02 Apr 2017

Rest Assured

Whether you are planning a full bathroom renovation or making small improvements to an existing bath, shower seating can increase the safety and comfort of your room. Installing a shower bench decreases the amount of time you stand in the shower which eases the strain on your body but most importantly, as part of aging-in-place design, it reduces the chances of slipping and falling.

The majority of falls within a house result in relatively minor injuries, but falls in the bathroom are often more serious. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that almost 200,000 Americans a year are treated in the emergency room for bathroom-related falls. This is because bathrooms present a number of additional hazards over most areas of the home; the surfaces are slippery and there are very few well-anchored items to grasp. While it is certainly possible that anyone can slip and fall in a bathroom or shower, the elderly and disabled are particularly susceptible. Having poor balance or muscle strength makes it harder to catch oneself when falling, increasing the risk of injury.

At any age, a shower bench is an affordable and functional design feature. In addition to its safety benefits, a shower bench provides space to store extra accessories, a place to sit to wash feet, lather hair, or shave legs or simply a place to sit to relax and recharge.

There are two options for shower seating — Freestanding or Built-in — and your choice will depend on the size of your shower, the style of your bathroom, and your budget.

Free-standing

The easiest and least expensive option is a Free-standing bench that may be purchased through various bath retailers. Typically, they are made of kiln-dried teak which is sanded to a smooth finish and then treated to maintain its color. However, left untreated, teak will weather to a beautiful silver-gray color.

Alternately, various plastic and corrosion-resistant metal benches are available, and while functional, they typically have a medical look and feel. This rectangular teak shower stool in the photo to the left is from Frontgate and retails for $200.

Additionally, free-standing benches can be found in local stores and online at retailers including Bed Bath and Beyond and Home Depot as well as higher-end designer showrooms such as Signature Hardware.

This corner shower stool from Signature Hardware saves space and provides functional seating as well as a storage shelf for bathroom accessories. It is ADA compliant and runs approximately $175.

Built-in

Built-in benches are the second option for shower seating. We offer three different ways to incorporate built-in seating in your bathroom design.

  • Built-in, tiled, and permanently attached to the wall.

    • In this master bath HCI recently completed (photo 1 below), the bench is incorporated as part of the shower enclosure and extends the width of the shower (4ft) providing a generous seating area. It is finished with the same bronze-matte 24’ x 24’ tiles as the shower walls for a seamless, integrated look.
    • Some homeowners choose a contrasting accent color for the bench top such as the black marble bench top shown in photo 2.
  • Built-in “Floating” Bench

    • A floating bench (photo 3) is securely attached to the wall but is open underneath. It can be made of waterproofed wood, a solid surface material like quartz, or natural stone such as marble, granite, or limestone.
  • Folding Bench

    • For a small space, a folding bench (photo 4) provides the convenience of easily folding the seat down while showering or dressing then folding it up and away for extra space when not in use. Folding benches are typically made of teak or other water-resistant wood. Another advantage of using wood is that it isn’t as cold to sit on as tile. Both floating and folding shower benches require additional blocking in a stud wall and anchor hardware. Installed with the proper supports, seats can hold from 250 to 400 lbs., but in any case are only as strong as the walls and mounting hardware used.

Size and Location

Placement of the bench will most likely be determined by the size and configuration of your shower. It’s best to place the bench within reach of your shower controls, install a hand-held shower head and install grab bars for safety and ease of use. To meet most guidelines, shower benches should be mounted between 17 and 19 inches off the finished shower floor. An aging-in-place designer or occupational therapist may be consulted to customize your shower to meet your specific needs. There are also many reference books available such as Residential Design for Aging in Place that provide specific guidelines for aging-in-place bathroom design.

HCI Project

In 2013, we helped transform a cramped 70’s era master bathroom into a sleek, contemporary bathroom with an open configuration and curbless shower to allow for wheelchair access. The curved shower seat provides an accessible place to sit for showering and keeps toiletries in easy reach. Fabricated from a single quartz slab, the seamless bench seat with a bullnose edge is more comfortable against the skin than grouted tile with squared edges.


Photos courtesy of: Dave Edwards

Resources:


For inspiration visit architecture art design for 30 irreplaceable shower seat design and ideas, like this Teak Shower Seat Collection from Jack London Kitchen Bath

Visit Teakworks4u for a variety of ADA Compliant Teak Seats, Wall mounted, fold down or Freestanding Benches and much more.

 

Moen products like this folding seat can be found at Home Depot and Lowes

 

 

The new year is symbolic of new beginning and fresh resolutions. Preparing your home for the New Year is the perfect time to decide what you want to keep and what to leave behind to create space in your life and home for new opportunities.

Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) — which literally translates to “wind and water” — is the ancient Chinese art of placement to enhance the flow of Chi (life force or spiritual energy), and to create harmonious environments that support health, beckon wealth and invite happiness. At its most basic level, Feng Shui is a decorating discipline based on the belief that our surroundings affect us.

It examines how the placement of things and objects within your home affect the energy flow in your living environment and how these objects interact with and influence your personal energy flow. Your personal energy flow affects how you think and act, which in turn affects how well you perform and succeed in your personal and professional life.

Feng Shui affects you every moment of the day — whether you’re aware of it or not.

There are two dimensions of Feng Shui: the visible and the invisible. The visible refers to everything you can see and touch, such as doors, walls, furniture, etc. The invisible refers to the life force energy (chi). Chi literally translates as “breath”, “air” and figuratively as “material energy” or “energy flow”.

Elements such as colors, sounds, and symbols, along with the arrangement of furniture and other items within the home, are instrumental in creating a pleasing indoor environment. By inhabiting a living space that has healthy chi or good energy, your own life force is enhanced and preserved.

Here are a few Feng Shui principles to help you create a home with healthy chi or good energy.

  1. De-clutter your space and fix what is broken as they are both obstacles to positive chi. They do not uplift the space or its occupants creating negative Feng Shui.
  1. Achieve Balance within a room by incorporating each of the five basic Feng Shui elements: Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood. These elements are the basic principles of Feng Shui and interact in specific ways, generally defined as the Productive and Destructive cycles. Each one of these elements has a unique quality of energy that is expressed in specific colors, sounds, body organs, compass directions, planets, and flavors, etc. and can be represented through textures, shapes, and colors. For instance, to incorporate the water element in a room without literally bringing it inside, incorporate dark, shiny, reflective surfaces and fabrics with wave-like patterns.

It is important to choose colors that create positive Feng Shui in specific areas of your house (unless you paint your whole house in one neutral color). For example, it is considered bad Feng Shui to have a strong presence of blue or black in the South area of your home, or too much red or fiery orange in the East area. See How to Choose the Perfect Color the Feng Shui Way and the Color Meanings in Feng Shui “Cheat Sheet” in House Beautiful.

Learn more about incorporating colors and other elements in Feng Shui Tips for a Healthy Happy Home.

  1. Define the “Bagua” or Energy Map of Your Home

Feng Shui Bagua (also known as Pakua or Ba-Gua) is the Feng Shui energy map of a space. To create good energy in your home or office, create the Feng Shui Bagua of your space and balance its energies accordingly. View How To Define Your Bagua Video for an overview.

Resources

7 Feng Shui Steps To A Harmonious Home

By Rodika Tchi Feng Shui Expert

2017 PHOENIX YEAR FENG SHUI

Chinese New Year is on January 27th.  2017 is the year of the Rooster(Phoenix) and it brings opportunities for rebirth and transformation.

In her book, The Holistic Home, Feng Shui expert Laura Benko shares her experience of giving your space—and ultimately your whole self—good healing energy.

Life Compass found on iTunes App Store. Discover favorable energies and personized insights with this unique app that combines traditional Chinese Feng Shui with modern technology.

Imagine your life…

  • Restful sleep in a flow of Health Qi.
  • Working in a stream of Success energy.
  • Meditations supported with abundant Spiritual Growth energy.

 

If you entertain frequently, consider having a designated space for a bar in your home. It makes hosting company convenient as it keeps the guests refreshed and it might even help by keeping them from getting in the way of the cook.

If you decide to install a bar in your home, you have the choice between a wet or dry bar. The main difference between the two is that a wet bar, at the bare minimum, includes a sink with running water and a drain and a dry bar does not. Often a wet bar, if it is separate from the kitchen, includes a small refrigerator/freezer and a dishwasher. For a wet bar, the drink preparation area should be designed to both prepare cocktails and contain spills. And, it must have a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) installed in the electrical outlet to protect against dangerous electrical faults that could occur in drink mixers and other electrical devices. A wet bar allows for drink preparation and clean-up to be completely separate from the cooking area, however, it is more costly than a dry bar due to plumbing and electrical requirements.

A dry bar can be set-up for a party on a buffet, counter, or a table with glasses, ice, wine, beer, spirits, mixers, and garnishes, or it can be configured in your current kitchen space. If you are planning a kitchen remodel, even if you don’t have room for a sink, a dry bar can be incorporated as part of your cabinetry and electrical plans should you want a built-in refrigerator and/or dishwasher. When you plan the interior cabinets, consider slide-out drawers instead of stationary shelves or drawers. As for the cabinet doors, clear glass or frosted glass make a very attractive covering to the cabinets.

If you don’t have the cabinet space in the kitchen, alternative spaces can be used in nearby rooms. Consider converting a closet to a dry bar as pictured below.

Sutro Architects

A dry bar can also be a piece of furniture that can hold the bottles, glasses, and accessories and it can be portable which is very convenient. Visit Create and Barrel for a wide variety and styles that would complement any space.

 

Resources

A guide from Front + Main will help you to build your bar, from a list of must have beginner bottles to the perfect glasses and tools to help you create killer cocktails.

Looking for Tips, Tricks and Recipes for your holiday party? Check out Lou Bustamante’s book. He is the Spirits, Bar, Cocktail, and Food Writer for SF Chronicle.

 

Visit 1stdibs for Antique, Vintage, Art-Deco and Mid-Century Modern Dry Bars.

 

Visit Pottery Barn for a wonderful selection of home bar furniture. They offer bars and portable bar carts that look as good in a den or home office as in the dining area of your home. It includes options for small space and decorating pieces that look great alongside a bar, such as tall and narrow bar towers or decorative mirrors.

Need more ideas of Dry Bars? Get hooked on Pinterest!

From Sunsets blog Westphoria – Learn 3 drinks To Make the Holiday Season More Merry

 

Mention the word wallpaper, and homeowners conjure up the vision of their grandmother’s flocked velvet prints and old-fashioned busy designs and remember the miserable task of having to scrape it off years later.  However, today’s wallpaper is back and better than ever and new technologies are making them easier apply and adhere better. If you’re planning on redecorating your home and not sure what to do with the walls, consider wallpaper as an option instead of or in addition to paint. With all of the new styles, graphic patterns, and gorgeous prints to choose from, one can transform an ordinary room into one with serious style.

Are you “brave” enough to try wallpaper in your home?

  • If you’re not ready to commit to wallpapering an entire room, a popular way to incorporate wallpaper is to create an accent wall that infuses style and interest in your space. And in some cases, a single sheet of wallpaper can be used as an art element. In this Austin, Texas Midcentury-style home, take a look at how a bold geometric wallpaper as an accent wall transformed a formal dining room into a casual TV room.
  • Affordable? Prices today run from as little as $15 to as high as $600 per roll, dependent on the paper’s material, designer, and uniqueness.
  • Skill required? Although putting up wallpaper takes far more patience than skill. It definitely requires equal measures of artistic and engineering talent to assure it is assuring it is hung straight and edges are aligned. For novice wallpaper hangers, having an easy-to-match pattern will certainly reduce the complexity. If it is still more than you want to do yourself, visit Wallcovering Installers Association to find an experienced wallpaper hanger.
  • As with most other elements of remodeling, the key to a flawless outcome is good preparation. Like form fitting clothes, wallpaper reveals every bump and flaw underneath, so good wall preparation is essential.

Coldwell Banker Concierge summarizes 5 Great Reasons Why New Wallpaper Beats Paint

  1. More Options
  2. Conceals Blemishes
  3. Durability
  4. Easy to Change
  5. Adds an Accent

See the full article here.

Wall Paper Revival … What’s available these days?

When it comes to wallpaper styles, your options are limitless. From contemporary to traditional, a myriad of textures, metallic and animal prints, there is something for every taste. As a start, instead of wading through a mountain of wallpaper books, start by viewing manufacturer’s websites for an overview of the types of material, styles, scales and prices. Some allow you to order free or low-cost samples online. Log on and check out: abnormalsanonymous.com, kremelife.com, clarencehouse.com, brewsterwallcovering.com, seabrookwallcoverings.com, rlhome.polo.com, and waverly.com. A few more are listed in our Resource Section below.

At Anthropologie, you will find a wide range of “papers with personality.” From this simple yet elegant Golden Trellis Wallpaper ($118 Roll 27’L, 27”W Covers 60 Sq. Feet) to this Great Meadow Mural  ($548 Roll 9.75L 12.25 W Covers 119.5 Sq. Ft.) there are many artists and price point from which to choose.

 

 

For Kids or Kitchens- Chalkboard Wallpaper

Imagine letting your kids write on their walls! These Chalkboard wallpaper panels from Chasing Paper are decorative decal tiles that are simple to hang and easy to remove. These fully functional chalkboard tiles let you write, draw and erase right on them. They’re also handy in the kitchen for grocery lists- just snap a photo with your phone and you’re good to go.

Photo: Redtri.com

Other Wall Décor

Searching for something chic, functional and eco-friendly? Take a peek at these modern textured wallpapers from Inhabit Living. These 3D wall panels are lightweight and when placed together create an automatic repeat pattern to create a textured wall of any size.
Wall Flats, sold by the box, contain 10 tiles that cover 22.5 sq. ft. and run approximately $62.They can also be painted! For a quick demonstration watch their  DIY 3D Wall Panel How to Install Video.

Resources 

Budget Conscious

Yes! Even Target Online has a fun collection for the budget conscious.

 

 

Mid-Range Options

 

Hygge & West is a boutique wallpaper company in S.F. that has teamed-up with tableware and architectural tile master Heath Ceramics.

Flavor Paper is known worldwide for its mastery of the fine art of large format hand silk screening.

Luxury Wallcovering

Schumacher is one of the premier sources for luxury wallcoverings, fabric, and trim for custom residential projects.

02 Jun 2016

Pantries

Kitchen by Hammerschmidt Construction /Photo by Dave Edwards

Want to take your kitchen from great to spectacular? Consider adding a walk-in pantry. While adding a pantry may feel as if you are taking up valuable cabinet space, if it is carefully tailored to your household’s storage needs, it can add functionality and increase organization. Corner pantries are perfect for small kitchens with unused corner space. Stocking a pantry with staples can save time, money and stress in the kitchen. Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket. Stocking it with frugal finds can also lower grocery costs.

Photo: Onekindesign

Storage Goals
It is recommended that you choose the style of shelving early in the design process so that shelf heights and depths for oversize goods can be incorporated into the design. The first step in the process is to make a list of the items you currently store so that your pantry can be customized to allow for oversize items and bulk storage. For example, if you need space for super-sized bags of dog food, incorporating movable bins or low drawers in the shelving designs assure everything has a place and can be accessed easily. If you buy bulk quantities of baking supplies and grains you might incorporate a shelf where you can both store and measure smaller quantities as needed.

Light and Air

Plan appropriate lighting for your pantry, just as you would any other room. Additionally, keep in mind that installation of electrical outlets is much easier in the building phase than after the fact. Having outlets in the pantry allows for of installing specialized appliances, a portable wine cooler or even for charging mini-vacs etc. If possible, planning for passive ventilation will help keep the air fresh and minimize odors.

Shelving Details

While we tend to keep this simple, the majority of the shelving that we have installed are uniform in size and are stationary. However, some might suggest that you resist the urge to use deep shelves to maximize space as it tends to promote contents being stacked and items not being used. This diagram from Everything Pantry suggests using shelves of mixed depths for maximum efficiency and adjustable shelving for flexibility.

Pantry Doors

Depending on the location of your pantry, there are a variety of style options for pantry doors. If your pantry is located in a hallway or away from the kitchen, a pocket door may be an ideal, as it eliminates the space required for a swinging door and it can be left open without blocking traffic. A popular option of late, is the barn style door with a sliding track. These can be found in a variety of styles from contemporary to industrial. If your pantry is part of a smaller kitchen, a traditional panel door can be used to blend in with the rest of the cabinetry or painted an accent color which can add personality to the room. Other options that add flair and interest are doors with frosted or patterned glass panels doors with a window pane frame and clear glass panels and doors painted with chalkboard paint for grocery lists and creative drawings.

 

Amanda Hesser’s Best Tips for a Clean, Organized Pantry

From the perspective of a chef, Amada Hesser, an American food writer, editor, cookbook author, and entrepreneur, “Your pantry shouldn’t be a storage unit – it should be a toolkit. It’s not where you put things to keep them off your counter. It’s where you have all of your best culinary weapons at the ready to help you in the kitchen” How you design your pantry and arrange your tools should be focused on making your cooking more efficient and inspiring.”

Amanda Hesser is notably the co-founder and CEO of Food52, previously the food editor of the New York Times Magazine and winner of a James Beard award. In her March blog she offers a few tips, rules and designs from the Food52Shop.

  • The ideal pantry has adjustable shelves. Add the shelves as you stock your pantry, not the other way around. This way you maximize your space.
  • Buy lots of tins, containers, jars, and a set of wet-erase markers.
  • Arrange by frequency of use.
  • On each shelf, apply a similar level-to-us-system.
  • Try to avoid stacking where possible.
  • Keep dwindling supplies towards the front.

The full article can be found here.

Resources for Pantry Organization

11 Organization Tricks That Make a Pantry Feel Twice as Big

Hint #2 Add Lazy Susans!

Pantry Makeovers on Pinterest

Wallpaper your pantry

Chalkboard labels:

  • Stick on many smooth surfaces K
  • Removable adhesive leaves no residue
  • Erasable surface for labeling with chalk

Kitchen labels:

  • Stick to many kitchen containers
  • Freezer and microwave oven safe
  • Remove cleanly after one dishwasher cycle
06 Nov 2015

Beyond Beige

When it comes to selecting tile for your home remodel, the abundance of options is daunting. While the material, shape, and size of the tile may be an issue of functionality, the color and texture of the tile can set the tone of a room. An unexpected source, The Wall Street Journal, recently offered an exciting and informative overview of emerging tile trends. As they profess, “No home renovator wants to get stuck with a lousy tile decision, but that doesn’t mean the only choice is basic, boring beige.” See The Complete A-Z Guide to Tiles: 26 Ways to Go Beyond Beige for an alphabetical survey of the new tile landscape, from Arabesque to Zellige.

Not only does the article give provide information on the full range of materials available to homeowners today – many of the new ones driven by technology innovations such as digital printing – it offers ideas from design experts on ways to mix the various A-Z elements. For example:

1. Combine complex patterns with plainer patterns
2. Offset textural effects with smooth tiles
3. Consider playing with scale
4. Besides pure aesthetics, consider a theme and how pairings can be a narrative.

For additional help on choosing the right tile for your home, consider the following factors and see the associated online guides:

Ceramic and Porcelain
Both ceramic and porcelain can be rated for wear using the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) scale, which classifies tile surfaces from 1 to 5. A PEI 1 rating is for “No foot traffic, for wall use only”, while a PEI of 5+ can handle “heavy traffic and is most resistant to abrasion”.

Natural Stone
Natural stone is not man-made and therefore does not follow the PEI scale. The natural stones used most often in tile are marble, limestone, travertine, slate, and granite.
There are both subtle and significant differences between the types of stone as to appearance, water absorption to durability. For more information on choosing ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tile, see National Kitchen and Bath Association, Homeowners Tips for Choosing the Right Tile

COF Factor
Especially important in choosing floor tile, the Coefficient of Friction (COF) is a measure of traction andJune photo 4 tile slipperiness. See Interiors and Sources  to learn more.

Color, Texture, and Style
The color and texture of the tile helps set the tone of a room. Before deciding on a tile color, take note of existing colors in the room, the mood you want for the room and the amount of foot traffic the area receives. Today’s digital technology, has transformed the process of creating tile with new and intriguing possibilities. For example porcelain look-alike tile is sized to resemble individual floor planks and ceramic and porcelain “marble” tiles look almost exactly like real marble but they do not crack and scratch as easily.

See Daltile Tile Trends to read about their Four Top Tile Trends for 2015: Glass mosaic tiles in updated colors and shapes, a softer color palette, with lots of gray, softer textures, and subway tiles in updated shapes and colors.

Stark Residence Wolf Range 72 FINHere is an example of the subway tile trend in this recently-completed Palo Alto kitchen remodel. The homeowner selected Heath Ceramic’s Stretched Hexagon tile for their backsplash. It’s a handmade tile that feels like classic subway tile but with a twist. See the Heath Ceramics website for a complete selection of their offerings.

Book1“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

In these fast-paced times, reading the news or the latest best seller is often done on a tablet, phone, or computer. From kids to adults, its pinch, swipe, and shuffle, back and forth between groups of icons. However, for many, nothing compares to the smell of the ink and paper, the weight of the book in your hands, and the sound of turning the pages. It involves all of the senses. Then there is the sight of the beautifully-crafted book cover — not just thumbnail in your Kindle inventory.

For those who continue to enjoy their collection of books, make sure to incorporate attractive library space in your remodel. See the following creative bookshelf ideas to help you house your collection attractively.

Bored Panda   A leading art, design, and photography community, Bored Panda has collected these 33 Creative Bookshelf Designs. Even if you are not a book lover, consider their ideas for general storage – there’s something for everyone –from cats to kids.

House and Garden, The Most Novel Book Ideas

Find bookshelf ideas for every room in your home, including fitted and floating bookshelves, floor-to-ceiling libraries, and bookshelves built into stairs.

 

And finally, through a Houzz Tour see how the love of reading shaped a Seattle couple’s home remodel.

DeForest Architects in Seattle, WA took a dark Tudor-style home and opened it up for the couple to enjoy views of their garden and Lake Washington. Every room was designed with their love of reading in mind. Their home includes over 300 linear feet of shelving and various cozy reading spots.

book10

There are many elements that drive a design: structural requirements, costs, and functionality, to name a few. However, there is an easy rule, used by many designers to create an aesthetically-pleasing, well-pulled together room. The Rule of Three is a principle used in many areas of design: architecture, graphic design, and photography (though, in graphic design and photography, it is referred to as the Rule of Thirds).

The basic idea is that details and objects that are arranged or grouped in threes (or odd numbers) are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered arrangements. According to Cecilia Walker of Cecilia Walker Designs, “While it is easier to create symmetry by balancing elements in twos, odd numbers create harmony and force movement and visual interest.” Consistent with Feng Shui principles, odd numbers give Yang energy and even numbers, Yin. Yang expands and moves, Yin contracts and condenses.

With interior design, the Rule of Three not only applies to architecture, but to lighting, color, and interior accessorizing.

Color and the Rule of 3

This simple diagram from The Interactive Color Wheel represents one of the designer’s basic tools: The 60-30-10 decorating rule, which is decorating with a selection of three different colors, each with its own pre-defined function, produces pleasant visual impact.

Dominant color: Roughly 60 percent of the given space should be the dominant color. In interior design terms, this color is for walls. Neutrals are the good choice for painting walls.

Secondary color: The next 30 percent should represent secondary color.

Accent color: The remaining 10 percent of the color scheme is for accent color. Accent color should be attractive. Warm vivid colors are good accents.

Design and Aesthetics

Margaret Everton is one of the many wonderful writers for Houzz. She is an arts and culture writer and explorer of how and what people create. Her work spans the disciplines of architecture and design, art, lifestyle, history, and literature. In her article, Using The Rule of Three In Your Home’s Design, she created an Idea book on the theme of threes and how, as a design tool, the rule in creative variations works in many ways.  Here are a few examples:

Rule of 3 photo2 “The three sets of French doors creates a center point for the room without overdoing symmetry. The chandelier flares out from the center, creating both a groundedness and lightness in this space.”

In this home by Taylor Lombardo Architects, “the larger center arch not only Rule photo3 accentuates the room’s center, but its raised height gives the room a loftiness that isn’t literally there. The room not only has added depth, but the illusion of added height.” Read More

Composition

With interior design, the Rule of Three can be implemented in progression and spatial composition. Consider the work triangle in kitchen design, color and fabric schemes, arrangements of furniture, and groupings of accessories.

For more inspiration, see Freshome Design and Architecture Magazine’s recent article “10 Designs That Incorporate the Rule of Three”

They demonstrate how to arrange furniture, tabletop objects, and artwork and provide examples of why the Rule of Three is not a hard-and-fast rule. There are times, such as in a small space, where it may make more sense to successfully “break” the rule.

Rule photo4 Rule photo5 Rule photo6

31 Mar 2015

Hip to be Square

Photo1LRGreen

Stylish. Simple. Affordable. Eco-Friendly.
It’s not too often that one can describe a product with all four of these attributes. Yes, there is home product that exists that is stylish, simple, affordable and eco-friendly. We are referring to FLOR Carpet Design Squares. Although, it has been around since 2003, we recently had a client come to us to help them with decorative finishes for their new addition. Hardwood floors had been installed throughout their home; however, they needed protective floor coverings for the laundry room, kitchen, living area and hallway. We knew FLOR was the answer. It was perfect for all four areas. Ever since, we have been a huge fan.

Photo2FlorLogoWhat is FLOR? FLOR is an innovative modular system of carpet squares (20” x 20″) that you assemble to create custom rugs, runners, or wall-to-wall designs of any shape or size. FLOR works great on hardwood, vinyl tile, laminate, plywood and concrete sealed with nonsolvent sealant.

Photo3Stylish.
With a full array of textures, colors and patterns, the designers at FLOR offer something for everyone. Whether it is the look of traditional herringbone pattern, playful leopard & zebra prints to earthy/nature & industrial tones, FLOR squares adds personality and conveys your unique style to any room. You can create floor coverings for any space, from cozy nurseries to busy kitchens or everyday high traffic hallways and entryways.

Simple.
From beginning to end this product is simple. (Square+Dot=Rug). Simple to request samples (they’re free at Palo Alto store) and order product, simple to assemble by yourself (no contractor required) and simple to clean. FLOR rugs are easy to install, move and/or change, and they stay in place with FLOR dots, a patented adhesive, which adhere to the bottom of each square and not your floor.

sticker1

sticker2sticker3

 

 

 

Photo4PurseAffordable. Costs run from $10 to $30 a Design Square (with the majority of Design Squares priced at $16-$18). They arrive to your door in about a week.
Need a quick estimate of how many squares your floor needs? Use FLOR’s Tile Calculator

 

 

Eco-Friendly.ecorug
All FLOR face fibers are nylon with varying degrees of recycled content. The backings are a vinyl composite, increasingly made from recycled materials. FLOR carpet tiles meet or exceed the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus standards for VOC emissions. Most FLOR carpet squares use a GlasBac backing, a vinyl composite, which is 100% recyclable. FLOR also offers a Return & Recycle Program – they take your old FLOR tiles and turn them into new product.

FLOR customer service is exemplary. Designed-challenged? No problem. FLOR offers design assistance over the phone as well as in the store. We are fortunate to have a retail store local in Palo Alto, where you can view samples and consult with an in-house designer to help you create your own unique composition.

Visit FLOR at 321 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 289-9609 or check out FLOR’s Facebook page for more information, ideas, and inspiration:
https://www.facebook.com/FLORsquares/info?tab=page_info

babyflor hallway blackwhite

To many homeowners, a ceiling is just a ceiling – a large, flat, boring, surface that all too often is ignored, receiving nothing more than a coat of flat, white paint. However, a ceiling, sometimes called “The Fifth Wall” is an opportunity to create a unique and dramatic element in your home.

As part of a designing a remodeling project, keep in mind that the architectural details of a ceiling make their way into our consciousness when we take in the view of an entire room. Pattern, color, and texture on the ceiling can transform the look and feel of a room.

Below are four stylistic details that add architectural interest and pull the entire room together: crown molding, ceiling paint color, medallions and other material coverings.

Read More


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