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Our Top-Selling Flooring of 2017

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The year of 2017 was a wild one for remodeling projects. With trends soaring in and out of style it’s no wonder people are so inspired to make changes. One of the most difficult things to choose in a remodeling project is what type of flooring to go with. Between tile, wood, or carpet and all the variations in-between, it’s no wonder homeowners have such a tough time committing to one. Our top-selling flooring of 2017 is full of materials that will have you itching to set your inner interior designer free, and hopefully help you make some better-informed decisions when it comes to choosing flooring in your own home. Here are a few of our best options from the past year:

1.Wood alike: While this may come as no surprise to some of you, wood look-alike flooring is still one of the top trends of interior design. With all of the style and class of hardwood floors, but at a fraction of the cost this style was flying off the shelves all year long. Whether it’s wood-like vinyl, laminate, or tile if you’ve recently invested in one of them, you’re right on trend.

2.Gray flooring: This one definitely surprised us all. While this was still fairly knew it’s a sure-fire trend that will roll into the new year as well. The gray offers an industrial chic look and with the right styling around it, will still keep your home feeling warm and inviting all year long.

3.Blond wood flooring: Sticking with the classic look of wood, the look has been upgraded by opting for lighter shades instead of the classic deeper brown tones. This look will not only open up your home and make it seem bigger, but it also is a beautifully neutral way to start off a remodeling plan.

Our Top-Selling Countertops of 2017

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Everybody loves a good remodeling job. Jumping into 2017, homeowners were no different. When it comes to figuring out how to jump start your remodel you typically start with flooring and move right along to countertop material. As these are two of the biggest purchases you’ll be making in a remodeling project this comes as no surprise. What might surprise you though, is our top-selling countertops of 2017:

1.Quartz: This fancy alternative seems to be all anyone in the design world can talk about. Typically, people opt for granite as a classic countertop material, however it’s porous nature caused designers to look elsewhere. Here they found quartz. Quartz is a non-porous material and doesn’t have to regularly be re-sealed. This makes for a countertop that is far more durable and cost efficient.

2.Mock-natural stone slabs: Many people are now seeking the look of a natural slab of stone like marble or granite, but are more drawn to the cost efficiency of quartz. Luckily with modern technology, quartz material can be designed so that it resembles natural slabs of stone and looks more rustic than its typical chic finish. You can create patterns or veins in your quartz now that make it more modern and add a fresh element to your remodeling project.

3.Neutral is back: A few years ago, the bright pops of color were common for countertops, but now we’re back to sticking with neutral tones and adding our pops of color elsewhere. This is great because it allows homeowners to invest in more durable materials for countertops as well as give them a solid and neutral base should they ever choose to do a mini remodeling project down the road. This also makes pairing your counter to your flooring choice far easier as well and allows you more creativity in choosing your accent pieces.

How to Choose Between Granite and Quartz Countertops

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When investing in a new countertop, you want to make sure you’re thinking deeply about the pros and cons of different materials. This becomes especially important when designing a kitchen due to the nature of wear and tear that happens in a kitchen. You want to invest in something that is able to withstand over time so that you don’t find yourself need a new counter in the near future. Two of the most popular materials for countertops are granite and quartz. Here are a few suggestions on how to choose between granite and quartz countertops.

Begin by weighing the pros and cons of either material. While granite gives your home a classic and rustic look, it is also a porous material. This means that things like water and oil can permeate the surface. Should you opt for a granite countertop you’ll want to be sure you also invest in a high-quality finish so that you don’t have to worry about re-sealing the counter too often. Granite comes in many different shades and designs so finding the right one for you shouldn’t be too difficult, making it a very convenient option.

However, quartz too comes in a variety of colors. On top of this, quartz is a non-porous material. You don’t have to finish it and you don’t run into the same issues as you would with granite. Since granite is porous, should your finish wear down it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Quartz is also a more flexible material making it a bit easier to install than granite. This being said, quartz does have a tendency to fade in color over time when exposed to direct sunlight. This means that should part of your counter be in constant view of the sun and another part not, over time the part in the sun will begin to appear discolored.

How to Build the Perfect Outdoor Bar and Kitchen Area

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When you think of remodeling you don’t always think of your outdoor space first. This spring, bounce right into the summer by creating the perfect outdoor area for your home. With all that goes into a project like this it can seem intimidating at first. To help you along, here’s how to build the perfect outdoor bar and kitchen area.

A great way to begin your project is really creating a vision for what you want the space to feel like. Do you want to use salvaged materials? This can be a great way to be more cost efficient as well as give your space a rustic and lived in look right away. Or are you more of an industrial chic person who appreciates the crisp look of brand new countertops? Regardless of which you choose, it’s important to begin your project with a plan and a budget to keep yourself on schedule and honest about what you’re investing in.

Next, you’ll want to look at your home’s plumbing and figure out where may be the easiest to add onto that. Between appliances and electric, it’s easy to forget about plumbing placement, but this is an area that can make or break your budget. Once you’ve decided on a space, you can move on to choosing durable materials.

Since this is an outdoor bar and kitchen area, you’ll want to consider all of the factors that go into maintaining a good outdoor space. Start by choosing materials that are known for holding up well in the weather of your area, and continue by using proper finishes and sealants on all of your materials and appliances. This will keep you from having to replace things down the line as well as keep your outdoor space looking brand new for years to come.

Coffee Bar Ideas for Your Kitchen

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One of the hottest new trends to add on to your kitchen is the coffee bar. With coffee enthusiasts everywhere, it’s not surprising that the idea of having a specific station for coffee in your home has taken off. There are many ways to build a coffee bar in your home and often times it’s difficult to choose which is for you. Here are a few coffee bar ideas for your kitchen:

Invest in a vintage cart or side table. This is a great staple piece for your kitchen that will work with the décor you already have. This particular technique allows you to keep the bar itself separate from the rest of your organization and allows all of the coffee fixings to live in their own space. Having one of these that’s also on wheels allows you to have the option of moving it around your kitchen as well as act as a mini island on wheels.

Repurpose part of your kitchen counter. While this may not be the ideal way to have a coffee bar, it’s the next best thing. Take a corner of your kitchen that’s cluttered or not used as much and redesign it into the coffee bar of your dreams. Install a few hooks to hang mugs on, get a few small wooden cubby-like crates to organize, and before you know it your perfect coffee bar will manifest. This is a great option if your kitchen space isn’t all that large and you believe adding a cart would simply make it congested.

Organization is key. While the idea of a coffee bar is great, it can quickly become just another area of clutter in your home. Keep things compartmentalized, devote a specific cupboard for all of the fixings, and keep your bar clean. This will keep you feeling like you have a small space for the coffee you love, without making your kitchen feel crowded.

Buying Guide to Butcher Block Countertops

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Kitchen remodels can take up a lot of your time. Deciding on what flooring to go with and how to match that well with new countertops is seems impossible at first. A classic trend that has recently come back is butcher block countertops. These are the types of counters that are made out of wood so that you can safely chop and slice directly on them, doubling them as a work space as well as an accent piece in your kitchen. Here is a buying guide to butcher block countertops to make your purchase a little easier:

There are many different kinds of wood to choose from so you’ll want to start there. Whether you opt for a classic oak or a more modern walnut, you’ll need to be sure your counter is sealed with either Waterlox or pure Tung oil. This will help it to be impermeable to water and keep your counter looking fresh longer.

While the rest of your kitchen may be made up of metal appliances, your butcher block countertop will bring the warmth back into your kitchen. This being said, you don’t want to invest all of your remodeling money in your countertop space. Be sure to do your research and find a way to get the look you want within your price range. Keeping you and your bank account happy.

As mentioned previously, you’ll need to seal and finish your butcher block to keep it long lasting. Pure Tung oil is a great option due it’s nontoxic nature as well as being an easy touch up solution. Should the countertop wear over time, you simply sand the surface and re-oil it for your good as new matte finish. However, opting for Waterlox will give you a more permanent finish. This one requires far less maintenance and is a great option around areas that are prone to water damage, like your sink area.

Affordable Countertop Options that Look Just Like Marble

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Remodeling projects are huge undertakings and there’s much to plan before getting too invested. One of the first things you’ll do when planning a project is create a budget. Once you do this, it can seem daunting to make big purchases on things like flooring and countertops. Those are two of the priciest aspects of a remodel and will suck up a large portion of your budget every time. This being said, there are many ways of cutting corners so to speak when it comes to fulfilling your remodeling goals.

Instead of investing in countertops at the peak price range, aim for affordable countertop options that look just like marble. This keeps the class and style still there without forcing you to subject a huge chunk of your budget for it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Quartz: The upsides of quartz seem never ending to most when investigating the pros of using it as a material for a countertop. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it also is non-porous and just as durable as a granite surface. This makes it a low maintenance investment for you as well as something that will be able to hold up throughout the years. Quartz comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so getting one that looks similar to marble isn’t too difficult.

White concrete: While this may seem a bit unorthodox at first, it’s a far more affordable way to get the look of marble. Since concrete is a material that can be shaped into virtually any form you choose, it makes it a flexible option for countertops as well. You can design shapes and patterns within it to make it appear more or less marble-like depending on your style. With a beautiful finish on top of it, it will be glossy and resemble the marble look flawlessly.

Window Treatments for Sliding Doors

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The windows of your home are often times the accent pieces you never knew you had. This being said, the right window treatments have the ability to transform your space into a sanctuary that you call your home. One of the more difficult windows to dress however, are ones that are on doors. It can be difficult to outfit something appropriate and even more difficult to style it in a way that you like. Here are a few options of window treatments for sliding doors:

  • Honeycomb shades: This is a wonderful option for a room that may need extra insulation like a patio or sunroom. The shades let just enough light in that the room itself isn’t completely blacked out, but also will help to keep the room a little warmer or cooler depending on what time of year it is. Not only is this option visually wonderful, but it will also help keep your heating and cooling bills more affordable.
  • Gliding window panels: For a bedroom, this option is one of the best. Since they’re panels they completely block out the outside light allowing you to sleep more deeply and soundly than you ever have. The glide on them makes it extremely convenient and paneling always opens the option for designing the inside to be a statement piece in your room.
  • Woven shades: While this is more of a casual treatment, it’s still just as beautiful. This will give your space just enough shade that the light isn’t overwhelming, but also doesn’t completely block your view of the outside world. They’re available in all types of colors and materials (even wood or bamboo) which allow you to get highly specific in your decorating. They can quickly become the accent piece that ties the rest of the room together.

Corner Window Treatment Ideas

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Window treatments are one of the best parts of a remodeling project. Not only are they a great time to get really creative, but they also give you the most leeway as far as options go. It may seem like this is one of the easiest areas of a home to decorate, but window treatments can make or break the continuity and style of a room. While many are daunted by the idea of dressing a window there are a few tricks of the trade that make tricky spots more manageable. Here are a few corner window treatment ideas:

1.Mirroring: This one is a classic that will always look good. If you’re not a wildly creative person, this is a great look that will have your space looking updated and chic. Instead of trying to figure out what to pair one side of the corner with, simply create a mirror image of that window’s treatment onto the other one. This will keep the time you invest in your windows minimal and allow you to focus on other areas more thoroughly as well.

2.Sheer draping: The sheer draping option gives you loads of wiggle room as well as keeps the space feeling airy and bright. It won’t cover your windows all the way, allowing your room to glow with the natural light from the sun. This is a wonderful look, especially if you live in particularly scenic areas of the world.

3.Continuous drapes: The trick of continuous drapes is that they aren’t necessarily continuous. You can instead achieve this look simply by spreading the drapes and placing them accordingly so it looks like one continuous drape throughout the corner. This is a great accent piece for any room and should you choose to make it literally continuous, then that’s one less drape you have to worry about factoring into your budget.

3 Most Popular Types of Roman Shades

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Finding the right window treatments for your space can be a difficult task. There are so many different styles of drapery and shades out there that it can feel like a daunting task to even begin looking. One of the most popular styles of window treatments are Roman shades. They offer you the option of completely blacking out a room should they be lowered all the way, or you can raise them adding an edgy look to your space as well as allowing natural light to flood in. Here are three of the most popular types of Roman shades:

1. The flat shade: This one means exactly what it sounds like in that the shade will sit flush against the window when completely lowered. This offers a clean-cut look that will immediately elevate the style of a room. Often times this is a great option for bedrooms as the flat nature of the shade completely blacks out any of the outside like that could get in.

2.Embellished bottoms: This particular version of the Roman shade allows for even more personal style to shine through. While the basic structure of the shade is still there, there is some sort of embellishment on the lowest panel. This makes the look of the shade beautiful whether it’s lowered or raised as you will always be able to see the embellishment, making it a great accent piece for any room. Whether you air on the side of jewels or intricate stitching, your treatment will be a wonderful addition.

3.Cordless: This makes the shade itself safer for those who have families and young children to worry about. Often times people get nervous that a child could get ahold of the cord to the window treatment. With this style, that’s no longer something to worry about. Instead, you’ll have a beautiful accent piece that’s safe for all homeowners.