Hot Trends for Kitchens

Can you mix farmhouse style with modern luxe in your kitchen? Yes, you can. Here are some tips on tile backsplashes, appliances and countertops that will keep your kitchen looking fresh.

Wood Floor Sheens: Which Is Better?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Some wood floor sheens are shiny and some are not. Is one type of sheen better than the other?

It really is a matter of preference. If you choose to install a site-finished floor, you can choose any sheen that you like. Gloss finishes offer the most shine, and will reflect the most light. Semi-gloss finishes offer some shine, and will reflect some light. Satin or matte finishes offer the least shine, and will reflect the least light.

Generally speaking, the less sheen, the less you will notice small scratches and other wear that is normal with wood floors. If you choose to install a factory-finished floor, you will be limited to the sheen available for the material you select. All sheens will offer the same protection for your floor, so it truly is a matter of which look you like best.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Creative Carpeting

Stanton Carpet PhotoWhether you’re looking for wall-to-wall, area rugs, runners, solids or patterns, carpet can dramatically change the look of your living space. And in today’s marketplace, the possibilities are endless.

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.

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.

Rug Tips

  • If possible, buy the rug first and make it your focal point, then dress the area with furniture.
  • If space permits, the furniture should sit on the outskirts of the rug, not on top of it.
  • Rotate area rugs periodically to minimize the wear and tear to any one part.
  • If furniture lies on the rug, try to occasionally move everything one or two inches in order to keep it from permanently crushing the carpet fibers and leaving depressions in the rug.

Patterns can blend in or stand out. 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. Recent innovations have produced products that are more vibrant, stronger, and wear better than ever before.

Source: Stanton Carpet

Why is White Subway Tile Popular?

Photo: daltile

Photo: daltile

You can’t watch TV for five minutes without seeing white subway tile in a commercial or on the set of your favorite sitcom. It’s so prevalent that some people are beginning to think that white subway tile will date kitchens and baths from this era.

The beauty of plain white is that it’s versatile. It can be the focus of the room or it can become the background. You can turn it into something unique to your kitchen or bath or you can go with the timeless classic. It suits classic designs just as well as it suits modern designs.

Consider the Material

Subway tile is available in several materials. Ceramic, of course, is the most popular. But if you are looking for something a littlet different, think about natural stone. Marble, limestone, and travertine make a positive impact on your design. The natural veining and graininess create a warmth and texture that elevate it.

Decide on the Finish

Classic subway tile is glossy, but you might want to try something a bit softer depending on the style of your bathroom or kitchen. If you want your tile to be the focal point of the space, gloss can draw attention. If you want to highlight other elements of your space, a softer finish (matte or semi-glossy) might work better.

Keep in mind that the finish you choose should be part of the overall plan for your design. Too much gloss in a space can be overwhelming and serve to make your tile fade into the background. Your tile is only one element that needs to fit into your scheme. Make sure it will play nice with everything else in the room.

Try a White Variation

Pure white makes for a bright, clean space. If you are going for something a little softer, one way to get it is to adjust the color ever so slightly. Creamy whites can change the feeling of your room.

You could stick one toe over the line and go with a tile that’s the slightest bit beige, gray or yellow to introduce a hint of cooling or warming color to the space.

Experiment with Grout

The color of grout you select has a huge impact on how the finished product looks. White grout with white tile makes the tile blend together in harmony—your guests might have to look twice to appreciate the subway design. Black grout will make your subway pattern pop out unmistakably. A gray or beige grout will add a slight accent that will bring out and harmonize the accent colors in your space.

Think through this decision carefully. It’s pretty permanent.

Source: daltile