Category Archives: Chic on the Streets

Chic things I see on random people

An Interview with Your Stylist, LLC

A big thank you to my intern Kelly who was able to sit down and chat more with Your Stylist, LLC CEO Jackie Neville! Check out this blog post to learn more about her journey through Aviatra Accelerators!

Jackie Neville, CEO of Your Stylist, LLC, and a member of the first class of the newly rebranded Aviatra Accelerators (formerly Bad Girl Ventures).

Have you ever felt the need to vamp up your wardrobe, and not know where to begin? That’s where a Cincy Chic client, Jackie Neville, CEO of Your Stylist, LLC- comes to the rescue!

This Wednesday, come support Neville as she concludes an exciting adventure to expand her business and receive $25K in funding!

It all began when Neville applied in December to participate in Bad Girl Ventures – a program that provides small business education, mentoring, and connections to capital for women. She knew several women business owners who had gone through the program themselves so she decided to give it a try. After answering detailed questions about her business, submitting her plan, and providing references, Neville was informed that she had been chosen to be in the program! “Honestly, since my business [Your Stylist, LLC] wasn’t even quite a year old when I applied, I didn’t think I would get accepted because they only choose five businesses for LAUNCH and get tons of applications,” says Neville. “Classes began in March while Bad Girl Ventures was rebranded as Aviatra Accelerators. I am excited to be the first group to complete LAUNCH classes as an Aviatra!”

As a business owner, Aviatra Accelerators helped Neville piece together her ideas in an organized way and understand what it takes to create a successful company. For Flight Night on Wednesday, May 10th, Neville has been preparing by completing the assigned work and doing additional work on her business plan. Finalists are required to complete their financials that contain three-year projections (2017, 2018, 2019). They also have to include their business plan and marketing strategy along with the pitch. “I am not a numbers person but it has to be done and this a big piece of what we are presenting. I was able to organize my growth plan in phases after speaking with a board member about my idea to expand,” says Neville.

“As part of my pitch with Aviatra, my plan for expansion will be covered. In the Midwest, there is a misconception that stylists are for celebrities, ritzy people or pretentious people-which is false. I work with real women of all ages and sizes who have careers, busy lives and budgets. My idea is to expand to other cities in the Midwest because most stylists are on the east and west coasts,” says Neville. The most important aspect of her brand is helping each client become the best version of themselves.

Now, she is rehearsing for the public pitch this Wednesday! Finalists will have 8 minutes to present and at the end of the evening, $25k will be awarded to the winner in order to make their business dreams come true.

Learn more about “style therapy” and what sets Neville’s services apart from other stylists in her pitch this Wednesday or visit her website

California Closets’ Autumn Upgrade Event!

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With baby #2 on the way (who was a pleasant surprise!), we had to get SUPER creative on our closet and storage space. We decided to keep the nursery a nursery for the new baby since Lola was just about ready to start transitioning to a “big girl” bed anyway! And the guest bedroom will now be Lola’s room. Sounds easy, right?

I wish! ;-)Not only does losing our guest bedroom mean we had to figure out where to put our guests when they stay over, but that room was also where I kept all my clothes (because my fashion-loving husband took up our entire Master Bedroom walk-in closet!).

So, we just had some construction done on the house to add another walk-in onto our Master, and we’re making some tweaks to the basement to now be used a guest suite.

Needless to say, I’m REALLY excited to soon have a closet attached to our bedroom since I’ve had to go into a completely separate room for my “closet” for years! And now I’m REALLY REALLY excited because I just learned about  California Closets’ Autumn Upgrade Event!!

So here’s the deal. They have three tiers of finishes: Classic is the first level, Lago second level, and Tesoro is their premium third level. The way the Upgrade Event promo works is you can upgrade to Lago for price of Classic, upgrade to Tesoro for the price of Lago. That’s a HUGE savings (up to 20%!) but it’s only going on now through October 31. You have to act fast if you want to take advantage of this free upgrade* to one of their exclusive Italian-inspired woodgrain finishes for the same price as their classic white finish.

These upgraded finishes give you amazing rich wood textures that give you some great color contrasts and hints of European design. Give them a call (513-793-3055) to request your complimentary in-home design consultation today, or drop in their FABULOUS Kenwood showroom. We just did an event there, and you’ll LOVE it! Such an inspiring place to create the closet of your dreams! 🙂

Seven Pointers for Picking the Perfect Paint Color

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Dining room in a Estates at Shayler Ridge model home (Click here to see more pics of this model)

Painting is one of the easiest and least expensive DIY projects for your home. That’s what M/I Homes’ Design Center Manager, Jenny Entler, says. We have to believe her because she studies up on the latest design trends and she’s helped hundreds of home buyers over the years to create their dream spaces down to every last detail, including, yes… the paint colors.

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Bathroom in an Estates at Shayler Ridge model home (click here to see more pics of this model)

She says the current, most popular colors are light, muted grays; “beachy” pastel blues and greens; soft shades of white. “It’s pretty typical for customers to say they want to do a bold color—but few follow through—most stick with a light neutral like gray and beige,” she explains.

Here are seven savvy tips that Entler offers to help you pick the perfect hue for you!

  1. Look at Lighting: When choosing a paint color, lighting is the key. Bring paint samples home and look at them in the room you will be painting. View them at different times of the day to see how natural and artificial lighting affect the shades and undertones of the colors you like. (click here for a great blog to see how to incorporate floor lamps into any style)
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Living room in a Estates at Shayler Ridge model home (Click here to see more pics of this model)

2. Feeling Blue for Bedtime: Blue is the most popular color to paint a bedroom. People feel it is “relaxing”, “serene” and “restful”

3. Get with the Flow: When choosing paint colors for the different spaces in your home—be mindful of how each area flows into the adjacent areas, and select colors with the same tones and undertones. Your home should have an overall flow, and all paint colors should make sense together.

4. Hit the (Fifth) Wall: Don’t forget the “fifth wall” of your rooms! Painting the ceiling will give the room a more finished look. Consider using the same color as your walls, but adding white to it to take it a few shades lighter. Whatever you choose, keep it light and neutral.   Remember that darker colors tend to create the illusion of a lower ceiling; while white creates an airy, open feeling.

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Bedroom in the Greenshire Commons model home (click here to view more pics of this model)

5. Have an Accent: Painting a room a dark or bold color can be risky. A popular and inexpensive way to add a “pop” of color to a room is to paint an “accent” color on one wall. The color you choose should be in the same shade family and have the same warm or cool undertone as the general paint color. You’re less likely to get tired of the color too soon and it’s much easier to keep up with color trends when you only have one wall to repaint!

6. Contrast your Trim: Contrast your wall color with your trim color. Even a light neutral color on your walls will look more interesting when it’s paired with bright white on your baseboards, crown molding and window sills. The bright white will bring out the “color” of your neutral.

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Bedroom in the Greenshire Commons model home (click here to view more pics of this model)

7. Think Big Picture: When we work with a customer to select a general paint color for a brand new home, and we don’t have any idea what their furniture of décor looks like; our goal is to find a neutral color with the proper undertone to complement their cabinets, flooring, countertop and tile choices. All components should be considered as a whole and the general paint color needs to look good with everything they’ve chosen.

If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

 

Coming Soon: Ambleside VIP Community!

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Whether it’s getting a nicer room on vacation, or front row at a fashion show, I love it when I can splurge a little and upgrade to VIP. But upgrading to VIP for FREE? Talk about a win-win!

That’s what M/I Homes offers with their VIP list. It’s free to sign up, and when you’re on it, you’re the first to find out about new communities, plus you’ll get info about pricing and plans before they’re released publicly.

siteMap01For example, there’s a new community coming soon to the Mason area called Ambleside and M/I Homes just released the site map to those on our VIP list. Plans and pricing for this community haven’t been released yet, but if you join the VIP list, you will get the info first!

Ambleside is within the Mason City School District – one of Ohio’s highest-ranked districts – which educates more than 10,000 students in an early childhood center, (pre-k, k, 1, 2) one elementary school (2-3), an intermediate campus (4-6), a middle school (7-8) and high school (9-12).

Ambleside_Meadows_CommunityStreetscape1-1.160609The community itself offers 122 single family 60’ wide homesites to choose from, with the option of some cul-de-sac homesites as well. Other perks include community pool, ponds and nature trails, with easy access to 741 and I-71.

If you your family lives an active lifestyle, you’ll love it because this community is located minutes from Mason Sports Park, Heritage Oak Park as well as Four Bridges Golf and Country Club. In fact, in September 2013, Money Magazine ranked Mason the 7th best place to live in the country.

Ambleside_Meadows_CommunityExterior1.160609Check out this gorgeous community and see what some of these new homes in Mason will look like. You’ll also get to see what the community streetscape will look like! You can also click here to watch an aerial tour video – it’s just dirt for now, but gives you an idea of where the community is located and the terrain!

If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or being one of the first to see the new Ambleside community, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com. And don’t forget to sign up for the VIP list!

M/I Homes’ Newest Community “Estrella” Coming Soon!

Estrella. Meaning “star” in Spanish, this new community soon to be developed by M/I Homes is sure to be a star when people start to find out and see it in person!

M/I Homes just purchased the land for the forthcoming Estrella community. It’s across the street from Amelia High School, includes 91 acres and 113 homesites to choose from. It also has easy access to highways, shopping (including Eastgate Mall), and schools.

It’s an up-and-coming area too with lots of good things to come on the horizon! In fact, the Estrella community is just down the street from a brand new, state-of-the-art school that Clermont County is building to replace Amelia High School. Click here to read a story on WLWT about it!

This area is in such high demand that M/I Homes is running out of home sites in their three other communities in the West Clermont School district, Liberty Crossing, Woods at Wetherby, and Estates at Shayler Ridge. So, this location was a natural fit for their newest community!

The Estrella community will feature pocket parks, walking trails and about 44% of it will remain as open space! Sounds amazing! There will be a model home (which I’m sure will be beautifully decorated!) soon built in this community, and there will be a grand opening event to officially welcome everyone to check it out.

If you’d like to learn more about M/I Homes and where they are in Cincinnati, click here! Or, if you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or being one of the first to see the new Estrella model home, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com

Home Sweet High-Tech Home

Dog DoorIt’s amazing how quickly technology changes, and how much each little advancement makes life so much easier.

Today, technology is finding its way into every aspect of life to make everyday living a little easier. And keep in mind that technology isn’t just limited to your phone, tablet and PC (although many have apps that connect to your mobile devices). It’s in your car, it’s in your fashion (I just got a cool new bag that charges my phone on-the-go!), and it’s definitely in your home.

I’ve been searching for new ways to make our home a little “smarter,” and I came across the Smart Series of Homes blogs from M/I Homes. There, I found a great post featuring five fab ways to make your home a little (ok, a LOT) smarter, with fun things like a robot that cleans your gutter, wifi enabled sprinkler, electronic doggy door, touchscreen deadbolt, and a WiFi-enabled device that acts as your garage door opener.

Garageio BlackboxWe actually just switched out our old deadbolt with one of the Schlage touchscreen deadblots for our house and I LOVE it – you just type in a quick passcode instead of using a key! My daughter is now tall enough to reach locks, so it’s nice to know that I won’t get locked out with her inside if I take something out to the trash can or bring a package inside! haha!

The garage door app one was my favorite ideas from the blog series because it allows you to open and close your garage door with your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Plus, you can connect to a weather service so it closes automatically when it rains, or a location service so it automatically opens when you arrive! One thing I loved about ALL the ideas is that they’re all super affordable. They all ranged from $199-$349!

Schlage Lock - CinciThere was also this great post from the series featuring a bunch of ideas for updating your home with Security Systems and Cameras, and then this one on garage/outdoors! Oh, I hear there’s another smart blog in the series coming soon by M/I Homes, so I can’t wait to read that one too!

If you’d like to learn more about the smart M/I Homes and where they are in Cincinnati, click here! Or, if you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or seeing one of these models in person, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at mailto:salescinci@mihomes.com.

Twelve Terrific Home Decor Trends!

I love learning about new trends. They’re fascinating! I’m always reading the style blogs during New York Fashion Week to see which trends are emerging. And actually, interior design trends closely follow fashion trends so it’s neat to see how those translate. I talked with Jenny Entler, Design Center Manager at M/I Homes, to see which trends are the hottest right now in home decor and here’s her list:

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Industrial Lighting in the Nicholas Plan by M/I Homes

1)     Industrial-Style Light Fixtures (Edison Bulbs, Metals, Open Framework, “Caged” lights) The industrial trend is growing as more homes incorporate vintage electric design elements. Pair industrial designs with rustic-inspired interiors as a way to warm up this popular trend.

2)     “Farmhouse” Style Exterior Elevation Features (White Siding, Board & Batten Siding, Stone foundations, Metal Roofs, Rough-Raw Timber accents) This is a shabby chic way to freshen up your look in a lived-in way without it looking overly-polished. It’s also an opportunity to go green and use reclaimed wood if you go with the timber accents.

3)     Black Windows (interior and exterior frame color black) I love this trend because it makes the windows pop and frames the view outside turning the windows into works of art. The black window trim and windows makes the space look more custom and helps anchor the room. Black trim is beautiful and can be so classy when done right. Inside and outside, adding black trim adds a dramatic custom touch that adds so much character that can be as affordable as a can of black paint.

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Farmhouse Chic design in the Keating model by M/I Homes 

4)     “Modern Farmhouse” Décor. This trend takes traditional elements found in old farmhouses and giving them a modern update. Examples: An Apron-front sink “farmhouse sink” in Stainless Steel in lieu of Cast-Iron; Open shelves in the Kitchen in lieu of cabinets; Rustic Hardwood flooring in a trendy Gray tone.

5)     Barn Doors on Hanging Rails (Interior) Remember, sliding doors are not just limited to traditional doorways in your home. Use them as a room divider, closet doors or for pantry doors. You can use them to cover openings of rooms such as Mud Room, Laundry Rooms, Pantries, Den/Offices.

6)     Pet “Centers.” Many stylish people are letting their houses go to the dogs …and the cats and the birds… without sacrificing style or comfort. Easily add a Pet Center to your home with food storage/beds/showers/feeding bowls, built-in, in a location such as a Mud Room.

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Spa shower in the Nicolas model in Greenshire Commons by M/I Homes 

7)     Spa Showers. Bathrooms with no tub at all — just a large “spa” shower with multiple shower heads, hand-held showers, body sprays, etc. Jetted tubs, whether whirlpool or air, are decreasing in popularity, according to National Kitchen & Bath Association’s latest trend report on what’s driving bathroom design this year.

8)    Charging Stations. USB ports built-in to the electrical outlets in key locations “Charging Stations” (Master Bedroom, Kitchen, Drop Zones, Office/Den/Study) By adding one or two USB ports alongside your standard plugs, you can plug your phone, tablet, camera, or other electronic device straight into the wall, eliminating the need for bulky USB adapters that typically hog valuable space.

9)     Going Neutral. White/gray/neutral color palettes for Cabinets/Countertops/Hardwood Flooring and Tile (think Restoration Hardware) Decorating with neutral colors offers a multitude of ways to add personality to your rooms, proving that neutral decor is anything but dull. Soft hues, such as beige, khaki, and rain-cloud gray, create a calming atmosphere that’s perfect for the place you call home.

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Neutral tones in the Keating model by M/I Homes

10)   Large-Format Tiles. Large format tile, or LFT, is one of the hottest flooring trends. The traditional 12in. x12in. size has been doubled and even tripled …trending sizes are 12” x 24”; 24” x 24”; 7” x 20”; 3” x 36” in tons of materials and finishes from polished porcelain tiles to sleek, modern glass, and wood-look tiles, the best looks have been expanded to stunning proportions. Because each tile covers more square feet, fewer grout lines are required during installation resulting in a more streamlined design.

11)   Warm Metals (copper, gold, “antique gold”, rose gold) Warm-tone metals have risen in popularity again, this time certainly as a reaction to the past few decades of technical and austere-looking white and silver tones that seem to be everywhere in architecture and industrial design. However, this new wave of warm metals is more refined and has more breadth than its predecessors, with nuances of finish options being seen in everything from building façades down to appliances, flatware, decorative objects, lighting, accessories, frames and wall art and plumbing fixtures.

12)   Quartz Replacing Granite. Granite and marble have long been the reigning high-end countertop material of choice — but if you’ve browsed a kitchen showroom recently, you may have noticed that these swanky stones are being usurped by quartz. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, manufactured quartz is now the leading countertop material — and with good reason: Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed like Granite does…and comes in a variety of controllable colors and styles (you can’t control the color or pattern of granite — what you see is what you get.)

Click here to view more pics of the Keating model and click here to view more of the Nicholas models which both showcase a great variety of these new trends! If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or seeing one of these models in person, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.

15 Fab Ways to Stage Your Home

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The summer buying season is heating up, and that means sellers will be flocking to list their homes. With so many homes on the market, it’ll be stiff competition for sellers who are looking to get out of their current home and into a new one. How do you get your home to rise to the top?

I know staging made a huge difference for my husband and I when we were buying our home. There were some homes that were empty and it was tough to see how you could use the various spaces. Then, there were some that were too cluttered and too personal, or unclean and unkept with a fixer-upper to-do list that gave me anxiety just walking around.

Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!
Remember to de-clutter and de-personalize your spaces!

So, while you feel at home in your house, think about how those potential buyers will feel when they walk through instead. Staging with these 15 fab tips will help to sell it (and hopefully sell it quickly so you can start living in your dream home sooner rather than later!).

1) Clutter – Simplify, simplify, simplify! Too much furniture can make rooms look smaller. Same goes for the small stuff, too. Pack up any unnecessary items and personal belongings that you won’t need for a month or few months.

2) Great lighting – Increase the wattage of your lamps and fixtures to 100watts for each 50 square feet. Make sure you also have ambient lighting (general / overhead), task (pendant, reading, etc) and accent lighting (wall, tables, etc).

3) Neutral and appealing colors – Go for neutral paint colors that anyone will like. Bold colors have a way of appealing to a smaller market and reducing offers, so go for neutrals, especially in large spaces.

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A few updates and a little cleaning go a long way — especially in bathrooms!

4) De-Personalize – Remove family photos and make it less personal so the future buyer can picture their family there, not yours.

5) Flower arrangements – Search your yard if needed! Pull summer blooms into a vase to welcome those viewing your home. Or run to the nearest store and get a small bouquet of flowers.

6) New Facings – If you can’t afford new cabinet doors but want to make them look updated, add new hardware and just new doors / new drawer fronts. Same with the dishwasher – you may be able to get a new front panel from the manufacturer.

7) Finish those unfinished projects – They will become eyesores to your potential buyers. Make sure you update them prior to listing your home.

They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!
They say kitchens sell homes, and updating appliances is an easy way to boost the appeal!

8) Invest in updated appliances – They don’t need to be best or newest model, but stainless steel is a huge selling point for future homeowners. Make sure to spray stainless steel cleaner prior to showings to make sure there are no fingerprints. New kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers in all of our markets!

9) Update bathrooms – Grimy bathrooms are a huge red flag! Even if you can’t afford to do a full update, make sure to get rid of surface mold. Give the room a new coat of paint, clean grout, replace the shower door and/or paint your tiles to give inexpensive but effective improvements.

10) Give the fireplace a facelift – If you have a fireplace, update the fireplace screen. Get a heat resistant spray paint to give the screen a facelift.

11) Curb appeal – Online people are first going to see the exterior of your home so make sure that this first impression gives the perfect impression! Paint the exterior, add new flowers, pull weeds, re-stain your deck, power wash your home, and wash your windows – inside and out! A welcome home mat and flowers on the porch are also nice touches to make those feel welcome.

Don't forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!
Don’t forget to stage the outdoor spaces of your home, too!

12) Floors – Have your floors professionally cleaned for carpets, and have wood floors cleaned or refinished if needed. You could even utilize discount sites like Groupon, Angie’s List, etc to find inexpensive ways to update these items.

13) Clean out! – Clean out your closets, cupboards, pantries, etc. Typically you can hide things in these, but these will all be opened when your home is up for sale. Buyers want to see storage areas and they definitely do now want to open the door and have items fall out or worse, hitting them on the head!

14) Pets – We all love our own pets, but potential homeowners probably don’t want your pet hair all over. Make sure to remove pet odors and stains from floors by getting them steam cleaned. Also, try to send pets (dogs and cats specifically) to daycare on when your house is being shown. Don’t have a daycare? Reach out to a friend or neighbor to see if you can have your dog stay their for a few hours! Make sure to vacuum extremely well to remove hair! Pets, as well as their smells and allergens, can deter potential buyers.

15) Outdoor Staging – Staging doesn’t stop at the door. It’s important to stage your outdoor living spaces, too. This includes your front porch, deck, patios and around the pool. This not only warms up the spaces and makes it feel like home, but it also gives buyers an idea of how useful the spaces could be to their lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a new home in the Cincinnati market, make sure to check out these gorgeous new homes. You won’t have to worry about any of these issues, since they are brand new!

Nine Looks for Less!

We all love those “Look for Less” design shows and features in magazines. So, I found three fabulous M/I Homes models, and found lots of great looks for less that I think you’ll love! Check them out!

The Walden Classic Model Home in Mason (click here to learn more about this model home)

Walden great room copy

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walden den copy

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The New Ainsley II Model Home in Maineville (click here to learn more about this model home)

ainsley family room
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The Nicholas Model Home in Lebanon (click here to learn more about this model home)

nicholas breakfast room

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Nicholas - master bath

If you’re interested in talking with someone at M/I Homes or seeing one of these models in person, call Laura at (513) 268-8460 or email her at salescinci@mihomes.com.