Good Manners Never Go Out of Style

The world lost a very special person today - Elizabeth Taylor. She always handled herself with grace and dignity, and was a wonderful role model for all of us who were fortunate enough to grow up watching her on the silver screen. As a board member of the USA Film Festival, I've learned never to form an opinion about someone until I meet them in person, and sadly Ms. Taylor is one that I would have given anything to meet but it wasn't meant to be.
Denise Vivaldo - who is one of my favorite writers as well as being my role model in the styling world just posted a story in the Huffington Post about her encounter with Ms. Taylor. It makes me love Denise and Ms. Taylor even more. The title of the story is Elizabeth Taylor: Good Manners Never Go Out of Style and I couldn't agree more.
This weekend I was working with photographer Lisa Stewart LifeStyling Savor Dallas- a special food and wine event that I enjoy attending every year. To make the shots Lifestylist® Designed, I take my own glasses, plates, and styling utensils and try to get at least 50 great food and wine shots in about a 2 hour time frame - and did I mention we do this while the event is going on and we have to work around 2,000 -3,000 attendees? It's quite a juggling act. What struck me the most about this year's event was the lack of courtesy shown to the chefs and wine makers by the attendees. The whole point of an event like this is to educate people about your food and your wines, and hopefully they will come to your restaurant or buy your wines after the event is over. You would have thought some of these people were trying to win a million dollars by snagging the most to eat and drink -we were literally getting pushed and stepped on when we were trying to set up our shots, and people were taking the food that I styled right off of the plate (my plate) before we got get it photographed. The wine makers didn't have a chance to tell about their wines, because someone else was already putting out their empty glass to be filled.
Good manners never go out of style, and I'm actually appreciating the manners that my parents drilled into me at an early age. I never want to be the one pushing for a glass of wine or a dime sized piece of cheese - I want to remain a Lifestylist® and savor every moment and experience that I get to indulge in. Thanks Denise for this wonderful memory I will now have of Ms. Taylor and the reminder to live our lives with the dignity that others have shown us.

Lifestylist® Designed for Cavco of Texas

I love the area near New Braunfels and Boerne - great countryside and the best BBQ!
Cavco Home Center in New Braunfels is a great place to start your search - we have done some Lifestylist® Designed homes for them and were amazed with their quality and customer service. They have a great selection of homes that would be ideal as your main or vacation home.
To see a video of some of the homes we LifeStyled for them, check out our Lifestylist Channel on You Tube, and to get more information on what homes are currently available, give the home center a call at: (830) 608-0208. Tell them The Lifestylist® sent you!

Decorating vs Merchandising Your Model Homes

I always like to say where there is a will there is a way, and even with the recent tightening of budgets, there is just no substitution for a well merchandised model. The difference now though is we have to get creative like we never have before, and discover ways to make our models outshine the competition while spending less.
As a Lifestylist®, I look for ways to highlight the community their new home will be built in, and show what makes the lifestyle they will experience there so special. An example is a home that we merchandised with @home Builders in Rochester, NY as a Homearama house.
The home was only going to be open for a short amount of time so we had to spend our merchandising dollars wisely. We teamed up with The Ronald McDonald House in Rochester and took advantage of their Household and Antique Sale. I dug through donations for the sale and was able to furnish the entire home using donated items, then the builder hosted an online auction where everything was sold and all proceeds were donated back to the charity. This was a lot of work, but we did a lot of good and potential buyers were able to see how beautiful their new home could be even when they were decorating with thrift shop items. A video of the home can be seen on TheLifestylist YouTube Channel.
Consumers no longer want to be sold, they want to be educated then make their own decisions. If we use our model homes as a way to educate them on what our homes can offer to them we can attract this new era buyer.