Archive for January, 2011

Inside Play Space

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

Is the season’s bad weather keeping your children inside with nothing to do but get on each other’s nerves? Here’s a suggestion to create an indoor play space just for this time of the year.

This is easy if your child or children have a designated playroom. If not, wander around your house and think about any area that could be designated for children for a few months without much disruption. A corner of a dining room, part of a basement, or even the space between your family room and kitchen could work.

Start by creating a separate floor to define the space. An inexpensive throw rug or a carpet remnant in a color that contrasts with the floor would work well. Add in some useful furniture, such as a children’s play table or a coffee table with cushions around it. You can cover the table with a vinyl tablecloth to protect it from play activities. Extras such as bookshelves, bins, or even a small child’s tent can help to further delineate the space as for children. Posters or maps on a nearby wall add to the color and interest.

Once the space is set up, use it as a reward for finishing chores, homework, or as a source of interest during those long grey days when everyone is looking for something to do. Place a jar with suggestions for activities in it, with each child taking a turn selecting one. Spend an afternoon brainstorming ideas with your children, writing them on additional papers for the jar. Surprise them with special projects or tools. For example, one day they may find a box with different types of measuring tools in it, and instructions to determine what kinds of things each tool can measure well.

Create an imaginative space to compensate for the outdoor limitations, and help your children get through the winter without overdosing on TV or computer games.

Traditional and Daring

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

This room says traditional, but its color choices and contrasts keep it looking fresh and new.

Let’s start with the carpeting. Patterns were common twenty and more years ago and then almost vanished until just recently. Now design in carpets – from color-based patterns such as this one to the subtler embossed approaches – are available in many styles.

While this pattern and color choice is fairly traditional, the light tones, the addition of a matching rug with contrasting border, and the flooring’s fresh colors keeps it from looking stale in the room. It coordinates well with the white ceiling, moldings and wainscoting.

The deep paint color keeps the room from looking too washed out and delicate. The daring tone works well with the rest of the room.

The fabric choice for the loveseats and drapes fit in the room, but possibly a less flowery choice in a bit darker tone would have anchored the furniture better with the space. The valance is a distracting element, cutting into the crown molding and pulling the eye away from the fireplace, which should be the focal point in the room.

The accessories match the traditional tone of the space, but with enough personality to draw positive attention. Altogether this room shows design courage despite its traditional approach.

Traditional doesn’t mean boring. Does your home need some design daring? Maybe it’s time to shake things up!

Room Fix: Piano Problems

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Do you play the piano? If so you’re probably looking with longing at that lovely baby grand. Music sounds so much better on a truly beautiful grand piano. But if you sit down to play, you’ll recognize a problem immediately. What is it?

It’s the lighting. While the piano looks inviting facing the room, the light coming from the window would put the sheet music in shadow. In addition, there are no lamps close to the piano, making it almost impossible to play in the evening. It’s clear than in this home, no one actually knows how to play, and this lovely instrument is simply a large accessory in the room.

The second problem is aesthetic rather than functional. While the room itself is classic in style with simple elegant lines, someone decided to go into too frou-frou a direction with the window treatments. The pink curtains with the trim, rosettes, and bunting in the middle of the window is overdone for this room. Change it to red white and blue, and it would work well for the Fourth of July.

The window on the left has the same fabric and trim but no extras. This works fairly well. The blue throw pillow and small flowered rug in the room also push the fluffy border, but with a simpler window would still work. It’s like the classic image of a well-dressed woman who puts on her jewelry and then removes one piece as a measure of good taste. That bracelet, I mean bunting, has got to go.

Redecorating Now!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Many people find winter days discouraging, with the cold weather and lack of sun. Now that the holidays are over, why don’t you do yourself a favor and redecorate a room to cheer your space and your mood.

Years ago, any painting or new carpeting had to wait until spring because the strong smell of the new products required open windows for a few days. Now, however, we have products that are totally smell-free. The smell came from volatile organic compounds, often referred to as VOCs. These are gasses that new products release into the air until eventually the gas and the smell is eliminated.

These VOCs can cause some people problems, particularly those with allergies or other respiratory concerns. Today, most manufacturers have developed products that significantly reduce or even eliminate these gasses. To learn more about the products available with little or no VOCs, check with one of our salespeople.

So how about changing a room and making this winter a little brighter and more fun? It may be cold outside, but you can stay warm with a new view right inside your home.

Give Your Walls A Voice

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

Do you often wish your home were more personalized to your taste? There are several different ways to make your mark on your home.

Frame family photos and place them on accent tables. Family photos look great in groupings on a hallway or stairway wall.

Monogramming is another way to personalize your home and furnishings. You can easily have your family initials embroidered on hand towels, bedding, dinner napkins and any other linen items.

Wallpaper is another way to add personality to your rooms. For example: Do you like cooking really spicy, flavorful dishes? There are wallpapers available that have great colored peppers in bright reds, greens and yellows. That would be a great patterned wallpaper for your kitchen; which looks great and inspires you while preparing tasty meals. Maybe you have an office that you don’t enjoy working in. There are really great Zen looking wallpapers that look like safari grasses or bamboo stalks. Creating a sense of peace will make you more comfortable in the space and will allow you to think clearly, or simply drift off in a day dream while reading a page turning book. Soft carpet is another way to make each room more personal and warming; choosing a color and texture of your personal favorite will make each room more about you!

If the idea of wall-to-wall paper puts you off, hang paper on one accent wall. Accent walls create the same effect as it would if all walls were covered. The ways to personalize your home are limitless. Be proud to make your house your home!

The First Flooring

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

Sometimes a book can make you take a second look at an everyday idea or product. This is certainly the case with At Home, a new book by Bill Bryson. It focuses on things we take for granted in our homes and discusses how they developed over time.

This month all the newest in flooring will be shown at Surfaces, the largest flooring event in the U.S., so now is a good time to consider the start of flooring and the progress we’ve made.

Initially, homes were constructed to protect people from the elements. Not only were style and design unimportant, so was something as basic as comfort. Floors were simply the dirt a home was built upon, generally packed down.

Over time, wealthier people in England and other parts of Europe added layers of rushes over the dirt to keep down the dust and make the ground softer and warmer to walk on. These rushes were replenished about twice a year generally. However, don’t picture nice clean green grass or dry hay underfoot. People generally didn’t remove the old rushes; simply placing new rushes on top. This meant that floors were deep, natural havens for insects as well as worse options such as mice and rats.

Eventually wood, stone and tile replaced this practice, but choices were limited to what was available locally. Carpets, which often came from far away or were woven at home, were so valuable that they were hung on the walls or placed on tables. Certainly no one expected to walk on one.

It’s worthwhile to think of the challenges homeowners had in the past the next time you come into our showroom. You have an amazing selection of a variety of flooring materials gathered from across the world. Instead of picking up rushes, you can pick from our samples, and we will remove the old flooring before installing your new choice. And our rugs are meant for your feet, and are priced accordingly.

Think Inside The Box

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

This bedroom is simple and old fashioned. Yet there’s something about it that makes it also cozy and inviting. What creates the magic in this space? To understand, you need to think inside the box.

Every room is essentially the inside of a box, with six sides. When a room’s design only takes five of those sides into account, rooms often feel unfinished. Include the ceiling in your plans and you have the start of a cohesive design.

The monochromatic approach starts integrating every element in the room right away. Take a look at the warm brown carpet. It’s almost an exact match with the walls. Every element in this room is some shade of brown or cream – including the dog!

Take a moment and check out the ceiling. That’s where the drama happens in this room. The strong contrast between the dark brown color of that sixth surface and the light cream covering the deep frame of crown molding takes this room up a notch from a design perspective. It’s a truly daring choice for such a traditional room.

Pattern provides the other linking element, with the bedclothes and pillows echoing the painted brown and white plates hanging over the bed. One dark brown chair to the right anchors the ceiling color with the rest of the room, creating an environment that is complete and comfortable.

Do your bedrooms feel this integrated? What do you need to do to create this mood in your own home? Maybe you should start by looking up!

Bring The Indoors Outside

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Do you wish to make your outdoor space into a comfortable livable place to entertain or relax? If you are considering furnishing your outdoor space, remember that the exterior style should compliment the interior and architectural styles.

When shopping for outdoor furniture and accessories, look for characteristics that are similar to your interior furnishings. It can be helpful to take a picture of the interior when you go shopping for your exterior. A picture of the exterior can also come in handy because you don’t have to rely solely on memory.

Consistency

Try and keep your outdoors consistent with your indoor, not only in terms of design and overall look, but also where furniture and furnishings are concerned. If it is a major outdoor project, set some amount aside for quality furniture. Outdoor furniture looks similar indoor furniture, but is far more resistant to the elements it might be exposed to.

If you have an abundance of space, feel free to spread out. Areas can be separated for individual uses. For example one open flat area can be used for games, such as Horseshoes. A concrete slab near the entrance can be a great and stable place for a BBQ grill, dinning table and chairs. Maybe off to the side are two trees that are perfect for tying a hammock up.

Color schemes for outdoor furniture can be a bit more fun and vibrant; compared to subtle interior themes. Outdoor spaces are meant to be fun and casual. Have fun during the selection process. A cheerful outdoor space is perfect for weekend life. Go for it and really let down your hair. You won’t regret it!