Proper Backsplash Border Height in the Kitchen

The backsplash in your kitchen is meant to be functional while also adding flair to the room’s decor.  Designs can be simple and understated, but they also have the opportunity to become a focal point when using certain patterns and colors.  One way to bring attention to the backsplash area is to install a decorative border.  This is an easy way to give the kitchen a unique look than using the same pattern for the entire wall space.  If you have decided that a border will enhance the room, the next step prior to installation is to determine the appropriate height at which it should be placed.  There are multiple options for backsplash borders depending on how dramatic you want to it to be:


Single Row

A single row border is usually installed one or two tiles up to ensure that it can be still be seen without the obstruction of countertop appliances, knife blocks or utensil canisters.  This also keeps the border from being installed too high, which will cause the upper cabinets to block your view. If your main backsplash is a bit plain in color, try a border with bright colors to draw the eye.  If there is a pattern already in place, pull the colors together with a slightly different border pattern with similar hues. 


Border as Small Backsplash 

If you prefer the border to be utilized as a smaller backsplash without having to cover the wall completely to the upper cabinets and behind the stove, consider using the border row as your backsplash.  Borders are usually around 4 inches thick and can be topped off with rope tile to give it a more polished look.  Simply place the border against the countertop with your chosen detail tile on top and you’re ready to go! 


Multiple Row

If you like the idea of a single row border but want it to make a larger statement, try doubling it by installing two parallel single row borders. Place the first row one tile up from the bottom and the second row one tile down from the top, giving space for one or two tiles in between each line. 


Border Frame 

This is a great way to add drama to your backsplash area directly above the stove.  Use the border tile to create a picture frame look.  Be to sure to properly measure the space on the wall to ensure your frame is centered exactly where you want it.  Giving yourself one tile of space on each side is a good rule of thumb.  Once the frame is created, you can fill the center space with whatever design you prefer.  You can use the backsplash tile you already have, arrange mosaic tiles to create a unique pattern that draws in the kitchen’s colors, install special tiles to create a mural inside your frame or even use a ceramic medallion tile to create a focal point.


No matter what you choose, when you install your border at the correct height, it will effortlessly enhance the look of your kitchen.  Contact us today to find the right backsplash border style for you!


Do you find yourself already worried about that remodel that you haven’t begun to start planning? Does the sight of an interior design magazine send you into a frenzy as you think about all of the work and decision making you have ahead of you? Don’t worry! If you create a solid plan ahead of time you can use that structure to help you navigate the redesign process.


You have to start somewhere when it comes to a redesign and this is where an inspiration board or stylebook can be of great use to you. This will be somewhat like Pinterest, but if you create one physically it will be easier to move things around and visualize on a larger scale. An inspiration board can be great for someone who has a more focused idea of what they want. A stylebook is great for someone who is looking to try a few different looks before they nail down the final decor. Pull looks you find inspirational from design magazines, print them off of the internet, wherever you find inspiration you can add it to your book/board.


Focus on the most important aspect of the room—function. What do you want to accomplish with your redesign? If you are looking to up the resale value of your home, you may want to think less about your specific wants and needs and look to industry standards for what will increase this value in the future. If you’re redesigning for yourself, be sure you know what you want to accomplish with your space, what your needs and wants are for it, and stick to this.


Another crucial step to retaining your sanity when going through a remodel is to budget your time and money. Figure out what it is that you want the most and research estimates for these items. Don’t forget to set up a schedule for your remodel—the last thing you want is for your remodeling project to drag out, costing you even more money in the end.


Using these tools as a starting point to begin a remodel can help focus your attention where it needs to be and remove the overwhelming feeling many experience when starting to think about a remodel. While the time and effort can sometimes be a extensive, the rewards are worth it.

An Open Floor Plan

When decorating an open floor plan it can be overwhelming to even begin to think of where to start. With all of that empty space, a blank canvas with no direction, many can feel like they are lost. Putting too much furniture in the room might completely negate the point of having an open floor plan while too little can begin to feel like you haven’t even moved in. That doesn’t begin to cover how to decorate with art and lighting. These few steps will help you move forward with furnishing and decorating your open floor plan into a layout that works best for you and your needs.


The first thing to consider is how many independent areas you will want delineated within your open floor plan. This will vary depending on if you have an open kitchen to living room area versus a studio apartment. Estimate how much space you will want each living area to occupy and then you can begin to think about what size furniture will fit into each area. Don’t forget to think about travel space between your living areas as well. Keep travel flow between spaces fluid and open so that your space doesn’t feel cluttered.


The next logical step is to consider which areas make the most sense to occupy living areas next to one another. You should think about what your needs are—does it make the most sense for the dining area to be near the kitchen? Do you want to have your living room area within viewing distance of your kitchen? Depending on your specific needs, arrange your living areas in a way that makes the most sense.


Finally, try to think about your furniture in groupings. While you will want all of the furniture in your open floor plan to relate to one another, they don’t necessarily have to be of the same grouping if they are in different living spaces. An example of this might be your living room area’s couch, chairs and coffee table grouping working as a set. This set doesn’t have to be an exact match the dining room furniture in the next living area. As long as the design elements relate in a way that makes sense visually, these groupings can coexist in the same space.


Trying to furnish and decorate an open space can sometimes be more overwhelming than when you have to deal with just each room individually. Following these few easy steps can help ease that burden as you begin to try and put together a floor plan that works for you and your family.

Keep Away That Mold!

Mold in your home is a serious issue requiring immediate attention. It can pop up anywhere in your house, but the most likely place you will find it is in your bathroom.


Some of the conditions needed for mold to grow are damp and steamy areas, poorly ventilated rooms and from moisture on exposed plumbing . Sound familiar? Not to mention the environment created in your shower stall right after a shower or bath.  Wet tile and shower liner, water beneath your shampoo and body wash, as well as an exposed soap bar make for a perfect storm in your bathroom.


Mold almost seems impossible to prevent, unless you want to remove your soap and other shower items daily. Fortunately, with a few smart choices in material and design, there will be no need to simulate your last camping trip.


If a bathroom has not yet been installed, make sure the design includes waterproof material, which will prevent moisture from reaching difficult to access areas that can create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold to develop. Proper ventilation is also key to stopping this issue before it starts. Whether a window is present or not in the room, consider installing a bathroom fan that can be run during hot showers and baths to prevent steam from rising and causing mold in the wall tiles and ceiling.


Existing bathrooms do not have the benefit of newer materials that would make it easier to keep the environment mold-free, so a little more hand-on work is required.  If a ventilation fan is not currently installed in the room, adding one would go a long way in keeping the area dry. Use it during shower or bath time and for 30 minutes afterwards to keep moisture away.  Consider minimizing bath products in the shower to ensure that there are less dark, wet spaces for bacteria to grow under.  Before exiting the shower, use a towel or squeegee to wipe or scrape away as much moisture from the walls as possible. Finally, make sure to clean all exposed tile at least once a week.



An Easy Guide to Bathroom Renovations

An updated bathroom not only adds quality to your life it may also attract potential homebuyers.  Whether you are happily settled in your dream home or looking to sell, making sure your bathrooms are up to date is always a good thing.  Consider these bathroom renovation tips to spruce up this essential space in the house. 


Think about trying a sleeker design for the shower stall as this is an easy way to add value.  Barrier-free shower systems add luxury to the space, making getting in and out of the shower easier for adults, young and old alike.  Install large glass doors that will help the room look larger since there is no shower curtain separating it from the rest of the space. Consider a large shower head or multiple jets that provides adequate water pressure.  They will not only look nice but give you a spa-like feeling right in your own home.


Updating your bathroom floor will change the whole look of the room.  Be sure to use a material that is resistant to water and stains. Tile is a classic choice, but there is also vinyl, cork and engineered wood to consider.  Any look is possible since they are all good choices to use in a damp area, so feel free to step out of your comfort zone to give them a try.


New cabinets will help bring your bathroom up to speed. Determine whether you want to have more or less storage as this will help you choose what design will function best in the space. A master bath may require larger cabinets than a guest bathroom that isn’t going to get as much use.  If the space is small, using lighter colors is helpful for making the room look bigger.  If you’re cabinetry is large enough to accommodate dual sinks for your countertop area, go for it. Potential homebuyers love to see this in a home.  For single sink areas, choose a bold idea like a vessel sink or a drop-in with detailed design around the rim to add character.


Fixtures also play a big part in the look of your bathroom.  They come in an array of finishes to complement the rest of the room and a variety of styles that lets you choose whether you want to go for a vintage, contemporary or modern look.  Be sure to match the cabinetry, shower and lighting fixtures to keep on theme with your renovated design.

Design Tips from the Trade

Decorating can be made so much easier if you know some key tips designers have been using for decades. Designers learn tips and tricks over time. Read on for helpful advice that can be utilized for years to come!

Treat the ceiling! This is the easiest way to give your room a designer look. People assume no one looks up. The truth is, drawing the eye up to a beautifully treated ceiling will make a huge impact on the space. Paint can work wonders for adding a dramatic effect. No treatment will go un-noticed. Put in the effort and you will be glad you did.

Hang large pieces of art. Statement pieces of art will defy the room and fewer pieces are needed. This is a great way to take the design style of a room into the direction it needs to go. There will be an immediate impact and less decorating will be needed to complete the room’s look.

Leave ample room around each furniture piece. This is rule if particularly good for seating. Leave at least 30”-36” space between each piece of furniture. This rule is excluded for accent or end tables. Accent tables can be placed within an inch or two of the seating piece.

Wider walkways are needed to make the room and house flow properly. Usually residences have 30” for a residential walkway or hall. However 36” wide walkways are much more comfortable and open. If you have the room, plan your furniture around this rule. The home will feel comfortable and a positive flow will be achieved.

Hang draperies high. This rule excludes vaulted ceilings and is meant for standard flat ceilings. Hang draperies close to the ceiling and let them hang right above the floor. Puddled draperies are becoming outdated. They can become a hazard as well as requiring many more routine cleanings. A simple pleated panel will create a sophisticated and classic look that only requires cleaning once a year. Never launder draperies yourself!

Using just one or two of these ideas, your home will be well on the way to a more professionally designed house!

Decorating with White

Decorating with an all-white color scheme creates a dramatic statement and provides a fresh, calming look. Dramatic and calming at the same time? We think this look, over many others, achieves that! An all-white design offers a stunning modern look, but it can be hard to pull off as it could look stark and austere if not designed with care and intention. Of course, it’s not for everyone either—those with kids and/or pets—this could be a cleaning nightmare. Also consider that not everyone has a home with the architectural interest needed to pull off the look as seen in magazines and design blogs. But if you are finding yourself drawn to this look and want to go for it, consider these tips.

Architectural Detail and Structure:

Before you commit to painting everything white and swapping out all your furnishings and accessories, consider the architectural details in your home. An all-white look puts the architecture of your home on display, so if it’s lacking in this way, you’ll need to give it some love. Consider upgrading trim, adding crown molding and interesting ceiling treatments. A white brick wall, or white marble or stone finishes are also great ways to add interest and avoid an overly stark white space. If you imagine the bedroom pictured above without the wood moldings, the look would be lacking. In the image below, the built-in shelves and wide crown molding create strong architectural interest in this room.

Tone & Texture:

When decorating primarily with white, texture and tone will be vitally important. Mixing tones and shades of white will add interest. Don’t be afraid of mixing different whites. Add texture by using different materials; linen, faux fur, area rugs with subtle patterns, pottery, stone sculpture, knitted throws. You can use it all because your unifying element will be color.


When you’re purchasing furniture, remember to include a variety of shapes. If you have too many rectangles, add a round coffee table, or dining table. If you have too many curves, add some square or rectangular shaped pieces to keep the space visually varied and interesting.

We hope this helps get you started in planning beautiful white spaces in your home. We’d love to help you select materials for your space to give you a look you’ll love for years.



From casual to sleek there are endless ways you can design your kitchen.  Whether you’re working with a small or large kitchen space there are four basic style variations that can be implemented to create a comfortable, fully functional kitchen for the occupants of your home.



Contemporary and modern are often thought of to be the same. However, in the design world these two styles vary, especially when it comes to the style of  a kitchen. Contemporary kitchens became popular in the 1960’s. In the 60’s tangerine, turquoise and hints of black were trendy colors used when decorating. Contemporary kitchens are minimalist in nature and are characterized neutral color palettes.


Modern Kitchen

A modern kitchen is equipped with advanced technology in kitchenware and is drenched in the latest design features. Yes, modern kitchens are a perfect blend of function and style. Kitchen cabinets are skillfully built into the walls and sometimes smart storage options are utilized in the design to create added storage space. Smart homes are more likely to be equipped with modern kitchens because of the smart phone and voice command functionality.  While modern kitchens are the most expensive design to implement you are guaranteed a sleek and sophisticated finish.



Traditional kitchens are family friendly and they closely resemble the type of design you would see on a family-oriented television show. Yes, a traditional style kitchen is warm and classic with muted colors incorporated creating a homey feeling. Traditional kitchen utilize a breakfast nook and a spacious kitchen table providing ample room for the preparation of meals. Natural materials are used in cabinetry, for flooring and furnishings  bringing in the outdoor atmosphere. This is the perfect space to enjoy a home cooked meal with the family.



A transitional kitchen space is designed just as it sounds. It’s a kitchen that’s a cross between traditional and contemporary.  A transitional kitchen offers the warmth of a traditional design with the simple and clean lines of a contemporary  kitchen. You can add contemporary finishes to a traditionally styled kitchen by bringing in new artwork and installing new lighting. In this design, natural materials are used against manufactured ones to create a modernized yet traditional look.



Making a Loft Work for You

Loft spaces can be awkward to try and make them work as added space within a home. Find out how this loft doubles as two extra spaces, combined into one, while looking great at the same time!

This particular loft is an extra bedroom for guest, as well as a media space. Placing the bed at the end of the room tucks it away and gives a sense of privacy. The flat screen is mounted on the wall at the other end of the room. A husband or a wife can come up here to have some quiet time and watch their favorite shows. There is the added plus of possibly taking a cat nap on the comfortable bed!

Combining a media space and a bedroom is a great way to get lots of use out of the long narrow room. There are stairs, not a ladder, which leads up to the loft space. The key to having a loft that you actually use is having stairs to access it. A ladder makes it not as appealing to just go up and hang out in a loft. Actually ladders deter people from using their loft space. A successful loft will have access by stairs. If you are intending on using a loft space, make sure to give it a chance by having easy access.

Make the loft a comfortable area that family members and guest will actually want to use the space. Comfortable floors and furniture is a must. In this loft the wood beams and the stacked stone on the walls make the space feel warm and inviting. A brightly covered area rug makes the floor feel welcoming.

There is even added storage up against the wall that has a very low ceiling height. Most loft spaces are in the part of the house where the walls meet the pitched roof. Utilize this awkward space by having low furniture or cabinets that can be used for extra storage. Guest can also use this storage space to keep their belongings and clothes in, while staying in the loft!

Back to School Tricks

School is about to start up again! Enjoy this post for easy tips that make back to school easier. There are so many things around the house that can be transformed into something more useful.

Packing school lunches takes time and costs money. Don’t buy ice packs, make your own easily, for a fraction of the price. All you need is a sponge, water and a zip lock bag. Wet the sponge and ring out some of the excess water. Place the sponge inside a zip lock bag and freeze. Make five at a time, one for each day of the school week!

Keep homework supplies organized. Put pens, pencils, colored pencils, scissors, tape and glue sticks in a plastic silverware organizer. This is the perfect item to keep things separated and organized. Next find a decorative box that has a lid and place the organizer inside. This is perfect to keep on the bookshelf or right on the desk top.

Stay organized by staying color coded. Get a simple dish drainer. One that is rectangular. Place color coded folders inside and label each with the appropriate subject. This way you can keep track of tests, quizzes, notes etc. The silverware cups can be used to keep pens and pencils!

Protect school books by creating your own paper bag leaves. Unwrap grocery store paper bags. Use tape to wrap the books in the brown paper. Then let your child add the title and decorate the paper however they want. Make sure they put their name on it so it can be returned if misplaced.

Use a door hanging shoe organizer to keep school and art supplies organized and visible. This is perfect for keeping calculators, glue, pens, pencils, markers, rulers, compass and lots of other art supplies. Place the organizer on the back of the door in your child’s room. They can help themselves to the items they need when completing projects and home work.