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Wool Carpet Maintenance Tips

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

You stepped out and bought the most luxurious (and expensive) carpet you could find for your home. Now you’re concerned with how to best care for and maintain this new investment. The first and best thing you can do is insure you have a good vacuum cleaner—and use it—regularly!

One of the most common fears about having wool carpet is protecting it against that “mother of all stains,” red wine. Not only red wine, but any water-based spill, can be dealt with pretty easily. One thing you do not want to do is pour white wine on the spill as an urban legend suggests. That wastes good white wine and does nothing for your red wine spill.

Attack the spill immediately by soaking up as much of it as possible with a clean, white, absorbent cloth or paper. Start at the outside of the stain and work your way towards the center. BLOT rather than rub the spill. If you can still see the stain after blotting and rinsing with clean water (still blotting), use a spot remover designed for water-based stains on wool carpet. You will know you’re safe using a product with the WoolSafe® label. Do not use regular detergents, as they tend to leave a filmy residue that will cause rapid resoiling at the spot.

For oil-based stains, use a good dry cleaning solvent designed for wool. Remember that most wool garments recommend dry cleaning, so you can feel safe using such a solvent on your carpet. Just use it sparingly as the solvent can damage your carpet’s backing.

To read a previous post on wool carpet, please click here.

Nylon Carpet Maintenance Tips

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

Several items, handled well can significantly protect your new carpet. The first is to see from your carpet manufacturer’s warranty what they require. Some insist upon regular professional steam extraction to validate their warranty.

Studies show that the first 4-6 steps from outside bring as much as 80% of the soil to your floor. Proper walkoff and entry mats will significantly mitigate this issue.

Regular vacuuming (daily in traffic areas), too often overlooked, is of primary importance in keeping your carpet looking good. The best vacuum cleaners have powerful suction and strong beater bars. This enables the greatest removal of soil particles, which have sharp edges that can cut and abrade the yarn, causing a crushed or matted look.

Every 12-24 months, your carpets should be deep cleaned by professional hot water extraction. Don’t attempt this with home models as they typically lack the power and suction either to clean or to remove the water.

Finally, address any spills or spots immediately. Water based spills need to be blotted with a clean, absorbent cloth, starting from the outside and working to the center. Use a neutral pH spot remover and rinse to remove any residue. Dry the spot well and vacuum before walking on the affected area.

On oil-based stains, completely cover the stain or spill with baking soda, baby powder or cornstarch. Allow this to sit overnight and vacuum well in the morning. If there is still a shadow of the stain, repeat this process, then follow the above instructions for water-based stains.

We hope this helps you understand more about how to maintain your nylon carpet.

Creating Your Own “White Box” to Help Your Flooring Decision

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

On the first episode of Home & Garden TV’s premiere episode of “Design Star,” they started with their classic “white box” design. Designers were given a white room with a bed, bookcase and nightstand, and asked to create a room that matched another designer’s personality and style. After watching, it made sense that a “white box” approach to visualizing rooms within our own homes could help make flooring decisions much easier.

When you’re ready for new flooring, your rooms have so many elements that it’s often difficult to determine a flooring direction. Can we find our own version of the white box in our home? Let’s try.

Start by removing all of the accessories. The colors and styles of these smaller items can distract you from seeing the basic lines and feeling the fundamental characteristics of the room. Next, take all pillows and small tables and chairs to another room. When you’re finished, only large furniture pieces and window coverings should be left.

Now, are there any pieces in this room that you are considering recovering or replacing? If you think new curtains may happen soon, take them down. If an easy chair is due for a slipcover, grab one or more neutral sheets and cover cover cover. This takes you down to the bones of the room, in terms of both color and use of space.

Once you’re down to the basics, grab your samples and magazine pages and consider your flooring options. Without all of the distractions of a finished room, you can take the time to really consider what you want that room to feel like, and make the right choice for your space. And here’s the other good news: you’re already most of the way toward clearing your room to get that flooring installed!

Building Your Own Sample Kits

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Do you find it frustrating to shop for a new piece of furniture or accessories because you bring something home and discover that it’s not the color match you expected? Are bathroom towels a challenge because you can’t remember your tile’s tone? Take advantage of a simple approach during the installation process and make your life easier for years to come.

You can easily put together a collection of samples for every room to take with you when you shop. Flooring installers always have scraps of carpet and fragments of tile and wood. If you take a minute during the installation process to grab a sample for your collection, you’re off to a good start. (Ask the installers if your piece is OK to take before running off with it!)

Paint is also easy to sample. Buy a packet of index cards, or use any heavy paper stock, and paint a card for every color in every room. To make your life easier later, write the paint name and brand on the back. Don’t rely on the original paint chips. If you compare them to the paint, you will discover that the chip and the wall are not an exact match.

Finally, see what you can collect in terms of fabric samples. If you have curtains made or furniture covered, ask for some of the fabric to add to your collection. If that option is not available, check the hems to see if you can trim a small piece of fabric without damaging the piece.

When your sample kit is complete, take few photos of each room from various angles. This is a good way to capture a fireplace, bookshelf or rug. Now put your sample books or boxes together. Depending upon the size of your sample collection, a large envelope or photo box per room should hold everything. Now you’re ready to shop, prepared with all the information you need to make good decisions!

Bring a Friend Shopping, Stretch Your Perspective!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Are you ready to head for the flooring store but feel uncomfortable tackling it yourself? Maybe bringing a friend along will make the process more comfortable for you. But before you decide to take this step, consider who you want to take and what role you want them to play.

Choose someone whose taste you like. Your buddy from high school with the scary taste may be a blast at a party, but you don’t want her pushing for retro shag when you’re hoping for the classic wood option. Think about the homes of your friends. Who has taste that most closely matches yours? That’s a likely candidate.

Choose someone who will work with you. Let your friend know what you need. Do you want help actually choosing your flooring, or just someone to provide support? Would it be helpful if your friend keeps your list of requirements? Do you get distracted and need a friend to keep you on task? Figure out what you want, and let your friend know before you go shopping. Once at the store, let your salesperson know that you are the decision maker and what role your friend will play. That makes it easier for the salesperson to help you meet your goals.

Finally, if you realize that your friend is actually a hindrance to the process; don’t be afraid to reschedule your flooring decision for some time when you can come by yourself.

Another pair of eyes can be a helpful tool when you’re making flooring decisions. If you plan carefully, bringing a friend can make the process easier and more fun. Why not try out the buddy system and see how it works for you?

Wool Carpet – Pros and Cons

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Product Education, Wool Carpet

Up through the end of WWII, Alexander Smith & Sons of Yonkers New York was one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers, producing up to 26,000 square yards of woven wool carpets per day. Wool, one of nature’s most brilliant products has been used in textile production since 4,000 BC! However, when nylon was introduced during WWII, wool carpets quickly lost their position of supremacy. From that time on, wool carpets have accounted for only a fraction of the carpet market, but they still incite desire for their richness, safety and beauty.

When it comes to hiding soil, wool performs wonderfully. Even when they do get dirty, wool carpets readily return to their natural beauty with most standard commercial cleaning methods. Another key to wool’s success is its ability to retain its beauty for 20 years or more. When constructed well and maintained reasonably, wool will never “ugly out” like nylon or polyester. And, because of its affinity for dyes, you can find some of the deepest and richest colors in wool carpets. Finally, wool is a safe carpet, recognized as non-allergenic and will not burn (wool self-extinguishes).

A down side to wool carpets is the expense. One more caution is that because of its affinity for dyes, wool carpets may also be a bit more susceptible to stain agents like red wine or fruit drinks. Nonetheless, if you have the budget and the ability to protect your carpet from stain agents, wool is a luxurious carpet that will serve you well for many, many years!

Lyptus Hardwood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate, Product Education

Lyptus hardwood products are an excellent option we’d like to tell you about if you are looking for an exotic species grown to sustainable forest certification standards. Lyptus offers all of the benefits expected of a tropical hardwood, Lyptus hardwood is ideal for cabinetry, millwork, furniture and flooring applications.

Why Lyptus?

Eucalyptus trees grow quickly and can be harvested within 14-16 years of planting. Because these trees are manually pruned during their growing years, logs coming into the mill are more uniform and have fewer knots. This in turn results in high conversion rates of logs to clear lumber. It’s also available in solid or engineered flooring.

Our engineered flooring is also a good environmental choice. The plywood base is made from native trees harvested under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and meets the new California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde regulations. Virtually every inch of every log is put to good use — even the residuals are used as fuel.

Engineered

Available in 3 ¼- and 5-inch widths, its standard tongue-and-groove construction allows it tobe stapled, glued down or floated. It is well suited for any area of your home, including below-grade spaces and rooms with radiant heat.

Their engineered flooring is also a good environmental choice. The plywood base is made from native trees harvested under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and meets the new California Air Resources Board (CARB) formaldehyde regulations. Virtually every inch of every log is put to good use — even the residuals are used as fuel.

Choose from a palette of six rich colors and varied strip lengths to create a living space that’s uniquely yours and can endure for years to come.

Thickness ½”
Widths/lengths 3 ¼” wide / 1′ to 4′ long
5″ wide / 1′ to7′ long
Wear Layer 1/8″ solid-sawn face; can be sanded and refinished
Warranty 25-year Limited Finish Warranty from Weyerhaeuser for residential applications, 3-year for light commercial

Solid Strip

Lyptus solid hardwood flooring is harder than oak, less expensive than walnut, and as beautiful as Brazilian cherry. Available unfinished or in six pre-finished colors, it complements the most stylish interiors.

Its tongue-and-groove construction, natural hardness, and aluminum-oxide finish yield long-standing durability, while its low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) levels makes it a healthier choice for your household than many other flooring options.

Thickness ¾”
Widths 2 ¼”, 3″, 4″
Lengths From 11″ to 88″
Warranty 25-year Limited Finish Warranty from the manufacturer

Come check out samples in our showrooms. We don’t stock this material, but can order it for you to arrive in just a few days!

Differences Between Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate

Debating between Laminate and Hardwood Floors? Here are Some Questions to Consider.

Choosing new flooring, but confused about the differences between wood and laminate? Here are a few items to consider as you start your decision process.

Lifestyle: Children and pets don’t function well with wood floors. Spills and scratches can quickly move wood from beautiful to distressed, and maintaining a wood floor requires prompt attention to even a small amount of moisture, as well as an annual application of a wax or polyurethane coating for finish in place applications. A good quality laminate will continue to look new despite family challenges, and can be maintained with a damp mop.

Home Value: In higher-end homes, wood, tile or stone is the flooring of choice. Although resale may not be part of your current plans, because of the long life of flooring, you should always keep resale in mind when making your choices. In family-style neighborhoods, laminates will be a welcome choice for a homebuyer.

Personal Preference: Be sure to visit homes or spaces with both laminate floors and wood floors that have been in place for a good number of years. Wood develops a patina of scratches and dents, as well as some uneven fading, that some like very much and others dislike. A top-quality laminate will continue to look like-new, but some people don’t care for the repeating pattern that is part of even the best laminate floors. See what you prefer.

Once you have addressed these issues, take the time to visit with us. Our sales team is well informed on the newest products, and their advantages and disadvantages. Make a list of questions and concerns, so that your final decision is well-considered and you are happy with the outcome. We are happy to help with any questions you may have!

To learn more about hardwood including how it’s made and an online product catalog, click here. To learn more about laminate, click here.

The Effect of Lighting on Color

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Why Colors Change in Different Lights and Making Sure Your Color Choices Work.

Lighting has a direct effect on color. This makes it hard to select colors unless you take a look at them under a number of lighting types. Fluorescents, for example, tend to add a blue or cool cast to most colors. Incandescent lights, at the other end of the spectrum, add warmth and a bit of yellow to colors. Every retail store makes its own lighting choices – working to make their products clear and visible for customers. Homes have different goals for lighting, and this can affect your color perceptions. If you have noticed that something you bring home looks different, often lighting is the reason.

Sunlight, or natural light, is about in the middle of our color spectrum, and we perceive that light as color-neutral. It’s interesting to realize that actually, natural light is a direct reflection of our sun. If our sun was a different type of star, we would have different tones in our natural light.

From a decorating perspective, you want to evaluate your color choices in a neutral light setting. For that reason, the best way to evaluate a color choice in a store or in your home is to take it to the nearest window. In your own home, daylight is the most common light, followed by incandescent light at night, unless you have been environmentally responsible and moved to compact fluorescents. Not happy with the way the compact fluorescents make your home look? It’s because replacing incandescent bulbs cools off a room, and your selections were made with warmer lighting in mind. The good news is that you can now get much warmer fluorescents.

So don’t stop at color when making decorating decisions. Take a look at your lighting – both in the store and in your home. You will be happier with your choices!