Archive for February, 2011

Two-level Countertop

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath

This well-thought-out kitchen includes something that can benefit many open style living areas – the multi-level countertop.

When granite and solid-surface countertops came on the market, people used them the same way they placed laminates – at one level covering the lower cabinets. With the introduction of countertops that provide such a rich design element, designers began to recognize the possibilities.

Multi-level counters provide multiple benefits. One important plus is evident in this photo. The raised counter camouflages many of the standard counter elements that a kitchen requires. For example, the soap container is functional but not really a design accessory.

Camouflage is even more important when entertaining. Dirty dishes and clutter from food preparation hides from guests.

The higher counter in this photo is rather narrow, possibly because of space limitations. However many raised counters are wide enough to provide an additional eating space by placing stools or bar-height chairs on the other side. With the addition of the raised counter, your home suddenly gains a breakfast bar or place for afternoon snacks, or even a location for spelling drills while cooking dinner.

This area is also useful for parties. It provides another conversation area as well as buffet space. Imagine people seated there munching on various appetizers while talking to their hosts as they complete the meal preparations.

Many people spend time and energy planning their kitchen layout and then stop before addressing their countertops. Be flexible with your thinking and you may find that your countertop design adds to your kitchen’s beauty and usefulness.

Romantic Bedroom

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

Would you like your bedroom to have a romantic feel like the one in this photo? You can recreate this mood with just a few changes or additions to any bedroom.

The exotic flavor of this room starts with the flooring. The natural-looking tiles are a terra cotta that brings other countries to mind. This room could be in Italy or Spain, Latin America or the Caribbean. This room has a simple area rug by the bed, but you could choose to showcase one or more rugs in muted tones that bring out the gentle feel of the space.

With the exception of the bed, the furniture is simple and understated. The painted nightstand could be re-created in the colors of your choice from any simple piece of furniture. The four-poster bed appears hand carved and adds a dramatic element to the room. While it may be difficult to find one like it, you may be able to track down a four poster with personality to replace it in your space. You could paint it, or let the linens and canopy provide the light tones.

Embroidered linens similar to these are available new, or you may want to explore antique and second-hand stores for linens with personality. You don’t have to use actual bed linens – old tablecloths can substitute for both the bedspread and canopy.

If you’re not comfortable installing strong plaster walls like the one in the photo, an effective faux painting effect would work well. You could also use a technique such as Venetian plaster on one or more walls to add personality.

Finish the room with art and accessories that suit your style – possibly collected on your travels. With a little thought you can sleep in a room that feels like you’re in another country or another age.

Classic Chevron Wood Flooring

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

The Europeans don’t have a corner on the market when it comes to chevron pattern flooring, but it would seem so. The French especially embraced this design and it can be found underfoot in many houses in Paris and throughout the country. The word itself is of French origin meaning “rafter.” The chevron is an inverted V or roof-peak pattern which symbolizes protection.

While there is no documented history of when or how the inverted V pattern was adopted to flooring, there is history of the chevron symbol itself being used as far back as 1800 BC. Examples can be found in early art on pottery and rock carvings. It has long been used by the military of many countries as a sign of heraldry.

When the chevron is applied to wood floors it resembles a sharp zigzag pattern which can add to the energy of the room. It is one of the busier styles of flooring, but absolutely beautiful when incorporated into the overall design of a room. It works really well in large spaces with high ceilings. While in smaller spaces it would be overwhelming.

Tile: Not Just for Floors Anymore

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Take a classic maple cabinet, combine with a solid-surface countertop and stainless appliances, and you have a nice kitchen with nothing special to recommend it. Imagine this kitchen with a plain painted backsplash. Add this sparkling tile backsplash, and the kitchen becomes something to notice.

There are only four colors in this glass tile backsplash and one size of tile, but the varied pattern-less approach to color takes this kitchen up a notch.

Does your kitchen catch the eye? Unlike other rooms in your home, accessories on the countertops just get in the way in your kitchen’s functioning workspace. It’s often expensive and impractical to replace cabinets. You have three less expensive areas to make your kitchen special: flooring, countertops and backsplashes. Of these three, generally the missing piece is a backsplash.

Tile is a natural choice. It holds up well to splashes from your kitchen adventures, the choices of size, pattern and color is virtually unlimited, and the small space means that you can splurge on a more expensive option without blasting your budget. The photo shows a glass tile, which adds a contemporary touch. Ceramic and porcelain choices also work. No matter what style your kitchen features, you can find a tile that will complement it.

Visit our showroom and plan to get creative. Let us help you add something special to your kitchen that you can enjoy looking at every time you cook.

We Want Happy Customers

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Hardwood, Tile and Natural Stone

Question: My home needs all new flooring. I haven’t shopped for flooring in decades and the whole process seems pretty overwhelming to me. What kind of help will I get from your salespeople? Are there things I can do beforehand to make the process easier and less confusing?

Answer: Selecting new flooring may seem overwhelming, but you can take some steps before even coming to our showroom to help you start the process. To begin, make a list of your flooring needs, including an estimate of room size and any colors. (Don’t worry about getting accurate measurements; we will do that before ordering or installing anything.) You may also want to spend some time determining your budget range. This will be easier to define once you see what’s available at the different prices.

Your next step is a visit to our website. Flooring is much more varied and interesting than it was the last time you looked. Our website provides a great way to update your product knowledge at your own pace. We also have some tools on our site that may help define your goals.

The final step is visiting our showroom. Put yourself into the hands of one of our salespeople. Their primary purpose is to help you make the best choices for your floors and they can provide a wealth of information and exciting ideas for your home. Take advantage of their expertise and before you know it, you will have a beautiful space.

Remember, we have a more important goal than making a sale. We want to make a customer. If you’re happy we’ve done our job right, and we’re happy too.

Coastal Décor Flooring Ideas

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Whether it’s a house by the beach or one in the city, the trend towards a tropical beach-style décor is very popular. Light hues, natural materials, anything with seashells and tropical furniture are all part of the trend. Flooring lends itself towards the colors of the sandy seashore in neutral whites and beiges. To create your own coastal look there are several different flooring options you can go with.

Wood
Whitewashed wood is a perfect choice for coastal flooring. The whitewashing technique allows for the wood grain to show through giving it a soft, hazy and weathered look, reminiscent of driftwood. If whitewashing doesn’t appeal to you, paint the floor in a solid white or pale gray for another beachy look. Finally, a natural stained wood with a distressed finish and wide planks works well with the look of rattan or wicker furniture.

Ceramic Tile
A sandy or white tile looks lovely with the differing elements of coastal décor such as a seashell chandelier or a natural wicker sofa and occasional chair. A Mediterranean feel can be achieved with solid colors of cool aqua or green tiles. If you live near the beach and will be in and out of the sand and water you’ll want to choose a ceramic tile with a heavy texture to ensure it is nonslip for safety.

Sisal
Add sisal area rugs or sisal squares to your flooring for a truly tropical feel. Sisal comes in a variety of patterns and colors to go with any room in the home. Think of placing a sisal rug in the entry, under the coffee table or on each side of the bed.

Choosing Vinyl Works

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Vinyl

Question: I cook a lot and I want to put a vinyl floor in our kitchen. With upgraded cabinets and a solid-surface countertop, will it look out of place?

Answer: Take a look at today’s vinyl floors and you will discover that their designs and textures will easily support your kitchen plans. This kitchen floor, for example, closely matches the look and even the texture of a nice porcelain tile.

Many long-time cooks prefer to put a “soft” floor in their kitchens. Those options include vinyl as well as laminate and wood floors. They are much easier on your feet than stone or tile when your work involves a lot of standing.

The other advantage to vinyl for a cook is the easy clean-up. Just a quick swipe and spills and spots are gone. This floor can handle almost anything you throw at it.

Finally, vinyl is a very cost-effective flooring choice. This gives you the flexibility to select one of the higher-end vinyl floors while still having the budget for upgrades somewhere else such as the six-burner range shown in the photo!

Go ahead with vinyl. Choose what you will enjoy. It’s your home and your kitchen, and you can make it both beautiful and functional.