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Engineered Wood: Beautiful and Workable

Mar-24-2011 By creatingyourspace

Are you ready to upgrade to wood floors but aren’t sure where to start? One important decision is to determine whether solid or engineered wood floors are best for you.

In certain circumstances, engineered wood floors are really the only good option. If you have a concrete subfloor, solid wood is more likely to buckle or warp. Engineered wood is designed to hold up under the changes in temperature and humidity that occur with concrete.

Another important consideration is whether you want to add radiant heat when you move to wood. It’s an energy efficient option and particularly comfortable in cold weather. Once again, engineered floors are the right choice to handle the temperature shifts as radiant heat needs change from season to season.

Another issue to consider is installation. Solid wood floors require more installation time at the home because they are positioned and only then sanded and stained. Engineered wood is already stained and finished, so the only requirement is the actual installation on your floor. This makes engineered wood both faster and cleaner to install.

Choosing engineered floors today really doesn’t limit your options. You can select from a large number of types of wood, wood tones and finishes. As you can see from this photo, engineered wood is also available in wide plank styles.

When it’s time to step up to wood, take a good look at your options. You may find that engineered wood floors are the right choice for you and for your home.

When it comes to sleep many of us with busy and hectic lives don’t get enough. When we finally do lay our heads down it’s the start of a long and labored night trying to fall and stay asleep. So what do you do to make your bedroom a place which not only encourages sleep, but actually envelops you in such comfort and ahhhh inspiring plushness you’ll never want to leave? There are a few ways to create a relaxation haven without spending thousands on a new mattress.

Bed
Dressing the bed in comfort has never been easier with all of the great products and materials on the market right now. Start with the foundation by making the most of the mattress you have. Adding a feather bed or thick padding on top of the mattress will increase your comfort level ten-fold. Atop it, add high thread count sheets (600 or higher) for unbelievable softness. Throw a soft fleece blanket over the sheets and under an overstuffed feather comforter dressed in a velvet or silk duvet. Next are the pillows and lots of them. You’ll need large square European style ones to rest on the headboard, rectangle American style ones filled with feather or cushy foam, then your preferred sleeping pillows.  Think cocoon.

Floor
If you’re fortunate enough to have ultra thick wall–to-wall carpeting in your bedroom then you’ve got it made. If not, there are ways to remedy the situation. You’ll want softness on the floor for when you get in and out of bed. Cold feet are no fun and stepping on freezing tile or hardwood is miserable, so rugs are in order. Not just any rugs, but thick, soft and luxurious feeling ones like an Alpaca fur or Euro shag. Place them on each side of the bed and at the foot depending on your space.

Windows
Covering windows properly is extremely important to the quality of sleep you get. Make sure your window coverings close tightly or if they are drapes they should have a blackout lining to keep the brightness of the streetlights or the sun at bay.

A dark room, cushy bed and soft flooring will give your body and mind the peace it needs to fall asleep and stay there soundly for the recommended 7 to 8 hours.

Adding the Unexpected to Your Bathroom

Oct-24-2010 By carpeteria_admin

Simple elements can help take bathrooms from standard to particularly appealing. It’s often an unexpected touch such as a piece of furniture, unusual art, or an exciting accessory that makes bathrooms stand out.

In this case, the simple addition of a feminine upholstered chair helps a nice bathroom turn into a special space for relaxing. The old-fashioned feel of this space with its modern take on a claw-foot tub is enhanced by the chair. It also helps create the feel that this bathroom is a feminine escape from life’s challenges. Imagine taking a nice hot bath, drying off, and curling up in a robe and slippers to read a book in that comfy chair.

This room is a nice balance of feminine style without pushing into the ruffled little-girl look. The tile on the back wall supports that with its shades of pink and peach combined with a unique modern style.

There is only one decorating decision that doesn’t work. The curtains are too light and rather boring. Better to draw in one of the darker shades to help add contrast and personality. That is an easy fix.

What can you do to make your bathrooms unique? To make a difference, think beyond standard bath features to bring a special element to your baths.

The Four Seasons of Decorating: Spring

One fun approach to decorating is to think of a room as reflecting one of the four seasons. Design materials, colors and even furniture styles can represent a season. Let’s take a look at what spring is all about.

When you think of spring, look for light bright colors and textures. For flooring, how about a light bamboo or maple floor, with wood shutters painted a bright white. Crown molding and baseboards in white echo the window coverings, and bring a sense of light into the room.

Many colors echo the feeling of spring, but a light green and yellow can really make the space feel like April or May. For fabrics, florals are an easy choice, but think outside the box with a lattice-style pattern or a crisp check in spring tones.

Finish the space with the fresh flowers available only during the spring months – daffodil, tulip and hyacinth plants in pots scattered through the room or – even better – sitting on windowsills, adding the finishing touch. Ready for spring? Your room certainly is!

For the other seasons, click here.

Understanding Color: Warm vs Cool Neutrals

May-25-2010 By carpeteria_admin

Warm vs. cool neutrals – which choice works best for your home.

Neutrals are wonderful tools when decorating. A completely neutral room can be both restful and sophisticated, while showing off different textures. A neutral room can also look like the person decorating it was afraid to take a chance with colors. One of the differences between the two rooms is an understanding that neutrals are not just a “safe” choice, but actually as powerful as colors.

A good place to start when analyzing neutrals is determining whether they are cool or warm. Just like colors, neutrals fall into these two categories. Warm neutrals include black, gold and tans, as well as beige. Cool neutrals feature white, gray, ivory and silver. Like colors, neutrals run on a continuum between cool and warm. If you’re not sure where a specific neutral falls, look for color undertones. If you see blue, it’s in the cool spectrum. Yellow or orange undertones take a neutral into the warm direction. Comparing neutrals can also help you decide the relative cool/warm nature of the tones.

Neutrals provide an effective background to a color-filled room, and allow two challenging colors to live in the same space without competing. Many people choose neutrals for flooring for the flexibility they provide with the rest of the space.

When bringing a new neutral into an existing room or a new space, consider the neutral or neutrals in combination with the colors you will be introducing. Pull all of your samples together when shopping, or bring store samples home to see how they work in the designated space before making your final choice. Take time to evaluate everything to give you the opportunity to make the right selections. Neutrals can be remarkable – providing the glue that pulls a room together.