Archive for August, 2012

Decorating a Bathroom?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Hardwood and Laminate, Kitchen and Bath

Are decorating or redecorating a bathroom? Here are some vanity and countertop ideas to get your “inner designer” inspired.

Sometimes luxury simply means a sense of intimacy in a room. By placing this footed bath right in the middle of his-and-hers vanities, we know this certainly isn’t the guest bath. It’s a romantic little reminder this space has been customized for a couple who owns it. Beautiful exposed plumbing can look stunning against marble flooring, and soft romantic lighting will cast a warm glow.

For those of us who want more modern luxury, this bath shows off clean lines and lofty ceilings punctuated by beautiful details like lighter flooring choice and arch over the shower. This bathroom is simple and goes to show that you don’t need a lot of different things in a bathroom to make it luxurious.

Contrary to what they say, size doesn’t always matter. When it comes to luxury, the materials can make up for lack of space. A smaller powder room can be done up in high style with the right combination of textiles.  Use a chandelier for lighting with a custom cabinetry which will make the the whole room feel rich in design.

Use some of these ideas to get your design juices flowing and create a bathroom you’ll love to get ready for the day in.


Schedule Housecleaning

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Family, Hints and Advice

You probably know this, but here it is again. House cleaning on a schedule is the best way to keep your home looking fabulous 24/7. Yep, we’re all busy. Cleaning the house can take a back seat to soccer games, play dates, brunch outings, or if we’re honest – just plain laziness. Scheduling cleaning weekly is the best way to avoid those overwhelming “OMG! Why is the house so dirty?” moments. You know what I’m talking about. To avoid those housekeeping freak-outs, schedule your housework. Doing so gets it done easier and faster.

Housework delayed is housework multiplied. Sweeping the kitchen floor daily makes weekly mopping no big deal. You know that when you skip the sweeping for a few weeks, your kitchen floor a dusty, grease stained mess.

Reconsider whatever is preventing you from sticking to a cleaning schedule. More time spent cleaning daily means less time you’ll spend on weekly cleaning or less time your housecleaner has to be there – which translates into a couple of things – savings of money and your precious time.

So what should you be doing on a daily basis?

  • Make your bed
  • Put dirty clothes in the laundry
  • Wash, dry, and put away one load of laundry unless you have a designated Laundry Day
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Tidy up the kitchen
  • Take out the trash
  • Pick up all the rooms in the house

What should you be doing weekly?

  • Change bed linens and bathroom towels
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen counters and the inside of the microwave oven
  • Wash or dust hard-surface floors
  • Dust furniture
  • Vacuum carpets and rugs
  • Sweep your entryway or porch–This will help maintain your floors, too

Realistically, it shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes a day to accomplish the daily chore list. It may take even less time if you enlist your family members to help as well. Delegation is key. Keep everyone accountable by posting a written list of work to be done on the fridge. Rotate chores on a weekly basis to keep it “interesting”.

Now, go to those soccer games, plan those play dates and enjoy a brunch outing. You don’t have to worry about coming home to a dirty, messy house.

Organize Your Playroom

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

Do you have a playroom that is out of control? A toy box that has vomited its contents? Stacks of books, magazines, video games and CDs? Bet you that all those things belong to your children. Now is the time to conquer the clutter chaos and teach your kids how to organize their stuff on their own.

Yes, this may sound like torture, but teaching kids organizational skills will not only help you keep your house tidy, it will also help them learn how to pick up after themselves.

To get started, if your kids are old enough to read, write down what you would like them to do.

Reward your children for a job well done. Bribes of money and gifts may help, but it is better to lavish them with praise. Let them play their favorite music (at their preferred volume) while they work, take before and after pictures that you can post on Facebook to brag about their achievement or make their favorite meal for dinner.

Teach your kids the 12-month rule. If you haven’t used something or worn something in twelve months you probably won’t so you can donate those items to charity or have a garage sale to sell them.

Those piles of magazines, pictures and school projects can either be read on-line or scanned and stored electronically. They know how to do that better than you do.

Give your kids somewhere to store their stuff. Your kids cannot put things away if there’s no place for them to go. Work with them to choose fun (inexpensive) shelves, cubbyholes, bookcases or storage boxes. Help them label and decorate the boxes (they can pick silly names to make it fun).

Remember the more involved kids feel in the process, the more dedicated they will be in keeping their space tidy and that’s good for everyone.

Mantle Decorating

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Natural Stone, Tile

Even though you may not turn on or build a fire in your fire place anytime soon, you can still think about making the fireplace or mantle a focal point in your home. Check out these new design ideas!

  • The classic mirror-over-fireplace trick can reflect traditional or modern tastes, depending on which style of mirror you choose. You can see this idea in the photo on the left.
  • Get dramatic with a painted fireplace surround, glamorous black slate (not ceramic tile) and an elegant wood mantel.
  • Forgo a mantel for the sleek look of stone, all the way up to the ceiling.
  • Iridescent glass mosaic tile makes your hearth the jewel of the home.
  • Make a cool, contemporary and powerful focal point in your room with a large-scale slate hearth.
  • Try an extremely simple design with one piece of wood and a few pictures on top, like the photo below.

Aren’t these great ways to update your fireplace and make it a showpiece in your family room? Remember, that there are lots of tile options to choose from if you decide to go that route in sprucing up your fire place area.  You can’t go wrong when it comes to decorating the home with your own style.  Be sure to jazz up your mantle the way you want!

6 Things To Do Everyday

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

Does housework get the best of you? With our crazy lives full of kids, work, pets, after school activities and finding time for date night sometimes housekeeping comes last. To be sure that cleaning day doesn’t last for hours and hours, here are six easy things you can do every day to keep the dirt at bay.

  1. Make your bed. It makes your room instantly tidier, and you are less likely to mess up a tidy room, right?
  2. Manage clutter. When you leave a room look for what doesn’t belong and put it away. Insist that every one in your family do the same.
  3. Sort the mail. Recycle the junk mail, and deal with bills and correspondence right away. File immediately.
  4. Clean as you cook. You’ve heard this one before, and it’s true. Instead of filling the sink with pots and pans, wash them and put them away as you go.
  5. Wipe up spills right away. Don’t let the dog pee on the carpet, tomato sauce on the kitchen counter or water on the bathroom floor hang out. All spots and stains are easier to get out if you deal with it immediately.
  6. Sweep the kitchen floor. While your children may think that “cleaning up the kitchen” just means loading the dishwasher that is not the case. Give them one easier chore – sweeping the kitchen floor. This will keep the tough-to-clean kitchen grime more manageable when it comes to mopping day.

Decorating with Tile Medallions

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

Are you looking for distinctive and stylish ways of adding to your already existing home décor? If yes, then decorating with tile medallions may just be the right option for you. If you are not familiar with medallions, you should know that they are not purchased together with other flooring for your home, rather they come separately and are normally found in oval, round and rectangle shapes.

Medallions are seen as the crème de la crème of tile design. You can get medallions in pre-made designs or you can choose to go for a custom made design of your choice. Your company’s logo, your initials or your family crest can influence this design. Adding a medallion to your floor is the most personal way to add your flair to your home.

Decorating with medallions, the size of the room usually influences the size of the medallions to be purchased. When the size of the room is calculated, an approximate 1/3 of the room’s width is the size that should be chosen for the medallion. Prior to installation the medallion is kept and maintained under controlled humidity and temperature.

To learn more about adding a medallion to the flooring in your home please contact our design center.  You can also visit our website to search for porcelain, ceramic, and natural slate medallion options.  We are excited to help you make your home as personal as possible.

Cleaning Your Refrigerator

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tips

What is the most neglected and least cleaned item in your kitchen? Is it your refrigerator? Your countertops and floors get wiped down and mopped on a weekly basis, but how often do you spend time cleaning the fridge? We depend on it to safely store all of our foods. Unfortunately, the refrigerator takes a lot of abuse; we stuff it full, forget about leftovers, and leave spills to clean up later. Then, we complain when there’s even the slightest unpleasant odor. Find out all the steps you need to know to clean your refrigerator.

  • Empty the fridge – Toss any old or expired food into the trash. Remove the food that is still good to a cooler with ice to keep it safe and cold while you clean the remainder of the refrigerator.
  • Remove drawers – Take out all removable drawers and shelves and set them aside. Drawers and shelves that are made of metal or plastic can actually be washed with hot water and dish soap right away, but glass and ceramic pieces need to gradually warm up to room temperature before being washed with hot water to prevent cracking and breaking.
  • Wipe down the inside – Use a clean cloth with hot water and a mild detergent like dish soap. Work from top to bottom to prevent dripping on surfaces that are already clean. Rinse cloths thoroughly and/or use multiple cloths to insure cleanliness. Pay special attention to the bottom crevices and back of the refrigerator where spills tend to migrate. Finally, wipe down the interior doors. Take a clean dry cloth and carefully dry the inside.
  • Clean shelves and drawers – Use warm water and dish soap to thoroughly clean shelves and drawers. Wipe them dry with a clean soft cloth.
  • Replace the food – Put the food back into the refrigerator. Now is also a good time to wipe off any jars or containers of food that may need it, like a sticky jelly jar or a crusty salad dressing lid.
  • Clean the outside – Starting from the top, wipe down and clean the exterior of the refrigerator using hot/warm water and a mild dish soap. If you have a stainless steel refrigerator, check the manufacturer’s suggestions.

Finally, we received this housekeeping tip from one of our customers – Instead of tossing small glass jars into the recycling bin, peel off their labels, scrub the glass clean, and keep them around to use for storage. Not only is it easy to see what you have in your fridge, but glass containers also trap smells that might otherwise permeate the refrigerator.

Reader Question of the Week

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath, Reader Question

My husband and I are thinking of redesigning our master bathroom. We would like to add a walk in shower.

Q. What is the recommended size of the shower?

A. The recommended size for a shower is 36”x36”. Showers are only required to be 30”x30”. Of course there is no rule that says you can’t go bigger.

Q. What glass is the easiest to keep clean?

A. Obscure glass hides the most day to day use. Clear glass is easier to wipe down. The answer depends on how often you like to clean! If you are really worried about keeping a glass shower door clean, just etch the glass. Not only can you feel the texture of this lace-like design on both the inside and outside of the shower panels, you can also get a sense of movement under light. The best part: It’s naturally resistant to fingerprints and stains, which makes this product a top choice for this high-traffic space.

Q. If we decide to install a bench in the shower, what height should it be?

A. Shower benches and seats should be 17”-19” above the shower floor and 15” deep.

Good luck with your home improvement project. Here are a few other trendy design ideas you may want to consider:

To make your shower stand out you can always elevate it.

Add water proof speakers so you can get your groove on while you get ready to start your day.

Add fully programmable steam shower controls and a niche for candles and accessories to create a spa-like experience.

Be creative with your materials. Use river rock, slate or tumbled marble and make your bathroom as unique as possible!

Monthly Housecleaning

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice

We all know what we should be cleaning on a weekly basis but what should we be doing each month? The following list is intensive. It is not for faint of heart housekeepers, however, if you can accomplish these tasks you will reap the benefits of a wonderfully clean home.

Dust your ceiling fans. You’ll be surprised how fast dirt, dust and grime can accumulate there.

Clean light fixtures. Again, these are a magnet for dust.

Dust your air vents. This will help keep dust from blowing out into your rooms.

Clean your walls. Spot clean the walls of your home to remove crayon marks, furniture scuffs, dust, and splatters. Food preparation, eating areas, and the place you store your trash will be likely candidates for a monthly wall wipe-down. While you are at it, clean your baseboards too.

Clean your window treatments. Curtains and drapes may need to be washed, cleaned, or dusted out on a monthly basis. Blinds that attract dust will need to be wiped down as well. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your window treatments before cleaning.

Dust, dust and dust some more. This time instead of giving the furniture a quick wipe down you should dust doors, molding, windowsills and ceilings.

Vacuum inside furniture. Yes, pull off the cushions and see what treasures you find inside your couch and arm chairs.

Clean your windows. A monthly cleaning for windows includes cleaning the inside of the glass and wiping down the windowsills. Use a glass cleaner to remove streaks and spots on the interior of the windows. If you wait for an overcast day, you’ll reduce the streaking and spotting on the glass.

Spot treat carpet and upholstery. Check for spots on the carpet and upholstery and spot treat the stains. Be sure to test the stain treater in an inconspicuous spot before applying liberally. If it’s been awhile since your carpet was last cleaned, it may be time to schedule a shampooing.

Check your smoke alarms. Change the batteries if needed and make sure to dust the alarms to keep them working properly.

Change filters. Change not only your furnace filter but also your air conditioner and vacuum filters.

Deep clean appliances. By cleaning appliances each month you will prevent the gunked up oven, or a toaster full of crumbs.

It’s not a short list and some of these chores will take a bit of time and elbow grease but getting these done will ensure a beautiful and clean home that you and your family will enjoy.