The TV Easel

Claudia’s Corner – The TV Easel

2nd Floor View-7CJ

(Featured in the Times Herald Record on March 22, 2015)

My last column was about spring inspiration. It felt as if it would never stop snowing. Spring has arrived and it is finally warming up. The white stuff is melting away. Next month will be my 10th anniversary in business. Look for observations and lessons learned in an upcoming column.

One thing I will share is how much some of my clients have inspired me. There are some very creative people out there and I am honored to work with them.

Mark Lassen first took my House-Life Connection class in Newburgh at the Desmond Campus. He returned with his wife, Sheila, for my Staging Tips class. Sheila shared with me how much Mark enjoyed my House-Life class and started applying what he learned to their home.

The Lassen’s hired me for a staging consultation. We walked through their beautiful home and I made a few suggestions in a few rooms. We ended up rearranging their living room furniture to create a more comfortable arrangement for TV viewing, fireplace enjoyment and views to the back of their beautiful property. More importantly, the new layout created a more welcoming space to guests who enter from the front door.

Many rooms have competing focal points, which is usually the fireplace and the TV. In the Lassen home, the TV is next to the fireplace on an art easel. This was such clever way to mount a TV instead of the typical media cabinet.

How to mount a TV to an Art Easel

“We saw the TV easel combination in a high-end furniture store. It caught our eye as fitting in our house well but it was quite expensive. After all we had the TV and all we needed was an easel. We definitely wanted oak and we searched many artist supply shops and Internet sites. When we found the right one it only required a small amount of modifications to securely mount the TV to the easel. The TV had all the connection points since all of the flat screen TVs are built to be wall mounted”, says Mark.

Less is more

“One thing is true, reducing clutter in one’s living space reduces the clutter in ones mind. Our philosophy for our next home, wherever that may be, is that less is more. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. We enjoyed the feedback and look forward to applying our revised “vision” of how to market our house and an improved way to live in it without clutter!”

 

The TV Easel Stand is a unique yet simple way to display a TV in a space.
The TV Easel Stand is a unique yet simple way to display a TV in a space.

Photo credit: Stephan Werk of stephanwerk.com.

Marsala is the Color of the Year for 2015. Why all the hate?

Pantone, the global color authority, announced PANTONE® 18-1438 Marsala, a naturally robust and earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015.

“While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

From the reaction I saw in my Facebook newsfeed to commentary on various posts, you would think the color world is going to crash around us leaving wine stained marks on our rugs and upholstery. Seriously? Why all the hate?

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Vases in varying heights in Marsala (Rossu Bottle Vases, from $49.95 at Crate & Barrel).

Every year I share the color of the year in my “Claudia’s Corner” column in the Times Herald Record. And every year I share this advice, ignore the trends, especially if you don’t like them. But if you do like the color trend, stock up while it is available.

No one says you MUST use a color. No one says you MUST follow a trend. Classics neutrals are always in. Shades of Gray continue to be popular. But guess what, not everyone likes gray, which is a neutral. And not everyone wants to live in a tone on tone creamy blend of whites and grays. Some find that look very cold. After awhile it all start looking the same. Pops of color are a way of adding a bit of flair and personality to a space, whether it is on the walls or in decorative accessories.

One of the best comments I read on a blog regarding Marsala:

“I am so over all the GREY everywhere. Yes, it’s mod, clean, and STERILE. Every white subway tile with grey marble counter room I see makes me feel like I am about to enter the morgue and be embalmed! Bring on Marsala! “

There was even a comparison of Marsala to the color Mauve. Mauve? Really? I lived through the 80’s and remember mauve. This color is definitely not mauve.

Dramatic and at the same time grounding, the rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors. Whether in a flat or textured material, or with a matte or gloss finish, this highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

Marsala for Interiors

Complex and full-bodied without overpowering, Marsala provides a unifying element for interior spaces. Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home. The hue will be especially prominent in striping and floral patterns found in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.

Let’s look at the past decades and their colors of the year…

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If we can survive Honeysuckle (a Barbie like pink) and danced our way through the year of Tangerine Tango, this Marsala color is a refreshingly warm and cozy change. It is probably the most realistic color in the above list. I know I will not only be eating it (I make a mean chicken marsala) but wearing it as well (I don’t mean by spilling food on me!). This color is sure to make its way into my closet and home. Let’s all take a deep breath and get over it.

 

Sage advice for your home

There are people you meet that keep popping up into your life. There are no coincidences and sometimes you just have to acknowledge and appreciate the connection. Stephanie Uszenski is one of those people.

We first met when I was selling a kitchen hutch on craigslist and she purchased the hutch. Years later she attended a “Fall Back In Love with Your Home” presentation I did at the Hudson Valley Builders & Remodelers Association. Thanks to Facebook, we became friends. A short time later she was having difficulty selling her house, I asked to see the listing, made suggestions, her house sold.

Last month Stephanie took a day off from her job at Millspaugh Furniture in Walden to attend my “House-Life Connection” at the Desmond Campus of Mount Saint Mary College. That is one of my fun classes where we discuss Feng-Shui and how to clear the energy of your home by burning sage, also called smudging. She mentioned how she was always hesitant about doing it but after taking the class she was willing to give it a try.

Here is a link to instructions on how smudge:

Stephanie’s smudging experience:

“I had a negative association of the concept of saging but I am open to new ideas. Your presentation was so clear, and made sense. I did each room from corner to corner. Although I didn’t experience some of the changes in smoke intensity where there are pockets of negativity described in your class, as the fourth owner of this house I was glad to remove any “unknowns”! My house felt ‘dark’ from neglect. The previous owner did not take good care of it.

Later that day

“No one was aware of what I did. When we arrived home, we had our typical chaotic day immediately running to soccer practice which I also coach, rushing back home to finish homework, make dinner and get ready for bed & the next day! It went very, VERY well even with four teen and tween girls!”

Walking into the house the next day, she reported that the house did feel ‘brighter’, like she washed the windows and the walls. “It definitely feels ‘clearer’ in some way and things seem to flow more smoothly. Thank you for the encouragement to try something outside my comfort zone. “

My story

Without sharing too much detail, this had been a rough year for me. Through our friendship, Stephanie made the following observation, “You can be a spokesmodel for the tagline, “never let them see you sweat”. Whatever you went through, you handled it with grace and poise. It’s admirable”.

My secret

When the going gets tough, I get saging. I personally do not do it all the time, just when I feel I need it and for the New Year. It is a reassuring feeling to know, at any point of your life, no matter what comes your way; you can have a fresh start. You just have to clear the air.

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Applying ‘The Four Agreements ®” to your Business & Life

We have all heard this phrase “Everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes we have no control over certain situations. There is only one thing we can control and that is ourselves. In the business world, as service providers, we work with many people with many different personalities and moods. And yes sometimes the different moods and personalities can be packaged into just one person!

Read more

Staging Tip: The entry view

When you walk through your front door, what is in the immediate line of sight? This is the first impression, a glimpse into the interior of the home. It sets the tone for the rest of the experience when selling a home.

If it opens into an entry way keep it uncluttered. If you have a coat closet, use it. Coat racks and hooks give the message that there is either not enough or no closet storage. If you don’t have one, relocate the landing area for your coats and shoes.

If you have an open concept floor plan, the peek into each room should be a welcoming and attractive visual. Keep the less attractive items on the other side of the room out of view out of sight. Remove whatever is not needed to set the stage for sale.

Just walk through your front door, do a visual panoramic sweep of your view, make changes to create a positive first impression.