It’s never ending. It lurks in corners and mocks you. It multiplies overnight and haunts your dreams. It’s the dreaded “L word”: LAUNDRY!! Though some of you may bask in the scent of freshly laundered sheets and take pleasure in neatly pressed shirts, I would venture to say the majority of us would rather spend our afternoon baby sitting howler monkeys than devote another minute to washing and folding. What to do? Well, since the task is pretty much unavoidable, let’s look at some ways to make it a bit more bearable and beautiful.
For starters, let’s examine the laundry room itself. Is your space dull, dingy, and completely utilitarian? Research shows that whether it’s employees, students, children, or animals, they thrive in stimulating and creative environments. Cue the laundry room makeover! Here are seven steps for revamping your laundry room.
1. Paint it. Start with a fresh coat of paint, or even a fun wallpaper! Choose something bright and cheery that really appeals to your sense of style. You spend a lot of time here. Might as well make it your own!
2. Floor it. Here’s another chance to get stylish! Go with a bold, decorative tile or vinyl, or even a wood or brick look. Flooring should be both beautiful and functional. Make sure it’s waterproof and easy to clean. Adding a cute rug adds a touch of flare!
3. Store it. Storage, storage storage! Don’t let those mounds of clothes overtake you anymore. Invest in or DIY a laundry basket storage area to keep both clean and dirty clothes separated and ready to wash and fold. Also consider cabinets, shelves, and baskets to house all your detergents, softeners, and stain removers.
4. Hang it. A drying rack and hooks are essential to any laundry room for hanging your line-dry items as well as storing hangers. There’s nothing worse than trying to untangle hangers carelessly tossed into a laundry basket! Take a look at these!
5. Press it. So, if you haven’t caught on to wrinkle-free fabric, or if you’re just a bit OCD, you’ll need an ironing board. Carve out a niche near an outlet to store your ironing board so it’s handy and ready to go. No more lugging it into your bedroom or kitchen.
6. Fold it. If you have space, a countertop or table is a wonderful addition for folding laundry and keeping it off the couch. It you have front-loading units, a countertop installed across the top is super convenient. If you have a free-standing sink, consider incorporating a vanity/extended countertop not just for folding but for help with scrubbing those extra-tough jobs.
7. Tile it. Last but not least, if you have the space, install a tile backsplash or even tile a whole wall or two! It really finishes off the look.
For more ideas, examples, and DIY projects for improving your laundry room, visit our Pinterest Board!
Baby, it’s getting cold outside! Fall is settling in, and winter is on the way. Make sure you stay warm and toasty inside your home by focusing on three key elements: flooring, drafts, and thermostats.
Carpet is an obvious choice for warmer, insulated flooring, with hardwood, laminate, and vinyl all beating out tile in the warmth category. If carpet’s not your thing, here are a couple things you can do to warm up whatever you have underfoot.
Do you find yourself asking, “Where’s that breeze coming from?” Then, you probably need to check doors and windows for drafts. Make sure your insulation and weather stripping are intact. About a quarter of your home’s heat can be lost through the roof if not properly insulated. For drafty doors, look for something like this fleece draft guard to block the air flow. Curtains or window coverings are also good for keeping drafts out, but when open, they can let in sunlight which instantly warms up any room. Also make sure to reverse your ceiling fan direction to clockwise so that it pushes cold air up and warm air down.
Speaking of warming up, investing in a programmable thermostat allows you to be comfortable in your home and also save on your energy bill! Once you get that heat blowing, make sure vents and radiators are open and not obstructed by furniture or objects. Always make sure to change your furnace filters to keep your system running an optimum performance.
Check out this article for a suggested programmable thermostat schedule as well as other tips on keeping your home warm during the colder months.
Are you ready to make a bold statement in your home? There's no better place to add some spice to your life than in the kitchen! If you're tired of traditional, bored with basic, or wiped out with white, we've got your back. Browse through the photos below and learn how to add a little kick to your kitchen. (Several photos are linked to their original sources for more fun info!).
Granite continues to come out on top as the preferred choice for kitchen and bathroom counter surfaces. The most obvious reason for granite’s popularity is its visual appeal. Granite is a unique natural stone with wide variations in color and pattern. There is a granite to suit any home décor. A slab can boast rich earth tones like vibrant shades of green, blue, and yellow, to more basic black, white, and beige tones and anywhere in between. Granite encompasses so many colors and also patterns vary from bold with veins or color flecks, to more neutral, clean lines.
Aside from the unmatchable beauty of granite, it’s also very practical because of its durability. Granite is tough, resistant to staining and etching, and won’t scorch if you happen to place a hot object on it. Maintenance is also easy. Once the granite is professionally installed and sealed, it only requires a wipe down with a damp cloth and gentle, non-abrasive cleaner.
Another aspect of granite that makes it a popular choice is its longevity. Granite countertops will last a lifetime or more when properly taken care of, including being sealed every two to four years. Man made surfaces are not as durable, and though the initial cost may be cheaper than granite, they may have to be replaced or show signs of wear long before a granite surface. In addition to style, durability, and easy care, granite will add lasting value to your home, making it a good investment for years to come. Visit our website to find out more!
More often than we’d probably like, we find ourselves in the laundry room. It’s often a dreaded chore, but it must be done. Does your laundry room leave you feeling lost in a sea of mismatched socks, towels, hampers, and stinky gym clothes? If so, we hope to share some tips to make your laundry room inviting and efficient.
No matter what the size of your laundry room, one of the most important features is storage. The area above the washer and dryer has so much potential for this. This is a great spot to hang a clothing rod, a shelf with baskets, or even install a cabinet unit to store supplies within easy reach. If your laundry room has room for counter space, utilize it for a folding area; or, if you have a front-loading washer and dryer, you can also consider installing a countertop above your machines. This also makes for a great folding and sorting area. Need drying racks? Two space-saving options are a hanging rack that folds out from the wall or a pull-out drawer rack.
Of course, we can’t talk laundry without mentioning clothes hampers. A stylish free-standing clothes hamper can add a personal touch to your laundry room. This kind of hamper comes in many shapes, textures, and sizes ranging from wicker to plastic, and even metal. If you need a more space-efficient hamper, you can put those floor cabinets to good use by installing a pull-out, drawer-style hamper. Another option is a floor unit with cubbies for laundry baskets.
Another crucial element to your laundry room is flooring. Laundry rooms are exposed to water, chemicals, mud, and dirt, so the flooring in these spaces needs to be durable. There is also potential for water leaks from the washing machine and scratched floors from shaky machines. Here are some flooring options to consider for the laundry room:
All of these options are available in wood or tile looks and even decorative patterns.
With the right storage, organization, and a little style, you can make your laundry room more efficient and enjoyable. Call us today to get your project started! 256.231.0008.
Muddy shoes and backpacks with overflowing school supplies--is this what you see when you walk into your house? Entryways and mudrooms can get messy and cluttered, especially with school back in session and kids coming and going. In this blog, we’ll look at what you can do to make either your entryway or your mudroom stylish, durable, and functional.
Mudrooms are usually a small room or area near an entryway where people generally tend to discard their items in a hurry. So, how can you foster tidiness in this space? Functional storage is the key, one of the most useful mudroom items is a bench with cubby storage. A bench makes it easy for all to remove their shoes, and hooks and cubbies are perfect for hanging back packs and helping keep items off the floor. You can really express yourself in these little areas of the house because they are generally separate from the rest of the living spaces. Use your imagination and make a fun and welcoming space with lots of color, accessories, and even a fun rug.
Not every home has a mudroom but still has a need for a functional entryway. Just like mudrooms, your entryway needs storage too. You can use a small bench with decorative storage baskets underneath and hooks on the wall above to create useful storage in a smaller space.
In addition to storage, both entryways and the mudrooms need durable flooring because these areas are subject to a lot of foot traffic and outdoor elements. A favorite flooring option for these spaces is tile because it’s durable, easy to clean, and comes in many styles.
Tile is not your only option though. There are so many flooring types now that can handle heavy traffic and even water, just as well as tile. Two very popular alternatives are WPC (waterproof or rigid core flooring) and luxury vinyl or luxury vinyl tile. Both of these options come in wood and even tile looks. If you do decide to use hardwood, consider investing in a stain-resistant or outdoor rug to protect your hardwoods from damage in this area of your home.
If you’re ready to give your mudroom or entryway an overhaul, stop by our showroom, and one of our flooring advisors can help you pick out the perfect flooring for your space!
If you own rental homes or apartments, you likely understand the struggle of maintaining these properties. Apartments and rentals often take a lot of abuse, so how can you make your property both durable and appealing? In this blog we will discuss some flooring options that are durable, appealing, easy to install and maintain, and cost effective.
We realize these apartments or rental houses are your income, so the main goal is for them to make money and to be cost effective. The most widely used flooring for rentals is basic carpet and VCT (vinyl composition tile). Both a basic carpet and VCT is easy to install and easy to replace (as well as cost-effective) when damaged. Something to keep in mind, though, is that although these flooring options may be more affordable, they often have to be replaced frequently and are not always visually appealing to most renters.
When you pick a lower quality flooring, you will likely have to replace it every time a renter moves out or even more often than that, which means more money and more work. In the long run, the flooring that will save you more money, time, and get you better renters is flooring that is both durable and appealing.
Here are some flooring options that are cost effective, durable and stylish:
The above flooring options will bring style and lasting quality to your rentals. They are available in many modern wood and tile looks and are easy to install and replace.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life, so making sure you've found the right home for you is important. Many people buy homes that need either a lot or a least a little renovating. Often the main areas that need improvement and that can increase your investment value are flooring, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Good floors and subfloors provide safety, style, and durability to a home. Some homes may have outdated or worn flooring that is no longer functional or appealing to the eye. In kitchens and bathrooms, it’s important to check for water damage and make any repairs or renovations promptly. The same goes for the rest of the house. Make sure you have solid subfloors as the foundation for your renovation projects. Consider whether carpet needs to be replaced or cleaned. Also inspect your hard surfaces for any repairs if you’re keeping them or evaluate what will go into replacing them. (Don’t forget we offer free estimates!)
Kitchens and bathrooms are also big selling points for homes. Maybe you found a home that’s move-in ready, but a lot of us look for that diamond in the rough that we can make our own. Updating tile, redesigning a kitchen or bathroom, adding granite countertops and blacksplashes; these are all custom touches that make your home reflect your style and increase its value.
Remember that flooring provides the foundation not just for the style of your home but for the memories you and your family will make there. They say the kitchen is the “heart of the home,” so make it a fun and functional space the whole family can enjoy. After a long day, you deserve a bathroom that gives your family a place not just to get clean, but to unwind. By putting your personal touches on your new home, it will soon become your dream home.
It’s getting closer to summertime, and many of us are dreaming of blue oceans and sandy beaches. While we can’t always make it to the beach, we can bring summery, coastal vibes into our homes by incorporating an Old World, Mediterranean style.
Mediterranean décor consists of bright colors mixed with Old World elements. It’s basically the opposite of modern, with lots of textures, colors, and curved shapes. The general color scheme for this look utilizes Terra cotta, turquoise, rust, and yellow all contrasted by bright, clean whites. You can find many elements of Mediterranean décor in tiles like terra cotta, hand-painted, aged, and Moroccan tile. While some may think these materials can be expensive and hard to find, we have several products that offer the perfect match.
Tesoro’s Grunge Oxid, Cuba mix, and Havana series of tile make a great combo for backsplashes or even accent walls that exude Old World charm. In addition, Mannington’s Deco Steel luxury vinyl is a beautiful option for kitchen or bathroom floors to give a space the look of unique, hand-painted tiles at a fraction of the cost. Aged or distressed wood also plays a part in Mediterranean design. A flooring like All South Floor’s Gulf Coast Driftwood is an excellent option for an aged wood-look to give your space an open flow and balance out high-patterned tiles. Finish off your look with European style accessories, and don’t forget to throw in some wrought iron.
These floorings and tile offer just one example of how to achieve a Mediterranean look in your home. Keeping these design principles in mind, you can explore other options in our showroom or on our website at shopabbey.com that work together to achieve your desired look.
Open floor plans continue to remain a popular interior design element. They allow for a seamless flow throughout a home and lend themselves well to a feeling of unity, conversation, and fellowship with family and friends. Whether you have a home with a large, open space or a smaller home that is cozier, the right use of flooring can open up your design.
One way to achieve this is by installing the same flooring throughout your space. For some, this may seem unusual because we are often accustomed to tile in the kitchen and bath, hardwood in the living room and hall, and carpet in the bedrooms. Good flooring choices to take throughout the whole house are LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank), WPC (wood polymer composite), and sheet vinyl. These flooring choices, depending on brand, are either waterproof or water resistant and very durable, making it possible for them to be installed anywhere in the home. Each of these products are also able to be installed without transitions, thus creating a continuous flow. In addition, these products all come in wood or tile looks, perfect for whatever design you’re going for.
Tile is also an excellent flooring choice that can literally be installed anywhere in your home. Today’s gorgeous, stylish wood-look varieties go with any décor from rustic to modern. The options are pretty much endless with tile, whether you’re looking for a natural stone look, classic design, or something sleek and bold. Tile is easy to clean and maintain, no matter where it’s installed.
Laminate and hardwood also lend themselves well to open, common areas of the home, with certain considerations. Engineered hardwood is a better choice than solid if being installed in potential wet areas like kitchens. Any spills or leaks should be cleaned up quickly, and you should only use a damp mop when cleaning. Many types of laminate now come with water resistant properties, but care should also be taken in not exposing laminate to large amounts of liquid. We do not recommend laminate or hardwood for bathrooms, but they’re great for the main living areas of a home.
So, our takeaway tips are: