Households with Children
Households with children see a lot of action!
If you have children take into consideration where they spend their time and the
kinds of activities they like to do.
Look for quality products that are durable and easy to maintain.
Suggestions for Your Children’s Activity Rooms
Select a carpet that:
- Has stain and soil resistance
- Tightly twisted yarns
- Density of a min. of 35 - 40 oz.
Consider these styles:
- Low profile/cut and uncut
- Looped berbers
- Cut pile berbers
Adds warmth and beauty to any room. Add an area rug for a soft place for kids to
lay and play.
Consider a hardwood floor that has
- A beveled edge to catch dirt and dust
- More naturally occurring grain such as Oak, Pecan, Cherry, Hickory, etc. that will
minimize the appearance of dirt and scratches.
- A satin or semi-gloss finish to help reduce the appearance of scratches or dents
Tile is great for flooring in the family room, especially in warmer climates.
Consider larger sized tiles, 16 x 16, 18 x18, etc. to minimize grout joints
Throw in an area rug for kids play, added warmth and sound insulation.
Suggestions for making your kitchen kid friendly
- Add warmth and beauty to any room
- Add an area rug for a soft place for kids to play
- Consider a hardwood floor that has:
- A beveled edge to catch dirt and dust.
- More naturally occurring grain such as Oak, Pecan, Cherry, Hickory etc. that will
minimize the appearance of dirt and scratches.
- A satin or semi-gloss finish to help reduce the appearance of scratches or dents.
- Distressed or hand scraped hardwood floors will also help minimize the appearance
of everyday wear and tear.
- Tile looks great in the kitchen.
- Tile is especially nice in warmer climates because it is cool underfoot.
- Consider larger sized tiles 16 x 16, 18 x18, 24 x 24 etc. to minimize grout joints.
- Look for a ceramic tile that:
- Has Good slip resistance
- Is non-porous
- Has a matte or semi-gloss finish to reduce the appearance of scratches, marks or
- Has color variation vs. a solid color
- Tiles that emulate the look of natural stone
- Select a darker shade of grout to minimize stain and dirt. But be aware that a darker
grout will produce a grid or checkerboard appearance on your floor or countertop.
- Throw in an area rug for kids play, added warmth and sound insulation.
Natural stone floors are very elegant and classic.
Marble, Limestone, Granite and Slate create beautiful floors, countertops, and surrounds.
They are made in nature and no two pieces are ever the same.
- Vinyl can be a great selection for the kitchen floor if a well-constructed product
- The vinyl you select for your kitchen requires a different level of durability than
the vinyl you would select for your bathroom.
- Kitchens are typically an area of high traffic and heavy use.
- When selecting sheet vinyl for the kitchen, thicker is not always better. Select
a sheet vinyl with a dense inner core that will resist rips, tears, gouges and indentations.
The wearlayer also plays an important role. A quality wearlayer such as urethane
will provide protection against staining, scuffing and scratching.
- Be sure to check the warranties and specific performance characteristics
- Wonderful colors, patterns and designs available to enhance any decor
- Some of the most popular designs are those that emulate nature
- Natural stone looks
- Unique textures and embossing
- Softer underfoot and warmer than ceramic tile.
- A less expensive option to hardwood or ceramic
Solid surface and engineered stone
Solid surface and engineered stone are popular. The key to their popularity is due
mostly to their ease of maintenance and durability. Color and style offerings are
constantly being revamped to meet the needs of consumers. There are many products
that fall into this category. Here are just a few to look for:
- DuPont Corian
- Cambria - Quartz
- Silestone - Quartz
- DuPont Zodiaq - Quartz
- Select ceramic tile in larger sizes such as 6x6, 8x8, 8 x10 and 12 x12, 14 x 14
with tight grout joints.
- Ceramic tile with a matte finish will help diminish the appearance of water spots
- Darker shade of grout.
- Seal grout.
Other Options for the kitchen
- Add a desk or computer station where kids can do homework or play on the computer.
- Make sure to have a solid surface or engineered stone countertop to make writing
Kitchen snack center
- Designate a small area that doesn’t interrupt kitchen traffic that has a microwave,
small under-counter refrigerator or a Sub-Zero refrigerator drawer for your kid’s
Making Your Dog Feel at Home
If your dog spends some time indoors, then select a hard surface flooring product
such as ceramic tile, laminate or a top quality sheet vinyl
Hardwood floors are also an option, but be aware long nails will scratch your floor.
It is also a good idea to have a hard surface flooring area in front of exterior
doors in case of wet or muddy paws.
Main level laundry rooms are great rooms for your dog’s water and food.
You may want to have special bins or storage space for food, toys, shampoo, brushes
The laundry room, if large enough, can also serve as a grooming area equipped with
a utility sink for bathing smaller dogs.
Also, consider the color of your dog’s hair. If your dog has light hair i.e. yellow
lab, choose lighter colored carpet, fabrics and upholstery to minimize the hair’s
For carpet, select a product that has stain and soil protection in
case of doggie accidents.
Making Your Cat Feel at Home
Select a carpet that does not have loops. Although looped or berber carpets wear
well, they can snag easily if your cat has claws.
Be sure that the carpet you select has stain and soil protection.
Textured, Frieze, and Cut Pile berbers are some of the carpet styles that will help
minimize footprints or in this case paw prints.
Consider the color and length of your cat's hair when selecting colors for your
flooring, upholstery, and fabrics.
For example, a deep navy blue carpet in the living room would not be a wise choice
for the household with a white longhaired cat.
Mudrooms, laundry rooms, basements or a spare bathroom are all good options for
the kitty litter box.
Be sure that whatever room you choose has hard surface flooring for easy cleanups.
Flooring to consider, ceramic tile, sheet vinyl, or laminate.
Making Your Pets Feel at Home
Pets can be a wonderful addition to any home.
Having a designated space for you pet is important.
Remember, that hard surface products like ceramic tile, sheet vinyl, laminate are
best for areas where your pet may enter the house, sleep or eat.
These surfaces allow for quick and easy cleanups!
Designing for an Extended Family Member
Keep in mind any extended family members that live with you when doing a remodel
or add-on. Consider what room this person occupies and what bathroom they use.
If this family member is older, are there certain products that would make their
life a little easier and more comfortable?
- Consider carpeting as a safe and warm flooring option.
- If you prefer a hard surface, consider a durable, matte, textured ceramic tile.
Add a throw rug for warmth but make sure that the rug is rubber backed so it won't
- Vinyl can also be a good flooring option because it is warmer and softer than ceramic
tile. However, be aware that vinyl can be slippery when wet and rubber-backed mats
are not recommended because they can discolor the floor.
- Solid surface or engineered stone work well for countertops in the bathrooms for
ease of maintenance.
- If you haven’t already, install a shower seat, grab bar or hand-held shower
heads for safe and easy bathing.
- Install a heat light to keep the bathroom cozy when getting out of the shower or
Creating a Formal Atmosphere
Always makes a statement.
Mix marble, granite and limestone in a design in the foyer; use granite on kitchen
countertops, fireplace surrounds.
Marble is always at home in a master bathroom on floors, counters and surrounds.
Hardwood floors work well in formal and casual environments depending on the stain,
finish and sometimes species of wood.
Some popular choices for formal homes include: Brazilian cherry, Birdseye maple,
Some hardwood products have the ability to be installed in patterns such as herringbone,
chevron or diagonal.
Hardwood floors with a darker stain are typically a good choice for the formal interior.
Larger sized tiles for floors, walls and surrounds with a high gloss finish create
a formal atmosphere.
For a more customized look add liners or decos on backsplashes and surrounds.
Use ceramic tiles that emulate the look of natural stone.
Install floor tile on the diagonal with a border around the perimeter of the room
or special feature such as a kitchen island or a beautiful table in the foyer.
Saxony or Plush: great for formal living rooms, master bedrooms or throughout the
house for an overall formal appearance.
These carpets are also available in higher ounce weights called Velvets.
Although they show footprints these styles are very luxurious and are perfect for
any formal environment.
Patterned or cut and uncut carpets. (Geometric, botanicals, etc.)
Thick cable carpets
Creating a Casual Atmosphere
The following carpet styles will compliment the casual environment:
- Frieze ("Free-zay")
- Cut pile berber
- Looped berber
- Patterned or cut and uncut
- Natural products like sea grass, sisal and coir are good choices as area rugs or
wall to wall. Although these particular products can be rough under bare feet, they
have a unique and natural look.
Can compliment the casual environment very easily.
Stone such as slate, limestone, soapstone, honed marble or granite (for a matte
look) are beautiful choices.
Use stone on flooring, countertops and surrounds.
Textured and matte tiles are casual in appearance. Combine semi gloss or glossy
tile with matte tile for a more interesting look.
For example: Use a 12 x12 textured and matte tile for the bathroom floor and a 6x6
glossy tile on the shower/tub surround.
All sizes and shapes will work well in the casual home. From 2x2 up to 18 x18, ceramic
tile is very versatile.
If you're looking for a relaxed, warm and inviting feel then Oak, maple, pine, and
hickory are perfect. Opt for satin or matte finishes rather than a high gloss.
For the environmentally conscience, "Green" products like recycled wood planks from
old barns, homes and buildings are rich with character and make a statement that
you can feel good about.
Laminate floors and countertops have come a long way. Laminate floors now offer
a variety of design options from woodgrain patterns to natural stone look to solid
These materials are easy to maintain, and great for kids.
Use in the family room, living room, dining room, kitchen, playroom, etc.
Creating a Combination of Formal & Casual Atmospheres
More often than not, homes today boast a combination of formal and casual environments
to meet the diverse lifestyles of the occupants.
To achieve this look consider:
- A different carpet that is formal in style such as a Saxony or velvet for the living
room and dining room.
- A different carpet that is casual in style such as a berber or a hard working freeze
for the family room or other active areas.
- Making a lasting first impression with your foyer by dressing it up with gorgeous
natural stone or inviting hardwood. Extend your flooring down the hall or into the
adjoining rooms to visually open up your floor plan.
- A mixture of products for the kitchen countertops. For instance, a granite slab,
solid surface or engineered stone on the island with a complimentary tile on the
main countertops. The backsplash is another area that can be dressed up or down
with stone, ceramic tile and accent decos.
- Kitchen cabinetry can be formal in rich Cherry or casual in a shaker door style
in maple or hickory. Distressed finishes also add casual character. Try a different
cabinet style or color for the island to mix formal with casual.
- Create a formal master bath with a double sided fireplace, cabinetry such as Cherry
or maple, jetted tub, double head shower and marble surrounds and/or flooring. Include
special decos, listellos or other patterns on the shower walls, behind the tub and
on the vanity backsplash.
- Kid’s bathrooms can be more casual with ceramic tile floors. Use a solid surface
or engineered stone on the counters for easy maintenance. Color and pattern can
be introduced through fun backsplash decos.
Options for Entertaining in Your Home
If you like to entertain frequently, consider hard surfaces for high traffic areas.
For example, select a large ceramic tile or natural stone for a foyer and extend
the tile down the hall and into the kitchen and nook.
The tile will visually expand the spaces and stand up to heavy foot traffic.
Select a different carpet for the living room and dining room that is more formal.
For example, to compliment the taupe frieze carpet in the family room, choose a
low profile, cut and uncut (patterned) carpet in a complimentary color.
- Consider having two wall ovens or a warming drawer.
- Islands are great for serving buffets, appetizers and drinks.
- Add an additional sink on an island for food prep.
- Stainless steel appliances.
- Install a wine cooler or wine rack.
- Consider having a small butlers pantry with a dish washer for storing table linens
and serving pieces
- Use granite 12 x12s or slab on the counters
- Put dimmers on lights to create ambiance
- Coat room or large coat closet
If you entertain then your powder room is one area to do something special.
- Hard surface flooring is the way to go in bathrooms.
- Consider doing a pattern on the floor such as installing your ceramic tile, natural
stone or hardwood on the diagonal or add decos.
- Countertops and backsplashes are other attention grabbers so be creative and use
different colors and products then what you have throughout the rest of your home.
For a more elegant or modern look use granite, marble or other natural stones. For
a more casual setting consider tile.
Luxury Vinyl Tile | Care and Maintenance
Floors should never be flooded with water or be allowed to have
standing water. This can loosen the adhesive.
Care should be taken with heavy furniture and appliances.
Furniture protectors should be used that are at least 2" in
diameter. The hard and small buttons sometimes found on the
bottom of chairs and other pieces of furniture should be
removed. High heeled shoes also apply here.
Protect the floors from dirt and grit that can be tracked in by
using walk off mats at every entrance.
Do not use rubber backed mats. Certain rubber compounds can
permanently stain vinyl.
Never use vinegar, acetone or lacquer thinner to clean these
For extreme staining like nail polish , paint, dye and
permanent markers try applying fingernail polish remover that
contains acetone, but is not pure acetone with a soft cloth and
Spills should be removed immediately.
The floor should be swept, dust mopped or vacuumed on a regular
Stubborn rubber heel marks can be removed with a soft cloth
dampened with mineral spirits.
When the floor gets build up, consult the with the
manufacturer's recommended cleaner system to see if a stripper
Decorating with Cool Colors
- Generally speaking, the color wheel can be divided in half representing warm colors
and cool colors.
- Colors near the dividing line can go either direction depending upon the proportions
of cool and warm tints such as green. Green can contain more yellow which makes
it warm but if more blue is added then green is considered cool.
- Cool Colors: are colors that are based on blue
- Blue, green, turquoise, blue-violet
- Black, gray and white can also be considered cool
- Cool colors recede
- Use cool colors to make a room feel:
Creating a Neutral Color Scheme
Neutral Schemes consist of colors such as white, cream, beige, brown, gray and black.
There is a natural look and feel to these schemes and they are perfect for your
home if resale value is a consideration.
Neutral schemes also are the perfect compliment for an interesting or colorful collection
of furniture,artwork or accessories.
Creating a Harmonious Color Scheme
Harmonious schemes are derived from colors that are adjacent on the color wheel.
For example, red and purple or blue and green.
These schemes are easy to live with and are perfect for any room.
Contrasting Color Scheme
Contrasting schemes use shades from opposite segments on the color wheel. Contrasting bold primary and secondary colors - red and green, yellow and violet, or blue and orange - will create a very dramatic look. Contrasting colors can also be created using pastel shades, also found as opposites on the color wheel.
Planning for Your Home Office
- Hardwood: Consider the rich and warm look of a hardwood floor for your
office. Enhance the feel by adding a beautiful area rug.
- Carpet: Select a carpet that is different in style and color, but that
complements the carpet that runs throughout the rest of your home. Choose a carpet
that is low profile to withstand traffic and chair castors.
- Select natural stone or ceramic tile in larger sizes for your floor and add warmth
with an area rug.
- Plastic mats can be added under chairs to protect floors.
- Inset an area of hardwood, tile, stone or laminate in your carpet for your desk
- Consider custom built-in cabinetry to increase storage for office or computer equipment,
files, binders etc.
- Coffee/wet bar: – for the countertop select ceramic tile with a decorative
deco on the backsplash, luxurious natural stone that will make a statement or solid
surface or engineered stone products for their beauty and ease of maintenance. Add
a sink and under-counter refrigerator.
- Natural light: take advantage of any natural light from windows but be
sure to position your desk so that there will not be a glare on your computer screen.
Have more than enough artificial and natural light sources to create a functional
and inviting environment.
- Don’t forget the windows! Select window coverings that allow you to control
the amount of light exposure and that will complement your office decor.
Planning for Your Home Gym or Hobby (Arts or Craft) Room
- Home gyms are a great addition to any household. Keeping in shape is important
and that much easier when the equipment is just down the hall. For a home gym consider:
- Low profile or commercial carpeting, hardwood or laminate floors.
- Built in cabinetry to house a sound system or TV.
- A small snack bar - ceramic tile, solid surface or engineered stone work well for
snack bar countertops.
- Under counter refrigerator with bottled water and juice
- Hobby (Craft/art studio) consider:
- Adding special task lighting and natural light.
- Hard surface flooring (Laminate, hardwood, ceramic tile, vinyl) for easy maintenance.
- Plenty of work space - solid products work best like a laminate or Corian, Avonite,
- Extra storage in closets for supplies.
- Add a small bathroom or sink area for easy clean-up.
- Again, solid surface or engineered stone will work well for this type of bathroom
Furnishing Your New Space
Take inventory of your existing furniture and determine which pieces will stay in
the remodeled room or rooms.
Or, if you are adding on to your home, will you rearrange existing furniture? buy
completely new pieces for the new rooms?
Or a combination of existing furniture and new pieces?
Then draw a scaled floor plan of each room on a piece of graph paper.
Draw in where your furniture will be placed.
Now decide if new furniture is needed, what those pieces are and where they most
likely will go.
By going through this process you will have a better idea of how the rooms will
be used, the lighting requirements for the rooms and color scheme options.
Products that are Easy to Maintain
Different products have different maintenance requirements and now is a good time
to think about how often you or someone else will clean.
By determining how much time you want to devote to the maintenance of your remodeled
spaces as well as your entire home, you will be able to select products that will
compliment your lifestyle and needs.
The following products are typically easier to maintain:
Solid surface and engineered stone materials: for countertops are great
because there is no grout.
- Select a quality constructed carpet with stain and soil protection.
- Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning is all that is needed.
However, most warranties require that you have your carpet professionally cleaned
every 12-24 months. By doing so, your carpet in turn will be easier to maintain.
- Consider these styles:
- Berbers (looped and cut pile)
- Cut and uncut / patterned
- Larger sizes to minimize the number of grout joints.
- With a pattern or different colors to help minimize the appearance of dirt.
- Select a quality constructed sheet vinyl with a protective coating or wear layer.
- With a pattern or different colors to help minimize the appearance of dirt.
Luxury Vinyl Tile | Care and Maintenance
Floors should never be flooded with water or be allowed to have standing water. This can loosen the adhesive.
Care should be taken with heavy furniture and appliances. Furniture protectors should be used that are at least 2" in diameter. The hard and small buttons sometimes found on the bottom of chairs and other pieces of furniture should be removed. High heeled shoes also apply here.
Protect the floors from dirt and grit that can be tracked in by using walk off mats at every entrance.
Do not use rubber backed mats. Certain rubber compounds can permanently stain vinyl.
Never use vinegar, acetone or lacquer thinner to clean these floors.
For extreme staining like nail polish , paint, dye and permanent markers try applying fingernail polish remover that contains acetone, but is not pure acetone with a soft cloth and gently rub.
Spills should be removed immediately.
The floor should be swept, dust mopped or vacuumed on a regular basis.
Stubborn rubber heel marks can be removed with a soft cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
When the floor gets build up, consult the with the manufacturer's recommended cleaner system to see if a stripper is available.
Customize Your Home
Now is your chance to decorate your home with the products and colors that you like.
The possibilities are endless and we can help you with new ideas that will personalize
your home while meeting your lifestyle, design and budget needs.