Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New York Construction Company Delivers Excellence

If you have been following some of the news articles written in the past about Click and Improve, you may have stumbled upon cross references made of the parent company, New York Construction Company. If you live in New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester, Nassau (coming soon), or Suffolk, you're in luck to have a quality construction company at your finger tips. They are an A+ rated construction company with BBB, based in Whitestone and Glen Cove, NY specializing in various home remodeling services.
So, when you are debating on replacing a roof, changing your windows, upgrading your kitchen and bathroom or maybe it is time to convert that shabby basement to an extended living space, you're fortunate to have a trusted contractor like New York Construction Company to deliver the excellence you deserve. Co-Founders of Click and Improve, Avi Zikry, and Alex Ushyarov as seen in The Daily News carry out the same philosophy of delivery in first class service.

“Reliability, is what we bring to homeowners” said Zikry, 28."Our customers are assigned a service team to heed to their call, made up of license sales representatives, a project manager/foreman, and crew, access to our system so that they can review the status of their work and timeline, send internal notes, and direct contact with our customer service desk during business hours".

In an industry where customers are sometimes left in the dark, not knowing what the next steps are, having an issue, but not getting their calls returned, paying for a service that was delivered at half stance, New York Construction Company focuses on quality work and prides itself in open communication at all times. "Homeowners want a contractor they can trust" said Ushyarov, 28."It is so easy to do the right thing, and it blows my mind when I read about what other contractors do to homeowners. It is a shame, because the bad  experience hurts all of us."

There is truth to Ushyarov's statement. An article was written almost a year ago highlighting the following:

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) yesterday announced that during a two-month period in which more than 380 inspections were conducted, one in five home improvement contractors were caught operating without a license.  According to the DCA, 755 inspections have been conducted throughout the City in the last year with nearly 400 violations issued, 134 vehicles seized and more than 60 licenses revoked or suspended.  The majority of the nearly 600 complaints received by DCA about home improvement contractors in the past year involved contractors failing to follow through on the terms of their contracts with homeowners.  Home improvement contractors are consistently one of DCA's highest complaint categories. "I am sure this number has grown since then" said Zikry. "This is very alarming, but there are a number of us that have the customer's best interest at heart, and this is what will keep you in business."

New York Construction Company has just launched its re-designed website, indicative of a positive direction. They have also started to become a little more engaging on the social media front and can now be found on Twitter and on Facebook. So, if you are in need of any assistance, give them a call and see for yourself. I highly doubt you will be disappointed. They did create Click and Improve with a customer first approach and as the saying goes...it starts from the top.

Monday, April 29, 2013

LL Textiles

Things have been busy with our fabric line, Lauren Liess Textiles.  I've been working on some new designs and I've also added some new colorways to the existing line.  I got them in on Friday and I'm so excited so I had to share with you!!!

{Squid Flower in Wine and Fern Star in Sepia}

Bringing in these most recent colorways has really gotten the line where I want it to be.  These are the colorways I've been after...  earthy, inky and vintage-feeling.  The line is where I want it to be and I can really feel the collection taking on a life of its own.  I'm becoming more confident in what it is I want to put out there and the feeling I want the collection to have.  Although drawing is difficult for me, I've learned that I like how my drawings are ending up, and that somehow, as a medium, textiles are working for me.  I might not necessarily like a drawing of mine framed on a wall, but colored the way I want it colored and put into a repeat in a textile, I'm happy with how it turns out.

I love seeing the transformation of drawing into actual textile.  (It's kind of like getting your photo airbrushed!! ;)

{Buttercup, which I drew in the car on the way to visit my dad in Illinois last summer}

{A pillow in buttercup}

Some of my favorite parts about textile designs are figuring out how I want a design to connect to itself and repeat.  It's sort of like a brain teaser. Once you decide what you're drawing, you have to draw it so it fits together like a puzzle.

{Buttercup in Black}

I know in terms or what's "right" my technique (or lack of it) is totally elementary....  but I'm not after creating    examples of great textile "designs"...  I'm after creating a fabric or wall covering or whatever that I'll (and hopefully others too!) have an emotional reaction to.  Something that I love and want to incorporate into my home or others' homes.  To me, it's not about technique, it's just about the feeling the piece has when it's done.

I'm often drawn to blockprinted fabrics with no intertwining at all, like in Squid Flower, below:

or Fern Star:

Other times, I make each repeat itself obvious because part of the interesting thing about the pattern is the shape the repeats make meeting.

The new colorways are in and I'm working on a 15 foot long window seat in our upstairs loft to layer with pillows in lots of my prints.  Wild Chicory will definitely be on there because it was my first design (and my logo!)...

I'm in the process of putting together memo books to show to select to-the-trade showrooms in hopes that they will decide to carry our full collection.  It's a time-consuming process and it's a little nerve-wracking.  I'm so crazy about the collection but am not a sales person at all so it's not coming easy to me.  I made a call a couple of weeks ago to an amazing showroom in LA and before even asking my name or looking up my patterns or website or anything, I got the "there's no room at the Inn" (showroom) door politely shut in my face.  :/   haha  ouch  

It's totally to be expected though, and I'm sure I'll get a lot more of those before I find the right fits.  I've learned that you can't just call a company up like that too...  So I might be travelling a bit to get everything off the ground properly.  But I'm excited about this new venture!!  The fabrics are so personal to me and I love working on this part of the business.  

Keep your fingers crossed for me - I need all the help I can get!!

I'm working on some new designs week and will share as soon as they're ready.  Also, some of you have asked how you can view the entire collection of order memos.  You can view it at www.purestylehome.co and just click on "LL Textiles."  I haven't updated the site with some of the newest patterns and colorways yet and am working on it so as soon as they're all up, I'll let you know!!  If you' have an account with us (or want to set one up) and need some of the new colorways or patterns before they're up, just contact meghan@thepurestyle.com

Have a great day!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring in the Front Yard and a Ramsign Giveaway!

A few weeks ago I removed a boxwood hedge that was blocking off an area by our front door.  Although they were healthy, they had gotten way too big and it was time for them to go!

Luckily, I have a friend who wanted them.  I was so glad.  They were huge and would be a nice addition to their yard.
So out with the old....

And in with new perennials and annuals.  And in with the Weeping Cherry (that was there all along) blooming like crazy!  :)
I am very excited to watch this area grow this summer. 
Now on to the Giveaway!

Ramsign has offered one of my readers one of their amazing enamel house number signs!  If you win, you'll get your choice of one of their five signs with 1-5 numbers on it.

You must be a follower of my blog to enter. If you don't have a blog, please put your email address in the comments so I can get in touch with you if you win.
You can get two entries.  Here's how:
**Visit Ramsign's Website and come back here and leave a comment as to which sign you would choose if you are the winner.
**For a second entry, LIKE Ramsign on Facebook and come back here and leave a second comment that you did.

That's it!  GOOD LUCK!

HeatherF1 is the winner of the Ramsign Giveaway. Congratulations!

I will be choosing the winner via Random Number Generator on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Thank you for your visit!
I am linking to the following parties:


DIY Show Off
Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Friday, April 26, 2013

No One Ever Says...

"I want my home to feel stale, cold and impersonal."

"I want people to feel unwelcome and like they can't sit down anywhere."

I think about ridiculous statements like these all of the time to make myself laugh, especially when I'm sharing a "Before & After" on my blog and I'm describing what my clients wanted for their homes or when I'm reading a magazine article that describes what the people wanted out of their home.  Of course, what people are attempting to create in a home is always thought of positive and they carefully analyze and describe how they want a home to feel.  Each adjective has real meaning and a connotation.  But a fun game I play in my head is to :

1) Say the opposite of what people want.
2) Say a less positive way or more direct way of what someone actually wants.
3)Reverse husband-wife statements

So, since it's Friday, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you.  So, whichever way you think of these statements (opposite statements or direct versions or husband-wife reversals) I hope you enjoy!!
Here goes:

No one ever says......

"I want my home to feel outdated and contrived."

{"I know the TV is too large for the room and my husband begged me to get a smaller one but I refused because the TV is the most important thing to me."}  image here

"Oh please!  Make my house feel like a brand new house in America that's trying to look like it's a house in Tuscany by putting pictures of Tuscany and rolling Italian fields all over it!!  Don't forget the Tuscan dish cloths and the dusty olive oil jars in the kitchen!!  Perhaps a large Tuscan scene in my kitchen backsplash above the range??"  (And I know this one so well because I once wanted this for myself.  hee hee)

"I want it to feel cheap and hodgepodged.  Like I got everything from a thrift store."  image here  (This is definitely one of my "direct" or nonpositive descriptions for sure!! haha)

"I want a gaudy and overstated home."   image here

"I've got it!  Let's add some completely inappropriate Corinthian columns to the inside of our house!!"

"I want to break the bank."

"I'd love my house to look like it was decorated in a day!"

"I want it to be matchy-matchy."

"Oh I know... even though that brick fireplace is hideous and is ruining my living room, it's just wrong to paint brick so we won't be doing anything about the elephant in the room.  But please, make the room beautiful. Thanks."

"I want to feel depressed when I come home.  I like things disorganized and I don't want a place for everything."

"Hello!! Can't you see I just I want what everybody else has??"  image here

"I'd like my living room to look just like a page from a catalog, or a decorator show house."

"I want it to look like we have money."

{"IT'S KILLING ME.  I'd love to paint the paneling white, but my wife simply won't allow it!"}image here

"I want my home to feel unnatural with no absolutely connection to the outdoors."

"I care more about the wood and floors and the moldings being shown off than how the room feels as a whole, so I'm willing to have you decorate the house improperly so I can just stare at those awesome elements all the time." Image literally from crownmoldingman.com

"I don't need my home to be practical or functional, as long as it's beautiful."

"I dislike natural wood.  Please paint it all."

"My husband thinks a chandelier in the dining room would be beautiful, but I can't bear to be without the ceiling fan in there." image here

"I despise extra storage."

"I want my home to feel really jarring and I don't want anything to flow."

"I have things in here that I absolutely hate but I'm going to build an entire home around these items."

"I want it to look like a museum and I want my friends and family to be afraid to touch anything." Image here

"I want my house to look like a college apartment." Image here

"I want the study to feel claustrophobic, cluttered and a bit manic." OR "I plan on redecorating the office and then continuing my hoarding behaviors from a clean slate." image here

"I want it to look like my Grandma decorated my house."{Image here}

"Please, make my home feel sterile and cold."

"I was going for 'formal' 'uptight' and 'bland' when I decorated my home."

"I love builder grade fixtures, especially anything with shiny builder brass."

"Accents walls are so chic."

"I hate color, and I want my home to reflect that."

"I'd rather not use an interesting mix of periods and styles.  I prefer it to look as if I simply bought everything at one time."

"I don't care if the sofa is comfortable, as long as it looks good."

"I really want new curtains but my wife is insisting we build a new deck instead." Image here

I could probably go on for hours...  this might be my new game to play on road trips.

How do you want your home to feel and how do you "say it?"  Does saying the negative version of that sentence make you laugh?? Or the direct version?   Can you reverse the things you & your partner say?  I'd love to hear some of yours!! Leave a comment if you've got a good one!!

Have a great weekend & I'll be busy "shopping for ridiculously quirky objects so that my home is sure to look meaningful and personal.  The things I find will really show the world that I love the earth and who I am deep down." ;) ;)

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Southern Magnolia For Me!!

I turned 31 today and this arrived from my husband and the boys:

{A Southern Magnolia Tree}

I LOVE Magnolias...

{A magnolia my husband picked for me in our old neighborhood}

I'm actually kind of weird with the blooms because I just put them in front of my face and smell and say "ahhhh" and "Oh my gosh this smells soooo good" for an awkwardly long period of time.  (You can read about my obsession with them here)  But I can't wait to have some of my own!!  Enjoy your day!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Four Common Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes

Make The Right Choices

As you take inventory of your dated medicine cabinet, unattractive shower doors or cracked tiles, it may be true that you are due for a change. Before making any decisions, be mindful on the bigger picture. In any home remodel, you have to be clear on the result that you are looking for. What objectives do you have? Determine your lifestyle routine before you choose any kind of layout and design. The reason why you should take this into consideration prior to making a decision is because your choices will determine the types of materials, fixtures and style you will need. Without being careful, this can be costly. Through your thought process, you will identify what works, and does not. (Marble flooring, whether big or small for example, is amazing but may not be ideal for a family with toddlers.)

Style vs Practical

Since the average bathroom renovation should last 12-15 years, you want a look and feel that will last with it. One regret you do not want to have is the feeling of dated vs new all over again because of the extreme choice you made in perhaps following the latest trend from one of your favorite magazines. Be aware of the must have trendy colors and shape in tiles or over-customization. Too unique, too different can go out faster than it was installed. Having a 40 inch built in flat screen TV in the bathroom may work for you, but may be an eye sore for the next owner. A triangular shaped clear glass basin may look great in an urban apartment, but may not be ideal for your small cape in the suburbs.

Not Hiring A Pro
Swear by DIY and thinking it is the most cost effective direction? Buyer beware! Bathroom renovations require expertise. Changing a p-trap can be easy, but running in-wall plumbing is not. Converting a dated tub to spa like “shower only” enclosure with frosted wall to wall glass doors can be a daunting task. Doing anything your self can cost you double if something goes wrong. Know your limits. Hire a licensed professional who is skilled in exactly what you want done, understands what you are looking to achieve, and is highly sensitive to your budget limitations. Don’t allow the big-box super retail outlets to be the end all in your purchasing power and guidance seeking. You do not always get the experience you are looking for in aisle 13. Do your homework.

Giving The Contractor The Keys To Car
The pros may be reliable, resourceful and easy to dump all the decision making on, but this is your house, your apartment. Just because, you are dealing with a licensed professional, it does not mean that you sign your deed off to him. Only you know what you like and what you can afford. Read the fine print. The homeowner knows their lifestyle, so it is very important to be involved in every aspect of any renovation. How you want to live, is just as important. Be sure the result is yours and at a cost only you are comfortable with. If you are advised to go with a certain brand name, ask why. Have to move your plumbing? Be comfortable with the responses enough that you can explain the “whys” to someone else with confidence. I am not dictating to micro manage a flow, just understand it.

Carpeting England

Carpeting England - An infographic by the team at Carpetright