Archive for September, 2013

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.

Why Caribbean Pine Floors Will Make Your Heart Sing

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood, Uncategorized

What is Caribbean heart pine, and why is it so popular?

The heart is the center of the pine tree, where the wood is harder and more durable, and usually a deeper color.  The softer exterior wood, surrounding the heart is known as sapwood.    In the United States, heart pine is only available as reclaimed lumber, since there is a small portion of living longleaf pine forest remaining.  True Caribbean heart pine (botanical name Pinus Caribaea) is native to Central America and Cuba where there is still a substantial living pine forest.

The beauty and luster of Caribbean heart pine makes it a popular choice for hardwood flooring.  It’s available in many different colors, grades and finishes.  Natural heart pine has a tendency to become richer and darker with age, and can feature yellow, red or copper tones.  The “knotted” look of heart pine is also part of its appeal, lending a more natural look to any space.   Heart pine floors will generally show less uniformity of color, especially in a larger space, than other hardwoods, which also promotes a more natural look and feel.

Of course, heart pine can also be used for ceiling beams and wall paneling.  When selecting heart pine flooring, consider the percentage of heartwood vs. sapwood as well as the amount of variegation, including knots and resin streaks, to fit your budget as well as your desired look. Since heart pine is harder than sapwood, it is more resistant to dents and scratches.

Engineered laminate designed to simulate heart pine is another great option for a lower budget.

Heart pine floors are very versatile, and can be used in either contemporary or antique design spaces.

Here are some examples of heart pine floors in a contemporary setting:

2013 Fantasy Football

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

15752716_SFantasy football draft day is the best day of the year for many football fanatics. In fact the day can be equated to Christmas morning for grown men and women. You finally get to pick your team for the season. There are always surprises – good and bad ones – like your draft position or getting that sleeper player that no one else knows about. Should you be hosting a draft at your home, here are a few ideas for making draft day one that no one in your league will forget.

A draft can be the most fun event of your fantasy football season. This is especially true if you’re holding an in-person draft instead of an online draft. Having everyone get together is a great way to meet all of the owners and engage in some friendly rivalry before the season starts.

To make things easy purchase paper goods with a football theme. Hang team banners or flags in the room where you will have the draft. Be sure you have a table big enough to seat all of the owners and enough chairs so that everyone can kick back and relax as a fantasy football drafts take several hours. You’ll also need plenty of room at the table as everyone will come with cheat sheets, magazines and notes.

Buy a big-enough board so that everybody can see which picks were made by the different owners. A dry erase board is always a good choice. Just be sure it’s large enough to list all team members comfortably.

As far as food goes, you simply can’t go wrong with hot wings, queso, chips and dip. You want fellow owners to be able to enjoy food and drinks in the middle of the draft. Make sure you have plenty of beer, water and soda on hand in coolers right in the room. There is no need for anyone to leave the room during the draft to grab a drink and miss a few picks.

Keep your game face on. No need to let everyone at the table know that picking a kicker in the third round was a stupid idea, or that there is still a tier one running back on the table.

Most importantly, have fun and remember no matter how good your draft it really comes down to a little bit of luck as players can get injured, coaches can change their lineups and some sleepers are really duds.