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.
The popularity of wood-look tile has sky rocketed over the last couple of years, and rightly so. Advances in technology have led to unparalleled realistic wood looks in both porcelain and ceramic tile. Add to that an expanding line of varying plank lengths and widths, and you would be hard-pressed to tell which is tile and which is wood. What is perhaps most important, though, is that wood-look tile gives you that wood look without the worry. Tile is highly durable, standing up to scratches, dings, dents, and moisture far better than wood products. It’s both pet and allergy friendly and can easily be cleaned with regular sweeping and mopping.
But, don’t be limited by traditional thinking. Just because wood usually goes on the floor, wood-look tile can go places wood can’t (think bathrooms, showers, and even outdoors!). Browse through the gallery below, find your inspiration, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started!
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!
Summer’s almost over, and fall is right around the corner. For many, fall is a favorite time of year. The cooler temperatures, falling leaves, and the smell of pumpkin spice just makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Often, these fall feelings carry over into our home décor.
This year a popular home décor trend is all about the use of textures and shapes, along with organic accents. You can accomplish this look using touches like wood accessories, furs, plants, tribal or animal art, and textured fabrics. Other great choices are chunky, oversized pillows and throws (think cable knit) and soft rugs in warm, organic colors like oranges, reds, and browns. Cork flooring is an excellent complement to this design. It’s neutral and earthy (and sustainable!) but also comes in many unique patterns and textures. Walking on cork is quite comfortable as well, lending a cozy feel to your home. Other excellent, earthy flooring choices are bamboo or exotic woods like acacia.
Bold on black is another popular style this fall, involving tasteful contrast. The look is easy to achieve, still keeping a neutral base with black, white, and golds or browns but throwing in some bold, dark aspects with pops of color. Make a statement with navy, violet, or berry colors for sofas, chairs, or accent pieces, and throw in a few black and white pillows with graphic text. Dark or black stained wood floors or even grays are perfect for this contrasting look. All together this look really compliments fall’s contrasting beauty.
Finally, whatever style you choose, make it your own. Create looks or vignettes of things you already have. Put your flea market finds and personal treasures on display so that your home tells the story of who you are. Mix up vintage and modern items for an eclectic, homey vibe.
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.
Cabinets, counter tops, light fixtures etc. When you’re renovating your kitchen, there are many features to choose to update. One relatively small area in the kitchen is the backsplash. Even though the backsplash is often just a small part of the kitchen, it can add eye- catching appeal and make a statement that ties your whole look together.
There are so many options in tile. How can you decide what tile combinations to use? For starters, get inspired. Look for pictures and others forms of inspiration to help you get an idea of what you like. Keep in mind your color scheme and the style you’re trying to achieve. Do you like bright colors or neutrals? Glass or stone? Metallics or mattes? Are you traditional or trendy? There’s a tile for all of these! Today we’re going to look at three different backsplash options including classic, modern, and vintages styles.
A classic style encompasses neutral colors along with fewer patterns. Textures also often play a part in the depth of the classic look. Below is a combination of Tesoro Glass Lux and Crema tile that offer a stone look in a neutral color.
On the other side of the spectrum we have the modern style that consists of solid colors, metallic looks, and streamlined design. Below we put together Lungarno’s Urban Textures Glass Mosaics Loft tile and Tesoro’s Metallica tile which combines glass and metals.
Last but not least is a vintage style. Vintage mimics the styles of previous eras with a unique worn look that encompasses a wide variety of colors. This brick tile even employs vintage graphics for a truly unique design with character.
The kitchen is one of the most-used areas of the home. You can make this “heart of the home” a welcoming space that reflects your personal style by installing a beautiful backsplash. Are you vintage or modern? Classic or trendy? Whatever theme you choose, there’s a tile for that.
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.