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Renovation Checklist

Renovations are exciting yet daunting. Chances are, you have been waiting for ages to start a renovation and more and more items are getting added to the list. Some people choose to completely remodel their home in one go while others prefer to do it in small phases. There is no right or wrong as long as you have direction! If you don’t even know where to begin when planning a renovation, keep reading. We have outlined a renovation checklist for you to help you get started.

Have A Plan

Step one is to always have a plan. The three key components of this plan is a wish list, budget, and a timeline. Sit down and create a wish list – one column for what you want and another for what you need and number them according to priority. If you do not live alone, we highly suggest you do this with your partner as you will discover that your priorities may differ. The next step is to determine your budget. This is really important to do before you meet with a designer or contractor and be sure to build in some padding – at least 10% for anything unexpected. You will find that if your budget is tight, then you might only be able to knock off a couple items on that wish list or maybe it will mean that you will have to settle with a more affordable laminate instead of engineered wood floors. And of course, you need to figure out your timeline. If you only have one month before Christmas, then maybe tearing down the walls from your dining room to the kitchen isn’t the right item to tackle on your list.

Do Your Research

If you are not doing the renovation yourself, you will need to find a contractor and/or an interior designer. When looking for an interior designer, make sure they are reputable. We suggest hiring a firm or individual who is a Registered Interior Designer (RID) with experience. This important as they are not only trained and passed examinations, but also carry practicing insurance. We have two RIDs on our team here at Area 3 – Brenda and Kulpreet – who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to every project. Experienced interior designers will also have relationships with reputable contractors that they have worked with and can recommend. This can save you a lot of time. Do a walkthrough or consultation with the interior designer and contractor of your space before a contract is drawn up. There may be an initial consultation fee for this, however, their knowledge and expertise will indicate any red flags, and help you identify what needs to be taken care of. It’s also a great opportunity to see if the designer or contractor are a great fit for you and your project (after all you will be working closely together). Finally, read through and understand your contract before you sign on the dotted line! Contracts can be based on a fixed fee, a fee plus mark up, hourly or even design-build.  If you have a family member or friend who has had a successful renovation ask for a referral.

Be Prepared

Before your renovation can start there are always a few things to take care of. If you are doing a large renovation in your home you may need to move out for a duration of time. A building permit, or simple electrical or plumbing permit may be required. Be prepared this can add weeks to your project while you await approval. What will be your living arrangement? Maybe you can handle living in only half of your home, but where will the existing furniture go?  You may need to rent a storage space to house those pieces until the renovations are complete. Can you function without your kitchen and if so for how long? If you live in a Strata, be sure to clear your renovations with them. There may only be a certain time that construction is permissible due to noise and waste might need to be stored in a location. Some food for thought before you get going!

What is on your renovation wish list? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designrenovation

 

 

 

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Vancouver Treasures – Best Vintage Stores in the City

Let’s face it, vintage shopping is like treasure hunting. You have to go in determined and ready to unearth the most beautiful and one-of-a-kind item – sometimes to no avail. It takes patience to hop from one store to the next and it often takes hours to go through each of them! It seems that in fashion and interior decorating the key to getting that effortlessly cool, but the lived-in look is with a couple quality vintage pieces. Why settle for cheap knock-offs, like those infamous Eames chairs when you can have an authentic piece? They have a story to tell and add so much character. Before you go and tackle all the vintage stores in the city (there are tons), read on for our top picks!

Vintage Furniture

For those who don’t know, it’s no secret that we love Scandinavian design. The timeless and functional design combined with detailed craftsmanship make these pieces highly coveted. If you want to find an original here in Vancouver, your first stop should be Fullhouse Vintage + Modern in the Armoury District. Their large vintage collection focuses mainly on pieces from the 1930’s to the 1960’s and includes designers such as Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Hans Olsen and many more. A great place to find Mid Century Modern pieces from the 1950’s to the 1980’s is Attic Treasures. From chairs and tables to beds and lighting, there are some great furniture pieces to be found here – especially if you’re looking for teak! Relatively new to Vancouver is Gild & Co. which has a mix of vintage and new. Take a look here if you want something a little more glamorous – such as tufted sofas and gilded mirrors – alongside some modern Danish designs and rustic Canadiana antiques.

Vintage Clothing

The search for vintage clothing can be vast and for those of us who have a very particular taste that doesn’t involve wild colors or patterns, the hunt can be tedious. One of our absolute favorite stores to find vintage clothes is Hey Jude in Gastown. The small boutique is perfectly edited with 100% silk tops, tailored knits and worn-in denim which speak to a modern working girl aesthetic. Although the prices are in the mid to high range, you will have a headache-free shopping experience! Not too far away is Community Thrift & Vintage which offers more retro dresses, heels, and jewelry. What we love most about Community is that proceeds go towards underserved residents of the DTES. Hunter & Hare is another small boutique with fantastic finds. It has a curated selection of consigned items that include everyday basics to special-occasion attire that is gently worn. While you’re there you can also pick up a greeting card or a small crafted good such as a candle from local makers!

Which vintage store will you visit first? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designvintage!

 

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You are losing money if you don’t hire an Interior Designer

Everyone loves binge-watching HGTV in their free time and get inspired to take on a big renovation project. The designers on these shows make it look so easy! Just demolish a wall here, add a light fixture there and maybe even a window. Then pick a few finishes, paint colors and some new furniture, art, and décor. Voila! Is it really that easy? Unfortunately, they don’t call it “movie magic” for nothing. Before you get too excited about ripping out portions of your home, please consider hiring a professional interior designer. No, our services are not free, but we will help you in areas you didn’t even think about. Trust us, you will lose a lot less money and sleep with our help!

What a lot of people don’t know about the role of an interior designer is that we do a lot of project management. Depending on the size of a project there are a lot of people that will need to come on board such as a contractor, plumber, electrician, and millworker. It takes a lot of work to make sure everything is coordinated properly, and the result of the design is exactly as planned. Want to demolish a few walls? You are going to need a building permit and someone to put together that permit set – which is usually done by the interior designer. These things take time and it can take weeks before approval. If these things aren’t done right, you will need them redone, which will end up costing you quite a bit of money. It’s always better to have things done right the first time around! We work with the client’s team and trades. We can save you countless hours of running around from showroom to showroom, only to end up more overwhelmed than when you started. We can determine what products and materials best fit your aesthetic, budget and timeline.

Budgeting is always a factor in a design – time and money. If you are tight on time, then your budget will need to grow. However, even if you have money to spend, there is still a certain amount of time needed for certain things to get done. As we were saying earlier, some things such as building permits can take weeks and if one part of the process falls behind schedule, a few other things will subsequently follow. Time needs to be allotted for custom millwork pieces, tiles from Italy and a table from Finland – a term we call ‘lead time’ in our lingo. These items don’t just show up in a few days! Time needs to be given to the substrates to get certain things done and in the right order. Interior designers will put together a project timeline that is realistic and keeps the project team in the loop to make sure the project is done in a timely fashion. Who doesn’t like things that come in on time and on a budget? We will make sure your project is done right with great design, thoughtful choices in materials, and attention to detail. We take the time to understand each client and their specific needs. Below you will find a few photos of a past private residential project. This client had a young family and wanted to live here indefinitely. This was a home her children would grow up in. The open kitchen, dining and family room design encouraged more family time. The mudroom allowed for the kids to throw their backpack down and find a space for their shoes. The den was part mom’s space to manage the household bills, watch over the children doing their homework and showcase the family vintage encyclopedia collection. These are just a few ways an Interior Designer can help you with your dream project.

 

Have you hired an Interior Designer? We would love to hear about your experience #area3designhireadesigner

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12 Best Websites for Design Inspiration

As designers, we are always keeping our eye out for inspiration. Some days we get a great idea on a walk, sketching or simply making coffee. Other days we may get designer’s block (similar to writer’s block) and need something to help prompt some ideas. Images are great for that! There are so many great websites out there that provide us with inspiration. Many beyond Pinterest, but where should you look? Here are 12 of our favorite websites for design inspiration that will leave you scrolling, clicking and very inspired for hours.

  1. Designspiration 

If you have never used Designspiration before, you are missing out! It is similar to Pinterest but is focused only on design. It’s perfect for some interior design, graphic design, typography and architecture inspiration. Create an account and you can save them all just like Pinterest!

 

  1. Design Milk 

Design Milk is a fun site for all kinds of design related inspiration. From architecture and interiors to style, tech and travel, you will come across quite a variety of interesting images and articles. Their Instagram accounts also make it very easy to follow along!

  1. Houzz 

Houzz is a great site for discovering design ideas for your home as well as a great tool to find design professionals (like us!). You can even shop for a variety of design products from their curated collection. You will find us there. We have been fortunate enough to win “Best of Houzz” for the last few years.

  1. Gray Magazine 

For those looking for some local Pacific Northwest inspiration, Gray magazine features some of the best. You’ll always find interiors, architecture, fashion, art and design that will keep you dreaming. It might also inspire your next design filled trip to Seattle or Portland!

  1. Western Living Magazine

For a little more lifestyle inspiration, Western Living is the place to look. Among the great images of homes and design is food, wine and travel. A fantastic mix we must say!

  1. Interior Design Magazine 

If you want to be inspired by some of the best interiors worldwide – whether it be the home, office or hospitality – definitely start at Interior Design Magazine’s website.

  1. Azure Magazine 

Azure has some great features such as their product guide that can help you find anything from residential furniture to flooring and appliances. The Field Trip category also has some great shots of spaces around the world that you’ve never seen before!

  1. Dwell

Need some modern home inspiration for your residence? Dwell is dedicated to that and features some very unique homes that are sure to spark some ideas. With that midcentury vibe and some stunning prefab homes, this is sure to be found on many a coffee table.

  1. Dezeen 

For architecture and interior design enthusiasts in all aspects, Dezeen has a plethora of posts that you will delve into. From forward-thinking buildings to sculptural cakes [https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/07/dinara-kasko-sculptural-cakes-carved-from-sheets-chocolate-food-design/?li_source=LI&li_medium=recommended_movies_block], you are sure to stumble upon something drool worthy.

  1. ArchDaily 

As the name suggests, Arch Daily is your go-to site for architecture. Explore buildings from around the world – small and large! Each project has its own page along with some great images, drawings, and details.

  1. Yellowtrace

Design inspiration and resources for creative and curious minds is the tagline here, and they do not disappoint. Started in 2010 by an Interior Designer they have become an influential and award-winning online design publication (one of my favorites).

  1. Behance

Whether it is architecture, interior design, graphics, photography or renderings be prepared to lose a few hours. Launched in 2005 Behance has become the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. The creative world updates their work in one place to broadcast it widely and efficiently. Some amazing talent in the world. A great source of inspiration.

What are your favorite websites for design inspiration? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designinspiration

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2018 Design Forecast

There’s nothing more fun than forecasting for the year ahead. Like the weather, things are always changing with new trends and new products on the horizon that push innovation. In design, there are a few things we can always count on – one of them being Pantone’s Color of the Year, which is Ultra Violet for 2018 – and IKEA (we are only half joking). IKEA did in fact debut the new YPPERLIG collection designed with Danish design company HAY in the Fall, which we are more than over the moon about, but that is old news. We’ve looked into the crystal ball and rounded up a few new and noteworthy products to keep your eyes peeled for and lust after this year. Keep reading to find out

Modular Seating

The way we live and work has dramatically changed in the last few years. No longer are we confined to stationary screens and computers to do our work or enjoy entertainment. We almost demand flexibility and adaptability with our smartphones, tablets, and laptops – shouldn’t our furniture also change with us? With our ever-changing needs, modular furniture appears to be our best solution and it doesn’t have to be boxy and uncomfortable. Francesco Rota designed the PLUS system for Lapalma which is a collection of curvy, soft components, including rectangular, square and round-ended seat shapes, two sizes of backrests, an armrest and a table. Minimalist and quite fun, these pieces can be rearranged to your preference whether that be a classic sofa or floating seats in a large living room. You can even have the side tables outfitted with a power supply so your gadgets are never out of juice.

Surface Charging

Speaking of the power supply, have you noticed that power outlets are in hot demand? They are hotspots when you go to the airport or the mall – we constantly need to recharge our smartphones. The day when you can wirelessly charge your phone from almost any surface is not too distant. The Blend Into Space everyday objects by design studio PESI is sure to be on your radar for 2018. It is a conceptual collection of furnishings and homewares with wireless-charging technology integrated below every surface designed as a part of Samsung’s startup incubation program, Creative Square. There is no doubt that these products will fly off the shelves.

Smart and Wearables

While we are still on the topic of smart technology, we cannot forget about the smartwatch. Although it has not been adopted into our everyday lives as readily as our smartphones, they are still evolving to meet our needs – and more importantly our design tastes. Skagen Denmark just released their new Falster Smartwatch and it is the perfect cross between your classic watch with the technology of a smartwatch. It looks classy with a minimalist LCD touchscreen face and runs Android Wear so you can tap and swipe your way through messages, music, and activity tracking data. Watch out Apple!

Minimalist Gadgets

For something a little more low-tech and practical, we have this beautifully designed PlusMinus [http://selek.design/11-plusminus.html] minimalist screwdriver from  Selek Design. Can we take a moment to admire how sleek it is? We would probably try to find reasons to take it out for a spin as often as possible. It is also so compact that you can do without the bulky toolbox and just stash it in a drawer. Now if only there was tape measure on the market that is just as gorgeous to match!

Grids

A trend we’ve been starting to see is the use of grids – simple lines intersecting and joined together. It’s a great pattern and is fairly timeless in our opinion. Kallista has taken this idea even further by creating their new faucet named Grid. Using cutting-edge technology, innovation, and design, the faucet is 3D printed. The faucet celebrates the beauty of geometrical minimalism and coupled with a matte black finish, it is simply stunning. We are amazed by its outline form which hides discrete interior waterways. It is sure to be a show stopper once installed in a bathroom!

What are you forecasting for design in 2018? Let us know with the hashtag #area3forecast2018

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5 Must-Visit Vancouver Restaurants

Happy new year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with quality time with friends and family. Now that it is January and you have had your fair share of turkey, it’s time to create a new list – one filled with restaurants you must visit this year (sans turkey)! Vancouver is filled to the brim with many unique places to dine out at. No matter what your preferred cuisine is, there is something out there for you and your budget. Of course, we like to consider design alongside a fantastic food and drink menu, so we have put together a list of our top picks for you! If a scrumptious meal in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere sounds delightful, read on!

 

Hawksworth Restaurant

Hawksworth restaurant is hands-down one of the best restaurants in Vancouver and is on the top of our list for a very good reason. Situated in the historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia, it is definitely one of the higher-end restaurants in the city. The restaurant opened in 2011 and was designed by the highly acclaimed Alessandro Munge. The design is sophisticated and elegant without being over the top and is the perfect backdrop for the carefully created menu by chef David Hawksworth. If dinner at Hawksworth restaurant is out of your budget, we suggest splurging on their brunch! It is equally as delicious and the service is always top notch. We highly recommend trying the steak and eggs!

Botanist

One of the newest additions to the Vancouver food scene is the Botanist. It is tucked away on the second floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim and is a hidden gem you must discover. The restaurant is divided into different areas, each with its own cocktail menu, so if you come back more than once you will have a unique experience each time. The atmosphere is chic and inspired by the principles of botany with jewel-toned velvets on a backdrop of white and hints of wood designed by Ste Marie Design and Glasfurd & Walker. The plating of the food makes it look like a piece of art – almost to perfect to eat! The house-made fougasse bread with European whipped butter is absolutely delectable. You can also order some to take home with you!

The Victor

If you haven’t visited the new Parq, going for dinner at The Victor is your perfect excuse! This restaurant not even open a month yet – is sure to become one of the city’s favorites.  It’s hard to miss the U-shaped copper façade of this brand-new building when driving into Vancouver on the Cambie Street bridge. Go up to the 6th floor through the tranquil rooftop urban park and there you will find The Victor. Moody with a hint of eclecticism, The Victor has an upbeat vibe that hints at the beginning of an eventful night at the Parq. The restaurant is a steakhouse with an offering of Japanese cuisine – we would suggest sticking with the steaks though. Choose the cut of your choice and pair it with a couple sides! We can’t wait for the nice weather, so we can enjoy a cocktail outside on the well-landscaped rooftop. Since you are already at the Parq, hop over to the D/6 Lounge afterward for a nightcap next to their steam fireplace!

Mott 32

Vancouver has no shortage of Chinese restaurants, but Mott 32 is not your typical one. Nested in the iconic Trump Tower designed by the late Arthur Erickson, Mott 32 takes Chinese food to the next level in a contemporary setting. It is a celebrates the culture and cuisine of Hong Kong with a menu of principally Cantonese dishes. You have to try their made-to-order Hot & Sour Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings and Hong Kong Iced Tea! The retro-meets modern design and presentation of not only the interiors but also each dish are what makes Mott 32 truly unique. Peek into the private dining rooms to see how each one has its own character!

Minami

Minami is a Yaletown favorite and top player in Vancouver’s thriving sushi scene. The trendy restaurant is designed with a welcoming, bright and modern Japanese palette. It is the sister restaurant to Miku in Coal Harbour and also offers the flame seared Aburi style sushi. It is very easy to enjoy an entire night filled with good conversation in this lively restaurant. The cuisine is as fresh as the interiors with Ocean Wise seafood options and regional ingredients. Make sure to try the Aburi Beef Carpaccio, Salmon Oshi Sushi and Sashimi Platter with sake!

 

Which restaurant will you visit first? Let us know if the hashtag #area3restaurants

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Holiday Style

The lights are strung, mistletoe is hung and the background music consists of familar Christmas tunes. Hopefully your shopping is complete thanks to a little help from our Area3 2017 Christmas Gift Guide.  With a bit of luck all those presents are wrapped and safely under the tree! Without a doubt the season festivities have already begun! From staff Christmas parties to gatherings with family and friends, the nightly events are endless. For those of us who have completely forgotten about the amount dinners we will need to attend (and possibly host), or simply don’t want pictures wearing the same outfit twice – read on! Time to give your go-to little black dress a rest and amp up your holiday style!

If there’s one time of year where a little glitz and glam is acceptable, it is definitely the holidays. Before you go out and find a number that covers you from head to toe, remember that a little goes a long way! Some people might argue that jumpsuits are a bit too casual, but we think that they are a perfect alternative to a dress. They are so easy to wear and a favorite here. We like the simple cut and nice texture of this belted velvet jumpsuit from COS which can be dressed up or down. Dynamite also has an affordably priced belted jumpsuit in burgundy with slit sleeves that would pair nicely a statement bag. For a dress that has some shine, but isn’t glittery, this printed silk slip dress from Little Moon, available at Aritza is a great way to go. No outfit is complete without a great pair of heels! Whether you want a classic pump or something a little more daring, the options are endless. We love the simplicity and gold detail of this Acedda pump from Aldo . If you have decided to go with a simple dress or jumpsuit, turn heads with this lace-up chunky heel from RAYE . Finally, top off your outfit with a bag or clutch that holds all your evening essentials! Your phone and lipstick need to go somewhere, right? The box clutch is hot this season and a few stores like Zara and Nine West have some great options. Ever New also has a chic box clutch in a timeless black faux leather with gold hardware. Do you have many holiday parties to attend? Transform any outfit with a quick switch of footwear, jewelry and a bag. You’re good to go!

What is your holiday style? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3holidaystyle

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You say coffee, I say design

What’s a lively conversation, and a rich cup of coffee without the perfect ambiance? Nothing worthwhile for the time of a busy designer! Rain or shine, Vancouver has no shortage of hip and charming coffee shops for that caffeine fix with friends. Here we round up a few of our favorite places to grab a cup of joe!

Revolver

Practically the wizards of coffee. Everything is measured to precision and served by the definition of fresh. Specialty pour over coffee goes well with the snug seating that lines the walls for some serious one on one convo. The aesthetic matches the central Gastown location; Warm woods, industrial lighting, and brick walls. All in all making it an essential coffee time favorite.

Matchstick

What’s better than getting your morning started with coffee? Not much! However, feeling relaxed while doing it measures pretty close. The brand is home to a few locations, but each one never fails to pair gorgeous blonde woods with in house roasted coffee. The minimal aesthetic goes well with a light and genuine conversation. Every coffee is just as simple and honest of each of their café’s.

JJ Bean

It is a tested fact that JJ Bean makes one of the best chai lattes and chocolate zucchini muffins around town. Not only appetizing but, each location has an amazing layout and unique feature. The dynamic skylight at Cambie and 18th, the herringbone stone wall at the Dunsmuir location, and the large decorative cedar columns throughout the Lonsdale location are just a few of the fun design elements.

49th Parallel

This coffee shop deserves all the hype surrounding it! Lucky’s doughnuts and their in house coffee roasting is done to a whole new level of professional quality. There is something very charming about their vintage light blue branding, and industrial decor. There various locations always offer a friendly vibe. We especially love the large fresh patio space on w.4th that can be enjoyed year round.

Timbertrain

Another great example of a slow bar café, this location starts from the bottom up with one of a kind coffee, espresso, and more. They pick their beans, they roast in house, and they do their pour overs right there for you to watch. Their passion for coffee rivals that of their design aesthetic. Surrounded by red brick walls, and warm hardwoods, it’s as if you were sitting in a train station on a quiet night, seeking true comfort and a delicious coffee.

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Contemporary Florals

Remember that floral printed sofa from your childhood? Just the memory of it makes me cringe. If you have been avoiding floral prints like the plague, this might be the season you give it a chance. Lately we have seen a lot of geometric prints such as hexagons, chevron… you name it. We think it is time to try something different for a change! Gone are the days when florals reminded you of the Victorian Era. Taking an entirely new direction, they have moved away from the traditional look and feel – projecting a cool and modern vibe that can be incorporated into schemes that are urban and contemporary. There are no rules as to how you can add floral patterns into your space, although we would advise you to do so sparingly. Keep reading to find out how we would incorporate florals into a space!

Marimekko

Why not try something daring and layer bold florals over bold geometric patterns? You can give this look a try in almost any room! From wallpaper and fabrics to décor and stationary, you can give this bold look a chance in a small or big way. Finnish design house Marimekko offer a range of floral prints like you have never seen before. Large scale, somewhat abstract and combined with eye catching colors, Marimekko is not for the faint of heart. If you love Scandinavian design (like we do), these prints are sure to add that extra jolt of iconic Scandinavian flare to your space. Pair them with a black and white grid or abstract geometric pattern and you can’t go wrong! This is also a great line for that tween or teen room makeover. Head over to EQ3 who carry a large quantity of this product line and check out some of their home décor pieces. We love the teapot!

Art Inspired

Paintings of flowers have taken a huge turn from the literal depictions we have seen absolutely everywhere… what a relief! Although they can be hard to find, with a little searching on the internet, we have unearthed a couple artists that have put a modern spin on these. Their interpretations of florals are simply beautiful. We have recently used this artist – Vivian Caits in a model home at Zetter Place. Her artwork has a watercolor effect that creates a soft abstract floral-like design. Looking for a piece with neutral tones? Lori Popadiuk, a local Vancouver artist is one to check out. She has mixed media pieces in her wide open collection. Her free movement and subtle brush strokes just hint at the silhouette of a flower.

Fashion Forward

Spring or fall we are still seeing a strong floral influence in fashion. By any chance did you purchase a floral lace number over the holidays? Perhaps like this one at Nordstrom by BB Dakota? We appreciate the subtlety of lace embroidery, flocking and laser cut outs for our floral fashion fix. The new delicate direction is one we might even embrace here at Area3. This floral pouch by ZAC Zac Posen from Shopbop is sure to add some fun to you wardrobe. Looking for something more romantic? Consider this silk button-up shirt from Equipment or how about this revealing lace number. Sure to be a contender for that date night. For the faint of heart, try adding a simple accessory like this scarf from Indigo (also easy on your wallet). Keep it simple with just a hint of floral in your wardrobe or your home decor taking cues from the latest in fashion!

contemporary-florals-image

 

How will you embrace the floral trend? Let us know with the hashtag #area3floral

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Happy 3rd Birthday Area3!

 

Well three years ago today, we did it! I mean we really did it! According to some it was the best idea we ever had, others questioned our judgement. What did we do? We quit our long term employment to start my own business. Crazy right? Well I had been reading articles on Inc. Entrepreneur and Success magazine for years…. I mean all these other successful entrepreneurs before us had done it. Sure we had read about the first few years and some of the challenges, but that didn’t apply to us. We had it all figured out! We wrote a business plan, researched and had lots of experience. Well turns out there was some truth to those articles – the first year is a grind! Say goodbye to your personal life. My one business partner saw me more than her own husband. The second year is like the terrible two’s those growing pains, more expenses and new challenges. Come the third year we are starting to grow!!!! More staff, learning to hire out for those tasks that aren’t our specific background. We are finally starting to understand cash flow (kinda) and those crazy financial documents our account keeps trying to explain. Quickbooks and I are on a first name basis now! We are all wearing extra hats – payables, IT, HR, law, marketing, etc. but the really cool thing is every year we are getting a lil smarter, grasping a little more and having a lot of fun! Did I mention the best part of owning your own business? You get to work with people you love being around. You go to an office every day you helped design! You get to create the type of company culture you always wished you had, and you get to celebrate every milestone with your team. We do work hard, but we also know how to appreciate every new client, new project, new hire and especially every Area3 Birthday. We are so excited to see what this year brings. If you ever dreamed of owning your own business we say go for it! It has been one of the most rewarding things we have done!

 

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