Home and Garden Tours Offer Design Inspiration

Spring is one of our favorite seasons for a variety of reasons! It’s the perfect time to check out one of the many home and garden tours sprouting around metro Atlanta. Here are a few of our favorite tours.

Inman ParkInman Park Tour of Homes (April 29-30 and May 1)

The tour will feature 10 homes and points of interest, including an American Foursquare, Victorians, lofts, and bungalows. The tour hours are noon-4 p.m. on Friday and noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $15. www.InmanParkFestival.org

Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour (May 7-8)

This tour, which benefits the Atlanta Botanical Garden, will showcase 10 private gardens in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and Midtown. The tour will feature a range of styles and sizes. Advance tickets for the self-guided tour are $28 in advance (Garden members-$22). www.AtlantaBG.org

Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens and Maker’s Market (April 22-24)

“History Happens Here” at this tour, sponsored by the Druid Hills Civic Association. The $25 advance ticket gives you access to six homes, a garden, a plant sale, live music, and an artists’ market. www.DruidHillsTour.org

Home and garden tours are a great resource for design ideas for your home. Are there other tours we should add to this list?

Fiber: Carpet’s Basic Ingredient

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Photo: Shaw Floors

The four basic fibers used in carpets today all have their individual strengths. Your ultimate choice will be determined by the characteristics that are most important to you.

Although some carpets are made of blends, most are made entirely of one of the following four fibers:

Nylon

Nylon is more expensive than other synthetic carpet fibers and has been the most commonly used carpet fiber since the early 1960s. In overall performance characteristics, nylon is the most versatile of all fibers, providing excellent flexibility in creating a variety of carpet styles. Nylon can be found in a wide range of both cut pile and loop pile styles. It is durable, resilient, and receptive to dyeing for color versatility and uniformity; many new nylon yarn systems are also exceptionally soft. Though not inherently stain resistant, most nylon carpets are treated with stain-resist carpet treatment for protection against household spills and stains.

Polypropylene (also called Olefin)

Since 1980, the use of polypropylene carpet fibers has grown dramatically. Unlike the other fiber types, polypropylene will not absorb water and must therefore be solution dyed (pigmented) to impart color. Solution dyeing is a pigmentation process in which color is actually built into the fiber when it is formed, or extruded, thereby becoming an inherent part that cannot be removed from the fiber. The color will not fade, even when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, atmospheric contaminants, or other harsh chemicals or elements. However, since it is not as resilient as other fibers, polypropylene is normally used in loop pile constructions in which there is less need for superior resiliency.

Polyester

Polyester offers exceptional softness and color clarity, and it is also naturally stain and fade resistant. While polyester is not as inherently resilient as nylon, carpets made of polyester fiber will perform well if appropriately constructed. Carpets of polyester are generally available only in cut pile styles and are usually less expensive than nylon in comparable weights.

Wool

The preeminent natural fiber and used in the manufacture of carpets and rugs longer than any other fiber. In fact, the weaving of wool carpets has been traced back to 3,000 B.C., and wool rugs and carpets have been prized as objects of beauty and prestige ever since. Wool does not have the stain and abrasion resistance of some of the man-made fibers, but it has an enduring quality, and many wool carpets and rugs are said to “age gracefully.” Soft underfoot, wool also offers the somewhat intangible consideration of prestige. However, wool carpets are considerably more expensive than most synthetic carpets and represent less than 1 percent of all broadloom carpets sold.

A number of carpet styles utilize a fiber blend, such as nylon and polypropylene. The blending of fiber types to form the carpet yarn is designed to combine the beneficial characteristics of each fiber, such as the resiliency of nylon and fade resistance of polypropylene.

While these descriptions outline basic characteristics of different fibers, how the fiber is processed and fabricated – the construction – is more of a determining factor of a carpet’s performance potential.

Source: Tuftex Carpets

 

Wood Floor Maintenance: 10 Tips

Photo: Bona

Photo: Bona

Cleaning your wood floors is easy. Regular maintenance includes sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with the beater bar turned off. You also should clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaning product recommended by a wood flooring professional.

Here are some other steps you can take to maintain the beauty of your wood floors.

  • Don’t use vinyl or tile cleaning products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  • Use throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching your floor.
  • Don’t wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  • Don’t over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  • Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace these often as dirt and debris can become imbedded on the pad and act like sand paper on the flooring surface.
  • Avoid walking on your wood floors with sports cleats and high heels in disrepair. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels with an exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  • When moving heavy furniture, don’t slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture to move it and to prevent scratches.
  • For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug at the kitchen sink.
  • Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps or cracks.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Pure Genius from Lauzon is an air-purifying smart hardwood floor that improves the indoor air quality of your home without compromising the quality and appearance of your hardwood flooring. It’s like having three trees in your home.

Learn more about Pure Genius in this brief video from The Weather Channel.

Why Choose Carpet for Your Home?

Tuftex Carpet PhotoProvides Warmth and Comfort

Carpet provides actual thermal resistance, or R-value. In colder climates or seasons, it retains warm air longer, an energy conservation benefit. Carpet also provides a comfortable place to sit, play or work and gives a room an overall warmer feeling.

Adds Beauty and Style

You can choose from many thousands of carpet styles and colors. That means your ultimate choice will reflect how you want to personalize your living space. Carpet can be a neutral foundation, or it can be a focal point with vibrant colors and stronger bolder patterns and textures.

Softens Slips and Falls

Carpet is ideal for cushioning our footsteps, reducing slips and falls and minimizing injuries when falls do occur. Carpet provides safety protection for the whole family, but especially for toddlers and older individuals.

Reduces Noise

Big screen TVs, speaker phones, computers and modern sound systems make our homes noisy places. Carpet helps absorb these sounds. Adding a cushion pad beneath your carpet reduces noise even further. Carpet also works as a sound barrier between floors by helping to block sound transmission to rooms below. And carpet on stairs helps mask the sound of constant foot traffic.

Wears Well

Carpet will maintain its life and beauty for many years when properly cleaned and maintained. Learn to keep your carpet looking great over time by following these simple steps:

  • Preventative Maintenance: Protect your investment before problems occur.
  • Vacuuming: Keep your carpet clean through regular vacuuming, the single most effective way to keep carpets clean.
  • Professional Cleaning: Have carpets cleaned professionally, a periodic must.

Source: Tuftex Carpets