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The Artisan's Blog
18
Oct
2013
Cuddle Up with Wool

   As the weather turns colder and leaves begin to change, we start digging a little deeper into our closets for our favorite sweaters and blankets.  Though the style of these items is important, it is really the comfort we seek.

   The comfort of home has always been important, but never as important as today.  Regardless of where we are when world events are playing themselves out, everyone wants to be… read more...   share with friend...

05
Oct
2013
Inspiration!

   Every year the 'Home Builders of the Greater Kansas City' area host the Parade of Homes.

   These homes are judged based on the Distinctive Plan and Design Contest featuring innovative materials, construction, techniques, style and design concepts.

   According to the news release on this event, today's new homes are built to be much more energy efficient than the homes constructed a generation… read more...   share with friend...

15
Sep
2013
We do Bricks!

Did you know? 

 

   As seen in a recent feature in the Omaha World Herald, the Vintage-look brick walls can add character without breaking the bank.

   As a designer, we are finding a growing number of clients who are using the exposed bricks and beams as a way to add personality to their modern home.

   The first thing that you think of when you say "Brick… read more...   share with friend...

26
Jul
2013
Floating Furniture?

Have you considered floating your furniture?

 

   One way to create space or at least the illusion of it, in today's homes and the open floor plan will challenge your design skills.  It works best if you remove most of the smaller furniture and items then place your larger pieces as your vocal point.

  How large is your room?  Pull your major pieces of furniture into the… read more...   share with friend...

12
Jul
2013
A sign of the times!

Guest Blogger

 

  As an owner/operator for more than 40 years of one of the last remaining used bookstores in western Iowa, for any independent retailer there is a change in the way clients do business.

  Bookstore owners, as unique as we like to think we are, are really no different than any other independent retailers.  We have products to sell and need customers to purchase… read more...   share with friend...

03
Jul
2013
Have A Great Weekend !

Looking for a Change of Pace?  Explore Okoboji !

 

Celebrate Independence Day at wonderful Okoboji with the endless activities on and off of the Lake.  Enjoy live music at any hour, fun flea markets and the best fireworks around.

 

                Schedule for Fireeworks

July 3 … read more...   share with friend...

21
Jun
2013
Pulling it all together!

It's all in the DESIGN!

 The home reflects your ever-changing to the world as well as your close family memberrs and friends.  It is designed to be a place of comfort.

 Accessories are essential.  They pull together a design and speaks volumes about your personal style.  It can be difficult to determine how to go about using accessories in our homes.  How to place your accessory - Achieve a… read more...   share with friend...

27
Apr
2013
Making a Come Back!

   If you haven't purchased wall coverings in the past 10 years, the look has changed dramatically.  After a period of "what's grass cloth" it is now welcomed as a come back.

   In visiting with an installer, he made the statement that he had installed more grass cloth over the past few months, than he had installed in the past 15 years.

   Wall covering designs are more exciting than ever,… read more...   share with friend...

12
Apr
2013
Have You Heard?

   As you are probably aware - social media has grown and grown in the past and continues to grow.  If you haven't followed the trend, I invite you to take a look at Houza.  May I invite you to their website.

   "Houzz provides homeowners with an in-depth, 360 degree view of building, remodeling and design professionals through images of their work, reviews and an opportunity to interact… read more...   share with friend...

16
Mar
2013
It's all in the DESIGN!

  A house that's dressed for success projects an authentic image of the people who live inside.

  Decorating your home is about dressing for success. "you dress for work, you look the part" Instead choose a theme that connects every room.  That doesn't mean every room must look alike.  Consider how certain accents in each room are tools to help put together a theme throughout the home.

  When selecting… read more...   share with friend...

14
Feb
2013
What goes around, comes around!

   As long as five years ago, the design community would turn up its nose at anything that was gold or brass.  In just the past year there has been a resurgence and interest from the general public.

   People are turning their homes to a more traditional look.  Designers have been going with minimalist tendencies, but now they are adopting  a look of more Grander.  The gold tones go along with… read more...   share with friend...

03
Feb
2013
Back in Time . . .

   Silent Companions, Shadow Boards, Dummy boards, hospitality figures, and hospitality - flat standing boards, painted in trompe L'oeil fashion to represent people or animals.  Imagines of the time, represented mostly daily life.

   Silent companions first came into vogue in the late 17th century and continuing into the Early 19th Century.  With the older boards you would find the servants, children and… read more...   share with friend...

02
Oct
2012
"You Dream, We Deliver"

"You Dream, We Deliver"

     is the theme of one of the builders of the Tour of Homes of the Builders Association in the Greater Kansas City area.

  Every fall, the Home Builders Association showcase the "Parade of Homes" in the KC area,… read more...   share with friend...

22
Aug
2012
What's old is new again . . .

 Decorating with Architectural Techniques.  You walk into a room and see this wonderful brick wall, actually a well-worn interior brick wall depicting styles of the past while accommondating a modern life style.

 The well-worn bricks uncover the charm and appeal of the past. 

 An extremely sophisticated and complex painted wall decoration, known as Trompe L'oeil gives you a convincing… read more...   share with friend...

03
Aug
2012
The Dog Days of Summer.

 And you are wondering - what does Artistry and Design have to do with "The Dog Days of Summer".  Actually nothing at all, but this whole year has been 'out of sync' - the long hot, humid days brings back memories of past years.

 According to Wikipedia "Dog Days" (Latin: dies caniculares) are the hottest, most sultry days of the summer.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are most… read more...   share with friend...

08
Jul
2012
Summer Time Fun!

the best kept secret . . .

 Have you heard of the "Iowa Great Lakes"?  Let's introduce you to Okoboji, Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, Milford, Wahpeton and Lake Park.  These are all towns associated with the Iowa Great Lakes, it is a wonderful place to spend a week or the entire summer.

 There is no lack of things to do. You will find fishing (seems there is always a good fish story),… read more...   share with friend...

13
May
2012
Have you heard - Vintage is back . . .

 Vin-tage (vin'tig) n.  a year or period of orgin, characterized by excellance, maturity, classic and enduring appeal.

 Vintage Elegance is a unique home that provides the perfect inspiration for its owner's passion for collecting and displaying vintage pieces from the past.

 Finding strength and identity in the past helps us move into the future.  Look to vintage styles in furniture,… read more...   share with friend...

30
Apr
2012
Design and Artistry

Don't step on the cracks . . .

 May I introduce you to Garden Designs by Nicki.

Located in the rolling hills of rural Western Iowa - you will find a delightful experience in Nicki's Garden.

 You can create your own urban oasis with the selections you will find here, should it be a new garden or an existing established garden.  When assessing your options, … read more...   share with friend...

05
Apr
2012
HAPPY EASTER

      Wishing you a day

      filled with delight

      and a springtime

        filled with joy.

 

read more... --> read more...   share with friend...

21
Mar
2012
Design and Artistry

Refresh and redecorate . .

             ready for resurgence of wall paper?

 Wall covering designs are more exciting than ever due to innovations in technology and the development of new substrates.  The look has changed dramtically - the trend is for a very dramatic… read more...   share with friend...

04
Feb
2012
Design and Artistry

What's Old is New Again

 It's no surprise to any observer of style that Vintage Elegance is in.  Simply put, vintage refers to things made in the past.

 Whether it is the finish of the wood or wearing of something - how it gets distressed over time or how linen becomes fluffy or how fabric becomes faded in the sun - it's the process of how things age over… read more...   share with friend...

20
Jan
2012
And let there be light!

 According to the Congressional Spending Bill, beginning January 1, 2012 the first phase of the "bulb bill" is now in effect.  There has been a lot of controversy to this bill and hopefully we can give you a little insite.

 What is being banned, at the start of 2012, are the general-use, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs.  Similar restrictions will go into place for the 75-watt blubs in 2013 and the 60 and 40-watt… read more...   share with friend...

15
Dec
2011
Design and Artistry

It's all about traveling and collecting personal things.

 The art of collecting - be it books, art, old movie posters, vintage items, antiques what ever the case; you collect because you love it and want to live with it.  It's been said "your home should reflect who you are."

 A house should not look decorated or predictable, it should look like it evolved over time.  Your personal… read more...   share with friend...

20
Nov
2011
Design and Artistry

Decorate your Home with Collectibles. . .

 Ask any collector about his or her collection and the ensuing conversation could go on for hours.  It seems there is a story that goes along with every purchase, whether it's chalkware, teddy bear collections, whirly-gigs or any other possible collectables.

 According to some collectors, the key to decorating with collectibles is organization.   Not… read more...   share with friend...

03
Nov
2011

Magic @ Midtown!

  a tour of upscale urban residences.

Christmas is a time we can transform our surroundings in a wonderfully magical way.

 In a prevfious blog, we discussed Santa's and the

Santa that was carved by a Master Carver.  This Santa was carved from a trunk of a tree - he stands 39" high  & 'dressed' for viewing.   He can be seen @ Space 23 -… read more...   share with friend...

13
Oct
2011
Design and Artistry

Soft under your feet!

Sisal, seagrass and natural fiber rugs are a simple and stylish way to update your room.  When looking for the natural fiber rug or area rug, you just automaticaly search out that natural fiber rug to create that special look.

 Sisal rugs and carpets are made from the finest grade fibers of the Sisal plant.  They have a wonderful look and style, but ouch - you have discovered you… read more...   share with friend...

03
Oct
2011
Up to Date in Kansas City

They say Everything is up to Date in Kansas City! and after touring the area for the Parade of Homes,  I would say it is very much up-to-date

 Every Fall, the Home Builders Association of the Greater Kansas Cit area presents the Parade of Homes.  The number of homes (new construction) varies from year to year.  This year there were over 200 homes on the Parade of Homes.

The Parade… read more...   share with friend...

02
Sep
2011
Artistry and Design

This is where it begins!

 Uniting people in the Spirit of Giving represents a celebration of life. Santa Claus heralds the many wonders of the holiday season.  Soon the holidays  will be among us.  Santa's that you see or collect can be found in many forms:  stoneweare, glazed pottery, fabric, antique ice cream molds, paper Mache, glass, clay, cookie cutters, the antique chocolate molds,… read more...   share with friend...

22
Aug
2011
Design and Artistry

What's the formula?

 A chandelier is not just a lighting fixture, it's considered a piece of art.  It's something that defines a space in a way that is unique and special, therefore we want to give it a place of prominence.  So many times I've been asked What is the formula for hanging chandeliers?   Your first thoughts would be to place your… read more...   share with friend...

06
Aug
2011
Aristry and Design

  Writing on the Wall'

 Words, literary or otherwise, are the latest word in decorating, you see them - in quotations, bits of poetry and lines of love letters - to be found on little tables and desks, bed linens, fireplace surrounds and on the walls.  You can add a fascinating… read more...   share with friend...

27
Jul
2011
Design and Artistry

The Dog Days of Summer

 Everyone knows that the 'dog days of summer' occur during the hottest and muggiest part of the season.  Webster defines "dog days" as  .. . . .

1. the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere   2. a period of stagnation or inactivity.

 But where does the… read more...   share with friend...

17
Jul
2011
This and That!

RAGBRAI     What is it?

 Living in iowa, every year in July the Des Moines Register sponsors Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across iowa.  This is a week long treck across Iowa beginning at the Missouri River and ending at the Mississippi River.  Each year the route is in a different part of the State of iowa.  This 39th year the route will be going through the central part of… read more...   share with friend...

06
Jul
2011
A Word about Pewter

Collecting Antiques - look for Precious Metal

  Often mistakenly considered a lesser alternative to silver; pewter has a soft and an illustrious past that make it a sought-after addition to any decor.

 Pewter is tailor-made for patina.  Because its malleable composition cause it to show wear easily; the nicks, dents and scratches it accumulates (in some cases centuries) translate into platters, pitchers, spoons… read more...   share with friend...

27
May
2011
Artistry and Design

Wake up your walls with Color!

 Your home has all white walls and you're afraid to add color.  It's okay to be squeamish, even a bit scared to make those changes.  But giving just a little color to those plain white walls isn't as imitating as it seems.  Although clean and bright, white walls don't have enough oomph to make your rooms warm and welcoming.

 Decorative paint… read more...   share with friend...

16
May
2011
Artistry & Design

Early American Tinware

 The production of household tinware was a budding industry in Hartford County, Connecticut before the American revolution.  Most of the information I read dates back to 1740.

 Many books and articles have been written over the years concerning the work done by tradesmen such as the Blacksmith, the Coppersmith and the Tinsmith.  It… read more...   share with friend...

20
Apr
2011
Design & Artistry

A House without books is like a room without windows.

 Start a library - some of the favorite accessory's in your home are your favorite books.  Books are an easy and relatively affordable way to incorporate your preferences for your collection.

 It has been said: The way that books and reading materials are displayed, can speak volumes about your home's… read more...   share with friend...

07
Apr
2011
To Market, To Market

Let's Go Shopping!

  Every spring and fall - designers, business owners and retailers gather at the High Point Market in North Carolina.  They are ready to soak up a few days of fabulous design, attend showroom openings and shop, then leave with great ideas to incorporate into our own businesses

 Most people do not realize the magnitude of the High Point Furniture… read more...   share with friend...

27
Mar
2011
Artistry & Design

Have you looked at your doors lately?

 Do they all match?  If you want a cohesive style throughout the home, try painting every door the same color and accessorizing each with the same style hardware.

 The norm is usually white or off-white paint for doors and door frames, but another possibility would be a khaki color which tends to be more modern. … read more...   share with friend...

16
Mar
2011
Artistry & Design

Hooked Rugs are back into style!

 Hooked rugs evoke a feeling of yesteryear, of Grandma's house and simpler times.  No wonder that in this period of economic uncertainty hooked rugs have been making a comeback.  They're attractive, long-lasting and a nice feel on the feet.

 Today's rugs are sometimes made with leftover fabric from the apparel and upholstery industries, a great way… read more...   share with friend...

05
Mar
2011
Design & Artistry

Did you know?

Because we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors, it is important that we keep these environments as comfortable, and healthy as possible.  Unfortunately, the energy-efficent buildings we live and work in tend to lack sufficient air ventilation resulting in pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and formalehyde, which are emitted from resin-based wood products,… read more...   share with friend...

17
Feb
2011
Design & Artistry

Let's Talk Color #2

Color (kul' er)  - a noun   Webster defines Color as #1) a dye, pigment, paint or other substance that imports color.  #2) the appearnce of objects or light sources in terms of the individual's perception of them, involving hue, lightness and saturation for light sources.

 Did you know?  No color exists in a pure state.  There are… read more...   share with friend...

05
Feb
2011
Design & Artistry

Let's talk Color !

Every year the Color Marketing Group predicts the colors for the upcoming year.  Colors for 2011 tend to be going back to the basics with colors that exude a timeless quality.

The ability of color to transform our surroundings, our mood and our outlook, cannot be over estimated.  Trend forcasters say the concept of moving… read more...   share with friend...

29
Jan
2011
Artistry and Design

The Art of Crafting

When you hear the word crafting - you have a tendency to evoke a vision of knick-knacks and trinckets.  Actually, Webster defines Crafts as 1) a skill or ability in the Arts 2) proficiency and skill

3) an occupation or a trade and 4) to make something by hand.  It means something totally unique and they are nothing like the mass produced products from… read more...   share with friend...

17
Jan
2011
Timeless Design

Just what is timeless design?

There was a time when all homes were built with hardwood floors, crown molding, wainscoting in the dining room, built-in bookshelves and carved mantel pieces above every fireplace.

When the GI's were starting to return home from the war, they were demanding single family homes, with attached single car garages, and wall to wall carpet.

Fast forward:  Today's homeowners are… read more...   share with friend...

14
Dec
2010
I Believe

Christmas is a time when we can transform our surroundings in a wonderfully magical way.  With a fanciful theme and a few well chosen decorations, we can create a delightful atmosphere.

Along with setting up a traditional tree, many of us delight in spreading cheer to every corner of your homes.

Part of the joy of Christmas comes from decorating our homes for the holiday, images of Santa abound.  Preserving the… read more...   share with friend...

07
Dec
2010
Holiday Greetings

Arranged across a holiday mantel, a regiment of proud, brightly painted nutcrackers form a collection.  They bring a smile to the face of young and old.

Fairy tales aside, actual nutcrackers are a curious hybrid of utility and art, both in ancient food implements and frequently a toy or fiture.  Contrary to popular belief, most nutcrackers crack nuts under the wooden levers in their backs.

Since the original… read more...   share with friend...

30
Nov
2010
The History of Stenciling / Stenciling Today

Stenciling is one of the earlist forms of Interior Decoration found in the newly formed United States of America.  While stenciling was generally known to the world of that time, the subject matter and work methods that developed in the new nation were distinctly Early American.

The period in which early American stenciling was popular lasted nearly a hundred years from 1775 to 1860.  Walls, floors, furniture and fabrics… read more...   share with friend...

19
Nov
2010
Sunday Toys

At this time of the year, age really doesn't matter - for "kids from one to ninety-two,"  Christmas has a way of rekindling our sense of wonder and delight at the sight of gaily wrapped packages stacked beneath a twinkling Christmas tree.  

  Thanks to the talents of many fine craftsman  and those who  appreciate the whimsical, old-fashioned trimmings and toys, I would like to introduce you to… read more...   share with friend...

10
Nov
2010
Artistic Inspiration

An individual's home is a reflection of his or her self-image and perhaps the ultimate expression of personal style.  One of the best ways to create that personal style is to surround yourself with the things you love.  This is reflected in the choice of decorative accessory's or Art in your home.  Incorporating beautiful works of art into your home will add drama to your space and give you that read more... --> read more...   share with friend...

23
Oct
2010
Junkyard Inspiration

The opportunity for acquiring architectural salvage has never been better.  The architectural salvage marketplace, once the solid province of old-home owners and a curiosity to nearly everyone else, is going mainstream in a big way.

Today's salvage and antique lumber dealers are just as likely to sell to architects and owners of new homes as they are to those with period homes.

Con't overlook salvage yards as a resource… read more...   share with friend...

10
Oct
2010
Out and About

The leaves have begun to change their colors, there is a touch of fall in the air and soon there will be that chill in the air.

Fall is also the time of year that you will see the Parade of Homes  or the Tour of Homes in your respective area.

This is the time when many contractors or the Home Builders Association have their Parade of Homes.  Metropolitan areas throughout the US take the… read more...   share with friend...

13
Sep
2010
Design and Artistry

Welcome and thank you for visiting our new Blog

Perhaps you are familiar with Jan Abbe Interiors,perhaps you are hearing of us for the first time. Either way, our goal is to inform, inspire, excite, intrigue, and share with you the exciting world of Design and Artistry.

Design is constantly evolving and changing, as is in the world of Art, be it decorative wall finishes, furniture. Stenciling and so much more. We believe… read more...   share with friend...

10
Sep
2010
Looking Up!

Design that is over your head. Literally!

Ceilings are a significant part of any room and date back to the years 1508 to 1512 when Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling and is considered the world;s most famous ceiling. The creme de al creme!

Ceilings were fashionable before the era of recessed lights, AC vents and various other obstacles.

Today decorative ceilings are back in style, trends that range from… read more...   share with friend...

08
Sep
2010
Design is more than meets the eye!

As you probably already know, it is more than picking out fabric swatches and paint chips. Designing interiors requires being aware of how people actually live in and use their spaces. Working with the Architect or the builder from the very beginning, and working with home owners to learn of their tastes and everyday needs and making sure that these are reflected in the final design.

Both interior designers and decorators work to… read more...   share with friend...

06
Sep
2010
A Delightful Surprise!

A delightful surprise!

A recent business trip placed us in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, staying at the ressort village of Fairfield Bay. Fairfield Bay is tucked in amongst the hills, pines and hilly roads of the Village.

One of the roads took us to The Artebal House. The Artebal House is just off of Dave Creek Parkway and Mallard Drive, right at the curveand tucked into the woods. You are not able to tour the… read more...   share with friend...