Mini Blog- Cabinet Hardware

Today there are so many different ways to customize a kitchen to a specific individuals taste. There is an infinite number of combinations and possible designs. Cabinet hardware has come a long way in recent years. There is a knob or pull for just about every different design style there is. The choices for hardware are endless because there are so many new shapes, sizes, materials, and finishes.

No standard exists for how hardware is to be installed on cabinetry. There is no right or wrong configuration, only the limit of the imagination. Back before there were so many different options, usually a knob was meant for a door and a pull was meant for a drawer. This configuration is still very common today, but many people are beginning to branch out from what was once considered the norm. Some people prefer to use all knobs, all pulls, or a variety.

With kitchens having higher ceilings than before a second row of smaller upper cabinets is frequently seen. In this instance it is the perfect place to choose something different for hardware than the rest of the kitchen. One example could be a small latch instead of a knob or maybe it switches to glass for an accent.

Mixing metals has also become quite common. For example, every metal in the kitchen does not necessarily have to match! A faucet can be a brushed stainless and all of the hardware can be a brushed gold. They may be different, but the kitchen and design still look perfectly cohesive.

The world of cabinet hardware is a daunting one because the choices seem to be endless. What may seem like a small and insignificant detail can actually make a huge impact on a space and a design. The shape, color, and size of the hardware must speak to the overall style or the design could not be as successful.

September Monthly Home Inspiration- Mudrooms

Mudroom Inspiration

The mudroom is a room in the home that acts as a transition space into the rest of the house. It will normally be a space that is used to store shoes, jackets, bags, and sports equipment. This room used to consist of a bench and some hooks mounted on the wall for coats and other hang-able items.

The room has now become so much more. It is still a room meant for functionality, but now that has expanded to include the overall aesthetics. The mudroom is now a sought after feature in most homes. People crave clean, organized, and beautiful spaces, which is everything this space should be.

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The Evolution

Times change, and the spaces we live in have to change right along with them. People today lead much more hectic, busy lives than in years past. It makes sense that functionality and organization would become a priority for anyone leading this lifestyle.

The days of a simple bench and some hooks are over. Beautiful built-in cabinetry resides in many mudroom designs. This allows for things to be hidden from sight and properly put away. There are normally cubbies or drawers for shoes and shelving for other miscellaneous items. A built-in bench is present as well, which makes the whole space feel more permanent and grounded.

Photo Credit: https://ladydecluttered.com/10-smart-beautiful-home-entryway-storage-ideas/

Pet Friendly

No home is truly complete without the companionship of a four-legged, furry friend. Unfortunately, those furry friends will often bring some unwanted messes along with them. The mudroom is the perfect place for a solution to this problem.

If the room is large enough then a mudroom can become the perfect multi-use space! It is becoming more and more popular to place a dog wash area in the mudroom. This makes cleaning up after your pets so much easier. No more muddy paw prints through the house!

Photo Credit: https://heydjangles.com/12-genius-mudroom-dog-wash-station-ideas-for-pet-lovers/

Office Combination

Another great way to make the most out of this space is to incorporate another function! Most people have the need for some type of office space, but they may not need an entirely separate room for that purpose. A mudroom and an office are the perfect combination.

This creates a small space out of the way to house computers, printers, office supplies, and important family paperwork. Every house has these and this solution keeps the stuff from cluttering up other areas of the home. Because the mudroom is a transition space into the home it will also be semi-private, unless people are coming and going.

Photo Credit: https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=156295

Laundry Room

Another way to maximize the space in a mudroom would be to incorporate the laundry in that same space or an adjacent space. This has become the most popular option because many homes do not have the space for an expansive laundry area. It also allows the area to be accessible and located in a convenient area of the home.

Laundry rooms were not always glorified and Pinterest worthy spaces. Most commonly “laundry rooms” were located in the basement of the home, which is not a place where people want to spend a lot of time. This configuration allows the best of both worlds.

Photo Credit: https://home.evdenevenakliyat-platformu.com/breathtaking-25-beautiful-and-efficient-laundry-room-designs-decorisme-co-yo/

Mini Blog- Kitchen Storage & Organization Continued

Functionality is so important when it comes to designing a kitchen. It helps to create a space that is stress-free, easy-to-use, and organized. Cabinets have come a long way with the addition of new inserts that help to increase the functionality in any kitchen.

One of the most common things that can be found in kitchens today are roll-outs! These can be found in the form of trays and so much more! They help to make the most out of the space by allowing for easy access to the entire cabinet, therefore nothing is out of reach. Roll-outs are also designed specifically to house spices, utensils, and other items that are often stored ineffectively. This creates a more organized atmosphere and makes it easier to locate specific items without the need to search extensively.

Small appliances have become very common in kitchens today. There seems to be an infinite number of them and some can be used multiple times daily, which makes it crucial that they are easily accessible. However, no one has infinite space on their counter tops and many people prefer to have their appliances out of sight. There are a few different ways to address this dilemma. If counter space is no issue then an appliance garage would keep them out of sight while still in arms reach. A solution that is unique to the large Kitchen Aid mixer that everyone seems to have on the counter top is a mixer pull-up. This allows the mixer, its accessories, and other miscellaneous things to be stored out of sight.

Lastly, it is always the small things that make the biggest difference. For example, a built-in organizer for baking sheets, pans, and trays keeps everything organized and easy to find. This helps to make the most use out of the space. Another small modification can be done to the area on the side of the cabinet, which can then be used for a message center, keys, and other small objects. The one that will make the most difference is the drawer organizer. This will keep all like silverware and utensils in the proper place. It will ensure that everything is neat and easy to locate.

With today’s advancements and technology there are so many different ways to make a more functional kitchen. This blog focuses on only a few of the various mechanisms that bring order to the chaos. It is important to pay attention to how you use your kitchen because what might work for someone else will not work for you and while the new gadgets can be alluring, they are also not always necessary. Keep in mind what is most important to you when you’re designing your dream kitchen.

August Home Inspiration- Bathroom

Bathroom Inspiration

Aside from the kitchen, the bathrooms are generally the next most work-intensive remodeling project on the to-do list of homeowners. Just like with kitchens, there are certain design trends that come and go. No matter how conscientious someone is about keeping their design classic, there will be something that will eventually go out of style. Be sure to remember that and try not to stress too much over it!

Things may be constantly going out of style, but that also means that they come back eventually! This is what can be considered the cycle of design. Try to keep the permanent fixtures and materials simple and be more bold with the things that are easier to replace down the road.

Not all of today’s popular styles look super trendy. In fact, many of them are simply bringing a twist to old ideas or freshening up some classic looks. There is nothing wrong with incorporating something in the design that is popular at the time, besides the fact that in a few years it may not be. What the consumer really needs to understand is that something can be both classic and trendy at the same time.

Photo Credit: https://due-home.com/blog/tendencias-en-banos-2019-1/

Black Accents

This is one of those trends that can also be considered classic in nature. Black has been increasing in popularity when it comes to fixtures, hardware, accent walls, cabinetry, and more! It is being used more frequently and in more applications than it was in the past, but this color is about as classic as it gets. The only color that could possibly be its rival would be white. These two opposites are the main neutrals. They are everyone’s go to colors when the objective is a simple color scheme.

From a design perspective, the contrast that this color gives when paired with the right color scheme is exactly why it has become so popular. The days of glossy black finishes are over and matte black finishes have taken the stage. This was one of the ways that the color was revived. It looks much more contemporary than before, which also helps add to its growing popularity. This is one trend that is in it for the long haul because of its versatility and classic nature. Don’t shy away from this trend!

Photo Credit: https://houseandhome.com/gallery/2019-bathroom-trends/

Industrial Enclosures

These shower enclosures have been gaining popularity for the past few years. This is thanks to the growing industrial style and the desire to bring it into homes. This can definitely be considered something that will be more likely to lose popularity, but it is most likely to stick around as long as industrial style is still so desired. These enclosures can generally be found in a black finish and will often resemble a large window, such as one from a warehouse.

These enclosures have very clean lines and have a contemporary look and feel to them. They tend to lean more towards one design style, but they are versatile enough that if done well they could be used in a variety of styles as well. Thanks to the black finish they will also pair very well with most color schemes.

Photo Credit: http://www.manlikemarvinsparks.com/40-helpful-creating-bright-bathroom-ideas/

Wood Accents

Stains are making a comeback in a big way! In the past few years it was very rare to find wood tones in a design. They had taken a hiatus to make room for the white and gray design trend. That trend has and continues to dominate the market of design. Unfortunately, all of the gray color schemes have gotten boring and drab. By incorporating a warmer stain and wood tone it helps to liven up the space.

This brings much needed warmth, texture, and interest to the design. The most common stains that can be seen are more on the neutral spectrum. Bright red and orange tones are becoming less and less popular in this market because it makes it difficult to transition from one color scheme to another. A neutral stain allows the client or homeowner to change the color scheme as often as they would like without having to change every finish in the space. This development will help to stretch out the gray color schemes, which could help to make it more of a classic neutral and less of a trendy color.

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Pendant Lighting

Wall mounted lights have become a standard in bathrooms, whether it be sconces on either side of the mirror or a wall mounted fixture above. They have dominated the market so much that hardly anyone will consider any other options. It has become so standardized that companies are making wall mounted fixtures that coincide with the faucet and other fixtures. This idea is so common that it has become stale.

This was not always the case, so changing up this standard is like a breath of fresh air to designers everywhere. Pendant lights are most commonly seen in dining and kitchen applications, but they are steadily making their way into bathrooms everywhere. This was once not uncommon to see and it is nice to see another past “trend” coming full circle. This opens up the options tremendously in terms of style and design. It will add interest to a normally boring and forgotten space.

Photo Credit: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/deuce-cities-henhouse-3407166/basement-bathroom-reveal-5456423685

Statement Mirror

Last, but not least, is the mirror. In the past mirrors were just the last piece of the puzzle that often seemed like an after-thought. It was all about the function and less about the aesthetics. When this happens in design it almost feels like something is missing; like it is incomplete. Now mirrors are getting the attention they deserve.

They now make a statement and have become an important focal point in the space. This is done by using a contrasting material, a vintage piece, or by having it framed. It isn’t just hung up on the wall anymore without an extra thought. It is now grounded in the design. The most popular mirrors are rounded in shape and less linear. This adds a nice contrast to all of the other sharp, linear features in the bathroom. It softens the space to create a space that feels more like a destination and less like pit stop.

Photo Credit: http://woyhome.com/78-luxury-farmhouse-tile-shower-ideas-remodel/

Most clients tend to focus so much on whether something will go out of style they don’t consider their own opinion. In the end the idea of something being “trendy” becomes negative instead of positive. This is more of a consideration in interior design than other areas of the design spectrum because most homeowners are not able to make changes as frequently as needed to keep up with the changing markets. Clients just have to follow their instincts and what will make them happy and everything else should come second.

Mini Blog- Paint Selection

The paint color is usually the last decision that is made during the design process, which is because it is one of the easiest things to change in the grand scheme of things. However, the fact that it can be changed easily does not make it any less important. The overall color of the space is what will help to anchor the design. This is probably why people tend to overthink the paint color. It is commonly the most difficult decision that homeowners make during any renovation or home improvement project. There is no need to stress! Here are some simple tips, tricks, and steps to picking the right paint color on the first try!

Picking out a paint color should be fairly easy, but that also does not mean that a homeowner should spend as little time and effort as possible. The options for paint colors are seemingly endless, but a choice can be made with some thought and no stress! The first step is to pick out all of the other materials and finishes that will be used in the space because this will help to define the overall color scheme. Next, go to a local paint store and pick up out some colors to bring home. It is important to bring the other materials along to give some guidance because it is nearly impossible to chose a paint color from memory. Place the swatches in the room that has yet to be painted to narrow down the choices and pick a few favorites. Once the selections are narrowed down, go back to the store and get a small sample of each color and some primer.

Before directly painting the wall with the sample, apply some primer. This will help because it will show the true color of the sample without any interference from the existing hue. When the primer is ready, paint some fairly large portions of the wall in the sample colors. This is a very important part of the process because colors will look differently online, on a swatch, and even when it is on the wall! After this step has been completed, be sure to live with the colors for a few days and look at them in the different lighting at different times of the day to be sure that the color will always look perfect!

Once the selection has been made put all of the samples together to see what the final product will look like and to ensure that they all coordinate and compliment each other nicely. These steps will help to make certain that the perfect paint color is found! Paint is a very important part of the overall design. It can really help to transform the space and create an impact, but it is not something that should be repeatedly second-guessed or stressed over. After all, it can just as easily be painted over.

July Home Inspiration- Simple Ways to Update the Home

Most homes today are in serious need of cosmetic updates. Whether you’ve had the home for a while and have put it off or you’ve just purchased your very own fixer upper, the list of home improvement projects always seems endless. There is so much work to be done and very little time, or money, to do it. A full scale renovation may not be possible at any given time. Just because a renovation isn’t plausible does not mean that the space has to remain the same. There are still some small things that can be done in the meantime to brighten up and bring the space in question up to date.

These quick fixes will not completely solve the problem, but they will make it easier to live in as long as need be. There are a handful of DIY projects that can be done to update any room in the house! The biggest lifesaver in DIY home improvement is paint! There are plenty of simple, easy projects that most home owners should be able to accomplish in order to freshen up their space.

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Add Paint

Paint allows new life to be brought to old things; especially in a world where the objectives reduce, reuse, and recycle are more important than ever. The best part about paint is that it is so simple and easy. This small change can also make a very large difference and there are so many different places that it can be used!

One of the most common places that will need updating is the walls! The color of a room is such an easy way to change the tone of a space. There are certain steps to take to avoid picking the wrong color. Always bring samples of the actual paint to try before committing. It is so hard to pick a color from a swatch confidently so be sure to live with it on the wall for a few days. Also be very careful that the current color of your walls doesn’t distort the new options!

Other things that can be updated using the power of paint are cabinetry in the kitchen or bathroom, moldings, furniture, fixtures, and so much more. The possibilities are endless!

Photo Credit: http://www.designevolving.com/2017/07/02/jen-tylers-lincoln-park-condo-kitchen-makeover/

Replace Hardware

How can something so small and seemingly insignificant make such a huge impact? Whether it be cabinetry hardware, door hardware, curtain rods, or anything else, they all have a great affect on the style of a space. Once these things are updated the room can look and feel fresh and improved. If the hardware just needs a little TLC then they can always just be refinished and re-installed, or they can be replaced altogether for a drastic change in style.

The challenge with cabinet hardware is finding a pull that will fit within the existing drilled holes.If the cabinets currently have knobs then there is no issue! If the cabinets are painted or being painted then the existing holes can be filled in and painted over and new holes can be drilled. If they are stained then that poses more of a problem. Try to find pulls that are similar in size. The age of the hardware will often determine how difficult this task will be!

Photo Credit: http://nextluxury.com/home-design/kitchen-cabinet-hardware-ideas/

Replace Tile

This is one of the more time consuming and difficult tasks, but the reward is also one of the largest. Most of the time the kitchen is where most of the work is needed. There are also many things that can be changed in a kitchen; very few of those being simple. Tile work can be done by the homeowner, but to ensure it is done properly should be done by a professional because the scope of work might be more than any homeowner is willing to do.

Changing out the tile is a perfect way to make a small change without having to gut the whole room. This can have a huge impact and can really update the space by using a bright, neutral, and contemporary tile. Another popular thing to do with tile is to take it to the ceiling in order to make a statement. This can help bring any kitchen into the present!

Photo Credit: http://simplestylings.com/kitchen-renovation-reveal/

Add Storage

There is almost never such a thing as “too much” when it comes to storage. Another great way to add something new to your home without having to do much work or spend too much money is adding storage. This can be accomplished by adding shelving on open wall space that can be stylish or functional. Open shelving adds something to a space that was dull before. It is a simple update with a huge reward!

This can also be done by going through belongings and figuring out what it absolutely necessary and what is not. Go through every inch of storage space in the home and determine what can stay and what can go. It is surprising how much space this can open up. Then there is more storage space for other important things and the home feels fresher and cleaner.

Photo Credit: https://www.shopstyle.com/shop/Cassym2017/43130005?utm_content=stl

It does not take thousands of dollars and months of time to create a beautiful home. Not everyone is capable of such renovations. Sometimes its the simplest things that make the biggest impact.

Mini Blog- Countertops

The options for countertops have grown exponentially in recent years with the help of technology and creativity. There is so much more than the laminate and granite of years past, including quartz, concrete, wood, solid surface, stainless steel, or even a combination, as well as, many more. Each option has its own benefits, as well as, its own disadvantages. The trick is finding the right option to suit the needs of the client and the design style. One option may work for one space, while another may not. In some cases, the client may want multiple countertop materials and the challenge is combining them in a way that looks purposeful and cohesive.

As with many other things in the design world, the options seem endless. The key is to steadily narrow down the options that are available. The easiest way to start is by looking at the budget for the project. This could narrow down the possibilities fairly quickly if the countertop budget is low. If the budget is larger then maybe the lower end options are ruled out. The next thing to consider is durability. How much is the space used? Does the countertop need to be durable? Lastly, the look of the countertops and how they will relate to the overall design of the space.

Laminate countertops are one of the most cost effective options because they are made of layers of plastic that have been bonded to particle board. This allows them to be made in a variety of colors and patterns. They are also more easily installed. The downside is that they are less durable and will have to be replaced more frequently. Granite is a natural stone, which means that it is porous and requires sealing. Poor maintenance of this stone will lead to staining and bacteria growth. This material is more durable than laminate because it is scratch and heat resistant, however it could chip or crack over time.

Quartz is different from granite because it is an engineered stone. It is made of 93% quartz composite and 7% binder, which makes it scratch resistant, stain resistant, and extremely durable. There is also a great variety of colors and finishes thanks to today’s technology. The downside is that they aren’t as heat resistant as granite and some of the other options and they tend to be more expensive. Concrete countertops are often formed on site or in a shop and are custom. This makes them just about as strong and as expensive as quartz, but they require the same maintenance that granite does to keep them free of staining. However, they will not chip or scratch.

Wood, or butcher block has always been a very popular choice when it comes to countertops. They are ideal for those who love to prepare food and bake. They can be sanded and refinished after years of wear, which makes them very eco-friendly and require less replacement. They do need to be sealed to avoid bacteria, and water damage. Stainless steel countertops are one of the most durable, and easy to keep clean, but unfortunately they are also one of the most expensive. They also create a sterile feeling in a space that is normally supposed to feel warm and inviting.

Last, but not least, would be solid surface. These countertops are about mid-range on the price spectrum. They are a very strong material that is seamless and non-porous. They also require much less maintenance than granite and concrete. However, they are not scratch and heat resistant like the quartz is, which could lead to more wear and tear over time.

There are still more options for countertops out there than the ones mentioned here. These just happen to be the ones that are most commonly used. Some other examples are tile, resin, marble, recycled glass, and even lava countertops. Just like with these options each one has their own benefits and weaknesses, which is why it is important to know the differences when specifying a countertop for a kitchen or bathroom application.

June Home Inspiration- Finding Your Design Style

Finding Your Design Style

The start of each design is a bare room. The blank walls and empty floors are just begging to be brought to life. The different materials used and the accessories that are brought in will determine the function, personality, and overall style of the space. The possibilities for every space are limitless. The beauty in design can be found in the simple things. Each space, whether it be an office or a home, reflects the individual who uses it. You can often learn a great deal about someone based on what their personal spaces look like.

There are so many different design styles out there. It can be hard for some people to determine where they fit so we have compiled a list of some of the most popular styles. This post will touch on the most common interior design styles, such as, Traditional, Modern, Transitional, Farmhouse, Industrial, and Coastal. Each style has unique attributes that distinguish one from another, which will be explained in detail! Lets get started!

Photo Credit: http://www.beachstudios.co.uk/?property_id=117&s=17&np=37

Traditional

The traditional design style can be best described as classic. It often features ornate details, wood tones, rich color palettes, detailed moldings, and a variety of textures and patterns. The shape language is comprised of both straight and curved lines. All of these features create a beautiful depth to each space with layers upon layers of visual interest.

This style is also known for being very lavish, which is why there is normally an abundance of accessories and decor to fill the space. The furnishings are often very intricate and have rich, bold fabrics in a wide variety of textures and colors. This style is very consistent with what originally migrated from Europe. The features have held strong through the test of time and will always be timeless. It has been slightly adapted over time and toned down, but all in all it has many of the same aspects now as it did back then.

Photo Credit: http://zuhairah-homeinteriordesign.blogspot.com/2012/10/southern-traditional.html

Modern

This is often one of the most misused and misunderstood phrases in the world of design. It is often confused or used interchangeably with the Contemporary style even though they are different. Today’s modern style is based largely on a movement that occurred during the 20th century. In keeping with the philosophy of the design movement, modern style focuses on functionality over aesthetics. If a detail in the design does not serve a specific purpose then it is not necessary at all.

Generally there is an emphasis on the linear form, whether it be vertical or horizontal. This keeps the space basic and uncluttered. The color scheme is often very simple and monochromatic. Nature is often incorporated and celebrated in the design with the use of natural light, colors, and materials. Modern style can be considered the opposite of its Traditional counterpart in many ways.

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Industrial

With the increasingly popular idea of reusing abandoned industrial spaces it is no wonder why this style has grown in demand over the past few years. This style was born out of the combination of modern style with vintage, old world aspects. This style is normally found in more urban areas such as lofts that naturally possess many of the common features, such as ample natural lighting and raw, exposed materials. The highlight of this style is the emphasis on the unfinished. In any other style the ducts, brick, and structural beams would be buried behind drywall and forgotten, but in this style they are celebrated.

Industrial style is comprised of a mainly neutral color scheme with possible subtle hints of color. In place of color this style uses a variety of textures to add visual interest to the space. For example, exposed brick, timber, concrete, steel, leather, and other materials are used for dimension and to add some warmth to what can feel like a cold space. An open floor plan, high ceilings, and expansive windows are also trademarks of this style. With changes in how we are adapting and reusing old spaces it is clear that this style will not fade any time soon.

Photo Credit: ratihome.com/43-lovely-all-white-apartment-in-modern-style/

Transitional

The transitional design style is a combination of both the traditional and modern design styles. This has also become much more popular in recent years because the desire for classic architectural elements that give a home its character is increasing with the desire for more modern furniture and accessories. It is the perfect compromise for the person who loves both. The difficult task when designing a transitional space is finding the perfect balance between the two styles so they are not at war with one another.

Some aspects of this style include a neutral color palette, modern materials, added textures, fewer accessories, and a mix of modern and traditional furniture and accessories. The goal of a transitional design is to stay away from designing in one particular style or era. It adds a type of freedom that is lacking in other design styles. The options are limitless and are always evolving.

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Coastal

Coastal design looks exactly like it sounds! The intention of this style is to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that is inspired by the beach and ocean. This is done in a very subtle and elegant manner. Coastal design is often confused with Nautical or Tropical, but while these style do have some common features they are different in many ways. Coastal design takes a less literal approach in the decor and design and opts for something that is a bit more understated in nature. The design may feature some beach motifs, but in very tasteful ways.

A key component to coastal design is a great deal of natural light! This is often accomplished with large windows, french doors, or skylights. To keep the room feeling open and bright, a light and airy color pallet is often used with subdued tones of blues and greens. The majority of the space will feature neutral and natural materials, such as wood floors, painted wood, and off-white furniture. Another common trademark of coastal design is large, plush pillows and furnishings that create an enjoyable environment.

Photo Credit: https://www.homestolove.com.au/cosy-coastal-home-interior-6692

Mini Blog- Subway Tile

Subway tile is something that has been around for quite some time. This “trend” first made its appearance over 100 years ago when designers George C. Heins and Christopher Grant La Farge placed the infamous 3 x 6 tile into a New York subway station. This simple, sleek tile quickly made its way into homes across the country and has been a staple in design ever since. Its versatility is the main reason it has remained so popular throughout the different eras. Its simplicity allows it to blend seamlessly in any design from modern to farmhouse. The most common subway tile is the standard white 3 x 6 that is laid in a brick pattern, but there are also countless ways to mix things up and be unique.

Subway tile has evolved a great deal since its first debut. There are now different styles, colors, sizes, and configurations that can be used to create a look that is perfect for every space. Instead of the basic brick pattern, tiles can now be arranged in the same pattern just vertically. They can also be arranged in a diagonal or straight herringbone patter. Those simple changes in the way a tile is laid can make a huge impact. There are many other ways to arrange tile that is different and unexpected. The options are endless. The style and size of the tile might lend itself better to a different pattern overall.

The way we install subway tile is not the only thing that has changed. The tile itself has taken on new forms. There are wider variety of sizing than there was back in the day. Subway tile can now be long and thin, it can be larger overall, or it can be the same 3 x 6 that we have come to know and love. This shift in sizing allows designers and homeowners a chance to be unique and different, while still sticking with a classic. The different textures of subway tile has also increased. There are so many more textures that make for an interesting backsplash! Hand-formed subway tile has taken over because of its authentic look and the way the light reflects off the ripples. Beveled subway tile is another popular one because of its traditional feel. There is also glass, metal, marble, and so much more! We have come a long way from the smooth, porcelain 3 x 6 tile.

Another way to dress up subway tile is the grout! Grout is so much more than a basic building material! It is an important part of the design because changing the color of the grout can have a huge impact on the space. A stark contrast between the tile and the grout is most common, but recently colored grout has taken off as a way to bring interest to the tile while still keeping it simple. The only problem with contrasting grout is that it must be done very well because any imperfections will be highly visible. This can give the space a much needed focal point or can enhance the intended style.

Subway tile has been around for over 100 years and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. This classic look has grown and evolved during that time period. There are so many options now in terms of color, sizes, material, texture, and pattern that every kitchen can be unique. Don’t be afraid to use subway for your projects because its so popular, instead make it your own!

May Home Inspiration- Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again! The weather is finally getting nicer here in Western New York, which means it is time to do the cleaning and organizing that was put off during the winter months! Winter tends to be the time when everyone goes into a hibernation-like state. Things tend to pile up when your stuck inside. And often, when the weather is less than desirable it can affect our motivation. Spring is the time most people awaken from their slumber and are ready to accomplish anything!

Spring cleaning your home is the perfect thing to do that will kick start the warmer months ahead. This means steadily going room by room and clearing out everything that isn’t useful or is cluttering up the space. After the harsh, cold months of winter it can also be therapeutic to open the windows for the first time that year and let in that much needed fresh air. I know that this is not necessarily fun for everyone, but try not to cram all of this into one weekend. Go step by step and try to spread out the tasks over a few weeks. It is more important to be thorough than it is to be fast. Spring cleaning will give your home that necessary cleansing so that you can focus on the beautiful weather and enjoying everything that summer has to offer!

Photo Credit: http://www.foundrentals.com/blog/2015/11/30/found-home/

General Tasks

First, go through every room in the home and do a general cleaning. This will allow you to get the more basic tasks out of the way so that you can focus on the specific room tasks. This will help keep the job from feeling less daunting. Begin at the entry and clean the things that tend to get forgotten. Work your way through the house systematically by starting each room at the top and working your way down.

Start by washing the walls and removing those cobwebs that we all know collect in the corner then move on to the lights and ceiling fans. By doing this all the dust and dirt will fall to the floor. This keeps you from having to redo the floors later. Next, clean light switches, heating vents, and door knobs before moving on to the floors and baseboards. Dust all baseboards and then sweep and wash the floors, including any carpets or area rugs. Do not underestimate what this will do for each space! Everything will look and feel so much better. Now the focus can shift to individual areas and their unique tasks.

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Living Room

Once those general cleaning tasks are complete the focus can move to more area specific tasks. In a home each room has a unique purpose, therefore it only makes sense that each room would require something different in terms of cleaning and organizing! The living room is a high traffic area in any home. It is where everyone congregates and spends time together, whether its playing games, watching movies, or just enjoying each others company. That is what this space tends to need a bit more TLC than others.

Furniture in this space can certainly take a beating. Kids, pets, and everyday messes build up and things can get pushed off. This is the perfect time to take care of all of those things. Start with spot cleaning the couches and chairs then follow with the vacuum. Be sure to dust any hard surface that can collect dust. Also, wash any linens or blankets that might need it! Go through any magazines and other things that could use a good purge!

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Kitchen

The kitchen is ground zero for all of those other messes that occur in the home. Those stains and crumbs all originate in the kitchen. The kitchen also tends to be a dumping ground for all of the miscellaneous things that have no home. Mail gets left out, things don’t get put away, leftovers never get thrown out, and the mess just piles up. The kitchen tends to have many different places that can become disorganized quickly. One of those places includes the black hole we all know as the refrigerator. One of the first things that needs to be done in the kitchen is cleaning out the refrigerator. Throw out anything that has expired or donate what will never get used and wipe everything down thoroughly. Don’t stop there. Clean the outside of the refrigerator and all other appliances. Then pull everything out and clean underneath.

The next step is cleaning and organizing the pantry. This can very easily get unorganized when cooking and preparing meals. Have a method to the madness. Try to keep all similar products together and maximize the space as best you can. If you are feeling really ambitious, then place everything in clear containers and label them for a pristine pantry. Be sure to wipe everything down; inside and out. This includes the cabinets, shelving, and the back splash.

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Bedroom

The bedrooms are one of the easier rooms to clean. Most people are not in the bedroom unless they are sleeping or getting ready. Unless you tend to dump everything in the bedroom so it is “out of sight, out of mind”, then you shouldn’t have to do much to get this room feeling fresh and clean! The bed linens should be washed every few weeks so I would take the time to do that while you are doing the rest of your spring cleaning. While everything is being washed and dried, clean out the dresser, nightstand and under the bed.

Don’t be afraid to move things out of the way to get the nooks and hard to reach areas that you may miss when cleaning weekly/daily. Once that is complete it is time to tackle the most difficult part of the room; the closet. Go through everything that you own and if you do not wear it or it doesn’t fit then donate it! Take this time to complete other daunting tasks, such as flipping the mattress. Once that is complete the bed can be made and everything can be organized.

Photo Credit: http://jennysteffens.blogspot.com/2016/10/our-bedroom-tour-autumn-accents.html

Bathrooms

The room in the house that no one wants to clean, but has to. Between the moisture and everything else the bathroom is a breeding ground for soap scum, mold, water spots, and much more. The bathroom should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. The vanity top needs to be cleaned. The floor, shower, and toilet all have to be scrubbed. However, there are a few things that can be done less frequently.

A few of those things include wiping the inside and outside of the vanity cabinet with a wet cloth, cleaning the grout, clearing the shower and sink drains, and replacing the shower curtain (if you have a curtain). The bathroom closet or linen closet can also be organized. Try to get rid of anything that is just taking up space and is not being used. If you have any small samples or travel sized hotel toiletries that can be donated try to do that before you throw anything away, unless it has already been used (that’s just unsanitary).

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The best way to go about your spring cleaning is by making a list of the things that you wish to accomplish for each room or area of your home. Then make a general list of things that need to be done for most, if not every, room in the house. One of the things that usually needs to be done for the entire house is cleaning the windows inside and out. Or maybe some other things make it to your spring cleaning list, such as cleaning the garage or basement. No matter what is on your to do list, just take it slow and don’t rush. Good luck and happy cleaning!