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Where Do I Find Inspiration for My Home Color Palette?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Every home has what’s known as a color palette or a color story. This is the mix of colors that flows through the home, leading you from room to room. Ideally, a good palette should be cohesive and blend well so that each room feels like it is part of the same home, and doesn’t stand out. If you’re starting from scratch and wondering how to come up with a color palette for your home, you have several different ways to go about finding one.

Historical Palettes

Depending on what type of home you have, it may have a built in color palette that you just aren’t aware of yet. Victorian, Craftsman, or Colonial, every home style comes with a set of colors that the original architects and designers envisioned would work in these spaces. For example Victorian homes have what is known as a “somber” palette; all the colors were mixed with a little black to tone them down. Craftsman homes, on the other hand, took their inspiration from nature, using colors found just outside the home such as pine green or sky blue.

If you research your home’s style, you may find some palettes that can provide you with inspiration for what will work on your walls.

Interior Design Palette

If you have a specific interior design style that you are working toward, you may find that you have a built in palette here as well. For example, if you enjoy Country style you’ll find plenty of reds, white, blue, and yellow to work with, while Tuscan style pulls colors from the hills of Tuscany – lots of terracotta, pumpkin, sage green, and sky blue. Choosing a style to decorate your home in provides you with a lot of color inspiration, and helps pull everything together so it flows.

Use a Piece of Art or Home Décor

If you’re truly stuck for inspiration, try taking a look at a piece of artwork or a colorful rug you already have in the home. Look at the colors inside, and use them as a jumping off point for the décor around you. As long as the colors flow together well, the design will follow.

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What Kind of Tile Can I Use on My Shower Floor?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Shower floors have some special needs. They get wet on a regular basis, which can make them slippery and which may potentially affect some types of soft stone. They also have a special shape which affects the type of flooring you use. When you choose the material for your bathroom floor, be sure to give equal consideration to what goes into the shower.

The biggest consideration you need to make when it comes to your shower floor tile is the size. Your shower floor slopes toward the drain, which means that the tile needs to slope with it. Larger tiles, like those that you may use on the rest of the bathroom floor can crack over time since they can’t conform to the slope.

Therefore, mosaic tiles of 2-inches or smaller are generally necessary for shower floor use. Some installers can make 4-inch tiles slope well, but unless you have seen examples of this, and heard from the homeowners about how it’s holding up a few years later, it’s best to play it safe and use a smaller tile.

Mosaics have another benefit on your shower floor as well. The many grout lines that accompany the tiles help to give the floor some grip, which renders it non-slip, no matter what type of material you choose to use.

Therefore, the only materials you truly need to avoid are things like hand-cut glass, which can cut bare feet, or some very soft limestones that can disintegrate in water. In fact, many people simply choose to use a floor tile that comes in multiple sizes, using the larger size on the bathroom floor itself and the smaller tile in the shower for a sense of continuity in the room. And if you use mosaics on the bathroom floor, consider running them straight into the shower without a curb and make an open shower plan instead. Both of these methods work well in smaller bathrooms because they help to make the floor plan seem larger than it actually is.

When it comes to your shower floor, put the size of the tile first in your considerations, and then look at material and style to get the best fit for the room.

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Can I Use Glass Tiles On The Floor?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Glass tiles have a brilliant shine and depth that is lacking in other types of tile. Whether they are mosaics or oversized large-format tiles, they make a statement wherever they are placed. This often leads some homeowners to wonder if they can use these statement tiles on the floor. After all, what better way to make a statement than with a pop of color and shine beneath your feet?

Not all glass tiles are created equally, which is the first thing to consider when determining their use. Some will scratch very easily, so while they may hold up to the pressure of being underfoot, they will quickly lose their shine. Others are not meant to withstand pressure; a high heel put down firmly may crack the tile and ruin the floor.

That said, there are several types of glass tiles that can be used safely in a floor setting. Iridescent mosaics make an excellent floor tile in bathrooms and other low-traffic areas, for example. Some types of hand poured glass can also be used on floors, provided that care is taken with tiles that have sharp, cut edges.

Color-backed tiles, meaning that the color is painted onto the back of the tile, tend to do the worst in a floor setting. These tiles are usually rated for wall use only, and if you do place them on the floor it should be as an accent or border only.

Some newer glass tiles are being combined with resins into large format tiles perfect for use on the floor. These tiles do not look like traditional glass tiles, however, and more resemble quartz or glass countertops. These are usually a green building material, however, and therefore are a good choice for homeowners wanting an eco-friendly floor tile that has some sparkle and interest to it.

If you’re wondering if the glass tile you’ve picked out could be used on the floor, be sure to ask us at Century Tile. We are happy to help with questions about tile, if it is floor rated, and if so where the most appropriate placement for the tile. Feel free to ask!

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At What Point In The Kitchen Design Do I Pick Out The Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

Many homeowners in the process of designing a new kitchen wonder when they should tackle the backsplash. After all, the backsplash is one of the most purely decorative elements in the kitchen, and often the most personal as well. If you find yourself half way done with your new kitchen design and find that you still haven’t picked out the backsplash, don’t worry; this is one area of the kitchen that can wait.

Backsplashes were once considered a functional part of your kitchen designed to keep the walls in good condition by protecting them from splashes and splatters. With the advances in washable paints, however, as well as newer cleaning supplies and wall building technologies, backsplashes no longer need to be functional. Instead, they have become purely decorative.

Think about it for a minute: You couldn’t use your new kitchen without cabinets, counters, flooring, or appliances, right? But you can use it without the backsplash, so if you want to take your time in this one area, it will not affect the kitchen’s use.

In fact, in many cases, the best thing to do is wait. Unless you know exactly what backsplash you plan to install and it’s merely a question of finding the right tile, sometimes waiting lets you live with the kitchen and your choices for a little while. You get to see what it is the kitchen is lacking, such as color, whimsy, light, or movement. For example, a kitchen that turns out too dark would benefit from a glass backsplash that could reflect light, while a kitchen that is a little too neutral would benefit from a pop of color.

Therefore, wait until you have all the other components of the kitchen picked out first before choosing the backsplash. This way you can ensure that the colors and style of the backsplash matches your other choices. You can also wait until the kitchen is installed to pick it out so you can see if there is an element lacking that the backsplash could provide. It isn’t uncommon for new kitchens to go without a backsplash for as long as a year as the homeowners make up their minds. Take your time and don’t rush; the backsplash could end up being the keystone that pulls the whole design together.

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Backsplashes in Contemporary Kitchens

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile

The backsplash has evolved over time to become one of the most decorative elements in a kitchen design. Nearly any style of kitchen can make use of the different colors and patterns that can be displayed here, but one of the kitchen styles that can benefit most is the contemporary kitchen. With their stark lines and clean contours, contemporary kitchens often run the risk of feeling impersonal. Used correctly the backsplash area can help overcome this fault, injecting the kitchen with personality.

Keeping a Cohesive Design

Use tiles in a contemporary kitchen in a way that will both liven up the space and stay in keeping with the rest of the décor. The key is in the choosing of the materials and the way that they are laid out.

Bold Statement

One way is to use tiles to create a bold statement on the backsplash. If your kitchen is a little too stark or plain in color and design, a really bold backsplash can make the entire room pop; try one of these designs to enhance the space:

  • Use a bold color like red combined with a unique pattern such as falling water which is made up of several small pieces of tile designed to look like rain
  • Use a tile that has a unique feature such as glass rods installed to look like bamboo or tiles with an iridescent finish to them

Focal Point

If your kitchen doesn’t have a focal point or a resting place for the eye, it can make you feel as if you aren’t anchored in the room. Try using the backsplash to give the space a focal point using one of these ideas:

  • Use glass mosaics to create a modern mural behind your cooktop pulling from colors within the room as your palette and using a well known work of art as your inspiration
  • Use plain, oversized tiles on the majority of the backsplash, then use something very different behind the cooktop such as river rocks or handmade glass tiles in a bold color

Inject Some Fun

The backsplash is one way to inject your personality or interests into your design. Have some fun with it in your contemporary kitchen to make the entire room come alive.

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Home Maintenance Checklist For The Summer

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance

Summer may be well underway, but it’s never too late to tune up your home for the season.  We’ve outlined a small but crucial checklist to ensure that before you get caught up in the swing of things, a few well needed tasks get taken care.

1.     Tune up the air conditioner

A very important piece of equipment during the blistering summer heat is your air conditioning unit. Before the season begins, investigate to see what parts are in working condition and what will require replacements. It is especially important to make sure the vent, filters, fans and coils are clean and there is no faulty wiring. For those with central air systems, the best option is professional maintenance.

2.     Check the ventilation

Routinely checking your home windows will also help with the temperature regulation in your home. Caulk any openings found in both the outside and inside sealants and also double check each window-stripping to ensure there are no breaks.

3.     Conduct thorough safety checks before using the pool

Give yourself at least a week before you open up the pool for swimming. While cleaning and levelling the pool are usually given the higher priority, remember to also check the pumps and filters as a lot of these parts have not been in use since last year.  Don’t forget to give the chemicals at least one week to balance out to avoid unnecessary sickness.

4.     Pressure wash exterior walls

After months of being exposed to months of harsh weather- snow then spring showers- your exterior walls will need some serious TLC.  Prevent the further build up of mildew and dirt by pressuring wash the walls. This is especially handy before you apply that new paint color.

5.     Inspect your deck

Investigate your deck boards, beams and posts for rotting and check to see if resealing the wood is required. A simple way to do this is to check the wood absorption capacity. Also check for any loose or corroded nails which will require replacements.

6.     Replace and clean old garden equipment

Thoroughly drain any gas left in the tank of your lawn mower since last fall. This can be done by purchasing a siphon pump or by running the mower until the tank dries. Don’t forget to lubricate the necessary parts and replace the spark plug when they start to show wear and tear.

A few simple tasks around the outside of your home each year will ensure a smooth transition to summer and will greatly enhance the beauty of your home.  We hope your summer is one to remember!

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Why Have A Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

Let’s be honest. The alternative to not having a backsplash in your kitchen is not pretty. It is a discolored wall due to remnants of dinners long gone and bleach spots from overzealous attempts at removing ugly marks. Without a doubt it is one of the most important features in a kitchen and can speak volumes about the homeowners.

For many of people, the backsplash serves a utilitarian purpose by protecting and preserving the area behind the stove from grease stains, food splatter and ugly smoke marks. While these are definitely important jobs, the backsplash can go a long way in adding to the visual appeal of a kitchen.

One of the greatest features of installing a backsplash is the ability to customize your kitchen to showcase your taste. There is a sea of options available that can cater to each homeowner’s style, all while bringing cohesion to the look and feel of the overall house. You may choose to tie in other design elements featured in separate rooms, like tile colors that match the neighboring family room or the continuation of a pattern used throughout the bathrooms.

Backsplashes come in different colors, textures and even materials. They range from the more trendy mosaic tiles to quirky tin squares that offer a more vintage feel. A well thought out backsplash can also change the perceived size of the kitchen.  A backsplash can run the entire length of the kitchen walls or it can be concentrated solely behind the stove. The sky is truly the limit as some home owners may choose to make it the main showcase in the room, going so far as to extend it to the top of kitchen cabinets or even to the ceiling. This in turn affects the overall feel of the kitchen and can create an atmosphere that can be either cozy or industrial.

A backsplash saves on the hassle of constantly repainting walls  or reapplying wallpaper and drastically cuts down clean up time to just a quick swipe of a towel. It provides an expression of self that is both extremely functional as well contributes an important design element in any kitchen.

 

Make sure that the backsplash pattern you have chosen reflects the tone and feel of your home while still expressing your individuality.  Please share pictures if you have a creative design or just a beautiful backsplash!

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Tips For Renters Part 5

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

In this final installment of our series we wrap up with our last four pointers on how to successfully rent a space and live there happily!

  1. Here’s a really IMPORTANT piece of advice. Walk around the property you’re considering and try using your cell phone. Many, many people have rented a place only to find out that they can’t talk on the phone at home. Imagine going outside for reception every time you need to make a call!
  2. Ask about noise transfer between the walls, ceilings and floors. If you love your music to be loud or you watch movies and play games with surround sound, you might end up in trouble pretty fast if the walls are thin. If you practice bowling in your living room, your downstairs neighbor might not be too happy. Conversely, if you are sensitive to noise or sleep during the day, thin walls and ceiling will become the bane of your existence.
  3. Consider the climate where you live. All homes are heated, but many don’t have central air conditioning. Think about the activity in your home. If, say, you do fitness in your home, you would absolutely need A/C in July when the heat is at its summer apex.  For cold weather management, also inquire about insulation. It will cost considerably more to heat a rental home that is not insulated. Same with vaulted ceilings. They’re pretty but they don’t trap heat very well and can exponentially increase your heat bill.
  4. Last, but not least, be careful about impulse renting. Amenities, price and locations are just a few of the distractions that can cause you to sign a lease too soon. Take into consideration EVERYTHING that is important to you and choose wisely. Once the lease is signed, you’re committed!

We hope you enjoyed our series on how to successfully conquer moving into a rental. Don’t forget to go back and read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.  Leave us a comment and let us know what we missed! What else have you found to be good planning for this kind of move?