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What you missed: The latest updates on each social platform

Emma Fitzpatrick

Monday, October 17, 2016

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What you missed: The latest updates on each social platform

If you have a smartphone, you check Facebook about 14 times a day. But that was back in 2013. Back then, in 2014, we only looked at our phone about 33 times a day.

Now, that number has grown to 46 times a day — a 40 percent increase from just two years ago. Likely, we check Facebook — and other social platforms — much more often than 14 times a day.

With all that constant checking and updating, you’re more likely to miss subtle changes on social platforms. That’s why it’s good to step back occasionally and reassess the landscape.

Are you missing new features that could help your company on social? Scroll to learn the latest about each social network. After all, the better you know the platform, the better you can use it.


  • Saw an informative Facebook video you want to share with your office? Or want to gather round for a live stream? Now, you can watch Facebook on your TV (as long as it’s an AirPlay or Google Cast-enabled device). All you have to do is pull up the video, press the TV symbol in the top right corner, select the device and hit play.
  • Facebook launched Marketplace, where you can find, buy and sell items with those in your community. Already, more than 450 million people visit buy-and-sell groups each month, and this latest tool makes that process much easier.
  • Now, you’ll want your employees to be on Facebook at Work. In essence, your company creates your own employee-only social network using Facebook at Work. You get to use all of Facebook’s tools, like groups, messages and updates, to be more productive and collaborative.


  • Instagram realized they had a troll problem, and now they’re doing their best to fix it. You can filter and hide comments. To do this, you select keywords and phrases you don’t want to see, and any comment with that word will be hidden. This is the perfect way to keep your Instagram business account squeaky clean.
  • It’s been a while (two months) since Instagram added a huge change to their platform. If you haven’t already, learn more about Instagram Stories. It’s like Instagram’s version of Snapchat.

Twitter and Periscope

  • Twitter is pivoting a bit to focus on what they do best — live news. Now, you can watch all of Twitter’s live streams on your TV.
  • The quality of those live streams is about to get better, too. Periscope, owned by Twitter, launched Periscope Producer. You can now create content and live streams on select professional equipment, drastically improving the quality. Previously, you could only produce live streams on your mobile device.


  • Pinterest now has 150 million pinners, a 50 percent increase within one year. 40 percent of all new sign-ups are now men. And 75 percent of all saved pins come from business boards.
  • Pinterest users are already planning for the holiday season. See what Pinterest data identified as the hottest holiday trends, and learn how your company can use them to your advantage.
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About the Author

Emma Fitzpatrick

Emma Fitzpatrick is a freelance writer and marketer, whose specialties include content marketing, social marketing and short, snappy writing. Pick her brain more at

Continue reading What you missed: The latest updates on each social platform


Hey Siri – How Do I Use You to My Advantage?

Business is booming in the kitchen and bath industry, as new construction and residential remodeling continue to surge. Because of the Internet and websites like Houzz and Pinterest, clients know more about kitchen and bath design and the latest trends than they ever have. New products and technology are being manufactured globally and getting to our market at a faster pace than ever before. Deloitte Global predicts that in 2016, 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online.

We’re all accustomed to getting more, better and faster information, and we’re getting it when we want it and with our own preferred mode of communication – whether it’s online via chat, email, text, social media or by phone. The amount of information we are creating and sharing is astounding. One solution for swamped kitchen and bath professionals is to add staff to keep pace, and another is to automate menial tasks using Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) like Siri, Cortina, Google and Alexa.

Siri takes dictation faster than a professional typist can type; 100 words per minute versus 60-80 words per minute. I can’t even speak 100 words per minute. Siri’s speech recognition is an amazing 95 percent, and those capabilities get even better as Siri learns your language patterns, phrases and jargon.

This learning capability comes from Artificial Intelligence (AI). In 2014, Siri had a brain transplant when Apple baked AI into the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV operating systems. You are walking around with a supercomputer in your pocket that uses AI to act on your voice commands and has the ability to help you interact in new and better ways and to navigate the many aspects of life including how, when and where you do business.

Three Siri Productivity Hacks for Kitchen and Bath Professionals:

1. Search everything with Siri. You can search online: “Hey Siri, search for Dickinson farm sink.” You can also search the App Store, your email, your photos and your notes.

2. Use Siri to dictate to Notes and Mail. Use the Dragon Dictation App for everything else that’s at least a paragraph long.

3. Use Siri with Calendar to schedule meetings, change meetings, email people about meetings and cancel appointments all by voice:

Considering all the computer technology for business that’s now available, speech recognition and voice input might just be the most significant since game-changing computer input methods only occur about once every 40 years. The mouse and touch-screen input methods of the 80s overtook the keyboard input method that’s been around since the 1940s. The voice-input era is still in its infancy, but it’s already providing businesses with competitive advantages – especially to those folks who are very mobile like many of us in the kitchen and bath industry.

– Scott Koehler is a 27-year veteran of the kitchen and bath industry and owner of Dream Kitchen Builders, a design-build firm doing business in the state of North Carolina. Image courtesy of pannawat at

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 at 1:48 PM and is filed under Bath Design, Business, Kitchen Design, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Continue reading Hey Siri – How Do I Use You to My Advantage?

7 Vintage Interior Design Trends That Are Making a Comeback

| Oct 18, 2016

Just because a trend is dated doesn’t mean it’s bad. After all, Louis XIV lived in the 17th century, and look how crazy people go over his favorite furnishings.

Although designers will say that good design is timeless, it’s too late for all those homeowners who were ripping out their vintage Mid-Century Modern accents for decades until “Mad Men” made the 1960s cool again. Now even wood-paneled walls, which those of us who grew up in the ’70s love to hate, are coming back in a new, stylish way (and our kids will probably tear it out in 20 years’ time).

Of course, not every interior design trend needs a revival. Absolutely no one wants popcorn ceilings back. But these seven retro looks are either clawing their way back toward popularity—or (fingers crossed) they will be soon.


1920s: Tortoiseshell

Pacific Heights Townhouse

This intricate design grew popular in the late 19th century and enjoyed an Art Deco-inspired resurgence during the 1920s. Today, this mottled black-and-brown pattern is a classic for spectacles, shoes, and hair combs—but why did it disappear from our decor? (To be clear, we’re not asking designers to poach the endangered hawksbill sea turtle to make our living rooms great again.)

Today’s white walls and minimalist designs are the perfect backdrop for complex, dark motifs. Choose a small accent, like this tortoiseshell vase or inlaid mirror. Or if you’re feeling daring, tortoiseshell tiling makes a bold addition to a bath. Pair with simple marble tile, crisp walls, and bronze accents to create a funky, elegant washroom. Designers have just started poking around with tortoiseshell accents, so risk-takers get the joy of being trend-setters.


1930s: Stained glass

Swan River Home

We’re all about our double-paned glass and our energy-efficient windows, but the downside to such practical choices is that modern windows lack interest and excitement. Most homeowners only consider stained glass if they’ve purchased a vintage beauty, but it works just as beautifully inside a contemporary space.

Trendsetters have already received the memo, incorporating stained glass into furniture and accessories, but with some modern twists.

While it might cost a pretty penny, most cities have studios that can create custom stained glass designs that fit your home’s style—no matter which century inspired you. Simple designs in bright, cheerful colors perk up a pared-down space, and quirky, geometric designs bring life to a boring transom. But be prepared: Stained glass windows are less energy-efficient. Work with your installer to create a solution that works for you.


1940s: Colored milk glass

Amy Trowman Sullivans Beach House No. 3

If you haven’t spent much time thinking about ’40s decor, you’re in good company. Similar to the ’70s, the pre-Mid-Century decade loved weird floor plans and too much green. But they did one thing right: colored milk glass.

Vintage collectors can spend some serious coin hunting down authentic Anchor Hocking jadeite glassware on eBay and Etsy. Traditional milk glass is white, but colored alternatives—like the hyperpopular jade version and its twin sister, azurite—are coveted by collectors and vintage enthusiasts. But their subdued hues and gorgeous designs make them an ideal addition to today’s all-white kitchens, which desperately need a touch of color.

Unless you’re willing to jump in with the auction crowds, finding colored milk glass today can be a challenge. But done correctly, it complements even the most modern kitchen and works effortlessly in farmhouse-style homes.


1950s: Bold kitchens

House in Kfar Tavor

When it comes to outfitting our home in ’50s decor, we often veer toward the always popular Mid-Century Modern—with a few cases of full-on Mamie Eisenhower pink. But there’s one Mid-Century trend that gets the sledgehammer whenever vintage homes change hands: colorful kitchens, painted in bright yellows, greens, or blues.

Not that white kitchens aren’t lovely—they’re clean, minimalist, and right now, both classic and trendy. But from the subway tile to the crisp Corian countertops, there’s no denying they all kind of look the same. 

Mid-Century kitchens were swathed in color, from the fridge to the countertops to the cabinetry. And while there’s no need to paint everything the same color, a bold accent color can make food prep far more interesting. We know we’re part of a fringe movement with our pleas for more color in the kitchen, but we predict that will change soon—experts say the days of cautious kitchen design are numbered.


1960s: Patterned wallpaper

Bohemian Apartment Study
Sometime around the turn of this century, we all collectively decided to spend 70 billion hours scraping off the garish wallpaper that had plagued our homes for many, many decades. That left us rather hesitant to turn around and slather on such a risky decor choice again.But wallpaper is making a comeback, taking cues from inspired designers of the ’60s (and early ’70s) who created delightful patterns that made for a killer accent wall. Sure, their designs featured way too much brown and orange—hardly anyone’s favorite color this side of 2000—but they were playfulfunky, and geometric.

You can modernize the look by swapping in white and gold for the outdated shades, or go wild with bright colors and fun patterns to bring quirky ’60s style to your modern abode. And don’t worry about the sweat: Many of today’s wallpapers are significantly easier to remove.


1970s: Avocado green


Avocado is the best fruit. Why is it a curse word when it comes to paint?

Hear us out. Yes, avocado green was possibly one of the worst decor ideas of the ’70s. But subtract the burnt-orange carpeting, the outdated faux-veneer wood-paneled walls, and it’s almost attractive.

Paired with wooden beams, it’s downright modern. Subdue it a little—ask your favorite paint store to mix in some white. Start small and paint your cabinets or cover your favorite bookshelf. But don’t you dare match it with brass. Please don’t buy avocado carpets. And no, the world isn’t ready for a guacamole-inspired armchair.


1980s: Chintz

Guest Bath

Finally, the comeback we’ve been eagerly awaiting—chintz. Yeah, you read that right. We’re thrilled this look is making its return to the decor world. Sure, done improperly, it feels like your grandma’s house. Paired with dark woods, it can feel downright ridiculous. And if you’re ostentatious enough to pair it with another pattern (or, God forbid, another chintz pattern), it can make your eyes bleed.

But by selecting large-scale, graphic fabrics and wallpapers, the outdated floral pattern fits right in on Pinterest. That’s because the ’80s had the right idea with flowers. They’re elegant, flirty, and nice to look at. And when wintertime comes, it might just feel a bit like spring.


Jamie Wiebe writes about home design and real estate for She has previously written for House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Real Simple, Veranda, and more.
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Social Media: The Free Ride is Over

AUTHORS Eric Schimelpfenig 

OCT 24, 2016

Social media as we know it hasn’t been around for that long. MySpace and Facebook, the first competitive platforms for sharing online socially, were founded in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Later on came Houzz, Pinterest and Twitter.

Let’s take a look at Facebook’s mission statement:

“Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”

Continue reading Social Media: The Free Ride is Over


Here are 10 unique and gorgeous ways to incorporate the elegant color throughout your house.


Warmer than gray but cooler than taupe, this neutral, earthy shade is popping up everywhere. Here’s how to make the color work in every space.


Matthew Williams

Flip the script (dark walls, white woodwork) and try the reverse.


Kimberly Gavin

The practical tone adds a bit of sophistication to hardworking spaces, such as the mudroom. 


Use this handy guide to find the best hue to complement your furnishings.


Courtesy of

A subdued color scheme gives this pattern live-with-it-forever potential.

($28 per square foot;


Courtesy of

Toss one on a tired ol’ sofa and — look at that! — the room feels revived.



Courtesy of

Mix these dishes in with plain old whiteware.

($112 for four plates;


Courtesy of

A less lumberjack-y take on the buffalo check.



Courtesy of

Serve up some ‘shroom via a pretty platter.



Courtesy of

This neutral version of a Navajo print is bold without being over the top. 

($126 for 2′ by 3′;


Courtesy of

This pretty pick is small but mighty — it makes quite the statement and burns for 60+ hours.



World Travelers Have Deemed Viroth’s Hotel In Cambodia The Very Best On The Planet

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How Facebook and Instagram are quietly changing the appearance of American homes

Published: Mar 19, 2017 8:52 a.m. ET

Almost a third of homeowners bought something because their friend posted it online

AFP/ Getty Images
Pinterest, pictured, and Instagram inspire many home improvement projects.

Social media has an unmerciful hold on us – and inspires us to eat at a certain restaurant or see a movie. It even makes us renovate our homes.

Homeowners are turning to sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram (which Facebook FB, -0.15%  acquired in 2012) to decorate or remodel their homes — 28% of the 1,500 homeowners surveyed by personal- and student-loan lender SoFi said they made at least one home purchase after seeing a friend’s post. Almost half (44%) of the respondents between 25 and 44 years old said they prefer social media channels for home design over home improvement shows and magazines. Updating kitchens and bathrooms were first on the list for more than a third.

Pinterest and Instagram may even be more influential than magazines. “The more personal, individually-curated nature of social [media] causes it to carry more influence, precisely because it is a real glimpse into real spaces,” said Laurel Toney, a spokesperson at SoFi. “Even if the images are similar to what you’d see in a magazine, they can feel more attainable with a friend or influencer’s profile attached to them.”

Don’t miss: My rich and entitled sister rubs my nose in her lifestyle on Facebook

Social media can hit a person’s finances hard in other ways too. About 40% of adults with social media accounts said others’ posts made them look into similar purchases and vacations, according to a survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, an accounting professional members organization. Some 11% made the purchase or took the vacation within that year of seeing the post. Almost a third of Americans (30%) said social media influences what they buy, and 5% said it had a significant influence, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.


Pelosi: Trump Doesn’t Know ‘What Is at Risk’ in Government Shutdown


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How Snap makes money

How Snap makes money

Some people have turned away from their social media accounts as a result, partly because it is a distraction from their daily responsibilities, but also because they’re seeing it as toxic or a place where people brag or show their “ugly” sides. Plus, it can get expensive — Pinterest shoppers spent an average of $170 during their site visits, Facebook shoppers spent about $95 per session and Twitter shoppers spent about $70 per session, according to e-commerce firm RichRelevance, Reuters reported.

In the most recent survey released Wednesday, participants seemed to watch their wallets: 61% they assessed their finances and see how they could afford home improvement projects before doing anything. It’s only after they do that that they realize they may not be able to continue — 63% said money is why they don’t do the project after all, and a similar percentage said they’ve delayed projects as a result of their finances. Only 15% actually placed home improvement projects as a top priority.

See also: The surprising trend giving plastic surgeons a lift: Instagram

bout half of the respondents said they’d do some of the improvements on their home and rely on professionals for the meatier work, such as plumbing and electric. The most popular time to do home improvement projects is within the first year of purchase — 80% of home buyers did so, and spent a median of $4,000, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit members association.

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Continue reading How Facebook and Instagram are quietly changing the appearance of American homes


Everyone’s favorite shade of pink isn’t going anywhere.


Getty Images

Pinterest is filled with more ideas than one person can consume in a lifetime. That’s why when new trends are able to cut through the noise and grab the masses’ attention, you know they’re special. This year, our friends at Pinterest told us the following decor is what people are pinning the most, so prepare to see these trends in homes everywhere soon.

SaveHomey Oh MyLove this couch!671Sydney HoffmanFor the Home

This has been growing for awhile (Kate Middleton has even embraced it), but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The best part is you can use this warm fabric to make a statement (like that gorgeous blue couch) or add a trendy accent with a pillow or throw blanket.

2HANGING DECOR branches.730Pin PicksFall home trends 2017

While this is another trend that’s not new per se, for fall Pinterest predicts it’s going to be all about using branches for this wall art.

SaveWe Heart ItImagem de bedroom, home, and house52K+4Ana Oliveiraimages

Don’t expect blush, a.k.a. millennial pink, to fade in popularity anytime soon. But one thing that is changing: the colors people are pairing it with. Keep your eyes pealed for copper, teal and blue heating up this color for fall.

SaveEtsyGlass lanterns trending up.21Pin PicksFall home trends 2017

Sure, lanterns have existed for centuries, but these sleek, simple ones are more stylish and practical. For autumn, everyone’s going to want this romantic accessory to warm up the ambiance in their home.

SaveCheetah is the New BlackMacrame table runner.3K+Pin PicksFall home trends 2017

Fall is all about being outside (pumpkin patches! apple orchards!) and embracing nature, which is why the earthy, boho vibeof macrame is perfect for any outdoor gathering. Instead of embracing this trend with a wall hanging, try a woven chair or table runner instead.

Savefrom weddingomania.comgreenery hoop wreath with calligraphy17K+2Karyn EricksonDIY

Move over, orange: People are veering away from traditional fall colors and instead embracing nature in the form of green plants and leaves.

SaveRHMud cloth trending.1K+Pin PicksFall home trends 2017

Shibbouri and indigo-dyed mud cloth has been on trend for the past year, and Pinterest says it’s only going to get more popular as we head into the cozy fall season.

How to use social media for interior design success

Social media is probably the best tool any small business can use for success.

The sheer ability to attract new customers, promote your business and engage with the clients you already have is staggering. Lately, small startups have been using social media to market their company, and when you have a new interior design business beginning, social media can be the tool you need for total success.

Most potential clients will turn to social media to find you before they will go anywhere else. If your company has a website but isn’t set up on social media, people won’t bother going further to look for you. Your website should be a strong one, which is clear to use and to the point.

Continue reading How to use social media for interior design success

Hygge Was Heartwarming, But This Year Is All About Intentional Lagom Living

Home inspiration for 2018 is all about Sweden’s simple style and stunning symmetry.

In 2017, it seemed you couldn’t turn around without seeing the cozy Danish sensation “hygge” (pronounced, hue-guheverywhere: Pinterest, Instagram, coffee table books, and articles upon articles on how to bring that inviting feeling home. And while our love for hygge, still thrives, at the start of a new year a new Scandinavian sentiment is gaining ground as the latest lifestyle liking: “lagom” ( laaaw-gum). While hygge encompasses warm feelings of comfort, contentment, and togetherness, Swedish lagom is more about the virtue of intentional moderation and balance; not too much, not too little, but “just right.”

In a culture of extremes where excessive work, connectivity on social media, and just plain stuff, as well as serious self-restriction with diet detoxes and closet purges, lagom is a relief and respite. The complex word translates to all areas of Swedish life. But when it comes to interiors, a lagom room is decorated with carefully selected, personalized decor and will exude a balance of comfort and utility in a neutral, calm peaceful color scheme—very IKEA if you ask me. 

As 2018 commences, we’re totally on board with the “less is more” mantra. If you want to bring a sense of lagom home, we’ve found gorgeous Scandinavian rooms that are giving us major #decorgoals. And, we’re gathering plenty more inspiration on Pinterest! 


We’re dreaming of dinner parties…

Simple mid-century pieces paired with personal and natural elements seems to be a pretty standard lagom combination. Industrial, utilitarian lighting and seating, but in a unique array of soft colors, as well as natural greenery, warm rug and an art gallery wall that expresses your unique taste looks inviting and gives character. 

Shop the look!

 We could stay in this bed all day.

Calm, peaceful, unplugged—this neutral, cool-toned bedroom still manages to look cozy with soft linen bedding and a warm wool throw blanket with side table greenery. Add a few candle lanterns for an extra dose of snug! 

Shop the look!

 Find us in the lived-in living room.

This is living room is definitely a “just right” balance of functionality and style. Clean mid-century seating and lighting in simple shapes with unique lines combined with plush textured rugs and pillows in natural textiles creates a pleasing atmosphere. Keep the things you love and use most but display them intentionally; think pretty coffee table books, vintage cameras, glassware, trinkets and more. 

Shop the look!

Treat yourself to a lagom kitchen. 

You can really see the balanced, beautiful utilitarian lagom theme in a kitchen. Fill exposed shelves with items you use every day, but also makes you happy to look at every day. Put your pretty kitchenware on display with thoughtful spacing and bring in warmth and life with natural wood cutting boards and bronze candlesticks as well as pretty potted herbs.

Shop the look!

Continue reading Hygge Was Heartwarming, But This Year Is All About Intentional Lagom Living

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