Archive for July, 2011

New Flooring? How about adding a Medallion?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Hardwood and Laminate, Natural Stone

Do you dream of adding style and updating your home with new flooring? How about taking a look at adding a medallion to your plans?

In a foyer, a medallion sends an instant message about your home with its dramatic impact on your floor. As a central feature in a great room, it can serve as a focal point or a transition element between different functional areas.

This medallion is made of marble. The multi-tone gold mixes well with the light ivory marble to create a medallion that pops against the limestone floor. If you want a more subtle look, pre-cut medallions come in a rich selection of materials, colors and tones.

Are you considering wood floors? The good news is that medallions are also available in wood. By using different types and stains of wood, these medallions are striking and inviting.

While it looks complex to install, using pre-cut and connected pieces enables installers to place the medallion of your choice in the position you choose in your home. If you look at this photo, the medallion is dropped in the middle of an unrelated floor design, and it still works well.

For more ideas on how to use a medallion to add interest to your home, visit our showroom to see the selection available. Whether you like modern or traditional décor, there’s a medallion with your name on it!

Be Adventurous and Add Foreign Flavor to your Back Patio

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Outdoor Living, Tile

This photo of a tourist bazaar in Tripoli has the exotic flavor of another country and almost another time. With a little imagination, you can modify elements of this marketplace to add a foreign feel to your own home. Let’s see how one homeowner borrowed elements from this bazaar to create a unique style for a back patio.

The idea of arches was the first step in elevating the back patio to something special. As you can see in the photo below, the colors and style are different than the marketplace, but they echo the feeling the curves give the space.

The ridge separating each arch from the column evolved to a simple set of circles in an appealing terra cotta. This still provides a definition while staying with a simple and more modern look.

The final borrowed idea was using tiles of two different colors to add some design to the patio’s floor. The simple pattern chosen adds personality but doesn’t overpower the space. The color choices leave options open to use earth tones or richer hues for accessories.

A few elements will finish the look and capitalize on the old world feel. One or more indoor-outdoor rugs that mimic an oriental style would carry the theme further. A few pots in a variety of sizes and colors would help reproduce the market mood. Wall hangings with an eastern flavor would add the final touch of the exotic.

Are you looking for adventure? Well, with planning you don’t need to travel farther than your own back yard to experience some of the delight of other countries and cultures.

Find the Fun in Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family, Hints and Advice

This photo shows a beautiful skyline, but it’s the Ferris wheel and carousel in the foreground that capture your eye. Just like this photo, your home needs a few fun elements to add excitement to your décor. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Art can add excitement and even whimsy. Do you have a favorite cartoon or literary character? An illustration of that, even in a small print, can add a touch of personality and create an interesting and fun conversation. Look also for artists whose style appeals to your sense of humor.
  2. Do you enjoy puzzles? A few used as accessories can offer your guests something to play with while they visit. Look for nice wood versions of three-dimensional puzzles or anything that appeals to you personally. If you have a side table, you could leave a jigsaw puzzle available for anyone to work on while chatting.
  3. Any favorite toys from your childhood? Maybe one or two could sit on your fireplace hearth. Chances are your friends may remember playing with the same toys and you can take a nostalgic look at yesterday together.
  4. Add a teddy bear or other stuffed animal to the pillows on your guest room bed. It provides a sense of coziness and tells your friends they are welcome.

Don’t get carried away – you don’t want your home to look like a toy store. By placing one or two simple items in several rooms in your home, you can create a sense of whimsy and let your guests know that you don’t take yourself too seriously. So have some fun and make your home more entertaining at the same time!

Consider Environment in Your Outdoor Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Summer

Have you been considering updating or improving your outdoor areas? Many people are looking at environmental concerns along with functionality and design in their yards.

Using plants and trees that are native to the area helps to reduce problems of invasive species harming local wilderness ecologies. In water-limited regions xeriscaping – choosing plants that use less water – can make a real difference in the water cost of a landscape.

Another concern that is gathering attention involves the natural drainage patterns of a landscape. Using too much hardscape – patio and paths – can negatively affect the natural requirements of your outside areas. The solution may not be to limit your outdoor living space but to choose to include water-permeable elements.

This spa in Bali provides some ideas. The gravel naturally allows water to drain from the area into the soil while still providing a walkway with selected pavers or tiles. If you want a more straightforward patio, you could reverse this approach and have large squares of concrete, pavers or tile separated by narrow bands of gravel. This would be easier to walk on and for placing furniture while still providing a place for rainfall to drain.

Another option is taking a look at a wide variety of permeable surfaces currently available. In response to this concern, outdoor flooring experts have been creating options that resemble standard hardscape materials in appearance and function, but allow rainwater to drain through them.

When you’re ready to redo your outdoor living space, be sure to investigate these options to help the drainage patterns in your yard as well as your neighborhood’s environment.

Flooring Defines Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hardwood and Laminate, Tile

This space has an open feeling but clearly defined areas thanks to some really smart design decisions.

Changes in the level of the floor as well as different types of flooring provide a natural separation for the functional areas in this great room. The main living area has 24-inch stone flooring with an inviting shine that contrasts gently with the Oriental rug that defines the conversation area. This room is a step below the rest of the space, helping to create a feeling of landing in the middle of the home. Outside of the main living room, wood and tile combine to keep the flooring choices interesting.

The kitchen toward the center back of this photo requires three steps up to enter, separating it from the rest of the home. By reducing the lighting in that space, it’s possible to almost make that kitchen disappear, reducing worries about clearing up after a dinner party with the open style of this home.

The ceiling also shifts dramatically to help define each area in the space. Varying heights, a triangular sunroof and wood trim keep the ceiling both interesting and functional as a space separator.

Finally, the walls demonstrate their own design statements such as the wall-pillars in rich leather brown and the half-walls as room dividers. Altogether, the architectural features make this open space feel both cozy and inviting, while still showing a spirit of adventure that takes this home far beyond the average.

Looking Through an Entryway

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hardwood and Laminate, Tile

The view in this photo is inviting, but what makes it special is the archway that we get to look through. It serves as a frame for the street and creates a personal sense to what we see.

Our homes have natural vistas also, and it’s a good idea to stop sometimes and take a look at how things look through our doorways and openings. It may give you new approaches to your décor.

When you look through a door or archway, the most noticeable element is the flooring. As you can see from this photo, the rough street pulls your eye through the space to the doorway at the end. In the same way your floor will draw the eye through your rooms.

Many floors such as wood and tile provide natural lines for our eyes to follow into a room. Take a look along those natural lines to make sure they end at a view you want your guests to see.

In most cases our rooms are not long enough to create the vista this photo provides, but it is important to make sure people’s eyes are drawn to the focal point of your choice in the room. If you haven’t planned a focal point, looking through doorways is a good starting point for creating one.

Finally, find a few interesting elements in the room for the eye to rest on and enjoy. In the photo, we have the painted posts at the end of the street and the bicycle leaning against the right wall. Little touches like this make the view interesting, and can make your rooms special.

Indoor Camping

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Summer

School vacation can mean traveling, visiting relatives or seeing sights. It may include swimming and other sports, time to play and picnics.

Here’s one fun idea that you can plan no matter what kind of weather you’re facing – a night of camping indoors.

Start with a tent that doesn’t need any posts to set up – no risk to your nice flooring. Bring some houseplants into sight and turn off all the lights.

Candles are too risky for children, but today’s LED lights are made to mimic candles of all sizes.

Have your children pack their own knapsacks with snacks and favorite toys. Add a few surprises for each child, including their own flashlights. Spread out sleeping bags if you have them or a pile of pillows, cushions and blankets will work.

Hotdogs and beans make for good camping fare. You may want to head outside to the grill for smores before bundling back to the tent for scary ghost stories before turning in. One of the best lessons you can teach your children is how to make their own fun rather than relying on movies, television and video games.

Have your children make a plan for the next at-home event. They’re not only developing their imaginations and planning skills, they’re making memories that will last a lifetime.

How To Remove Barbeque Sauce From Carpet

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet

We hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend full of fireworks, friends, family and barbeque! Just in case some barbequing accidentally got out of hand, we’d like to share some hints on how to properly remove barbeque sauce from your carpet. We hope you find this information useful!

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. CRI – 1-800-882-8846.