Mini Blog- Flooring

There are many things that go into the making of a good design, including functionality, aesthetics, and style. Flooring is one of the many material components that go into achieving this. With any material there are some that are more commonly used than others. The main three that homeowners will choose include hardwood, tile, and carpet. However, although most people would like to choose hardwood, it is not always that easy and more often than not they go with something that has a similar look. The floor that is chosen is very important because that is generally what is going to get the most abuse in any room. Be aware of how much use the space gets and how durable the flooring should be.

Carpet is definitely one of the most cost effective options, but in high traffic areas it can also require the most maintenance. It is one of those materials that is better suited in some rooms than others. The best place to use carpeting is in bedrooms because generally it will be more comfortable and used less. On the other hand, everyone wants the look of hardwood, but not the price or the maintenance. There are so many other option out there now. Luxury vinyl, laminate, and even tile all come in wood looks! These all offer the look without all of the problems! Tile is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms because it is water resistant. However, the other materials have come a long way because luxury vinyl is also a water resistant option.

When looking for something outside the box, there are some other interesting options that can also be used. Brick pavers can be found in areas that will get a lot of abuse, such as entryways and mudrooms. They have even been used in the occasional kitchen! Concrete is another option that is available. It is durable, but they can be quite cold, hard, and prone to cracking. These would be best in a warmer climate.

Can’t choose? Why not do both? Transitions have become much more fluent in today’s design world. Floors can have insets that differ from the rest of the space or they can meld together to create an interesting pattern. This is perfect for those areas that need a bit more durability than others. For example, if area surrounding an entryway is hardwood and consistency is desired, then insetting tile into the hardwood to help with dirt, mud, and water is the perfect solution. This will keep the hardwood looking great and it is a great addition to the overall design. The options for what to do on the floor is limited only by the imagination.

July Home Inspiration- Simple Ways to Update the Home

Most homes today are in serious need of cosmetic updates. There is so much work to be done and very little time, or money, to do it. 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 plenty of simple, easy projects that most home owners should be able to accomplish in order to freshen up their space.

Photo Credit: https://lingoistica.com/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home.html/47-small-kitchen-remodel-and-amazing-storage-hacks-on-a-budget-you-can-try-in-home-15#mainPhoto Credit:

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. 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. There are certain steps to take to avoid picking the wrong color. Always bring samples of the actual paint to try before committing. Also be very careful that the current color of your walls doesn’t distort the new options!

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. If the hardware just needs a little TLC then they can always just be refinished and re-installed, or they can be replaced altogether.

The challenge with cabinet hardware is finding a pull that will fit within the existing drilled holes. If the cabinets are 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. There are 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. 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.

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!