Archive for August, 2011

Sturdy Smooth Tile the Right Choice for Wheelchairs

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

The right home can make all the difference for people with disabilities. A well-planned and designed space allows for independence, convenience and comfort. Let’s take a look at some areas around the house where some thought can make a real difference.

First consider flooring. Wheelchairs need a hard smooth surface for maneuvering well, and a sturdy material that can handle the constant movement of a wheelchair. Tile is easily the best option for both these goals.

The beauty and easy-care nature of tile also makes it an appealing choice. People with disabilities have the same design goals that we all do – a home that matches their taste and style. Tile comes in so many choices, the options are almost unlimited.

Bathrooms require special thought. Threshold-free showers, raised commodes with safety rails, and sinks that have space for a wheelchair underneath can all make a difference. Setting the mirror lower helps, as well as providing storage space in drawers rather than a traditional medicine cabinet. A home bath can accommodate people with disabilities while still looking lovely and appealing.

The second area requiring planning is the kitchen. Upper cabinets are not useful, and lower cabinets need pull-out drawers to allow for reaching all the way to the back. A table-height surface for food prep makes a difference, along with a faucet with a pull-out spray on the sink to help with clean up.

Today’s housing industry has products designed by those who understand these issues and successfully address the challenges. Talk to us about how your flooring and other choices can accommodate a number of requirements.

Tone and Texture are as Important as Color

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Your choices of tone and texture can have as much impact on a room’s design as color. Although you may not recognize it, having unbalanced tones in a room will make a design feel less inviting. Too much or too little texture can create the same types of problems.

To determine your balance of tone and texture, take pictures of each room and convert them to black and white with your computer.

Take a look at the photo above. By using a sepia tone for this print, it’s easy to discover the tonal changes and differing textures of this vignette. Start with the light wood flooring, and then notice the contrasting tones of the dark Oriental rug with its intricate pattern. The leather ottoman provides an important texture shift, and the tray and throw provide the tonal strength of stripes.

This next photo has the same vignette in color and includes the rest of the room. The rich browns of the ottoman and rug are balanced by the light walls and cream sofa. The light wood flooring is echoed with the two-inch wood blinds on the large window. The floor-to-ceiling shelves would be heavy for the space, but the open back showing the light wall helps alleviate the weight.

Take a look at your rooms when thinking of tone and texture to see if a change would make the space work better. Sometimes it just takes moving a piece of furniture or adding a rug or some art to get a room balanced and beautiful.

Outdoor Space with Style

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor

Since outdoor rooms generally have only one wall, choices of flooring and roof material really affect the final look. In this outdoor living and entertainment area, smart and unusual decisions add style.

The roof shows an uncommon choice – thatch. Although this option has been in use for centuries and works well for protection from rain and sun, it’s difficult and expensive to find people with the skill to produce a thatch roof of this caliber. The effort was definitely worth it, however, creating a dramatic and significant style feature that captures the imagination and creates a special mood in the space.

The flooring – rectangular and square tile – echoes the rectangular lines of the ceiling support posts. The diagonal orientation draws the eye through the space from the seating area to the dining table at the far end.

Choosing a slightly darker tile for the smaller dividing squares along with a dark grout helps the floor feel as unique and inviting as the roof. Simple squares cut into the framing carry that four-sided image further and add personality to what could have been an unnoticed structural feature.

The rattan furniture also shows a smart eye for design, with its woven texture carrying the ceiling down to ground level. Finally, a tile mosaic on the back wall provides weather-proof art for the area.

The fundamentals in place, the owners can change out the cushion covers and table linens to create any style for entertaining, or just enjoying a nice afternoon outside.

White and Black and Bling

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

We’ve seen white and black color schemes before, but when you add silver and crystals, suddenly you move away from modern to the glamour of old Hollywood.

Let’s start with the flooring. The white tiles have a design in darker neutral tones, which suits the room and leaves the palette open for the daring design choices made here.

The area rug is primarily black, with a floral pattern. The other major black element is the loveseat, which is the only piece with no pattern in the room. This designer is clearly not afraid of pattern and the room benefits.

The glamour starts with the glass separation wall toward the back. By adding large floral etched elements, a simple room break becomes a source of style and an opportunity to reflect light. The throw pillows and lampshade demonstrate the same type of pattern – large, elaborate and floral.

Even the buffet and walls include patterned elements. The buffet’s embossed doors stay subtle while carrying out the theme and the wallpaper has enough shine to reflect light and add personality.

The real secret to this space is the extensive use of silver and crystal. From antique candlesticks to silver-leaf small tables, this metal finish is used in abundance. Every lighting element here is crystal, with the dramatic crystal pillar having pride of place.

Are you ready to have a cocktail with one of the screen stars of the past? It’s easy to imagine it in this room.

Lovely Loft Living Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a loft, this room will strengthen that dream. The balance of industrial and classic elements combine to make a room that is unusual and architecturally interesting and still comfortable and inviting.

Let’s look at the choices that help this room work so well. First, the aged brick wall and large commercial-sized window announce that the home was once a factory or warehouse. Choosing a simple wooden custom blind for the window allows the maximum of natural light while providing the option of privacy and light control.

The flooring is fairly common in loft environments, depending upon the original floor situation. This is a stained concrete floor, which emphasizes the industrial qualities of the space while still creating an inviting base for the area rugs needed to soften the hard concrete.

This rug is a perfect choice. The soft velvety band around the edges makes the sisal rug fit for company and adds an effective black pop to the room.

One of the smartest decisions in the room is the ceiling – using a wood floor to cover the vents and pipes that are always a part of loft living. Maybe they’re visible in other areas, but in this room using wood provides the support needed to create a glamorous, classic design. The wood and brick combined with the vertical mirror and large-scale painting allow the room to play as one space all the way to the very high ceiling.

With the blend of browns, gold and lighter neutrals, the room feel like a sepia-tone painting. This image is emphasized by the strong natural sidelight from the window. The curved arms on the sofa and chair and the abundance of throw pillows keep the room in classic mode, and this is further encouraged by the traditional painting over the chair.

By choosing wood for the ceiling and blinds, this homeowner helped make loft living cozy and classic.

How to Choose the Right Flooring for an Active Family

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

If you will be moving to a new home, the flooring of your home is one of the most important things that you should put attention to as the flooring defines your home. When choosing the right flooring for your home, you have to be aware that you should also take into consideration the lifestyle of the family who will be living in the house.

A family that has kids who are always on the move, constantly running around and going in and out of the house should consider installing a durable and long lasting flooring material. Those who have an active and busy lifestyle should also consider flooring that is easy to clean and maintain. For a household with active family members, a tile floor is the perfect choice.

Ceramic floor tile is a popular choice nowadays with homeowners and here are some of the reasons why:

Plenty of styles and designs to choose from. Tile comes in various styles, colors, and designs giving seemingly no matter what theme or style you want to employ for your flooring.

Easy to clean and maintain. Unlike carpet or wood floors, it is very easy to clean and maintain tiled floors. All you have to do is mop or scrub the floors and you are done so you need not worry on how to clean and maintain your floor especially if you live a very busy life. For heavy traffic, choose a tile and grout which don’t show dirt easily.

Affordable. When compared to the price of other types of durable flooring options, ceramic tile beats materials such as marble, wood and slate.

Visit one of our showrooms and let us help you find the perfect flooring for your family!

Photo Provides Inspiration for Amazing Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

At first glance, this photo seems to have nothing to do with home design. But look a minute more. Do you see the rich variety of texture and color provided here? What would a bedroom look like that captured these elements? Let’s take a look.

The photo below shows what can happen when you take textures and colors from one source and apply them to home design. There could be nothing more different than this bedroom and this gate, but if you look at them together, you can see the connection.

From a color standpoint, the bedroom flooring almost perfectly matches the grey and brown tones on the wooden gate. This floor is a remarkable start to the room’s powerful design.

Next, check out the right wall. The strong impact of those boards echo the texture of the gate. Between wall and floor, that wood is well represented.

For the bolt and lock, you can look to the furniture. The leather bed frame has the feel of the brown patina of the metal, and the natural wood framing picks up the rusty notes. Even the gold pillows have a complement in some of the shades visible on wood and metal.

This bedroom shows a powerful and unique design perspective, possibly because the inspiration didn’t come from a room someone else created, but a completely unrelated image. If you want your home to stand out from the crowd, don’t limit your view to what’s already been done. Instead, draw on other ideas and you may be surprised at what you come up with. And, as always, we’re here to help you make your creations come to life.

Shutters are an Effective Design Choice

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

It’s the shutters in this room that make the space work. Their unobtrusive design style and the ability to match them to the wall color helps keep this corner simple and clean, yet still so inviting.

The foundation of this space is the white-on-white that comes from walls, shutters, and the chair and shelves. The basics create a room that could go in many directions.

In this case, the owner chose a soft yellow-green that keeps this corner looking cool even on the hottest day.

Every one of the greens is just different enough to catch the eye while still working beautifully together. There are just touches of other shades – the silver labeling on each shelf and one drop of turquoise in the form of a simple box. Clean lines and cool colors combine to make you want to sit and enjoy this corner, maybe bring in a cup of tea in a Belleek Irish china cup to match both the color and mood.

One important feature in this space’s success comes from the light itself. It has a soft feeling to it – bright enough to enjoy without the glare that often accompanies a sunny day. By moving the louvers on the shutters, the amount of light and privacy is totally under control. One part of the magic of this space comes from the shadows and the greens reflected on the white because of this light. These shutters are the reason why this corner works so well.

Charm and Function Combine in this Little Girl Space

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

With the way children grow and change, their rooms need to change with them. Looking for simple flexible furniture works well, but if your little girl wants something personal and special, consider creating a corner like this one.

Dressing tables were much more popular in the past than they are now, so a number of used furniture options are available at a minimal cost. Look for something with drawers and plenty of surface space to hold favorite jewelry, hair brushes and perfume. This one has its original hardware but was painted a bright white to blend in with the room’s style. The custom-cut glass came with this piece and provides both style and functionality because it’s always a good idea to make clean-up easy. If you find a dressing table that needs help, paint and new drawer pulls can add style and personality at a minimal cost.

The silk flowers add a special feminine touch. These garlands are available at hobby and some fabric shops in virtually every color and look. Finish up with a few of your daughter’s pretty boxes and this corner is all set.

The feminine look continues in this room with a simple pink ribbon at the bottom of the curtain to the right. You may want to add a bedspread to match and a pretty pink area rug to make the space special and girly for your little doll. As she grows, accessories and other touches can be changed to reflect her changing sense of style and taste.

Look Through Your Own Doorways

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

This is a beautiful photo, but what makes it really magic is that you are looking at the street through an archway. This arch frames the image and almost creates a visual story. Think about creating a feast for the eyes in your own home when people look through your doorways.

The arch transition moves from dark to light and the street’s surface carries your eye through to the doorway at the end. In the same way, flooring in your home can draw the eye to the focal point of your choice. If you have wood, tile or laminate, the natural lines of grout or wood edges will draw all eyes into each room. What do your guests see at the end of that natural pathway?

Colors are muted but the contrasts visible in the scene keep the image interesting. Do you use colors or contrast to create interest in each of your rooms?

The doorway at the end of this street is the focal point of the photo, but a number of little images also draw the eye. The bicycle on the right, the cracked wall on the left and the posts just before the door provide interest along the way. Do you have features in your rooms waiting to catch the eye? These touches keep a view interesting.

How long has it been since you stood at one of your doorways and looked in? You may find it gives you an opportunity to freshen up your home when you take that new view of it. Come visit one of our showrooms and let us help inspire you!