Going Bare with Wood Floors

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

Beautiful wood floors are sometimes too nice to cover up with area rugs and runners. Going bare on the floor can have pluses and minuses. Let’s take a look at reasons to leave your wood floors bare and then we’ll talk about when we should add rugs.

Bare wood floors are great for high traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. If you have a pet, especially a dog, bare floors might be a better option than rugs or carpet. The dirt that gets tracked in on shoes and paws can easily be swept and mopped up from bare wood floors. If you have a pet that sheds, it is easier to tackle pet hair on wood floors than area rugs and carpet where fur and other allergens can be trapped. For asthma sufferers or other allergies, bare wood floors leave no place for allergens and dirt to hide.

Those are a lot of the pros for leaving your floors bare. There are cons as well. Bare wood floors may leave your room feeling cold. Area rugs can add color and pattern as well as a soft texture underfoot. For stairs, a runner or carpeting can provide more traction for little feet and paws. Depending on the type of wood floor, pet claws may scratch or dent the wood and finish.

Thinking of going bare on your wood floors? There are both pros and cons to bare floors. It all comes down to what works best for you and your family.

Parquet and Herringbone Wood Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood

Our love affair with wood floors is here to stay. While most of us think of boards and plank size when we think of wood floor options, there are two older options that are making a comeback with designers: herringbone and parquet. Parquet wood floors are composed of small squares that are made up of smaller pieces in a diamond pattern. Herringbone is a zig-zag pattern made up of narrow boards. Both add a lot of texture and pattern to a wood floor.

It seems parquet wood floors have gotten a little bit of a bad rap. Perhaps their use in city apartments and condos has had an effect on their popularity for homeowners. Parquet can be a less expensive option for wood floors but this doesn’t mean it lacks style. Parque flooring in an entry adds visual interest in a small space without encroaching on precious floor space.

Herringbone patterns are wildly popular right now in both fashion and home décor. Zig-zag mania and a love of chevron patterned anything have been hot trends on the runways and in homes this year. However, herringbone floors are anything but trendy. These wood floors recall French chateaus and English libraries. Beautiful antique herringbone floors have a gorgeous patina that highlights the pattern of the floor. New herringbone floors can be installed with narrow or wider planks depending on whether you want a traditional or contemporary looking floor.

The saying about what is old is new again definitely applies to these two patterned wood floors.

Kid Friendly Kitchen Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood, Kitchen and Bath, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

Kids and pets can be harder on our homes than the adults in some cases. Spilled juice on the carpet, sticky handprints on the walls, crayon art on anything but paper. Durable and safe products are a must for homes with small children. This is especially true when it comes to flooring. Today we’re focusing on kid friendly kitchen floor options that are durable but also safe for little feet.

If you have babies and toddlers, you’ll want to provide them with crawling and walking surfaces that are friendly to little knees and feet. Spending time in the kitchen while mom cooks means they’ll be toddling around underfoot. Stone and tile floors are very hard and can be cold if you don’t have in floor heating. The grout and uneven surface of stone floors make them not the top choice for kid friendly kitchen floors.

Hardwood is a better option, especially with in-floor heat. Hardwood and laminate flooring is not as hard as ceramic tile or stone so it will be easier on little knees. It has no grout lines and a smooth surface that makes it easier to clean up spills and dirt.

Linoleum, marmoleum and cork are other kid friendly options because they feel softer underfoot. Ultra hard surfaces like stone and tile can lead to more breakage if something is dropped—a nightmare if you have little fingers picking things up off the floor.

Kid friendly floors are easy on the feet and easy to keep clean. Talk with your flooring retailer about the best flooring option for your kitchen and your kids.

Flooring Options for Around the Fireplace

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

If you have a wood burning fireplace, wood stove, or a gas fireplace that puts out strong heat, you’ll want to protect your wood floors with a heat proof or resistant hearth. If your fireplace is not set right on the floor, but higher up you may be okay with having carpet or wood right up to the wall. The point of the hearth is to provide a safe surface in case of embers, sparks or hot ash leaving the firebox and hitting the floor.

This lovely stone and wood floor is a nice example of incorporating the hearth material into the rest of the room’s style. Natural stone blends into the warm wood. The stone’s pattern is a nice complement to the wood grain. A thin border piece separates the two elements and creates a frame around the tiles. The small mosaic square in the corners is a nice design detail that makes the design feel well thought out and special.

Other materials besides stone that are typically used around a wood stove or fireplace are marble and tile. In some Craftsman style homes the original Arts & Crafts tile can still be found on both the hearth and fireplace surround. Brick is also typically used in both the firebox and on the hearth because it resists heat.

If your hearth or surround are stained with smoke and ash, they can be cleaned with a little bit of elbow grease to remove the black soot. Decorate the hearth with a beautiful box or basket for firewood to draw attention to the hearth and fireplace.

Take Full Advantage of Color

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hardwood

Many people feel hesitant to introduce this much color into a room, but the process is not as difficult as it appears. This room provides some useful insights into adding multiple colors effectively.

First, choose flooring that will complement a variety of colors. This rich ebony wood choice sets virtually any color off beautifully. From dark jewel tones like the choices here to vivid bright hues, dark flooring allows colors to reflect and shine.

Next, keep other larger elements fairly neutral. The warm dark table plays as a neutral and the metallic gold chargers and white tableware maintain a color-free look. While the drapery at the back is gold, it also feels neutral against the colors of the dining chairs.

Finally, take a close look at the dining chairs. At first glance they seem loaded with color, and there are at least five distinct colors in the fabrics. However, there are only two patterns and they both share most if not all colors with each other. The solid chairs and pillows have colors pulled from the patterns, and the far right pillow is covered in stripes similar to those carried by the first chair.

The secret of introducing many colors into one room is to take advantage of patterns to pull your different hues together. Combining colors is harder than sticking with neutrals, but the end result is generally worth the effort.

Choosing the Right Flooring for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Area Rugs, Carpet, Hardwood, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone, Vinyl

There’s no hiding how this store perceives itself. Check your wallet before you walk in – if it’s too thin, walk on by.

Most of us would not be drawn to a store that promotes itself as expensive. High prices are not the same as high quality, and the focus should be on quality and value, not just the “bottom line.”

When it comes to flooring, often people perceive many choices as expensive. In reality, there is almost as wide a variety in flooring materials, construction and workmanship as there is in clothing. When you’re making purchasing decisions, it’s important to look beyond price to find the quality and style you want and determine the true value of your choice.

Sometimes a silk shirt is the right choice, and for other purposes, cotton may be better. Silk is more expensive than cotton in general but it might be just right with the outfit you’re planning so you’re willing to pay more. In the same way, one flooring material may be more expensive but worth the price for your purposes.

When you’re debating about the right flooring for you, how about taking the cost difference between the two options and dividing it by the number of years you plan to live in your home. Are you willing to pay that much more a year for the more expensive flooring? If you plan to move in a few years, take a look at resale issues. For example, homes with wood floors sell faster than homes with any other type of flooring.

When you’re choosing flooring, don’t discard price issues, but be sure to look beyond cost when you make your final choice.

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.

Enjoy the Richness of Wood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family, Hardwood

Re-creations such as this home provide us with a realistic view of life before our time. These homes generally consisted of one or two rooms and maybe a loft as a sleeping space for children.

This main room served as kitchen, dining room and living room. Much of the furniture was probably hand made from local wood. The walls and floors are also locally produced.

Take a look at the log wall along the back of the room. This is an outside wall, with the rounded logs facing out and scraped smoother on the inside. If you like this look, today’s hand-scraped wood flooring can give you a taste of it. This wood floor, on the other hand, is not common today. That muted light brown-grey tone comes from lots and lots of scrubbing with harsh soap and water to keep it clean.

The central table has a much richer patina – developed through hard use and loving care. You can find flooring and furniture with a comparable level of character. Some floors are reclaimed from older properties and sanded and stained to achieve this look. Flooring companies are also getting very good at creating this feel from new wood.

How much wood do you want in your own home? Things have changed since the time when people had to build a life with products made with their own hands, but much about this room is inviting and charming. What can you learn and borrow from this room to add charm to your own space today?

Let Floor Provide Warm Tone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hardwood

When you find yourself drawn to cool tones in furniture and décor, you may want to consider starting with a warm flooring choice such as this hickory wood floor. With this option the overall medium brown tone is balanced by the dark brown graining and edging. A floor like this will support any color or tone choice you want.

With this white and black design choice, the floor provides the only color as well as the only warm tone. Its depth of color keeps the room from appearing dull.

The limited palette also showcases the room’s architectural details. The fireplace is simple and inviting. The French doors in the back virtually beg you to step onto the balcony, and the chandelier’s style says vintage.

This room appears to be in an older home, but everything in the space could have been installed in a newer home, including the chandelier. Many of today’s wood floors are designed to replicate the distressed and varied look of yesterday’s floors. Fireplaces are available in traditional styles, and room and door moldings are on the market to recreate the look of an older home. By making careful architectural choices, you can have the charm of an older home without the potential headaches.

This homeowner chose to make the most of both design approaches by combining the traditional with very modern furniture. Thanks to the clean lines and simple color choices, this room works.

Bright Colors and Light Wood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood

Pantone, the company that provides color information, insights and palettes for manufacturers, graphic artists, printers and designers, has chosen a reddish pink similar to this one for its 2011 color of the year.

This is good news if you like this color. Choices in consumer products of all sorts are influenced by Pantone’s color picks. Soon you will probably see variations of this color in fashion, accessories and just about anything else you can imagine.

What if you want to have this color – or a selection of light bright tones – in your home? Well, we recommend taking a look at our light wood and bamboo flooring. As you can see from this photo, light wood works extremely well with these colors. Without resorting to white flooring, you can complement these colors while adding warmth to the room.

Light wood is durable, easy maintenance and long-lasting. Its flexibility also makes it a great choice for children. From an inviting nursery, this light wood approach opens up almost any option for color and style as your child gets older. A good foundation like this floor combined with some simple neutral accessories will enable a child to make imaginative changes without a flooring conflict. A floor like this in other rooms gives you the same opportunities for changing your décor.

Whether you want a home that you can adjust in response to trends, the seasons or your own whims, make the right start with a floor that will move with you – a light wood or bamboo floor.