Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Morris Chair

The Morris Chair - so famous it is celebrated in Irving Berlin's song You'd be Surprised:

"At a party or at a ball,
I've got to admit,
He's nothing at all,
But in a Morris Chair,
You'd be surprised."

The original idea for a recliner was that of English architect and designer, William Morris. Gustav Stickley improved on the design with the bowed arm and exposed joinery. He was also recognized for his superb craftsmanship. As with all Stickley, these chairs are keenly collected today and originals will fetch several thousands of dollars.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How do we see life?

In looking at things, life often becomes a familiar pattern of shapes and colors. So it is refreshing to take a fresh look at things from a different perspective.

Robin and Carol look at the Vanguard showroom like subjects in a psychology experiment, moving from square to square in search of just the right piece of furniture.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things that go bump in the night...



From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mike Danial - Stickley Corporate Historian

Mike Danial began his career at the L. & J. G. Stickley Furniture Co. in 1975. His great-uncle, Vinchenzo Mellache, worked for Leopold Stickley from the 1940's until 1959. Mike has worked in every department, including rough mill, fine mill, sanding, cabinet room and finishing.

In back-to-back events - first, at Traditions Home in Wichita on Wednesday, September 8th, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. and, then, the following day September the 9th, at Traditions Furniture in Overland Park,  Mike will share some of his knowledge of Gustav Stickley and other great American Arts & Crafts designers;.

There will be hors d'oeurves and wine at both events. Attendence is by invitation and an R.S.V.P is required because of the demand and limited seating.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just a few interior design tips!

Do premote conversation.
Conversation areas should be within 8 to 10 feet any farther away than that will discourage conversation and make people feel uncomfortable.

Do define your space.
Add area rugs to furniture groupings to make it feel complete and cozy. This will help define the space and make the arrangement feel solid like it belongs there.

Don't skimp on side tables.
Always make sure there is a place to put a drink down by every place there is to sit. Adding side table and coffee tables to seating arrangements also gives a space to create lighting situations.

Do encorporate line.
Use lines to give a room the feeling that you want it to have. Verticle lines like tall window treatments that go all the way to the ceiling emphasize space and help give the room sophistication and power. Put something on top of a tall shelf like a basket or art to create more drama with lines that pull your eye up.

Don't line your wall with furniture.
Don't push your furniture up against the walls of your room. Try to arrange the room with the furniture away from the walls and closer together to create a cozier more conversation based arrangement.

Do save your money for the things that count.
Don't spend big bucks on the trendy pieces for your home.  Instead, add less expensive trendy accents to jazz up your design, like throw pillows, vases and art. You will want to spend your real money on big pieces that will last a long time and still be in style.

Don't clutter your room.
Keeping lots of trinkets around because someone gave them to you or they were inherited will just clutter up your space. You don't have to keep everything. Things do not have value like memories. Take picture and get rid of those kinds of things. Only keep the things that complement your home. If you have lots of things you just can't part with, pack some of them away and rotate your accent pieces in your home.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Feature: Paul Roberts furniture

Traditions offers Paul Roberts furniture.  A fabulous line filled with affordability, quality, style and craftsmanship. Below are a few of the styles that Paul Roberts can create for you.

Meet Sidney, Sidney is a smart sophisticated chair. Sidney has a classic personality and fresh lines. Sidney looks good in any outfit weather it be cowboy leather or sleek blue satin. Sidney wants to come home and live with you!

I would like to introduce you to Cody. Cody is in love with old Hollywood and is dressed to impress at all times. Cody is looking for a sophisticated home and lots of complements. Bring Cody home with you!

Ladies and gentlemen can I please have your attention? Please offer up your most polite curtsies and bows as I introduce Court! Court is a true royal and expects the royal treatment! Court enjoys the opera and great feasts in his honer, and you can bring Court home with you today!

Say hello to Darcy! Darcy enjoys eclairs and fine french fromage. Darcy looks great all dolled up in lace and satin or with a tan and in leather. Bring Darcy home with you and let Darcy accent your life!

This is Dale. Don't let the name fool you, Dale has many leather bound books and his pillows smell of rich mahogany. You should take him home. He's kind of a big deal.

Watch out gentleman I'm about to introduce Deirdre! Deirdre may seem a little uptight at first but she is really quite a wild cat! Her curvaceous lines makes her irresistible and her smart sense of wardrobe give her the power to get what she wants! Deirdre would make a great addition to your home don't you think?

(read this in a Transylvania accent) HELLO my darlings I am Ivonne. Some people have called me a vamp but I only wish to make you comfortable. Please, come and sit with me. I promise I will not bite you. I just think of how irresistible your room will look with me sitting in it. Muah haha!

This is Savannah! Savannah was born in a far away land filled with kings and queens and princesses. She enjoys long interesting conversations and tea at noon. Savannah wants to help fill your home with love and entertainment! Bring her home with you today!

Introducing Oakley! Oakley travels the world and visits only the most sophisticated of cities. France, New York, Japan and Sidney are among some places traveled by Oakley. If you bring Oakley into your home you will have a little bit of the world right in your living room!

Last but not least there is Drew. Drew is so excited to meet you! Drew is ready to take care of you and keep you cozy. Drew is reaching out with open arms!

All of these pieces can be ordered through Traditions. Contact us if you would like any of what you have seen.
These are not all things that Traditions has on the showroom floor.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Picking paint colors: Tips and tricks

Everyone struggles with paint colors, even the best designers. There are some tricks to picking out the perfect paint colors and we have pulled a few of them together for you. 

Don't decide on the paint at the store. Bring multiple paint chips home of the color you think you like and attach them together on cardboard. Put the cardboard on your wall to see how the light in your home effects the paint. Even better just buy a quart of paint and paint a patch to see what the color will truly look like in your home.

Remember when you are choosing paint swatches, that there are undertones mixed in the paint and they may be different colors that you think. Not all gray is the same. Sometimes brown can look purple and sometimes it can look green. Taupe can look pink if it has to much red it in. This can happen with any color. There are pigments in the color that can take on personalities of other colors depending on where you put them and what light they have.This is why making sure the paint will look good in your home and not just in the store is important.

The psychology of color really does work. Red is vibrant and exciting and you will have a harder time sleeping or relaxing in a red room. Blue and green are soothing and calming but can also make you feel depressed. Choose your colors for each room based on the feeling that you want to portray.

Last the but not least, leave the painting for last. After you get all the other elements for the room then you should choose your paint color. It would be much harder to match your furniture, fabric and upholstery to your paint color.

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Shelf decoration DIY: How to create a great shelf display

    Decorating shelves and mantles can be frustrating. Even the most outstanding and unique piece can get lost in a mismanaged display. We came up with these decorating tips that can help you to create a more visually stimulating display in your home. I hope this helps to make your home feel fresh and organized.

    Tip #1: Odd numbered grouping...
    When decorating a shelf or table, it’s usually best to create odd numbers of groupings. One, three, five, seven and so on. You can place one large piece alone or three pieces on a table or shelf.

    Tip #2: Escalating scale...
    Make sure the proportions are visually soothing to the eye by using escalating sizes. Create layers by incorporating a tall medium and short item in a group. Always put the tallest piece in the back of the display and let the height come down towards the viewer. Doing this creates a dynamic, interesting display.

    Tip #3: Make it you...
    It is important to put your personality into your home decorating. Use mementos of vacations, keep sakes and hobbies that are important to your family. Use the books you have accumulated over the years by mixing them into the display. Lay three on their side and one leaning against them. Use the books as elevators for other objects.

    Tip #4: Utopias create interest...
    Create utopias of similar items like picture frames, teacups, buttons, glass bottles or trophies. Arrange things by like colors, like shapes or like textures to create a pop and a focal point. By putting lots of small objects together you will build scale and minimize clutter.

    Tip #5: Use your balance judgment...
    The most common way to create balance it by making each side symmetrical. Sometimes this can get boring and stuffy. Try using asymmetrical balance. Some things may not be the same size or color but they are visually the same weight and can balance each other out. By putting small things together you can create a grouping that visually balances out the weight of a larger piece.

    Tip #6: Create areas of relief...
    Don't cram shelves full it's not attractive. Leave some breathing room between objects. You can treat a utopia of small objects as one large object and leave space around that instead of each individual piece in the utopia. This will make more of an impact and little items won’t get lost on the shelf.

    Tip #7: Hide clutter in attractive containers...
    Adding baskets or boxes allows you to hide small busy looking trinkets or eye sores like remotes, papers, magazines and DVD's. Be sure to use boxes or baskets that go with your decor and look clean and visually attractive.

    Tip #8: Let there be light...
    Illuminate your shelf decor with small lamps or strings of lights. Make sure you hide the cord so that is isn't cluttered or visually distracting.

    Hopefully these tips will work for you. If you still struggle with loving the display you have created, have someone else do it for you using these tips. Sometimes its just better when you don't do it yourself! Remember, Traditions offers design service complementary to your purchase so take advantage!

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    New items at Traditions Furniture:

    These are moss balls, and they are super great for summer and spring. They give your home an element of earthiness and freshness. They are whimsical, fun and a great accent to any decor. You can put them in a bowl on the table or add them to a shelf display of books.

    Traditions just got these new LED lit flowers in! They are shaped like silver dollars and put off a beautiful glow! They look great mixed in with real live flowers, dried flowers and silk flowers. They also look amazing by themselves.

    These little boxwood pots are so cool! They are real live box wood! All you have to do to take care of them is use a spray bottle to spray them with water once a week and they will stay bright green! They smell wonderful and they look cute anywhere!

    These are wax candles that wont burn your house down! They are battery powered but they look like real burning and flickering candles. They give off the same ambiance. These candles come with a decorative metal holder that you can hang from the ceiling, put on a table or on your front porch. They are great for outside because the wind can't blow them out. The most unique thing about these candles is that they have timers on them. When you set the switch to "timer", the candle stays lit for 5 hours before it turns itself off and it continues this every day without you having to touch it. When the battery burns out, just replace it. Great idea!
    These small clocks are super cute and decorative. They come with little stands so you can put them on your shelf or table.
    These are adorable little faux boxwood balls. They look adorable by themselves or piled in a basket.

    This is a frog fan! He is so cute for a whimsical room decor. He puts off a nice amount of air flow. Who wants a boring old fan to sit in the corner when you could have a fan shaped like a frog!?

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    A very special dog blog!

    We LOVE dogs at Traditions! full breeds, mutts, big dogs, little dogs, dogs with tails, dogs with stubs, good dogs and even naughty dogs! This post is a tribute to all dog lovers. Enjoy the dog quotes and look at some of the dog themed items we have in the store!

    "If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater. . . suggest that he wear a tail."
    - Fran Lebowitz

    "Dogs never bite me. Just humans."
    -Marilyn Monroe

    "I would rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world." - Samuel Johnson 

    "Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart." - Dorothy Hinshaw 

    "My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives." - Rita Rudner 

     "What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it's the size of the fight in the dog." - Dwight D. Eisenhower 

    "Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home his face might burn up." - "DEEP THOUGHTS" by Jack Handy 

    "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." - Mark Twain, 

    "The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic." - Henry Ward Beecher       

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner 

    "He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog."
    - Gene Hill

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Juliana Daniel Antiques

    Traditions is blessed to be next door to Juliana Daniels Antiques. This eclectic collection of the past's treasures is run by Julie and Danny Greenburg, hence the name Juliana Daniels.

    Juliana's is the best places in Wichita to discover fine but affordable antique furniture and vintage accessories. "Owners Juliana and Daniel Greenberg love antiques, but they also have an eye for the unique and whimsical." Juliana has an eye for design. There is the blue room, with its turn of the century furniture, the white room with vintage clothing, and upstairs, the man room where one finds all sorts of sporting memorabilia. Somewhere there is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

    This is not their real store. Rather, it is an imaginary scene, as if the store was in Colmar, France. It is not a far stretch of the imagination. Entering Juliana Daniels is a trip through time and space, where one finds a little piece of France or a hundred other exotic locations.

    Visit Juliana Daniel online and let your imagination take flight.

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    The roosters are back in style!

    Remember in the early 90's when roosters were all the country rage? Well, their back! This time they are not just country. They can be used in many different design schemes. It's likely that what brought the rooster back was a surge in country French design and the country French style creeping into eclectic design. The French have always loved roosters as well as Americans, but while Americans see roosters as farm animals, the French look at them a little different. To the French, roosters are a sign of hope and faith as well as power, kind of like the eagle in the United States. This new rooster that has become popular is not just a farm animal. He is our prestigious, cheese and wine loving fine feathered friend. So, next time you see a rooster, don't curse the early 90's, just buy him, take him home and put him near your wine cabinet. Below are a few photographs of some new roosters.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    What is your style? A mini-style guide:

    Traditional style

    If you love traditional style, you are the kind of person that enjoys elegance and old world luxury. Vintage pieces like guilded mirrors and furniture with scrolling catch your eye. Warm soothing deep colors tend to be your go to's. Sophisticated floral patterns, toile and tapestry get you excited. 

    Eclectic style

    If you call your style eclectic, you have a love and respect for many different styles. You love to mix them together to create a space that feels comfortable and artsy. Antiques of all types modern and traditional are what you love. You also have an appreciation for modern furniture as well. You are probably a collector and know how to blend different items and make it look great.

    Contemporary style

     Minimal, sleek and clean is your mantra. Strong bold geometric patterns attract you. You like clean and simple lines, bold colors and materials such as stainless steel, slate and glass.


    Country french lovers have a Passion for rustic but fresh at the same time. Old paint finishes but bright floral patterns mixed together. If you are a country lover you will probably be into farm animals such a roosters and pigs.

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Rococo inspiration

    Rococo also called "Late Baroque" is an 18th century style which developed as Baroque artists reacted against symmetry. The style fit a world that literally was turned on its end with revolution and political thought. Voltaire, Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin, the American Revolution, followed by the French Revolution and Napoleon, the world had revolved into new world of thought.

    Increasingly artists used designs that were more ornate, florid, and playful. Rococo rooms were designed as total works of art. Furniture was elegant and ornate. Decorative arts included small sculptures, ornamental mirrors, and tapestry complementing architecture, reliefs, and wall paintings. Rococo style took pleasure in asymmetry, a taste new to European style. The French called the practice of leaving elements unbalanced for effect "contraste". Today, we would say, vive le difference, and imagine Liberace at the piano.

    At Traditions you can find tons of beautiful Rococo inspired furniture. Below are some examples of a few of the pieces we offer. You can use these pieces to add a little Rococo inspiration to your room!

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    The ABC's of Life

    Shopping can be life changing.

    For example, this timely message will tell you all you need to know in order to find happiness in life. Accept differences, be kind, count your blessings, dream, ... yearn for peace, and zealously support a worthy cause - all are positive thoughts to live by. These are the ABC's of Life.

    The sign measures approximately 12 x 17 inches and is made of crushed resin that give the sign the look and feel of marble with gold lettering. These invaluable words of wisdom are priceless, but the sign is sold everyday at Traditions Home for $38. Email us if you would like us to ship it to your home or office. A small shipping fee will apply.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Don't stress! Buy destressed! How to own a destressed piece without the work.

    Traditions offers distressed furniture!!
    Distressing furniture at home is a HUGE job! Who has time to do that? Traditions offers many lines of furniture that include distressed pieces.  These unique pieces can transform your room from plain to dramatic and even exotic. Distressed furniture can go in so many design directions its hard to name them all. Some of these design themes include country, country French, old world, shabby chic and even modern. Below are some examples of different distressed pieces and ways to use them in your decor.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    How amazing is FLW? How can you incorporate the look of Frank Lloyd Wright in your home? Read on...

    Why the continued fascination with Wright almost 50 years after his death? 

    Architect/interior designer Constance Ramos (http://www.constanceramos.com) thinks his style endures because of its contemporary, organic lines. "My dad, also an architect, was a great Frank Lloyd Wright fan and that rubbed off on me," she says. "Wright was really searching and finding the design of American democracy. And he had these amazing people who followed him and still carry out his work and philosophy. So Wright is still everywhere, and he's still relevant."

    Wright was arguably one of the most multi-talented people of the 20th century, according to interior designer Mark McCauley, ASID. "Not only did he help create and define the Prairie School style — open floor plans, horizontal lines, a nod to nature — that is still popular today, he also designed everything from furniture and textiles to lighting and accessories," says the author of Interior Design for idiots (http://businesswebsites101.com/idiots).

    Wright was born in Wisconsin and worked for decades in Chicago, but his buildings are elsewhere like Hollywood (private homes), Tokyo (The Imperial Hotel) and New York City (The Guggenheim Museum). His work in Kansas City includes  Clarence Sondern Home, 1940, the  Russell and Ruth Kraus House, 1946 - 1951, and the the Frank Bott House Kansas City 1956.


    Traditions Furniture offers Stickley Furniture, a line that goes perfectly with the style of Frank Lloyd Wright's.
    Clean lines and pureness of function make the Stickley Mission Collection truly timeless, and the look is as appropriate in today's homes as it was over a century ago when Gustav Stickley and his brothers began the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Possessing a distinguished pedigree yet uniquely modern, Mission furniture makes itself at home in every room of the house, telling the world that you appreciate sophisticated comfort and solid craftsmanship.