Archive for November, 2012

Making Merry in Modern Style

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

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us.   Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s time to get ready for the rest of the upcoming holiday celebrations!  Whether you love decorating for the holidays or are more humbug than happy about holiday décor, keeping to your style will make your decorations fit in better with your home’s décor.

If you are a modern design lover or just like the crisp, clean lines of contemporary style, traditional holiday decorating may not work with your style.  Red and green everything, snowmen, and elves are traditional holiday designs that added to a modern, minimalist room just don’t fit.  This doesn’t mean you have to forgo holiday decorations all together. You just need to think outside the box a bit. Luckily, today’s designers of holiday decorations take into account all the different styles and tastes.  As well as traditional decorations, retailers offer everything from vintage and retro to woodland forest and handcrafted.

This living room is a beautiful example of a festive holiday décor that works with the room’s style and furniture.  Keeping color to a simple winter palette of white with pops of red works with the clean white color on the walls, wood floors and winter white area rug.  A white tree works much better than a traditional pine to keep the palette simple.  Instead of using red accents, you could go with silver accents for a more monochrome palette.

In a modern or contemporary space a few styles of holiday decorating would work. Rustic or forest would be a nice contrast to the clean lines of a contemporary style.  Vintage and retro are good choices for a modern home.

Be true to your decorating style and you’ll be sure to have a festive home that reflects your personality!

Opening up Your Space

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

Throughout the design world, open space and open floor plans are being seen in both new home construction and home renovation.  Not only for loft living in converted buildings, open floor plans can also work for first floor living in a variety of home styles. Of course along with homes and lofts, condos and apartments are getting the open concept treatment as well.

If you have an older home and are doing a renovation, you may want to look into opening up walls to create more flow between your living room, dining room and kitchen.  Talk with a contractor about the possibility of tearing down walls or creating pass through between kitchen and dining room. A contractor will be able to tell you what walls are load bearing and what walls can be taken down without compromising your home’s structure.  Even load bearing walls can be removed but a beam will need to be added to bear the weight that the wall once did.

If you are moving walls or changing the flow of your floor plan, you may want to hire an architect to draw up plans. Your contractor may also be able to assist you with this step.

Once you open up the spaces, you’ll want to make sure you deal with the flooring and wall colors. Will you continue the same flooring throughout the space or use different flooring to delineate the functions of the room? Wall color can also be used to create more flow or highlight separate areas.

Working with Two Cabinet Colors in the Kitchen

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

Trends in kitchen design keep us on our toes. Cherry cabinets with dark granite counter tops gave way to white cabinets with white stone counter tops, which gave way to lower cabinets with open shelves replacing upper cabinets. A new trend we’re seeing is a mix of cabinet colors between upper and lower cabinets.  Typically the upper cabinets are lighter and the lower cabinets are darker.  Let’s look at what this trend looks like in a contemporary kitchen.

Sleek, shiny white cabinets make up the upper cabinets in this contemporary kitchen. The glossy white cabinets are hung above a white tile backsplash. The white on white of the cabinets and tile helps open up this narrow galley style kitchen.

Below the white upper cabinets and tile back splash are lower cabinets done in a bold red.  The red cabinets have more of a similar glossy finish.  The red cabinets help the stainless steel stand out in the space better. Dark lower cabinets will also hide scuff marks and spills better than white cabinets.

If you’re nervous about such a bold color on the bottom, try a more neutral color like deep grey or brown.  While this kitchen uses white and red cabinets, the light and dark combination can work with other colors too. Cream and dark wood would be a lovely choice for a traditional kitchen.

How to Care for Natural Stone Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Floors, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice, Website Tools

Natural stone flooring is may be more of an investment but nothing can surpass the beauty and richness of its natural features.  Natural stone is durable and adds value to your home.  They’ll last as long, if not longer, than your house as love as they’re cared for properly.  To prolong the life and maintain the natural glow and beauty of natural stone, it deserves to be given utmost care and maintenance.

Care for Natural Stone Floors

  • Sand, dust and dirt cause the most damage to stone floors, but there’s an easy fix! Use a dry dust mop or broom to sweep the floors frequently.  If you find vacuuming the floors easier, make sure it doesn’t have a beater bar.
  • Application of stone sealant is also recommended to protect natural stones as it repels oil and water.
  • Take preventative measures and place walk off mats at every entry of the home to help keep the dirt outside.  Area rugs can also help maintain the flooring.  Keep the mats and area rugs clean so they can keep as much dirt off of the floors as possible.
  • Be sure to clean up spills immediately.  You can use a neutral pH detergent and warm water to clean up spills or for periodic cleaning.  After cleaning, make sure you really rinse the floor so you don’t leave excess soap that causes streaking.
  • Finally, avoid any products that have abrasive cleaners or acids.

It’s always a good idea to know the porosity of the stone flooring because some tend to be more susceptible to staining than others.

Stone flooring is an investment and should be given care. By following some of the tips mentioned above, natural stone can be long lasting and serve its purpose to give your home a sparkling beauty.  The photo above was created by our Virtual Room Designer and you can have some fun by designing your own room!