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.

Gustav Stickley

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.

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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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.

Blue and White

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Blue and White, by design

Blue and white. After it rains, there is nothing fresher and cleaner than the combination of blue skies and white clouds.

It is a beloved combination for interior designers, and it has a rich historical lore. Think Chinese porcelain, Delftware from Holland, French toile. Picture the Greek flag, and for that matter, gleaming white houses on a Greek island against the blue sea and sky. Think of exotic lapis lazuli from faraway Afghanistan. Think of the Polynesian blue ocean and the pearls from the sea. Smile as you imagine a baby beluga in the deep blue sea. Think of the brilliant white of the new fallen snow.

Blue is calm and soothing; white is clean and simple. Put together, you experience a serene, tranquil space.

Traditions Home Sherrill Sale, ends June 21.

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White is Cool

Sherrill white sofa and chair
white is cool in interior design

Designers choose white

Interior designers choose white for many reasons.

In hot environments, white is cool and refreshing. In cool climates it is clean and pristine. Artists choose white as an excellent backdrop for displaying artwork. Modernists love it because it focuses the viewers attention on the space and the architecture. Traditionalists love it because, like brides, it symbolizes a new beginning, a fresh start.

White reflects all light, so it makes spaces appear larger, the room brighter, the conversation livelier.

White goes well with all colors. This is true because, as Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated, white is a collection of all the colors of the rainbow. Now if you wanting a little color in your life, add a red pillow, a green plant, a blue dish, tan for an earthy feel, gold for beauty’s sake, or anything to create contrast. Black thrown into a white room will create a dazzling effect, and gray a somber reflection on the vicissitude of life.

Have fun designing with white.

The Beach Home

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“If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.” Epicurus

Beaches serve as a buffer zone between the rush of the waves and the winds against the sandy shore and the succession of dunes, cliffs, and grasslands. The beach itself is finely-grained sand, gently sloping, and quite flat. And the sand is made of of finely grained quartz and the tiny weathered mollusk shells and skeletons of a thousand animals of the sea. The swash of the waves, the push of the tides, constantly tug and pull at the seashore, creating a living space well adapted to this dynamic eco-system.

The home with its living room, dining room, and bedroom is also a buffer between the hectic pace of the outside world and the peace we seek at home. The home should be harmonious with our feelings and wishes. It should set the mood, allowing us to weather the storms that from time to time come our way.

For a limited time, save 45% off msrp on all Sherrill Furniture at Traditions Home and Traditions Furniture.

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Re-opening Soon

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In the winter everything that happens in and around Glacier National Park happens in Flathead Valley on the western edge of the three mountain ranges  – Lewis, Clark, and Livingston, that make up the Rocky Mountains within the park. The towns, the roads, the rivers, and the railroads all funnel down the broad valley that was cut eons of years ago by the Flathead River. And in the center of the valley is Flathead Lake, large enough to look like an ocean on a cloudy day, and calm and serene on a sunny day.

The mountains provide some protection from the winter storms, and so the people in the valley go about their lives. Still, sometimes in early September, the park, and the mountain ranges, and the roads, and the cabins, and even the valley below can get hammered with four feet of snow that catches everyone by surprise, though it shouldn’t.

By December, there is three times that amount in the mountains.But it is the summer that brings the locals and the tourists to the park. Long lines of cars snake along the single road entering the park and heading up into the pristine mountains that are covered in green trees, except when they are not. Then one sees the granite that forms the mountain ranges like spikes on a Stegosaurus, rough and scaly.
Despite the long lines, the interminable wait it is worth it. For the mountains are large enough to contain the tens of thousands of visitors who come. And one can find a spot away from the crowds where only Nature exists. That is why they come.

To Get Stressless.

Glacier National Park is closed due to the Corona-virus, but plans are to open it in stages as soon as it can be determined that it is safe to do so. In the meantime we bring you this glimpse of what you will see when you go.

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Routine

Routine

1. noun: routine, a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

2. adjective: routine, customary.

Following a fixed daily routine of exercise, good food, and restful sleep made Benjamin Franklin healthy, wealthy and wise.

This Stressless Promotion is Extraordinary

1. Extraordinary, adjective: extraordinary, amazing, anything but routine.

This Stressless Promotion is extraordinary. 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.

Experience the extraordinary comfort of Stressless.

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Thinking in Pictures

Walking the Dog

At the park I met a fellow dog walker and we struck up a conversation, naturally, about dogs. Mine is a mutt, but Blue Healer if one has to choose because of the one blue eye, the gray coat and the herding instinct she displays when she runs. My fellow dog walker mentioned Temple Grandin, animal activist, behaviorist, empathist, writer, thinker, autism spokesperson. She from Colorado State University, the subject of the movie Thinking in Pictures.

None of which I was familiar with then, but now, thankfully, I am.

And if you don’t know what an “empathist” is then “you should care” to find out.

Thinking in Pictures

You are wondering, I suppose, what has this to do with Traditions Home. I could describe Gat Creek Furniture as made in Berkley Springs, West Virginia, made of native American wood, locally sourced, solid ash, cherry, maple, and walnut in a variety of hand-rubbed finishes. Made by American craftsmen and women, using time-honored techniques.

Or, I could just show you in pictures as I did above.

Swanson