A Man’s Home is His Castle

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A man’s home is his castle, a woman’s too. Keep in mind Queen Elizabeth II owns Windsor Castle and Balmoral too, and I won’t even get into her many palaces and country estates.

A home can be as simple as a one room flat, a cottage by the lake, a cabin in the mountains. All one needs is a bed, a stove, and a place to sit, and plenty of love. Home, as Robert Frost says, is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

There is an old saying that one should leave one’s work at the office and one’s worries and cares at the door. A home should be Stressless.

Be kind, always be kind, and humble, as Tim McGraw says.

This month give $50 to charity, save on Stressless, and leave your worries at the door.

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Slow down

[This post brought to you by Stressless, makers of ergonomically designed recliners and sofas. Stressless believes in slowing down, being kind and saving money, while saving on the wear and tear of the body and mind. Learn more…]

I went for a jog in the park the other day, took a short cut, and stumbled over a tree root I failed to notice. That caught my attention.

A former navy pilot said to me the other day, “Direction over Speed.” Paul Simon said it decades ago in The 59th Street Bridge Song, which most of us remember as Feelin’ Groovy. “Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last.” Fast forward and today, it still makes sense.

The point is that we enjoy life more when we slow down. We make better decisions, fewer mistakes. We appreciate the things that matter more. Not to mention the health benefits that go along with slowing down, like a slower heart rate, better digestion, better sleep, a happier relationship with those around us.

Sure, our minds can act like race cars at the Daytona 500, zipping around the track, eyes focused on the car in front and behind. But traveling at speeds that defy all reason is surely going to put our minds in the shop, sooner or later.

Or, as the doctor said, “Impatience makes us patients.”

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Things to do on Monday

Our new store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 5 pm. We hope you got the message. If not, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram.

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Things to do on Monday

Wondering what to do with a Monday Day Off, here are a few suggestions:

1. Get yourself moving, take a walk with the dog, ride a bike with a friend.
2. No dog, then visit an animal shelter. No friends, then you are working too hard and need a Monday Day Off to visit an animal shelter.
3. Tour a brewery or winery. Yesterday, Sunday, we visited the Walnut River Brewery in El Dorado visiting with locals in a small town who know how to live.

4. Sleep in, recharge your batteries, later, take a nap. Doing nothing, sometimes, means everything.

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5. Start a blog, write the Great American novel, or just reach out with your thoughts. It’s cathartic, whatever that means for you.
6. Take a free online course. Exercising the brain is healthy. Better yet, be like my son and go for a run while you listen to a podcast. Pardon the metaphor, like killing two birds with one stone… Like, biking to work, works better, all around.
7. Try out a new recipe with family and friends. Scroll through cooking blogs for something unusual, leaf through food magazines for the fanciful, or call up grandma to hunt down an old recipe.
8. Feng shui your home as a way to improve your Chi. Don’t know what Chi is? Find out, it’s life changing.
9. Read a book. Sure, it is “old school,” but it is still the cheapest and easiest way to go on an adventure, visit the South Pacific, or fall in love.
10. If you are really, really bored, then clean out the garage and arrange the tools. Get ready for a weekend Garage Sale. This, I don’t like because it is too much like work.

Enjoy, as for me, I’m wearing boots and riding a bike!

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Working at Home

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. Arnold J. Toynbee

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Work and Play

We are blurring the lines between work and play. And that can happen only when one finds a job one loves. For when something you love becomes work, it fundamentally, for the better, changes the way you live your life – with gusto!

Here’s to all those men and women who work and play, and live their lives with passion.

When a man’s home is born out of his heart and developed through his labor and perfected through his sense of beauty, it is the very cornerstone of life. Gustav Stickley

Gustav Stickley

This same passion surrounds the Stickley family in Manlius, New York. It began 120 years ago with Gustav Stickley who designed and created a new line of furniture that came to be called Mission Furniture. His idea was that furniture should be honest and simple, natural wood, what-you-see-is what-you get, quality construction.

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Gustav Stickley loved what he did. He hired the best craftsmen and utilized designers like Henry Wilkinson and LaMont A. Warner, and later, Harvey Ellis. He started a magazine to expound his philosophy called The Craftsman and hired Susan Sergeant as managing editor and layout designer. Gustav Stickley then went on to found the Craftsman Farms in Parsippany-Troy Hills, Morris County, New Jersey, as a school for the Arts and Crafts movement.

But perhaps the best story about Gustav Stickley’s love for his business came from his grandson, Gustav Stickley III, who as a young boy watched his grandfather and recalled, “I used to watch him draw his hand across a piece of wood and you could see the reverence in the hand,” he said. “That’s where I learned my love of wood and the feel of it when it has been properly preserved.”

Gustav Stickley may not have whistled while he worked. He was a quiet man, who took pride in the accomplishments of others. He was after all a mentor. He enjoyed what he did and wanted to pass on the love to others.

Sailing off the coast of Maine

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Sailing Maine

A misty morning breeze, a simple wish, let the wind take me where it pleases. A distant drifting shore where bloom the daised banks, above a sky of blue, air that smells of salt and brine, the wind against my face… Somewhere off the coast of Maine, this tiny sailing boat is all I need, it’s paradise enough.

The month of July

If you give $50 or more to charity, we’ll give you $500 off Stressless Wing in all Pioneer or Paloma leather colors, $400 off Stressless Mayfair in all Paloma leather colors and $300 off other Stressless recliners. Plus, your donation of $50 or more will save you $200 on every sofa seat. Until August 3.

Learn more…

 

Soap and Water

A little soap and water does the trick cleaning each solid wood Gat Creek dining table, but, if you prefer, alcohol won’t hurt the beautifully finished catalyzed lacquer top. The catalyzed lacquer finish forms a clear, protective barrier with a close-to-the-wood feel. This adds to the sensory experience of pattern, texture, and color in American hand-built, solid-hardwood furniture. Choose from locally sourced Ash, Cherry, Maple, and Walnut. And the finish is easy to care for holding up to almost any liquid in your home, from water to wine.

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American Craftsmanship

The American craftsman and woman have been around a long time.

And for those who appreciate the beauty of wood, the quality of work, and the value of good design, the products that American craftsmen and women make will continue to be around for a long, long time.

In the eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, in the Appalachian Mountains, near the Shenandoah River lies Berkley Springs, population 601, home to Gat Creek Furniture, whose craftsman and women custom build furniture to order. The furniture is made of cherry, ash, maple and walnut, locally resourced in the Appalachian Mountains and sustainably harvested.

Meet the Builders

Meet the builders of Gat Creek Furniture.

See the Beauty

See the beauty of Gat Creek Furniture, available in Kansas exclusively at Traditions Home in Wichita and Overland Park.

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Designer Dos

Yesterday was a designer don’t, i.e. buy everything on sale at the same place.

Today is a designer do – incorporate the outdoors into your living and dining rooms. Windows bring the great outdoors in. Open walls that lead from one room into the next creates a natural flow. Decorate with plants. Add flowers for a touch of color, place some green apples in a bowl to freshen the room. Reserve color for a dynamic rug in a geometric shape that complements the house.

Open limited hours, 12 to 5 pm, Mon. thru Sat., and by appointment.

Traditions Home, Wichita and Overland Park

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Designer Don’ts

Great interior designers spend a lot of time telling you what to do. That’s great, but what about the don’ts? They may not be as important as the dos, but then homeowners are not always likely to listen to everything their designer tells them to do. Sometimes, we like go “rogue”. Sarah Palin, shout out! That’s fine, but let’s not go crazy, like a peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich.

By the way, the grammar police called to say, punctuation is important. Speaking of “dos and dno’ts,” Eats, Shoots & Leaves, that charming little book on the pitfalls of punctuation, recommends “do’s and don’t’s,” so does the Associated Press, but why confuse the eye?  As an aside, I also have a problem with putting commas inside quotation marks. Again, convention is not always pretty. Besides, the British don’t, why should I if it offends me to do so.

Grammar is intended to elucidate, to smoothe pronunciation, and to make clear the writer’s meaning. Isn’t this what interior design is all about?

My don’t today is don’t buy everything from the same store.

This may sound strange since we are a home furnishings store. But even we recognize that different brands offer different qualities, different styles, different options. This mistake occurs most often when one goes to a Clearance Sale and finding everything at a reduced price, buys this and that without thinking how it is going to look together. A Victorian settee is not going to look good with an Eames chair. Queen Victoria would turn over in her grave if she saw it, so would the husband and wife designer team of Charles and Ray Eames.

Slow down, park that pony out front, belly up to the bar and have a drink. Great interior design is a process that takes time. The pieces that inhabit your living space represent you life and the memories that have taken place.

Patience is key! You will find the right piece when the right moment occurs.