Design: Mix “Hot” Colors With Neutrals

English royal navy, British racing green and coral are some of the hot colors for 2015. Here is a brief video from Shaw Floors on how you can mix these colors in with the neutrals you may already have in your home.

How do you use your favorite colors to design a room that is truly unique?

2015 Interior Design Megatrends

Explore our favorite megatrends of 2015, which include oversized geometrics, Chinese-inspired design, metallic accents, and lucite. Even a small change can make a big impact in your home. Source: Shaw Floors

Need a Window Treatment for Your Home?

Photo: Graber

Photo: Graber

  • How will the space be used? For working, relaxation, or entertaining? Formal or informal activities? This will help define the ideal design style for your window treatments.
  • Will you be working with electronic screens in the room, including televisions, computer monitors, or other devices that are sensitive to glare?
  • Are there children or pets in your home? If so, look for window coverings with safety features (such as motorized lift and cordless lift), in materials that are easy to clean and maintain.
  • Is privacy a primary concern? This is a key consideration for bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • What is the window’s exposure? If your windows have a southern or western exposure, the room could fluctuate greatly in temperature. Direct sunlight can also bleach textiles unevenly.
  • How much light control do you need? For maximum shading at your fingertips, consider horizontal or vertical blinds. You can easily redirect the light or change the complexion of a room by rotating or tilting the slats or louvers.
  • Do you want to maintain a view? Consider the bottom up/top down option, available on cellular, Roman, pleated, and natural shades. This allows you to lower the shade from the top to let in natural light while retaining the desired view.
  • Do you open the windows frequently? Do you need easy access for cleaning? Before choosing a product, always consider the function of the window as well as the design. If you are opening and closing the window often, you may wish to consider a lighter blind or shade.
  • Are there unique architectural elements in the room? Consider window cranks, window air conditioners, baseboard heaters, light switches, wall sockets, crown moldings, beams, and chair rails, as you plan the size and scale of your window treatments.

Source: Graber

Carpets Looking a Little Drab?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Keeping carpets clean might seem like a daunting task, but with some tips from the experts it’s quicker and easier than you think. Carpet provides good traction, absorbs noises, and saves homeowners money because it naturally insulates a room. And, contrary to popular misconceptions, carpet that is cleaned regularly is fine for people with allergies, and even asthma.

Create a Vacuum Schedule

Have you ever wondered if vacuuming really makes a difference? Removing soil when it’s on the surface, before it gets tramped down, is the first and most important step in carpet maintenance. Use slow, repetitive motions that overlap (about four swipes), ensuring you get right up to the edges where dust, pollen and pet dander like to accumulate.

How often do you need to vacuum? Generally once a week with a CRI-certified vacuum is a good place to start, but depending on how frequently the area is used, you’ll likely want to do it more often. For example, high-traffic or pet areas should be vacuumed daily, medium-traffic areas require about twice a week and light-traffic areas can be done once a week. Just as you wouldn’t wear a shirt over and over again without washing it, you don’t want to go too long between vacuuming your carpets.

Treat Stains the Correct Way

Up to 98 percent of carpet is manufactured in the United States, and most is made to be stain-resistant. No matter how hard you try to prevent them, stains do happen, so it’s important to act quickly.

Scoop up solids and blot liquids with a dry, white cloth or paper towel, starting at the edge of the spot moving toward the center. Do not scrub – it can damage carpet and spread the mess. Next, treat the spot with a CRI-tested and approved carpet cleaning solution. If you don’t have one on hand, plain water often works better than untested carpet cleaners.

For wine or chocolate stains, try mixing 1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid with one cup warm water. Avoid laundry detergent which can cause permanent damage, such as a change in color. For coffee or tea stains, try mixing 1 cup white vinegar with 1 cup water. For ink stains, apply rubbing alcohol to a cloth and blot.

Have a wax spill? Cover the spot with a clean brown paper bag or heavy brown paper and apply low heat from an iron. The paper will absorb the wax as it melts.

Call in the Pros

To keep your carpets looking great and lasting for years to come, you should get them professionally deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months with a CRI Seal of Approval Service Provider. A good carpet cleaning should include vacuuming, a pre-spray and routine spot removal. Many won’t charge for furniture removal either.

Whether you want to get in a better habit with routine carpet maintenance or you simply want to refresh your carpet for the change of seasons or a special event, these tips will keep your carpet and home looking wonderful today and long into the future.

Source: The Carpet and Rug Institute

Choosing Carpet? Think Creatively!

Stanton Carpet Photo

Photo: Stanton Carpet

When we think of making interior design changes to our home, we often think of a fresh coat of paint, a new sofa or even reupholstering a piece of furniture without ever looking under our own two feet for the obvious solution. A change of carpeting can bring out new charms in your old furniture and in you!

Whether you’re looking for wall-to-wall, area rugs, runners, solids or patterns, carpet can dramatically change the look of your living space.

Color

Color is one of the most personal and subjective elements of carpet buying. Fortunately, there are more colors and designs available than ever before. Consider some of the new neutrals, like yellow, light blue and pale green, in addition to the more conventional yet forever elegant beige, tan, ivory and cream. Also, remember that while light colors make a room seem larger, dark colors can make a room seem cozier and more intimate.

Durability

The area in which the carpet or rug is placed will determine the importance of durability. A high traffic area needs a long-wearing, stain resistant fiber, while your bedroom may require only something that is soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye.

Patterns 

Patterns are the spice of life. A large design can cut your room down to size, while a minimal pattern or solid colored carpet can make your room appear to grow in size. A bright floral design can make a room that doesn’t get much natural light, more welcoming than before. Patterns can also hide a multitude of sins, camouflaging the little spills and mishaps that come with life at home.

Carpet has become one of the most versatile items in home decorating and has found its way into 95 percent of all households in America.

What trends in carpeting are you seeing where you live?

Source: Stanton Carpet

Are Floors Affected by Humidity?

Lauzan PhotoWhy have gaps appeared between the planks of my floor that weren’t there before?

Typically, ’gapping’ occurs when the humidity in the house falls below the recommended level. This causes a drying of the floorboards that results in slight shrinkage, creating gaps between the boards. You will often see this in the winter, especially in houses with dry heat. One way of mitigating the situation is to increase the humidity in the home.

Why is the humidity of a house so important with wood flooring?

Keeping the humidity at a recommended level is essential to a “healthy” home environment and for keeping a great hardwood floor. Wood is a natural material that reacts to changes in its environment. So it is important to keep humidity at recommended levels at all times, even when the home is unoccupied. Excess moisture causes wood to expand, and insufficient moisture causes it to contract.

Should I have a humidifier in my home if I have hardwood flooring?

That depends a lot on the climate where you live and type of heating you use in your home. In more temperate climates with variable humidity, they aren’t really required; but in cold, dry regions where homes are heated in winter, humidifiers can be very helpful, not just for the floors but for the comfort of people, plants and pets, too.

Source: Lauzon