And to round out our highlights from the past year of blogging, here are some of the entries we picked to share again from the last six months of the year…

For July we shared a blog about a cabin remodel on Clearwater Lake that we designed. The project included a new mudroom addition, re-designed kitchen with custom cabinetry, and handmade tile.  It turned out to be a great place to spend the warm and sunny summer days and nights!

In August, one of our entries highlighted different projects we worked on with different color schemes.  There is one for every color of the rainbow.  Revisit the blog for inspiration for your own home.

Cambria came out with new colors this year and in September, we highlighted the new Waterstone Collection. This new collection was the most buzzed about yet – the colors and patterns are so pretty and innovative!

In October we shared an article and video from ABC that talked all about a project in Montana where EVERYTHING going into building the house was made in the USA. The interview is interesting and comes with some eye-opening facts.

During November, we polled our readers to see what color was their favorite and orange won. In this blog entry we posted products that we love in orange… what fun!

In December, we shared pictures and drawings of a master bathroom project we worked on in Edina. With its cozy heated marble floors, shiny Kohler fixtures, and fresh paint, this bathroom is definitely work checking out.

Last year was a great year for our blog:

  • We had over 22,000 views in 2011 – that’s enough people to sell out the Sidney Opera House 8 times!
  • We posted about 100 blog entries.
  • Our viewers came from all over the world including, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Here is a brief “year in review” – a highlight of one blog per month.

In January, we blogged about kitchen space planning. We showed three examples of how one kitchen floor plan could be laid out.

For February, one of our blogs highlighted home furnishings and fixture products that are made in the USA. Some of the companies are even based in Minnesota!

One of our March blogs showed how commissioning custom art can be fun and affordable. We posted pictures of the artist at work as well as a short description of the process on how to go about making this happen for you!

In April we gave some tips on how to bring the outdoors into your home. We used our 2009 ASID Showcase home as an example.

During May, we posted a blog to get you inspired with color. We took examples from three of our past projects and broke down the colors for you.

In June we showed what a difference window treatments can make in a sunroom. We highlighted before and after pictures of one of our client’s homes on Lake Harriet.

Click back and check out our past blogs and get ready for another year of design tips, project before and afters, event updates, and everything hauthaus!

Happy 2012!

shopping local with Amber

December 21, 2011

Hi there! Amber here… I tried something new for my Christmas shopping this year and I would like to tell you all about it! (Well, not ALL, about it… some of my friends and family read this blog and I want them to be surprised when they open my gifts!)

I decided early on in November that I would only shop LOCAL and USA-Made this season. And boy oh boy, did I challenge myself! At first, it was really quite frustrating to go to a store and flip over a product and read “Made in China”. Did you ever notice how most things that surround us are made somewhere else!? Next time you’re out and about, take a peek at what’s in your cart and where it came from – you might be surprised!

After making my list and narrowing down where I would go and who I would shop for at which store, it really became fun and more like a treasure hunt. It was so exhilarating looking under my tree and knowing that ALL of my gifts came from independently owned shops OR that they were made in the USA!

Shop local this holiday season!

Some things I learned while shopping…

  • Even big box stores have USA made products. When I would check out, the employee would ask if I found everything ok, and I’d usually respond with “I found this product made in the USA, but I wish you had more USA made products”. Even putting a little bug in their ear is good. My hope is that they will hear that a couple times this holiday season and make the case known that people are interested in USA made products!
  • Locally owned shops have things Made in China… I did buy a game at Creative Kidstuff that was made in China, but since they are owned locally and only have stores in MN and IA, I still supported the local economy and kept my money here vs. elsewhere.
  • Shopping online doesn’t keep any of my dollars in the community or even the state! So that option was completely out!
  • By shopping at small, family owned stores like PaperHat, Patina, Vintage Glam, and The FlowerMill, I am helping the community be unique and keep creative, local businesses here! And they are so fun to shop at!
  • Most products that are made somewhere else have “Made in China” or “Made in Vietnam” in teeny-tiny print on the back of it. Products that are made here, proudly have the “Made in USA” logo on the front!

It was fun and very rewarding knowing that I did my part of shopping local. Not only did I stay on budget and support local businesses, my friends and family will all get something fun and unique this year!

I made some of my gifts this year too... my little niece will LOVE her play food I made out of felt!

DID YOU KNOW:

When you spend your dollars at an independent, local business, you keep more money in your town by supporting your community’s social services, schools, your public library and local non-profits… How so?

Locally-owned businesses return about 80% of each dollar to their community (whether it’s to their employees, accountant, lawyer, local handymen, graphic designers, local artists…etc.). And each dollar spent at a local business will return up to five times that amount within your community through city taxes, employees’ wages, and purchases of materials, supplies and services at other independent businesses.

On the other hand, chains and franchises give back around 20% to the community. hmm…

Overall, it was a great experience and I’d really like to do it again next year. I’m hoping there will be even more shops and places to try!

Happy Holidays!

100% made in america house

October 13, 2011

It’s simple. Buying locally is the smart and right thing to do.  You get a great American-made product AND you are supporting your local economy…

Well wouldn’t it be great to do that on your next home remodel/ new build project?

Think of all of the parts and materials that go into a house; nails, studs, wiring, flooring, lighting, etc. One builder in Montana is thinking outside the box (and inside the USA) on his latest new build project. He is sourcing EVERYTHING in the home from the US. How fantastic!

The builder was able to find everything he needed for construction within 33 of the 50 US states.

Check out the video here: http://news.yahoo.com/video/business-15749628/home-completely-made-in-america-26889271.html

He says that if builders used just 5% more American-made products in their projects about 220,000 jobs could be created right now!

So, builders, contractors, and designers, are we up for the challenge?! I think yes!

The USA made nails cost $5 more a box than the Chinese made nails, but the construction crew found that the USA made nails jammed the nailgun far less often.

made in the usa

February 8, 2011

As you know, it’s important to support local business. Well… how can we do that when it comes to our homes? Here’s how!

Here are 15 furniture and home furnishings companies with products that are made in the USA, and some (even better yet) made right here in Minnesota!

  1. S & K Furniture. Custom upholstery furniture. (Chatfield, MN)**
  2. Hubbardton Forge Lighting.  Lighting specializing in hand forged iron. (Vermont)**
  3. Bon Ton TileLocal tile with artistic flair. (Golden Valley, MN)**
  4. Sonoma Tilemakers. Custom tile and stone. (California)**
  5. Nordic Ware.  Kitchen bake and cookware. (St. Louis Park, MN)
  6. Gel Pro Cushy kitchen mats. (Texas)
  7. Century Furniture. Fine furniture,upholstery and case goods. (Hickory, NC)**
  8. Clay Coyote Beautiful handmade pottery. (Hutchinson, MN)
  9. Red Barn ReclaimedReclaimed Midwest barn wood made into furniture. (Brooten, MN)**
  10. Cambria. Quartz surface with no maintenance. (Le Suer, MN)**
  11. CR Currin Fine furniture; jewelry for your home. (North Carolina)**
  12. Kindel Upholstery and case goods furniture. (Michigan)**
  13. Room and Board.  (90% of their pieces are made in the US and some in MN)
  14. Caldrea Beauty and cleaning products. (Minneapolis, MN)
  15. Kohler Kitchen and Bath plumbing fixtures. (Wisconsin)**

**purchase to the trade only; available through hauthaus -(give us a call if you see something you like!)