Tag Archives: accessories

RAW Aesthetics

January 22, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Other than a rather arid climate and the identical first four letters of their names, Australia and Austin, Tex., share little in common, but those are the places that cemented an artistic vision for Amber Keller.

“I had worked a couple graphic design jobs here [in Omaha] before I realized something was missing,” Keller says, “so I sold most of my belongings, threw my art supplies in the car, and hit the road, creating as much art as I could along the way.” It was when she unpacked her bags in Austin for a few months in 2011 that she discovered RAW: Natural Born Artists, an international nonprofit program that acts as an incubator for new and emerging artists. They described themselves, Keller recalls, as being “for artists, by artists.”

“I did my first RAW show in Austin,” says the woman who is now director of Omaha’s RAW affiliate. “I knew the model could succeed here because our city has such a strong arts community. There’s just an amazing amount of talent here.”

Before returning to Omaha, Keller further satisfied her wanderlust by paring down her already meager possessions to backpack through Australia, where she did a RAW show in 2012.

RAW held its first annual local RAWards Semi Finals in November at Sokol Auditorium. Three finalists in nine disciplines showed their work to vie for the honor of winning a shot to advance to nationals in Los Angeles. Artists competed in the categories of visual arts, photography, film, music, performance, fashion, accessories, makeup, and hair.

Amber Keller’s look is thanks to a few RAW:Omaha artists: Her dress is by Haus of Donna Faye, her earrings by Juan Mora-Amaral, makeup by Lyndee Marie, bodypaint by Alyssa Keller, and haircolor and style by Tammy Cox.

Amber Keller’s look is thanks to a few RAW:Omaha artists: Her dress is by Haus of Donna Faye, her earrings by Juan Mora-Amaral, makeup by Lyndee Marie, bodypaint by Alyssa Keller, and haircolor and style by Tammy Cox.

The L.A.-based RAW now operates in 60 American cities along with an increasing footprint in foreign countries. Omaha’s roster of 120 RAW artists ranges in age from 17 to near retirement age, and various artists displayed their work in a series of four showcases throughout 2012. There are no membership fees to become a RAW artist, but showcase participants are expected to sell tickets to the events so that RAW reaches the widest possible audience.

“RAW helps build an artistic community, but we do it as team,” Keller says. “The semi-final event was a competition, yes, but we’re still working together, not against each other. RAW helps foster collaborations between artists, and we support each other here in Omaha in a way that is kind of rare for a city our size.”

Tim Guthrie, a visual artist and experimental filmmaker who is a Creighton University professor of journalism, media, and computing, was one of three judges for the event. Joining Guthrie on the panel were Andrew Norman of the music-centric Hear Nebraska and Shane Bainbridge of design-focused The New BLK.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t know anything about RAW,” says Guthrie, “which is almost kind of appropriate in that it parallels the theme of what RAW does in terms of building visibility for artists. Omaha’s art scene is amazing, but it can be a little cliquish. It’s still a very friendly atmosphere, but there is a hint of ‘the haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ when it comes to being widely known. With a lot of dedication and hard work from these artists, it is my hope that RAW helps more of them into the category of ‘the haves.’”

RAW Artists 
Advancing to 
Nationals:

Film: Rob Kasel

Visual Art: Madeleine Thoma

Photography: Michelle Woitzel

Fashion: Haus of Donna Faye

Makeup: Lyndee Marie

Hair: Brogan

Accessories: Casey Jones

Performing Art: Flying Eagles Acrobalance Troupe

Music: Omaha Street Percussion

Work and videos by these and other RAW artists may be seen at 
rawartists.org.

Hot Products: Accessorize For
 The Holidays

November 12, 2013 by

1. Any candle can light a room, but these charmers transform any space with their hypnotic flames and sophisticated scents. From left: Damask Woods large $34.95, Brownstone small $24.99, Damask Woods medium $29.99.
Andrea’s Designs
2701 N. Main St., Elkhorn
402-884-2600
AndreasDesignsElkhorn.blogspot.com

2. From tabletop to virtually any niche in your home, mix and match these and other iridescent Volcano Vases in composing a symphony of classic-meets-contemporary delights. Gunmetal $57, Bronze $34.
House of J
12965 W. Center Rd.
402-778-0650
HouseOfJ.com

3. Used as a lone accent or grouped in a veritable rainbow of blooms, these handblown glass spheres in both solid and mosaic themes will boost any color scheme. Green $30, Red $20, Blue $11.
House of J
12965 W. Center Rd.
402-778-0650
HouseOfJ.com

4. The Dala motif of hand-carved, hand-painted wooden objects is a traditional Scandinavian design that makes for an eye-popping addition to any décor. Dala Horse, $135. Dala Pig, $42.95.
Little Scandinavia
2619 N. Main St., Elkhorn
402-289-2307
LittleScandinavia.com

5. The magnificence, comfort and craftsmanship of Yves Delorme design is legendary. Accent pillows shown here are the embroidered Fougère (French for “fern”), $136, and the beaded Laher, $180, both handcrafted in India.
The Linen Gallery
Regency Court
120 Regency Pkwy.
402-399-5242
LinensAndDown.com

Five Tips for Creating a Home Office

August 26, 2013 by

Your home office should be a place you want to be and to spend time in. By utilizing basic design principles to make it productive and inspiring, you can make sure you actually work when you’re working from home. Here are five tips for creating a home workspace.

Paint the walls a color that inspires you. Color can be used to soothe, stimulate, energize, or brighten—choose the mood you want in your workspace and select a paint color accordingly.

Buy a comfortable office chair. If you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time in your home office, choose a chair that has adjustable height, reclining seat back, armrests, a deep seat depth, and adjustable lumbar support.

Let the light in.  Good lighting is essential. Ideally you want as much natural daylight as possible. Natural light not only saves electrical energy, but it gives you more personal energy, too. The link between sunlight and vitamin D has been established for a long time, but the impact of natural lighting on mood continues to be studied.

Choose meaningful accessories.  Select personal items that motivate you to get work done. The natural look of plants provides a comfortable, relaxing touch to the office. Plants play a vital role in providing a pleasant and tranquil environment in which to move, work, or relax. Indoor plants can also help health, well-being, and productivity in the workplace.

Take control of your technology. Set computers, printers, and phones close to outlets so the cords can easily be hidden. Desks that come equipped with wire management grommets also ensure a clutter-free workspace.

Visit the All Makes showroom at 25th and Farnam streets in Omaha to see the latest office furniture and design trends on display. The All Makes team is trained to help you make design and furniture purchases that fit your office atmosphere, your work style, and your budget. 

Making Summer Fashion Decisions

June 20, 2013 by
Photography by Jim Scholz

The summer wardrobe of any and everyone over 60 is a definite challenge to coordinate.

I just tell it like it is: A body that’s older than 60, even slim and in the best shape, needs more camouflage than exposure. If you care about how you look to others, shorts and short skirts are of a previous life. I’ve never seen pretty knees on anyone over 60.

The length of capris is very personal. Find the length that looks best on you and have your capris hemmed there. When wearing capris, the shoes or sandals you wear with them are very important for making a style statement. Comfort matters, too, but you won’t be happy with your look if your summer footwear isn’t stylish. When wearing sandals, NO scaly skin and callouses allowed, and keep toenails polished to perfection!

Tank tops, halters, and tube tops are not necessarily of your past. You can still wear them but not alone. Under a cardigan sweater, a jacket, a stole, or a loose-fitting shirt, they can be fabulous! Use them to add a splash of color, print, or texture to monotone separates. Dark-colored ones can be very slimming. Sundresses…hmm. There are many cute ones that I love in fresh, young florals, but they are indeed for the young.

Blue denim can be dangerous at 60 or older. It has to be worn with an attitude, and it’s usually not the attitude that 60-and-overs have. Comfort jeans are only to be worn around the house. Denim jumpers date, age, and frump you. But black denim, white denim, and fashion-colored denim jeans and jackets are must-haves! Be sure, however, to buy a cut that flatters you. The cut is not about your age. It’s about your shape.

Summer clothes must look fresh. When you’re hot, whatever you’re wearing wrinkles. Press the wrinkles out of every piece you wear before you return it to the closet. If washing first is necessary, do it, but if a garment shows wear after washing, retire it. NEVER wash black cotton separates. They may say washable, but washing sucks the life and color out of them. Dry clean only! Linen is of its own world. Clients used to come to me saying, “I want you to design and make me linen clothes that don’t wrinkle.” Impossible. Linen wrinkles, regardless of how it’s designed, made, or treated. If you wear linen, you must accept wrinkles.

As for Summer 2013 colors, avoid pastels even if on-trend. They look fresh if you’re under 40 but give you a grandma look if you’re over 60. The colors best on you depend on their relationship to your hair and skin tones. To play it safe, wear black or white, together with orange, lime, or turquoise when you want to add some pop.

Accessories are what it’s all about. Use them to style and personalize your summer looks. Bold-colored beads on a loose linen shirt, a fringed stole over a tank top, or a studded belt hanging loose over a calf-length skirt can take your look from everyday/everybody to a unique and stylish you! Scarves are important but not by day when it’s hot. In the evening, they’re both useful and fashionable tossed over your shoulders to break the chill of the night and air conditioning. Summer purses should have a lighter look than the ones you carry through winter. Color, texture, and fabric should relate to the season and to what you’re wearing. If black is your color, choose a poplin, straw, or woven bag.

Summer hair and makeup should be easy care. A lipstick color change is often necessary, and if you wear foundation, a darker tone might be better. Always wear sunscreen!

Finally, swimwear, OMG, it creates a crisis for almost everyone, regardless of age. After 60, no bikinis except for home swims and tanning. There are plenty of flattering one- and two-piece swimsuits you’ll love, and many of them are shaped and color-blocked to slim you.

The season is short. Enjoy it with confidence knowing my advice will make the BEST of you!

I welcome your feedback and invite you to send questions to sixtyplus@omahapublications.com.

Mary Anne Vaccaro lives in Omaha. She designed and made couture clothing for an international clientele of professionals and socialites of all ages. She created ready-to-wear collections that were sold from her New York showroom, and she designed for the bridal industry. She designed for three Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Balls and ran a fashion advertising business in five states for a number of years. Invisible Apron® is one of several products that she has designed and developed. She still designs for select clients and works as an image consultant, stylist, personal shopper, and speaker on the subjects of fashion, art, and style. For more information, visit maryannevaccaro.com or call 402-398-1234.

The Light Palace/A Well Dressed Window

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

United Electric, a longtime, family-owned retailer of home lighting and accessories in Omaha, has expanded into window coverings with the acquisition of another veteran interiors retailer, A Well Dressed Window, formerly in Rockbrook Village. Both businesses now operate out of The Light Palace, UE’s showroom in southwest Omaha, serving both residential and commercial clients.

“For years, we’ve helped customers choose their interior and exterior lighting. Now, we can help customers control the natural light that flows into their home,” says Luz Vasques, UE’s marketing director. “Window coverings not only help to prevent sun glare and provide extra privacy but also help maintain the colors of your carpet and furniture and can help with energy efficiency.” And much like lighting, the right window treatments can completely change the look of a room, she adds. “These two businesses greatly complement each other.”

At 10,000 sq. ft., The Light Palace is one of the largest home interiors showrooms in the Midwest, featuring chandeliers, bathroom lighting, outdoor lighting, ceiling fans, and home décor, including artwork, cabinetry hardware, electric fireplaces, and more. The Well Dressed Window gallery features a wide selection of designer blinds, shades, and shutters, as well as valances. It is one of just two Hunter Douglas galleries in the Omaha area.

Staff can also assist customers with selection of custom draperies, stationary panels, cornices, furniture upholstery, bedding, and pillows. Design consultations are free.

“Our experienced, well-trained staff will take into account your unique lifestyle needs as well as your budget,” says Vasques. “We can guide you and take the guesswork out of selecting your lighting products and window coverings. A high level of customer service is our No. 1 goal.”

The Light Palace/A Well Dressed Window
4532 S. 132nd St.
402-334-5331
lightpalace.com

Lee Douglas Interiors

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Lee Douglas Interiors, a full-service design firm based in Lincoln, Neb., has expanded into Omaha with the opening of a new design studio in Bel Air Plaza.

Established in 1989, the business, owned by Lorele Lesoing and Doug Dittoe, services home builders, outside designers, and residential clients. The Omaha studio also serves as a retail storefront, stocking furniture, home accessories, and artwork.

“Our design team draws on six decades of experience in the [home design] industry,” says design assistant Meg Penrod. “We’re accomplished in custom home creation, ground-up construction planning, design finish, remodeling, and project management.”

Other interior design services include: hourly consultation, wall treatments, window coverings, bedding, upholstery, furniture, and accessories. The business also employs a faux-finish team, and offer original artwork and mural design services.

“Lee Douglas Interiors has worked with several Omaha clients over the years and felt their store and services offered something unique to the city,” adds Penrod. “We’ve earned a reputation for designing unique, warm, and creative atmospheres exceeding customers’ expectations. Our clients are anyone wanting a clever approach toward aesthetically beautiful yet practical and functional design for their everyday life.”

Penrod says the studio has plans to launch Lee Douglas brands and an exciting online store.

Lee Douglas Interiors
12100 W. Center Rd., Ste 1101
402-932-9932
leedouglas.com

Organizing Bedroom Closets

May 25, 2013 by

How many times have you been late to work because you couldn’t find one of your shoes in your closet? Or maybe that cute scarf you bought last month? Whether you have a small amount of closet space or a slight shopping addiction, organization can be your best friend.

The first step to solving the mess: Utilize the closet space you have. Find an organization system that works best for you. If you have a small space with too much stuff, it might be a good idea to purchase an organizer with plenty of shelves and drawers (IKEA has lots of these). Another great investment? Clear storage bins. They’re stackable, and you can see what’s inside without getting them out.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

It helps to organize clothing, accessories, and shoes in your closet by season. Store anything that isn’t currently in season in bins and label the season on the outside of the bin. With the clothes that you have out for the current season, hang the hangers from the backside of the rack. Only face the hangers the correct way if you’ve worn the clothes during the season. Any clothes still backward at the end of the season should be donated to eliminate clutter.

Have a hamper in the closet as well. This way, clean clothes and those already worn are separate, making laundry less of a headache. There’s nothing worse than having to wash the entire contents of your closet because you’re not sure what is clean and what isn’t.18 April 2013- Bailey's home is shot for HerFamily Magazine.

Since several home organizing blogs have become popular in the last few years, it’s worth looking around at some of the unique ideas on the web, too. Pam with DIY Design Fanatic suggests taking smaller wicker baskets and nailing them to the closet wall to keep track of socks, tank tops, etc. Multiple blogs recommend installing key hooks or corkboards with push pins to hang necklaces so they don’t get tangled. If you’re not sure where to start looking for ideas, don’t forget about Pinterest. It’s a fabulous source of DIY solutions.

Three National Retailers Expand in Omaha

February 25, 2013 by and
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Kirkland’s
12226 K Plz.
402-334-6795
kirklands.com

After a few years absent from the Nebraska market, national home décor retailer Kirkland’s is back with a larger, more convenient store in the L Street Marketplace shopping center at 120th & L streets, Omaha. “The new location is really centrally located in an area with lots of shopping, and provides a much larger footprint than the store [formerly] at Village Pointe,” says store manager Kristine Kleindienst. “Our showroom is at least double the size of the old location (about 9,300 sq.ft.), which means much more merchandise.”

Framed art, mirrors, accent rugs, and artificial floral arrangements are just a few of the home décor items Kirkland’s carries, all at very affordable price points. The store also offers many gift items and holiday and seasonal items, such as garden accessories. Company sales are very promotion-driven, Kleindienst says, “which prompts many of our customers to come in often and find a good variety of things on sale.”

Kirkland’s closed its Village Pointe store a couple years ago when the national chain underwent a restructuring. “For us, I think the recipe for success was finding the right location, which is what we have now. Customers are coming in and saying they love the bigger store, and that the parking is so much better,” Kleindienst says.

The Tennessee-based specialty store chain has more than 320 stores in 35 U.S. states, primarily in the southeast and east. “But Kirkland’s is growing more in the Midwest,” said Kleindienst, a 16-year veteran retailer. “The company sees a lot of potential for more stores in markets like Sioux Falls and especially Denver.”

HomeGoods
12955 W. Center Rd.
402-334-6287
homegoods.com

HomeGoods, which specializes in bedding, furniture, and housewares, prides itself on selling affordable home accessories and having a frequently changing inventory. HomeGoods operates the home furnishing sections of TJ Maxx n’ More and Marshalls Mega Stores with 400 stores across the U.S. as of September 2012. With its headquarters in Framingham, Mass., items, as well as the store itself, have been featured on HGTV shows and decorating blogs.

Founded in 1992 and now operated by TJX Companies, HomeGoods has been leased in the former Sports Authority space in the Montclair on Center shopping center near 132nd and West Center Road. This makes it the first store in Nebraska, and only the second location in the Midwest (Kansas City). HomeGoods promotes themselves as having “Unique Home Decor and Affordable Home Furnishings,” according to their website, and they offer decorating tips for every space from the bedroom to the backyard. Interior designers and lovers of décor alike can use a series of items from the store to express their design style and keep up with the latest trends in housewares without breaking the bank or traveling several hours.

Pier 1 Imports
7809 Towne Center Pkwy.
402-339-4006
pier1.com

With the growing popularity of Oscar® parties, as well as tea parties inspired by the hit PBS British drama Downton Abbey, the market for table settings, home décor, and dining furniture has greatly expanded, so much that a new Pier 1 Imports has opened in Shadow Lake Towne Center. Alex W. Smith, President and CEO, says, “We are pleased to bring this new Pier 1 Imports to Papillion and hope that our new location will inspire customers to discover the eclectic and fun merchandise that is unique to Pier 1 Imports.”

Customers can shop for items for their dining room, living spaces, home offices, and more at the new store, which will be the fourth location in Nebraska and third in Omaha (72nd & Dodge, Village Pointe). Established in San Mateo, Calif., in 1962, the original Pier 1 Imports catered to hippie baby boomers and included incense and love beads. Now, with over 1000 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Pier 1 specializes in imported home furnishings and décor (i.e. furniture, table-top items, seasonal décor, and decorative accessories).

So whether you’re in the market for a new set of teacups or even a dining room table, Pier 1 is sure to make your Oscar® party or any gathering a major hit!

Patricia Stevens-Kopf

October 25, 2012 by
Photography by Scott Drickey

Coco Chanel said, “A girl should be two things; classy and fabulous.” Patricia Stevens-Kopf lives by this advice, made famous by the style icon.

Stevens-Kopf dons a white lab coat every day for work as medical director at the VCA Animal Medical Center, where she’s worked for 36 years—“Working makes life so much more interesting”—but when not caring for pooches, pussycats, and other, more exotic pets, she’s often found sporting a lot of basic black. “Boring by itself, but simple enough to wear with a fabulous, brightly colored cashmere cardigan or a zip-front hoodie. I like the casual feel of a hoodie with a tailored pencil skirt and a simple shell. I also want to be comfortable, and I like the layered look,” Kopf explains.

The doctor also has an affinity for aqua, which she describes as “the color of the Caribbean,” one of her favorite travel destinations. “I love snorkeling,” she adds.

Shopping Stevens-Kopf’s closet, one mostly finds classic pieces from Ralph Lauren, J Crew, and Etc., as well as pumps, peep-toes and other fun finds from shoe shops Pattini and The Mix, both in Countryside Village. But a handbag is quite often her statement accessory. “I have collected Louis Vuitton for a long time…My first bag came from Paris where they have been made since 1854,” she said. “They are timeless, functional, and lightweight.”

Though she appreciates fine fashion and collecting vintage bags, make no mistake…This vibrant woman knows what’s most important to her. “The things that money cannot buy: the sand and the sea, fun friends, the unconditional love of a pet, a wonderful daughter, and a husband who is my soulmate.”