Decorating with Mirrors

When it comes to decorating with mirrors there are never any rules. Yes, mirrors are a great way to quickly add visual interest to a space. Using mirrors as a decorative element has numerous benefits. It can instantly add depth and brings in natural light. In addition, mirrors can create a special effect when they reflect colors and paintings on adjacent walls. Here’s how you use mirrors to add style and increased light to your home.

Place a floor length mirror between two windows

Implementing a floor length mirror between two windows creates the illusion of a third window. This helps bring in more light to the space. By casually propping a large framed mirror against the wall creates a relaxed feel.

Use Mirrors to Enhance The Room Elements

You can use mirrors as an accent to the focal point in a room. For instance, by hanging a mirror over a stacked fireplace mantel that extends to the ceiling you can create a dramatic look. This is a great way to create emphasis in a neutral living room.

Hanging Mirrors On Adjacent Walls

Are you ready to make a powerful statement with your home’s decor? Try lining, two large equally sized mirrors on adjacent walls. This enables light to bounce all around the room. This look will especially complement the dining room area because it expands the area and gives the illusion of a bigger crowd around the dining room table.

Mirrored Backsplash

Forget the traditional paneled or tiled backsplash. Update your kitchen by installing a mirrored backsplash around your counter area. A mirrored backsplash will open up a small kitchen and add glitz without being over the top.

Forget the Medicine Cabinet

Forgo the traditional medicine cabinet hanging over the bathroom sink. Instead, you can use a mirror of any shape to make a statement. A circular shaped mirror can break up all the sharp straight lines and adds character.

When using mirrors as an accent piece in the home try to select mirrors with interesting shapes and unique frames. Check out thrift stores, retailers and flea markets for some pieces with character.

Adding Detail To Your Home’s Finished Design

So you’ve finally finished putting together your home’s layout. Every piece of furniture is in it’s proper place and the flooring material is perfect. Everything is as it should be, so what’s missing? The finishing touches that will give your house that “complete” look. Usually when people think of design, they are only thinking of the bare bones of their home’s look without taking into account all of the little details that need to be attended to after the big decisions have been made.

You’ve searched high and low for those wonderful side tables and that magnificent dining table, so what are you going to place on them to stage them just right? That beautiful mahogany desk in your study isn’t just going to sit bare and look unused is it? Of course not! This is the part of the process where you really give your design that customized look-the one that showcases your personal style and welcomes you home at the end of a long day. Your tabletop decorations tell their own story simply by the way they are arranged. Yes, mostly for convenience, but also for style. The heavy lifting of creating your home’s framework is done, and now it’s time to create ambience.

As you assess what each piece needs, think first and foremost about its main function. The key to creating the perfect look is to make a statement without creating unnecessary clutter. For example, side tables are usually on the smaller side, so stick with the essentials only: a light source, a spot to place a drinking glass and some free space to place a book and reading glasses down next to it. A dresser can afford more surface area being used on decorative items like scented candles and picture frames. Dining rooms tables can be staged with place settings, fabric napkins, tablecloth and tall candlesticks. If your dining room set is accompanied by a buffet, try placing a glass decanter set on top to create a welcoming effect for guests. If you have a study with large desk, placing a beautiful fountain pen on top with small tabletop clock and padded area for writing correspondence would create a beautiful look. A subtle lamp would provide a soft light for late night reading and writing.

Each surface of your home has a story to tell. Create the perfect look using just enough pieces to make each space functional so you will still have plenty of room left to create more memories!

Rug Placement Tips

It can be confusing when trying to figure out what size rug to use for different furniture groupings. This read will give you a better understanding of how to place your rug, and what size to use.

For dining room tables you need to know the dimension around the table with the chairs all the way pulled out. There should be ample room of rug under the dining table and chairs. When the chairs are pulled out, they should remain on the rug. A rug that does not reach the chairs when pulled out, will look wrong for the space. An easy way to get the dimensions needed is by measuring all four sides of the table with the chairs pulled out, enough to be seated. Take the diameter measurement for round dining room table and chairs.

In a formal living room the seating groups should be on the rug, with ample room around the grouping for walking traffic. The only time when this rule can be broken is when a rug is placed in front of a sectional sofa.

Sectionals are typically used in a more casual setting. Place the rug in front of the sectional with the rug slightly under the front legs of the sofa. In this situation a smaller area rug can be simply placed in front of the sectional if necessary.

Runners that are leading down a hallway should have at least 3-6 inches of open floor space on either side of the rug. If the hallway is not wide enough to have space on either side, select a narrow runner. They can be found!

Smaller accent rugs can be placed on either side of a bed. This will allow for under foot comfort when getting out of bed on chilly mornings. This is especially nice if the bedroom flooring is not carpet. Make sure that the rug is not a tripping hazard when using smaller accent rugs.

A general rule of thumb is to place a seating group in the middle of an area rug, and make sure there is enough rug area for foot traffic to walk around on.

Smart Flooring Strategies for Bathroom Remodels

Deciding on a bathroom floor choice is one of the biggest decisions in a bathroom remodel. The floor will undoubtedly set the tone for the design style. Choosing the right floor based on function is just as important as the aesthetics are. Tile has been the top choice for bathroom floors since the history of indoor plumbing; which says a lot about it’s functionality in this space.

  1. Before looking at different styles, it is imperative to look at the right type of tile. There are certain tiles that are made specifically to withstand water exposure. Keep in mind the three basic qualities that go into making tile acceptable for use in “wet areas”. The qualities are water absorption, grade and friction ratings. We can explain how to understand the different qualities, and help you select a tile that will be able to withstand water exposure, as well as preventing slippage.

  2. There are various technicalities to keep in mind before ordering tile. Understand that fixtures like toilets and vanities typically need to be removed before installing the new floor. However a floating vanity does not touch the floor, so it does not need to be removed; but it does require ordering extra tile to be installed underneath the vanity.

  3. Tile needs to be installed on top of a level floor. Some sub floors require re-leveling. A good way to check to see if your floor needs this, is by placing a marble in each corner of the room. If it starts to roll in a particular direction, chances are the floor needs to be re-leveled. Single level homes set on a concrete slab, generally do not need this extra work. It is always a good idea to check this before installing new tile floors.

  4. Labor cost will vary depending on the size of tile chosen. Larger tile is typically installed faster than smaller tiles, but they may require more cuts. The longer a job takes to install, and the more cuts the tiles need will raise the cost of labor.

We can help explain this and give you a labor estimate based on your floor plan and the tile selected.

Bathroom remodels have many aspects to be considered. Do not get discouraged or overwhelmed. Visit one of our learning centers or showrooms and let our professionals help guide you. We can answer any and all questions you have about doing a bathroom remodel!

Why Install A Kitchen Backsplash

Don’t forget the backsplash! Whether you’re gutting your kitchen out completely or simply redesigning, it’s important to implement a backsplash on the wall over the cooking area. A backsplash is a panel that covers the surface over a stove or sink. A backsplash can extend so far that it covers both the stove and sink area or it can continue around the entire kitchen. Large backsplashes can easily add cohesiveness to a small kitchen area, whereas in a big kitchen a small dramatic backsplash can be a focal point.

Installing a backsplash has many benefits. It can be great for both utility and style. Should you install a backsplash in your kitchen?

Protects Your Kitchen Walls

The main function of a backsplash is to protect your kitchen walls from damage. Yes, it serves as a shield from water, cooking oil and other types of materials that can ruin your walls. Painted and wallpapered walls aren’t resistant to stains and they can be difficult to clean. After long periods, if they are not protected the walls can begin to look dingy.

Backsplashes are also easy to clean. Splatters can be quickly cleaned by simply using a disinfectant and wiping the area with a clean cloth. Depending upon the type of backsplash you install it can be resistant to heat, stains and moistures which adds to it’s longevity.

Adds Great Style

From rustic wood, trendy glass and traditional tile, there are an abundance of backsplash options available. When installed correctly you can make any material work. These days backsplashes aren’t installed so much as a protection aide, but they are used to add character to a kitchen. You can choose to create a mosaic using a mix of patterns and colors. Backsplashes can match the kitchen countertops or you can choose to do something bold by going with a dramatic pattern.

If you’re interested in dressing up your kitchen by adding a tasteful backsplash contact us today. Our consultants can assist you in choosing the right design for your kitchen.

Kitchen Flooring: Separate or Same Material?

When it comes to flooring, the kitchen area has traditionally been seen as a separate space. The flow of the room was considered outside of it as the food preparation area needed to have some sort of distinction from the rest of the home. It has now become more popular to extend the flooring used in the living room right through to the kitchen, however, this is not something that works for every home. If this is a design idea you are considering but are not 100% sure it would work in your home, read on to learn more about what layouts are the most conducive to extended flooring.

When To Use the Same Flooring

Open floor plans have become more popular in recent years. Homeowners want to be able to cook the family meal and keep an eye on their children at the same time. There is less focus on having separate areas for dining and relaxing and more emphasis on wide open spaces that provide one large unified look to all of its common living areas.

If you have an open layout and are renovating the floors, simply extending the material through the kitchen area is a perfect idea. This will ensure that the flooring is all from the same dye-lot, keeping it uniform throughout the design. In addition, by replacing all the flooring at the same time it will all look brand new as compared to just adding it into the kitchen space later which will cause noticeable separation because of previous wear and tear to the existing non-kitchen flooring.

When To Keep It Separate

There are a few situations that make it best to leave the kitchen flooring as it is. If your kitchen is distinctly separated from the rest of the home through a door or other partition, using similar flooring will not have that much of an effect on the overall look. If there is carpeting directly off of the kitchen area, this will obviously not be a useful material to extend into the room. Kitchens that are separated by one or more steps up or down will not necessarily benefit from continuing the flooring unless the transition area is updated as well. It it best to leave the areas separate and allow them to have their own character. Finally, if you cannot find a proper match for the flooring to extend into the kitchen because of its being installed years previously, there will be an unmistakable look of old and new upon entering the kitchen.

We hope this post has been helpful in assisting you with your flooring questions. To get started on a new look for your home today, come see us at our showroom or call us today!

Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Kitchen remodels are a big commitment. Be careful of trends that will go out of style, or are too buyer specific. A helpful tip is to look at trends that increase the value of your life and home. The following tips have staying power, but also address convenience, lifestyle needs and enjoyment!

  1. Transitional design – Contemporary designs can often be cold while keeping a busy kitchen clean and uncluttered is sometimes a challenge. You can overcome this challenge by using transitional design, which combines both traditional and contemporary elements while allowing you to use the old and new and eliminant kitschy fads!

  2. You can’t go wrong with white. Try layering white by using white walls, white cabinets, white tile backsplashes, and white appliances. Stainless appliances have reached the masses and no longer fosters those chic exclusive items. Plus, white is so much easier to keep clean than stainless. White never goes out of style!

  3. Want some color, try neutral grays with pops of color – gray is close enough to white that you can use in all areas of the country by adding warmth with wood floors, or light and airy touches with pops of color. Just don’t overdue the color, a little goes a long way!

  4. Quartz countertops – Quartz has been rated the toughest material for countertops, it resists burns, cracking and scratches. Quartz comes in a variety of solid colors and the look of real Granite. Quartz beats natural stone in toughness, ease of cleaning and does NOT have to be sealed every year like Granite.

  5. Refrigeration – With today’s busy schedules, rethink your refrigeration needs. Add a wine cooler for the adults, add a juice/water fridge for the children. If you love to cook and take it seriously, add a counter height produce fridge to your island. Add refrigeration where you need it!

  6. LED lighting – Kitchen LED lighting is a wonderful way to add lighting to your prep area while providing esthetically pleasing touches to your kitchen. Add rope or cove lights to cabinets, under cabinets, and recessed canned lighting. LED lighting creates ambiance, and comes in soft to bright white, and a multitude of colors. LED’s are extremely efficient, lasting five times longer than standard bulbs. They emit very little heat, so you can keep the lights on forever!

Retro Kitchen Design

The design style known by the name of “Retro” is comforting because it reflects on a simpler time. Almost everything you need is visually accessible. This is a good design choice for a single person or a couple. When cooking for only a few people there is no need to have a complicated chef’s kitchen. Find out how to create this type of design style in your own kitchen!

Two tone color choices were very popular in the typical 1940’s and 1950’s styled kitchens. Typically a bold color would have been paired with a lighter neutral. Popular bright colors for a retro kitchen are cherry red, robin’s egg blue, mint green and canary yellow. Cream or off-white was the most popular neutral paired with one of the bright colors, listed above.

Antique refrigerators are perfect for this space. It sets the tone for the design style. These appliances can be refurbished antiques. There are companies that make new refrigerators that look like the old models, but or updated technologically. Another antique appliance that will assist in pulling off this design look is a stove, oven or a combination unit. This can be either a stove or a cook top paired with a wall oven. It was popular to have wall ovens as well as stoves, during this time period.

Black and white “checker board” style flooring was the most popular floor type for this period. It is perfect because it will pair with any color choice you select. This can be easily pulled off by installing 12” x 12” black and white porcelain tile. Vinyl tiles in black and white can also pull this look off. The 12” x 12” is the best size to go with, when designing a retro look!

When shopping for counter tops, it is best to choose a material that is one solid color. The material choice really doesn’t matter, what does matter is that there is a lack of pattern on the counter top. We would suggest a black or gray granite, in either a glossy or honed finish.

Creating a retro kitchen is fun and nostalgic. If you are planning to have furniture such as a small dinette table or bar stools, keep the style specific to the time period. Steel or aluminum minimalist bar stools are a great choice. Even an acrylic dinette table will work in this setting.