continuously stepping up the ladder in terms of overspending.

This isn't to say that you can't make expensive choices on a kitchen remodel job, but the extravagance of a project has to match the home. You need to keep your choices in compliance with the overall value of the home, to be sure you get a solid return on your investment.

Doing Projects Out of Sequence

Another mistake in kitchen remodeling is when homeowners do a project out of sequence. Keep in mind that the entire job is made up of a series of smaller projects, and they really do go together in a layered fashion to keep costs and labor down.

For example, if you paint your walls before you install your cabinets, appliances and fixtures, you can turn a two-day project into just a few hours of work. Then, the baseboard goes on after the wall is painted, and after that, the flooring has been laid down, so they could sit down tight on top of it. Make sure you do all your projects in their proper sequence to save you the headache.

Making Poor Use of Space

Having a bigger wish list than square footage is another mistake in kitchen remodeling. If you feel that your kitchen is a little bit short on space, don't worry, you're not alone. Be ready to compromise on the size and quantity of features and appliances that you can fit into your kitchen.

Kitchen Interior Design Long Island: 5 Fast Projects You Can Do Yourself

If you want to increase the value of our home, realtors say you need to focus on the most important room: the kitchen. Potential buyers always seem to walk through the kitchen first. Then, if you talk to any contractors, they will tell you that of all the rooms in your home your kitchen is the most expensive to renovate.

People pour tens of thousands of dollars into kitchen remodel jobs, and that's great if they have the money to do it. If you're operating on a budget, though, and are looking for ways that you can bring a new look to your kitchen, Long Island interior designers recommend the following five fast and relatively easy do-it-yourself projects.

Change Out Cabinet Handles and Knobs

If your cabinets have seen better days, then chances are it's the handles and knobs that are contributing a good chunk of that dated look. This particularly holds true if your home is more than 20 years old.

Take a trip down to your local hardware store, and you'll find a whole section devoted just to cabinet drawer and doorknobs. There will be a lot to choose from. Also, when you head to the store, bring an existing knob. That way, you can tell if the new ones will fit the existing holes of your cabinetry.

LED Under-Cabinet String Lighting

Under-cabinet lighting not only looks great, but it makes working at your kitchen counter more pleasant. If you're like most people, though, you probably assume that installing any kind of new lighting is best left to the professionals. After all, it does involve electrical wiring, right? Well, not quite.

New LED string-lighting kits come ready-to-go, as many basically just tack right up underneath your cabinets. LED string-lights are also low-voltage. In fact, they only take 12-volts, which is the same level of power that a standard car battery gives off. They’re also quite safe. LED light also spreads out more evenly, so it looks better, and because there are no light bulbs, you won’t have to stress about changing them.

Kitchen Sink Resurfacing

If your kitchen sink is chipped in grungy, there's a faster and cheaper alternative to completely replacing it. Interior design experts point out that kitchen and bathroom sink resurfacing has come a long way over the years, so now there are more durable and much easier to use products available.

Interior Design Services Long Island: Just What do they Do?

If you're in the planning stages of building or remodeling a home in Long Island, then you really have two choices when it comes to the interior design. One is to do the design work yourself, and the other is to hire a professional to do the work for you. But just what exactly does an interior designer do?

The picture that most people have in their head is a creative person, an artist who rather than painting on canvas or sculpting at a table, is one who works with the interiors of buildings. While this may be true, it turns out that there's a whole lot more than that they do for their clients. Various services that they provide that are just as important.

Counseling Clients on Creative Direction

One of the first things that interior design services clients should do is get a consultation on your creative direction. Most clients come into the picture with a general idea of what they have in mind for their renovation, but it tends to be unfocused. So creative direction functions as a roadmap of sorts for the designers to follow.

For example, an expert may help a client to put a name on the design style motif that they have pictured in their head. American colonial, art deco and Shaker are but just a few of the more common popular design styles that are out there; and a client quite often will have one of these common design styles pictured their head and not even know it.

Surveying for Fits and Code Compliance

After deciding the design direction, the professionals will need to survey the building. Measurements have to be taken and the general structural engineering of the building has to be examined.

Ceiling heights, for example, have to be measured to ensure that anything that the designer and the client have in mind will be able to fit and still have the ceilings a minimum of eight feet tall. Then, things like bearing walls and firewalls have to be identified as well. Also a building’s engineering status will determine particulars like how much square footage can be devoted to windows.

Then the Design Work Begins

Now, it's time to get down to the real design work and this is when ideas are put to paper and clients and designers collaborate to come up with final decisions on things like materials. Most people are simply unaware of what goes into material selection. Choices in hardwoods, for example, can be daunting but it even gets worse for materials like marble.

Long Island Interior Design is Going Green

Long Island has always been forward thinking when it comes to interior design. In more recent years, one trend continues to grow in popularity: going “green.” This carbon friendly building concept has been widely accepted in mainstream projects, and will likely be one trend that will last a lifetime.

Though there are some skeptics, the carbon friendly trend is strong. It does not mean compromising on aesthetics, form or function. Now, you can have a naturally produced look without crushing Mother Nature.

Synthetic Polymer Based Cultured Stone Countertops

Polished granite and marble countertops have sat at the top of more people's wish lists over the decades than possibly any other product, but that is beginning to change. That particular change in Long Island interior design is coming in the form of synthetic, polymer-based, cultured-stone countertop products that completely mimic the look of natural polished stone.

It’s almost virtually impossible to tell them apart from the genuine article. Yes, they are green because they take less energy to produce, and they don't have to be shipped from far-flung regions around the globe. There is a catch, though, as some of the synthetic countertops can cost more than the real polished stone.

The reason they often cost more is because, like many other green products, they cost more to produce. Yet, in some ways they are a better product. For example, companies cut and join the countertops seamlessly, giving it a solid finish. They're also lighter, so they're a perfect fit in Long Island Interior design scenarios, where weight may be an issue. Plus, they're far more resistant to chipping, and scratches easily polish out.

Using High Tech Electronics to Cut Your Carbon Footprint

Many Long Island interior design specialists are now turning to high-tech electronics to help their clients cut their carbon footprint. They're making use of new appliances and products that perform just as well – if not better – than older technologies. It’s also doing the work at a fraction of the energy costs.

Fiber-optic and LED lighting are excellent examples of these technologies. They not only cut energy costs, but also boost performance levels. These lighting systems look better, work more efficiently and burn less electricity.

LED lighting replaces light bulbs with small crystals that only require 12 volts of electricity to light up, which is a fraction of what a traditional bulb uses. Low-voltage also means that they faster. They can be easily installed in places like under cabinets and along stairways, where an exposed standard 120-volt household wire would be a fire hazard.

Fiber optics takes it a step further by completely doing away with wiring altogether, so it's the perfect fit in Long Island interior design scenarios that involve water. Jacuzzis and indoor pools, for example, are now being fitted with fiber optics lighting that even allows for a switch-plate to be mounted directly in the water because there's no electricity involved.

Doing Away With Unregistered Exotic Hardwoods             

There's a new level of awareness sweeping through Long Island landscaping circles regarding exotic hardwoods. Designers and clients are discovering that too many of the trees are being cut by loggers using long, outdated logging methods that leave rainforest land scarred and denuded.

It gets even worse than that, though, because as the price of exotic hardwoods has continued to shoot up due to their increased rarity. Reportedly, many companies are stealing the wood from the restricted land claimed by indigenous peoples of South America.

Long Island landscape designers and their clients now have the option of working with registered hardwoods that don't leave them compromising their environmental principles. These are exotic hardwoods that are harvested by loggers, who have joined in on an internationally recognized verification system. The system guarantees that any trees they cut are legally – with minimal impact on the nation or its people.

Ask a Long Island Interior Design Expert About Recyclables   

Most people often overlook what will come of all the materials that go into building a home or commercial building. Far too many products end up in American landfills because the items aren't recyclable, but all that is changing.

It's changing fast because people are finally coming to realize just how many aspects of their home have a service life. Even though the home remains standing, in the upcoming decades, given that trends do change, and materials become worn and dated, much of what is in their home will be replaced.

So now, incorporating recyclable building products into building and remodeling projects is one of the latest trends to catch hold. But, this doesn't necessarily mean any type of change. This is because so many of the products that turn out to be fully recyclable have been in use all along.

It’s nearly impossible to forecast trends with interior design because they are just that – trends. What we do know, now, is that the materials and services you use will have an even bigger impression in the world we live. From using recycled materials to more natural options, you now know a few options for beautiful, sustainable living. Knowing the best products to use will lead to smaller footprint on the environment and an even bigger impression for our future.

Houzz Unveils 2013 "Best of Houzz" Winners

houzz interior design ideas

Commack, NY  --  January 21, 2013 – Merri Interiors, Inc. of Commack, NY has been awarded  “Best Of Remodeling” 2013 by Houzz, the leading online platform for residential remodeling and design.  Merri Interiors, Inc.,  a leading design firm specializing in kitchens, baths and built-ins was notified of their award earlier today.  The not yet 3-year old interior design firm was chosen by the more than 11 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community.

The Houzz “Best Of Remodeling” award for 2013 is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction award winners are based on homeowner members who rated their experience working with remodeling professionals in 12 categories ranging from architects, and interior designers to contractors and other residential remodeling professionalsDesign award winners’ work was the most popular among the community of 11 million monthly users, also known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 124 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.

 

 

Happy New Year!!!

Say goodbye to 2012 & hello to 2013.

As we look ahead with big hopes and hearts into the new and fresh year in front of us, let us not forget some of the wonderful things that we have all been through in 2012.

I'm always looking ahead, thinking of the future or living in the moment. Today, for me is a day that I look into the past year and take time to be proud of the achievements I have made not only as a business person but, as a wife, sister, daughter and most of all a mother. I am proud and am always looking for ways to better myself, after all I have little people living with me that watch my every move!

I feel very hopeful that this year will bring even better things for all and I look forward to the challenges (so long as they aren't too hard) as well.

I can only assume that if you are reading this, either you had a great time last night & got home safe or that you, like me, stayed home and enjoyed your family. Either way...Happy New Year from me to you!

 

Sandy Storm Victims, This One Is For You!

I have seen quite a bit of devistation this week due to Hurricane Sandy. Watching it on TV and even living through it with little damage myself, just does not explain the magnitude of strength this storm had.  

Having been called in to some very special people's homes to help them get a grip on getting their homes and lives back in order, it has rustled a huge place in my heart to come up with a way to give back.

Merri Interiors is offering some very special services as well as reduced pricing for these unfortunate people who have suffered the most as a result of Superstorm Sandy.  Therefore, I am looking to help as much as I can and give people a place to call home again. 

I am hoping that this type of give back, especially during Thanksgiving season when we are giving thanks for everything that we DO have, will set things in motion for others to do the same. Pay it forward if you will. It's what is needed to get our communities back up, to give people a place to be proud of and help take the pressure off of them.

I hope this helps and I look forward to helping you make your house a home again.

Thinking of all of you,

Merri

FEMA Help!!!

For those who have and do not have insurance from the storm visit DISASTERASSISTANCE.GOV there is a form to fill out and within 1/2 hr you will know if you are eligible. An adjuster will come and assess, get you hotel, as well as financial assistance for whats not covered from insurance if you have and if you don't... will offer you assistance!

For Sandy victims

New York has not had this type of disaster since the early 1900's. Having lost our electric for 11 days, staying with friends and seeing first hand, the devistation from flooding, fires and tree damage, we felt that paying it forward was the only way to go. 

We have developed a few kitchen packages to offer those in need of a new kitchen at affordable pricing. It's something that we at Merri Interiors, Inc. have decided to do as a community memeber to help. This is to get families back in the kitchen, cooking together and creating new memories.  

Please give a call to start helping you get your home back together. 

DIY

Hi all,

The big trend in re-purposing is HOT HOT HOT. I follow many crafty people on Pinterst and a few other places. If you want to see some of these amazing ideas that I often will post to my facebook account FACEBOOK.COM/MERRIINTERIORS LIKE my page to be part of the action or follow me on PINTREST.COM.  I find great ideas and even have many of my own. I'd love to hear of yours. Feel free to send me a facebook e mail so that I can share them with my followers! Stay green.

Giving back

Hi all,

We are getting to the season of giving so... I think its time to start thinking of how you and your family will want to give to those in need.

Letting my clients know of ways to donate their home items that are in good condition but no longer needed or work, is one way. Believe it or not kitchen cabinetry and appliances can be donated. I love ReStore, the people of Habitat for Humanity. They will come and pick up your unwanted furniture, cabinets, appliances and resell it at very low prices for those in need. That money is one way they keep going. 

A great friend and designer Michelle Dunbar of Fashion House Interior Design in AZ, reminded me of the story of Walmart. Walmart called the customer to let them know that they can pick up their layaway goods and that they were all paid up as a Happy Holiday gift from a total stranger. 

We all need to be greatful and think of different ways we can give back, weather its our old things, money donations, helping a food pantry or anything else you can offer, now is the time so start thinking. 

Please write me with some of your ideas, I'd love to post them! Hey that's a way to give back too! You never know who you will touch.