Homecrest Outdoor Living | May 2019

outdoor living

Homecrest continues to add experienced retailers and industry veterans to the Homecrest sales team with a number of exciting East Coast announcements. These moves support our mission to bring a great sales team and compelling products to the marketplace through our independent sales reps.

Dobbins & Son: Industry veterans and retailers Gray Dobbins, Justin Carter and Pam Mulcahy have joined the Homecrest team, providing sales leadership in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Homecrest welcomes both the industry and retail experience this dynamic team brings to the brand.

After attending the University of Florida, Gray joined his father as a manufacturer’s rep. For a number of years, Gray and his father represented some of the top brands in the casual furniture industry. In 2006, Gray purchased Atlanta Home & Patio, an outstanding retailer in the Fayetteville, Georgia, market. His skills as a retailer, coupled with his years of industry experience, makes Gray a valuable member of the Homecrest team.

Justin Carter entered the casual furniture market working at his father’s store in Peachtree City, Georgia. Justin joined Gray in 2006 as a manufacturer’s rep and to assist in running the Fayetteville store. Together, they represent and retail some of the top lines in the casual furniture marketplace.

Like Gray, Pam Mulcahy followed in her father’s footsteps, entering the casual furniture industry in her youth. Throughout her successful career, Pam has engaged in a number of retail pursuits include casual furniture, retail apparel, wood flooring and real estate. She is noted for her design expertise, her attention to detail and her ability to get the job done. Together, Gray, Justin and Pam represent one of the most effective teams in the casual furniture industry.

DD Sales, LLC: Retailer and business consultant, Darrell Campbell, joins Homecrest as an independent rep for the states of South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Darrell’s experience in business and retail will make him a valuable addition to the Homecrest team.

Darrell holds an MBA from Jacksonville University. Early in his career, Darrell worked himself up through ranks at CSX Transportation to Vice President of Coal Operations. In 1996, he left the corporate life and, along with his wife, started Backyard Retreats, a retail store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Over the course of a few years, that business converted from selling hot tubs to become a premier casual furniture retailer. Darrell’s unique business background, along with his retail experience, positions him as a valuable business partner to our retail dealers. Homecrest is excited to welcome him to our team.

Signal Sales, Inc.: Jordan Kenney joined Homecrest in 2015 as an independent sales rep in the Mid-Atlantic region. Jordan, along with his partners, are building a strong retail-driven sales organization headquartered out of the Baltimore, Maryland, area. Jordan’s team continues to represent the Homecrest brand in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington DC, and now takes on the added responsibilities of the Philadelphia metro market and West Virginia.

Jordan has a degree in marketing from Virginia Wesleyan University. With over 10 years of experience as a manufacturer’s rep, and his drive to build a great team, Jordan is well positioned to help build the Homecrest brand in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more blog posts!

This content was originally published here.

What Would Homeowners Do If They Could Do It Over Again?

Hardwood Flooring

Philipsburg, PA   – If you’ve ever bought a home, you know the choices and tradeoffs can be overwhelming. Balancing what you want against what you can afford and what’s available, it’s hard to look back without a few regrets.

A national survey commissioned by Erie Insurance shows that while more than half of U.S. homeowners (53%) are happy with the features they chose for their homes, the rest (47%) regret one or more of them. Overall, homeowners are much more likely to regret not getting certain features than getting them.

For example, in terms of what they wanted and got but wouldn’t choose again, the biggest percentage (9%) say they wouldn’t get hardwood floors again. But, when asked a separate question about features they didn’t get but wish they had, a much larger percentage (16%) say they wished they had gotten hardwood floors. Granite countertops were second on the list of features homeowners wanted and got but wouldn’t choose again, with 8% saying that. But, more than twice as many homeowners (18%) regret that they did not get granite countertops.

Regardless of how they feel about their homes’ features, the survey found an overwhelming number of people are fond of their homes, with 95% saying they like or love them. The survey also asked some questions about homeowners insurance.

“We were pleased to see that the vast majority of people have very positive feelings about their homes, but we also learned that there are some knowledge gaps when it comes to how to best protect those homes if something goes wrong,” said  Tina Burns, Hrenko Insurance Agency, Inc..

“For example, we recommend homeowners have what’s called ‘guaranteed replacement cost’ coverage, which would pay to replace a home regardless of what it would cost in today’s dollars. But the survey found that more than four in 10 homeowners don’t know whether their policy has this coverage or not.” “It’s important for homeowners to understand their policy and how it works with a covered claim. We get to know our customers so we can help them choose the coverages they need ” said Burns.

“Guaranteed Replacement Cost is a coverage that a lot of our customers really appreciate. We work with them, so they keep us up-to-date on home improvements over $5,000—a requirement for Guaranteed Replacement Cost.”

When asked why they would not get certain features again, reasons ranged from feeling the feature was not worth the money, to being tired of it, to feeling that the feature is outdated now. In terms of features homeowners regret not getting, a walk-in pantry topped the list.

Below are the top 5 features homeowners wanted and got but would not choose again:

Feature Percentage who would not choose it again 1. Hardwood flooring 9.2% 2. Granite countertops 7.8% 3. Stainless steel appliances 7.6% 4. Fireplace 7.4% 5. Deck 7.2%

Below are the top 5 features homeowners didn’t get but wish they had:

Feature Percentage who now wish they had it 1. Walk-in pantry 30.2% 2. Granite countertops 17.8% 3. Kitchen island 16.8% 4. Tankless water heater 16.4% 5. Finished basement 16.2%

For more information please contact:

Hrenko Insurance Agency, Inc. Tina Burns, 962 Tyrone Pike Philipsburg, PA 16866-9312 814-342-5204 www.hrenko.com

This content was originally published here.

6 of the most durable flooring options for your home | AZ Big Media

Hardwood Flooring

Are you looking to put new flooring in your home, but aren’t sure which option to choose?

When it comes to choosing new flooring, make a decision can be overwhelming. After all, there are so many options out there, how are you supposed to know which one is best for your home?

If you’re looking for a flooring option that is both durable and stylish, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn about the most durable flooring options for your home.

1. Hardwood

Hardwood flooring isn’t just popular because of how versatile it is, it’s popular because it’s also super durable.

When properly maintained, these floors can last decades upon decades. Although they’re susceptible to water damage and cracking, hardwood floors are easy to clean and provide a stunning foundation for any style.

When choosing hardwood floors for your home, it’s important to keep the following in mind:

Wood Hardness

If durability is what you’re after, then it’s important that you choose the right species of wood for your home.

For example, pine wood can dent easily, whereas Brazilian redwood is extremely durable.

Tough Finish

Regardless of the type of wood you choose, you want to make sure that you choose the right finish, as this plays a huge role in the overall durability of the wood.

If your hardwood floor starts to look shabby after a while, you can always restain it and refinish it, which is one of the main reasons hardwood floors can last so long.

Care and Maintenance

All flooring needs care and maintenance, but this is especially so with hardwood floors. Try to keep pets and high heels off of your hardwood floors, and put area rugs down in high traffic areas.

As an alternative to hardwood, you may also want to consider engineered hardwood flooring.

2. Laminate

While laminate may not be the classiest of flooring options, it’s very affordable and also perhaps the most durable option on the market.

Quality laminate flooring can be found for $3 to $5 per square foot.

If you have a busy household that receives a lot of floor traffic, laminate flooring is a great option to consider. In addition to holding up well against foot traffic, laminate flooring is also scratch-resistant, noise-resistant, and spill-proof. In fact, many manufacturers offer a 25-year guarantee against wear and tear with laminate floors.

Laminate is also resistant to moisture and fading from the sun, making it a great alternative to hardwood floors.

3. Cork

If you’re looking for a flooring option that is durable and environmentally-friendly, look no further than cork flooring.

Thanks to its soft nature, it’s quiet and warm under the foot. Due to the springy quality of cork, it rebounds well from high traffic and minor dinks. However, due to the fact that it’s softer than wood, you need to treat it carefully. High heels, sharp objects, and dragging heavy objects across cork floors can all be a recipe for disaster.

But, if you treat it with care and attention, your cork flooring will have a very long lifespan. We suggest sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping your cork floors once per week. This will help remove dirt and debris that can scar the floors over time if left unattended.

You should also prepare to re-seal your cork floors on a regular basis with a protective coat or wax finish.

It’s also a good idea to place felt pads or protective coasters under your furniture, as bare furniture can leave dents in the floor over time.

4. Bamboo

Like cork, bamboo is another great eco-friendly flooring option.

Due to its sustainability, price, and stylish looks, bamboo has sky-rocketed in popularity over the last few years.

However, this popularity comes with a price, as now many companies are relying on overseas production to keep their pricing competitive. This has led to low-quality flooring entering the market.

For high-quality bamboo flooring, look for one that has 7 to 8 coats of aluminum oxide finish. It’s also a good idea to shop for wider planks, as this indicates higher standards of manufacturing and therefore, higher quality.

Also, make sure you purchase your bamboo flooring from a trusted manufacturer.

5. Vinyl

Vinyl is another great option for those on the hunt for durable flooring. Not only is vinyl inexpensive when compared to the other options on this list, but it’s also very stylish.

It also comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors, making it easy to find something to suit your style. If you spend a lot of time standing or cooking, vinyl is a great option, as its cushy structure can help alleviate muscle fatigue.

Vinyl is also great in the kitchen and other highly trafficked areas because it’s easy to take care of. Just some weekly sweeping and mopping is all you need to keep your vinyl floors in good shape. Vinyl is also stainproof and waterproof, making it a great option for those who have young children.

6. Stone

Last but not least, we have stone.

Due to its cool-to-touch surface, stone is a great option for those who live in warm climates. However, not all stone flooring is durable. For high durability, we recommend purchasing a non-porous stone flooring, such as slate or granite.

Stone is also incredibly stain-resistant, making it a great choice for families with pets and young children.

Most Durable Flooring: Which One Will You Choose?

Now that you know about the most durable flooring options on the market, it’s time to choose the right one for your home.

Before you know it, you’ll be walking on a brand new surface.

If you liked this article, be sure to check back in with our website for more tips and tricks related to home improvement.

This content was originally published here.

The Hardwood Flooring Trends of 2020BECKI OWENS

Hardwood Flooring

Becki Owens Summit Creek Project / Rebekah Westover Photography / Oasis Wood Flooring, Carmel Collection, Fresh Traditions

Hardwood adds warmth and organic beauty to every space, and is on the wish list of almost all our clients. But because its a big investment, choosing the width, color, and brand can be stressful. Today we are sharing what is trending, the looks we love, and some specific flooring we’ve used in recent projects. Read on for hardwood flooring trends of 2020!

Width: Trending on both sides of the Spectrum

Becki Owens Summit Creek Project / Rebekah Westover Photography / Oasis Wood Flooring, Carmel Collection, Fresh Traditions

Neither our clients nor followers can get enough of wide plank oak. We don’t blame them. The look is light and airy with fewer lines breaking up the space. Take a look at this post, Design Trend: Wide Plank Oak to see why it’s a look to keep on loving and to learn about the specific hardwood flooring brands and finishes we used in our projects last year.

On the opposite end of the width spectrum, narrow strip wood floors are increasing in popularity. These floors add a lot of beautiful texture to a space since there are more visible lines and different grain patterns. Because strip wood floors were popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s, when used in a new build, these floors have a more traditional feel that fits in with the New Traditional vibe that is trending. They are also becoming popular because if you are remodeling an older home, keeping the narrow strip hardwood and refinishing it, instead of replacing it, is a greener way to go.

Color: Warmer Darker Tones are Dominating our Favorite Designs

For years, everyone seemed to favor light woods with cool gray undertones in their hardwood, but the last few years have seen a resurgence in rich warm woods. Choose this if you are after a classic look or want to add contrast to a white, light-filled space.

Finish: Raw, Hand-scraped Looks

Becki Owens Torina Project / Pravada Flooring, Canvas Collection, Palette

A raw unfinished looking floor with artisan details like hand-scraping is the look most requested by clients. It creates a vibe that feels just a bit rustic and looks beautiful in coastal and modern farmhouse spaces. One downside of a raw wood floor? Maintenance. Read about the flooring we chose for our Torina Project. It uses Pravada’s Endura Finish for durability without the shellac look.

Keep it Fresh: Mix Wood Tones Throughout your Space

Playing with wood grains and colors in your flooring is part of a bigger trend of mixing wood tones through out a space. Layering woods in a space creates rich organic beauty. Embrace this years traditional warm dark tones, but keep it feeling fresh by mixing in lighter, ashier tones throughout the space.

Thanks for stopping by! Check back for more inspiration and trends.


This content was originally published here.

The 5 Best Dining Sets for Outdoor Living

outdoor living

The perfect outdoor dining set is an entertaining game-changer. Adding one to your patio, deck, or balcony means you can enjoy moonlight cocktails with friends, backyard barbecues, alfresco family meals, and more — all because these dining sets, designed to withstand the weather, basically create a brand-new dining room just outside the walls of your home.

When you’re choosing an outdoor dining set for your space, you’ll want to consider the size as well as the materials. Outdoor furniture comes in lots of sizes and shapes, ranging from two-person bistro sets perfect for small balconies to L-shaped sectionals with seating for a dozen of your family and friends. Most also come with durable cushions designed for outdoor use, though protecting them under a cover or inside a storage bin will ensure they are clean and dry whenever you are ready to dine out(side).

Rattan or wicker are both popular for outdoor furniture, but the natural material doesn’t hold up well in the elements without a lot of maintenance and care. Thus, the introduction of synthetic rattan: Designed to look like real wicker, polypropylene resin wicker (also known as PE wicker) won’t rust, fade, peel or dent. Not only is it durable and strong, it’s simple to maintain; just just wipe it down with water and give it an occasional cleaning with a common household solution and it will last for many seasons to come.

Excited to host an alfresco gathering? We’ve rounded up the best dining sets for outdoor use, so find the one that’s right for your home and start planning that barbecue!

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

This content was originally published here.

Good-Looking Wood Floor with White Trim Sunroom Transitional Window Frame Armchairs Light Hardwood Flooring Matching Side Tables To

Hardwood Flooring

6 Ways to Make Your Front Porch Much More Welcoming

Your front porch is your very first chance to make a great impression on visitors as well as neighbors. A stark, vacant deck is uninviting as well as may offer others the impression that you’re hostile. Right here are six ways that you can dress up your front porch so your home looks welcoming as well as inviting to everybody.

1. Clear the Mess

Front porches typically come to be a catch-all for gardening supplies, hose pipes, yard accessories, playthings, as well as showing off equipment. Not just is all that clutter unsightly, it can be difficult to maneuver around as well as prospective visitors may hesitate about knocking on your door. Move everything right into the garage or shed to open up the area as well as produce room for more appealing items.

2. Include Lighting

Bright exterior lights allow everybody recognize that pleasant people are within and that burglars are not welcome. A pair of lamps on either side of your front door are an easy method to include light to an otherwise shadowy location. Or, if you have an encased entryway, a ceiling component will spread out the light around. You can likewise include solar lamps along your front pathway to lead the way to your front door in the evening hours.

3. Make Small Repairs

Peeling off paint, sagging gutters, as well as torn screens are an indication that you’re not that thinking about what others think of you or your home. Taking a weekend to spruce up your front porch will make your home look brand-new again as well as produce an inviting entryway that the neighbors will covet. If there’s cash left in the budget, include brand-new residence numbers, door hardware, or a brand-new mail box to refurbish the area.

4. Spruce up the Sidewalk

An inviting pathway will draw the eyes of your visitors right up to your front door, as well as hopefully their feet will follow. Freshen up mulch or crushed stone walkways with a couple of brand-new bags of material as well as scrub up concrete or stone walkways to provide brand-new life. Then, plant low-growing shrubs or blossoms to line the course as well as offer visitors the red-carpet treatment.

5. Include a Centerpiece

Since you have your front porch removed, rubbed down, as well as fixed up, as well as your pathway is leading visitors to the deck, it’s time to provide something intriguing to take a look at that when they get there. Include something that speaks with your individual style as well as have fun. Think of a rocking chair, an antique bicycle, a comfy bench as well as table for lemonade, or an old milk crate with seasonal decors.

6. Container Gardens: The Last Touch

Adding a couple of container yards are the excellent completing touch for developing an inviting front porch. For the most convenient low-maintenance alternatives, plant perennial blossoms as well as environment-friendlies that will return every year with little treatment. Or, plant seasonal annuals that you can transform with the periods: fragile flowers for springtime, passionate environment-friendlies for summer, as well as orange as well as yellow mums for the fall.

Creating an inviting front porch may appear like a great deal of hard work, yet it will settle in the long run. Your entryway will be the envy of the area as well as your visitors as well as visitors will aspire to find to your home to delight in all of the effort you have actually placed in to make them feel welcome.

This content was originally published here.

Top Outdoor Living Design Trends Coming Into 2020

outdoor living

Homeowners often look into different ways to spice up there living and make some incredible changes. While the inside of your home is important, you can’t forget about the outdoor scene. Think about this, your outdoor living space is essentially known as an extension of your home. A place where you can truly make your own comfortable scene with a number of things like kitchen appliances, a pool/spa area, comfy furniture and much more! What’s interesting is that investments in your landscaping (even outdoor areas) can drive your property value up.

Over the last decade, the designs and looks of outdoor living areas have evolved to new heights. You often see tons more features being used as well as different materials that are uncommon amongst most. In other words, there will be always be something new to try when it comes to your design ideas. This is a new year, so you can expect some big changes to present themselves when you are looking to make a change. Check out some of the top outdoor living design trends that have shown up this year.

Beautiful Hardwood Floor Look

Some homeowners like to have a flair behind their design, a flair that hardwood flooring can provide. Believe it or not, a hardwood flooring design can offer a different sense of beauty. The wood adds a seamless transition, and you don’t have to worry about the extra maintenance like staining or painting. Coming into 2020, this is a trend that a lot of people are starting to take a liking to when looking for a great outdoor design.

Dual-Purpose Furniture Options

Just like the indoors, wouldn’t it be great to have a different array of outdoor furniture in your outdoor living area? Furniture options that are functional can serve multiple purposes, especially flexibility. Not to mention that extra accommodation that’ll be available for any guests you have over. Think about all of the possibilities like keeping drinks together and having some extra storage space. You want to think about things like tables, benches, cooler designs, and much more. When it comes to dual-purpose furniture selections you are going to have a lot to think about.

Unique Metallic Finishes

There’s no surprise that the use of metallic finishes has become popular over the years. By now, you may have seen different decorative features with metallic finishes. You might even see lighting options and furniture selections with metallic finishes too, but it all depends on what you are interested in seeing. There are a number of different finishes you could expect to come into the light like aluminum, copper, chrome, and many more. Overall implementing a nice metallic finish into your outdoor living space design may be a go-to decision that you’ll love.

Needless to say, you have the power to come up with some incredible outdoor living space designs. What you could consider doing is heading on over to neavegroup.com for some great ideas. This could be the year for some of the best outdoor home changes, so now would be a great time to start thinking about them.

This content was originally published here.

15 Best London Night Tours – Which One to Choose?

Glass Rooms

London night tours offer you the chance to capture the allure of the city as it lights up and illuminates everything around it.

We’ve put together a list of the 15 best night tours in London so that you can make the most out of England’s capital after dark.

There’s no place quite like London, especially at night. Enjoy!

1- London by Night: 90-Minute Open Top Bus Tour

Climb aboard an open-top bus and witness the wonders of London, with the majestic city lit-up against the night sky as you pass iconic sights. Enjoy a guided tour and see landmarks like Big Ben, Harrods, The London Eye and Trafalgar Square in all of their illuminated glory.

The bus ride lasts for 90 minutes and features an entertaining guide, who will provide historical information about one of the world’s most visited cities. You haven’t really seen London until you’ve seen it at night!

2 – Bateaux London Dinner Cruise On the Thames With Live Entertainment

Combine the delights of the London skyline at night with fine dining while you sail along the River Thames. The Glass Room is a luxurious dining cruise with a 5-course dinner and music to keep you entertained throughout the 3-hour cruise.

It was designed by architect Gerard Ronzatti, who wanted to create the de facto dining experience on the Thames. Take in the panoramic views of London at night before tucking into a tasty meal. Round the evening off with dancing to live music and open-air views of London at night.

3 – London Ghost Walk: 2.5-Hour Guided Tour

Find out if you’re afraid of the big bad ghosts on a London Ghost Walk. Prepare to be terrified for just over 2 hours as you discover some of the city’s most haunted sites, such as murders at St. James Palace, spooky goings-on at the Royal Academy, and ghostly monks at Westminster Abbey.

A guide will be on hand to tell you all about the gory details of the places you visit, so be prepared to be scared out of your wits. Let’s just hope you don’t see any real ghosts!

4 – London: Jack the Ripper 2-Hour Evening Walking Tour

If the London Ghost Walk didn’t put the spooks in you, the Jack the Ripper Tour will surely give you a case of the frights. This 2-hour walk is one of the spookiest London night tours and takes you back to the Victorian era by retracing the steps of one of London’s most notorious serial killers.

A guided tour will show you the sites where Jack murdered his unfortunate victims while teaching you about the poverty and slums of inner-city London in the late 1800s. There’s even a chance to play detective by studying profiles of other suspects during one of London’s most notorious eras.

5 – River Thames Evening Sightseeing Cruise

Did you know there are over 200 bridges that cross the River Thames? The Sunset River Thames boat cruise lets you see many of those bridges illuminated in the night sky as you sail between Westminster and Greenwich.

But there’s more to this cruise than a scenic bridge or two – enjoy London night tours and watch the sun setting against famous attractions such as Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye. You can even enjoy a free drink as you sail down the river in this 2-hour cruise. What else could you ask for?

6 – Evening Food Tour of Soho in London

London is a melting pot of cultures, which means it offers some of the most eclectic cuisines in the world. It can be difficult knowing where to start on your culinary journey. Thankfully, the Twilight Food and Cocktail Tour of Soho has sourced the best spots. All you need to do is enjoy the delectable tastes.

Your foodie guide will take you around 10 of the best spots in the vibrant neighbourhood of Soho, where you can taste an array of dishes. From little-known cafes to famous spots, get ready for the best few hours that your taste buds have experienced.

7 – London Evening Bike Tour with Beer Tasting

Try a London night tour that’s a little bit different and hop on a bike to see the wonders of England’s capital. Lasting 4 hours, this small group tour sees you cycling at a leisurely pace with an expert guide while discovering London.

See some of the most iconic sites, such as Big Ben, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge and Tower London. There’s also an interlude during the tour, which includes a stop at a historic London pub where you can sip back and enjoy refreshing ales.

8 – London by Night Independent Sightseeing Tour with Private Driver

Fancy enjoying the allure of London at night away from a group tour? If the answer is “yes”, a London night tour with a private driver should pique your interest. Design your perfect trip with your driver, who will recommend the best sites to see just in case you need any help.

Then sit back and enjoy as you discover London’s best neighbourhoods. The tour lasts for 3 hours, and your driver will give you key insight into what to do in London while showing you the most iconic places the city has to offer.

9 – Stonehenge Special Access Evening Tour from London

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most famous landmarks. And this after-hours tour is your chance to witness it at night! The tour lasts for 12 hours and includes travel from London to Stonehenge.

Other highlights include a local expert guide, who will provide a 1-hour history tour, and visits to nearby villages. Avebury is one of those medieval villages you will visit. Here, you can walk up the hillside to West Kennet Long Barrow, which is a 5000-year-old Neolithic burial tomb.

10 – London Night Walking Tour

Learn about London’s darker side with this historic night walking tour. Starting at 6:30 pm outside of Tower Hill station, this tour lasts for 2-and-half-hours and includes trips to the Tower of London – where you will learn about the most haunted buildings in the city.

Next up is a history lesson on the East End during the Middle Ages, when tyrants ruled over the city poverty was rife. The tour then continues to Prostitutes’ Church and ends at Ten Bells pub, two iconic landmarks where Jack the Ripper picked up some of his victims.

11 – London Pub Crawl and Nightlife Tour

London is famous for its world-class nightlife, and this pub crawl and nightlife tour is your chance to experience it first hand. Party the night away at some of the city’s best nightlife venues and enjoy free entry to 5 different bars and clubs in the iconic West End.

Shake a leg to top tunes and experience VIP spots in Soho, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Each venue offers a complimentary shot, and a cheeky tour guide is on hand to make sure that you live your best life on the London club scene.

12 – London Showboat 4 Course Dinner Cruise on Thames River

Get romantic on one of your London night tours with a 4-course dinner cruise on the London Showboat. Marvel at the majesty of London and soak in a night of iconic sights and fun-filled entertainment as you cruise along the Thames.

The evening starts with a free glass of sparkling wine and the chance to watch the sun setting on landmarks like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye from the open roof deck. Next, it’s time to enjoy a 4-course meal while taking in panoramic views before rounding the night off with a spot of music and entertainment.

13 – Comedy Horror Show: London Ghost Bus Tour

It’s all aboard the ghost bus for a mixture of horror and comedy with the Comedy Horror Show. Get ready for 75 spook-filled minutes that include sightseeing and a creeptacular guide who will provide insight into London’s most horrific history.

There’s no need to be scared though – everything is done with a hint of comedy, and actors put on a show as you head around the West End and the south of the river. Your tour commences on the Necropolis Bus, which was once used to transport deceased bodies around the capital. You will be very much alive and kicking on this scary jaunt around London, however.

14 – Thames Sunset Sightseeing Cruise

Make the most of London at night with a sightseeing cruise at dusk. Sail down the River Thames while enjoying sparkling wine and canopies as the sun sets over the capital, all to the backdrop of live jazz music.

This 2-hour cruise sails between Westminster and East London’s Canary Wharf, with views of landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millenium Bridge, the London Eye, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge all included.

15 – Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Tour of Haunted London

Jack the Ripper is London’s most notorious criminal, and Sherlock Holmes is the capital’s most well-known detective. Learn about both of them and discover the spots in London where they frequented with this tour of haunted London.

This is one of the London night tours to remember and includes a bus and walking tour. Visit locations of London’s most famous executions, such as medieval Smithfield Market, and discover the dark history of Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and the Cock Lane Ghost. Finish the tour inside the Sherlock Holmes pub and see if you solved any mysteries.

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This content was originally published here.

Homecrest Outdoor Living | February 2019

outdoor living

Homecrest Outdoor Living doesn’t follow trends. We set them. That’s why, with over 65 years in business, we’re qualified to give you the real skinny on what style directions are going to be big for outdoor living in 2019. We’re cutting away nonsense marketing lingo to give you straightforward facts that you can use to directly inform your patio furniture plans.

Here are the Top Five Outdoor Living Trends for 2019:

1. Being Conversation-Centric

A beautiful outdoor set-up is only as good as it is functional.Patio furniture that’s designed to make conversation amongst friends and loved ones effortless will always be in. This season, look for modular seating that comes with corner options, like our Allure Modular collection. Designs like this focus people inward, towards one another, creating a sense of cohesion and making conversation easy.

 2. Fire Table Center Pieces

Fire Tables have so many benefits that they really are a game-changer. The obvious advantage is that they will keep you warm during cool nights and balmy weather, lengthening your outdoor season by several months on either side of summer. But, fire tables have many more aesthetic benefits as centerpieces. Fire tables create natural lighting, which has a calming effect, and they’re evocative of warm times shared around the campfire back in the good ol’ days. When you find the right style from Homecrest’s extensive collections and colors, you’ve got yourself a focal point for your outdoor space.

3. Rustic Materials

After nearly a full decade of interior and outdoor design moving further and further into clinical, technology-driven and “sleek” products, style is ready to move back in the other direction and breathe a little. Smooth plastics and cold metals are giving way to more rustic-appearing materials. Collections like our Natural Series tables use durable materials (that will last in rough weather) that still create the appearance of natural sandstone, slate, timber and others.

4. Earth Tones

Coupling with the rustic materials trend, frame finishes and seating fabrics for patio furniture are moving towards earth tones. For metal frame finishes, colors like warm browns with undertones of burgundy or olive (for example, Homecrest’s Cognac) compliment natural-style materials. Color trends are quite finicky, of course, so it is always most important to find a color that you like over what a company tells you that you should like. Homecrest offers a broad range of fabric patterns and frame finishes for this reason.

5. Minimalist Frames

With the trends towards functional, nature-inspired outdoor living styles, patio furniture designs that lean into simplicity are becoming the markers of sophistication. Take a look at Homecrest’s Eden series to see this in action. Its slatted, teak-inspired top with rectangular legs give a clean silhouette, possibly inspired by the Scandinavian Design movement. Watch for minimal, quality-made patio furniture styles in 2019.

See Eden Collection & Allure Collections Here! 

For more information on any of these trends or mentioned products, please feel free to contact Homecrest Outdoor Living. We’ll give you real, useful customer service.

Visit our website to learn more about our current collections or to find a dealer near you!

Don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more blog posts!

This content was originally published here.

Prefinished vs. Unfinished Hardwood Flooring | Bob Vila

Hardwood Flooring

Photo: istockphoto.com

The to-do lists are long in a home renovation—and that’s before you account for unexpected tasks like running to the store to pick up a new size of fasteners or redoing a splotchy paint job. So, when it comes to installing solid or engineered wood planks for new floors, I choose prefinished hardwood floors to simplify the installation, color application, and sealing into one step among numerous other reasons. Some pros may disagree. To decide what will work best in your home, first get to know what separates the two options with these key points in the case of prefinished vs. unfinished hardwood flooring.

You can walk on your new prefinished floor immediately.

With flooring that is finished on-site using oil-based polyurethane, the homeowner must wait days, sometimes even weeks, before moving furniture back into the room. Even though the floor may be dry to the touch, it will be vulnerable to scraping until the waiting time has elapsed and the finish has fully cured. I once had to shuffle around in socks and remain furniture-less for four weeks after applying three coats of poly to a floor. (Waterborne polyurethane finishes dry to touch quickly but can have varying cure times—some quite long.)

Prefinished floors have fewer VOCs to affect your family’s health.

For days after applying an oil-based polyurethane, you will smell and breathe in vapors from polyurethane resins and solvents. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been shown to be carcinogenic, and some waterborne polyurethanes produce them, too. Why not buy prefinished so that the curing takes place in a factory, not in your living room?

No worries about dust with prefinished flooring.

Dust and errant hairs are the enemy of on-site floor finishing, often caught as the stain goes down. But these annoyances won’t have any effect on your new prefinished flooring. You will, however, need to take measures to protect prefinished floors if you have contractors tromping around with tools and equipment en route to other jobs around the house.

Installation of prefinished flooring can be done in one session.

There’s no necessity of staying home to complete the various stages of an on-site finishing job—sanding, sealing, staining, applying polyurethane, and so on. A crew of two had our 300-square-foot solid wood floor installed, with underlayment, in only about two hours.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Factory-applied finishes are nearly flawless

Not only are they better than what homeowners or contractors can apply on-site, but these factory-applied finishes are also incredibly durable and often come with a lifetime warranty. The Mullican red oak flooring, shown above, will stay new-looking for longer. It came with a PPG UV-cured resin and nanoparticle coating that is highly scratch- and abrasion-resistant. I can’t even scratch it with my fingernails.

Prefinished floors come at a lower cost.

Prefinished solid wood floors initially cost more than unfinished wood flooring—about $2 per square foot for a good grade of red oak. But once you factor in finishing costs, prefinished ends up being less expensive.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Okay, you’ve heard my arguments. But some homeowners and many contractors disagree with me and prefer site-finishing wood floors for the following reasons.

Unfinished floors are preferred when the space is under construction or large renovation.

Many contractors prefer to wait until the end of the job to finish the floor. That way, a dropped tool or a mortar pebble under a work boot can’t mar the finished floor—and ruin customer relations.

Starting with unfinished flooring offers a greater choice of finishes.

There is no question that the site-finished route opens up a greater variety of choices with respect to color and shade. Prefinished products, however, come in more species and stains than ever before.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Unlike prefinished floorboards, unfinished boards have no bevels.

Prefinished floorboards usually have micro-bevels on all edges. These bevels hide slight discrepancies between board depths and widths. Inevitably, some homeowners will prefer the flush look of site-sanded floors, as they feature no such grooves and can be finished to a mirror-like surface.

What’s your preference? Perhaps the hassles of site-finishing will be worth it to you—for one or all of the reasons above. But for homeowners like me, prefinished floors are the future.

This content was originally published here.

Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood Flooring

When it comes to new flooring for your home, laminate and engineered hardwood flooring are two great choices if you want the look of natural hardwood. They are both very similar and have grown a lot over the last few decades. But, how do you know which one is the right one for you? Well, that’s why we have this blog to help you out!

What is Laminate?

Laminate flooring is made up of four different layers: the backing layer, the core layer, the image layer, which is actually a photograph of various materials, and the wear layer. Laminate flooring is also called a “floating floor” because it isn’t fastened directly to a subfloor. Instead, individual planks snap together to create tight seams and are then put down over a thin underlayment pad. That means laminate flooring can go directly over old flooring without nailing, gluing or having to remove the existing flooring.

To learn more about the basics of laminate flooring, check out our other blog here.

What is Engineered Hardwood Flooring?

Engineered wood flooring has a similar construction as laminate except the top decorative layer is a thick veneer of real wood protected by a coating of a clear acrylic. The natural top layer makes engineered wood just as durable as traditional hardwood and provides the same classic, timeless look.

To learn more about the basics of engineered hardwood flooring, check out our other blog here.

Pros and Cons

Laminate flooring and engineered hardwood are like close relatives in a family. They obviously look alike, have similar genes but they have contrasting personalities and slightly different physical makeups. They have different pros and cons that make up their personalities and rock their own unique features.


Both laminate and engineered hardwood flooring are available in a variety of prices. Prices usually rise with laminate flooring due to the AC ratings, the higher the rating, (the higher the price), added technology, spill protection and surface textures.

Engineered floors will have a higher price depending on the top wood veneer thickness, style, species and brand. If price plays a role in your decision, engineered hardwood flooring will generally be a higher price, but it’s not always the case.


Laminates and engineered hardwoods are made very similarly, making them both a very durable product. The major difference between laminate’s and engineered hardwood’s durability will be found on the surface. Since engineered hardwoods have a real hardwood veneer, they are more susceptible to surface scratches, dents and expansion; however, most of these floors come with a protective top layer that helps protect against the wear. But, with engineered hardwood, the top layer is truly hardwood, so it can be sanded and refinished.

Water Resistance

Laminate flooring is more resistant to water than natural hardwood flooring but only on the top surface. The floor can swell and get ruined if the sides and the bottom of the flooring get wet.

If laminate gets wet on the sides or underneath, you can’t refinish it. Instead, you will need to replace the damaged flooring. For this reason, spills should always be wiped up immediately and laminate shouldn’t be installed in rooms that are moist or humid like bathrooms.

Engineered hardwood is also more resistant to water than traditional hardwoods. Due to the construction, it won’t expand or contract in humid rooms, making it different than laminate flooring and ideal for installation in below-grade rooms where hardwoods can’t be installed.

Ease of Installation

Laminate installation is more of a DIY go-to material than engineered wood floors. Installing laminate planks doesn’t require any nailing or glue like some types of engineered hardwood. It’s a simple interlocking tongue-and-groove system that can typically be installed in a day.

One major difference when it comes to installing these floors is the subfloor requirements. A laminate floor can be floated and almost all flooring can be floated except carpet. An engineered hardwood floor needs a more stable and structurally sound subfloor.

Appearance/Color & Styles

Laminate manufacturers use advanced printing processes to create flooring that looks and feels just like hardwood. These processes allow you to choose from replicates of many of the most popular species of wood, like oak, hickory and walnut in a variety of shades.

Engineered hardwood’s upper layer is made of real wood. Many of the same species in traditional hardwoods are used in the construction of the flooring, including traditional species like maple, pine, mahogany, and even Brazilian cherry. Engineered hardwoods are also available in many shades and styles.

Care & Maintenance

Laminate is quite easy to care for. You can clean it on a daily basis with a broom, dust mop or vacuum cleaner to use on bare floors. And for more extensive cleaning, you can use a dry mop or cloth. Never use a wet mop, because water can damage laminate flooring. Avoid steam mops as well as any wax polishes or cleaners. The last thing you need is an extremely slippery surface that can cause physical damage!

To learn more about laminate flooring cleaning tips, check out our other blog here.

Daily cleaning of engineered hardwood flooring is similar to laminate care. You can clean up dirt, dust and debris using a broom or dust mop. You can also use a hardwood vacuum.

However, it must be appropriate for use on bare floors. Regular vacuums can scratch and damage engineered hardwoods. It’s best to avoid harsh cleaners, wet mops and steam mops as well. This is because excessive moisture can damage the floors.

After going through the similarities and the differences, it’s clear to see that the winner of engineered hardwood vs. laminate flooring is really up to you. Both are strong, durable floors that are less expensive than natural wood but mimic the natural wood floor beautifully and are easy to keep looking new and fresh. So, give each of these details some thought, come to one of our showrooms to see the ones we carry in person and determine what one is the best for you and your home.

At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.

The post Laminate Flooring vs. Engineered Hardwood Flooring appeared first on Avalon Flooring.

This content was originally published here.

Muji launches prefabricated home to encourage indoor-outdoor living

outdoor living

Prefabricated Yō no le home by Muji

Muji has launched a single-storey home called Yō no Ie that has a large outdoor deck to encourage indoor-outdoor living.

Yō no Ie, or Plain House, is intended for use in rural settings and is the first stair-free dwelling in Muji‘s line of prefabricated timber homes that launched in 2004.

The 74-square-metre structure responds to a growing demand for low-profile homes in suburban Japan, and the retail company hopes it will provide “a wide range of generations” with more choices of places to live.

“[Yō no Ie] enables you to interact with gardens that are difficult to realise in such urban areas,” explained the Japanese retail company.

“You can buy it for the first time, at the end of your home after the children have settled, or as a villa. [Yō no Ie] should be a pleasant answer for a comfortable home.”

Yō no Ie is a compact single-storey home without columns or fixed divisions. It was designed by Muji for flexibility and will allow owners to reconfigure its layout to meet changing needs.

True to the brand’s minimalist aesthetic, it has a pared-back interior finish composed of pale wood floors and white walls.

Three full-height doors line one side of the house, opening up to the outdoor decking that features a sunken segment for use as a fire pit or garden.

This decking area is intended to form a seamless extension of the house’s interior, so that the division between them has been made as flush as possible. Muji hopes this will encourage inside-outside living as owner’s can easily move their furniture out to create an external living space.

“The boundaries between where you are outside and where you are indoors are ambiguous. From the room, to the deck, to the outside, the space continues in a gradational manner, and the activities performed in the room ooze out,” said Muji.

“Bringing out activities that are originally performed indoors to the outdoors is a way to associate with a new garden.”

The standard exterior finish for Yō no Ie House is Japanese chestnut, but cement mortar is also available. The roof will be made from galvalume sheets.

It is currently only available in Japan, selling for ¥15,980,000 (approximately £120,000).

Muji is a Japanese retail company known for its minimalist aesthetic and simple branding across homeware, furniture, fashion, office supplies and more. In 2017, Muji’s art director Kenya Hara told Dezeen that balancing such a broad product line is what makes the company so successful and unique.

The company’s previous prefabricated houses include Ki no Ie, Mado no Ie, or the Window House, and Tate no Ie. The retailer has also developed a compact nine-square-metre prefabricated hut, and worked with Konstantin Grcic, Jasper Morrison and Naoto Fukasawa to design three holiday cabins.

The post Muji launches prefabricated home to encourage indoor-outdoor living appeared first on Dezeen.

This content was originally published here.

WSHG.NET | Design Trends in 2020 — Advice from the Experts | Featured, The Home | January 13, 2020 | WestSound Home & Garden

Hardwood Flooring

Design Trends 2020So many new trends coming our way for 2020. It’s been exciting to watch design ideas evolve. See what’s coming in new designs from colors and furniture to flooring and surfaces.

Every year, we gather our panel of design experts to discuss what are some of the hottest design trends.

In 2020, expect to see more high-performing fabrics, natural-looking finishes, natural materials like wood, and more recycled and upcycled choices for the environmentally conscious. Colors and patterns are becoming bolder. And, of course, the home is becoming more high-tech — there are new apps for just about everything!

As any good designer will tell you, trends come and go. The best advice for creating a timeless look is to choose based on quality, your personality and your lifestyle.

We’ve asked 15 designers to weigh in on what new and returning trends they are seeing, and to share some advice on how to use these trends for fresh design ideas.

Alinda MorrisAlinda Morris

Alinda Morris Interior Design LLC
Gig Harbor • 253-579-8431
alindamorris [at] gmail [dot] com

Alinda Morris is a nationally published, award-winning interior design professional, habitual remodeler, adventurous creative, entrepreneur, wife and mom, specializing in full service, luxury residential interior design: Custom furnishings, unique kitchens and artfully designed bathrooms, attention to details, and clean, updated spaces are her specialties. She has the experience, education and talent to provide interior styling that includes furniture procurement and installation. She also offers thoughtful space planning, detailed floor plans, elevations, sketches, finish selections, cabinet drawings and furnishings to take your remodeling project from beginning to magazine-ready completion.

Alinda Morris notes a move away from the cooler gray interior colors in favor of brighter whites and warmer neutrals that are earthy and approachable, like Benjamin Moore pale oak and White Dove.

“These colors work well in both modern and traditional spaces because we are drawn to restorative colors found in nature,” she says. “In the spring, we will start seeing pastel colors ranging from pinks to blues and greens in both warm and cool hues. A powder room, laundry room or guest room is a great place to incorporate a fun, playful color.”

Bold: Colors such as deep purple, moss green and terracotta have been particularly popular.

Wall coverings: Wild exotics and defined patterns — anything inspired by botany — is very popular. Nature-inspired patterns and textures are also on trend.

Counter surfaces: Engineered stone continues to be the most popular. It is consistent in color and available in large sizes. Manufacturers claim it won’t stain and is nonporous. Therefore, it is low-maintenance and very easy to clean. It is only heat-resistant up to 300 degrees (some as 225 degrees) because of the resin that is used to hold the quartz particles together. Heat pads or trivets are recommended to protect the finish.

“If your budget allows, you can opt for a porcelain surfaces that is truly heat-resistant, like Dekton and Neolith. They are available in large sizes and different thicknesses,” Morris says.

Man-made products have a lot to offer but if you love the depth and variation of natural stone, she suggests sticking with granite.

“It is still very durable and beautiful. We love the leather finishes that are popular right now,” she says.

Fabrics: High-performance fabrics are very popular and can be soft and durable. Look for fabrics such as Crypton and Revolution — they can repel liquids, resists stains and reduce odors. Slipcovers in washable fabrics are still popular for easy maintenance.

Floor coverings: Morris recommends engineered flooring in wide plank. Brushed oak in beachy, washed finishes works well in our region over more exotic wood species. In tile, the trend is toward defined patterns and geometric designs and shapes. Three-dimensional tile in wood and ceramic is very popular in showrooms and widely available — consider your corners and the edge detail of these products.

Furniture: Lighter wood finishes, cerused ebonized oak in light gray was consistent throughout High Point Market this fall. Organic materials and textures are inspired by the 1970s.

“We saw both rattan and cane furniture in bed frames, mirrors and lampshades in a wide variety of tactile finishes. We also saw lots of curved furniture, smoked glass. The ’70s revival trend is really fun and we look forward to seeing if design enthusiasts embrace it,” she says.

Lighting: Look for statement pieces in luxe finishes, mixed metals like aged brass. LED lighting has come a long way and continues to lead innovation in both interior fixtures and architectural lighting.

Finishes: Brass, bronze and champagne are popular.

Windows and doors: Black or graphite finishes are trending.

Window treatments: Trends include automation, natural textures and more modern profiles.

Morris’ advice to the homeowner for incorporating trends is to “start with the envelope of your space and build on the pieces you already own.”

“Have fun with trends,” she says. “Surround yourself with furnishings that you enjoy and try not to take it too seriously.”

Janet WeberJanet Weber

Janet Weber Interior Design
Poulsbo • 360-626-4484

Janet Weber owns and operates her own interior design business with the goal of creating atmospheres that are unique and well-suited to each client’s values, lifestyle and personality. She assists clients in realizing the vision for their homes and commercial spaces by guiding them through each phase of the design process, from the initial space planning to the final selection and placement of accessories. Weber received her bachelor of arts degree from Washington State University and has been working in the industry since 1986. Her professional involvements include Design on Broadway in Everett, Markie Nelson Interior Design in Seattle and Fine Home on Bainbridge Island.

Design Trends 2020Janet Weber believes that the “fifth wall” — the ceiling — is becoming an important aspect in design. “The ceiling of your room can be painted, paneled, wallpapered or lit to create an illusion of height or just incorporate another design element,” she says.

She says the open-concept house is being challenged by more closed-off spaces.

“I love the open concept but can see that people want to be able to close off certain areas of the house at certain times,” she says. “This involves a division of environments with natural elements like screens or sliding doors.”

Home offices are also evolving, no longer simply tucked away from the rest of the house.

“People are working more and more from home but they don’t want to be segregated,” Weber says. “They do want to be able to clean up easily and stash their work at the end of the day. This involves creative use of wall screens and mobile furniture overlapping leisure and work environments.”

Design Trends 2020Colors: Benjamin Moore just named “First Light” its color of the year — a rosy pink that is light and airy. The Sherwin Williams color of the year is Naval, which is a rich, dark blue that is grayer than the original navy blue.

Green will be an important color this year in almost any shade. Behr’s color of the year is Back to Nature, a soft green shade. PPG’s color of the year is Chinese Porcelain, an orchid blue with violet undertones.

“I have also seen mint colors coming on strong already and I think that trend will continue,” she says.

Weber says that while color is coming back in a big way, those who went all in with gray shouldn’t be alarmed — gray is still a focus but in a warmer tone with less blue.

Counter surfaces: The recycled countertops are getting more popular. They use 100 percent recycled glass to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind countertops. Ultra-compact surfaces are also in demand — made from a blend of glass, porcelain and quartz, fused and compressed under very high pressure.

Design Trends 2020“This type of countertop has zero porosity, is heat-proof and almost indestructible. It is also extremely beautiful and different than any other countertop,” she says.

One of Weber’s personal favorites, soapstone, is making a resurgence of sorts for some people who love a natural material. “It does scratch but those scratches can be buffed out,” she says.

Fabrics: Polka dots, geometric designs and shiny metallic materials are trending, along with less realistic looking animal prints and organic patterns.

“I read that boucle fabric is coming back with ‘grandmother’ trends using lacey styles like raschel and anglaise,” she adds.

Floor coverings: It looks like carpeting is coming on strong in 2020. People are being drawn to the soft nature of carpeting. Hardwood flooring is still the most popular floor, or at least floors that look like hardwood. Luxury vinyl tile is still the most rapidly expanding floor in the marketplace. Parquet floors are making a comeback, as well as wood floors laid in a herringbone or angled pattern.

Dark colors for the floor are the “in” look, but blonds and whitewashed options are still popular. Environmentally friendly choices like bamboo, cork and engineered wood are also good options.

Furniture: The art deco style is coming back into vogue. Curves and organic shapes, smaller-scale furniture and modular furniture are also coming on strong.

Design Trends 2020“Living spaces are getting smaller so furniture is getting smaller and more versatile,” she says. “Multifunctionality and sustainability are the buzz words in furniture for 2020.”

Some specific trends are black-steel, tubular designs and privacy chairs with high backs. There’s a trend using cane seats and backs on furniture and natural elements.

Lighting: Large-scale lighting pieces that create a focal point in the room will be popular in 2020. Neon is making a comeback, as well as linear and geometric shapes in light fixtures. Sconces are becoming more popular, especially as bedside lamps. Natural materials like wood, grass and burlap are big in the lighting industry.

“A personal favorite are the wood beads on chandeliers, basket pendants and burlap lamp shades,” she says.

The bare light bulb is on its way out, but clear pendants are still very popular. Gold and black finishes are the most popular but silver leaf is coming on very strong for next year.

Finishes: Weber loves penny tile, which is becoming very popular.

“It has such a unique look and comes in every color imaginable,” she says.

Matte and honed finishes are popular and more natural looking, and Weber is keeping an eye on leather tile, which looks amazing and wears well.

Design Trends 2020Windows and doors: Other trends include: Black frames are still popular but white frames will not be going out of style. Window screens are going away. You can still get them but people are opting out. Painted front doors are still very popular, especially blue.

Window treatments: Curtains are coming back and motorization and home automation will be big in 2020. In keeping with the “green” movement, bamboo, woven shades and wood blinds are popular.

Green options: Reclaimed materials are huge and plentiful.

“I just sent away for leather floor samples and leather wall material made out of recycled belts,” she says. “The leather in the tile is all from recycled materials. I can’t wait to get these samples and see how I can use them.”

Another idea she saw was sustainable lamp shades made out of fallen leaves, made by Italian company Miyuca Design.

Her advice to the homeowner is to ask around and use social media to your advantage.

“People you know can give you recommendations for interior designers and general contractors to help with your project. Use this magazine for information as well,” she says. “I have a professional Houzz site and I use Houzz often to get ideas and see new products.”

Kae RosenbergKae Rosenberg

Kae Rosenberg Design
Seattle • 206-784-0117
kaerosenberg [at] comcast [dot] net

Kae Rosenberg Design & Consulting collaborates with clients, combining interior design and interior architecture to synthesize beauty and functionality into each project. It is always a bespoken reflection of its occupant. Rosenberg is a member of the local chapter of NKBA.

The overall trends that Kae Rosenberg is seeing include midcentury style, but she notes that her clients are trending toward “organic modernism.”

Design Trends 2020“There is also an ethnic trend that is building in the market-place and I think it will gain popularity in 2020,” she says.

Other trends include:

She also says that her clients are requesting green options, as well as universal design, without her suggesting it or “pushing” them in that direction.

Connie LaMontConnie LaMont

LaMont Design, Inc.
Poulsbo • 360-779-7227
connie [at] lamontdesigninc [dot] com

Connie LaMont has been an interior designer and colorist in the Pacific Northwest since 1993. She holds a bachelor’s degree in arts from the University of California in Irvine and a second bachelor’s from the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach, Calif. LaMont and her architect husband, Wayne, own LaMont Design Inc. in Poulsbo. Some of their joint projects include Austin Towers in Poulsbo and Elkhorn Place in Sequim.

Connie LaMont says midcentury design is still trending like crazy. Sleek, tailored architecture is everywhere, and is being filled with furnishings that have that same sleek tailoring.

Design Trends 2020“Although the midcentury trend is strong, I see it paired with other authentic and vintage pieces that can soften the sometime-austere feeling connected with a minimalism interior,” she says.

Colors: “Whites have been ‘cleansing’ our palettes for the last year or so, and we’re starting to bring back some boldness within our interiors to make a statement,” she says.

LaMont says navy blues, steel grays and blacks, saturated reds and teals have been strong elements but not always with just a wall. Some interiors have needed cabinetry, fireplace structures or large pieces of furniture like sofas to be the statement piece within the home. Soft sand and linen tones have become a backdrop for these statement colors. White trims and ceilings are most often her preference.

Counter surfaces: Countertops have become “functional art” within most homes in the past decade or so. Solid surfaces have taken the place of tile years ago, and the rule of thumb has become that the stronger the countertop surface, the better. Quartz and quarzite, along with granite and concrete, are still the most durable and beautiful countertops.

Design Trends 2020“In the right circumstance, I will still bring in some copper or slumped glass for some functional art,” she says.

Fabrics: Natural, textural fabrics are the most interesting and luxurious, but not always the most durable. Sunbrella knockoffs, like Perennials fabric, are wonderful; and furniture from Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have delicious fabrics to chose from that look and feel like linen or silk but hold their shape and have longevity for your investments.

Floor coverings: LaMont has been a fan of luxury plank vinyl since it was called commercial-grade vinyl year ago.

“I love the durability, as well as all of the beautiful styles and sizes that it now comes in,” she says. “It not only looks like wood, but it sounds like wood, too. We can have the luxurious, warm look of wood, but it can be in our kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, as well as our entries, with all but no maintenance.”

Furniture: Sectionals are still a great choice to bring into any great room or family room. It gives seating for two, with the option for many. Another good choice for these spaces would be a pair of two-seaters, known as love seats, in conjunction with at least two swivel chairs, known as barrel chairs.

Design Trends 2020“Seating for two, with the option for many, is a great way to plan your furniture purchases,” LaMont says.

Lighting: Light fixtures are more and more an art form. With the trend of midcentury design, light fixtures became even more of a statement piece than in years past.

“I encourage my clients to notice ‘what stops them in their tracks’ when they are looking at lighting, as well as other details within their homes, like furniture, artwork, etc. If it actually stops you in your tracks, it most likely will continue to bring you joy in the years to come,” she says.

Finishes: Finishes that are either shimmering (not shiny) or textural.

“And if a piece of furniture, a light fixture, a tile for your backsplash has both of these elements, it’s a win-win situation,” she says.

Design Trends 2020Windows and doors: Tall and tailored doors and windows are becoming the norm. And if your budget isn’t allowing for the 8-foot height (that is also becoming the norm), then having a transom window above your doors and windows (depending on your architectural style) is a way to bring the elongated vertical height within your interiors. Simple trim on both the interior and exterior of your home is also trending.

Window treatments: Roller shades, sometimes referred to as solar shades, have been her “go-to.” They allow the view to be unobstructed but control the amount of sunshine and privacy within homes.

“More and more of my clients are creating outdoor living spaces. Whether it’s new construction with a purposefully designed covered porch, or if it’s done with a patio cover over an existing uncovered porch, clients are enjoying the mild seasons here in the Pacific Northwest by adding outdoor propane heaters and fire tables,” she says. “The same use of roller shades (aka solar shades) is a great application on the exterior as well as the interior.”

Natural materials: There are still great applications for natural, live-edge wood. Lightweight concrete is a beautiful and durable countertop surface for kitchens and baths, as well as mantels and walls.

LaMont’s advice to the homeowner is to do an online search for professionals in your area, whether it’s for an interior designer, architect, builder, etc.

“You can take a look at their website to see some of their projects, and not be pressured,” she says. “Then if you like what you see, you can give them a call or pop them an email.”

Cate AdamsCate Adams

Arnold’s Home Furnishings
Bremerton • 360-377-5582

Cate Adams has a degree in art and design from the University of London and has worked in London, Paris and Spain. Adams eventually settled in the Pacific Northwest. She currently serves as an interior designer with Arnold’s Home Furnishings. She lives with her husband, Jack, in Silverdale.

Cate Adams says that casual finishes and materials continue to dominate home interiors this year. Woods ranging from white oak and maple to acacia and mango have lower sheen and wire-brushed finishes, highlighting grain patterns and giving pieces a tactile appeal.

Colors: Lighter taupe tones, contrasting with darker woods or metals, have replaced some of the grays that have dominated in recent years. But no worries to recent buyers, she adds — grays are not going away anytime soon.

Design Trends 2020Finishes: Consumers have probably noticed the introduction of many mixed metals — iron, brass and copper are popping up everywhere as accents.

Fabrics: The “super” fabrics are being requested more and more.

“About 95 percent of our incoming fabrics are 100 percent polyester,” she says. “We see it in velvets, ‘cottons,’ textures, brocades and linen looks. Polyester wears well and cleans well — it’s ideal for home furnishings.”

Furniture: Contemporary sofas with track arms are very popular, as are sofas with attached chaises. Navy blue, teal, aqua — in fact, all shades of blue — continue to dominate. There are lots of novelty pillows, such as puppy prints, being seen on the solid, larger pieces.

Almost all the newer motion pieces are coming in with power controls.

Design Trends 2020“Many consumers are intimidated by this, but they are available with rechargeable batteries for situations where the furniture needs to float, and the furniture actually lasts longer as the frames are not taking a continual racking motion,” Adams says. “There are now an amazing variety of positions and options on the control panels, with head tilt and lumbar support increasingly common. The recliners and lift chairs cater to a multitude of health problems and are simply extremely comfortable.”

Lighting: Floor lamps take on multiple tasks with reading lights and up lights in one. Mixed metals, ceramics and glass lamps add shine and pop to all spaces.

Other details: Accessories such as oversized art pieces and patterned area rugs look wonderful with large, solid pieces, and they bring life to a room.

Faux plants are also a huge plus. They add fluff, curves, softness and greenery to rooms that are generally angular.

“The silks have improved dramatically in recent years and are no longer a sign of failure and embarrassment to those of us with purple thumbs,” she says.

Her advice to those in the decorating mood is to ask for help if you are floundering.

“A new look for your space need not be expensive, but if larger pieces are necessary, you don’t want to make a mistake,” she says. “Have fun and add some color.”

Nancy FinnesonNancy Finneson

Gig Harbor • 253-973-8442
nancy [at] demanedesign [dot] com

Nancy Finneson, AKBD, CAPS, CLIPP, Allied ASID, is an award-winning interior designer and kitchen and bath designer. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and later received a degree in interior design. She is a certified associate kitchen and bath designer with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a certified aging in place specialist, certified living in place professional and an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers. After spending many years in the San Francisco Bay area, Finneson now makes her home on the beautiful Puget Sound. She loves working with people and enriching their lives by helping create spaces that inspire, entertain and function brilliantly. One of her favorite projects has been adopting and creating a room for the new YMCA domestic violence shelter in Tacoma. Recently she was honored with three first-place and one second-place awards for design from the prestigious American Society of Interior Designers.

Design Trends 2020Nancy Finneson says that the challenge of designing the modern home has evolved. The large, mini mansions are few and far between.

“We consider how much space do we really need and want, with the thought that we don’t want to be wasteful or extravert at the environment’s expense,” she says. “The balance is a happy medium that I discuss with clients and requires creative design solutions. Our homes area a place to rest, entertain and handle our daily activities. The design needs to include space for work and inspirations.”

A must-have are “gathering” areas throughout your home, places where people can gather and converse — seating in the kitchen; a banquette, a table or stools at the counter.

“In the living/family room, make sure you can face each other with sofas and chairs. Swivel chairs make it easy, and an ottoman is also great because it can be moved around with little effort,” she says.

This year is about geometric balance and not overdoing it. “We are on overload; patterns being seen in design in our households are everywhere: tiles, wallpaper, flooring, fixtures, bedding and dishware, to name a few. Be strategic and selective on how much works in a room,” Finneson says.

Colors: A slash of paint can make or break a room. Color forecasts for 2020 range from soothing to bold. For a soothing look, try Benjamin Moore Crystalline and First Light (a neutral pink that is really more of a neutral rather than pink), and Sherwin Williams Misty. More dramatic hues are Sherwin Williams rich Granite Peak and Benjamin Moore’s Cushing Green.

Design Trends 2020“Most of my clients gravitate toward neutral pallets for walls, seeking out color with accents with pillows, window treatments and accessories,” she says. “To offset quiet paint colors, highlight with a different color — think shades of charcoal, deep blues or greens. If you’re not afraid of color, give it an edge with deep tones; they can give a cozy, secure feel to a room.”

Counter surfaces: Engineered quartz is still the preferred countertop material over granite and stone. Many engineered quartzes mimic natural veining that is organically seen in certain marbles and granites. Veining patterns are dominating the market and will continue next year. They range from striking dramatic to subtle, most often in whites with veining in gray, tan or black. For a more dramatic look, white veining on black is also popular.

“Don’t rule out natural stones,” she adds. “I’m excited to see that quartzite, a natural stone that is harder than granite, is available. It has a natural beauty and depth, but don’t confuse it with manufactured quartz surfacing or marble.”

Another popular countertop surface made by Mother Nature is soapstone. It has a nice feel and touch and is naturally heat-resistant and chemical-free.

“When selecting, no matter what material you use, always try to see a full-size slab,” she advises. “Small 4-by-4 samples don’t always represent what your countertop may look like.”

Fabrics: Textures in fabrics with a focus on velvet and boucle are coming in 2020. Boucle is not flat but instead is a raised curled/looped yarn.

“Many may associate the fabric with Coco Chanel’s iconic boucle tweed jacket. However, 2020 will update that look with new colorways and uses,” she says.

Velvets and velvet textures are in the living room on sofas and in the bedroom with bedding. Velvets are vibrant in blues, burnt orange and shades of taupe.

Design Trends 2020Wall coverings have made a comeback with great textures and bold patterns, and options are endless and amazing. Three-dimensional wall coverings are seen across the globe with detailed patterns in bold colors. There are the classic materials like grass cloth, but now they are stained in lovely colorways like deep blue or pewter.

“The materials used have improved dramatically, giving us more options for placement without feeling like we’re taking a risk,” Finneson says. “Use it in any room in your home, entries, mud rooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, a den or living room.”

Floor coverings: Finneson looks for trends that she believes will have longevity in the marketplace. Elongated planks made a big splash a few years back and are here to stay. For a comfortable presentation with wood, go with 6- to 8-inch wide and 24- to 48-inch-long planking. Matte and satin have replaced high-gloss finishes.

Dark floors have become less popular. The gray tones are in their own grouping, still on trend and widespread. Lighter woods, with wide planks, tend to make a room feel larger and more open and casual. Darker woods tend to make a space feel more traditional and formal. In both cases, it all depends how you dress the space with furnishings and the architecture of a home.

Patterns in flooring is a huge hit. Chevron and herringbone patterns are similar, with the later being less expensive to install. “Laying flooring in diagonally will modernize your home, but does cost a bit more with material and labor,” she says. Wirebrushed and distressed finishes are also current. They have the benefit of not showing dust and dirt as readily as a flat finish, making it popular for busy lifestyles.

Carpets and area rugs with character are still strong in the design corner. Character is the key — think bold patterns, not necessarily bold colors. Low-pile heights are popular, as they are easier to clean and you don’t see marks when moving furniture such as dining chairs. Statement area rugs set the tone for the home. Size matters, so make sure the carpet fits the area you want to place it in; bigger is always better. A carefully selected carpet will add luxury and is an investment to be enjoyed.

Design Trends 2020Furniture: No more grouped sets of furniture. If you want a space to look curated and unique, make sure you blend new with old, introduce different styles that complement each other. In the bedroom, four-poster and canopy beds are coming back, but they are modern and simple with slender framing.

Lighting: Choose bold lighting and make it the focus of a room. This year, pendants and chandeliers in organic and geometric shapes are present. Geometric shapes have a modern flare with circles, spheres and squares in glass or framed in metals. Organics can look like hand-blown droplets of water in varied sizes and color. Shade materials are going natural with burlap, basket weaves and tree bark.

Sconces with swing arms are also finding to be useful and add style in bedrooms, casual rooms and kitchen nooks where directional lighting is a plus. Recessed lighting is still a favorite because of its diversity of function. It can accent art or illuminate a room with a minimalistic look that is uncluttered.

“The use of a combination of lighting — natural, ambient, task, accent and task lighting — make a space livable, comfortable and pleasing to be in,” she says.

Light strips, most commonly used as undercabinet lighting in kitchens, are being used more all over the home inside and out. All offer functional and decorative elements in areas such as toe kicks, under wall-hung cabinetry (like a vanity in a bath), the edge of a countertops, steps on a staircase, in bookcases and shelving, cove ceiling moldings, incorporated in the railing on decks and interiors.

Finishes: Finishes that are trending in metals are gold tones, not brassy gold, but brushed and refined. An example is gold hardware that can accent well with most wood tones and is wonderful with painted hues of blue, charcoal and black. Black as an accent color in hardware and fixtures is very much a part of the new standard.

“It can accent cabinets and tile wonderfully, just remember to not overdo it,” she says.

Windows and doors: Let the light in with windows, doors and skylights. Any space where you can add natural light makes Northwesterners with our gray days happy and joyful. In kitchens, many are forging wall cabinets and replacing them with windows. The lost storage is replaced with better, more accessible and organized storage.

Skylights and light tunnels are high on home improvements. They can also make a small space feel larger, not closed-in, and give ventilation without compromising privacy. They are being added in entries, hallways, small bathrooms, stairwells, offices — the list is endless.

Design Trends 2020“One consideration with skylights is determining if you may require a shade — if so, I advise you do it at installation,” Finneson says.

The barn-style door is still being embraced in remodeling today. It can be used in many places: closets, bedrooms and pantries, and dividing spaces like the dining room from a family room. Door hardware ranges from modern to rustic. The door panels range just as much as hardware styles, with decorative panels such as carved wood or metal grillwork. If used in a space that would enjoy light, defused glass panels work well.

Window treatments: Window treatments are all about motorization. Technology with the ability to raise and lower shades, blinds and drapes through a remote, your phone or tablet is here to stay. Power can be supplied with batteries, or when remodeling, talk about the option of shades in the planning stage, as hard-wired power is most efficient.

“Child-safe products are not a trend, but each year, there are more cordless offerings to keep us safe,” she says.

New green options: New life comes from previously discarded products. Leather floor tiles can be very green, and some manufacturers are making them with leftover scraps from furniture and shoes retrieved from tanneries. Bio-glass, another green product, is 100 percent postconsumer recycled glass that is made into countertops. Coco decorative tiles are new to the market. They are made from the leftover coco bean shells.

“Homeowners are more aware of the environment and willing to take the extra step to assure how they live reflects their beliefs,” she says. “We now can recycle in style in the kitchen. There are many recycling centers/drawers that pull out with the touch of your knee or finger, allowing for easy access. Composting kitchen waste can now be directly swept away into a recessed sealed bin in your countertop.”

Natural materials: More natural woods and shapes are used in furniture, like a branch or log table base. Basketry and wicker are fresh and alive, and it’s not painted white as in the past. Bamboo, which is a quickly renewable resource, is being used more in fabrics, especially linens and towels. It can be amazingly refined and soft when processed.

Design Trends 2020Her advice to homeowners is to create a “sense of place” — determine what makes you feel good when you walk into a space. For example, think what excites you in terms of color, then try to incorporate it in small doses throughout your home, giving it a connected flow. Another tip is to pay attention to scale in regards to furniture.

Make a space cohesive by collecting pieces that complement each other without being “matchy.”

“Don’t be afraid to pare a modern sofa with a vintage table to create some variety,” she says.

Less is more. A cluttered space doesn’t generate calm. Be selective with what you display.

“Layer contrasts with texture in a room. Look at things not just by color or size, but by how they feel (rough and soft),” Finneson says. “Accent pillows in a variety of fabrics and shades can add depth to a room. Consider using different materials such as metals, wood, glass, woven goods or soft fabrics.”

And don’t be afraid to seek assistance. Collaborating with a designer can help make your design dreams come to reality.

Natalie ShawNatalie Collins Shaw

Kitsap Kitchen & Bath Co.
Poulsbo • 360-697-5616

Natalie Collins Shaw was born and raised on Bainbridge Island and has known her path in the kitchen and bath industry from a very young age. Growing up on jobsites with her father, Jim Collins, who was a custom home builder in the Kitsap area, made her fall in love with not only the beautiful finished products, but every phase of the project and everyone involved to make the client’s dreams become a reality. Shaw has been working at Kitsap Kitchen & Bath Co., her family business, since 2015 and is the company’s lead designer. Whether the project is big or small, balancing aesthetically pleasing elements with functionality is the key to good design. Her style stems around timeless design, creating a look that will last decades. Her goal is to provide each and every one of her clients with an experience that is comfortable, energizing and ultimately a newfound love for their home.

Design Trends 2020Natalie Collins Shaw is noting elements from the roaring 1920s — art deco, peacock green, metallic gold and marble accents. There are also Southwestern vibes — warm soil colors with a dusty hue, teals, textile patterns traditional to the Native American cultures and a mix of stone and rustic wood. Additionally, the modern farmhouse is trendy — taking the classic home on the farm and giving it a bit more contemporary/industrial flare.

Counter surfaces: Quartz has been leading the industry with its beauty and durability. The nonporous quality of quartz countertops truly makes care and maintenance easy as can be because it will not scratch, stain or need to be resealed after fabrication. Cambria Quartz and HanStone are both fabulous North American companies with designs to suite anyone’s taste.

Floor covering: The luxury vinyl tile sector of the flooring industry has really been making moves.

“There are some very lovely options made to look like stone or wood, extremely durable when it comes to the heavy traffic areas and pets in the home, and suitable for wet locations (bathrooms, laundry rooms and so on) as an alternative to natural stone or porcelain tile, with prices per square foot generally less than $5. Durable and economical,” she says.

Design Trends 2020Lighting: Shaw has been noticing a surge in the industrial chic style of fixtures. Mixing of metals, but primarily the use of dark bronze and either copper or brass accents.

“Shapes vary depending on the fixture type and location; the industrial chic style generally has a comforting look, simple lines and connect us to vintage times,” she says. “This is truly a versatile look; you could live in an urban environment or out in the country — either way, this is a style that connects us back to the past.”

Finishes: Again, the industrial chic plays a large role with finishes. Dark bronze, matte black and accents of copper or brass.

Natural materials: The material that has been catching her eye under the natural material category is the large porcelain slabs used in seamless shower designs.

“Yes, 100 percent natural materials. Porcelain is durable and provides looks from gorgeous natural veined to metallic and industrial,” she says. “This material can be used as countertops, wall treatment and even flooring. If you haven’t seen these large porcelain slabs, I would highly suggest looking into it, especially for a stunning shower. Infinity is an Italian company I highly recommend.”

Her advice to the homeowner who needs advice is to contact a local remodeling company to discuss any questions or concerns before diving into a full project.

“If you are more of an online researcher, Houzz.com has wonderful ideabooks, articles and the ability for you to contact local professionals,” she says. “If you are unsure of how to find trade professionals, your local chamber of commerce or home builders association can also provide you with contact information.”

Brett Marlo DeSantis

Brett Marlo Design Build
Gig Harbor • 253-376-7935

Brett Marlo DeSantis lives the tiny life in the Great Pacific Northwest and loves it. She has a master’s degree in interior architecture and design, is a LEED accredited professional with a specialty in building construction and design, and is Living Future accredited. She believes in continuing education and staying on top of trends (even better, she stays in front of them). DeSantis owns and operates Brett Marlo Design Build.

Brett Marlo DeSantis sees a move back toward smaller homes and backyard “auxiliary dwelling units.”

Design Trends 2020Things that she sees as trending include:

Design Trends 2020She describes the finishes that are currently prevalent as “conscious consumerism.”

“Designers and clients are considering the true length of durability and specifying the right material for the desired length, maintenance and look,” she says.

Her advice to homeowners is to look online as a starting point to spur inspiration.

“When you are ready to make those design musings a realistic vision in terms of scale, function and cohesive design, seek a design professional,” she says. “Even a small consult can let you know if you are on track.”

Deann HammerDeann Hammer

Broadway Design
Gig Harbor • 253-224-5133
broadwaydesign [at] comcast [dot] net
(Deann Hammer photos courtesy Brett Wayne Photography)

Deann Hammer, owner of Broadway Design, is a lifetime Gig Harbor resident. Her company has been serving the Puget Sound area with stunning interiors since 1999. Her accolades include “Best Interior Design” Pierce County Street of Dreams, and being featured in Architectural Digest as one of the “Top Leading Designers” of Seattle. Hammer combines her strong creative mind with a 20-year background in the construction industry as a general contractor. She has designed and decorated single and multifamily projects from Seattle to as far as Costa Rica. Her mission is to create unique homes for clients that are a reflection of their natural surroundings, and make a bold statement about the people who live inside them. Every project speaks for itself and is a one-of-a-kind art form.

Design Trends 2020Deann Hammer says there’s a resurgence of design trends from the 1970s and ’80s. That includes brass, bursts of color like hot pink and aqua, with lime and avocado green, as well as macrame plant hangers and textured wallpapers (like grass cloth).

“The pendulum has swung away from all of the cold, cool grey, as well as barnwood and Texas shabby chic. Now we are seeing any leftover grey and white balanced with warm-colored hardware, warm tones in lighting and colorful carpets bringing a burst of life back into the design equation,” she says.

Moroccan influences are still emerging in tile, carpet, furniture and lighting.

“These intricate patterns and textures make a home come alive,” Hammer says.

Design Trends 2020Lighting is becoming the jewelry of the home, no longer just a performer of light. Trends include decorative pendants dropped in the corner of a bath or another unexpected place, and wall sconces flanking beds instead of lamps.

Hammer sees homeowners downsizing their furnishings, which are not only smaller in scale but also have clean lines.

“Velvets and rich colors are hip, and often paired with bright pops of colors,” she says. “We may see a cobalt-blue velvet chair paired with a pink-and-lime-green pillow, for instance. Not everything is bold, but putting something like this in a room with a neutral sofa sectional and a camel-colored leather, open-armed chair with a fur rug is unexpected and whimsical. Think boho chic. Texture is paramount.”

Design Trends 2020Wood is still attractive, she says, but there’s less rustic barn wood and more exotic woods that have live edges and richer color. Koa wood, walnut and other exotic hardwoods that are sanded to a smooth, glossy finish are leading the pack. Wall wood panels are trending but are separated with Schluter metal strips to bring back that “Mad Men” ’70s vibe and add warmth and texture to walls instead of a sea of drywall. Ship lap and batt and board is also still popular, depending on the style of the home.

Countertops: Quartz is still at the top of the list due to its durability and availability in light colors, but there’s also the emergence of rich woods used in kitchen islands and other accents, such as shelving and wood-tub surrounds.

Flooring: Floor coverings are gaining popularity for their performance over appearance, and luxury vinyl tile and engineered hardwoods are preferred over real wood that scratches and dents. Wide plank is still popular and often with some sort of distressing or dramatic wood grain. Lighter-colored floors are becoming more popular, as they do not show dust and dirt as much as darker floors do.

Windows: Black metal windows are trending, with thin mullions and often grid patterns added. They allow the homeowner to see “through” them more than a white vinyl window does, and greatly impact the look of a home by adding luxury and light to any space.

Window coverings: Heavily curtained windows of the past are gone. Now roller shades made from natural materials such as woven grass or plastic woven to look like grass cloth are trending. These add texture to a bare window and are easily rolled up out of the way, creating a clean, attractive valance when not in use.

Hammer recommends hiring a professional if you are considering building or renovating.

“Those of use who work in the industry know how to source the best, highest-performance materials so you are not replacing them shortly down the line. We also know where to find the greatest values on building products and furnishings,” she says. “In the end, you can’t afford not to hire a professional. The mistakes you will save yourself will easily make up for the small design or construction fee you will pay.”

Eleanor OlsenEleanor Olsen

Total Spaces Design
Port Ludlow • 206-713-2869
eolsen9218 [at] comcast [dot] net

Eleanor A. Olsen, AKBD, is the owner of design/build firm Total Spaces Design and an accomplished award-winning interior, kitchen and bath designer and general contractor with more than 30 years of experience. Her projects have been published numerous times nationally and internationally. Olsen studied at Parsons School of Design in New York and Paris. She is the current president of the Olympic West Sound Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

Eleanor Olsen says the major trends she sees are green, renewable products — they are very popular and will continue to gain as more and more people become aware of how their personal choices can impact the planet.

Colors: Soft, grayed-down pastels have been used more in the past year. Strong, saturated blue cabinets are still going strong. Using black to add grounding to white-painted cabinets has really taken a foothold in the design world. It gives a strong contrast of color blocking that is popular right now, including in the fashion world.

“Do remember though when using this combination, high contrast takes up more space visually, so be judicious in the use of black and white,” Olsen says.

Counter surfaces: Quartz products are dominating most projects, like silestone, but quartzite (a natural stone) is beginning to surge forward.

Fabrics: Textured, natural fabrics, especially linens with interesting weaves using tonal qualities to add interest. They’re wonderful as soft flowing, yet tailored window treatments.

Floor coverings: Natural, green products are trending. Tiles for kitchen and bath are very on trend still.

“I have noticed more choices in textured floor tiles to help prevent slipping when used in wet areas,” she says. “My favorite flooring product right now is an easy-to-install, click-together cork because it is a very renewable product, wears well and is easy underfoot. A big bonus is that cork adds to the textured layering, giving so much interest to a space.”

Furniture: Classic, well-tailored lines that are clean, angular, crisp and uncluttered with a traditional Scandinavian influence continue to be strong. There are also several choices that incorporate a curved line here and there to soften the look, giving it a combination of the masculine and feminine appeal. Metallic details in home furnishings to highlight a special accent piece are on the uptick. Globally inspired Moroccan looks are gaining momentum and fit right in with your Bohemian-inspired fabrics.

Lighting: LED ties in with the green influence, but more sophisticated LEDs that are dimmable without flickering. No 4- and 6-inch, full-size cans — just minis. Smart lighting is becoming easier to use and what was once just a luxury is becoming a standard practice.

Finishes: Chrome and polished nickel have always been classic and she continue to use them, Olsen says.

“However, I am loving the soft bronzes or brass tones that we are seeing in hardware and plumbing products now,” she says. “It is OK to mix it up a bit too; you don’t have to have all one metal throughout your home. Just make sure there is a way you are bringing it all together, so it doesn’t look like a random decision.”

This can be as simple as having an accessory, like a two-toned metallic lamp that combines the two finishes like brass and chrome over a blackened steel. Then you might add a mirror with a soft brass frame, and use oil-rubbed bronze door hardware.

“When you think about it, the mirror could tie in with chrome, nickel, silver and pewter,” she adds. “As long as you are being mindful of what you are putting together, mixing finishes will work well. This is one of the ways you achieve a curated look of collections brought together that are uniquely your own.”

Windows and doors: Her favorites are casement windows with mullions at the top third. The upper divided light adds interest, while the lower two-thirds keeps the views clear and unobstructed.

“I like the durability of fiberglass-clad wood windows to hold up best near salt water, and we certainly have lots of salt water areas in the West Sound,” she says.

Olsen’s favorite doors are solid wood, painted in shiny, bold hues that pop against the siding and trim color. The styles are clean lines, uncluttered and crisp. Windows and sidelights have clean, straight lines.

“Don’t forget the extras when getting your window package,” she advises. “Tints that cut UV rays and protect your fabrics and woods from fading are worth every penny. However, it is not too late if you have your windows already. Tinted films and even frosting can be added any time. There are also window films that protect against breakage.”

Window treatments: She likes the clean lines of a tailored fabric shade to control light and offer privacy. Living, dining and other family gathering places are always served well with floor-to-ceiling, tailored curtains that soften the space and have the added benefit of noise absorption. Additionally, with an insulated lining, you can keep out cold in the winter and excessive heat in the summer.

Natural materials: Wood and quartzite for countertops, as well as wonderful linens, are trending.

Olsen’s advice for homeowners is to seek out professionals with credentials, like members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

“NKBA members are constantly continuing their professional development by learning about the latest code, new products, updates on best practices, as well as issues that are of concern, like the benefits of specifying sustainable products, and how to best protect the health safety and welfare of the consumer,” she says.

Tracy CorriveauTracy M. Corriveau

Corriveau Interiors Kitsap
Kingston • 360-860-1052
tracy [at] corriveauinteriorskitsap [dot] com

Tracy M. Corriveau has a bachelor of arts in interior design from Michigan State University, and postgraduate studies in architecture and interior design at the University of London, England. She has over 30 years of experience in both residential and commercial interior design, lighting design, interior design instructor at NW College of Art in Poulsbo, and residential real estate sales in Kingston. She has lived in the North Kitsap area since 1982. Corriveau has certifications with the National Association of Home Builders: CAPS Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, and CGP Certified Green Professional and is a member of Kitsap Builders Association and National Kitchen & Bath Association. Her focus for award-winning designs is on functionality, safety, accessibility, low-maintenance materials and best practices.

The overall trends that Tracy M. Corriveau sees include large-format tiles and tone slab in the showers, for less grout maintenance.

Other trends include:

Her advice for the homeowner is to check with professional organizations, such as your local home builders association (KBA), Houzz and National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Mary TerryMary Terry

Furnish Bainbridge
Bainbridge Island • 206-780-8399
info [at] furnishbainbridge [dot] com

Born on Oklahoma, Mary Terry moved to Bainbridge in 1979 with her husband, Frank Childers. Always maintaining a design and sewing business, she was at home with her three daughters for 10 years. Terry was the state president of the National Organization for Women from 1983 until 1986, then on the national board for four years. She bought Esther’s Fabrics in 1986 and loved the women she worked with in the community. She retired in 2003 and bought Dana’s with her best friend in 2008. Seeing a need for a design and retail furniture business, they opened Danger in 2009 and Furnish Bainbridge in 2010.

Design Trends 2020Mary Terry believes that everyone’s “hunkering down” due to the uncertainty in politics.

“Home you can be certain of and be in control of,” she explains.

Other trends she’s observing:

Her advice to the homeowner is, “Be realistic about your project, time and money. Only HGTV can do it in a week.”

Catherine ShivelyCatherine Shively

Designs By Envision
Gig Harbor • 253-225-3180
designsbycs [at] hotmail [dot] com

As an interior designer, Catherine Shively is passionate about the interior spaces of residential, commercial and even exteriors. Her love of design started as a very young girl and continues today. Being creative and working with clients to see their desire happen is exciting and satisfying. Her background and education is ongoing so she can provide the latest trends and products to her clients.

Design Trends 2020The overall trends that Catherine Shively is seeing include simple lines in the kitchen, with functional cabinets for easy cooking along with organic material accents for a comfortable vibe; comfortable seating for conversation areas with family and friends in living spaces; and glamour mixed with industrial and splashes of color.

Colors: Deep rich greens, French blues and neutrals.

Counter surfaces: Less busy granite surfaces and more manmade products that are more neutral.

Fabrics: Plaids with traditional colors and solids with a mix of colors.

Design Trends 2020Flooring: Wood continues to be popular due the variety of stains that can be applied to it. Large tiles are still well liked due the feeling it gives a space.

Furniture: Lean, upholstered, comfortable chairs along with smaller sectionals for better space planning and options.

Lighting: Modern, unique chandeliers that make a statement with a mix of glamour and industrial, clear glass fixtures with interesting bulbs for interest, and integrated lighting and accent lighting.

Finishes: Dark walls mixed with light walls, along with area rugs to warm up the space.

Design Trends 2020Windows and doors: Windows with simple trim lines, not decorative, to provide more viewing and natural light. Doors with two or five panels. This provides a contemporary but craftsman look but fits into most interiors.

Window treatments: Cornices with pull-down window shades, along with remote controls for opening and closing them.

New green options: Cork, leather tiles, bamboo and bio-glass.

Natural materials: Countertops, tables made of wood with metal bases and trim.

Her advice to the homeowner is, “Research through NKBA kitchen or bath designers in your area. Research through Houzz for a local interior designer who shows similar design style and philosophy you have.”

Stefanie Brooks

SB Interior Design
Tacoma • 253-225-6545
info [at] sbinteriordesign [dot] com

With a keen eye for design, thoughtful attention to detail and fabulous style, Stefanie Brooks brings creativity and enthusiasm that enhances your design experience. In her 14-year career, she has served as lead designer or team player on a wide variety of projects from custom homes and remodels for kitchens, baths, whole houses, and commercial projects, to providing many homes in Western Washington with carefully selected furnishings and adornments. Brooks strongly believes that the most essential hallmarks of a designer are impeccable communication skills and the ability to be a great listener. She truly heeds her clients’ preferences and concerns throughout the entire design process. Brooks commitment to community is reflected in her many business relationships and active involvement with the Master Builders Association, Remodelers Council and Design Professionals Council.

Design Trends 2020Although clients still love shades of gray and white, Stefanie Brooks says there’s a shift in furniture, cabinetry and materials, heading more in the middle of warm and cool tones. Other overall trends include light oak with transparent gray or ebonized stains, creating a current look while still maintaining the warm undertones of natural wood. Lighter woods such as white oak, beech and birch are favored over dark dreary species such as cherry, and darker stained woods.

“Wallpaper is also hot and has been for many years, although I think it’s becoming even more so once clients can see the current textures and patterns that are offered,” she says. “I like to call this the replacement of the painted accent wall (can’t recall the last time I did a painted accent wall). I like to tell clients, ‘It’s not your grandma’s wallpaper,’ and they seem to get good flashbacks.”

Design Trends 2020Colors: For paint colors, lighter and brighter, greige, bright white or whites with a touch of warmth for the main wall color. These tones allow a nice subtle backdrop to display art collections without distraction.

Counter surfaces: Quartz still remains number one for most because of the durability, low maintenance and color consistency of manmade stone over granite.

“However, I still use natural stone countertops such as marble, quartzite and granite,” Brooks says. “It really just varies from project to project and the look we are achieving. As far as finishes, satin, honed, suede and etched are all very popular over the standard polished finish.”

Fabrics: Textiles are amazing, and there are constantly new patterns and textures. Bold colors and bold patterns are great for the one statement piece (side chair, ottoman); however, using textural neutrals on the larger pieces like a sofa allows for a less expensive way to swap out rugs, pillows, throws etc.

Design Trends 2020Floor coverings: Prefinished hardwoods dominate, and lately, larger- format porcelain tiles (24 by 48). Luxury vinyl plank is still very desirable to those who have pets and kids and are looking for a waterproof, durable solution.

“It used to be more commonly used in the basements of homes and now I have several clients wanting it on the main floors of their homes,” she says. “Although it is not the real deal, the various manufacturers have come out with some very nice species, colors and styles. Could it be a fad? Perhaps, but I don’t see it leaving any time soon.”

Furniture: Brooks foresees cleaner lines vs. traditional lines, lighter bleached wood finishes, blackened oaks, velvet, caning, vintage pieces reproduced and textural natural textiles.

Lighting: This is the jewelry to every home, and it’s where Brooks usually sees clients step outside of their comfort zones a little bit.

“Lighting has come a very long way and it’s so fun to mix up the styles, finishes and shapes,” she says. “Lighting styles are all over the place, which makes options nearly endless.”

Design Trends 2020Custom lighting has become even more popular and homeowners are willing to spend more for that one statement piece and then stay more moderately priced in the other areas. Some of the things trending include clear glass single pendants, large chandeliers with glass pieces hanging at varied heights, metal drum fixtures, rattan and frosted glass globes in a midcentury style.

Finishes: Black is hot and has taken over the oil-rubbed bronze, while brushed nickel will remain a staple. Brooks sees chrome and polished nickel sticking around and says brass still remains on the scene; however, she finds that clients prefer to use that in small doses, with the fear it will be gone tomorrow.

Windows and doors: This generally depends on the style of the home and the budget of the project. In custom homes, black windows are a favorite and classic white is versatile with most styles. For doors, simple shaker doors are versatile, with various styles, and never seem to date themselves.

Design Trends 2020Window treatments: Waterfront and view homes call for solar shades. No one wants to obstruct their views; however, they still get heat and sun exposure. Simple drapery panels in solid colors in linen or velvet are always a favorite for bedrooms. Wide-slat, white shutters are also appealing to clients.

Her advice to homeowners is to have the right team on their project: “a contractor who thinks outside of the box and is willing to do different things, a designer who listens to you and your needs and desired outcome for the project, and quality subcontractors who can execute the design plan beautifully.”

“Once you have this dream team, you should get the advice and answers you need, along with a quality finished project,” she says.

Michele DoyleMichele Doyle

MD Design Group
Poulsbo • 360-689-4156

Michele Doyle founded Michele Interiors, Inc. in 2005 after completing her interior design training at the Seattle Art Institute. She has been successfully serving Kitsap, Jefferson, Pierce and King counties ever since. Fast forward 10 years and her business is now MD Design Group — a team of talented and service-minded collaborators ready to guide clients through the interior design process and getting to the heart of the clients’ needs to create spaces that feel natural to them.

Design Trends 2020Michele Doyle says it’s not hard to spot trends by watching home-improvements shows, looking through a magazine or visiting showrooms. What can be difficult is making decisions about finishes, fixtures and furnishings in your own home and trying to decide what’s right for you.

“There are endless choices on the market, so which choices are the right ones? Do you follow a trend or do you blaze your own trail? You may be able to answer that yourself, or you may need the help of a designer,” she says.

Design Trends 2020The biggest trend she’s noticing is black in a variety of applications.

“Black windows (and doors) are amazing because they work with many of the common architectural styles we see here in the Pacific Northwest. Some would argue they work everywhere,” she says.

The great thing about black windows and doors is that they recede so that beautiful views stand out.

“And you don’t need to fear pairing them with white walls, as the contrast between white and black is as timeless as it comes,” she says.

Black in plumbing fixtures is very versatile because it shows beautifully against color and is eye-cathing against a more classic background such as white marble.

Design Trends 2020“Don’t be shy with black,” Doyle says, noting that Rohl has come out with a black stainless steel sink that’s gorgeous, and the color goes all the way through because it’s not applied. The stainless “turns” black when it’s heated.

“We’ve also seen stainless in e-granite (which is a composite) and enameled cast iron,” she says. “Hard water should be treated to help keep your black plumbing looking good. But hard water wreaks havoc on all plumbing, not just black.”

Other elements in your home that can look amazing in black are cabinet pulls and knobs, light fixtures and even wall color (as an accent).

Cabinetry: White-painted and wood cabinets will always be popular options for kitchens and bathrooms.

“But have you noticed laminate cabinets lately? I’m not talking about cabinets from IKEA (not slamming them either). Imported (European) cabinet companies have been making very high-end cabinetry from high-pressure laminate for years but it’s coming into the mainstream in a big way,” Doyle says.

Design Trends 2020Many custom cabinetmakers are creating high-gloss finishes as well as beautiful woodgrain finishes, but now they’re also using laminate.

“Having access to suppliers that produce gorgeous doors and panels in laminates that are not only convincing in mimicking wood, but textiles as well, has made these custom shops competitive against the very high-end European imports,” she says. “Laminate cabinets are extremely easy to maintain, durable and beautiful. They can work in both modern and rustic design styles.”

Counter surfaces: Manmade quartz is still the most popular choice. But there’s been a large shake-up in the industry because of the tariffs imposed against imported good.

“So we’ve been seeing suppliers seeking out alternative sources for this highly desirable product,” she says. “In addition, we’re seeing fabricators purchase in bulk and offering per square foot pricing for specific colors from certain companies, including the still hot patterns that look like Calacutta and Carrara marble.”

Design Trends 2020Her clients have also shown great interest in concrete countertops and even some of the more exotic granites and natural quartzite stones. The patterns and colors must be unique and interesting. Since these stones tend to be more expensive, you’ll see them combined with less expensive materials. Sometimes they’re combined with another granite (or soapstone) or even a quartz.

Flooring: More people are still opting for wood or luxury vinyl plank. Wide planks are still in, as are the varied width planks but Doyle sees people starting to move away from the overly rustic look and seeking out softer, less contrasting patterns.

Design Trends 2020“The manufacturers haven’t caught on in a big way yet but there are a few out there that have,” she says.

As for carpet, one of the biggest complaints has been the ability to keep it clean — homeowners want stain resistance, and Shaw has been able to deliver a terrific carpet that actually is.

“And it looks and feels great,” she says. “Since Shaw has come out with this line, there have been a few others to follow suit so we are seeing the pricing come down on this product.”

Design Trends 2020The carpet is essentially waterproof — spills sit on top of the carpet and do not absorb in. But just in case, there’s also a waterproof backing as a failsafe.

“I installed this beautiful carpet in a client’s home and someone actually tracked grease on the floor, and it cleaned up like a breeze,” Doyle says.

Her advice for those struggling with selecting the right products or creating a cohesive look for the home is to speak with a qualified and knowledgeable professional.

“Just because something is trending doesn’t make it right for you. After all, you have to live with it and love it (and pay for it),” she says. “Most designers should be able to work with you in whatever capacity suits you best, either as a full engagement (collaborating with you from beginning to end) or as a consultative engagement (as needed, or just to reassure you that you’re on the right track).”

She says a great designer should listen to you and involve you in the creative process.

“Expect to be educated, guided — maybe a bit pushed — and delighted,” she says. “And most importantly, expect to have fun.”

This content was originally published here.

Mountain modern prefabricated home in Tahoe boasts indoor-outdoor living

outdoor living

Sagemodern in collaboration with Gallagher Construction was responsible for the design of this mountain modern prefabricated home. Boasting 3,170 square feet of living space, this dwelling incorporates touches of heavy timber in its design, helping to blend in with its surroundings in Martis Camp, a private community in Truckee, California.

This striking home was designed to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor living. A functional floor plan helps to maximize common areas and bedrooms to accommodate family and friends. Outdoors, there are 1,700 square feet of exterior deck space, featuring Ipe and copper-gray slate tile that is perfect for outdoor functions.

Interesting Fact: This home was built as modules with 90% of the finishes already installed. The modules are then craned into place and then there is a small amount of interior and exterior finish work.

The residence includes five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, with a fresh, clean design. With designer fixtures and finishes throughout, the home features sustainably harvested hand scraped hickory and copper-gray slate tiles with radiant heating on the floor.

The exterior facade is comprised of hot rolled steel, cedar channel siding and board-formed concrete with heavy timber and trellis details. Energy-efficient features include thermal insulation of walls, roofs and floors, energy-efficient windows, sun protection, and bioclimatic architecture and solar water heaters.

What We Love: This mountain modern prefabricated home offers clean lines and simple design features, producing an inviting living space. We are loving the whole concept of this home, from the way it was constructed to the materials elements added to elevate this simple design. A beautiful concept from start to finish!

Tell Us: What do you think of this prefab home? Would you build a prefabricated home? Tell us why or why not in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look below for the “Related” tags for more inspiring home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this home, Sagemodern.

Above: The cedar (Tight Knot quality, rough sawn, 1″ channel) siding is stained in Superdeck Duckback Transparent Stain – 1907 – Canyon Brown. The concrete fire pit is gas with decorative ceramic logs, sourced from HPC Fire. The tile on the deck is American Slate – Molten Palace.

Above: The hot rolled steel was oiled (gun oil) and waxed and then left to patina through the years. If you wish to maintain this look, use Permalac. The steel was sourced from a metal supply company in Reno, NV. It was purchased in 15″x30″ pieces.

Above: The outdoor wall sconces are from Seagull Lighting – Dark Sky – Bronze. The metal is hot rolled steel with a gunmetal coating applied to it. Over time, it will oxidize and rust. The deck is Ipe (a strong, durable, low-maintenance wood), while the sliding doors are from Sierra Pacific.

Above: In the family room, the fireplace is a Heat & Glo Fireplace. The walls are painted in Sherwin Williams Aesthetic White – SW7035. The sofa is the Wells Custom Sofa from Room & Board. Floors are American Slate Molten Palace. Dimensions of this room are ~20’x20′

Above: On the wall, the branches wall decor is from Viva Terra. The dimensions of this room are 16’x13′. 

Above: The kitchen countertops are Caesarstone Raven, while the custom cabinets are maple. The backsplash tile is Ann Sacks glass tile – Description: Bliss – Glossy | Color: Sterling | Size: 4×8″. The barstools are the Tiffany Bar Stool from Room & Board. A similar bar stool is the Felix White Barstools from Crate & Barrel. Flooring is hand-scraped Hickory from Kahrs.

Above: The kitchen island dimensions are 8’10” x 3’8″.

Above: Suspended above the dining table is a trio of pendant lights — Fucsia 1 Modern Pendant Light by Achille Castiglioni. The flooring is American Slate – Molten Palace.

Above: The bedroom walls are painted in Anew Gray SW 7030 – Sherwin-Williams. The shades were done by Shade Inc in San Francisco, CA. Bedding is from John Robshaw Textiles.

Above: The tub is the Kohler Tea-for-two drop in tub. The countertop is Caserstone Blizzard, while the sink is Kohler Ladena undermount sink and the faucet is the Kohler Stillness Series. The tile is from Walker Zanger.

Photos: Courtesy of Sagemodern

You are reading an article curated by https://onekindesign.com/

This content was originally published here.

Top Interior Trends For The New Year

Hardwood Flooring

Back to the Basics: Neutral Color Palette

Over the last decade, color schemes of rooms seemed to gravitate towards bold colors and designs, abandoning the neutral color palette that seemed to dictate interior design for years. Neutral colors are making a strong comeback in furniture, home decor, and paint selection. From warm browns, to medium tans, all the way to a pale peaches, the neutral color palette is expected to be popular in living and family room spaces as well as bedrooms. 

A neutral color scheme adds a warm and comfortable feeling to any room. Neutral colored rooms and furniture can also be personalized with the use of decorative pillows and area rugs in a space. 

 Environmentally Savvy Hardwood

Interior design is using more than just a natural colors, it is also using natural materials. Environmentally friendly products are constantly being incorporated into interior design; this is especially true in hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring remains the most popular floor covering in interior design and customers are gravitating towards hardwood now more than ever because it is the most sustainable and requires few resources and a low amount of energy to create. 

Hardwood also comes in a variety of styles, textures, and types of wood, making it a smart interior design choice for the new year.

Geometric Shapes

Geometric patterns have been on the uprise over the last few years, however, as more designers incorporate it in their designs, it is expected to be a major part of interior design in 2020. Geometric shapes are trending in lighting fixtures, floors, shelves, art, wallpaper (see number 7 on our list!) and even pieces of furniture such as hexagon shaped chairs. 

Without abandoning the classic or luxurious feel of a room, geometric shapes are the perfect thing to incorporate to make a subtle statement. 

Bold backsplashes

Like geometric shapes, a bold backsplash is another way to make a room stand out in a subtle way. Backsplashes can totally change the feel of a kitchen or a bathroom with the right color and design. Abandon mundane stone or tile backsplashes in 2020 and install a bold, authentic backsplash. 

Green Accents

Green furniture and wall hangings are being sold in more and more places in 2020. Perhaps going back to the natural feel of a home, green also provides a comforting feeling to a room while also adding a creative spin. Green pillows, throw blankets and area rugs are also being shown in popular interior design magazines and websites.  

Back to (Matte)Black

Matte Black was popular in the past but started to decline in popularity as rose gold and metallics became increasingly popular. Matte Black is making a comeback in kitchen and bathroom redesign. John Kang of Goldleaf Designs, a custom home builder in South Jersey, says that many of his clients are installing black matte faucets and other appliances in their kitchens and bathrooms. 


A popular trend in the 1970’s and 1980’s, wallpaper is making a strong reemergence. Particularly, floral wallpaper is a trend to watch for in 2020. Though neutrals are a popular trend, bold and colorful wallpaper is a trend that is expected to take off as well over the next year. 

When redesigning your room or home, keep these interior trends in mind. These trends will revamp any space in a unique and current way.

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

This content was originally published here.

Amazon Studios Announces Cast for New Series Based on ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Glass Rooms

Press release from Amazon, Jan. 14, 2020:

Amazon Studios today announced the first group of series regulars set to star in the new Amazon Original series based on stories from the iconic “The Lord of the Rings” novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. Newly revealed cast members including Robert Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Morfydd Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ema Horvath, Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. Production will begin in February.

As previously announced, the series is led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay; they are joined by filmmaker J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom), who is directing the first two episodes and serving as executive producer, alongside his partner Belén Atienza; with executive producers Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), Bruce Richmond (Game of Thrones), Gene Kelly (Boardwalk Empire), Sharon Tal Yguado, Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), and Justin Doble (Stranger Things).

Said McKay and Payne: “After undertaking an extensive global search, we are delighted finally to reveal the first group of brilliant performers who will take part in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series. These exceptionally talented women and men are more than just our actors: they are the newest members of an ever-expanding creative family that is now working tirelessly to bring Middle-earth to life anew for fans and audiences worldwide.”

Set in Middle-earth, the television adaptation will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.” A world-renowned literary work, and winner of the International Fantasy Award and Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, “The Lord of the Rings” was named Amazon customers’ favorite book of the millennium in 1999 and Britain’s best-loved novel of all time in BBC’s The Big Read in 2003. Its theatrical adaptations, from New Line Cinema and Director Peter Jackson, earned a combined gross of nearly $6 billion worldwide and garnered a combined 17 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Below are biographies and headshots for the announced cast of the new Amazon Studios series based on The Lord of The Rings:

ROBERT ARAMAYO is a British actor and Juilliard graduate. He recently wrapped filming the Netflix/Left Bank limited series Behind Her Eyes. Later this year he will be seen in Lionsgate’s Antebellum, and The King’s Man directed by Matthew Vaughn. Currently, Robert can be seen in Suicide Tourist, opposite Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Mindhunter, directed by David Fincher. He had two films screen at TIFF last September, Galveston – opposite Ben Foster and Elle Fanning, and directed by Melanie Laurent – as well as the Black List script Standoff At Sparrow Creek, directed by Henry Dunham.

Additional work this past year includes Stray Dolls opposite Cynthia Nixon, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Previously he was seen in Tom Ford’s critically-acclaimed feature Nocturnal Animals opposite Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon, as well as HBO’s Game of Thrones playing a young Ned Stark. He then starred in the leading role of Bill Harley on the Discovery Channel miniseries Harley and the Davidsons.

OWAIN ARTHUR is renowned for playing Francis Henshall in The National Theatre’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, having understudied James Corden at the Adelphi Theatre. His theatre credits include Nicholas Hytner’s The History Boys (NT), Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Comedy of Errors(Royal Exchange) and Birdsong (Comedy Theatre). Television credits include A Confession, London Kills, Hard Sun, Hinterland, Babylon, Casualty, Ddoe Am Ddeg, Cei Bach, New Tricks and The Palace. His film credits include White Island, The Patrol, Mr. Nice, Eldra, Higher Grounds and Disney’s upcoming The One and Only Ivan.

NAZANIN BONIADI is a British-Iranian actress, rapidly making her mark in both film and television as well as continuing her heartfelt work as an activist. On the big screen, Boniadi portrays former Fox News reporter Rudi Bakhtiar in Lionsgate’s drama Bombshell. The film has been recognized for its ensemble cast with a Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. Boniadi starred as Zahra in Bleecker Street’s feature Hotel Mumbai. The film was an Official Selection of the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, opened the Adelaide Film Festival, and garnered 13 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award nominations (including Best Lead Actress for Boniadi). On television, Boniadi starred as Clare opposite J.K. Simmons in the critically acclaimed Starz original, Counterpart. Boniadi co-starred as Fara Sherazi in seasons three and four of the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning drama Homeland, for which she shared a 2015 SAG-AFTRA Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She also played Nora in seasons six and seven of How I Met Your Mother. Additional on-screen credits include Ben-Hur, Passengers, The Next Three Days, and the first installment of Iron Man.

Born in Tehran, Boniadi and her family relocated to London shortly after the Iranian Revolution. Boniadi later moved to the United States to pursue medicine. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, and receiving an undergraduate research award in heart transplant rejection, she switched gears back to her first love and trained in Contemporary Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Boniadi is a dedicated human and women’s rights advocate with a focus on Iran. From 2009-2015, she served as a spokesperson for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) and continues to partner with the non-profit as an Amnesty International Artist of Conscience. In 2014, she was selected for term membership by the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2015, she joined the Board of Directors at the Center for Human Rights in Iran. Boniadi’s advocacy work has taken her to Capitol Hill, British Parliament, and most recently, the Bundestag. Boniadi is fluent in English and Persian. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

TOM BUDGE is an Australian actor, musician and writer. He burst onto the big screen as the unforgettable Pickles in Paul Goldman’s highly praised Australian Rules. Since then he appeared as Samuel Stote in Nick Cave and John Hillcoat’s multi-award winning film The Proposition, Alister Grierson’s Kokoda, Rachel Perkins’ Bran Nue Dae, Neil Armfield’s Candy, Julius Avery’s Son Of A Gun, and Jeremy Sims’ Last Train To Freo – which earned him best supporting actor nominations at both the 2006 AACTA Awards and the Film Critics Circle Awards. Most recently Budge played the self-appointed town mayor Mr. Frankly in Mirrah Foulkes’ directorial debut feature film Judy & Punch, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Budge has also appeared in the tele-movie Mabo, the HBO mini-series The Pacific, and the WWI Australian mini-series epic Gallipoli.

Budge’s stage work regularly garners glowing reviews; the Company B Belvoir St. production of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 2004 Helpmann Awards and after a 10 year break from theatre work he was again nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for Eddie Perfect’s “The Beast” at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2013. He received rave reviews for his performance as Clov in Andrew Upton and Hugo Weaving’s re-energized multi award winning staging of Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame” at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2015, and in Kate Mulvaney’s “The Rasputin Affair” at the Ensemble Theatre in 2017. Budge is also a seasoned musician, composer, lyricist and emerging screenwriter. He has long split his time between acting and music and has toured with the Tom Budge Band locally and internationally.

MORFYDD CLARK has firmly established herself as one of the industry’s most promising actors, and her triumphant performances across three features at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival led her to be identified by the Guardian as the “breakout” star of the 2019 festival. At the beginning of 2020 Clark starred as ‘Mina’ in the BBC and Netflix co-production of Dracula.She also recently portrayed ‘Sister Clara’ in Jack Thorne’s eight-part adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s best-selling novels His Dark Materials, alongside James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Anne-Marie Duff, Andrew Scott and Dafne Keen. Clark will next be seen in cinema in Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, playing the role of Dora whilst also briefly appearing in a second role as David Copperfield’s widowed mother. The film received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival. Later this year audiences will see Clark take on the title role in Saint Maud – the feature debut from BAFTA Breakthrough Brit director Rose Glass.

2020 will also see her as Young Jane in Craig Robert’s BIFA-nominated feature film, Eternal Beauty, which had itsworld premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. In 2018, Clark starred as Debbie Hickman in Patrick Melrose (a Showtime/Sky Atlantic production) alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Allison Williams. Also that year, she was seen in The Alienist (playing Caroline Bell). Around the same time, she completed filming her role in BBC Two’s adaptation of China Miéville’s The City And The City. Clark’s other notable screen credits include: Kate Dickens in the 2017 feature The Man Who Invented Christmas; Zuzanna Luptak in 2016’s Interlude in Prague; Frederica in Whit Stillman’s feature comedy Love & Friendship; and her “stand out” performance as Miss Charron in 2014’s The Falling, opposite Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh. Theatre credits include: Cordelia in the 2016 production of “King Lear” at the Old Vic; her critically acclaimed 2016 performance as Cecile in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” at the Donmar Warehouse opposite Dominic West; and Jen in the Olivier nominated four hander “Violence And Son,” which opened at The Royal Court in June 2015.

ISMAEL CRUZ CóRDOVA just wrapped a series regular role on David E. Kelley’s HBO miniseries The Undoing opposite Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant for director Susanne Bier, which will be released Spring 2020. He is currently shooting Wyatt Rockefeller’s feature Settlers, opposite Sofia Boutella and Brooklynn Prince, in South Africa. He can currently be seen in Working Title’s period feature Mary Queen of Scots opposite Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, as well as in the Sony Pictures remake of the Oscar nominated film Miss Bala, as the male lead opposite Gina Rodriguez. Previous credits include the third season of the Anonymous Content / Epix series Berlin Station, the fourth season of Showtime’s Ray Donovan opposite Liev Schreiber, as well as Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Ismael is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

EMA HORVATH is a Slovak American actress whose film career began in the summer of 2015 when she landed the role of Shell in the Blumhouse/Cinemax film Like.Share.Follow. Horvath had come to LA to study screenwriting and was working as a script coverage intern for Blumhouse Productions when she was offered the opportunity to audition for the role. Since then, her credits have grown to include The Gallows 2, The Mortuary Collection, and Viscous.

Horvath is a classically trained theater actress. She is a graduate of the prestigious boarding arts high-school Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied theater performance for two years under the tutelage of the acclaimed Shakespearean performer, teacher, and author Dr. David Montee, Comedia dell’arte practitioner Gulshirin Dubash, and the current Director of Theater at Interlochen Arts Academy, Bill Church. After graduating from the school in 2012, Horvath was offered admission to several notable theater conservatories but ultimately chose to pursue a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard University.

MARKELLA KAVENAGH made her screen debut in the Stan series Romper Stomper,opposite Sophie Lowe and David Wenham. She then went on to appear in Foxtel’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, alongside Natalie Dormer, and the acclaimed BBC series The Cry, opposite Jenna Coleman and Ewen Leslie. Markella’s film credits include Katie Found’s coming of age feature, My First Summer and Phoebe Tonkin’s short, Furlough. Markella will be seen in next in Vicki Madden’s The Gloaming on Stan.

JOSEPH MAWLE played long-lost Benjen Stark on the award-winning HBO series Game of Thrones, to much fanfare. He was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for his performance in Birdsong, opposite Eddie Redmayne and Matthew Goode. Mawle also starred in MotherFatherSon with Richard Gere, and opposite Rosamund Pike in the BBC remake of Women in Love (in which he played the role originated by Oliver Reed). His film credits include Ron Howard’s In the Heart of the Sea, Kill Your Friends with Nicholas Hoult, Half of a Yellow Sun with Chiwetel Ejiofor, and the male lead in The Hallow. He can be seen next in Terrence Malick’s The Last Planet with Mark Rylance.

TYROE MUHAFIDIN is an Australian actor who has appeared in a number of short films including Two Sands, as well as the online series Caravan. The upcoming Amazon Original is his first major series.

SOPHIA NOMVETE was born in the UK, is African/Iranian heritage and speaks fluent Farsi. Her credits include: the leading role Dexter in Vice Versa (RSC); Miss Littlewood (RSC); England People Very Nice (Royal National Theatre). She also played the leading role of Miss Sofia in the European premiere of “The Color Purple” (Menier Chocolate Factory) for which she was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Best Supporting Actress Award and Best Supporting Role in a Musical by The Evening Standard and Broadway World. Sophia has also worked at Chichester Festival Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Royal Exchange Theatre, amongst many others.

MEGAN RICHARDS is just 20 years old. She trained at West London Drama Training and The Brit School. Megan started her professional career in 2018 working on a BBC1/Netflix series, Wanderlust, written by Nick Payne. She guested in Doctors on BBC1. Most of 2019 was taken up appearing in the German made Pan Tau, which is due to transmit later in 2020. She has also appeared on stage in a National Theatre Connections play, “Extremism,” at the Soho Theatre. She is an accomplished singer and musician – playing the piano, saxophone and guitar.

DYLAN SMITH has studied and worked in theatre, film and TV around the world. He most recently starred in Patty Jenkins’ I Am The Night for TNT opposite Chris Pine, and can soon be seen in Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow (A24). Dylan began in Canada on stage with the renowned Soulpepper Theatre Company. He studied acting at Webber Douglas in London, England, where he took leading roles on films including, Murder On The Orient Express, with Alfred Molina, and on television in the British classic, EastEnders. Smith returned to the stage with the premiere of Blasted by Sarah Kane. While in Canada, Dylan was cast in 300, The Immortals, Total Recall, Forsaken, The Englishman’s Boy, and the independent film Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal – in which he took the title role. Smith won The Maverick Movie Award for best actor from Hangnail, and Best Actor in a Short Film for Twine at The London Independent Film Festival. Smith was cast in “Private Lives” on Broadway where he met his wife, British theatre director Anna Ledwich. He returned with love in his eyes to London and proceeded to work both stage and film, acting in Spectral, The Mummy, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, and on the small screen with the Dawn for Hulu, The Tunnel, Ripper Street, and Into The Badlands. His film Lemonade, from esteemed Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu, is currently making a wide festival run.

CHARLIE VICKERS is at the start of an exciting career. He graduated from the prestigious drama school, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2017 and since then he has appeared in a number of projects including Netflix’s Medici: Masters of Florenceopposite Sean Bean. Charlie also had a key role in Rachel Ward’s Sydney set feature film, Palm Beach, opposite Greta Scaachi, Richard E. Grant and Sam Neill.

DANIEL WEYMAN is a decorated British actor whose most recent film credits include Where Hands Touch, The Happy Prince (starring opposite Colin Firth, Colin Morgan and Emily Watson), and Great Expectations (starring opposite Ralph Fiennes, Sally Hawkins and Helena Bonham Carter). His career includes leading roles in television shows such as Silent Witness, Gentleman Jack, Foyle’s War, Dunkirk, along with appearances in The North Water, Treadstone and A Very English Scandal. His extensive theater work has earned him great acclaim, leading productions including “The Mentor,” “Sideways,” “4000 Days,” “The Crucible,” “King Lear,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” “The Comedy of Errors,” “The Glass Room,” and many more.

This content was originally published here.

5 Tips for Merging Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

There was a time when a simple patio or deck was the height of backyard outdoor living. Today, we have transcended to a place where our outdoor spaces rival and often surpass the look and livability of our indoor spaces. The latest trend on this design journey is to merge our outdoor and indoor living spaces in a way that allows the backyard to be a true extension of the home. Here are some ideas on how to accomplish this.

1 – Use Complementary Architecture

When designing an outdoor living space, use materials and architectural touches that mirror the interior space. For example, if the interior includes arches, transoms or large beams, similar touches can be incorporated in the exterior spaces. You can also mirror architectural materials such as light fixtures, countertops and flooring in your exterior spaces. Just remember to buy the outdoor-rated versions for durability in the harsher environment.

2 – Create Seamless Transitions

For climates that allow this as an option, collapsible doors provide the perfect opportunity to create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. This is not realistic in some climates due to excessive temperatures, mosquitoes and other factors. For these scenarios, the look can be accomplished with large windows, sliding doors or screened enclosures. It also helps to have the initial zone of the outdoor space at the same floor height so there’s not a step up or down when going in or out.

3 – Incorporate Cohesive Design Schemes

If you’re limited by architecture or climate and want to create a sense of flow to the outdoors, continue the same decorating motif used in the adjoining room. Use similar color schemes, furniture styles, rugs, lamps, vases and other accessories.

4 – Make the Space More Functional

If you really want your outdoor space to be cohesive with your indoor space, it needs to be a place where people want to hang out. That means adding functional elements like a bar, outdoor kitchen or fire feature.

5 – Link Entertainment Zones

Adding a television is a no-brainer, which is easy enough to link with your home’s system. But you’ll also want to add WiFi extenders to improve internet connectivity. To really enhance the sense of flow from the indoors out, add audio speakers and connect them with your home’s entertainment system. That way, you can hear the same background sounds when walking from one space to the next.

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This content was originally published here.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Unfinished Hardwood Flooring – A Very Cozy Home

Hardwood Flooring

You made the right choice if you have decided to use unfinished hardwood flooring for your new home. This type of flooring solution offers flexibility since it can readily complement the overall interior of your home and can be installed at any time. Unfinished hardwood also provides a unique and elegant look that other flooring types cannot deliver.

Given the many kinds of Unfinished Hardwood Flooring for sale, it is best to plan and know what you want before looking for suppliers. Below are some of the essential things you need to consider when selecting the most suitable unfinished hardwood floor for your dream home:

Wood format: Solid versus Engineered

Authentic wood floors come in two formats – solid and engineered. Solid floorings are pieces of lumber that were kiln-dried to reduce their moisture content significantly. After this process, the wood is then milled using a method known as ‘tongue and groove’ to create wood planks. This type of wood flooring is ideal if you intend to customize, and if your house is in a dry environment.

Engineered unfinished hardwood flooring, on the other hand, uses thinly cut lumber instead of a single solid piece of wood to create floorboards. Engineered flooring solution is the right choice if you want faster installation or if your home is in a high-moisture environment.

Width of the wood planks

Do not forget to determine the width of the wood planks as it directly impacts the aesthetic value of your flooring. While this factor largely depends on your taste and style preference, it is important to note that the width affects the gap on your floors.

The wider the wood boards, the more they will create noticeable gaps when the environmental conditions become too dry or too moist. Note that you can prevent wide floorboards from moving by gluing the wood in addition to nailing it down.

Species of the Wood

Another essential consideration when choosing unfinished hardwood floors is the species of the tree where the lumber originated. The species of the wood affects the quality and overall appearance of your flooring.

For instance, if you are expecting high foot traffic in your home, you should consider using wood from species that are known for their hardness. Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, and Hickory are some examples of trees that produce highly dense (hard) wood.

Geographical origin of the lumber

Apart from wood species, it would be best if you also take note of the areas where the lumbers were made. You may not realize it, but the environment and climate where the tree grows significantly affect the kind of lumber it will produce.

For instance, wood harvested from trees in the northern region of the United States is typically regarded as a premium product. Trees in this region grow slowly, resulting in denser and more evenly colored lumber.

The opposite is true for timbers harvested in the southern area since trees here tend to mature rapidly. As a result, the lumber generally has different grain patterns and more hues.

Make sure to ponder on the factors mentioned above before buying Unfinished Hardwood Flooring for sale. Once you have a clear idea of the type of hardwood you want, make sure to source your materials from a reputable supplier. Find a company that is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is a member of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) to purchase top-quality wood.

This content was originally published here.

Refinishing Our Maple Hardwood Flooring: Wrecking Ball – Finding Zest

Hardwood Flooring

This post sharing how we refinished our maple hardwood flooring as part of our modern farmhouse kitchen remodel is sponsored by ABRAMS Books.

Refinishing our maple hardwood floors over the summer was a huge undertaking we didn’t expect during our kitchen remodel. While the end results are always worth it, it was challenging to say the least! Home improvement is the subject of the latest book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Wrecking Ballfrom author Jeff Kinney. While my son was reading Wrecking Ball, he was brought right back to this past summer during our own remodel.


In Wrecking Ball, Book 14 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series—from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney—an unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Once the walls come down, all sorts of problems start to crop up. Rotten wood, toxic mold, unwelcome critters, and something even more sinister all make Greg and his family wonder if the renovations are worth the trouble. When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay . . . or will they need to get out of town?

All three of my kids have enjoyed the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and they loved reading the latest installment.  My 11-year-old son Warren got a laugh out of Greg’s fear of grout, or rather THE GROUT, a pretty scary monster. Considering we did our own grout work for our subway tile, I can say without a doubt that grout is pretty scary and that fear isn’t irrational at all.

Refinishing Our Maple Hardwood Flooring

Since Wrecking Ball showcases some of the scary sides of remodeling, I thought I would share with you the most challenging part of our remodel – our maple hardwood flooring. Granted, we didn’t even know what we had under our flooring before we started. Since the rest of our house has hardwood, we had hoped we would find it in our kitchen but it was impossible to tell before starting. After removal of our linoleum, the nice gold speckled kind, we found another whole layer of linoleum underneath.  Surprise!

Once we got through the second layer of linoleum we found maple hardwood flooring covered in felt, huge staples, and a ridiculous amount of nails. Surprise!

We had a running joke that the person who installed the linoleum must have been paid by the nail and staple since they went overboard in several areas. Once we removed all the samples and nails, we had to remove all the glue. This process was not fun! My husband and I mostly worked in tandem (along with my father-in-law) to lay down wet towels soaked in almost boiling hot water. We let them sit for a couple of minutes in each area and then wiped the glue away. We worked on this for several hours in July when it was super hot. We were dripping with sweat, but it was worth it to see the beautiful hardwood floors peaking through.

We did not tackle refinishing the maple hardwood flooring ourselves. After doing a lot of research, we learned just how tricky they can be. We also did not have the equipment necessary to lift our radiators to get underneath them. We are so glad we hired a professional to help with the flooring because couldn’t have been happier with the results.

Because maple floors do not take stain well, we just had three coats of poly put on them after they were sanded. The whole process was painless and much less expensive than I expected. If you are on the fence, I highly recommend spending a bit extra to get a professional.

This light and bright flooring really finishes off the look of our modern farmhouse remodel. We couldn’t be happier with the way it all came together!

While remodeling a kitchen is certainly a test of patience, the feeling of accomplishment afterward is so worth all the struggles. We weren’t sure what to expect with our floors, but we are so thankful we were able to restore them to their former glory.

We still walk into this kitchen every day and can’t believe the transformation. It never gets old just admiring the work.

How would you remodel your house?

Warren told me how unrealistic Greg was when he found out they would be remodeling their house but that his ideas were pretty fun. Greg wanted to build his house underground and have a giant aquarium under the bathtub! When I asked Warren what he would want if money were no object, he had some interesting ideas himself, like a bomb shelter. My older son was a little more practical and would be happy with a pool.

Pick up your copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney, recommended for ages 8-12 and available at retailers nationwide! It would make a great holiday gift idea.

This content was originally published here.