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.

Upcycling and Recycling for a DIY Lifestyle

As we roll into February, it is might be a good time to renew your home with new décor and furnishings. Our recent #decortrends chat participants shared ideas of how to effectively upcycle, recycle, and retrofit your home.

Upcycling and recycling can be functional, cost effective, and as simple or complex as you desire. “I think adding a fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference to most anything,” remarked @jorgensonlocker who also added, “…if you’re going to upcycle or repurpose an older piece, it needs to be functional & fit in easily with your décor.”

While the inside of your home is often the focal point of a remodel or refresh, your home’s exterior can also create a prominent ambiance change. @adventureglass shared “Our Landscaping genius is hooking us up with planting boxes that are OUTRAGEOUS.”

Outdoor inspiration abounds on website’s such as @houzz. When turning to ideas on home improvement and repair, find the right mix of inspiration and retrofitting ideas. Small fixes and paying attention to details can make all the difference. “Little things can be BIG in visual size, like rearranging furniture, adding a bold rug, changing light bulbs…” remarked @MyFixitUpLife.

More creative ideas can be found online and offline. Pinterest and Instagram are naturals for easy-to-find upcycle and recycle inspiration. Bringing those ideas to life, DIYers can peruse thrift stores, garage sales, and consignment stores for just the right piece to be transformed.

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.

Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Santa Christmas List

365 days a year, Santa and his elves are busily preparing for Santa’s big night in the sky.

At his North Pole workshop, Santa is creating his list, penciling in names, and assigning Elf projects. We’re taking a page right out of Santa’s Nice List with our choices for this year’s gift guide. Who’s on your list?

The Fixer

[fik-ser] noun

  1. A person or thing that fixes
MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

Everyone knows one, or may even have a person like this in the household, who is constantly tinkering and fixing things around the house. For them, the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep® is the perfect gift.

This all-in-one wall scanner finds studs, metal, and live electricity making it the ideal tool for your active DIYer. ACT™ Auto Correcting Technology automatically recalibrates to correct common errors automatically and the ultra-bright display screen makes for easy viewing in dark environments.

The Designer

[dih-zahy-ner] noun

     1.  A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates froms, structure, and patterns

ss_e50_product-400x1000

StudSensor™ e50

There’s always a creator or visionary in every family – the person who thinks that two non-congruent shapes go together or your sister who first insisted on taking down the wallpaper (or putting it up), or maybe the cousin who is regularly redesigning a space that already seemingly looks perfect. For the next new wall hanging, fanciful artwork, or framed picture that adorns the walls, your Designer would benefit from having the Zircon StudSensor™ e50 stud finder.

The e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs behind walls, floors, and ceilings while also alerting the presence of live electricity. It’s a definite must-have around the house for projects, big and small.

The Weekend Warrior

[week-end wawr-ee-er] noun

      1. Any person who vigorously pursues activities outside of the work week, in a work-like and intensive manner

ExitPoint™ XL300

ExitPoint™ XL300

Have someone on your list who spends countless hours on various house projects and is a bonafide home improvement expert? If you’re looking for a gift that is both unique and useful, your recipient will love to unwrap the all new ExitPoint™ XL300.

A novel tool that can be used two ways: As a through-hole drill guide to locate exit points, or as an external stud finder when used in conjunction with a normal stud finder. Just place a transmitter magnet on your target point and scan with the receiver on the other side of the wall. The XL300 scans through most types of non-magnetic materials, such as wood, drywall, brick, and concrete up, to 11.81 in. thick. It’s perfect for running television cables and security wiring through walls for that clean, seamless look.

Make it easier for the elves in your household with these handy home improvement tools. Got another Zircon favorite that you hope makes its way into your Christmas stocking this year? Share the cheer with us. 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. 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.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com

Living in a Small Space, Part IV

3 Inexpensive Tips to Maximize Tight Spaces

Fall is an excellent time to think about reorganizing and making the most out of your space. With college students settling into their dorm rooms and the current downsizing trend, how can you organize your limited space to be as functional as possible? In what way can a smaller space also reflect your individual personality? The enlightening part about the small space movement is the opportunity for new innovations to propel college students and others to think about repurposing, reusing, or limiting their space usage without sacrificing a proper place to work, study, relax, and entertain.

One such example is the cube that dates back to the 1950s. This versatile piece functions as both a storage unit as well as a seat. The cube continues its reinvention and has even spawned an entire cube industry that blends functionality with whimsical creativity.

Today, cubular storage and furniture solutions are available in abundant materials, sizes, colors and modular configurations, with or without fabric drawers, baskets, or doors.  Students can select a mobile or stationary design, attach their cube to floors or/walls as well as use cubes in a closet or living spaces.

Please note these helpful hints:

1) Jorgenson Lockers has a few different storage options, such as The Modular Box LockerJorgensen Locker M-Cube that is just one of their locker alternatives for dorm residents who may not want to share absolutely everything with their roommate or the rest of the dorm. The lockers are modular and multiple units can be attached. Available in 21 colors, the M-Cube is an ideal choice for storing valuables, as it comfortably fits most laptops. Box Shelf Lockers

2) With small living space, it’s important to utilize every inch of space and hooks are “bite-sized” staples that amplify decorating options while adding functionality. Why use valuable drawer space if you have a nook or cranny that could accommodate a column of functional buckets? Don’t forget that the back of a door is also prime real estate in a small space living arrangement. Hooks can help you add style or functionality to your personal space.

MultiScanner i520

MultiScanner i520

3) When affixing any heavy object to the wall, ensure that you securely anchor it to a stud. The Zircon MultiScanner® i520 will do the trick for you simply and easily. It locates the edges and center of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings – get back to the job of decorating before you know it.

By using a cube or hook, any dorm room or limited space can be enhanced and reflect the individual’s personal flair.

For other insightful DIY tips, please visit Tom Siebenthal’s popular blog series, including his latest, Our One-of-a-Kind Mouse Trap Grows Each Day, follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Twitter Chat Generic

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. 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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_crate

http://www.schoollockers.com/modular-box-locker.html

jorgensonlocker.com

 

The Shapes of Social Media

Social media is shaping business communication. A brand’s influence expands and contracts to the shapes of social media and a flow of new content provides companies with new ways to engage and share their brand with fans. Marketers can be, however, challenged to write content. By using the shapes of social media as your content template, you can more readily create new posts and articles.

Square

You’re at square one with a seemingly lack of content ideas. Know this: The ideas are there. Do you have a new product, service, or program to talk about? Perhaps you are challenged by an issue or would like to brainstorm? Go ahead and ask questions, write answers, query your readers, write how-to’s, provide tips, and lend ideas. Use your keyboard to talk to your readers. Let your imagination take you from Square One to a new dimension. Social media content providers also can help you with the idea generation. Hootsuite, for example, has content suggestions which are handy when you’re challenged to get started.

Inverted Triangle
Invert TriMore readily draw in new readers by using the inverted triangle approach. Start with a macro view and then continue to provide interest to your readers with specific details, ending with your product or service.

Hexagon

Want help from social media influencers?  Consider cross-promoting your blog with other bloggers. Guest blogging on someone else’s site, with a link back to your own, will open up a whole new audience to your products and services. Another cross-promotion strategy is to, within your own blog, reference and link back to articles of other bloggers.

You can also form an alliance with other bloggers, thereby multiplying the comments and shares of content to each other’s content. For examples, please take a look at these popular and successful blog sites for do-it-yourself tips and techniques: Range Hoods, Inc, Saw Dust Girl, and My Fix It Up Life.

Another simple to implement hexagonal idea is to blog roll – provide a list of links on your blog sidebar to the blogs that you like and also ask other bloggers to do the same for you. Bloggers are truly a community, so consider promoting your blog via these popular places: WordPress, Medium, StackStreet, Triberr, and LinkedIn Groups.

Circle

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to create content, but it’s important to keep that wheel turning and the momentum going.  Repurpose your blog post and publish it to all your social media channels with catchy headlines and photos tailored for each platform. If you’ve got more than one blog, use reciprocal links with images, linking one blog to another and vice versa. Write posts for multiple platforms – one idea goes a long way. Your content was meant to be enjoyed and shared. Start posting and you’ll soon see a reciprocal effect. Zircon has four popular blog sites, Zircon’s Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, Zircon’s Marketing Toolbox, and Zircon Japan.

One or more of the social media shapes can help guide your content. Do you have a (different) shape that works best for you? We would love to hear from you. Join us every 1st and third Thursday, 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat, visit us at www.zircon.com, or like us on Facebook.

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

Your Recipe to Blog Success

The holiday season is upon us. And I don’t know about you, but even with Thanksgiving over, I’m still hungry. Hungry for cookies, treats, pies, and… great content. Yes, you read right – great content.

Yet, this hunger is year-round. And blogs are just what my appetite has in mind.

Blogs are everywhere, but not all are appealing. What makes a great blog… great? Well, as with all things, there are vital elements one needs to consider and, just like any culinary dish, having a great recipe to start from is key.

So where does one begin? How does one effectively create the main content course? Is there a ‘secret sauce’ to this marketing mix?

Blogging is one way to engage your audience, especially if you utilize some of these tasty ingredients (quick hints) from these successful bloggers.

Fill Your Heart and Mind

Heartwarming, informal stories can create lasting blogosphere fans. Anticipate what your audience wants to read about, much like you would tailor your dinner party to the guests you are hosting. Then, tie the message you want to convey via an easy-to-follow story as if the reader were right there with you. Zircon in the Real World readers are entertained while also receiving how-to tips through an informative, yet light-hearted blog series. Learning while also having fun? It can’t get any more engaging than that!

shutterstock_135988217What’s in a Name?

You’ve probably heard (and used) the saying, “Never judge a book by its cover,” but does that also hold true with blog titles? Titles should be captivating, relevant to the blog content, and compelling. Titles should give a quick glimpse into what the blog will be about in the two seconds it takes for a person to read it because let’s face it… we’re all short on time and nobody wants to invest time in something, only to feel misled and cheated because it was exactly not what he/she was looking for.

Preparation and Cooking Time

More modern culinary recipes note the time it will take to prepare the dish – even breaking it down to prep and cook time. And like we said before about time… it’s a luxury not all of us has. So while prep/research time for a blog can be unlimited, the actual cook/read time for a blog should follow a basic rule of thumb. If it’s not necessary to the reader, don’t include it. Less is definitely more!

Presentation – Tantalize with Key Product Attributes

A dish may taste good, but you also want it to look good! Never underestimate formatting. Make it easy to read and follow. Some prime examples are Amy Wax’s Color911 blog which focuses on color accenting, painting, and beautifying the home while seamlessly tying in the color911 mobile app. Zircon’s Pro Expert blog also shares in-depth ways to use Zircon’s stud finders in an easy-to-understand, step-by-step fashion.

Don’t Forget the Dressing – Photos of the Finished Product

Entice avid readers by including images, videos, and graphics that add interest, depth, and something to aspire to. Combining ‘before’ and ‘after’ photography and works-in-progress are some of the hallmarks of success for Riggins Construction’s blog. Likewise, Avente Tile’s blog effectively includes photos that produce a more impactful blog series while Home and Stone’s content informs and engages its audience with stylish imagery and functionality.

Variations

And as with any recipe, don’t be afraid to have fun with it and substitute ingredients to make a traditional blog your own. Giving your blog a slightly different taste of the same recipe will surely make your blog stand out from the crowd.

For hands on tips, please join our “Gifts” #diytrends Twitter Chat on Thurs, 12/18 at 11 am PST. Get insights on this gift giving season.

Please also check out these blogs from some of our #diytrends professionals:

@aecdaily@organized82@usspecproducts@kitchens4living@rangehoodsinc@pstldesigns,

@kitchen_sync@artofpowr@pegasuslighting@tradewindsimp@ronfeir@homeadvisor@improvecenter

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.  Sharon image

Living Large in a Small Space

Everyone wants to make the most of their personal space, whether it is their bedroom, man-cave, or office cubicle. As temporary or permanent as your location might be, the beauty is that you can easily change the space to reflect who you really are – from a splash of color to reorganization of furniture or the swapping of pictures on your walls. Your choices are endless.

Throughout college campuses across America, students have nestled into heir dorm rooms and are customizing their study, social and meeting enclaves. Dorm room accessories, along with text books, transportation, clothing, and general school supply purchases are on the rise, according to college marketing survey Fluent.

Here are some simple and cost effective ways to redesign your dorm room or small living space to be more “You”:

vanity-makeoverUse color. You may not be able to paint your new walls because of the transitory nature of your dorm space, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have color. Bring out your style through a colorful collection of bedding, blankets and linens, or adorn your floor with a woven throw rug that adds warmth and coziness. Or step into the unknown and repurpose your furniture with simple coats of paint as Brittany Bailey of PrettyHandyGirl.com did with her vanity nightstand.

Add seating. Dorm rooms are notorious for minimal space options, so create new seating by adding pillows, bean bag chairs, poufs, chairs or ottomans for your guests.

Adorn with Wall Décor. Use the hot new décor option, removable wallpaper, in the style and color palette that you like, post a simple cork board to pin your favorite photos or momentos, or choose decals, wall hangings, pictures, or other wall art.

Get Organized. Several storage choices are ideal for small living spaces – from storage boxes to over-the-door shoe organizers, garment bags, shower caddies, shelves, and more. These organizers are not only functional, but the latest trend. Just make sure to securely hang heavy items to the wall by using a Zircon® StudSensorTM e50 stud finder that quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs.

There are plenty of ways to personalize your living space, no matter how small, and while staying on a tight budget. Adding color, seating, wall décor, and getting organized are just a few sure-fire ways you can inject your personality and style into your new living space, time and time again.

For additional insights, please view our blog, “When a Wall is Not a Wall“.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

For more info, follow us on Facebook or tweet us @zircontools.

Green is the New Black

Heard of the saying that good space is at a premium? Whether you’re looking for a tiny loft in NYC or squeezing into a tight airline seat, everyone is economizing on space to properly “fit” in. Due to escalating fuel costs, environmental considerations, and an increased population, the shift toward doing more with less continues in almost every economic sector. For new home builders, they’re designing multi-functional living spaces while airlines tighten seats in economy class. Consumer goods manufacturers, too, battle the package sizing war. With less packaging real estate, companies have less space to tell the product message.

Packaging houses, protects and promotes the product.

Packaging houses, protects and promotes the product.

Retail shelving space is at a premium, and manufacturers, such as Zircon, look for ways to effectively promote the product’s features and benefits, yet economize on packaging. By reducing the size of clamshell and blister carded materials used for its products, Zircon reduces the amount of discarded packaging that ends up in landfills and optimizes retail space for other Zircon tools.

As products become more compact, yet feature-rich, less materials and resources are endured to produce the product. Zircon tools are designed to be nimble enough for everyday use, yet rugged for the toughest industrial applications. Through consumer feedback and robust environmental testing, each new tool is ergonomically designed and enhanced for superior functionally while also reducing unneeded materials.

Packaging evolution!  Zircon's original StudSensor, circa 1980 vs. the new StudSensor Edge, 2014.

Packaging evolution! Zircon’s original StudSensor, circa 1980 vs. the new StudSensor Edge, 2014.

The packaging reduction aids the environment. Less plastic materials produced mean a decrease in carbon emissions. Companies and individuals alike benefit from reducing emissions and producing a more eco-friendly world. We all can, and should, make a difference.