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August 16, 2017 | - Part 2

Archive for » August 16th, 2017«

Idea Farmer Named One of Ad World’s Top Ten Fastest Growing Companies by Inc. Magazine

, an independent, full-service creative agency, announced
today it has been named one of the ad world’s top ten fastest growing
companies by Inc. Magazine. The LA-based agency took the number seven
spot in the Advertising Marketing category in this year’s Inc. 500,
finishing #95 overall on the list. The Inc. 500 represents the elite top
ten percent of the broader Inc. 5000 list also published today.

Launched as a content studio in 2011, Idea Farmer has since expanded
into a full-service creative agency, developing global campaigns for
clients including KitchenAid, Shutterfly, Subaru and Muscle Milk. Recent
highlights include powering the launch of KitchenAid’s Artisan Mini
Mixer with a four-continent, multi-language content/influencer blitz
that reached nearly a quarter of a billion consumers. The firm’s
story-driven approach helps brands connect with their audiences
meaningfully and authentically with engaging and useful content that
integrates naturally into consumers’ multi-platform media journeys.

“It’s an incredible honor to be included as one of the top ten ad
companies on this year’s Inc. list and reflects the amazing talent and
dedication that our team brings to the office every day,” said Idea
Farmer founder and CEO Josh Beane. “We’re continually pushing ourselves
to do the best work and our clients have really responded.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an
interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other
criteria, can be found at

About Idea Farmer

Idea Farmer is an independent, full-service creative agency specializing
in the development and distribution of branded entertainment for some of
the world’s most iconic brands. With a focus on classic storytelling and
influencer amplification, the firm helps clients forge meaningful
connections with audiences across cultures and around the world. For
more information, please visit

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Open House to Celebrate Grand Opening of Freedom Design Kitchen & Bath’s New Showroom in North Royalton, Ohio

KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio at Freedom Design Kitchen  Bath in North Royalton, Ohio

A homeowner and designer collaborate on product selection and design in the KraftMaid Vantage(R) Design Studio in Freedom Design Kitchen Bath’s new showroom in North Royalton, Ohio.

Homeowners love the hands-on experience of the Design Studio. It’s essentially a playground for pulling colors and styles together. The homeowner can quickly make design decisions and keep their renovation project moving forward.

What ambitious homeowner, enthusiastically setting out on a major remodeling project, won’t at some point feel overwhelmed by today’s vast and growing array of fittings and furnishings for the kitchen and bath?

There are so many styles, colors, materials, finishes, and accessories to choose from.

This feeling of “options overload” especially arises when today’s Internet-savvy consumers begin to pre-shop for home improvement products online.

The situation calls for a kitchen and bath showroom that greatly simplifies and builds confidence in the process of selecting products and deciding on the design. But where to find it?

Good news! The Cleveland area’s homeowners now have exactly this kind of “easier, faster, better” kitchen and bath design center. The region’s remodeling professionals and interior decorators are excited to welcome the groundbreaking new showroom’s arrival too.

This Saturday’s grand opening and open house at Freedom Design Kitchen Bath’s newest showroom, in North Royalton, will highlight how this long-preferred resource for the area’s home remodelers has significantly stepped up the product selection and design process with the KraftMaid Vantage® Design Studio.

Freedom Design’s aim with the new showroom, their second in the Cleveland area, is to help homeowners achieve their dream kitchen and bath designs more easily, quickly, and confidently than ever before. The Design Studio is key to making this happen. Within its innovative display and work spaces, the homeowner can see, touch, and compare products, and collaborate with the designer to visualize colors and door styles for their new kitchen or bath.

The Design Studio is centrally located in the showroom to create an ideal environment for engaging homeowners and designers in their collaborative selection and design process.

See and Learn the Way to a Better Design

The grand opening and open house will happen this Saturday, August 19, from 9 am to 4 pm in Freedom Design’s new North Royalton showroom at 6285 Royalton Rd.

Staffers from all of Freedom Design locations will participate in the event. The company has another showroom in Stow, also featuring the KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio, and offices in Hudson. Overall, Freedom Design employs 14 people.

Also on hand for the grand opening and open house will be Sarah Reep, KraftMaid(R) Cabinetry’s Director of Designer Relations and Education. Reep, a Master Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer, will answer attendees’ questions about design trends, how to personalize the kitchen or bath design, and working with the designer for best results. She is an internationally recognized thought leader and consultant in kitchen and bath design and showroom strategy. Reep regularly writes for Kitchen Bath Design News and has served as an expert advisor to ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Anyone with interest in home remodeling and enthusiasm for design is welcome to attend the new showroom’s grand opening and open house. Light refreshments will be served.

New Strategies for a Shifting Market

Owner and president Bill Staycheff founded Freedom Design in 2002 after nearly a quarter-century of success in sales for window, door, and cabinet manufacturers. “Our new showroom and Design Studio,” he says, “are the natural outgrowths of our evolving business strategy.”

Staycheff explains: “We started out primarily serving home builders and contractors. That’s where we got about 80 percent of our initial business. But we began to see our market shift. Builders were increasingly turning to commodity suppliers. Then came the Great Recession and a near halt to new home construction. Our future clearly pointed to homeowners and remodeling specialists. They’re the people who most value our product lines and personalized services.”

Indeed, the by-category breakout of Freedom Design’s clientele has almost completely inverted over the years. “Today,” says Staycheff, “about 90 percent of our sales come from homeowners and remodeling specialists. They look to us for cabinets, countertops, tiles, fixtures, flooring, and appliances – and, of course, for their custom kitchen and bath designs.”

Along the way, Freedom Design has significantly reformulated their location and merchandising strategies. Per Staycheff, “When we used to focus on builders and contractors, we could afford to be in an industrial park or another out-of-the-way place. People could find us when they needed us. But that doesn’t work with our retail homeowners today.”

Staycheff continues: “Homeowners need to see us and get drawn in. That’s why we moved to our North Royalton and Stow showrooms. They’re in highly trafficked areas, with clear visibility. Homeowners who are looking for us can easily find us, and other homeowners who are passing by may become interested and stop in.”

Dedicated Space for Design Collaboration

Freedom Design’s showrooms, with their KraftMaid Vantage Design Studios, tell a distinctly Northern Ohio story of business success. KraftMaid cabinets are manufactured in Middlefield, Ohio, only an hour’s drive from the Stow and North Royalton stores. “Homeowners love to support the local community,” Staycheff says. “They also like the family feeling here.” Staycheff’s son Mark helps him lead the business, and many employees have been with the company from the start.

From KraftMaid Cabinetry’s perspective, Freedom Design has been practically the perfect test case for the Design Studio concept, which the cabinetry manufacturer recently began rolling out after several years in research and development. KraftMaid offers the Design Studio in a range of sizes and configurations to fit the varying spaces of their KraftMaid Vantage dealers’ showrooms.

The Design Studio puts samples of a strategically selected set of KraftMaid products – the hottest new styles along with the best sellers – at the fingertips of the customer and designer as they collaborate. The display can feature samples of up to 152 colors, 78 door styles, and 93 hardware accessories, depending on which Design Studio configuration is installed.

All product samples are easily removed for comparing and combining in color and design palettes. This lets the homeowner see, touch, and feel – for real – what they have likely already explored online.

At the Design Studio’s center is a collaborative design table with comfortable chairs. From the lowered ceiling panels above, a pendant lamp controls brightness for viewing styles and colors accurately. The ceiling panels also work to muffle distracting sounds from outside the studio. Special flooring in the signature KraftMaid Cabinetry aubergine color helps set the space apart from other showroom activity.

A Kitchen or Bath to Fall in Love With

“Homeowners love the hands-on experience of the Design Studio,” says Karen Brawn, Director of Marketing for KraftMaid Cabinetry. “It’s essentially a playground for pulling colors and styles together. The homeowner can quickly make design decisions and keep their renovation project moving forward.”

The KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio helps Freedom Design deliver on their promise to provide the Cleveland area’s best one-stop shopping resource for the kitchen and bath. The display easily installs as a turnkey solution, and can be easily updated as KraftMaid Cabinetry’s product line changes.

Bill Staycheff says, “We’ve watched as homeowners walk in, engrossed in their smart phones or conversations. They look up at the Design Studio, they like what they see, and they begin engaging with the display and our designers. It’s the right shopping experience. The Design Studio starts the homeowner on their way to a kitchen or bath design they can fall in love with.”

About Freedom Design Kitchen Bath

More information about Freedom Design Kitchen Bath can be obtained by contacting the company’s headquarters at 5115 Hudson Dr., Hudson, Ohio 44236. Phone: 330-342-0584. Email: info(at) Online: To stay up to date on the latest news from Freedom Design, visit the company’s Facebook and Houzz pages.

About KraftMaid

KraftMaid Cabinetry is a leading manufacturer in the semi-custom cabinetry industry, designing and building kitchens for the way that people actually use them. Since 1969, KraftMaid Cabinetry has carefully observed how people live, and has responded with innovative product design that allows any homeowner to create a kitchen that serves as the true “living room” in their home, regardless of their budget or how they live their lives. KraftMaid brand cabinetry is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

KraftMaid and KraftMaid Vantage are brands and registered trademarks of Masco Cabinetry, LLC. Merillat(R) cabinetry is another brand and registered trademark of Masco Cabinetry.

Learn more from Masco Cabinetry at 4600 Arrowhead Dr., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48105. Phone: (517) 263-0771. Email: info(at) Online:,,

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Performance You Can Trust, Above The Sink And Below: Moen’s Complete Line Of Garbage Disposals

“Both consumers and professionals alike have trusted Moen’s quality products for more than 75 years,” said Timothy McDonough, vice president, global brand marketing, Moen.  “Extending the Moen® brand to include a complete line of garbage disposals was a natural addition to our kitchen portfolio – from faucets, sinks and filtration to accessories and now disposals – we’re excited to offer the same unmatched functionality and durability by creating the ultimate kitchen sink experience.”

Moen disposals feature VORTEX permanent magnet motor technology, which quickly and powerfully grinds food scraps, allowing users to spend more time at the dinner table and less time at the sink. The VORTEX permanent magnet motor also provides fast revolutions per minute (RPM) which can help to reduce jamming. Plus, more food down the disposal means less in the landfill.

Models within the Moen garbage disposal portfolio, available at local The Home Depot stores, include:

  • GXP33C, 1/3HP, 1900RPM
  • GXP50C, 1/2HP, 2600RPM
  • GX50C, 1/2HP, 2600RPM
  • GXS75C, 3/4HP, 2700RPM
  • GX75C, 3/4HP, 2700RPM
  • GX100C, 1HP, 2800RPM
  • GXL1000C, 1HP, 2800RPM

Installation of Moen garbage disposals is also simple and intuitive. The Universal Xpress Mount fits all Moen and most existing three-bolt garbage disposal mounting assemblies**.

“At Moen, we’ve thoughtfully designed our disposal products for performance and ease of installation,” added McDonough. “The twist-and-lock mounting within our disposal and a pre-installed power cord means fewer steps, simplifying installation. Additionally, Moen units are significantly lighter than most disposals in the market – as much as 30 percent or more than comparable models.  When you’re under the sink, this can make a big difference in the ease of installation.”

A power cord is included with each Moen disposal, eliminating the need to purchase separately or hard wire a power supply under the sink.  Moen’s SoundSHIELD insulation on the GX Series units is designed to help deaden disposal sound levels while you grind food waste. Moen provides the same level of customer service to consumers purchasing its garbage disposals as it does the rest of its products; this means additional peace-of-mind for both the installer and consumer. Trained Moen representatives are available to answer questions or troubleshoot any problems that may arise.  Additionally, all Moen disposals are backed by Moen’s best-in-class Limited Warranty and professional in-home service. This means both the replacement disposal and related installation services are typically covered at no charge to the consumer. See terms for full details***.

For more information about the complete line of garbage disposals from Moen, visit or call 1-800-BUY-MOEN (1-800-289-6636).

*Moen Consumer Market Insights
**For a complete list of compatible mounting assemblies, visit
***For complete warranty information, visit Important exclusions apply. Warranty only applies to original purchaser.


  • Platforms:
    • GXP33C
    • GXP50C
    • GX50C
    • GXS75C
    • GX75C
    • GX100C
    • GXL1000C
  • Availability:
    • The Home Depot


  • @moen garbage disposals, available @HomeDepot, offer trusted performance above the sink and below
  • Vortex technology in @moen garbage disposals offers faster RPMs, clog-free performance and faster installation

Facebook: /moen 
Twitter: @moen 
Pinterest: /moen 
Instagram: @moeninc 
YouTube: /moenfaucets 
Houzz: /pro/moen

As the #1 faucet brand in North America, Moen offers a diverse selection of thoughtfully designed kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products, kitchen sinks and garbage disposals for residential applications – each delivering the best possible combination of meaningful innovation, useful features, on-trend styling and lasting value. In addition, Moen® Commercial offers superior-performing products that can deliver lower lifetime costs for today’s facilities.

Moen is part of Fortune Brands Home Security, Inc. (NYSE:  FBHS), which creates products and services that help fulfill the dreams of homeowners and help people feel more secure. The Company’s trusted brands include Moen®, Riobel®, ROHL® and Perrin Rowe® under its Global Plumbing Group (GPG), Master Lock® and Sentry® Safe security products, MasterBrand Cabinets® and Therma-Tru® entry door systems. Fortune Brands holds market leadership positions in all of its segments. Fortune Brands is part of the SP 500 Index. For more information, please visit

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Decor’s deep, rich hues are bolder

Deeper, richer hues are often part of decor’s autumnal palette, but this year they’re bigger and bolder than usual.

“Color is a powerful communicator,” says Pottery Barn spokeswoman Monica Bhargava. “It can be a key point of inspiration that defines the mood and feel of a home.”

PPG’s color marketing manager Dee Schlotter sees a trend toward interiors “that embrace nocturnal shades” in homes, hotels and stores.

Deep hues are often incorporated through matte yet soft materials, she says.


“I love dusky blues, plums, gray of all types, and surfaces that have a mysterious effect,” says Jamie Drake of New York-based Drake Anderson Interiors.

For the guest bedroom of one project, Drake/Anderson had Jonathan Kutzin of America Painting in Cresskill, New Jersey, create a strie effect with an iridescent blue top coat, evoking a moody retreat.

In another apartment, in Midtown Manhattan, Drake says his company used deep plum tones to anchor the high-altitude rooms, while another project employed dark navy walls in a cozy library. “Using a color this dark in a small space is a favorite tool to make the edges of a room ‘disappear’ and create a mysterious illusion of more space,” he says. ( )

Some deep, dark colors evoke privacy, quietude and a feeling of being wrapped in warmth, designers say.

But brighter, saturated hues can be uplifting and electric; Sherwin-Williams’ two new collections are Affinity, inspired by craft and tribalism, and Connectivity, inspired by technology. ( )


Of the trending deepened hues, emerald green is especially dominant, Schlotter says. To her, “It represents luxury and emulates lush foliage.”

“Color palettes that range from darker shades like black and navy, to gold and coral, complement the depth of emerald green,” she continues, “while pale neutrals like white and light gray give it a crisp and trendy edge. A courageous color, emerald green also works well with a number of materials and textures.”

Emerald is showing up in upholstery. Furniture company Sauder has a little tub chair in the hue. CB2’s 50s-inspired Avec sofa comes in plush emerald velvet. (; )


Italian company Bertazzoni, known for its high-end ranges in rich shades like burgundy, orange, yellow and red, just introduced a new hue called Azzurro. Blending cerulean, turquoise, sapphire and cyan, it’s a positive, energetic color. ( )

Both Frigidaire and Kitchenaid have suites of appliances in black stainless steel.

And look for countertops and cabinetry in deeper tones, too. Cambria Quartz’s Bala Blue stone is the color of deep water. In a contemporary kitchen with sleek white cabinetry, Cardigan Red’s vibrant warmth would be a terrific foil. ( )


Intrepid decorators will love another aspect of this trend: dark walls.

At Kip’s Bay Show House a couple of months ago in Manhattan, Susan Ferrier dressed a bedroom in deep forest green. Organic objets d’art accents made it feel like a luxe nature retreat. ( )

Kevin Lichten and Joan Craig cloaked a downstairs bar in charcoal silk, trimmed with bronze, creating an intimate, sexy space.


If you’re interested in dabbling in any of these colors, don’t worry about the trend being short-lived. PPG, Olympic Paints and Glidden announced their 2018 Color of the Year choices: Black Flame, Black Magic and Deep Onyx.

And Schlotter reports that PPG’s color story for 2018 will be replete with deep, rich colors like smoky greens, luxurious purples, and charred gray-blacks.

They’ve given the palette an intriguing name: “Brave.”

“These colors,” says Schlotter, “reflect consumers’ growing yearning for protection, strength and stability; to feel safe during uncertain times.”


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Sending .50 cal BMG through the cast iron skillet test (VIDEO)

Edwin Sarkissian grabs a half-dozen preseasoned iron skillets fresh from Wal-Mart and, while they may be excellent for searing or frying, their ballistic properties are suspect.

Ozark Trail’s finest are stacked up against an armor-piercing incendiary .50 cal fired through a Serbu BFG and the shot is pretty dramatic. Maybe it is the natural plant oil they are coated with. Perhaps the stickers add some extra protection. Perhaps not.

In the end, (spoiler alert) cast iron is not your friend when it comes to BMG heavy.

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A little help from friends in the kitchen

ANYONE can cook if they have the right tools and guidance of an experienced chef.

Over 40 lucky participants discovered this during a cooking workshop with celebrity chef Datuk Ismail Ahmad after participating in an in-store promotion at Courts Megastore Sri Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

The chef, who is also a “Pensonic Friend”, demonstrated his Ayam Berempah Hijau recipe and got everyone to test out their cooking abilities using Pensonic’s kitchen appliances.

Courts Malaysia chief executive officer Dolf Posthumus said they were glad to host chef Ismail once more as he shared cooking tips on another favourite local dish.

“The workshop is a reward for our customers, giving them an exciting and fulfilling way to engage with us, as well as a chance to meet and greet a favourite television and lifestyle personality,” said Posthumus.

In a previous event, the chef also helmed a cooking workshop that taught participants how to make a different local dish.

With the Ayam Berempah Hijau recipe, chef Ismail demonstrated the use of a multi-cooker as well as blender to make the sauce base.

“The cooker is one of my favourite products.

“It does not really take up a lot of space; you can just plug in and use anywhere,” he said.

Posthumus said the activity was a testament to Courts’ commitment to always provide new and innovative in-store experiences for customers.

“It also gives our partners at Pensonic the opportunity to showcase their elegant and easy-to-use kitchen appliances,” he added.

To inspire them to continue cooking at home, participants got to take home the Pensonic kitchen appliance and accompanying accessories that were on their cooking stations, worth RM400.

Courts Megastore also hosted a special roadshow over the weekend with special deals on Pensonic products.

Customers received a complimentary Thermos worth RM35 with the purchase of Pensonic products above RM99.

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Visit Two Sisters for tasty home-cooked meals at reasonable prices – Quad

Who are the “Two Sisters” who operate this family restaurant? That was the first question we asked when we received a suggestion to try this place. The homemade soups, sauces and dessert, which are included with every dinner, drew us in.

The name Two Sisters began with a love story in Albania. Two high school friends fell in love with two sisters, and the rest is history. The owners, Arlind Celiku and Brahim Islami, grew up in Albania and came to the United States to learn the restaurant business from the two sisters’ father, who owns a successful restaurant in Streator, Ill.

After learning the business, they returned to Albania, married the two sisters on days a week apart, and moved to Streator to begin a new life in America. When the opportunity to buy a restaurant in Milan came in 2014, they made a deal, moved here with the two sisters, and the family restaurant with the same name came to life.

Their adherence to the traditional family restaurant theme — reasonable prices, home-cooked meals, daily specials and breakfast served all day — have made this restaurant a great place to go.

You always will find either Arlind or Brahim in the kitchen or behind the counter, helping to maintain the consistent quality they are known for.

The breakfast items you can order all day include omelets, skillets, egg classics, pancakes, waffles, french toast and croissant sandwiches.

We were there in the evening and leaned toward the dinner side of the menu, which includes stir-fries with a choice of meat, an Italian section featuring homemade sauces, broiled steaks, ribs and pork chops. Their classic dinners include liver and onions, meatloaf, breaded tenderloins, turkey or pork and dressing, fried chicken, chicken strips and country-fried chicken. An extensive sandwich menu includes hot sandwiches, burgers, melts and clubs.

Prices are an attractive part of the menu. The majority of the sandwiches are in the $5.49 to $7.49 range, and they come with a cup of homemade soup. You can make your meal a deluxe with fries for $1 more. Most of the entrees are in the $7.99 to $8.99 range and are served with a choice of soup or side salad, potato, vegetable and ice cream or tapioca. The senior menu for ages 65 and older features popular entrees for $7.99, and the kids’ corner is priced at $4.99.

The restaurant features a daily special, and Arlind recommended we try the lasagna. They slow-cook the meat sauce, layer the noodles with cheese, and cover the top with mozzarella. It was excellent. It came with flavorful garlic bread and a choice of soup or salad. We opted for the crisp lettuce salad and homemade ranch dressing.

Our waitress, Jessica, suggested we also try a customer favorite — fried chicken. We had the four-piece fried chicken for $8.99, which came with a baked potato with butter and sour cream. The chicken was very moist and crispy on the outside.

Two Sisters features two homemade soups each day. The cheesy broccoli soup was thick, with a great-tasting cheese base and lots of well-cooked broccoli.

We also sampled the seafood platter, which features breaded walleye, fried shrimp and fried cod. Since we were having fried fish, we decided to follow the theme and have french fries to go with the vegetable of the day. They make their own seafood sauce, and it was an excellent take on the standard fare. We asked for another container to take home with our leftovers.

We chose the chicken noodle soup over the salad.  It was made from homemade stock and chock full of stewed chicken, noodles and vegetables.

All entrees come with either ice cream or pudding. Ice cream choices are strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and rainbow sherbet. The puddings are tapioca or butterscotch. You can have chocolate sauce on the ice cream or cinnamon and whipped topping on the pudding. We went for the chocolate with chocolate for the ice cream and old-fashioned tapioca with “the works.”

Located on the right side of the Route 67 heading south in Milan, Two Sisters is open daily from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can make reservations for larger groups or call ahead to get a to-go order. There is something for everyone here. The customers are loyal; the service is efficient; and the coffee is strong.
He said: The lasagna was the best I have had in a long time, and the garlic bread was just right. I wish I would have had room for another bowl of the cheesy broccoli soup!

She said: Their homemade soups are wonderful. I want to return on a Wednesday to try their Reuben soup. It is a great place to get a complete meal for less than $9.

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