Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category


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.

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.