Green Tips

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


The extent that you participate in the growing green movement is a personal preference. There are so many different ways to contribute to saving the planet. The more savvy you can be about products/services you use, the better. Today is the day you can start by changing 5 things in your life, then adding more next week until you find yourself as green as you can be!

Weigh the issues and understand your role in the big picture

1. Avoid ozone-depleting chemicals in mechanical equipment and insulation.

  • CFCs have largely been phased out, but their primary replacements—HCFCs– also damage the ozone layer and should be avoided where possible.
  • Reclaim CFCs when servicing or disposing of equipment and, if possible, take CFC based foam insulation to a recycler who can capture CFCs.

2. Use durable products and materials.

  • Because manufacturing is very energy-intensive, a product that lasts longer or requires less maintenance usually saves energy.
  • Durable products also contribute less to our solid waste problems.

3. Choose low-maintenance building materials.

  • Where possible, select building materials that will require little maintenance (painting, re-treatment, waterproofing, etc.), or whose maintenance will have minimal environmental impact.

4. Choose building materials with low embodied energy.

  • One estimate of the relative energy intensity of various materials (by weight) is as follows: Lumber = 1, Brick = 2, Cement = 2, Glass = 3, Fiberglass = 7, Steel = 8, Plastic = 30, Aluminum = 80 — source: Building and Environment vol. 17 no. 1

5. Buy locally produced building materials.

  • Transportation is costly in both energy use and pollution generation. Look for locally produced materials to replace products imported to your area.

6. Use building products made from recycled materials.

  • Reduce landfill pressure and save natural resources by using salvaged materials: lumber, millwork, certain plumbing fixtures, and hardware, for example.
  • Make sure these materials are safe, and don’t sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

7. Use salvaged building materials when possible.

  • Reduce landfill pressure and save natural resources by using salvaged materials: lumber, millwork, certain plumbing fixtures, and hardware, for example.
  • Make sure these materials are safe (test for lead paint and asbestos).
  • Don’t sacrifice energy efficiency or water efficiency by reusing old windows or toilets.

8. Seek responsible wood supplies.

  • Use lumber from independently certified well-managed forests.
  • Avoid lumber products produced from old growth timber when acceptable alternative exist. Engineered wood can be substituted for old growth Douglas fir, for example.
  • Don’t buy tropical hardwoods unless the seller can document that the wood comes from well managed forests.

9. Avoid materials that will off gas pollutants.

  • Solvent based finishes, adhesives, carpeting, particleboard, and many other building products release formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds into the air. These chemicals can affect workers’ and occupants’ health as well as contribute to smog and ground level ozone pollution outside.

10. Minimize use of pressure-treated lumber.

  • Use detailing that will prevent soil contact and rot.
  • Where possible, use alternatives such as recycled plastic lumber.
  • Take measure to protect workers when cutting and handling pressure treated wood, and never burn scraps.

11. Minimize packaging waste.

  • Avoid excessive packaging, such as plastic-wrapped plumbing fixtures or fasteners that aren’t available in bulk. Tell your supplier why you are avoiding over-packaged products. Keep in mind, however, that some products must be carefully packaged to prevent damage and resulting waste.

– See more at: http://www.shopping4floors.com/contentpage.aspx?Id=14218#sthash.XCX5JtRc.dpuf

Blank Slate

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

2408982_SStarting from scratch with a blank slate is a luxury many of us don’t have unless we’ve recently moved or are building a new house. Some people might have an extra room that isn’t being used, but most likely an extra space is spoken for in our homes. But imagine if you did have an empty room in your home—a blank slate. What would you do?

Imagine having an empty room with just wood floors and neutral walls. Would you turn this space into a playroom for the kids? A home office? Home theater? Gym? In-law suite? It can be fun to imagine starting from scratch and designing a space from the floor up. Or, it can be daunting.

Sometimes in decorating and interior design we get too caught up in the possibilities and the what-ifs that we fail to move forward. Decisions can be scary. This is why new builders often present design packages where flooring, cabinets, counters, knobs and pulls are all grouped together so you don’t have to make too many decisions and be overwhelmed.

If you do have a blank slate in your home, first decide how you will use the space. Then build from there. You might want to replace the carpet with hardwood or add carpet. You might want to add built-ins for storage or extra ceiling lighting for tasks. Wall color and window treatments can be inspired by the activities that will go on in the room or an area rug or object. Start slow, but keep moving forward. Once you know how you’ll use the room, design decisions should start falling into place.

How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

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

14768658_SHave you ever had chewing gum stuck in your hair? In the worst cases you can cut the gum out of your hair, but have you ever gotten gum stuck in your carpet? It’s not such a good idea to cut the gum out of your carpet because unlike your hair, the carpet won’t grow back!

Below are some tips about how to remove chewing gum from your carpet:

Solvent – A non-flammable spot removal solution, or dry cleaning type solvent, is preferred. Exercise caution when using a solvent. Never pour it directly onto the carpet or allow it to reach the backing, because it can damage the latex that holds the primary and secondary backings together. Acceptable solvents include Carbona®, Energine®, K2R®, Goof-Off®, etc.

When in doubt, you can always call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. The Carpet and Rug Institute – 1-800-882-8846

If you happened to have already had this problem and now have a hole in your carpet, we can talk about a replacement!

Organizing in 2014

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

21329088_SIs your New Years resolution to have a more organized house this year? You’ve taken down the tree, put away the ornaments and dealt with all the gift-wrapping supplies. Dealing with the holiday clutter is a great start. Now you can concentrate on keeping the rest of the house clean and organized for the entire year. Here is a simple way to start the process.

When you leave a room look for items that do not belong. Don’t be lazy. Pick those items up and put them away. This is a good habit for everyone in the family to get used to.

Sort and read the mail everyday. Recycle the junk and then deal with bills and other correspondence appropriately. Note – this does not mean leave them in a pile. There are fun organizational tools that you can use to separate these items.

Clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Do not leave a sink of dirty dishes to be dealt with every morning. Instead make sure the pots and pans are scrubbed and the dishwasher is turned on before you go to bed. Likewise, don’t leave makeup all over the bathroom counter. Put it away. Do a daily wipe down of the countertops and sinks in both your kitchen and your bathroom.

Sweep the floors. If you have wood floors you should probably be doing that anyway. This will really help and there are many tools out there that make sweeping a breeze.

Finally, when you do the laundry don’t let your clothes hang out in the basket.  Hang them up!

At the end of a long day we are tired, but if you get in the habit of doing these few simple things your house will be more organized and you will feel better.

Child Proofing Your Living Room

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Family, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized

15896966_SCreating a livable room that can work for both children and adults takes some clever thinking. Sometimes you think it is easier to safety proof the child than it is the living room.  If helmets, bubble wrap and packing peanuts are not your idea of a happy child or a happy room, there are other solutions to make your living room or family room child safe.

If you have both a living room and a family room, you might want to follow the age old tradition of making the living room off limits for little family members.  The formal living room is beginning to disappear from new construction where we are seeing more open living and large family rooms. Combining living rooms and family rooms into one space means you’ll need to figure out a way to coexist in the space with the kids. Find furniture that is durable for the kids yet stylish enough for adults.

Coexisting in a family room with kids doesn’t mean that you abdicate all design to be for the kids. This is your room and your home too.  Look for stylish and durable materials for upholstery and floor that are kid friendly. Washable slipcovers are a mother’s best friend when it comes to decorating a room used by children.  Carpet squares that can be individually swapped out are another great product in kid zones.  Spills and spots can be treated instantly and easily on materials and carpets that are stain resistant. Make sure your upholstery and carpet choices have stain resistant labeling.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Outdoor, Uncategorized

1674681_SLiving in Florida is great because outdoor living is a year round option for most of us.  Whether you have a porch, patio, or deck, a key element of outdoor living year round is an outdoor fire feature.  This fire feature can be a fireplace or a fire pit. Fire pits have become extremely popular over the last few years.  While built-in outdoor fireplaces and fire pits become an architectural feature, portable fire pits can be easily moved around.

Outdoor fireplaces can be placed at the end of an open porch to create a wall.  Stone or brick are the most common materials used for outdoor fireplaces and fire pits.  The stone wall and fireplace can turn an open porch into an outdoor room. With the addition of furniture and indoor/outdoor area rugs, these outdoor rooms can be as stylish and comfortable as any other room.  Outdoor fabric has come a long way in the recent past and can now be found in many patterns and colorways to suit many styles.

With the addition of an outdoor fire pit or fireplace, you can use your outdoor living space year round. Don’t forget the cozy throws and s’mores supplies for your outdoor fireplace.

Hosting a Play Date

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

15259686_SHosting a play date is a nice way for moms of same age babies, toddlers and children to get together.  Social interaction is important for babies, and maybe even more important for the moms.  Getting together and sharing ideas, tips, triumphs and disasters in parenting creates a support network for moms.  While moms are talking, babies and kids can be playing and learning to interact with their peers.

Rotate who hosts the play date so mom can play hostess but also take a break and get out of the house. If it is your turn to host a play date, make sure you have a safe area for kids to play and interact. If you have wee babies or toddlers, make sure your space is kid proofed and kid friendly.  For little ones, soft floors are a must. Put down an area rug, blanket or cushions if you have hardwood floors or tile. Even carpeted floors could benefit from large cushions and kid friendly poufs or ottomans. Older kids will have different needs than toddlers and babies so you might want to plan an activity or game.

Depending on how organized you are, plan for snacks and beverages for moms and kids alike. You might also want to share the latest thing you found on a mom blog or parenting website for discussion. Of course play dates are not just limited to moms. Dads should be encouraged to have play dates with the kids and other dads.  It’s just as important for dads to build the support network with other parents as it is for moms.

Tips for Summer Floor Care at the Beach

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Care and Maintenance, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice

15151123_SBringing the outdoors in is what a home at the beach is all about, isn’t it?  A beach house is for family and friends to relax and enjoy, especially in summer, when life moves at a slower pace.  How do you draw the line between encouraging vacationers to enjoy themselves and entering into the spirit of summer, versus becoming the “enforcer” spoiling other’s summer fun?    No one likes to clean up messes at the beach!  Here’s a few tips to help make summer at the beach a little easier, and keep your beach house in great shape for future vacations:

  • Scatter floor mats at multiple locations on the way in and out of the house – as many as possible.  Multiple mats provide more opportunities to collect sand BEFORE it gets in the house, especially for kids who may be tempted to walk inside with sandy feet!
  • Outdoor hoses and showers:  Encourage guests and family members to get in the habit of rinsing off feet and flip flops before entering the house.  Besides, it’s fun to spray cold water on your feet after a hot day at the beach!
  • Provide separate “indoor” versus  “outdoor” towels and beach blankets.
  • Offer an area either immediately outside, or directly inside the front door for beach shoes to be left before entering the main living area.  Remind guests to leave clean indoor footwear to be retrieved and worn upon entering the home.
  • Vacuum carpeted areas and shake out area rugs frequently…even with all of the above precautions, it’s amazing how much sand still gets tracked in.
  • Make outdoor porch areas as appealing as possible.  When guests eat, drink and play in outdoor living areas, that means more sand stays outside and there’s less work for you!

Hardwood Basics

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

4861971_SHardwood flooring has been trending in home design for the last few years and can even add value to your home.  We have decided to put together some information and a few tips we think you should know about the different styles and if hardwood is a material that fits your lifestyle.

  • The Location: Consider where the hardwood is going to be installed inside your home.  The location may change the grade or type of wood you choose.
  • Species: Common wood species are red oak, white, oak, maple, cherry, white ask, hickory, or pecan.  Each wood species has a specific grain and texture to it.
  • Color: Each species will have several colors and finish choices for you to decide on.  We suggest picking a color of wood that best fits your lifestyle and coordinates well with furniture pieces you already have.  Darker wood is more formal compared to lighter wood.
  • Finishes: There are many different finishes you can have on your floors.  Lower gloss levels are better suited for more active areas because dirt and scratches are harder to see versus higher gloss finishes.
  • Width Terms: “Strips” are narrower board widths and work well in smaller areas to help make a room look larger.  “Planks” are wider board widths that work well in a larger space.
  • Hardness Wood Rating: Wood is rated based on the Janka Hardness Test.  Basically, the higher the rating, the harder the wood is.

These items are a quick overview of some of the terms or questions you might have when it comes to purchasing your hardwood.  We hope these tips and information helps you in your decision-making.  For more information on hardwood, please visit our website.  If you would like to learn more about specific hardwood flooring topics, leave us a comment below and we’ll be sure to address them in a future post.

Decorating for Teen Girls

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Design and Decorating, Family, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tips and Advice

13888918_STeen girls can change their style as often as they change their outfits—and that can be a lot. Decorating a room that will keep our teenage daughters happy can be tricky but isn’t mission impossible. Getting input from the teen is important but you have input, too. After all, it is still your house.  Working together on decorating your teenage daughter’s room will make you both happy.

Keeping the major things neutral and timeless will help the room to grow and change as your teenager grows.  If you are investing in new furniture and flooring be sure to select pieces that can work for several different styles.  Wood floors will never go out of style and can be topped with area rugs that suit this year’s color scheme.  Wall color is a great way for your daughter to express herself. Paint is less expensive and can change as she continues to mature and grow up.

Forcing your modern loving daughter into a traditional room won’t work for either of you.  Start by having your daughter pull together images from blogs or magazines of rooms she likes. Create a dialog about what will be possible.  Set a budget and allow her to make some of the design decisions. Bedding and accessories are great for adding a certain style and look.  Keeping furniture to classic forms means you can have more fun in the fabrics and colors of the room.