Timeless Modular Design

Coral Sitting

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show was held this week, and hundreds of manufactured housing buyers attended the event that had 48 homes showcasing what’s new in home design.

It motivated me to revisit the homes that Lifestylist Design had merchandised for Patriot Homes over the years and I came across this one. It’s the perfect example of timeless design, or even deign ahead of it’s time. Drapery panels instead of fussy valances? Yes. High flat ceilings? Yes again. Soft muted colors accented by fabrics and accessories? Exactly what we are seeing today. Believe it or not, this was a home that was shown 8 years ago!

This is a perfect example why great design will never go out of style. When looking for your new home look for ideas that aren’t trendy but are something you want to live with for a long time. By adding color in items that can easily be replaced like fabric, furniture and accessories you’ll always be in style.

Discovering Hope in 2013

NY2013
Another year is almost behind us, and I think most of us are looking forward to a fresh start in 2013.

Last year made it clearer than ever that nothing is more important than relationships. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend time with my cousins I hadn’t seen in years, had some great sister time and what was most important, got to spend a lot of quality time with my kids and grandkids.

Being around the grandkids reminded me how wonderful it is to always be looking forward to tomorrow and the opportunities it brings. The amazement of what a fantastic job my kids are doing as parents, and how talented their Jr Lifestylists are keeps reminding me how important it is to spend time with family.

Here’s hoping that 2013 is filled with hope for all of us, and we remember what brings us joy.

Bob Vila Embraces Factory Built Housing

 

There’s nothing we love more than a positive story about factory built housing, and BobVila.com has a wonderful article about the history of factory built housing.  Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber was honored to be interviewed and quoted in the story, and what is really exciting is that the author of the story – Jane Dagmi – was so intrigued about what this form of housing offers she’s continuing to learn more and visit communities on her own. I’m looking forward to more of her stories in the future.

One of the things that has always been a detriment to our industry was the perception the press has, so having writers not only like our homes but also want to know more is a step in the right direction.

Be sure to also take a look at the timeline that Jane did -it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

The Limitations of Modular Housing

It seems like people are finally beginning to realize that factory built housing may be a better way to build – I’ve had two site builders ask me if the projects that we are working on might be more efficient if we do a modular build instead of the way they traditionally build. What’s really great is these are both commercial projects – one is a clubhouse and one is transitional housing for 14 so I’m really proud of my clients for looking at all options. In fact, Champion Homes is doing quite a few commercial builds, including hotels for a major hotel company – I can’t wait to see (and stay in) the finished buildings.

Many people have the misconception that using modular construction is very limiting – I’m always surprised with how many people think you can only do 1 story. In fact, all construction has some limitations, but with modular you can build multi story buildings just as you can with site built.

This beautiful home in Montana that was built by the EnergyMate division of Patriot Homes is an example of what can be accomplished using modular construction. It has a 2 story family room and rock fireplace in it -they just completed the fireplace on-site with rocks they found on the ranch.

Before you make a decision on who is going to be building your next home or building, you might contact one of the many fine modular builders that might be the right fit for you.

If you need recommendations on who might be a good fit for you, feel free to contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we’ll be happy to share our list of qualified builders with you.

What’s Mine is Not Yours: Intellectual Property

Seth Godin is my guru. He is so no nonsense but funny at times, intellectual but down to earth, and what I really love about him is that he can get a point across faster than anyone else I know. His Purple Cow book started me on a new road to being more involved in marketing and social media so I’m forever grateful. When I worked on the Purple Cow House Campaign with Patriot Homes I made sure to get permission from Mr. Godin, and we credited him for the phrase (and gave out his Purple Cow Book).

 

Today I got a great post from him titled “Simple Thoughts About Fair Use“. So timely, and as always so well written. In this new blogging, social world I’m always stunned to see how many people are using other people’s photography, ads, brands, and stories without permission. This article is a must read for anyone who is even thinking about posting on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog and using someones text or images.

 

I’m fortunate enough to have access to a very talented photographer – Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. The images you see in my blogs, on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page and on my website have been shot specifically for my use. I do that so I’m not using other people’s work and having copyright infringements.

 

Lifestylist® is a term that I successfully trademarked in 2002 – my registration number is 2583235. I’m very proud of this because I thought I had a good idea and made the extra effort do “do the right thing” and spend the time, effort, and money to trademark it. You would be amazed at how much time I’ve had to spend since them protecting my mark because people haven’t bothered to do their homework and see that it’s trademarked before they use it in their own businesses.

 

Before you decide that you have discovered the next great phrase, or “borrow” a photo from someone else be sure to read Seth’s post. Wondering where to learn more about these topics? The US Patent and Trademark Office has a great site, and it is also where you can search trademark registrations and applications.

How Memorable are Your Homes?

As a Lifestylist®, the biggest compliment I can receive is when people come up to me and tell me they remember a home because of the lifestyle we displayed in the home. My job is to play up the special features included in the home by using artwork, furniture and accessories. I’m thrilled when the homes are remembered and talked about during a show, but what’s really gratifying is when someone tells about a home they loved so much they bought it.

That was the case at Rolling Hills Village in Battle Creek, Michigan. Bob Wolfe, president of Wolfe Commercial saw the “dog house” I did for Patriot Homes in 2008.  Even though at the time he wasn’t a Patriot customer at that time he knew he had to own that home, and a great partnership was born. Every time I would run into Mr. Wolfe at an event he would tell me how much he loved that home, and he would tell everyone around him what a great job I did as well.

Fast forward to 2012, and in 2 weeks I’ll be heading to Michigan to do a new model home and update the community center. I’d say that going the extra mile and LifeStyling a model with character not only helped Rolling Hills sell more homes, it also helped me earn a customer for life.

If you are in the market for model homes that are memorable and help sell homes, let’s talk. We can be reached at: answers@lifestylist.com

 

Timeless Design: Patriot Homes 2002

As a Lifestylist® I always say that design should be more about lifestyles than trends. Trendy design details and decors tend to cycle out quickly and leave the owner with a home that looks and feels dated.

In 2002 I was hired to be the Lifestylist® for Patriot Homes – an amazing factory built housing company based in Elkhart, Indiana. I had worked on factory built homes in the past, but never at this scale.  This is one of the first homes that I LifeStyled for them -it was at The Louisville show for their EnergyMate division. Jumping ahead 10 years, I’d be happy to show or live in this home again – it was well designed, the floorplan was open and perfect for entertaining, and the island was larger than anything else being shown at that time.

Be sure to notice the pendant lighting. I know we were one of the first to show them and we were ahead of our.  All of our lighting was part of a partnership I initiated with Home Depot.

When you look at this home, it doesn’t look like a factory built home, or a modular home – it just looks and feels like a well designed home no matter how it got to the site. Who knew even 10 years ago we were designing the future of housing construction? Factory built homes are definitely here to stay.

Cavco Leads The Way in Tucson

As a Lifestylist®, I spend a lot of time researching design trends and what’s available in the market. This week I was fortunate enough to spend time in Arizona working with Thermador on some kitchen and appliance trends, and I was also able to reconnect with some of the incredible team that used to be at Patriot Homes. Not only did it remind me why I love Arizona so much, but it also made me appreciate how lucky I’ve been to work with such amazing people.

When I was in Tucson I stopped by the Cavco Retail Center, and I think I found my dream home! What a great example of what can be achieved with factory built housing – great exterior, tall ceiling heights, stainless steel appliances, and great use of tile. And skylights! Natural light is so important, and this home had plenty of it because of the transom windows, skylights and window placement.

What really sold me though was the porches – one in the front and one off of the master suite. I already imagine myself enjoying mountain sunrises and sunsets from these great spaces. I am seriously going to start looking for the right lot again, and considering my dream home in Arizona that will definitely be a factory built home.

With all of the speaking I do about the Lifestylist® revolution and great design, I’m really looking forward to using photos of this home to show site builders and consumers how much can be accomplished in a factory setting. Great job Cavco!

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is Back!

It’s a show that always ignites the industry and the Midwest region with new designs, new ideas and new initiatives …the Louisville Manufactured Housing Show is coming back in 2011 and promises to be even better than before. The 2011 Louisville Show will bring back a positive energy to the Midwest region and will show why manufactured housing is the “best way to sell and the best way to build.”
Enduring the economy has been the ultimate challenge, especially for everyone in housing. Now, a new year ushers in the return of a show that reluctantly took a year off as manufacturers weathered times like most of us have never seen in the industry. Now, the show kicks off the New Year Jan. 12-14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), the best show facility in the nation. The show is back and we welcome all of the retailers, builders/developers, community owners/operators and exhibitors back to Louisville. The Louisville Show was a significant part of the Midwest region for over 50 years. We are excited about bringing back this important event!

Show hours:
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011 – 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 14 , 2011 – 9 a.m. until noon.
Note: Registration opens each morning at 8 a.m.

Off to an Amazing Start

As we head into Fall, there is already positive and exciting news to report as we approach “Sold Out” as the status for the manufacturers/exhibitors who plan to join us at the Louisville Show. We’ll be ready to name this select list soon and we hope your business is included in that list. As of October 1, just a few manufacturer spaces remain. In addition there will be 85 service and supplier exhibit spaces for the host of businesses that bring so much to the manufactured housing industry. Manufacturers and suppliers across the region are making the move to bring back our industry momentum, and the show is one of the greatest ways to fast-forward these efforts. Don’t wait – put your company at the forefront of the new year’s industry success!

The Exceptional Experience of Louisville

Start with the Kentucky Exposition Center, a show venue that is considered the best facility of its kind in the nation, where you’re assured of a show that offers ample exhibit space and amenities. Couple the great venue with the Louisville Show’s headquarters hotel, The Crowne Plaza, located directly across the street from the exhibit hall, and you have an unbeatable combination of convenience, easy access and key amenities all around you. Hotel rates will be affordable, and reservations can be made very soon. A new registration company will be able to offer web-link registration for this year’s show, helping make both pre-registration and on-site registration easier than ever before.

The airport is within three minutes of the show site, and there is ample and controlled parking at KEC. As everyone knows, Louisville offers a multitude of fine restaurants and other entertainment venues, including the popular ‘4th Street Live’ area. Discover why Louisville makes the best place for our show. When you exhibit at Louisville, you will give buyers the luxury of an actual walk-through of your home, service or product in a unique hands-on environment. You will be able to relate to your customer base; understanding their wants and needs, as well as answer on-the-spot questions or concerns. With this premier venue as your backdrop, it is time to outshine your competitor and close the big deal. This is a great opportunity for your business to get a grasp on where the future of the industry is headed.

Sign Up for Industry Seminar

The 2011 show will feature an industry seminar with George Allen of GFA Management Inc the 2009 MHI Man of the Year. George has put together a seminar program that will appeal to the industry. Seminar points of interest will include:
How to Price Point a New Manufactured Home  for Private Property and/or Landlease Community Placement. Given an  individual’s Annual Gross Income, and/or a local housing market’s Average  Median Income, how to calculate maximum “affordable” & “risky” sale prices  for new homes, to be sited on realty owned fee simple, or leased. This topic  is timely for HUD Code home manufacturer “reps”, Business Development Managers  (“BDM”) and LLCommunity owners/operators selling homes on-site.
Community Series Homes. Their genesis,  definition and description; who manufactures them for in-LLCommunity siting  (with specific reference to appropriate manufacturers and models present at  the Louisville MHShow); and, how to properly meld them into any local living  environment.
Property Owner, or Self-finance, of New  Homes Sold On-site in LLCommunities, with emphasis on the differences  between “captive finance” and “buy her – pay here” methodologies, as well as  other possible alternatives. Moderated by Ken and Donna Rishel of Rishel Consulting Group and Precision Capital Funding the 2010 winners of the MHI Service Supplier of the Year Award.
Three 45-minute seminars provide an opportunity to learn how to start the two processes, evaluate and improve present practices and where to go for assistance and resources. These special seminars will be held at KEC in conjunction with the show.

Industry Comments: We have received these comments from interested industry representatives
Fantastic news on the show – we learned so  much and met so many new vendors – products I had no idea even existed. Great  news – and congratulations on keeping our business alive and well. There is  certainly massive demand right now for affordable housing.
I think the return of the Louisville Show is  GREAT news. It comes at a time when the industry is starting to make a  comeback and could go a long way toward boosting sales in the Midwest. I hope  all of the regions’ manufacturers give the show the support it deserves.  Without these shows, the road back would be longer and more difficult.
I agree, I’ve missed the show. It was the best  event and it’s early enough in the year so you could sell the homes ordered,  re-order, and sell again.
I’m so excited to hear about the Louisville  Show in 2011! This was always one of the most important shows of the year for  our industry and we will need to support its return to show consumers and the  media that manufactured housing is here to stay! It sounds to me like this  could be a great start to the image campaign that we’ve all been talking  about!
If you have any questions regarding this year’s Louisville show, please call Dennis J. Hill, Show Coordinator, at 770-587-3350.