What Makes a Home BoomerSmarts®?

From flooring to lighting, and all of the extra space in between, see what it takes to create a BoomerSmarts® home. Watch the video below to start your tour and to gain some great tips.

We hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with your loved ones. We will be back the last weekend of May with another new video in the “Healthy Homes” series.

In the meantime, please explore the rest of my website for more posts, or to sign up for my online CEU courses, and to stay up-to-date on what’s hot, what’s new and what’s BoomerSmarts®.

Living and loving life together,

Mitzi

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Hosting an Event: Design Tips and Tricks

Are you the hostess with the mostest? Learn how to incorporate color, texture and lighting into the design for any event you’re hosting–even if you’re starting with a neutral palette.

Watch part one of this new video from the “Healthy Homes” series and get tips for preparing to host an event in your home. Click the video below to start.

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Three Must-Haves for Every Kitchen

There are three must-haves for every kitchen. Can you spot them in yours? Watch the video below to see the latest in my “Healthy Homes” series to learn BoomerSmarts® tips for creating a kitchen for every age and every stage.

Next Sunday, remember to come back for a new “Healthy Homes” video, with tips on how to host a successful wedding shower in your home.

In the meantime, feel free to explore the rest of my website for other posts, to check out my online CEU courses and to stay up-to-date on what’s hot, what’s new, and what’s BoomerSmarts®.

Living and loving life together,

Mitzi

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Beautiful, Hand-Crafted Furniture from MacKenzie-Dow

How refreshing to discover an iconic, made in America, family-owned furniture company that brings us beautiful, hand-crafted furniture.

A very prominent selling point for today’s consumer is “what is the story?” Well, the story with MacKenzie-Dow is one that I find compelling and interesting.

Brighton Buffet

Brighton Buffet

Charleston Kitchen Island

Charleston Kitchen Island

Curious about some facts on who they are and what they stand for? Most of their pieces are made from wild black medium grade cherry found in Appalachia, which is sustainable to the point that they leave a negative footprint. Now that is what we all love to hear today. Of course you know that BoomerSmarts® is about healthy living, and this furniture gives no residual off-gases, as their finishing strictly adheres to our U.S. standard of compliance.

We don't remember days; we remember moments. Our furniture becomes a part of those moments.

“We don’t remember days; we remember moments. Our furniture becomes a part of those moments.”

What’s in a name?

One of the neat aspects of MacKenzie-Dow is that they assign each product a name. Some are more meaningful than others, but each name is carefully selected. Today, I want to introduce you to a piece very close to their hearts–the Eloise Table, named after Bonner’s daughter and Gary’s first grandchild, Eloise.

Eloise table

Eloise table

The construction on this piece is unique. It’s a tilt-top table with what they refer to as a parquet construction top. The top itself is composed of eleven different manufactured pieces. In fact, MacKenzie-Dow manufactures their own plywood to create the piece by planing pieces down to a quarter of an inch and gluing them cross grain to account for, and control, expansion and contraction of the table top.

 It’s all about family.

Four Pedestal Table

Four Pedestal Table

Generations of artisans and professionals are the core of the team at MacKenzie-Dow Fine Furniture. They extend the reaches of their family to include all of those that they do business with. When your team represents the MacKenzie-Dow brand, they feel immense pride that you and your team have the respect of their craft, their talents and their products, and therefore their family. Everyone in the company has the authority and responsibility to ensure that your team receives the support and tools that you need to be successful.

Nesting Cocktail Table

Nesting Cocktail Table

 A Family Trend

Being a bench-made company, it can be surprising to wander around the factory floor and see what products are currently trending for MacKenzie-Dow. At the moment, they’re building their Cocktail Table and companion Nesting Stools almost as quickly as they can produce the parts needed to create them.

Round cocktail table

Round cocktail table

First introduced in the Spring of 2009, this table and bench set has consistently received overwhelming positive reviews. Curious as to its sudden popularity, they spoke with one of their supporting retailers as to why this particular product has been a success for them. Their response was as follows:

“There are two things that I love about this piece. First, it’s a conversation starter with our customers. People are drawn to it because there isn’t anything else like it on our floor. That conversation allows our sales people to tell the MacKenzie-Dow story – American made, solid wood, built especially for them, etcetera. Explaining who MacKenzie-Dow is and the value of what you do is invaluable to selling your products. Secondly, families are drawn to this piece. Both kids and adults like sitting at the table. They can play games on it or watch TV in the family room – it’s a very functional piece of furniture. When we get opportunities to educate the customer about what you do and it’s a conversation centered around a piece of furniture that fits their lifestyle, we have a great chance of satisfying our customer and making a MacKenzie-Dow sale too.”

To wrap things up: I am always looking for BoomerSmarts® products and furniture for homes, so I couldn’t resist sharing this folding desk with you all. How cool!

BoomerSmarts piece that works in any space with a home office.

BoomerSmarts piece that works in any space with a home office.

BoomerSmarts piece that works in any space needing a home office.

BoomerSmarts piece that works in any space needing a home office.

For more information on MacKenzie-Dow, visit their website at http://mackenziedow.com.

Living and loving life together,

Mitzi

 

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The Natural Light: Bringing Quality Year After Year

Harvey and Joann Hollingsworth are the owners of The Natural Light whom I have known for a very long time and have witnessed their growth due to their years and years of dedicated hard work. They truly now have moved “uptown” at High Point Market to the beautiful and impressive Steel Building with a greater market presence to show off their vast line of art and lamps.

5749 Chase (89016) Ht: 37 inches Shade: 18x19x11" Rnd Drum Sailcloth White

According to Harvey, lamps should tell a story, with color being one big story trending at market. The Natural Light began their business with innovative color options for not only their lamps, but also their lampshades. No one else on the market had been creatively offering such innovative options. But, color being the big trend is no surprise to Harvey as he pointed out to me what is happening in the fashion industry–lots of color!

Love the pop of color in this lamp.

Love the pop of color in this lamp.

Harvey and I both think that color is also an indicator of the temperature or attitude of consumers. When the colors are lighter, fresher, and “happier,” the indication is a positive mindset of the consumer willing to spend again. If, however, the colors become darker and more saturated, the opposite consumer mindset can prevail, such as pulling back and not spending. I have witnessed this over many decades of ups and downs in the industry; design can indeed tell us the pulse of our country’s beliefs.

Another “part of the story” that his lamps tell is the return to transitional design. An example: we’re seeing the staying power of brass, which one can also see on his lamp collections for this market and the year ahead. He also notes that watching trends in the high-end jewelry lines tells what metal finish will also follow in the home accessory and furniture industry.

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The biggest main story this market appears to be all about the metal.

The Natural Light metal finishes are done in layered steps, bringing a new dimension to metal finishes that are richer and more interesting. These photos are an example of the fine detail work that this company is known to produce season after season.

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5743-89105

Another big highlight in their fabulous new showroom is the larger space that allows them to show their vast and truly one-of-a-kind original art.  All their artists are shown only with The Natural Light so these beautiful artworks will not be seen anywhere else. They do have prints that are not exclusive, which of course makes them more affordable to more consumers. They try to keep up a current listing online of all their artwork as of course, original artwork is typically here today gone tomorrow! Harvey did say that similar work can be available if a certain look or image is desired.

NA115010 Pointed Autumn 44W x 58H inches

NA115050 Meditation 50-1/2W x 50-1/2H inches

It has been such a pleasure for me to observe Harvey and Joann Hollingsworth’s great success story. Harvey, as he says, is a good ol’ Kansas boy. Living in Kansas now, I love this fact about him. Today, this Kansas boy is a definite leader in our industry, reigning from Florida and giving all of us the best of the best year after year.

From The Natural Light: It is the philosophy of The Natural Light that one cannot improve on nature. Preserving the integrity of nature’s bounty is a tradition by which The Natural Light is best known. The company designs and manufactures portable lighting in wicker, wood, bamboo, hand-thrown pottery and various metals. There is a clear emphasis on original finishing techniques that has carved a unique niche for this family-owned business. For more on The Natural Light, visit their website here: www.thenaturallight.com.

Living and loving life together,

Mitzi

 

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