Spring Trends Recap and Look Forward

Our latest #decortrends chat focused on spring trends – a recap of what is working and a look ahead to what popular home and décor projects are on the horizon.

Image credit: @ncontours

The chat highlighted the popularity of metallic designs, grey and green as rising neutrals, and the need for effective use of smallish spaces.

A mixture of metals and contrasting designs were noted during the chat. @best_flooring shared, “You can’t go wrong with metals, stones, and woods. They are great to contrast texture with other decor in a home.” Added @MrsAJRogers, “What about the new #decortrends of #marbled #wallpaper, #copper and #wood #tile – to name a few!”

Regarding color choices, grey was noted as a new neutral. Greys that are lighter in color exude a warm,  friendly, home environment. “I think you’re right on with greys that have a little more warmth to them!” mentioned @ncontours. According to @jorgensonlocker, “Depends on the shade…lighter colors would prob(ably) work better as a neutral. Bolder colors work better as pops of color.”

Also, green not only stands out, but depending on the shade, it can also be a neutral, too.  As our co-host @tonisabstyle stated, “I love it as a backdrop.” The trend toward natural elements further propels green’s popularity.  As @ncontours shared, “(We see green) more so in living plants, which are everywhere! Maybe spring/ summer will bring more green to décor.”

The challenges designing within a small space vs. large space were also discussed. “Sometimes (it is) more challenging to succeed in designing a small space than a large– making every part & piece count,” mentioned @best_flooring. Adding to this remark, dual duty spaces are especially functional in tight spaces. For more living large in a small space ideas, make sure to visit this blog.

The group discussed former popular ideas from the 70s and how what is old is new again. @jorgensonlocker said, “Trends are seen to be cyclical, so everyone will move on eventually.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

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Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Putting the Living into the Living Room

Décor transitions occur throughout the home. Within the living room, our #decortrends chat participants shared impactful ideas on how to create a warm, inviting, and personal vibe. Our co-host @dreamwallsglass provided insightful questions that drew not only thought provoking ideas, but tangible projects that designers, decorators, and DIYers can immediately benefit from.

Image: @windowworksCA

For the latest living room trends on doors and windows, @dreamwallsglass commented, “For instance, we’ve started seeing pocket doors bump out barn doors as (a) hottest trend. Frees up walls.” Also, multiple windows, bay windows, and larger windows can make quite an impression.  As window expert @WindowWorksCA mentioned, “We’re seeing window film being used in place of curtains in living rooms and other spaces.” @sweetloretta added, “Skylights and embedded fixtures can highlight the windows.”

Image: @dreamwallsglass

Mirrors can also add enhanced space, lighting, and brightness to the living room. As shared by @dreamwallsglass, interior glass can section off spaces. Additionally, a mirror screen can shift the way the room appears, instantly changing the vantage point and providing a new décor backdrop.

A challenge for décor experts is to design the living room to convey warmth and personality. With the chat participants’ guidance, however, adding a homey and comfortable environment does not need to be difficult. “Family pictures add a homey touch,” shared @jorgensonlocker who also added, “A beautiful fireplace and mantel is a nice focal point.”

Image: DODByBrownWood

Continuing on the trend of fireplaces, @DODByBrownWood conveyed, “I love floor to ceiling marble fireplaces. It catches my eye everytime!”

A pop of color in the living room can provide another interesting point of distinction and create as informal or formal a feeling as needed. Although neutrals are often desired, bolder colors are in demand, too. Shared @Best_Flooring, “We hear bold colors are gaining popularity. Bold curtain and shade colors can make a great focal point.” @Dreamwallsglass also stated  blues are gaining in popularity. “Definitely seeing more blues. It can go casual, playful or dressy. Pops of brights to cheer up everything!” While solid colors often pair nicely with other solids or patterns, too, sometimes contrasting colors go hand in hand in the living room. According to @PurePlumbingLV even darker colors are in style. “I am actually seeing more people try some darker tones!”

The living room, whether used for formal occasions or as an overflow play or work area can be dressed up (or down) as much as one’s personality desires.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Transitions that Bring New Life to Your Home

During our recent #decortrends chat, our participants shared transitional décor elements to complement the home, spring new life, and tie-in with the modern family.

Image credit: @DODByBrownWood

A popular décor trend is the transition from the outside to the inside. As our co-host @ncontours highlighted, “this open living and dining space is our DREAM!”  @JorgensonLocker added, “Color schemes can really bring a coastal vibe. Light blues, tans, whites, etc.” Another way to promote a sunny disposition can be promoted by enlarging the window size. “Large windows and a good view always help! If not, ocean blue tiles,” shared @DodbyBrownWood. @RaHomes added to the exterior to interior trend when they said, “Homeowners love to let the outdoors in.”

Image credit: @rahomes

Dark grey with a matte finish and white colors with a monochromatic color scheme were cited as interesting contrasting color combinations. A mix of materials also adds an extra layer of design to a room.  Added @greg_bbcleaning, “I definitely love bright colors, white accents, and a variety of textures like stones!” And @bestflooring mentioned, “Grey or blond hardwood (or vinyl) will definitely fit the coastal vibe.

Further, participants chatted about seamless ways to incorporate technology into the home without having a tech life style take over completely. Ideas included dedicating a specific non-tech room and  limiting tech usage within the home. @jorgensonlocker stated, “Keep some areas of your home tech-free (i.e. no TVs in bedrooms). Or designate certain times of day when you all unplug.” Also, @ncontours provided a link to an article on the topic. “Disconnect to connect” — Eat a family meal– no tech allowed!

As our population ages, providing a home that works with multiple age groups is also an important home need. “When possible, it is nice to design with universal design principals from the beginning,” mentioned @DodByBrownWood. Safety is a paramount issue with the aging population and having adequate safety features built-in or added can provide peace of mind. “If your lighting is good and you’ve accounted for stairs and level changes properly, it (aging in the home) can work.” Shared @sweetloretta.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Living Large in a Small Space Part 2

Whether you’ve just settled into your first studio apartment, are downsizing from a larger home, or just want to make the best use of tight quarters, living large in a small space can be a paramount goal.

Maximize your home’s functionality and enlarge your living space with these simple tips.

MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

  • Less is more. When shopping for your new paradise, look for versatile and smaller sized furniture, and give thought to dual purpose pieces that can hide clutter within tables or in seating with built-in storage. Coffee tables offer diverse options, from built-in ottomans and/or stools to ones with a lift top that can double as a desk or become a pseudo dining room table. A novel idea featured on DIY Network is to turn wagons into mobile seating.
  • Ingenuity reigns.Take old suitcases and transform them into an end table or how about using lockers within a kids’ room? Embellish your walls with artwork, decorative display shelves, a wall mounted flat screen TV, or a framed mirror that will not only add more light, but will make the entire space look bigger. For larger objects, safely anchor them into a wall stud or ceiling joist by using a Zircon® stud finder, such as the MultiScanner® i520.
  • Organize with book shelves, cubicle units, or ladders that can accommodate fabric or straw storage drawers. Built-in storage, drawers or baskets provide ideal ways to help organize a smaller living space. Create art from your momentos with the use of decorative boxes and baskets.
  • Be colorful. The lack of a far/near perspective in a small space is a disruption to positive energy. To achieve a balancing effect, paint, stencil and wallpaper with your favorite colors and designs. Paint the entry and back walls in an accent color, for example, to create a contrasting illusion. Consider track lighting as an ideal lighting option for small spaces.
  • Create mobility. With tight spaces, optimizing square footage is vital. A foldable screen, for example, can provide flexibility to your living space. One moment, a room can be a separate dining area and the next, it can be transitioned into a guest space. Make the screen your own by staining, painting, and/or upholstering the fabric to complement your décor. With creativity, space saving ideas can be a conversation starter and be functional as well.

For additional ideas, visit our Living Large in a Small Space Part I blog, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com. Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 10/1 and 10/16.

Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other. Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

References:

DIY Network

hgtv.com

jorgensonlockers.com

How to Host A Successful Twitter Chat

Hosting a Twitter Chat is an excellent way to build avid followers, elevate your social media engagement, and position you and your company as an expert in your field. Once you have set up your Twitter profile, established a following, and are actively tweeting, retweeting, and replying with relevant content within the Twittersphere, take your Twitter account to the next level by hosting a Twitter Chat.

Social Media icon image

Ten Steps to Twitter Chat Success

  • Participate. Before you host your own chat, participate in others. Take a backseat approach, familiarize yourself with the structure and see how others are doing it in your industry. To find relevant chats, comb through your news feed or search via relevant keyword hashtags and keep a log of what chats are occurring and when. Jump in. Examine how the Twitter chat works by paying special attention to how chat participants respond to each other and how the host engages with the attendees. You may also wet your feet by co-hosting, sponsoring, or being a featured guest on another party’s Twitter chat.
  • Theme. Determine your objective. Your Twitter chat theme sets the stage on how you want to be positioned in the industry and helps you identify the key components to a successful chat. Who is your target market? What days and times are most optimal to your attendees? What topics would they like to discuss versus what you want to focus on? Make sure the theme is enticing to the audience you want to attract.
  • Hashtag. Develop a concise hashtag that resonates with your audience, conveys your overall chat theme, and, ideally, is not already in use. Research existing Twitter chats to determine the optimal hashtag. Then BRAND it as your own. This hashtag reinforces your brand and can minimize the instances of Twitter chat crashers who may inadvertently attend your chat thinking it’s another.
  • Save the Date. Based on your ideal attendees, determine how often you’ll host your chat, and whether a specific date and time of day works best. Will it be weekly or bi-monthly? Will each chat be 30 minutes or 60 minutes? Does it coincide with other popular chats? Once a date and time has been determined, schedule your chats with consistency to better establish a loyal Twitter chat following. Other questions to ask are: What will be your format? Will you be the sole host or will you have co-hosts or guest hosts?
  • Schedule. With your overall theme in mind, create and schedule topics for each session to create an overall calendar. This will better enable you to flag and piggyback off key industry events, holidays, and company news. Draw from past, present, and future experiences and trends. If you’re tackling a challenging subject, consider whether it could make for a good Twitter chat topic. Chat audiences often are grappling with similar issues and your chat could provide an opportune time for both parties to brainstorm and find new solutions. Schedule your topics with your internal team.
  • Promote. Promote, promote, promote! As great as your topics are, people cannot attend your chat if they do not know about it. Promote your chat via all channels: Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks, email, company website, blogs, and more. On Twitter, create a Twitter chat “preview” by teasing your audience with the subject theme. In addition, develop a list of top industry experts and invite them via a direct message (DM) or “@” reply. Encourage retweets of your chat invitation. To boost your promotion, create a Twitter chat invitation image that provides an overall branding for your chat with more visual appeal.
  • Plan. Once your overall schedule has been defined, it’s time to delve into the details. For each topic, draft eight to ten questions that will engage the audience. Create lively questions that illicit more than a yes/no response and can spark valuable discussions. Post your hashtag, chat image, and questions on Facebook for cross promotion.
  • Lead. Effectively host your chat by making sure that you and your audience use the #hashtag. Utilize a service, such as TweetChat, which automatically adds the hashtag and creates a running stream of the chat conversation. Keep attendees actively tweeting. Ask follow-up questions and comment positively. Reply, retweet, and favorite their tweets. Pay close attention to newcomers and those who are not tweeting as much as others. They may need a helping hand. Don’t let them sit on the Twitter chat sideline. Like a grand party, the host makes everyone feel welcome.
  • Thank. Everyone knows the phrase “time is money.” Your participants are taking a chunk out of their day to chat with you and fellow chat participants. Make sure to recognize their time and contributions. Invite them to the next chat and tweet to them often! Consistency and two-way engagement are key in developing a loyal following.
  • Assess. Analyze your chat, attendees, strength of questions and answers. TweetBinder is a handy platform that encapsulates your Twitter Chat statistics. Identify areas for improvement. Tweak your next chat as needed. Repeat these steps for each new chat.

ZirconTools hosts its own #diytrends chat every other Thursday. Catch our upcoming one on Thursday, May 21 at 11 a.m. PST. You’re invited! Learn, share and engage with us!

Twitter Chat 03-05-15

What do you want to read or chat about next? Leave a comment below.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.Sharon image