Making Your House A Home

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

13122566_SSome homes speak to us by saying “hello” and welcoming us with open arms.  What characteristics do these homes have that makes us feel welcome, comforted, and happy?

Below are three simple changes you can do to bring out your personality in your own home to make it feel just right!

  • Colors:  Paint your walls, install new carpet, add decorative pillows, or hang new curtains. A color scheme is very important and should flow throughout your home. If you are uncertain how to coordinate your colors, you could purchase a color wheel for guidance. This tool can be a very helpful resource.
  • Finishes: Flooring can be the first and easiest fix to change any room or an entire house. New carpet, wood, or tile is a quick fix and you will literally get miles of enjoyment for years to come.
  • Textures: Replacing tile on a fireplace can change the aesthetic of the whole room. For added texture use river rock or stone. Don’t be afraid to install tile and wood side by side on your floors; this looks great in the right space, as long as there is a “cut off” between the two rooms.

There is “no place like home” what are you waiting for?

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!

Limestone Tile for the Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Floors, Tile and Natural Stone

If you are a homeowner, you want nothing but the best when it comes to decorating your home. To give the interior of your house an exemplary look, the best thing that can set the theme and mood for your house is the flooring. When it comes to flooring, homeowners can choose from granite tiles, marble tiles, and ceramic tiles, but there is something in limestone tile that sets it apart from the other types of tiles making it a highly popular choice for home flooring.

Limestone has its own unique and natural qualities that make it stand out among the other types of tile flooring and one of them is its natural shine which gives a space a luxurious look. Since limestone is found in bodies of water, a few impurities like fossils are found in it, which gives limestone its variety of shades and textures. Some of the colors that are available for limestone include earthy tones of green and brown, blue, and grey.

Limestone also gained its popularity because of its durability, so it can be used in any room in the house since it can stand up to heavy traffic. Homeowners use it in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom without worrying about damage as it has a very hard surface and can even resist extreme temperatures.

It is also the most hygienic flooring since it doesn’t allow the growth of bacteria and mold which is bad for your health.

Limestone tiles are indeed the perfect choice for flooring if you want to bring luxury and elegance to your home.

Penny Wise

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Design and Decorating, Floors, Hints, Tips and Advice, Tile and Natural Stone

The old saying “penny wise and pound foolish” can certainly be applied to home decorating. Putting your budget and money towards investments is wiser than skimping on the big decorative elements and splurging on trendy accents.  When it comes to decorating or remodeling it is important to be more pound wise and penny foolish.

Decorating and designing your home can be a costly endeavor. Whatever budget you have for decorating, putting your money where it counts and will make the biggest impact is key.  Flooring and furniture are two areas where money spent can be a good investment.

Buying the best quality flooring, whether you prefer carpet or tile, is an investment that should last for years in your home. Furniture purchases are the same.  A well constructed sofa or chair, a good quality mattress and bed frame, can last for years of use without showing its age.

Upholstery and rugs are two more important places to spend money.  Invest in durable materials and good quality that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday living in your home. Accent fabrics and pillows can be trendier as they are easier and less expensive to replace.

Follow the trends with accents and inexpensive DIY projects that can emulate more expensive items. Pillows, decorative objects, and paint for the walls can transform a tired décor without spending a great deal of money.  Save your pennies for the big expenses and investment pieces that will last you for years.

Ceramic Tile Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Tile and Natural Stone

Are you thinking of adding ceramic tile to your home? Ceramic tile has been around for centuries, and with today’s technology manufacturers have created new design and application possibilities that were not available a decade ago.

If you have never used ceramic tile before or if it has been a long time since you have done so, you will be amazed at the wide selection of colors, sizes, shapes and new textures that are now available.

Of course the first step to determining if ceramic tile is right for your home is to carefully consider your lifestyle. If you need a low maintenance and easy to care for floors then read on.

Durable – a properly installed ceramic tile will outperform and outlast nearly any other floor covering product created for the same application.

Easy care – and that’s for you, right? Glazed ceramic tile resists stains, odors, and dirt and can be cleaned up with a damp mop or sponge or common household cleaners.

Ceramic tiles are essentially a low-maintenance material. However, even glazed tiles are somewhat porous, and require care and attention, especially in heavy traffic areas.

Ceramic tile is a practical, functional choice for your floor that offers you a unique opportunity for self-expression because of its beauty, flexibility and design potential.

Decorating With Listellos

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Design and Decorating, Hints, Tips and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Tile and Natural Stone, Tips and Advice

You may know what a medallion is when it comes to flooring and kitchen design, but what is a listello?

Listellos are ornamental tiles designed to create a distinctive look. By using differing shapes, colors, textures and materials within a series of tile work you can create any number of different accents. A limitless variety of tiles can be used including travertine, granite, marble, slate, glass, and porcelain.

Often, listellos are used as stair risers, living room flooring borders, and wall caps for powder rooms or entryways. Listellos are perfect for the transitional space between multi-level granite countertops on a kitchen island or bar area. They add color across the stovetop backsplash and under-cabinet areas of the kitchen.

Kitchen and bathroom decoration is the number one equity builder in a home. Listellos can dramatically change the most uninteresting tile layout into a design statement. Listello borders provide a center of interest and much-needed emphasis, the level of which is determined by the scale, color and design.

When selecting a color scheme, consider the amount of emphasis you are going for. If a dominant emphasis is your goal, high contrasting colors within the same space could be ideal. Alternatively, if a more subtle emphasis is desired, try matching the listellos to the surrounding tile or choosing muted tones. Saturation, or color intensity, can give the illusion of depth. A warm color or light tone will seem to project while a cool color or dark tone will appear to recede. Decide on the effect you would like to create and match other colors in the room to this decision. Start with something monochromatic, or all one color, and see what looks best.

When it comes to enhancing your home’s tile work, installing listellos is a great way to go. We have a great selection of listellos in the store. Please stop by the showroom to see how we can help.

Using Stone in the Shower

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Tile and Natural Stone

Stone’s natural beauty and durability make it a smart choice for the bathroom. Stone can be used throughout the bathroom on the floor, counter, wall and in the shower. Stone in the shower is a beautiful design element whether large slabs or smaller tiles of stone are used. We’ve even seen river rock used on shower floors for an organic look.

Most types of stone can be used in the bathroom, including the shower. Slabs of marble can give both a traditional and contemporary look to a shower surround depending on the style of fixtures used. One inch square tiles made from stone can be used in a mosaic pattern or border. Both tumbled and polished stone can be used in combination for a border or pattern on either the floor or walls of the shower.

The slick surface of polished or honed stone is not ideal for the floor in a wet area as these surfaces can become slippery when wet. For floors tumbled stone that has a little bit of grip is a better choice. Tumble stone can be found in a number of different tile sizes. The smaller the tile, the more grout lines you’ll have, which can aid in making a surface less slippery. Mixing the finishes of the same type of stone in the shower will give you more visual and textural interest while maintaining a unified design in the small space. Just remember to take into consideration how slippery the stone might be when wet, both inside and outside the shower.

Tile Floors for Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

More and more homes today have outdoor living space and indoor living space with the lines blurred between the two. Older homes may have a sunroom, screened porch or lanai. Newer homes have decks and patios with large glass doors dividing the outdoor space from the home’s interior. This blurring of lines between indoor and outdoor has given rise to a new generation of products for outdoor living. Included in these new indoor/outdoor products are weather resistant materials, carpets and furniture that can work both inside and outside the home. Among these new products are time tested and traditional materials like teak wood, wicker and tile that are home both indoors and out.

Tile is a wonderful material for a room that is more outdoors than indoors, like the sunroom in this picture. Stone or ceramic tiles are great for rooms that get a lot of traffic. Tile is durable, doesn’t fade in the sun like wood or laminate floors and comes in an almost infinite array of colors, patterns and sizes. This sunroom features marble tiles done in a traditional pattern inspired by the Mediterranean. Extending the same type of flooring from a porch or sunroom out onto the patio can make the two spaces feel like one.

As with flooring, rooms that blur the lines between indoor and outdoor can have the best of both worlds when it comes to furniture. If the space is protected from the elements, indoor furniture as well as outdoor furniture can be used to decorate.

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.