Choosing Area Rugs For Your Home

  • Why should a homeowner consider placing a small or large area rug in a particular room? Area rugs are an excellent option to accent a room and protect hardwoods from excessive wear. They also provide comfort in a gathering space.
  • What are the benefits of using a rug? Since many homes have hardwoods and tile, rugs protect from heavy wear and tear. They also help with sound reduction.
  • What different rug fabrics, colors, styles, shapes and sizes are available today that perhaps weren’t available years ago? Area rugs are more often made from carpet, which provides flexibility in size, shape, color and pattern. We are able to provide a custom rug within three to six weeks. Many pre-made rugs come in standard sizes that no longer fit larger spaces and to order a custom size can take several months.
  • In which rooms are area rugs most effective and why? All rooms that need softness, warmth or an extra element of design are good candidates for an area rug.
  • What are some things a homeowner should consider before choosing the perfect rug for their chosen living space? Clients should consider the use of the space. 1-Stain resistant fibers like nylon and polypropylene are best for spaces with heavy traffic, children and pets. Wool is a very durable and luxurious option. Sisal and Seagrass are natural choices that can be accented with fabric borders. 2-The size of the rug can be determined by the room or the seating space. Dining tables should always be 18 to 24 inches larger on each side to allow easy movement of chairs. 3-When choosing a rug you should have swatches or pictures of your current furnishings and fabrics. Rugs can be used to create a neutral canvas for a bold room or as an accent in a monochromatic design.
  • What is the expected lifespan of an area rug before you should consider replacing it? Area rugs require proper cleaning maintenance to achieve the longest life span, just like carpet. The fabric quality and location can also dictate the lifespan.
  • Any other tips or suggestions on this topic? When shopping for a rug bring fabric swatches, pictures of the space and a rough dimension of the room. This helps the designer or the sales person make informed suggestions.

Source: Leslie Waller, MODA Floors & Interiors project consultant/designer

Where Do You Find Design Inspiration?

What’s your go-to resource for finding design inspiration for your home? Pinterest, Houzz, magazines or somewhere else? Showhouses are another excellent resource, and many times proceeds from these events go to support a worthwhile cause. To quote Oscar Wilde, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Designers at the 2018 Southeastern Designer Showhouse and Gardens were big into wallpaper, pastels and global design. Check out this article from HGTV. 

Although this event is one for the history books, here are two other showhouses you might want to consider attending.

The Serenbe Designer Showhouse starts Sept. 14 and runs until Oct. 7. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Art Farm at Serenbe, which is an art complex that provides a place to bring people together in support of the arts. The five-bedroom home is designed as a modern farmhouse with a board & batten exterior and a beautiful stone chimney. The showhouse will feature the work of more than 10 top interior designers.

Presented by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, the 10th Annual Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse, scheduled Nov. 15-Dec. 9, is a very large Buckhead estate that sits on 1.5 acres. The English country abode features a locally sourced limestone and brick exterior and open spaces filled with daylight.

What design ideas have you picked up from pervious showhouses that you like and have incorporated into a home?

How Do I Clean Grout?

Cementitious grout is porous – it can absorb a stain. Looked at under a microscope, there is a large surface area to absorb stains. For this reason, many owners choose to seal their grout – usually the better the sealer, the more the grout joint is protected. Even better, if epoxy grout is used, it is virtually as stain proof as the tile.

Removing stains from cementitious grout is similar to removing stains from clothing. The same cleaners you might use on clothes to get out a stain should also work on grout.

Keep in mind though, that grout is based primarily of cement and sand. Sand, like glass, is unaffected chemically by most cleaners. Cement is not – rather it is alkaline based and is dissolved by acids. As baking soda and vinegar react, so do grout and vinegar.
Accordingly, it is better to clean grout with an alkaline cleaner (Spic and Span, Mr. Clean, etc.) than an acid based cleaner. There are also specialty cleaners available at most tile retailers that are designed for tile and grout. There are also cleaners with enzymes that attack stains similar to enzyme pre-soaks for laundry.

The same cleaner that works on the grout generally will work well on the tile. In fact, since the tile is usually so easy to clean, the tile can often be cleaned with water.
Just a few more important points: As the grout can absorb the soap as well as a stain, do not clean with oil or wax based cleaners (Murphy’s Oil soap, Pine Sol, etc.). These products will leave a waxy or oily film in the grout. Even good alkaline cleaners, if not properly rinsed, will leave a sticky soap film. This usually attracts dirt. In fact, truly clean ceramic tile without any sticky soap film will stay very clean as tile does not tend to hold an electrostatic charge (which can attract some kinds of dirt).

The absolutely best way to clean grout is to apply the cleaner and then vacuum (“shop vac”) up the dirty water. This lifts the dirt off the joint. Apply rinse water and vacuum that water up. This lifts off any remaining soap film.

Just to mention it, there are tile installers that remove very stubborn stains on grout with an acid (like straight vinegar or a stronger acid). There they have elected to dissolve the top layer of grout molecules so the stain is no longer attached to anything. While this works, it is not recommended by the grout manufacturers – needing to regrout is sometimes the result. Also, extreme care should be used when handling any acids.

Should you be unable to get your grout clean through conventional methods, you may also want to try steam. Some stains that do not respond to conventional cleaners will come clean when subjected to pressurized steam. As a last resort, some installers elect to cut out the grout and regrout. This is possible although care must be taken to not damage or loosen the tile. Generally it is not possible to grout directly over the old grout without cutting the old grout out. The same contaminants that made the old grout dirty may prevent new grout from sticking properly.
Source: The Tile Council of North America

Townhouse Gets Total Update

Treads PhotoMODA Floors & Interiors Project Consultant: Tasha Elrod
Client: Cruickshank Remodeling
Location: Atlanta

Goal: A rather tired townhouse was given new life in a total makeover by Cruickshank Remodeling. The work included updates to the kitchen and baths, along with flooring, lighting and interior painting.

What We Did:

Dining Room PhotoMain Floor and Treads: Shaw Floorte (Water Proof Core) Antica HD Plus 578 Temporale
Bedrooms: Dreamweaver Town Square 12’ 945 Castle Carpet
Master Bath: CC Mosaics Octagonal Snow White & Grey

Design Challenge: Budget

Photos: Cruickshank Remodeling

Get Your Hardwood Floors Ready For Spring

Winter can be a tough time on floors with all the excess salt, debris and moisture that can accumulate during those cold months. Make sure you treat your floors with extra care as you prepare them for a new season of sun and fun.

Photo: Bona Floors

How to Revitalize Hardwood Floors

    • Clean floors last. It’s best to clean rooms from the top down so that any dust and debris won’t find their way onto a newly-cleaned floor.
    • Dry mop/dust floors. Use a microfiber dusting cloth or a vacuum to remove the initial layer of dust and debris on floors. If using a vacuum, avoid using the beater bar so the vacuum’s brush doesn’t damage the floor.
    • Spray mop floors. Use a cleaning solution designed for your floor type. Avoid DIY vinegar solutions or steam mopping your floors since they both can damage your floor’s finish leaving it to look dull and cloudy. If your mop doesn’t have a spray function, fill your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and spray floors a bit at a time to avoid any excess amount of liquid on your floors.
    • Apply a new coat of polish. Now that your floors are clean and dry, applying a coat of polish is a great way to revitalize your floor’s finish. A coat of polish can even out a floor’s look, filling in any small scratches and adding a new protective layer on top of your floor.

Here are some tips that can help protect your floors even more.

    • Use floor mats and area rugs to protect high traffic areas. If using mats and rugs, try to get rugs and mats with a natural rubber backing since some materials can discolor floors after extended use.
    • Protect floors from sun damage. Rearrange furniture or use curtains to protect floors from fading and UV damage.
    • Protect furniture legs with appropriate pads and covers. Felt or rubber pads can help avoid scratches from accidental dragging of furniture on your floors.

Source: Bona Floors

 

Need Design Ideas? Spring Into Action

Whether you’re building a new abode or refreshing an existing one, attending one or more of metro Atlanta’s spring home tours is a great way to soak up some new design ideas for your home. Plus you’ll get to experience the flavor and learn about the history of the various communities.

In addition to the Tour of Homes, the Inman Park Spring Festival, scheduled April 27-29, includes three stages of music all weekend, dance performances and a kids’ play zone. Inman Park is one of Atlanta’s oldest and most scenic neighborhoods. See inside some of the beautiful Victorian homes or check out some of the remodeling jobs neighbors have completed on their houses. Tour of Homes tickets are $20 in advance or $25 starting April 27. Get details at http://inmanparkfestival.org/events/tour-of-homes/.

Scheduled April 20-22, the Druid Hills Tour of Homes & Gardens, a volunteer project of the Druid Hills Civic Association, benefits historic preservation and green space restoration. The weekend includes a plant sale, a history display and the debut of “History Happens Here,” a film about the development of the Druid Hills community. Advance tickets are $25. The price increases to $30 on April 20. Learn more at http://www.DruidHillsTour.org.

Experience what more makes the Kirkwood community special during the 16th Annual Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on May 19. The event includes a 5K, an artist market, live music and food from local vendors. All proceeds go to benefit the Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization, a local 501c3 non-profit group dedicated to community improvement. The Tour of Homes takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Go to http://www.kirkwoodfling.com/ for additional information.

Have you been to any of these tours?