Archive for September, 2011

Bring the Beach Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

This inviting beach scene begs you to sit down with a cool drink and enjoy the view. The sandy surface, natural furniture and splash of bright colors makes this an inviting place to spend time.

If you’re not lucky enough to live near a beach, you can create some aspects of this scene in your own back yard. Let’s take a look at a few design decisions that can produce a patio with some of the best features of this beach.

To start, a natural flooring choice for the patio provides a hint of a beach feel. This rectangular travertine block has the soft tones of sand along with the benefits of a beautiful and solid surface for the patio furniture.

The next step requires selecting natural wood patio furniture. Unlike the rough-edged twig chairs and tables on the beach, this oiled teak is reminiscent of the beach but with a much sleeker look. The mosaic design on the table echoes the feel of a shell and complements the stone floor.

Finally, pillows in red, yellow and green take the place of the flags on the beach. A few splashes of color warm up the patio and set the stage for entertaining.

What else would make this space resemble the beach scene? Add some candles and outdoor light strings for evening use and you’re ready to go. You’re ready for a beach-style party even if you’re miles from the shore.

Sports Goals and Protecting Your Floors

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

Do you find yourself hosting friends or family for sports events? No matter what happens on television, certain features are common such as snacks, drinks and excitement.

When the gathering is over, what do your floors look like? Chances are vacuuming, mopping or even more dramatic cleaning will be required.

Of course, choosing low maintenance flooring makes this a more manageable situation. Tile, laminate or stain-protected carpeting helps fend off the mess that is destined to occur in this situation. If this is not an option, here are other suggestions.

To start, choose your snacks wisely. Non-greasy choices will help protect your floor. Replace chips or crackers with thin slices of French bread and cheese rather than drippy dips. Pretzels work better than buttered popcorn. Avoid beverages that can spot your floor. Beer and lemon-lime soda is better than red wine and colas.

Create a sandwich bar in the kitchen to let people prepare their own meals during the ads. Place cold cuts, cheese, potato or macaroni salad, and condiments with easy access and plenty of choices. Add some sturdy bread or rolls cut hand-size so that people can create several custom sandwiches in manageable sizes. And make sure you use plates that are sturdy. Chocolate chip cookies are a great dessert that stays pretty tidy.

What if your spouse and guests insist on the messier options? Well, consider throwing a beach towel at the front edge of the sofa running the length and under the coffee table. Then you can relax and let the chips fall where they may.

Take Color Ideas from Ocean Photo

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

When you’re ready to redo your home or design a new one, it can be challenging to select an overall color palette.

One approach that can help you start is by viewing photographs. But don’t limit yourself to room photos. Let’s take a look at how the photo to the left inspired a color mix for the living room shown below.

This close-up photo of shells and stones has an inviting balance of warm and cool tones. Brown, black and cream come together with grays and charcoal to create an inviting palette of neutrals.

Now if you look at the photo below, you will see these colors echoed in the room and its furniture and accessories. The appealing wood flooring mirrors the warm brown on the shell taking up the foreground, while the shell at the back is analmost perfect match for the leather sofa.

The large area rug captures virtually all of the colors of the small stones. Cream, gray and light browns provide a base that mirrors both the colors and a sense of letting everything mix as naturally as the stones do.

Accessories capture the light and dark features in the beach photo, and the end result is a natural mix of brown and neutral tones.

Are you ready to find the right photo to use as an inspiration for your home? Once you find it, bring it to our showroom and let us help you select flooring and other elements to bring those colors into your home.

Architecture as Art

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

This condo dining room uses architectural elements designed into the walls as primary art sources. Two pieces stand out – the wall spaces that hold Plexiglas inserts designed to display decorative elements and the custom tile piece over the dining table.

Often space is at a premium in condos, and this takes full advantage of the available space. Consider the wall separating the dining area from the foyer. Using a half-wall provides an appropriate break between the two spaces while still leaving the space feeling open. The wall holes can be left empty to provide glimpses from one area to another, or used in the manner shown.

The square inserts perfectly fit into the wall, providing the option to add color and texture. This photo shows produce in the spaces, but dried beans, herbs, cereal, toys or any other object could be used, allowing the containers to combine décor and storage.

The tile installation in the dining area contributes color and a modern feeling. This custom piece is simple but dramatic, using two colors – orange and dark brown – to create art that easily wipes off in case of food challenges.

This room has a sophistication that belies the reality of the space – it is completely child-friendly. The room is bright and light, inviting for children. The marble floor is dramatic but the dark tones and large tiles make it easy to maintain. The same is true of the wipe-off chairs and tabletop.

Design takes center stage here. Both from the style and functional perspective, this room works. Come in to one of our showrooms and see where your inspiration can take you!

Slate Provides Texture

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Many people think of slate as having a rich variety of colors and tones, and many slate collections do have that. However, what makes slate special is its texture. In these two slate wall displays, using grey slate allows the texture to shine.

In this first photo, the pattern is random rectangles. There is no difference in the color of the slate. The changes you can see come from the different angles of the cut slate and the way light breaks on them.

This wall adds drama whether inside or outside a home. Imagine a splash of red against this wall. Or you could choose black and white décor, while letting the grey provide a powerful neutral in the background.

This second photo uses grey slate with more differences in tone and color. The repeating pattern of squares surrounded by rectangles gains additional attention thanks to the occasional darker grey elements added to the design. The wall also has hints of warmer grey on some tiles.

Of course, you may want to take advantage of the color range offered by slate. Our collections provide a wide range of tones and moods. Slate works on walls like in these photos show, and it makes a dramatic floor. Many people choose it for an entryway because of the impact it can have.

Because slate looks so vivid when wet, it’s a good choice as a background for a waterfall or as part of a fountain.

Let us share the variety of choices possible with slate. Visit our showroom and take a look at what slate can do for your home.

Fabric Can Help You Choose Flooring Colors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips and Advice

Would you like to update your home’s color palette but aren’t sure where to start? There’s a good chance that fashions in color have evolved since you last shopped for your home.

A good place to begin is at a store that specializes in decorator fabrics. These heavy cottons, embroidered silks and other fabric types give you a rich selection of colors, textures and prints.

When you first walk into a fabric store, the experience may be more than a bit overwhelming. However if you spend five to ten minutes simply wandering around the store looking at the choices, you may soon find yourself drawn to certain colors, fabric types or print styles. Leave your mind open to possibilities. You may think you want a stripe when suddenly a pattern of leaves captures your imagination. Or you know you tend to prefer solid fabrics when an abstract geometric catches your eye.

Don’t make any hasty choices. Plan to spend at least a half-hour to an hour really looking at the choices and narrowing down your selection to two or three. Then buy a half or quarter yard of each and take them home. (With a half-yard, you have enough for a throw pillow, so it may be worth the extra investment.)

Lay your choices over chairs and on tables. Move them around your home and see which one stands out. Do you find yourself rooting for a favorite? Can you eliminate one or more after a day or two because you’re already tired of them? That’s great – you’re already moving in a more defined direction for your home update.

Once your choice is made, bring your fabric with you to our closest showroom, and we’ll work to find just the right flooring to coordinate perfectly with your home’s new color palette.

Tile and Pottery

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Clay pots, with materials dug out of the earth and hardened in open fires, were civilization’s first Tupperware. Sealed with wax or more clay, these containers held the food needed to survive harsh winters and the seed for next year’s harvest.

These pots were functional, not fancy. They did not use glazes, and the colors you see here come from tones within the clay itself.

Over time, our ancestors learned to use clay and straw to make bricks, and clay tiles provided a cleaner floor than dirt or rushes. Today, with the interesting mix of glazes and professional kilns to harden the clay by firing it, ceramic tile comes in virtually unlimited colors, sizes and designs. But many people still love the rustic tones and feel of unglazed tiles and pots, and they can help create a wonderful warm outdoor space.

Take a look at the patio on the right. The large unglazed clay tile shows varying hues and a rough surface. Made in rural Mexico, these tiles can chip and some even show the paw print from some small animal that ran over the tile before it dried.

Two types of unglazed pots add personality to this space. Toward the back, two classic plant pots in red clay hold a bush and red hibiscus plant. These containers are inexpensive and made to hold plants and keep them alive.

The other pots are much older – antique containers that require the rustic wooden base to stay upright. No longer useful as containers, their only purpose is as a sculptural reminder of the value of clay long before our civilization began.

Red Oak Flooring

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood

Red Oak is one of the most widely used floors today. It’s cost effectiveness accounts for a large consumer base who are enjoying the vast variety offered by Red Oak. It generally has a warm, dark color tone, which looks rustic and antique. As the name suggests, Red Oak flooring has a reddish hue which lends it a rich and exotic look.

The ordinary Red Oak is different from the one that is grown in cooler climates. Though cheaper, this variety of Red Oak doesn’t have an impressive grain structure. The real exotic Red Oak is far more striking and closely grained and therefore produces a lovely floor color. Various types of finishes can be applied to it, depending on your budget; for example hand scraped finishing, solid finishing, or even unfinished Red Oak floor looks great. Through these options you can easily obtain a contemporary look, or a classic hardwood floor effect.

Red Oak floor doesn’t require much maintenance and has a very long life. It has a great degree of hardness, comparable to other hardwood floors, and can easily sustain high traffic. Due to its hardness you don’t have to worry about placing heavy furniture it.

Red Oak is definitely a great choice if you are looking for an affordable hardwood floor that is visually at par with other exotic wood floorings. The number of choices available makes it perfect for every room of your house, and fits beautifully in any type of room décor.