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Nov-13-2014

Urban Chic Design Style

Posted by creatingyourspace under Design and Decorating

If you like Urban Chic – then clutter, conformity and the complicated have no place in your home. Low tech, high maintenance and the middle ground aren’t for you. Knickknacks are a no-no, less is more, and form faithfully follows function.

If this sounds like you, then your lifestyle is Urban Chic. It originated in the Bauhaus art movement of the 1920’s and has also been called Contemporary. Its heritage can also be traced to the 1930’s German and Scandinavian design schools.

Urban Chic :

Treats spaces almost as pieces of three-dimensional art, balancing form, shape, color and texture – texture from rough and smooth to glossy and matte.

The spaces are highly functional and well organized with lots of storage to eliminate clutter, celebrate order and meet the demands of your modern life.

Surfaces are simple, colors are clean and pure, shapes are geometric with immaculate detail. The look is linear, pared down and polished.

Your Urban Chic furnishings are sleek and strong but uncomplicated in shape, allowing them to mix effortlessly with other styles of furniture.

It all has the effect of creating a home that is cool and contemporary, urban and fresh, sophisticated and streamlined.

A recent interpretation of this style is a movement called Loft Living.

These are homes of modern architectural shape featuring vaulting ceilings, open, spacious floor plans and a multitude of high, wide windows.

The look is a unique combination of industrial masculinity and refined elegance.

Art Deco, the marriage of art and industry, is another variation of Urban Chic.

Introduced in 1925, this style created geometric and asymmetric furnishings of beautiful, organic simplicity.

A dining table with chrome base and glass top was a classic example.

Variations aside, the classic products for your Urban Chic home include stunning glass mosaic tiles, the widespread application of stainless steel and natural complements like honed limestone.

Your colors are serene and seductive; creative combinations of black and white, mahogany browns and stainless steel.

In your kitchen, slab door style cabinetry in dark walnut with euro rail hardware is the perfect answer. And granite countertops — in black of course — are the ideal complement.

This is the Urban Chic lifestyle.  Is this your way of living? See more design styles here!

Country kitchens are a mixture of different textures, colors, prints, and patterns. They make good use of natural materials whenever possible, as well as textures and materials that have been shaped and affected by people. When it’s time to select a floor for your Country kitchen, you have several options to choose from.

 

Hardwood Floors

There are many different hardwoods that are perfect for the Country kitchen. Wide-plank yellow pine is always a nice option, because its soft finish patinas and weathers beautifully over time, showing the family’s history in the house.

Hand scrapped boards are also a nice choice for Country kitchens. The hand scraping results in a textured floorboard that has a rustic appeal, and many hardwoods finish beautifully this way including maple and hickory.

 

Limestone

There are several different types of Country kitchens, and there is no better floor for the French Country kitchen than limestone. These rough-textured stones have been used in French farmhouses for centuries. Unlike other limestones, they are extremely tough and durable and they can withstand years of hard use without aging in the slightest.

 

Complement Your Kitchen

Ultimately the floor you choose for your Country kitchen should complement the rest of your décor. Look for materials and colors that match what you already have going on to get the most cohesive look. 

Sep-9-2014

What Type Of Grout Should I Use With Glass Tiles?

Posted by creatingyourspace under Tile

There are a lot of different types of grout on the market today. Sanded, unsanded, epoxy, presealed – it can be difficult to figure out what type of grout to use with what type of tile. It’s important to use the right type of grout, however, to ensure that the installation looks right and lasts as long as possible.

Glass is very fragile with a low tensile strength. This means that it does not flex in any way and will crack instead. Therefore the grout and caulk joints in the installation need to do the bending and flexing for the glass. So your grout joints will typically not be any smaller than 1/8-inch, regardless of the size or style of the glass tile.

At 1/8-inch the grout joint begins to get large enough that it becomes more difficult to fill with a standard grout. Sand is used in this size joint and larger to help fill the joint and make it more stable. Most people get a little hesitant about using sanded grout with their glass tile – after all, won’t the sand scratch the glass? In most cases, the sand will not affect your glass at all. There are a few types of color backed glass tile that do need an unsanded grout; if this is the case, you salesperson should indicate it to you at time of purchase, or the tile should have instructions that includes this information.

In addition to the size of the joint, your grout needs to be able to flex as much as possible to protect the glass. Therefore, latex additive grout is usually recommended. The added latex will help the grout to bend without popping out of the joint or harming the glass it surrounds.

Occasionally, epoxy grout can also be used with some types of glass tile. Epoxy is hard to spread and work with, but it flexes and it fills up grout joints without scratching the glass. If you’re worried about mold and mildew in your bathroom, for example, epoxy grout can be a good option to use.

Aug-4-2014

Flooring Choices For Later Years

Posted by creatingyourspace under Installation

When selecting flooring for homes occupied by older adults it is important to be cognizant of a few key issues. Most importantly, the flooring should be well padded and provide good traction to limit and protect against falls. Secondly, maintenance should be fairly easy as older persons tend to not only tire quickly but have a fixed income which limits continuous professional maintenance.

Cork and linoleum are two excellent choices as there is usually a padded subfloor between these materials and the base floor. Due to the fairly thin materials used, cork and linoleum both adopt the quality of the layer in which they cover. Both of these choices are also extremely easy to clean. Cork, while more affordable than linoleum, has higher maintenance costs attached, as it must be sealed at least once per year to protect against stains. It is also highly susceptible to water damage so is a not an option for bathrooms.

Vinyl flooring is another low maintenance material available on the market. Unlike cork it can resist water damage, is stain proof and does not have high upkeep costs.  Like the other two flooring choices mentioned, a subfloor can soften the feel underfoot. The biggest drawback is its non-renewable properties. 

If sustainability is important to the homeowner, rubber flooring can be one wonderful but more expensive option. It has great traction, is very soft, water resistant and even fire proof. It is fairly simple to clean, however as mentioned earlier the initial installation costs can be quite high.

Carpeting is one of the more popular floorings found in homes occupied by the elderly. While upkeep can get expensive it undoubtedly is the softest underfoot. Furthermore its woven strands act as insulators so it remains fairly warm in the winter and cuts down on additional costs of having to install insulated floor panels. However, carpet can stain if not properly maintained.

Each flooring option has its own benefits and drawbacks. Weigh your priorities in terms of costs, maintenance and safety against personal preferences.  The staff at Carpets N More is happy to help with any questions you may have.  

Jul-31-2014

You Spilled What?

Posted by creatingyourspace under Hints and Tips

A dreaded cry comes from another room — “Oops!  I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean to spill that!” 

 

Is your first reaction to panic?  Will you ever be able to rid your carpet of the stain?  

 

Every spill is different.  Our post today deals with handling catsup when it comes in contact with carpet.  Hopefully this will help many with family get-togethers that have become a bit messy!

 

Catsup

Detergent Solution – Mix one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of a liquid dishwashing detergent per one (1) cup of lukewarm water. NEVER USE A STRONGER CONCENTRATION! Thorough rinsing is necessary to remove detergent residues that may cause rapid soiling. It may be necessary to rinse with warm water several times to completely remove residues. (See Residue Precautions.) Care should be used in selecting a detergent. Never use a laundry detergent of any type, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (flourescent dyes) that dye the fiber. Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy dyes and some fibers.

Vinegar Solution – Mix one (1) cup of white vinegar per two (2) cups of water. White vinegar is a 5% acetic acid solution. It is used most often to lower the alkalinity caused by detergent solutions or alkaline spills.

Warm Water – Lukewarm tap water should be used in most cases to rinse the cleaning solutions from the fiber. Failure to completely rinse the solutions from the fiber may cause accelerated soiling.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one (1) tablespoon of household ammonia per cup of water. Please note: Be aware that ammonia, if used improperly, can cause a color change. Be sure to test a hidden area.

Call a Professional – Professional cleaners have the ability and the equipment to use more aggressive cleaning solutions to remove stubborn spills. Always consider consulting a professional cleaner regarding any spot removal question. 

Overall, be sure to be careful around carpet, but remember there is no need to panic with a loud “Oops!” Acting quickly and with the correct attack strategy, the scariest spills can be overcome.

 

Jun-15-2014

Happy Father’s Day!

Posted by creatingyourspace under Holiday
May-8-2014

The Power of Red

15285255_SWhat is the first thing you notice about this room scene? Red, right! Red is a bold color that tends to stand out whether in interior design, an accessory to an outfit, or as a car color driving by on the street.  It reminds us of the power of red as a color in decorating.  Red is a great color for the home and can be used as a wall or accent color.

A few years ago red dining rooms were all the rage. This could have stemmed from the study that showed red increases our appetite. Today we are seeing fewer red dining rooms but not less red in interiors.

Red is a powerful color when used in its pure form. Power suits and ties are often red because of the strength of this color.  Having a red wall or red carpet makes a very strong design statement in a room.  For this reason many people prefer to use red as an accent color. Red today is often used as an accent color on area rugs and pillows.

The variation of red hues can run from plums to tomato reds, which allow red to be used in a wide variety of color palette. Terracotta red tile floors are great in the kitchen while deep plum is a cozy color for the walls in a master bedroom.  Red and grey is also a great color combination for the living room.

Reds work with neutrals like grey, other warm colors like orange, or contrast with cool colors like aqua.  Adding a pop of red to your counter top or sofa will bring energy to your room.

Jan-28-2014

The Power of Green

Posted by creatingyourspace under Design and Decorating, Hints and Tips

19246412_SGreen as a color or green as an environmental movement can be a powerful addition to a space. Green color can be introduced through paint and fabrics, rugs and accessories in both color and environmental friendliness.  A simple way to be green in both senses is to have house plants in your home.

Not only do houseplants add a pop of green color to a room, they can also clean the air.  Great for a room like a nursery or home office where you spend a lot of time. Variations of house plants do a better job than others cleaning the air, so do your research or ask at your local garden center.

A hot trend in decorating right now is terrariums. If you hear the word terrarium and think of a school project, think again. Today’s terrariums are stylish and chic. What they do have in common with the old school terrariums of your childhood is that they are a great DIY project. Almost any glass vessel, from a mason jar to a fishbowl, can be turned into a terrarium. This is a great project to do with your kids.  It is a nice way to introduce them to growing plants, which could lead to an interest in a kitchen garden.

Terrariums are great decoration for a shelf, table or even the kitchen window sill. Check online for tips and tricks to designing and maintaining a chic and stylish terrarium. House plants and terrariums are a great way to go green in your home.

Dec-14-2013

Tired of the Same Old Holiday Party?

Posted by creatingyourspace under Hints and Tips, Holiday

22636340_SLooking to spice up your holiday festivities this year? Instead of the same old boring ham, cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole it may be time to try out some new recipes. Instead of just sitting around before and after your holiday dinner why not make a new tradition with a themed party? Here are a few ideas for holiday entertaining this year.

To keep the kids busy give them each a small gingerbread house to decorate. Have plenty of royal icing and candies available so each small guest can create their own masterpiece.

Do dessert fondue. Use mini fondue pots instead of one large one. This will ensure each guest will get served without too much fuss or mess. It also gives you the ability to vary the fondue flavors by serving both dark and white chocolate, caramel and everyone’s favorite nutella marshmallow.

Instead of an elaborate dinner throw a simple and modern cocktail party. Come up with a signature festive cocktail and then run to the store for pre-made deli appetizers. Use glitter, oversized sequins, fun patterned fabric and tulle to decorate your table.

To limit your baking time plan a cookie exchange. Set out everyone’s cookies on your buffet or dining room table. Be sure to leave room for recipe cards so that you can add new favorites to your repertoire. Have plenty of to-go boxes or holiday tins on hand. Serve milk and hot cocoa.

Have the kids do a holiday pageant. They can make up their own skit or sing carols. It’s a cute way to spend an evening. They could make paper mache puppets (think candy canes, stockings and gift wrapped boxes) and do a puppet show for the children.

By thinking a little bit outside the box you can wow your guests and add some new traditions to your family events.

Nov-21-2013

How to Write a Good Family Holiday Letter

Posted by creatingyourspace under Hints and Tips, Holiday

8395723_SThe holidays are on the way whether you like it or not. You may have made your annual appointment for the holiday themed family photo and you may have started thinking about what you want to write about in your holiday letter.  Below are a few tips if you want your letter to be entertaining for all of your friends and family instead of just a list of everything you did in 2013.

Be real: Write about what really happened in the past year without sugar coating every event.  It’s much more relatable and interesting for everyone reading it.

Be conversational and funny: Write in first person. Family and friends who receive your holiday letter want to hear from the real you. Forget the big, fancy words; write as you speak.  Remember, this isn’t a formal essay that’s going to be harshly critiqued for a grade. This will bring a breath of fresh air to your readers. Telling a funny story about your youngest is better than bragging about their excellent grades and extracurricular activities.

Know your audience: Know who you are sending your letter to and if it’s personal then send it to your close friends, family, distant relatives, etc.  Your work colleagues may not be the best, especially if they already know about your daily life.  Remember, the whole purpose of writing a holiday letter is to update your readers on what has happened the past year.  Business associates won’t be interested in a chatty, family newsletter, and vice versa, distant cousins won’t care too much about the ins and outs of your workplace politics.

Keep it short and sweet: Hit the highlights of your year and save the ins and outs of summer vacation for personal phone calls or lunches with relatives.

Don’t “photo-bomb”: Sure you want to share your many photos that were taken throughout the year, that’s what Facebook is for, right? Send one or two shots instead of a page filled with tile size pictures.

Personalize: Take a few minutes to personally sign and write a short note at the bottom of your letter.

Overall, have fun with your letter!  If you didn’t want to tackle the entire letter and you have family members, then have each of them write a small paragraph in their own words about their year.  Happy writing!