Memorial Day Tributes: This Year, Say More Than ‘Thank You’.

Why ‘Thank You’ Is Just the Beginning on Memorial Day

Thank you for your service. It’s a phrase that has become almost synonymous with Memorial Day (and to some extent, Veteran’s Day) in America. From billboards to TV ads, graphic design to greeting cards, these 5 words are the catch-all catchphrase that stands for a debt of gratitude that American citizens cannot possibly repay.

And so, with so much to be grateful for in a free country, it might be time to ask ourselves: “Shouldn’t we try to say just a bit more?”

This Memorial Day, say more than "Thank you for your service". (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)
This Memorial Day, say more than “Thank you for your service”. (Credit: Peter Salerno Inc.)

This line of thinking actually started a year ago, when we met with Peter Salerno, owner of our parent company Peter Salerno Inc. and a veteran of the United States Navy. On our way out of the meeting leading up to Memorial Day, we turned at the door and stated, “Hey – thank you for your service.”

Peter smiled, of course, and nodded his head in a “you’re welcome”. Later that day, we realized that while we meant what we said, Peter was probably going to hear the same 5 words dozens more times over the next several days, and had for decades before that.

This isn’t to say that veterans aren’t happy to hear “thank you for your service”. At their core, most American military veterans are humble, modest, and shy away from personal praise. They’re not looking for individual recognition or to be ‘singled out’ for their heroism and valor.

Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!
Peter Salerno, during his service in the U.S. Navy. Happy Memorial Day!

But just because our military heroes don’t ASK for more than a ‘thank you’ doesn’t mean we shouldn’t GIVE it to them.

Think about your own life – what you do, where you’ve been, and what roles you’ve come to occupy in your life. If you’re a teacher, it must be lovely to get your first few “World’s Best Teacher” gifts. As an actor, your first “Break a leg!” is a cool thing to hear. But after countless repetitions of the same well wishes and compliments – whether we mean it or not – those common refrains start to ring a bit hollow and a bit dry.

It doesn’t take much to put a little more effort into your gratitude this Memorial Day! 

If you have a family member, friend, loved one, neighbor or colleague that has served in our nation’s military, take an extra few minutes to find out more about their service, their personal likes and interests. “Design” the military veterans in your life a special show of your thanks – even if it’s as simple as crafting a new way to say “Thank you for your service”.

Take a little time to help a veteran with a project, errand or work around their home. Volunteer to drive an elderly veteran to a Memorial Day Parade or out to lunch. Or do something that’s increasingly rare these days – pick up the phone, send a letter, or make a personal visit.

To the U.S. military veterans and those who gave their lives in service of our country – we know “thank you” isn’t enough to repay you. We also know that you don’t ask for our gratitude, recognition or payment – your sacrifice is selfless. Regardless of why or how you entered the military, the fact remains that you gave of yourselves for the greater good of our country, and you personally protected the freedom and security of families like mine that you will never know or meet.

So this year, we’re choosing not to “thank you for your service”. Because in many ways, we should be thanking you for everything.

Artist Spotlight: “Man Cave” Pop Art + Paintings From Jason Cordero

Jason Cordero’s Sick Pop Art And “Dude Culture” Paintings

Attention, Man Cave Dwellers: We have your wall art.

"Just Put on the Glasses": original artwork from Jason Cordero.
“Just Put on the Glasses”: original artwork from Jason Cordero.

Jason Cordero is a pretty cool guy, and a good artist to boot. His current collection of pop art, wall paintings, and mixed media artwork (available for sale) is a pretty sweet collection for any fan of action movies, retro gaming, or just well-constructed eclectic paintings.

From Super Mario to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, fish tacos to one bad-ass owl, Cordero’s art is a tribute to “dude” pop culture. (Don’t take that to mean that it’s only for men – after all, we have a ton of love for our retro gamer and movie geek gals out there!)

Raccoon Super Mario: original artwork from Jason Cordero.
Raccoon Super Mario: original artwork from Jason Cordero.

Jason isn’t afraid to mix it up when it comes to finding the proper tools to ply his craft. Acrylics, markers, pencil, sugar spray paint, and meticulously cut stencils (some of which take 30-40 hours to create by hand) are some of the media Cordero utilizes to create his art. The resulting pieces manage to occupy the same “theme” visually while casting quite disparate imagery and textures.

From 8″x10″ to 30″x40″ stretched canvas, Cordero’s works range from modest to large in size and are functional in any “man cave”, rec room, or personal space.

"Owl Rising": original artwork from Jason Cordero.
“Owl Rising”: original artwork from Jason Cordero.

We love the idea of hanging Cordero’s work around an entertainment room against light neutral walls, letting the paintings “pop” out around your gaming center, home entertainment system or video game consoles.

Browse through our sample images of Jason Cordero’s eclectic, entertaining pop art, paintings and mixed media work, then click out to browse his gallery of items for sale.

 

Peter Salerno Inc.’s Mendham Showroom Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

Peter Salerno Inc.’s Mendham Showroom Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

One year ago, Peter Salerno Inc. took a leap of faith and opened its second showroom – a quaint but luxurious space along West Main Street in historic Mendham, New Jersey. The move reminded Peter Salerno and his wife Tracy of the risk they took in 1997, when they opened their first showroom location in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

Since their first showroom opened, Peter Salerno Inc. has become the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century. Even when their re-designed main showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey, was named Most Innovative Small Showroom by KBIS in 2015, there was still a need for expansion.

World-class Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design in the new Peter Salerno Inc. boutique showroom in Mendham, NJ.
World-class Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design in the new Peter Salerno Inc. boutique showroom in Mendham, NJ.

With that expansion came the need for greater display space, and Peter’s business family (and actual family) began to look into a satellite showroom. That search led them to beautiful Mendham, New Jersey, a charming town along the famed Patriot’s Path of Revolutionary War lore.

The new Peter Salerno Inc. showroom (located at 5 West Main Street, Mendham, NJ) features multiple custom kitchen design solutions focusing on a blend of classic and contemporary transitional kitchen design. A rustic awning and opulent, original stained glass adorn the front window and invite you inside.

Once inside the Mendham showroom, Peter Salerno dazzles you with fresh white walls and tile resting atop custom kitchen cabinetry. This showcases the perfect blend of “new school” transitional kitchen design and “old world” custom Maestro Rosolino cabinetry that is the hallmark of Peter Salerno Inc. custom kitchen design. Clients can also procure exclusive, unique pieces from the brand new EDGES custom cutlery collection.

The new Peter Salerno Inc. boutique showroom in Mendham, NJ.
The new Peter Salerno Inc. boutique showroom in Mendham, NJ.

From there, you are taken on a “mini” tour of the signature style that has made Peter Salerno Inc. the most award-winning kitchen and bath design firm in North America this century. The boutique showroom features a mix of classic and contemporary, traditional and transitional kitchen design. A large high-definition screen gives our clients a further look into the state-of-the-art Peter Salerno Inc. design portfolio.

The heart of Mendham was the perfect place for Peter Salerno Inc.’s satellite showroom, which balances a charming blend of high-end, world-class kitchen design with the charm of one of the most historic suburbs in New Jersey.

For more information about the one-year anniversary of Peter Salerno Inc.’s Mendham, New Jersey showroom, please call (201) 251-6608 or fill out the contact form below. Congratulations to Peter Salerno and his family on this milestone!

HGTV’s Spring ‘Runway to Home’ Design Article Is a Must-Read

HGTV’s Spring ‘Runway to Home’ Article Is a Must-Read

Every so often, we read an article that’s such a home run we have no choice but to share it. HGTV’s Keri Sanders put together a huge winner recently on HGTV’s Design Blog – a perfect cross of fashion design and home design that is a must-read for designers (and design lovers) across multiple industries.

Keri’s article, “The Hottest Spring Fashion Trends + How to Use Them in Your Home”, is a fantastic primer on how to combine Spring 2017’s hottest design trends in home and fashion. From textures to color blocking, metallics to bright citrus tones, Keri and the HGTV staff show you how to take the hottest spring looks off the runway and use them to reinvigorate your home design.

HGTV is one of our go-to destinations when it comes to drawing inspiration from the world’s foremost custom home designers. It was such a cool treat to find Keri’s article, blending the runway with the living room and the fashion retailer with the home designer.

For the full article, head on over to HGTV’s Design Blog. But while you’re here, grab a sneak peek of some of Keri Sanders’ most inspired ways to utilize Spring 2017’s hottest fashion trends in your home design!

Runway To Home Design Idea #1: Citrus Tones

Citrus tones were everywhere on Spring 2017 fashion design runways and exhibits. If you’re willing to be bold, those tones can make their way into a vibrant home design. From sunrooms to kitchens (and even open plan living spaces), bright citrus tones inject a dose of sunny optimism into your home design.

Pantone Spring 2017 color trends: Flame is a coral that demands attention.

Pantone Spring 2017 color trends: Primrose Yellow injects pure sunshine into spring.

Pantone Spring 2017 color trends: Greenery, the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year.

Bright, bold colors accent this Peter Salerno inc. custom kitchen design. (Credit Peter Rymwid)
Splashes of citrus tones can brighten up your home design in 2017. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

On the Spring 2017 Pantone color palette, 3 tones can qualify as “citrus” in our opinions: the jazzy orange Flame, the soft yellow Primrose Yellow, and the off-lime of Greenery (the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year). While Greenery is the easiest to use in an “all-over” context, don’t be afraid to experiment with dashes and splashes of Flame and Primrose Yellow in your home design accents, decor and accessories.

As for Keri’s advice? She would “recommend adding pops of bright yellows, oranges and pinks via patterned throw pillows, vibrant artwork or even a bold accent wall. ”

Runway To Home Design Idea #2: Textures

“Wicker furniture, painted brick, grasscloth walls — this spring is all about creating interest and depth by incorporating texture within the home,” Keri Sanders explains. All of those trends work beautifully with the home design trend of “greening” your space. Brick, wicker and grasscloth enjoy great design synergy with fresh green plants, ferns, and Pantone Spring 2017 color selections like Greenery, Kale and Hazelnut.

For a more “industrial” aesthetic to your home design, use textures like exposed stone, brick, textured subway tile, and faux stone made from concrete. Cork tile is also a unique way to introduce texture to your flooring.

Pantone Spring 2017 color trends: Kale is a dark, leafy green loved by many.

Pantone Spring 2017 color trends: Hazelnut is a warm, nutty neutral that balances the collection.

Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design, 2017 design trends
This up-close look at a Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 kitchen design shows the use of multiple textures.

Happy Birthday, Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: A Trendsetter Spotlight

An East Coast Trendsetter’s Guide to 2017 Style!

This week, Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer is officially two things we love: a true East Coast trendsetter, and a birthday girl! Ever since we started the Design Your Lifestyle blog movement, we’ve kept tabs on Gabrielle – her fashion, her work, and her personal style.

Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer and her husband, Brian Mayer.
Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer and her husband, Brian Mayer.

Gabrielle was one of our first interviews at Design Your Lifestyle, and much has changed since then. She got married, became an intrinsic part of a world-class kitchen and bath design firm, found the most adorable little Boston terrier you’ll ever see (more on that later!), and fostered her own sense of style. (Oh, and she has a little one on the way!)

But certain things have remained constant in Gabby’s life: a love for the arts, a keen sense for spotting trends, a strong connection with family, and finding joy in helping others achieve their dream home designs.

As Gabrielle celebrates her birthday, we thought it’d be a fun idea to look back at some moments, memories, and insightful interview questions and answers we’ve shared with Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer over the years.

The following article contains excerpts from past interviews with Gabrielle from 2013-present.

Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Professional Style

Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer currently operates as the head of Customer Relations and Social Media Outreach for Peter Salerno Inc., placing her in the “inner circle” of the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm since 2002. (She also serves as Hardware Manager.) Being a third-generation member of the Salerno custom design legacy, Gabrielle has strong ties (and tastes) in the business, and shares memories of then – and now.

Peter Salerno and Gabrielle Mayer with David Podwyszynski & Ramona Panus of Rangecraft at KBIS 2017.
Peter Salerno and Gabrielle Mayer with David Podwyszynski & Ramona Panus of Rangecraft at KBIS 2017.

Gabrielle: I remember when my brother and I were kids, we would go to our grandfather’s shop (Salerno Kitchens), and sneak into the workshop. Obviously, kids weren’t allowed in there, so we would hide in giant armoires and cabinets and try not to be found. Sometimes we’d get caught and the workers would yell at us, but it was amazing to see how they would create everything. It was like being in Santa’s workshop.

Design Your Lifestyle: What attracts you to the design business now?

Gabrielle: I’m a visual person in general; I have a theatre and dance background. I like the way things move and sound, how they incorporate with one another. That’s why I love the designs here; my dad and the designers make everything move and flow together.

Gabrielle is a shining light of positivity, happiness and knowledge, and is a major reason why Peter Salerno’s clients feel an instant sense of comfort when they arrive at the showroom.

Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Personal Style

Let’s be honest. There’s nothing that exudes personal style more than your choice of pet. Gabrielle and her husband Brian have an adorable Boston terrier named Harper, who has become the unofficial Peter Salerno Inc. office puppy and mascot.  (Let’s just hope that Harper gets along with the newest addition to Gabrielle and her husband Brian’s family, due in July 2017!)

Gabrielle celebrates her birthday at Peter Salerno Inc. (with office puppy Harper!)
Gabrielle celebrates her birthday at Peter Salerno Inc. (with office puppy Harper!)

Gabby is a fan of understated class when it comes to personal style and fashion. Much of her wardrobe is inspired by metropolitan fashion trends, with a taste of Cape Cod and Connecticut seashore style mixed in during the summer months.

Gabrielle also stuns in solid color dresses, preferring to let accessories like chunky necklaces and statement jewelry and belts do the “talking”. She’s truly at her best in a simple black or neutral-color dress (see the gorgeous off-brown dress in the photo below) – it’s an understated elegance that infuses her entire look with confidence and timeless style.

Gabrielle Salerno-Mayer: Family Style

The personal and professional truly mesh for Gabrielle at the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom and offices, and she speaks fondly of her unique work experience.

(L to R) Anthony, Gabrielle, Tracy and Peter Salerno in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom.(Photo: Andrew Bisdale)
(L to R) Anthony, Gabrielle, Tracy and Peter Salerno in the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom.(Photo: Andrew Bisdale)

Design Your Lifestyle: It must be unique to be a part of the third generation of a family business.

Gabrielle: Sure – and I know it means a lot to my grandfather that three generations of his family are in the same business. I absolutely love when he comes in the office, and I can offer him a cup of coffee. His face lights up, and it’s like a really nice bonus for me. In that respect, it’s even more rewarding.

The most exciting piece of Gabrielle’s family style has yet to officially arrive – Gabrielle and Brian Mayer are expecting their first child in July 2017! If Gabby’s personal style and way of life are any indication of things to come, the littlest Mayer will be born into a world of love, joy and grace!

Our Favorite New Custom Cutlery and Chef’s Knives – On Sale!

New Custom Cutlery and Chef’s Knives To Drool Over!

Whenever we here at Design Your Lifestyle are in search of the latest high-quality custom cutlery and chef’s knives (a few of us are pretty serious home chefs, after all), there’s only one place we turn. Sometimes, skipping the bigger brands in favor of artisan knives and cutlery pieces is the best way to assure you get the very best craftsmanship, attention to detail, and unique individual pieces to call your own.

Much like custom home design, there’s nothing better than having a set of knives you know are personal to you. Thanks to our trusted advisors at Buy Kitchen Knives, we’re always sure each knife we order is one-of-a-kind, handcrafted by expert craftsmen, and of the highest quality.

EDGES custom cutlery is now available at BuyKitchenKnives.com!
EDGES custom cutlery is now available at BuyKitchenKnives.com!

The thing we like best about Buy Kitchen Knives’ selection is that each brand is proficient in small-batch custom cutlery. It’s also a one-stop cutlery shop for brands we love and trust like EDGES Custom Cutlery, Falls River Cutlery and AMS Knifeworks.

Also, all of Buy Kitchen Knives’ prices INCLUDE US shipping costs – no hidden add-ons!

With the new spring season of 2017 right around the corner, the staff at Buy Kitchen Knives contacted us directly and let us know about their Spring Blowout Sale. Some of their finest cutlery and custom knife pieces (many made within the last 1-2 months) are slashed in price to accommodate new stock entering their online storefront this spring.

In other words, it’s the BEST time to invest in custom cutlery for you, a loved one, or a professional or home chef in your life.

Here are a few of our favorite pieces in Buy Kitchen Knives’ Spring Sale stock!

Buy Kitchen Knives: Our Favorite Spring Sale 2017 Cutlery Pieces

EDGES Custom Cutlery – 8″ Chef and 4″ Paring “Prince Tribute” Set

EDGES Custom Cutlery 8" Chef and 4" Paring Knife Prince Tribute Set.

Crafted in honor of The Purple One’s life, music and passing, this Prince Tribute set features custom-made, one-of-a-kind 8″ chef’s and 4″ paring knives by EDGES Custom Cutlery. Priced down to move at just $700.00 combined, this handcrafted knife set is sleek, efficient and aesthetically beautiful.

Falls River Cutlery – 6″ Chef/Utility Knife

Falls River Cutlery 6" Chef/Utility Knife

From the trusted Falls River Cutlery collection, this unique 6″ custom knife piece is as versatile as it is effective. The 6″ design is slightly smaller than the average chef’s knife but still packs all the usefulness of its larger counterparts. By taking several inches off the classic Chef’s Knife design, this 6″ version provides far more utility and versatility in the kitchen, all for a price of just $200.00

EDGES Custom Cutlery – 8″ Chef’s Knife With Petite Handle

EDGES Custom Cutlery 6" Chef's Knife with Petite Handle

Those of us with smaller hands who love working in the kitchen know the struggle of finding a beautiful, strong 8″ chef’s knife with a handle that’s just a little too big or bulky for us. Enter the Petite Handle version of EDGES’ 8″ Chef’s Knife, with a smaller handle construction that still balances perfectly at the ricasso. A truly one-of-a-kind piece, this is a steal at $500.00.

Observe 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service With Us!

Observe the 2017 MLK Day of Service With Us!

As a wise relative once told us, “Your small blessings can become very big when you share them with the world.”

Monday, January 16, 2017 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States – a day on which to remember one of the greatest social influencers, champions of peace and public servants in American history. It’s a day to reflect on how we can change the world in a positive manner – but it’s also a day to DO something to make the world better!

(And yes, we are a style and design blog – but nothing is more stylish than serving others.)

Take part in the 2017 MLK Day of Service!
Take part in the 2017 MLK Day of Service!

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the 2017 MLK Day of Service “is a way to transform Dr. King’s life and teachings into community service that helps empower and strengthen local communities.”

Their motto (which we LOVE): Martin Luther King, Jr. Day might be a holiday – but it’s not a day off, it’s a day on!

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” — The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The mission statement of MLK Day of Service is to form a three-step plan to positively impact your community and the world around you.

  1. PLAN. Develop a plan to help those in need in whatever way you can. If you can donate to a local food bank (like our parent company does every Thanksgiving), go for it! If you’re involved in a trade, help fix up housing in disrepair. Whatever you can do to help is welcome – share your time and talent with those who can benefit from it!
  2. SERVE. If you are having trouble figuring out how to spend your MLK Day of Service, use this official list of recommended community projects to find a worthy cause in your neighborhood. Whether it’s on Martin Luther King Day or a day shortly after, make the commitment and devote some time!
  3. IMPACT. Tell the world about your Day of Service (or days!) and register your pledge to serve. Pledge a number of hours in your state, and note what area of service is receiving your time and effort. Not only will you inspire others to follow suit, but you will also help local government and charitable organizations see what areas of need still exist in your community!

Honor Dr. King's legacy with MLK Day of Service!
Honor Dr. King’s legacy with MLK Day of Service!
No matter what you choose to do for 2017’s Martin Luther King Day of Service, take the initiative and DO SOMETHING! Together, we can change the world – but only if we get up and try.

We, along with our parent company and staff at Peter Salerno Inc., honor and revere the legacy of non-violence, social activism, and peaceful progress that was left by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and wish you all a day of peace, love, and service.