How To Give The Best Engagement Gift

How To Give The Best Engagement Gift

Make The Happy Couple Remember You Forever

As May is about to melt into June, you may begin to feel the distress surrounding summer weddings. You’ve been searching through Nordstrom’s sale rack, on the hunt for the perfect shoes to match your cocktail dress. Or perhaps the recent Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle has you feeling like you need to step up your game as a party guest (I mean, hello Amal Clooney in that mustard Stella McCartney dress that has the entire internet going crazy). Or perhaps you’re like Brad Roemer with a calendar full of engagement parties, bachelor parties (some that require a plane!) and weddings–practically leaving enough time for family. There are many protocols to be followed and much money to be spent when it comes to weddings, but let’s start with the first line of attack: the whimsical engagement party.

Engagement Gift Giving At Its Best

Perhaps your favorite couple has finally sealed the deal. Your best friend got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend of five years. After you’ve expressed googley eyes over her Tiffany’s diamond ring  one too many times, and have congratulated your best friend for this enchanting life milestone, now is the time to think gifts. If you’re not a big gift giver, then deciding what to get the soon-to-be bride and groom can be tough especially if there is no registry involved.

The Protocol for Different Types of Engagement Parties

You may be wondering what the protocol is when invited to an engagement party. Certainly, it’s not any ordinary party where you need only provide a box of beer for you and your host to enjoy. There’s a ring on the table of this one. Depending on the spectrum of formality that the host has put out, you can decipher for yourself whether a gift is necessary. For instance, if you have been notified about the party through word-of-mouth or text and have an understanding that the event will be more semi-formal, then a bottle of congratulatory champagne suffices. However, if you’ve instead received your formal invite in the mail with a return envelope that needs RSVP–likely due to the nature of the event taking place in a fancy restaurant or hall–then it’s proper etiquette to arrive bearing a gift.

Budget Wisely and Choose Carefully

A generous budget for the entire ordeal should be about $200 per person. This includes the engagement party gift, the wedding gift and any showers you would also be invited to. Women are often invited to a separate bridal shower and bachelorette shower, where a token item from the gift registry is recommended for the former and perhaps a cocktail or bottle of alcohol is more fitting for the latter. When it comes to the engagement gift, you have the opportunity to choose a more intimate gift depending on the bride and groom’s personality. The Brad Roemer design team who sometimes designs one-off weddings recommends against sticking to the gift registry if one exists. If you’re not attending an Italian wedding where cash is often preferred over a physical gift to cover the cost of the plate, then leave the gift registry choices for the special day.

A Few Exceptional Engagement Gifts

If you’re not the giving type, then here’s a little food for thought on the best practices for engagement gifts. If your best friend is a major foodie, consider buying them a luxury SMEG toaster if you wish to go big on the gifts, or else small kitchen accessories such as a waffle maker from Urban Outfitters,  a refined bottle of Balsamic Vinaigrette or a minimalist copper, marble and cheese slate will do the trick. If the love bird couple seems to have everything, then you may want to opt for interior design decorations such as a colorful vase, a small eternity rose box from Venus et Fleur, or a set of customized coasters to match the two hometowns of the couple. If they’re more the artistic type, choosing a sweet wire statement bowl or sea-inspired wall decorating pieces would be unexpected but much loved.

Are You A Master Listener?

Listen In On How Brad Roemer Uses Storytelling Meeting Tactics to Foster Better Work Relationships

Real Leaders are Master Listeners

Communication is vital in all aspects of our lives. We communicate with our co-workers, family members, friends, spouses. It’s an essential aspect of how we get around. In the realm of communication, we write and talk, however the act of listening is often forgotten. People all want to be heard, but they seem to neglect listening attentively at what the person they are speaking to is saying. If you are thinking about what to respond to your colleague before they finish iterating their last word, then you are doing listening all wrong. The difference between a good listener and a bad one can mean the world of a difference in the type of leader you are. Something that our team truly appreciates about Brad Roemer is his ability to make every employee feel like they are heard. From the ideation process all the way to strategy execution, we feel like our involvement in Brad Roemer Realtor as well as this interior and exterior design side hustle is of great value. If you wish to master listening in all corners of your life, then listen on… You might just catch on to a lesson or two that you would have otherwise missed out on because you were too busy listening to yourself talk!

Listen When Your Friend Is Going Through A Difficult Time

A lot of the time, when you’re a man you think that providing quick solutions to the trials and tribulations that your friends are going through is the way to effective communication. However, if you fail to listen in on how the “negative obstacle” is shaping your friend’s perception of their journey perception, how can you adequately provide bullet-proof solutions for them to smash the obstacle to shame? Let’s take the example that your friend recently lost his or her job. While frustration, sadness and anger may be in the boat of emotions that your friend is experiencing, they can react by this unfavorable news in one of two ways: Either they take it as the universe’s sign that pushes them to finally open up that business they’ve wanted to do all their life, or to put that mystical story that’s been stuck in their head since the tenth grade down on paper. Or they can slump into hibernation, feeling completely defeated and useless. Their expressions in the way they talk, the body language they exude as well as the words they utter are meant to be deciphered to be there as a gearing support.

Listen To Build Better Work Relationships

Organizational behaviour scientist  Nossel believes that a cohesive work environment where colleagues get along well with one another is the best way to building a profitable business. If you find yourself having a difficult time harvesting solid work relationships, then it’s likely that you aren’t putting effort into setting up coffee dates with those you co-share your office with. Next time it’s your break, ask one of your colleagues if they’d like to join you for a coffee. This is the moment where you can start asking them about their life story, from their passions all the way through to what exactly attracted them to their current job. Asking pertinent questions that shows you were listening to their story will make your co-worker feel appreciated and truly heard. If you have a higher role in your organization, then you have the ability to create a more apparent business atmosphere that pegs on sharing ideas and stories with one another. For instance, Brad Roemer makes it a point to have a “Storytelling Staff Meeting” every two weeks at his real estate company. Here, he starts the meeting with a fun topic such as “What did you want to be when you were 5 years old?” or “What’s your hidden talent?” where every employee is given the opportunity to answer. By getting to know one another in this cool play meeting, Roemer has seen a sharp increase in sales. These icebreaker tactics encourage you to mesh more with your counterpart colleagues.

Listen Even Harder When You Have Opposing Views

Picture this: You’re on a road trip with your boyfriend and his best friend, and all of a sudden a political view is brought up. While your boyfriend’s best friend is Republican, you are most definitely a Democrat. Your views completely clash, and you so badly want to smash his argument down before he has the chance to speak another similar syllable. Before jumping to conclusions and hastily exuding fury, ask this person why they think the way they do. Ask them to share with you their story. Perhaps they will shed light on what got them to perceive the world in such an opposing manner, and you can calmly understand (even if you do not agree) the Republican statement they made.

Did you like this blog post? Please share in the comments below your favorite listening techniques and stories.

Pinterest Home Trends to Follow This Year

Pinterest Home Trends to Follow This Year

It’s a gloomy spring day outside. The rain smells sweeter than honey as the raindrops caress the blossoming bulbs that are just now showing signs of color through the earth. The chirping birds circle their way through the sky from afar. You were planning on going on a whimsical jog, only to take one step outside and fatefully look up at the sky to re-enter your home as quickly as you skipped out the door. So what do you do? You prop up your laptop on your stomach as you lie down on your couch surrounded by a fuzzy blanket and your cat Paws. The coffee maker is sizzling alive in the background and you can’t help but go to your guilty pleasure: Pinterest. You’ve recently made new Pinterest boards to keep your eye on the real estate and interior decor trends that are up and coming. Your favorites are “Southern Homes” (your home is in the wild, wild South), “Palaces and Castles” (since you secretly love to pretend you’re a character in Downton Abbey) and “Fairytale Garden” (to get your landscaping game on fleek).

Create a Dream Home Blueprint

You’re doing the right thing by yourself, creating the blueprint of your future home. Right now your quaint townhouse is smaller than you might have hoped for as you are about to get married in less than six months and know that the two of you are going to be starting a family short after the fact. This circumstance prompted the re-birth of your hobby for interior decor, and you can’t help but feel overwhelmed with the amount of new trends that you can choose from. So let us help break them down for you in a bite-sized pieces so that you can fully take advantage of the trends to come.

Utilize Crown Moulding as an Inexpensive Addition

We’ve all heard about how crown moulding can take an otherwise mundane space from casual to pristine in no time. The standard surrounding this claim is that crown moulding is a feature of more luxurious homes. While it can be this way, it is pertinent to understand that there are hundreds of crown moulding designs to choose from. While some are more intricate, you can just as quickly choose a simple and sleek design for yourself. Minimal crown moulding can be as easy as ceiling and floor linings–and it’s not overly expensive either, costing about $1.50 per linear foot for the simpler designs.

Make Your Backyard a Dreamy Getaway

Who needs to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy, luxurious getaway with your spouse when you can simply visit your own backyard for the trickling sound of a waterfall and colorful fish swirling around? A few style ideas to take note of are using tall trees and lush plant bushes around the perimeter of your fencing to feel that your backyard is separate from the rest of the city. If you can add a touch fo grass to your space, go for it as the greenery will automatically lift your spirits up. Add a small table in the middle of this space for outdoor summer dinners or opt for a picnic area where you and your family can take those infamous peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.



Succeed at Small Spaces with these Devious Little Secrets

The 4 Best Devious Little Brad Roemer Secrets to Conquer Small Spaces

Do you live in a small studio in New York City, or a college dorm fresh out of high school? It can be quite a wake up call when you have to downsize your entire life into a few square feet. Don’t make your cute studio apartment bring you down into the blues. Brad Roemer and his team of excellent interior designers have worked with countless homeowners and apartment renters that have had to make due with the small things in life. You’ll find that these deviously smart tricks will go a long way into making you feel comfortable and happy in your tiny space.

Choose Your Rug Wisely

While choosing small dangly items for your space and hanging photos way too high up on your wall make it on our interior decor enemies 101 list, small rugs are right there with them on the list. There’s nothing worse that a few small rugs in your already hard-to-breathe apartment. It’ll do exactly the opposite of what you desire by making your space appear even smaller than it already is. This is because a few mismatched rugs can make your studio look broken up instead of one sleek, unison unit. If you’re looking for some good options, don’t be alarmed if you notice a high price tag. West Elm has some great, trendy pieces that are a favorite amongst the Brad Roemer Realtor team for their million-dollar homes.

Rule Out The Size of Your Artwork

Any space can look awkward if its artwork hasn’t been planned out sufficiently beforehand. Think of it this way: A great rule of thumb to follow is to avoid small clustered paintings on a large wall and instead opt for a large painting to match. You don’t necessarily need to go expensive with this one. Your art choosing can be an old advertising that you found in a Parisian vintage shop. Or you can go with comic book clippings as your preferred strategy for bringing out your personality. If you have a small wall, such as near your wardrobe, focus on hanging up smaller pieces.

Off-the-Floor Furniture

If the entire dimension of your furniture is close to the floor, such as a bed or couch that has a skirt that hangs down onto the floor or an armour that fully meets the floor, you lose that sense of airy-ness that you so deeply need in a tiny space.

Choose Shelving Over Bookcases

Need to hang up old textbooks, literary novels and vases you received from your late grandmother? Don’t opt for a bookcase but instead above-the-floor shelving units. Three stacks of shelvings should be the maximum that you’re willing to go for.

What are your favorite tiny apartment decorating secrets? We’d love to hear them in the comments below, they may even inspire our next Brad Roemer design blog post!


Look Like You Hired an Interior Designer: Brad Roemer’s Pro Tips

Brad Roemer's Guide to Interior Design for Beginners

While interior designers have an unequivocal eye for magically transforming your home into something that belongs in a magazine, some interior design enthusiasts would simply prefer to tackle the project on their own. Why expense a project you’d love to make your own? We get it. That’s why Brad Roemer and his team of designers decided that creating an interior design guide for beginners would be a great way to introduce newbies to the role.

While the project is definitely a fun one for we design lovers, it’s not an easy one. If you don’t follow these pertinent rules then you can easily find yourself with a cluttered room that becomes confusing to the eye.

Get Inspired 

When deciding to re-decorate your home from bland to beautiful, you should first get visual with it. This is where Pinterest comes handy. If you don’t know where to start, don’t fret. Brad Roemer has created his own Pinterest account with boards that range from beach homes to fairytale garden for you to get inspired here. Have fun with this by creating your own personal boards. Once you’ve got an idea of what kind of interior design style you are the most attracted to, that’s when you can begin planning for it.

Brad Roemer's Guide for Interior Design Beginners
Choose between three colors and shades for each room

Make a Plan 

Take this project to the drawing board by outlining all the elements you’d like to make apparent in your home. For each room, choose three main  prominent colors or shades to work with. Depending on the mood that you want to evoke, decide between a warm and cool palette. One shade should be the most prominent, evident on the walls. The second color will be dedicated to the large accent furniture pieces, such as your dining room table and large L-shaped couch. The third color should be reserved for small knick-knack pieces, found in pieces like a flower vase, picture frame or coffee book.

No matter which colors you choose, consider re-vamping your light sources. Floor to ceiling windows are a heart-throbber for most interior designers as they work to accentuate any room’s color. If this renovation project isn’t accessible to you at the moment, simply focus on lighting up your room with sand-alone light fixtures.

Texturize It Up

There’s nothing more boring than a home with no texture. Texture brings in the pattern and character that your space deserves. While it may appear that your room is composed of a stand-alone color upon first look, closer insight will showcase the soft cotton or dark leather of your textiles. A more luxurious home will often include silk drapery and linens. It doesn’t matter what style you choose for your space, texture is a must!

Brad Roemer's Tips for Interior Design Excellence
Mixing Small and Large Accessory Decor Items

Choose Statement Pieces

If you’re not an interior designer, it can be easy to get swept off your feet with spindly pieces that you’ve found by chance at your local flea market. Follow the vision that you have planned for your room and focus on mixing it up with a few large items, such as a statement armoir, and a few smaller items (think matching end tables). Brad Roemer also suggests following this same tip for decor accessories, such as bowls and flower pots.

Add in Some Greenery

There’s nothing that says home more like a fresh bouquet of flowers or hanging plants. Bring the greenery inside with a natural arrangement of hydrangeas, peonies or roses in every room of your home. Another option for those who aren’t into flowers is DIY-ing your own arrangement of natural elements. If your style is rustic, cabin-fever like then you’ll enjoy feathers, acorns and twigs tied together in a large urn.

Brad Roemer suggests zesting up your space with some green
Brad Roemer suggests zest-ing up your space with some green

Brad Roemer’s Tips for Minimalist Style

Brad Roemer Blog

When it comes to minimalism, it’s easy us at Brad Roemer Interior Designs to sit here and spew out the latest home decor trends to implement into your home. However, we’ve come to realize that adopting a minimalist mindset is a fully encumbering task. You may want to declutter your home come spring and opt for sleek, polished furniture instead of the fading armoirs and bookshelves that you have around your apartment. Perhaps you’ll say no to any piece of furniture that doesn’t have multiple drawers to store your baubles away. If you’re really serious about using 2018 to be more simply and less frou-frou, then it’s about time that your style mimics your home.

Brad Roemer Style Closet

You’ll be astonished to find out how expensive you can look with a simple wardrobe. One thing that people often do is confuse a simplistic style with boredom. But have you ever noticed that some of the world’s most successful people wear the same types of clothing day after day, month after month? All you’ve got to do is refer back to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wardrobe of the same t-shirt and hoodie ten times over. Or how about Bill Gates who likes to wear a nice blouse with dress pants day in, day out? And no one can ever forget Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck and jeans. The world’s most successful people have tried to eliminate any possibility of decisions–from what they wear to what they eat. This way, they can focus on making decisions for things that matter the most to them, such as world politics, the climate of the stock market or the introduction of the new iPhone.

Here are a few pieces that you should consider implementing into your capsule wardrobe if you haven’t already (all brought to you by Brad Roemer’s lovely team of interior –and exterior– designers):

  1. A high-quality satin camisole in black and white. This item is so versatile and classic that you might as well spend a prettier penny on them so that you get more wear out of them. Nothing looks worse than an old, ragged white camisole. What’s great about this option is that you can pair it with a palette of different colored skirts– pencil or peplum, your choice — as well as jeans and dress pants.
  2. Shoes, shoes, shoes! Here’s what we at Brad Roemer Interior Designs believe you definitely need in your closet: A pair of classic, close-toed heels in black and nude; Heeled booties for the winter (black or brown); black work flats; rain boots; sneakers (for the gym and everyday casual style); and high flat boots (for in between seasons).
  3. Invest in your outerwear. A great leather jacket and trench coat will act as statement pieces in themselves for the fall and spring seasons. While a heavy-duty coat is what you need to survive the winter months, aim for one that cinches in at your waist to prevent yourself from looking unstructured.

The overarching goal in the journey to your minimalist style is to focus on timeless pieces as opposed to trendy items. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on bags and statement necklaces from Forever21 when you can buy one sturdy, everyday purse once and stick with it. Invest in your long-term style and think wisely before you get your credit card out.