Your kitchen is more than just a culinary workplace. Often times, your kitchen will double as a studio for arts and crafts, a restaurant for beloved furry friends, not to mention the first part of the home family members will often enter from the backyard or garage. Tracks will be made, chairs will be pushed across, and food will be spilled. Therefore, your research beforehand will ensure that you pick the perfect kitchen floor for both look and function.

Durable and easy to clean are two key qualities to selecting an excellent floor for your kitchen. Active children and pets will certainly push these factors to their limits! And of course there’s also the style factor to consider: How will your kitchen floor fit in with the other flooring in your home? Do you want your flooring option to create a striking appearance or lend a subtle comfort? Don’t become overwhelmed with the details to consider, especially when we have created some helpful tips for you to review!

1. Ceramic tile is a safe bet for nearly any style & budget.

When it comes to durable and easy-to-clean, Ceramic Tile definitely delivers. In addition to being very affordable, the endless color, size, shape and pattern options will help you create your wanted look. You might need to add a mat to make standing for long periods more comfortable and to protect against slips when tile floors become wet.

2. Want an incredible, striking visual? Porcelain tile is a great choice.

A type of ceramic tile created with color all the way through, Porcelain tile similarly comes in a tremendously vast array of colors, shapes, and styles. High-definition printing techniques are so advanced, the tile can flawlessly replicate a hardwood or natural stone visual. These tiles are harder than regular ceramic, so they can become more uncomfortable to stand on but damage is less likely to show.

3. Hardwood floors will provide warmth and blend well with other flooring.

Traditional Hardwood styles like mahogany, maple and oak have always maintained strong popularity with homeowners. Comfortable and warm, wood floors are a sound investment both increasing the value of homes and easily fitting an overall home design. Although wood floors of previous decades could fall victim to wear-and-tear, technological advancements such as ArmorMax have ensured that today’s hardwood floors will stay newer, longer!

4. Laminate Flooring reduces both cost and labor for homeowners.

Think of Laminate flooring as the ultimate in convenience when it comes to kitchen floors. With the impressive ability to capture the look of stone, bamboo, and wood at a fraction of the cost, laminate flooring is also less prone to scratching and can be installed directly over existing flooring. However, laminates have a shorter lifespan and will not improve home value.

5. Vinyl is an exciting choice for extreme comfort and unique visual.

Will you be spending long periods of time standing in your kitchen? Vinyl flooring is long-lasting, easy-to-clean, and offers exceptional cushioning. Vinyl can be installed directly over the subfloor, but might require professional installation. However, vinyl sheets are easy to cut and can be a rewarding DIY project with proper planning and careful execution.

Which flooring type best suits your Pro’s and Con’s? Weigh what matters most to you and decide appropriately. The research you do now will ensure that your kitchen serves both your home and your style preferences for years of delicious cooking and family memories.

Good in Grey

 

   

Everyone knows this color is a major player in the design field. Grey can land anywhere on the color spectrum from cool and light to dark and deep, making it a hue that can stand on its own or influence other colors in a room.

On the lighter, cooler side of things, the color grey goes by names like Silver Mist, White Stone, Cement, or Platinum. These cooler grey tones work well as a grounding color to lighter pastels, making the whole look less sugary sweet. Mixed with mid-toned shades, grey adds weight and a contemporary feeling. Mixed with deeper toned colors, cool grey becomes more of a neutral background color, almost disappearing as it steps aside for the deeper colors to take center stage.

The warmer, deeper greys work great with more saturated colors. Pewter, Steel Wool, Stormy Grey, and Charcoal Grey are common names for colors in this deeper toned category. I recently saw a fabric that used a combination of dark grey, emerald green, and sunny yellow. The grey again became the neutral color, but added a richness that a beige color wouldn’t have been able to.

We also see grey used to make colors more complex. For example, take the color beige, add grey, and you’ll get a delightful chameleon color that might look taupey or beige/grey (otherwise known as greige). It all depends on what you put with it. This range of colors is what I call transitional colors, and they work well in hallways and spaces where you are transitioning from one living area to another. Think of them like a bridge connecting one space to another, where each might have totally different color schemes going on. These more complex grey tones help neutralize without being bland or boring.

Grey is also a wonderful color metalized—think of the shine of silver or plated silver. In this instance, grey becomes more formal because of its sheen. It’s the same for platinum designed accessories mixed with crystal. They are the height of elegance and formality. Pewter is another color in the grey family that can add appeal. It is warmer than silver, but also more casual, which means it can dress down a room but still add some visual interest with its subtle sheen. Grey accessories like mercury glass are another way to bring this color into your home. I love the glow of mercury glass candleholders and the various shapes that are created from the light.

Have you noticed the influence of grey on wood tones? From the furniture market to the window covering industry, lighter wood tones take a cue from the color grey. The look isn’t an all-over grey finish, but leans more toward an artisan look with some veins or slats that are grayer, while some others might be more beige. This multi-toned approach has more variety to it across all sorts of wood tones, and is a bit more palatable than the look of black painted furniture, which can be quite stark. With the exception of dark woods (like mahogany or cherry), grey is making itself well known.

With the popularity of nickel and stainless steel in lighting, tile, appliances, and accessories, I don’t believe grey is going anywhere anytime soon.

Hunter Douglas has more than 50 shades of grey available to you. A few of my favorites include Pirouette® window shadings, which have Starlight, Pagoda, and Cosmopolitan, all of which are wonderful, beautiful greys. For Alustra® Silhouette® window shadings, there are Champagne Shine and Silver Reflections shades—both possessing an undertone of grey and are available with Silver Reflections hardware. Sit back and listen to the compliments flow!

Hunter Douglas Pirouette

Hunter Douglas Alustra Silhouette

Hopefully, these suggestions help you as you shop for window fashions. As you browse, try using some of these great Hunter Douglas online resources:

Differences between Unfinished, Pre-finished or Engineered Hardwood Flooring

 

prefinished_unfinished

We know that the decision to install wood flooring in your home or business is a big decision, and with so many options available, it can be a difficult decision.
One of the biggest questions is whether solid unfinished hardwood flooring which is installed, sanded and finished on site, solid pre-finished hardwood flooring or engineered wood flooring, is right for you. You need to consider the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

Unfinished hardwood flooring:

Unfinished hardwood flooring is delivered raw and is then sanded, stained and finished on site. It is available in more widths and wood species than pre-finished flooring and can be matched to existing wood floors.
A custom sanded hardwood floor is perfectly flat looking, with a tabletop appearance that can’t be achieved with a pre-finished hardwood floor. If the subfloor is uneven, then a pre-finished floor will be uneven. Since unfinished flooring is sanded flat on site, it is more forgiving of slight irregularities in the sub-floor.

Some factors to consider:

  • Are you looking for a specific plank width, unusual wood species or color? Unfinished wood provides many more options.
  • Is your home of historical significance? Unfinished flooring would be more appropriate to capture the old-world charm and keep the look authentic, or to match existing historical flooring, hand-distressing and aging techniques can be used.
  • Are you installing wood floors throughout the entire home, or just in isolated rooms? If throughout your home, unfinished wood may be best. Having your floors finished on site will help ensure a uniform color and finish.
  • Does your new wood floor need to match with an existing wood floor? If so, unfinished flooring is the only option.

Pre-finished hardwood flooring:

Pre-finished hardwood flooring has been sanded and finished at the factory, so it does not require any further treatment once it has been installed. It is relatively quick easy to install, it is also far more convenient as no sanding or finishing needs to be done on site.
The multiple coats of finish applied at the factory give pre-finished wood flooring a very durable wear layer and the finish itself is under warranty by the manufacturer. Such a durable finish can’t be achieved on floors finished on the job site.

Even with these strong advantages, pre-finished flooring has it’s disadvantages to consider as well:

  • When refinishing pre-finished flooring, it is necessary to remove a lot more wood to get a level floor, so in effect you are losing more wood, and more life of the floor in the very first refinish than with a solid 3/4″ unfinished hardwood floor.
  • Although pre-finished floors are convenient in that they install without sanding and finishing, most have a beveled edge on the wood strips which some people find unsightly. A custom sanded hardwood floor has a table-top appearance and is perfectly flat looking.
  • A pre-finished floor will maintain height irregularities of the substrate. In short, a bump in the sub floor means a bump in the pre-finished floor unless the sub floor is fixed first. Site finished flooring is sanded flat, so is more forgiving of slight irregularities or slight height variations. If your pre-finished floor gets damaged, it means ripping out a whole section of flooring and completely replacing it, to correct it, whereas site-finished hardwood flooring can, in most cases, be easily fixed with a quick sanding and finish.
  • When installing hardwood flooring, it is necessary to top nail the boards along the parameter, near walls or cabinets, to start the floor. In site finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, then sanded and finished and usually not very visible. In pre-finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, but not sanded – so they may be a bit more visible. While we use the manufacturer-recommended pre-finished filler, there are some floors which do not have an exact match of filler, such as stained flooring, or exotics.
  • Over time, and possibly over home-owner changes, many people don’t know or forget the actual manufacturer of their pre-finished flooring product, which makes it much more difficult to get an exact match if board replacements are necessary at some point – or if they want to add additional flooring to other rooms of the home, and they want an exact match. Additionally, some of the flooring may be discontinued in time, eliminating the availability of ordering in more if it becomes necessary to match.

Engineered hardwood flooring:

Engineered hardwood floors are more versatile as they can be installed over a wider range of sub-floors than unfinished hardwood floors. It can be floated, that is, not attached to the sub-floor, they can be installed over almost any type of sub-floor including concrete. Also, the durable coating on engineered flooring makes it more resistant to moisture and humidity, making it suitable for climatic regions with high humidity, large variations in temperature, or when the sub-floor is below grade and more prone to moisture.

Some factors to consider:

  • When refinishing engineered pre-finished hardwood flooring, it is necessary to remove a lot more wood to achieve a level floor, so you will lose more life of the floor in the first refinish than with a solid hardwood floor. Also, engineered hardwood floors are harder to clean between the cracks, as they are not sealed at the job site like unfinished hardwood floors.
  • Do you live in an area with high humidity? If so, Engineered flooring is the better option as it is more resistant to buckling and warping.
  • What type of installation technique is required? Only engineered flooring can be floated above a concrete sub floor. If the flooring is to be installed below grade, pre-finished flooring is the recommended choice.

In the end, only you can make the decision about which flooring is right for you.

 

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PROS OF CARPET

The warm comfort that carpet provides is not just your imagination.  Unlike other types of flooring‚ carpet is a natural insulator‚ providing additional warmth in cold seasons.  The use of carpet in a wall–to–wall application actually increases the R–value (insulation level) of the carpet area‚ potentially saving homeowners on expensive utility costs, while reducing energy use.

Carpet is capable of holding significant quantities of soil and dust without appearing dirty.  It has been demonstrated that carpet is quite efficient at keeping allergen and other small particles such as pollen out of the air.  In fact, data from a Swedish government study indicates that when use of carpet declined, the number of people reporting allergy symptoms increased.

Regular vacuuming with a high-efficiency filter and periodic cleaning using hot-water extraction (“steam cleaning”) removes the majority of allergen from carpet as well as significantly reducing mite populations.

 

CARPET STYLES

There are several different types of carpets: Textured, Patterned, Looped, & Frieze.

  • Textures & Patterns- are great for formal spaces where you want to dress the room up.
  • Loops- are nice for high traffic, they perform well and are extremely durable.
  • Frieze- also known as twist or shag– has a plush, springy softness and casual, comfortable feel.  It hides foot prints and vacuum lines well.

 

COLOR TIPS

For those who love vibrant colors but don’t want an entire floor of color, think about accessorizing with throw pillows, area rugs, window treatments or art pieces.  This will help brighten your room with color where you can keep a more neutral color on the floor.

  • Light carpet next to darker walls can really make the room more striking.
  • If you are choosing a carpet for a playroom or game room, choose one of the primary colors.

 

DESIGN TIPS

  • FRIEZE has random color variation, as well as a very plush comfortable look.
  • PATTERNS are very popular because they are upscale and striking.  A strong pattern can really rejuvenate a room.
  • A tip for patterns- large patterns look best in large spaces.  Small patterns pop in small, intimate areas.
  • TEXTURED floors create relaxed looks with smooth, twisted yarns.
  • LOOP- use uneven loops for texture, and level loops for durability.

 

 

Trying to get your kids all ready for school?  This summer just went by too fast.  Here are a few ideas to get your kids organized and ready for school, while making it fun.

IDEAS TO PUMP UP YOUR KIDS FOR SCHOOL

* Try taking the kids to their school playground, have a picnic, and let them play there for awhile.  This will help ease them back into the swing of things.

* If your kids are nervous about meeting new friends, try role playing with them.  If they are too embarrassed, make it fun by pulling out some of their toys and use them as your example of how to introduce yourself and make friends.

* Together, pick out an outfit for the first day of school, wash it, and lay it out the night before.

* Start a journal talking about what they are excited for and what their goals are for the end of the year.  Examples: what they want to learn better, making new friends, what grades they want to get, etc.

* If you have a little one that is just starting Kindergarten show them pictures of their school and pictures of kids in classrooms doing school work and playing.  This way they can get an understanding of what they are going to be doing.

MAKING THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SPECIAL

*Sneak a little love- put a note in their backpack or lunch.  Something small; I love you!, You are going to rock 4th Grade!, or Have a fabulous day!

* Take a picture- you know how much you loved having your picture taken every year by your parents, well now it’s your turn to torture your kids.  You have to get this picture.  It is so fun to look at them from year to year.  A good idea to know which year have them hold a sign with what grade they are in.  I love the chalk board idea.  Have them stand by the same tree, bush, or fence each year so they can see how much they have grown.

* If you have younger ones that are not old enough to go to school and are sad they are not going, plan a play date with some kids around their age and do some fun crafts and learning so they can feel like they’re big kids.

* Another thing you can do for your little ones that are not old enough yet is go find some work sheets. If they are wanting to learn than hey why not.

Throughout the year every week spend 30-60 min with each child helping them with whatever they are struggling with. That way you always know what they are learning about and you build the relationship for them to come to you with their struggles.

ORGANIZING YOUR HOUSE TO FIT YOUR KIDS SCHOOL STUFF 

This is a tough one because with all of their homework, backpacks, and dirty shoes your house can turn upside down!  So here are a few ideas for you to keep up with your kids:

1) As they walk in try to create a space for them to have a place for their personal things. Their own cubby or even a hook for their backpack. Have a basket or shoe rack for their shoes.

2) Have a designated homework space. Make sure there are no distractions around it.

3) Try and make their space as organized as possible for everyone’s sanity.

4) Try to create a fun and peaceful environment within their work space.

Good luck and have a fabulous school year with your kids!

Here are some examples of lockers and work spaces for your kids…

Here is a  great idea to create personal work spaces when you’re short on space.

Love this work space- so fun and functional!

LIVING LARGE IN SMALL SPACES

Some people live in a small home, a small room, or just a small space.  Others want to live in an intimate way versus dealing with the maintenance and cleaning of a large square footage space.  Small is beautiful, easy, and practical too.

Here are a few examples on how to utilize your small space and make it functional and feel spacious.

* Let in as much natural light as possible, this opens up space and gives character.

Contemporary Bedroom by Kirkland Architects & Designers Thielsen Architects, Inc. P.S.

* Unclutter- get rid of anything that you have not used in over a year.  Create organized space wherever you can.
Contemporary Entry by Boston Architects & Designers ZeroEnergy Design

* Using Ottomans, window seats, armoirs, & bookcases with enclosed compartments is a perfect solution for every day clutter.
Modern Hall by Cambridge Architects & Designers LD Architecture & Interiors

* Link adjacent spaces with the same colors and flooring. Keeping everything similar makes the rooms look much larger.
Traditional Dining Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Nicole Hollis

* Use Light, Cool & Neutral colors throughout your home as they expand space.
Contemporary Living Room by Other Metro Media and Bloggers Michelle Hinckley

* Consider using furniture that is multi-functional, such as ottomans, which could be used as a coffee table or sitting area.

 Traditional Family Room by Seattle Design-Build Firms RW Anderson Homes

* Choosing an over-sized mirror or a set of small ones will add extra light and create the illusion of a larger room with the reflection.

Tropical Family Room by Isle Of Palms General Contractors Brown Contractors Fine Custom Homes

* Horizontal lines can create the illusion of a larger room, vertical lines will make a room look taller.
* Hanging art in a small room will draw your attention away from how small the room is.
* Hang a chandelier to make the room feel taller.
* Choose a lighter, neutral color for a rug.  It bounces the light around the room and enhances the illusion of space.
* Choose furniture that is not flush with the floor.  It break things up and feels more open.

CHOOSING A COLOR SCHEME

For those of you not so happy it’s Monday, with a full week of work a head of you, here’s a little something to help brighten your week; creative advise on how to spice up your home.  Enjoy!

Get color scheme inspiration with HGTV’s gorgeous color palettes and tips for choosing the right colors for your rooms.  From calming combinations of neutrals to color-studded palettes of green, blue, red, yellow, and more, see how hues work together to both unify rooms and create eye-catching contrast.  Get inspiration for every room in your home — including your living & dining rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. Learn how to match colors and use fabrics, accessories, artwork as inspiration for crafting a color scheme that fits your unique home and style.

Choose a color scheme from the largest pattern in the space: If you have patterned upholstery, an Oriental rug, or large piece of artwork, pluck colors you like from the pattern.  For a neutral wall paint color, look to the pattern’s whites and beiges.

Start with the formal areas of the house: Specifically, the living room, dining room, and entry way. Choose a color scheme for those areas first, then pull one color from the scheme and tone it down for accents. For example, take the red sofa and tone it down (say, to burgundy) for an accent in more private spaces such as the den, office, or bedroom.

Here is an example of using artwork to pluck color schemes from for accents

CHOOSING A WOOD FLOOR

TIPS ON WHAT TO CHOOSE BASED ON YOUR STYLE & BUDGET

Wood Species: 

The most important factor in choosing a wood species is, of course, the appearance.  While the stains and finishes add variability to them, different woods can compliment modern, classic, rustic or other types of  settings. For example, maple has a more subtle, elegant look, while hickory has a more unique and “outspoken” appearance.  The experts in a fine flooring store can help you make the right choices.

There are subtle differences as well.  For example, Big Leaf Acacia features less character, with a plain grain, fewer knots and wider age circles, while the Small Leaf Acacia is full of character, with more knots and a swirling grain.  It costs more, but it makes a prettier floor.

In addition to appearance, you should also consider durability, moisture-resistance and hardness, depending on the area of the home where the flooring will be placed.  Our Small Leaf Acacia, for example has higher density, so it’s a lot harder, where Big Leaf Acacia has lower density, so it’s softer and lighter. Your in-store flooring expert can help you make the right decisions.

Exotic woods such as: Mahogany and Brazilion Cherry are popular for their appearance and are extremely durable.

Textures:

This is where your style really comes in to play . You can choose a brand new floor that has that antique worn look, or you can choose a floor that is very clean and shiny looking.  One thing to think about is to get something that is distressed because it can hide heavy use on the floor and still look amazing.

Hardness:

If you are looking for a wood species that is considered very hard and durable on its own, there are a couple of different ones you can gravitate towards such as: Maple, Oak, Hickory and a few others. Now don’t stress if you have chosen a floor that is not one of these.

The most important thing to look for when investing in a wood floor is quality of the wood and a great finish. Something to consider for a very durable floor and a great finish is choosing an Engineered wood floor. 

Width:

Most flooring is sold in planks of a single width. But today, many homeowners and designers are mixing flooring planks of different widths, achieving striking effects. Rocky Mountain variable-width flooring allows you to mix wood planks of 4, 6 and 8 inches together to create a unique and stylish look.

To compliment the scale of your rooms, you can emphasize the 5-inch and 6-inch planks in larger rooms, and 4-inch and 5-inch planks in smaller ones. You can also mix the sizes randomly and creatively for all sorts of interesting effects.  You can take advantage of the variable widths to play up architectural features of a room, such as a bay window, door, alcove or fireplace.

You can use them with modern wall colors, drapes, throws and furnishings to create a modern eclectic look. With variable-width flooring, you can let your creativity be your guide

Differences between Solid and Engineered Wood Floors:

Engineered hardwoods look exactly the same as solid wood but there are important differences.

Engineered flooring is composed of multiple cross-stacked layers. This makes it impervious to humidity and moisture, unlike a striped solid wood. It also allows for the use of longer planks- providing not only a more desirable look but also resistance to bending or bowing, as can happen with longer solid planks.

Solid planks can also suffer from expansion and contraction in changing seasons, leaving unsightly gaps, as well as “cupping” from moisture and shrinkage over a long period of time.

Engineered flooring is more flexible in application as well. It can be directly glued down on a concrete slab, stapled to a wood sub-floor, or even installed on a grade level.

As a result, engineered floors are well suited to almost every room in the house, including kitchens and dry basements, and offer superior durability in addition to uncompromising beauty.

 

Solid Wood Floors

  • Pros
  1. You can customize your floor to exactly what you want
  2. You can change the color and sand the floors whenever you like
  • Cons
  1. You have to sand and refinish every 5- 8 years depending on the traffic in your home
  2. Installation is a long process and is very messy to deal with
  3. Cost is more with having to refinish it
  4. Expands and contracts with any moisture- If you choose to get a solid wood floor make sure to have a humidifier installed in home so you can control the expansion and contracting

 

Engineered Wood Floors

  • Pros
  1. Simplifies installation & eliminates dust, chemical fumes & waiting time
  2. They usually have longer warranties since they are more durable and longer lasting
  3. Better finish is put on Engineered Wood floors so it lasts much longer
  4. It does not expand and contract. The way that is constructed and finished holds everything together so you will not have that problem along with gaps in between boards
  5. You have a pretty large selection to choose from
  • Cons
  1. You cannot customize it to exactly what you want
  2. You can refinish it only one time

 

Engineered Wood

Solid Wood

Engineered Wood

Welcome to our Blog we are so excited to keep you updated on decorating, flooring, backsplash etc.

Hopefully, everyone got a chance to make it out for this event. We are very excited to show you one of the beautiful parade of homes built by EBuilders.