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June 13 2017

Creating Luxury with Reupholstered Furniture

By Cindy Baldhoff

Today’s trends for luxury lean toward soft, tactile fabrics in rich colors that add a sumptuous feel to their surroundings. Whether in the living room or the bedroom, having one statement piece that takes center stage and then surrounding it with complementary furniture can completely remake the space.

In the living room, that statement piece is often the sofa. If you have a used sofa that you love for its great lines, but it’s starting to shows its age, then you can reupholster it to transform it into a new showpiece, setting the stage for a room designed for luxury.

“Any type of sofa works,” says John Knowlton, owner of J. Knowlton Antiques in Athens, Georgia. “The main factor is the length and basic style; is it informal and comfy, or is it formal with camel back and nice legs?”

That style will help you decide what colors and fabrics will work best to make it more luxurious, but he reminds you not to forget about the other pieces in the room. Since too much color on a sofa can overtake the existing furniture, he suggests making choices that complement rather than compete with what is already there.

Choosing the Right Fabric and Color

purple fabric 

“Velvet or any beautiful fabric can add luxury to a sofa or other upholstered piece,” Knowlton says. “The transformation is incredible.”

And, according to Tiffany Sterling Clum, owner of Upholstery Girl in Van Alstyne, Texas, it’s a great way to hold on to a piece of furniture you really love but that may no longer fit with the overall look of the room.

“If your furniture is older, of sentimental value, or was purchased as a quality piece many years ago, then there is a value to reupholstering it,” she says. “My favorite thing about reupholstering is the ability to keep my home the style I want while keeping my same comfy chairs, which I love.”

“The use of velvet is particularly popular, in part because it adds warmth and a feeling of luxury to the room,” says Clum. Choosing the right color of velvet is key in maintaining that feeling of luxury, however.

“Reds, purples, and emeralds — the jewel tones — have typically evoked a sense of luxury and richness through the ages,” she says, adding that it used to be only the wealthy who could afford to pay for fabrics that had been so saturated with color. Today, of course, textile practices have made it possible to attain these rich colors at lower prices, but they continue to be associated with luxury.

The softness of the fabric also helps create a sense of luxury, and Clum says if velvet is out of your price range, then there are alternatives for creating a rich, inviting look to your reupholstered sofa.

“Chenille can offer the same warmth, feel, and depth of color that you get from velvet, only it comes at a much lower price point.”

Complete the Look

      

Once you have created your centerpiece with a reupholstered sofa, you can begin adding items that complement the room’s new feel.

“A nice rug makes a huge difference for a fairly small amount of money,” Knowlton says. “We just added a beautiful patterned rug in our family room, and it made the entire room more elegant and plush.”

Other things to think about include adding accent pillows in fabrics like velvet and silk to continue the theme of luxury. And, if you’re looking for additional furniture pieces to fill out the room, CORT Clearance Centers allow you to find high-quality, used furniture for up to 70 percent off original retail prices.

The post Creating Luxury with Reupholstered Furniture appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 10 2017

Out with the Old: When It’s Time to Update to Safer Furniture

by Dahna M. Chandler

Maybe you’ve been thinking about replacing your old hand-me-down furniture for a while, but you’re not sure where to start. Like 88 percent of the people polled by the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) in 2009, you’re worried about indoor air quality, and your furniture is a factor. Many regulations have changed in recent years to support safer homes, and furniture manufactured years ago may not be in compliance. Medical professionals have also recommended new guidelines for furniture manufacturing and purchasing.

Old Furniture May Not Be Safe

The fabrication processes once used by manufacturers changed rapidly in the late 1990s when new U.S. government regulations mandated what could and could not be used in furniture manufacturing. “It’s important to look at how your furniture is constructed and with what,” states Juliet Abeille, owner of Loverly Cottage in Lake Bluff, Illinois. She also owns L’Abeille Vintage, a boutique where she repurposes old furniture using eco-friendly, non-toxic materials. She warns that lead paint is common on a lot of old furniture, and those pieces should be replaced immediately.

In many cases, older furniture might not suit your various physical needs, such as providing appropriate comfort and support for sound sleep or ergonomic support for long hours at a desk. Some pieces may have deteriorated and no longer be sturdy. These issues can lead to problems with safety or cause physical discomfort, particularly when it comes to items that are used daily.

Consider these tips for upgrading to safe, quality furniture made for today’s lifestyles without breaking the bank.

Determine Your Lifestyle Needs

Before you start shopping, consider how your lifestyle impacts the way you use furniture. If you’re like most people, you don’t redecorate your entire home very often. That means deciding on your most important needs up front is important. Make sure you answer the following questions:

  • How often are you home, and how often do you entertain?
  • Do you work from home or outside of your home?
  • Do you travel frequently for work or have an otherwise mobile lifestyle?
  • Do you have or plan to have children soon?
  • Do you or a family member have physical issues that require certain furniture?
  • Do you need furniture long term or short term?
  • How much furniture do you need?
  • How much can you spend on furniture?

Be sure to think about other questions that could be relevant based on your unique needs.

Avoid Low-Quality Furnishings

Furniture available at many discount retailers is manufactured with the lowest price point in mind. Although manufacturers have to meet certain minimum standards, eco-friendliness, sustainability, and low toxicity are not the focus for inexpensive furniture. In many cases, items are massed produced overseas using low-quality materials. These pieces are often less durable and may contain more chemicals.

Abeille regularly buys furniture for her boutique that features non-chemical milk paints. She says, “Low-budget furniture usually gets made with inexpensive wood composites and factory painted with cheaper chemical-based paints and lacquers.” Composites are wood chips glued together and not solid wood.

Low-quality furniture has a higher likelihood of off-gassing toxins from its cheaper manufacturing materials. High-quality furniture, on the other hand, is made with top notch materials and processes that come with minimal risk. Low-quality furniture also doesn’t last long, meaning you’ll spend money more frequently on replacement.

Investing in newer, high-quality furniture for your home is a better choice for a safer home. Even with limited resources, it’s possible to find quality pre-owned clearance furniture at affordable prices.

Consider Furniture Rental

If you need to minimize your upfront cost or your needs are temporary, CORT Furniture Rental gives you access to excellent quality furnishings. This option is flexible for your wallet, space requirements, design choices, physical needs, and other lifestyle characteristics.

If you work from home and spend a lot of time at your desk, replace your old home office furniture with newer, sturdier ergonomic pieces. For a better night’s sleep, consider trying out a memory foam mattress as part of your furniture rental package. You can decide exactly what works for you and make changes as your needs change.

As an example, Abeille throws seasonal garden parties and rents furniture for those events. “That way, I get what I want delivered, it’s picked up when I’m done, and I have no storage costs,” she enthuses.

Talk to your local CORT representative to learn how you can upgrade your furniture and meet all your furniture needs.

The post Out with the Old: When It’s Time to Update to Safer Furniture appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 09 2017

New Life for Old Furniture: Trendy or Neutral

By Dahna M. Chandler

You recently acquired that old furniture piece you’ve wanted for a while, the one that fits perfectly with your home’s design theme. To freshen it up, you want to paint the piece so it’s more “you,” but should you choose a trendy color or a classic one? Will a bright color work, or is it better to go with something neutral? A paint company will steer you toward its color of the year, which might work fine — if you like it.

“Whatever you decide, you should go with what you love,” says Juliette Abeille, owner of Loverly Cottage and L’Abeille Vintage Boutique in Lake Bluff, IL. Don’t turn your weekend project into a weeks-long quest for the perfect color. Instead, weigh these pros and cons of trendy vs. neutral hues.

Trendy Looks Most Current

Using a trendy color — the Pantone Color of the Year or one the decorators say is hot — instantly gives the furniture a vibe that’s in vogue. Fashionable colors go a long way toward updating a space you haven’t changed much in years.

Go with the bright color du jour if you’re adding the furniture to a room where neutrals reign or if you want to reflect more of your personality in a shared place. “If you have a vibrant personality and love bright colors, use a bright color,” says Abeille. She repaints furniture regularly as an eco-friendly, sustainable reuse and restorations expert.

 

Trends Come and Go

In all likelihood, a trendy color will go out of style quicker than a classic color. After a while, the piece may seem outdated, or it could stick out in a space. You’ll find yourself repainting the item at some point, so make sure you’re okay with that before choosing the color of the moment.

“You also can add trendy colors in accessories around your home rather than painting a more permanent piece,” Abeille explains. That way, you can easily swap out the surrounding décor to fit next year’s trend, investing less money and time.

 

Neutral Shades Stay in Style

Pick a neutral shade if you don’t want to repaint the piece. Classic tones don’t usually go out of style, and they work with a rotating palette of accent pieces if you’re prone to changing pillows, curtains, and picture frames when the mood strikes you.

Neutrals can be interesting, too, especially if you pick muted versions of the colors you love. In a sense, it’s the best of both worlds. Your piece stays fashionable longer and can still make a statement in the room.

“I love the soft, muted serene blues and greens,” says Abeille, who specializes in French Country design. “So, my house is filled with those colors, except my bedroom which is pale blush pink with gray, brown and ivory accents,” she continues.

 

Neutrals Can Be Boring

Although playing it safe can be smart, going too neutral makes for a dull home. A space filled with primarily beige, off-white, gray, or even wood furnishings can seem lifeless.

If neutral tones fit your personality or meet your living needs for the moment, then go with them. But, if you’re leaning toward a bland hue out of fear of making the wrong choice, then you’re probably not going to be happy with the result. Instead, take Abeille’s advice and go with what you love, be it edgy or evergreen.

 

Make Your Choice

You’re the one who has to live with your choice, so make one that fits your style, needs, and personality. “Your home is your sanctuary,” Abeille says. “Whether it’s timeless or trendy, choose a color only if it works in your home.”

Whatever color you settle on, make sure that the furniture piece you’re planning to paint is well made and sturdy. No amount of paint can refurbish a rickety table or crumbling chest of drawers. If you’re having trouble finding the right item, then check out CORT Clearance Center, where you can get high-end, quality used furniture at great prices.

The post New Life for Old Furniture: Trendy or Neutral appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 08 2017

Surprising Facts About the Eco-Friendliness of Furniture Rental

By Dahna M. Chandler

A recent WalletHub “2017’s Greenest States” study ranked California as one of America’s top 15 eco-friendly states. The state also ranked in the top five for “Eco-Friendly Behaviors” and top 15 for “Climate Change Contributions.” The two Northwestern states, Oregon and Washington, also ranked highly in “Eco-Friendly Behaviors” and in the top half of states for “Climate Change Contributions.”

According to the study, California ranks highly because of the eco-friendly behaviors of its citizens and state government. The state focuses significant resources on green initiatives and is a global leader in innovative climate change programs.

Whether you live in California or anywhere else in the country, you can support eco-friendly efforts of your own to help make a difference. One way is choosing furniture rental for your home furnishing needs. Because of the durability and longevity of quality furniture, a piece of rental furniture is often reused up to six times before being sold in a clearance outlet. In contrast, a piece of furniture purchased new is typically only reused up to three times before polluting a landfill.

Additionally, furniture rental supports eco-friendly initiatives and reduces the carbon footprint of furniture in several other ways.

Reduces Consumer Waste

A 2009 study by the Sustainable Furniture Council showed that 86 percent of furniture buying consumers worry about global warming. As evidenced by the growing popularity of sustainable lifestyle choices, many people actively look for eco-friendly furnishing options. In California, for example, there’s significant activism focused on reducing landfill waste from items like low-quality retail furniture.

This waste also concerns Rachel Hulan, ASID, owner of Hulan Design, a sustainable interior design firm in Orange California. What she sees on Southern California streets indicates most consumers aren’t aware of their options for reducing this waste. “Neighborhood sidewalks on trash day hold a number of inexpensive furniture items,” she says. “They’re discarded by people who can afford to replace them with something new or of higher quality.”

Hulan is an active participant in the local green design community committed to increasing awareness of sustainable design. She sees furniture rental as one solution for reducing this waste.

Reduces State Resource Usage

“Both resource and landfill management are affected by the discarding of short-term use furniture,” says Hulan. Her projects over the past 16 years prove her deep sincerity when it comes to sustainable interior design. She has worked with Sundance Film Festival, the Teen Choice Awards, and LEED Platinum homes.

Hulan believes furniture rental could help reduce the number of state resources that are necessary to manage landfill waste. “In many circumstances, renting better quality furniture would be better for the environment rather than purchasing inexpensive ‘throw away’ furniture,” she asserts.

Numbers supports that opinion. With pieces reused up to six times, rental furniture can produce up to 49 percent fewer greenhouse gases when compared to a direct sales model. For a state like California, that’s compelling given initiatives like Under2 Coalition, an international pact among cities, states, and countries to limit the global average temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Anything above that temperature could lead to catastrophic consequences.

Raises Recycling to the Next Level

Research has shown that individuals and elected officials want to see eco-friendly habit changes that increase sustainability. Even when consumers don’t want to pay more for certain things, they often get behind initiatives designed to help the environment in a real way. In some cases, that could mean limiting the carbon footprint by raising recycling to the next level.

If your budget is tight, furniture rental allows you to furnish your home with more high-end furniture than you could afford to purchase outright. When you’re done with the furniture, you simply return it. When you rent from CORT Furniture Rental, the furniture is refurbished for rental to another customer. If the furniture’s rental life is over, 97 percent of it is discounted and resold to the public at a clearance center, extending its full life cycle even further.

This makes furniture rental the ultimate recycling program that could help with battling problems like climate change. “It is much better to return something for re-use by others than to discard it,” says Hulan, who rents or borrows furniture for her events. “We all live on this little blue planet, and there are only so many places we can extract resources from and later throw them away.”

The post Surprising Facts About the Eco-Friendliness of Furniture Rental appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 07 2017

How to Reclaim Secondhand Wood Furniture and Make It Your Own

By Dahna M. Chandler

Personalizing a reclaimed secondhand piece of wood furniture is a satisfying endeavor on several levels. First, you’ve done a good deed for the environment because you’re keeping used furniture out of the landfill. Second, it’s an opportunity to turn a mediocre piece into a masterpiece.

“It’s something all your own, making it special and very satisfying to have in your home,” says Juliette Abeille, owner of Loverly Cottage and L’Abeille Vintage in Lake Bluff, IL. Abeille is an expert in eco-friendly, sustainable reuse and restoration work, specializing in French Country design.

Satisfaction aside, used wood furniture costs less than new furniture of the same quality, often even after you’ve refinished the piece. You can spend as little or as much as you want to customize it. Here are some tips on choosing and making reclaimed wood furniture your own.

Focus on the Construction and Quality of the Piece

Your attraction to the structure of the item will keep your interest long term. In most cases, you’ll maintain that structure when you repurpose the piece, but it should be constructed of quality materials.

A piece of wood furniture should have good bones,” says Abeille. “Find something that’s been handed down from one generation to the next because it’s probably high quality,” she adds.

Examine the wood furniture you choose to make sure it’s in good shape. If you’re selecting it for durability, then be sure it’s made from hardwood so it can withstand daily use.

Think of Ways You’d Use It in Your Home

Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and repurpose a piece for something other than its original intended use. Abeille loves old sideboards. “I put them in bedrooms and store clothes in them because they’re easier to access than drawers,” she explains. Tables with leaves also fascinate the DIYer. “I take them apart, put brackets on them, and mount them to the wall as shelves.”

You can transform an old baby crib into a bench or cut the legs down on a kitchen table and use it as a coffee table. Turn a large dining room table into a painted or decoupaged headboard, and use its legs as candleholders. Abeille has repurposed old sewing machine cabinets into new cabinets by removing the machine and putting a shelf on the bottom.

Choose Refinishing Materials That Fit

When you’re transforming the look of a piece, make sure you consider the wood type first. “Not all finishes work on all woods,” says Abeille. Some woods won’t look good if you cover them with the wrong kind of paint. Others don’t do well with oils, varnishes, and tinctures.

If you want a natural look, then an oil might be best, but choose the right one for the wood, especially naturally light-colored wood. That’s also true if you decide to decoupage or cover wood with fabrics. Softer woods won’t hold fasteners for that purpose, for example. Decoupage glues might damage some woods or finishes.

When buying materials to personalize your secondhand wood furniture, choose a retailer that understands the process, and then ask whatever questions you have. That way, you can pick the right tools and materials for the job as well as the right process for your skill level.

Whether you’re working on a piece of clearance furniture or a family heirloom, it should be made of high-quality wood, so don’t choose inexpensive refinishing materials to save money. That decision will show on the refinished piece.

Consider the Environment When Refinishing

Think about both your home environment and the one you share with others on the planet. Be mindful of how you dispose of the tools and waste from materials you use for refinishing. Additionally, understand how the materials you use could possibly impact your health.

“Some finishing products on wood, as well as those used to treat fabrics, give off gas,” explains Abeille. “It’s important to avoid using products on your reclaimed furniture that release toxins into your home,” she states. For example, Abeille uses milk paint that has no chemicals and beeswax, hemp oil, and tongue oil for sealants.

If you haven’t found the right piece of secondhand furniture for your project, then try your local CORT Clearance Center, where you can find well-made, stylish wood pieces for up to 70 percent off retail prices.

The post How to Reclaim Secondhand Wood Furniture and Make It Your Own appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 06 2017

5 Advantages to Living Off Campus

By Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto

Living on campus is often the first choice for freshmen college students because it offers convenience, but off-campus living also has plenty of perks. Once you realize (and master) the freedom of living off campus, you may wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. The College Board reported the average cost of undergraduate room and board in 2016–2017 was between $8,000 and $12,000. Adding a convenient but costly food plan bumps the price up a few thousand dollars a year. Consider these five off-campus benefits that are hard to beat in comparison to dorm living.

1. You Will Save Money

Living off campus let’s you stretch your dollar in a number of ways, such as saving money by shopping wisely for groceries instead of paying for a food plan that offers limited and pricey meals. Off-campus living often comes with free parking and access to cost-saving public transportation lines, which means you don’t have to scramble for scarce parking spaces or pay hefty fees for campus parking.

To save substantially more, act early to find the best choices for off-campus housing. “The earlier students start their search, the better,” says Abby Browning, a landlord relations specialist with Student.com, a resource for finding off-campus housing. “That means November to December, students typically get the best price and have the most options.” Rent varies from city to city, Browning says, noting that the most expensive cities to rent off campus include Manhattan and Los Angeles, while students spend less on rent for off-campus housing in Auburn, Alabama, and Athens, Georgia, for example.

2. You Could Live Healthier

Healthy living is ultimately a personal choice, but you have many more opportunities to make good choices when cooking your own food instead of eating from a meal plan that serves up cafeteria-style food. In addition to the luxury of having your own kitchen, you might have a bedroom to yourself, which could result in sounder sleep.

Other off-campus health benefits include the option of a furry roommate, if allowed, making you the envy of dorm dwellers who miss out on personal pet therapy. It also helps your blood pressure to leave campus drama behind. Want to ease more college anxiety? If you’re not doing the driving, use your commuting time to squeeze in more study time.

3. You Will Have More Privacy

Privacy, like freedom, is a luxury for new and seasoned college students, and with off-campus housing, it will be easier to get it. You might have a private bedroom and bathroom or at least share them with your roommate of choice instead of a stranger. You may also study better in quieter quarters without hallway conversations or other dorm distractions.

4. You Will Have Amenities

Rather than settling for institutional on-campus dorm settings, Browning is an advocate of off-campus student communities, also known as “purpose-built student accommodations,” which are leased apartments designed to ease the student housing crunch. “Most purpose-built student accommodations start leasing in November for the next school year,” she says, adding that it’s worth looking into this option for a number of reasons. Landlords like to incentivize students to sign leases early by offering better prices, fully furnished units, 24/7 security, and proximity to extra amenities, such as retail stores, parks, and nightlife.

If you opt for traditional off-campus apartment living alone or with roommates, you’re free to choose your own comfortable furnishings. You may even be lucky enough to have an outdoor space for private lounging. Furniture rental is a simple solution for furnishing an apartment, and CORT Furniture Rental works with off-campus student communities across the country to deliver and set up furniture for busy students who opt for independent living.

5. You Can Stay Put

Once you taste the freedom of living off-campus, you may not ever want to live any differently. In most cases, you can choose to stay put when summer rolls around instead of facing a stressful search for interim housing or returning home to live with parents. If you’re leasing in an off-campus community, Browning says you will most likely have the option to renew your lease before it’s snatched away by a non-resident.

The biggest perk of living off-campus is the life experience you will gain from living independently. Fortunately, companies like CORT are on hand to help make this particular life step as simple as possible.

The post 5 Advantages to Living Off Campus appeared first on Cort Corner.

Welcome to the Buckeye State: Experience Columbus on a Student Budget

By Paula Felps

Ohio’s largest city deserves recognition for many different things, including its world-famous zoo and its status as one of the world’s most intelligent communities (Intelligent Community of the Year 2015 per Intelligent Community Forum). The capital city is also home to Ohio State University and a diverse student population.

As a student in Columbus, you have access to a wide range of points of interest in this booming city. There’s no shortage of fun things to see and do, but doing it all on a student budget can be a bit challenging. It never hurts to have a few insider tips on ways to get the most bang for your buck. Consider these budget-friendly possibilities:

The Arts

You can enjoy parts of the city’s vibrant arts scene without ever leaving the OSU campus. The renowned Wexner Center for the Arts focuses on contemporary art and attracts visitors from all over the city. Take in films, concerts, dance productions, theater productions, and various types of exhibits. It’s easy to understand why it’s considered a cultural hub in Columbus.

Breakfast

There’s no shortage of restaurants in Columbus, but it’s important to know which ones you can’t miss and which ones you can afford. Beth Ervin, director of communications for Experience Columbus, says Katalina’s is a great place to start. The laid-back cafe is famous for its pancake balls stuffed with Nutella, dulce de leche, or pumpkin-apple butter. Topping off this scrumptious concoction is the ultimate indigenous treat: real Ohio maple syrup.

Shopping and More

Shopping will never quite be the same once you’ve visited North Market. Part shopping mall, part supermarket, it’s on every city tour offered — and for good reason. In addition to being a foodie’s paradise, it’s also home to live music and entertainment, festivals, and events like cooking demonstrations and classes. Whether you’re looking for great food or you just want to hang out with friends, North Market is a hot spot for all types of entertainment.

Game Time

During football season, every weekend centers around football in Columbus, and nothing compares to the rivalry between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State University Buckeyes. “It’s so big that it’s known by many simply as ‘The Game’,” Ervin says. Even when you can’t get tickets, there are many ways to enjoy this annual event. Free watch parties and festivities take place all around the OSU campus and throughout the city. (Just make sure you’re sporting your scarlet and gray!)

Festivals

Many festivals and events take place in Columbus throughout the year, but they’re all just a warm-up for the big one: the Columbus Arts Festival. Attracting more than 450,000 attendees, this free annual event has it all: a juried art show that includes local, national, and internationally known artists; several stages of entertainment that range from slam poetry and modern dance to jazz and classical music, and great food and beverages.

Exploration

“When you venture off campus, your next adventure begins,” Ervin says. “You’ll find urban cool next to historic neighborhoods, groundbreaking artists, technology entrepreneurs, and vibrant fashion, music, and entertainment scenes. It’s a city of textures, open to diverse people,” she adds. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in Columbus.”

With so much to see and do in a new city, you need to plan ahead and pace yourself. Plenty of options exist for finding opportunities and adventures, even on a shoestring. As you organize your life and apartment in Columbus, CORT Furniture Rental is always available to help.

The post Welcome to the Buckeye State: Experience Columbus on a Student Budget appeared first on Cort Corner.

Something Old Something New: Design Style Inspired by the Pacific Northwest

Take a design cue from a Seattle trend, and blend different styles to create a custom environment.

By Cindy Baldhoff

If mixing and matching is your thing, then you’re probably going to love trying a little “Seattle style” in your home. Although a showroom-perfect home may be all the rage in some cities, Seattle décor tends to be more eclectic.

“That’s a hallmark of northwestern design trends,” says Rebecca West of Rebecca West Interiors and author of the book “Happy Starts at Home.”

“They don’t want it to be too matchy-matchy; they want to be able to put their own thumbprint on it.”

The good news is this kind of mix-and-match mindset can work in any room of the house. West suggests starting in the living room or bedroom and using fabrics to flex your creative muscles before taking on bigger challenges like changing out furniture and replacing tiles.

“It takes some experimentation, and you shouldn’t be afraid to try different things,” she advises. “It’s not heart surgery. It’s not life and death. So enjoy yourself and play and don’t be afraid to stretch yourself.”

Starting Points

If you’re ready to tackle some Seattle style in your own home, then West suggests starting with some of the following:

A touch of whimsy: In a room with clean, modern lines, add something lighthearted — perhaps an unexpected pop of color or a cozy, whimsical throw. One of West’s favorite places to use this technique is in the bathroom: “I’ll take a sophisticated, modern bathroom — then add something like a shower curtain with an octopus on it.”

Organic Add-ons: The clean lines of modern rooms can sometimes feel stark, so adding natural wood pieces can add warmth. “This is where being able to rent a certain piece of furniture is great; you can try adding it to the room and see how it works without investing a fortune.”

The Dark Side: Surprisingly, if you want to brighten a room, one of the easiest things you can do is add something dark — paint a wall a dark, rich color, or add a dark accent piece. “It’s all about the contrast,” she says. “When you put this dark thing in a room, it seems more rich, and it gives the room an anchor. The light items in the room suddenly seem brighter.”

New Bohemian: The Bohemian look is all about comfortable layers, but West likes the collision of this look with a minimalist mindset. She combines the colors of a Bohemian ethic with the clean lines of industrial or modern décor, which creates a mood that is “textural but restrained.”

“You have to try different things and see what works for you,” West says, adding elements like super-modern Italian designs or over-the-top artistic pieces might be nearly impossible to pair with other styles. In that case, she says, let the piece of furniture stand on its own — just as you would with a piece of art — and turn your attention to other spaces.

“Let those be the star of the show. Some pieces are meant to be supporting players; they can’t all be fighting for your attention.”

Know your “starring” pieces and cast them accordingly.

Finishing Touches

The final touch of this mix-and-match eclecticism comes through accessories, color, and accents. Seattle-based interior designer Faith Sheridan of Faith Sheridan Interior Design says those elements will help pull it all together.

“Color is about your personality, and you want to ask, ‘Is my space too stark?'” she says. “Be different; try something out of the box — like an orange lamp base.”

The juxtaposition of textures, say, a chair with a smooth wooden frame paired with a looped chenille throw, offers both visual and tactile interest. Doing the unexpected, such as adding a crystal light fixture or an ornate framed mirror in an industrial setting, adds a visual twist. Likewise, bold graphic prints in an otherwise sedate room help give it an unexpected energy.

“Try it on the floor or in fabrics, whether it’s an ottoman or a pillow,” she advises. “Test and test again until you find what you like.”

And, adds West, remember that you can try many different styles and continue changing them out as your tastes, interests, and life stages change.

Buying a piece of clearance furniture or renting furniture instead of buying new allows you to see how it works in the space. “I can use it for a year until I decide to do something different,” she says. “Before you go out and buy something new, you really want to see how it fits in your life and how much you’re going to use it.”

Buying low-cost furniture, such as pieces found through CORT Furniture Clearance Centers, allow you to customize your room with individual pieces and create — or complete — your own eclectic style without spending a fortune.

The post Something Old Something New: Design Style Inspired by the Pacific Northwest appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 05 2017

CORT Partners with Multifamily Property Management Companies to Give Back

CORT is proud to work with multifamily property management companies like WinnCompanies and Berkshire Communities to make the world a better place. As an ongoing commitment to give back to the local communities we serve, employees from the CORT multifamily housing space participated in community service days hosted by these partner organizations.

 

Most recently, Pete Regules, director of multifamily products and services at CORT, volunteered at WinnersCircle, an annual event for WinnCompanies’ employees and partners, leading the charge to collect canned goods that were donated to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The event was held in March in Newport, Rhode Island, and was a huge success.

 

WinnCompanies believes in making positive contributions to the communities in which they do business. Outside of the company’s daily efforts of managing and developing multifamily housing units, its team of 3,000 employees engages in various charitable, volunteer and service-related initiatives throughout the year.

 

This year, CORT team members volunteered at the Berkshire Communities Spirit of Giving event, where they were tasked with building 16 bicycles from scratch in an effort to both bond as a team and give back to their local community. Participants assembled custom-made bikes that were presented to the Children’s Home Society, a foster care organization for abandoned, abused and neglected children in Florida

 

“The children were thrilled to receive their brand-new wheels,” says Tamela Coval, executive consultant, MultiFamily Technology, CORT. “It was truly magical to see everyone come together for such a great cause.”

 

In addition to their roles with CORT, Regules and Coval each serve the charitable giving task force for the National Apartment Association.

 

“It’s tremendously important for individuals and companies in our industry to give back to those in need,” said Regules. “We are passionate about serving individuals and families, as it remains at the core of everything we do.”

 

From furnishing affordable housing units, to assisting local families with disaster relief efforts and providing meals to the homeless during the holidays, CORT is proud to serve local communities across the United States.

The post CORT Partners with Multifamily Property Management Companies to Give Back appeared first on Cort Corner.

Embracing the Life of a Traveling Entrepreneur

By Andrea Ditter-Middleton

The technological advances of the 21st century have brought a number of fundamental changes to modern life. You don’t have to be home at broadcast time or even have a cable subscription to watch all your favorite TV shows, and you can make phone calls and access the internet from virtually anywhere. In a similar vein, your career may no longer require pounding out 9-to-5 hours in a cubicle.

Remote working continues to grow in popularity for a number of reasons. It allows companies to recruit the best talent, no matter where they live, and it allows workers to create and maintain their own schedules, leading to greater flexibility for family activities and personal time. In fact, a growing number of today’s remote workers and entrepreneurs don’t even have a “home” at all, but travel the world while working remotely. These digital nomads are redefining the concept of work/life balance.

Becoming a Digital Nomad

Remote workers go by many names: traveling entrepreneur, digital nomad, location independent, and more. Often young professionals, they work in a number of industries, from software engineering and marketing to copywriting and graphic design. Commonly freelancers or entrepreneurs, many see the digital nomadic lifestyle as a calling. Blogger Katelyn Smith, also known as The Remote Nomad, eloquently describes the experience as “a total life transformation.” In other words, it’s not an extended vacation; it’s a lifestyle.

Understandably, embarking on the life path of the digital nomad doesn’t happen all at once. Instead, a series of events or a slow realization over time leads to this choice. For Robert O’Kruk, co-founder of the free, community-based site Digital Nomads Forum, it all began on a company trip to Mexico. After leaving home as an adult for the first time, he caught a “travel bug” that led him to book an extended solo backpacking trip to Nicaragua. It was there that he met other digital nomads who introduced him to the idea of working while traveling.

O’Kruk used the time and experience to work on his side project, Mala Forest, which gave him firsthand experience living a location independent lifestyle. Once he returned to his office job in Canada, he knew he had to make a change. “My gut told me I had to quit.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Planning a Location Independent Lifestyle

Becoming a digital nomad is not just about hating your day job and loving the beach. There’s a lot more to this path than buying a laptop and a ticket to Southeast Asia. In O’Kruk’s case, he spent months laying the groundwork for this lifestyle change. He timed his departure to coincide with the end of his apartment lease, and he sold everything he owned, from furniture to dishes.

He had to consider the logistics of planning and adapting to a new, impermanent lifestyle. This included starting another business, Digital Coalition, and increasing his load of freelance work as a marketer. He also secured proper temporary housing before departing, figured out a budget, and arranged transportation abroad.

In their recently published book “The Digital Nomad Survival Guide,” Peter Knudson and Katherine Conaway list a number of additional considerations that aspiring digital nomads must take into account, including:

  • Visas for international travel
  • Food costs
  • Medical considerations, including insurance
  • Charity and gift-giving
  • Planning for the unexpected, such as family emergencies and natural disasters

O’Kruk also adds planning for Wi-Fi access and subscribing to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service to the list.

Key Tools of Traveling Entrepreneurs

Transitioning to the life of a digital nomad has never been easier. In fact, many common web platforms like Google Docs help traveling entrepreneurs stay safe and protected by storing photos of passports and credit cards. Sites like LastPass help manage passwords, and Skype keeps travelers connected to family and friends.

Most important, however, is finding a community and resources to help with transitioning and sustaining a location independent lifestyle. O’Kruk’s Digital Nomads Forum, for example, helps both new and experienced traveling entrepreneurs find support. In addition, using convenience-based services such as CORT Furniture Rental can save time and stress when setting up a temporary home. The ordering process is simple, and CORT takes care of everything else to make your temporary space feel like home.

The post Embracing the Life of a Traveling Entrepreneur appeared first on Cort Corner.

June 01 2017

Decorated Air Force Pilot, Rick Schafer, Remembered As a Skilled Ponytail Maker, Combat Mission Flyer and Exceptional Airman

It was at James Bowie High School in Austin, Texas, that Ashley and Rick fell in love. High school sweethearts, the two graduated in 1997. Upon graduation Ashley stayed in Austin to work and go to school, while Rick went to Colorado to pursue his dream of attending the United States Air Force Academy. After spending four years apart, Ashley finally became Mrs. Schafer in July 2001 after Rick’s graduation.

The Air Force took them many places around the world early in their marriage. One of Ashley’s favorite memories with her airman was while they were living in Italy. Rick was assigned a temporary duty in Slovakia, and his job was to man the tower at a bombing range used for training purposes. Ashley had the opportunity to go along with him and sit up in the tower while he worked.

“I had a blast sitting up in the tower with him, just listening,” Ashley said, “I sat outside on the small catwalk while the F-16’s buzzed us! Then we were able to go into the city at night for amazing food and exploring. I’m so grateful to have had that experience with my love!”

The next chapter in their great adventure began when they welcomed their first little girl, Avery, into the world. Not long after, they welcomed their second little one, Rachel. Having two little girls turned their house pink and sparkly and their macho fighter pilot dad into a professional at putting hair into ponytails. It’s safe to say that Avery and Rachel had their daddy wrapped around their little fingers.

“The girls loved to dress up in their fluffy princess dresses and have tea parties,” Ashley said. “They invited their Daddy to these tea parties and he would come into the living room wearing his full Air Force Mess Dress, just to sit down in a kid-sized chair at their little table and eat a cookie off of a tiny plastic yellow plate.”

Along with being an incredible dad to Avery and Rachel and husband to Ashley, Rick was an accomplished aircraft builder and pilot, skilled woodworker, expert at home remodeling and welding, and he loved to hunt.

Rick was a decorated Air Force Pilot, with over 2,000 flight hours in the F-16 and T-38. Known as “Tracer” to his fellow pilots, he was well accomplished and excelled in all he did. From flying combat missions over Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan to serving as an instructor, preparing future fighter pilots for combat, he was an exceptional airman.

Over Labor Day Weekend in 2014, the Schafers took a family vacation while Rick was on leave. It was during that time that Major Rick “Tracer” Schafer was tragically killed, alongside his brother, in their private airplane. Avery was 8 years old and Rachel was 6 years old at the time of their dad’s death.

“We have good days and bad days,” Ashley said. “We have tremendous support and it has helped immensely in our day to day routines. We have carried on all while carrying our hero with us every single day.”

Despite the grief and pain that came with the loss of their hero, the Schafer ladies continue to carry on each day, knowing that even in the most difficult of times, Rick is and will always be their rock, motivating them and inspiring them in this adventure called life.

The post Decorated Air Force Pilot, Rick Schafer, Remembered As a Skilled Ponytail Maker, Combat Mission Flyer and Exceptional Airman appeared first on Cort Corner.

Trendy Furniture: Ideas for the Busy Grad Student

By Stephanie Anderson Witmer

Grad school is never easy, and moving into a new apartment or other living space is just one of the many challenges. Rather than shelling out big bucks for “forever” furniture and accessories, consider turning to furniture rental as a flexible option that allows you to experiment with the trends that fit your lifestyle at a given time.

Mix It Up

If there’s one word to describe on-trend home design right now, it’s “eclectic,” says Henrietta Heisler, owner and head of design for Henrietta Heisler Interiors Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Current trends include a lot of the clean lines of mid-century modern design mixed with Art Deco and Hollywood glam accents, such as plush upholstery and gold touches.

Spiff up the bedroom by swapping out a standard square headboard with a curvy tufted or leather one. Real estate website Trulia chose statement headboards as one of 2017’s top interior design trends.

Bring an eclectic feel into every room by using accent pieces such as chairs, credenzas, and bookshelves that blend different materials. Think lighter or whitewashed woods with metal, warmed up by touches of leather and textured upholstery and fabrics.

Talk Among Yourselves

The way you arrange your furniture also matters. Heisler says to take a cue from mid-century design and those swingin’ “Mad Men” style conversation pits. “Float” your furniture by moving it a few inches from the walls and arranging it in a way that encourages chatting face to face with friends. (Positioning a recliner and sofa in front of the TV? So over.)

Ultimately, the amount of space you have available is the determining factor, but try a sofa ringed with a few chairs, or two facing sofas flanked by chairs, or even a sectional and an additional seat or two. The key is that the furniture — and the people — face each other.

Heisler says this trend extends into eating spaces as well, with round dining tables becoming more popular. The round shape facilitates conversation, but there’s a downside. If you want to seat six or more people, a good deal of space is required. A small round table for four is ideal for an apartment setting.

Open floor plans are popular, so if you’ve got some space to work with, arrange furniture to define each area or vignette, Heisler recommends. Place a comfy armchair and lamp in a corner or next to a window to create a cozy, inviting reading or study nook, for example. Use area rugs to delineate larger living and dining spaces.

Make an Impact

“2017 is all about bold color and texture,” says Heisler. Furniture and accessories shouldn’t just look good; they should also feel good to the touch. Texture is one of the top trends of the year, according to style predictions by Trulia and Elle Decor. Jewel tones — emerald and bright greens, burgundy-reds, and navy blue, in particular — are trending colors for furniture, area rugs, and even walls. Velvet tufted sofas in a deep color bring all these style elements together with a nod to movie-star glamour.

Play with mixing bold, vivid patterns on accessories, bedding, and even on the furniture pieces. Accent walls covered in wallpaper in oversized geometric or floral patterns is also trending. If you can’t paint or paper the walls, fake it by covering a tall paneled screen or room divider in paper or fabric to achieve the same effect. Heisler also suggests framing wallpaper in a trio of large frames and hanging them in a row. When you want a new look, simply change the wallpaper inside.

CORT Furniture Rental offers everything you need to set up your living space, from accent chairs and dining sets to bookshelves and headboards. No matter what style you choose, CORT takes care of delivery and setup, so you can focus on hitting the books.

The post Trendy Furniture: Ideas for the Busy Grad Student appeared first on Cort Corner.

May 30 2017

From Herb Gardens to Cacti: How to Find the Perfect Houseplants for Your Design Style

By Cindy Baldhoff

Houseplants just might be the ultimate design secret. Low in cost and relatively easy to maintain (depending on the types you choose), plants can change the look of a room and complement your overall style.

“Plants can really complete any design scheme, because most every room has corners that are not good for furniture placement,” says McLean Barbieri, partner and interior designer at Annali Interiors in Nashville, Tennessee. The plant with the greatest impact, she says, is a tree, because “trees add height, texture, and color” to a room.

You have many options for finding ideas for using plants in your own space. From social media sites to the pages of catalogs for contemporary stores, there’s no shortage of sources to help you jump-start your design wish list.

For students living off-campus, the right plants are particularly effective in creating a welcoming environment without having to buy potentially expensive accent décor. There are many different options, and the great news is none of them are “wrong” as long as you like them. “You can’t go wrong with choosing a plant you like,” Barbieri says.

Perfect Pairings

Some items naturally go together better than others, and Barbieri says that if you’re looking to match the design of your current furniture rental, it’s possible to find some easy pairings to suit your style. One of the most on-trend plants is the fiddle-leaf fig, which has become a darling among interior designers.

“Over the past few years, [it has been] featured in the corners of every Instagram interiors shot,” Barbieri says, explaining that it’s “a versatile plant with bold, shiny leaves and really pops in most rooms.” She says the fiddle-leaf fig is particularly popular for creating transitional and eclectic/layered looks.

If your design scheme leans toward the traditional, Areca palms and ficus trees are excellent choices. She recommends looking for a tree that is taller than everything else in the room to achieve maximum impact.

For more contemporary designs, the olive tree is a rising star, primarily because the sparse look of the tree provides a perfect complement to the clean lines that are prominent in contemporary furniture.

Succulents, which are water-storing plants that include cacti, are excellent design solutions for transitional and mid-century modern spaces. “They can be used both in tabletop containers and in wall-hung structures,” Barbieri says.

Finally, if you have a bohemian look to your space, consider adding houseplants in macrame holders. “Add a layer [of plants] coming down from the ceiling … and little else,” she advises.

Before you make your buying decision, Barbieri says to make note of the light in the room and ensure the level of light in the intended location is compatible with the type of plant you want to buy. Turn to your local nursery for input on how different plants fare with different levels of light.

If you want to take things a step further and create a different look for your entire space, CORT Furniture Rental offers quick and easy solutions to suit your design style. Choose complete student furniture packages to suit your style, and let CORT handle all the heavy lifting.

The post From Herb Gardens to Cacti: How to Find the Perfect Houseplants for Your Design Style appeared first on Cort Corner.

Wedding Trends You’ll See in 2017

Wedding trends change from year to year. While there are classic designs that will never go out of style, each year brings with it new statements in color and themes. As wedding season starts up, here are the top wedding trends you can expect to see in 2017.

  1. Bringing Back Bold Colors. This season, be on the lookout for bold and bright color pairings. You can also expect to see grey and white to serve as neutral bases, with shades of blue, green, purple and pink layered for maximum effect. If you’re looking for innovative seating for your wedding guests, consider implementing Marche Ottomans You can also bring in bold accent pillows and rugs to get color into your design while sticking to a budget.

 

  1. Finding the right mix: In recent years, we’ve seen the farm-to-table trend take off, and you can expect to see it again this year, but with a twist. Look for rustic woods and greenery paired with marble and metallics for a more refined look. The mixture of materials, including black metal with natural woods and shiny metallic, create a surprisingly sophisticated urban vibe that is more accessible to today’s millennial couples. To add a refined element to your décor, consider using Hayworth tables.

 

  1. Using Natural Décor: Greenery was recently announced as this year’s Pantone Color of the Year, so don’t be surprised to see earthy themes in event design. Couples interested in incorporating green elements into their wedding planning can do so through different accessories, such as lifelike Boxwood Hedges. Also, consider incorporating natural elements like marble, wood and stone into your table settings to further incorporate this theme into your wedding. CORT’s selection of lifelike greenery, Rustique wood dining and Alondra marble accent tables can be the perfect final touch to your setup.

While no wedding is the same, many of them have similar feels when it comes to style and design. This year, break free from the ordinary and access your creativity with these trends. Don’t be afraid to branch out and put your own spin on some of the hottest trends this wedding season!

The post Wedding Trends You’ll See in 2017 appeared first on Cort Corner.

Stand with Folds of Honor to Raise $1 Million for Educational Scholarships

On May 6, at Victory Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas, Folds of Honor Foundation (FoH) launched the Stand to Honor campaign, an initiative dedicated to helping FoH raise $1 million for educational scholarships for military families and increase awareness for their cause.  FoH believes now more than ever that people are ready to stand proud for their nation and their flag, and together with individuals and businesses from around the country they stand with a purpose.

Since the launch of the campaign individuals have been standing in 13-minute increments, representing the 13 folds of an American flag given to families of a fallen soldier. They will not stop standing until they reach their goal of raising $1 million to fund 200 educational scholarships.

FoH needs your help to get them across the finish line.  People have been proudly standing for almost two weeks, raising enough money to fund 177 out of the goal of 200 scholarships. Please visit www.standtohonor.org and make a donation as little as $13, representing the 13 folds, to help fund the remaining scholarships.

Thank you!

The post Stand with Folds of Honor to Raise $1 Million for Educational Scholarships appeared first on Cort Corner.

May 29 2017

Do Road Warriors and Digital Nomads Need a Home Base?

By Heather R. Johnson

With the rise of the gig economy and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, more workers can — and do — work from anywhere, anytime. Not only are more adults choosing careers that allow them to make their own way, they’re making their way while traveling the world. This trend leads to an important question: If you’re rarely home, why keep an apartment?

A survey conducted by welance, a coworking space in Berlin, Germany, found that 61 percent of its “digital nomad” respondents travel to three to 10 countries per year. The majority stayed in other places for months on end but kept a home base to recharge between trips.

Mira Zaki, a photographer who has traveled throughout the United States and Europe since 2015, has lived in short-term and vacation rentals while pursuing her craft, but now she’s looking for a home base in New York City.

“I wanted to feel more grounded,” she says. “I also need to have an address. Things like getting a driver’s license and credit cards and receiving packages become difficult without one.”

Deciding whether to keep a home base or become a complete nomad depends on your budget, your current location, and possibly your lease terms. Rent for an apartment in a small Midwestern town is much easier to cover than rent for a San Francisco townhome. However, that San Francisco apartment could create your own rental income for you if your lease terms allow sub-leasing.

Zaki let go of her previous NYC apartment when she knew she would be gone for a year. She sold everything except her mattress, which is in storage. “Keeping an apartment in New York just didn’t make sense at the time,” she says.

Turn Your Home into Passive Income

Whether you’re a busy entrepreneur who travels extensively for business or a programmer who wants to hold down a job and see the world, it’s nice to have something to come home to. On the other hand, renting an apartment that sits empty most of the year can feel like an expensive indulgence. Some people rent out their dwellings through vacation rental companies such as Airbnb and VRBO to recoup some of the expense.

Travelers based in major metropolitan areas or cities with thriving business sectors fare especially well when renting out their homes. “If the home base is in a desirable rental market, an entrepreneur may be able to cover expenses and even make significantly more if he or she rents it out as a short-term rental,” says Mickey Kropf, COO and co-founder of rented.com, a marketplace that helps homeowners find local managers for their vacation rentals. “Short-term rentals in urban markets are also quickly gaining popularity, making them a great investment.”

Make Your Home Marketable

If you decide to sublet your apartment or list it as a vacation rental, you have to make your space inviting for guests. Follow these tips to keep the positive reviews flowing:

  • The bed should be comfortable with clean sheets and bedding.
  • The rooms should look stylish and uncluttered.
  • The entire dwelling should be spotless before you leave.
  • Swap out your couch for a sleeper sofa to increase occupancy.
  • Leave hospitable touches, such as folded towels, travel-size soaps and shampoo, and a few snacks.

Furnish Your Home Well

As a busy world traveler, you may not have much, if any, furniture. If that’s the case, your home base won’t be comfortable for you or any prospective renters. Furniture rental companies such as CORT offer a convenient solution.

Kropf says many rented.com clients choose furniture rental as a solution to spruce up an existing space. “Furniture rental can easily pay for itself,” he says. “If a room needs updates, furniture can make it stand out and help drive bookings. We also frequently see homeowners that have cherished family heirlooms. In that scenario, we recommend a rental piece as a temporary replacement that can then be removed by the furniture rental company upon the owner’s return.”

With CORT, you can rent by the piece, by the room, or for your entire home — from wherever you are. Rent that comfortable bed you and your guests want as well as anything else you need to create a cozy home base.

Many of the welance respondents reported having a more fulfilling work-life balance as location independents. Before you plan for your next destination, make a plan for your home base.

The post Do Road Warriors and Digital Nomads Need a Home Base? appeared first on Cort Corner.

May 26 2017

CORT Celebrates New Boston Showroom with Grand Opening Event

This month, CORT celebrated the opening of its new furniture rental showroom in the Boston community, offering Bostonians the opportunity to see all that CORT has to offer for furnishing their home or office.

 

The new space features 7,100 square feet of furnishings and accessories to meet any design, style or budget. Customers are invited to stop by and physically see the selection CORT has available to rent. The beautiful contemporary showroom showcases a fully glass conference room and stylish new products, including CORT’s upscale Premium and Signature Line of furnishings.

 

Throughout the evening, lucky attendees took home exciting prizes, including Red Sox tickets, a 55-inch Smart TV and gift cards to area restaurants, to name just a few. In addition, attendees enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and live music from classical guitarist Tye Austin.

 

The new rental showroom and clearance center in the Boston community offers customers a one-stop shop for unique, affordable furniture and accessories for the home or office. The showroom is located in Post Office Square, just three blocks from South Station.

 

Congratulations to CORT Boston on a successful event!

 

The post CORT Celebrates New Boston Showroom with Grand Opening Event appeared first on Cort Corner.

Insights for Expats: Memorial Day

Monday we celebrate the holiday set aside to honor those who died fighting in America’s wars.  It was first established as Decoration Day during and after our Civil War, a conflict that claimed 620,000 lives in the North and South.  May 30 was chosen for remembrance because it was a peaceful day – not the anniversary of any battle.

We should recall the impetus for such a day of remembrance.  In 1861, at the outbreak of war between North and South, our nation’s population was only 30 million.  If we experienced casualties today at the rate we did in our Civil War, there would be 6 million American dead.  So you can imagine the crushing weight of grief and the impact on society of such carnage. 

Decoration Day became Memorial Day in many places over the decades.  After World War II, May 30 became Memorial Day all over the nation.  By law it was moved officially in 1967 to the last Monday in May to make a long holiday weekend, and symbolic beginning of summer.

So nations learn how to cope, and how to honor those who sacrificed so greatly.  Our Memorial Day growing up was our most solemn and moving celebration, especially with nearly all the men in town having served in World War II.  Taps and prayers at the cemetery, decorations on graves of the fallen, comforting of those who felt the sting of loss – these helped us heal and move on without forgetting.

History provides the perspective we need to carry lessons with us, and pass them on to our children.  But Memorial Day is not merely a history lesson; it is a life lesson.  Wars take a terrible toll.  We should honor all of our veterans, who remember those that died as fellow soldiers in the crucible of battle.

 

The post Insights for Expats: Memorial Day appeared first on Cort Corner.

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