Creating a Play Area For the Kids

Want to give your child a fun and imaginative play area? Of course, as parents, we understand the importance of making sure the children have their playtime. In fact, according to experts, imaginative play helps children develop creativity and thinking skills that they will likely employ later on life. How can you create the perfect play area if you’re short on space?


While in a perfect world you would be able to dedicate an entire room to create a play area with all of your children’s favorite toys in the real world it just doesn’t work like that. In most homes, the main areas such as the living room or the family room have to be able to accommodate both the adults, teens and the little ones in the family. Here are some ways you can create multi-functional play areas in your home.


Rework What You Have

It’s time to get creative. More than likely you probably already have the bare bones for the perfect play area. Consider using the long bare wall in your living or dining room. Yes, you can use the walls to create a large bulletin chalkboard that the kids can draw and write on. If you have older children in the home you can use your handy skills to install a built-in desk into the wall where homework or other tasks can be completed.


Turn Unused Space Into a Playroom

What about the attic that’s just collecting dust or the basement that no one really ever goes into? Consider turning spaces that the family doesn’t really use into a play area for the children. Remodeling such spaces don’t have to be expensive. A deep cleaning and fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference.


Define Space

If your living room or family will also double as a play area then you want to separate or define the space. Area rugs can work as a divider to separate the play area. It’s important to not let the kid’s toys clutter the living room. Make use of smart storage solution to design a space with clean lines and also functional.


If you have any questions about the best types of flooring to use in your playroom, we are happy to help!  We have the experience to help you find the best solution for your home.

Designing a Budget-Worthy Bedroom

While designing your home, you have probably decided on an overall budget that you would ideally like to stick with during the remodeling process. The main portions of your budget will most likely go towards upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms. You may have little money left over for remodeling rooms like your bedroom, but there is no need to worry. We have five tips for designing an amazing budget-worthy bedroom:


Tip No. One: Make a Statement.

To create a statement wall in your bedroom, you will need to decide on either paint or wallpaper for your space. Once you have chosen your preference, paint or wallpaper the wall that holds your bed. You want this wall to have the most attention in your bedroom because it highlighting the fact that it is a bedroom. From white and gray stripes to a bold pink, the options for your statement wall are truly endless. Just try to tie the colors in with the room’s overall color scheme. 

Tip No. Two: Something Old. 

Thrifting is a great way to find unique, inexpensive items for your bedroom. Thrift shops have a lot of furniture that can make your room look rustic and timeless. The key to thrift stores is finding unique items and turning them into creative furniture pieces. For example, you could find a treasure chest and use it as a nightstand or you could find a ladder and use it as a bookshelf. Before you go thrifting, read reviews online and try to get an idea of where the best finds are located. 

Tip No. Three: Double-Use.

A way to save money in your bedroom is to incorporate furniture that will serve two functions. For example, you can have a desk that will also be your vanity. When you are planning the layout of your room, try to figure out what pieces of furniture can be used for something else.

Tip No. Four: Get Creative.

Headboards can be an unnecessarily, expensive add-on to bedrooms. If you are wanting a headboard but do not have the funds, create your own! From palette boards to antique bookcases, headboards are easier to create than ever. 

Tip No. Five: Less is More.

While decorating your bedroom, keep in mind that less is more. This tip can be especially helpful when you are trying to save money. Just try and keep things simple and keep the decor light in your bedroom. A cluster can look too busy rather than simple. 


While you are remodeling your kitchen and bathroom, keep us in mind for all your flooring needs. Call us with any questions.

Afforadable Dream Dining Room

Dining rooms are where families meet for dinner, talk about their days, share in laughter, and enjoy one another’s company. When decorating, dining rooms can be put on the back burner to rooms like the kitchen and living room. But why not spend time making your dining room spectacular? We want to help you turn your boring dining room into an elegant escape without breaking the bank.


Tips for an Affordable “Dream” Dining Room: 

  • Been there, painted that

Wallpaper can be a great solution for homeowners looking for textured walls. If you are not ready to dive back into this retro wall styling again, try using stencils and paint to create a patterned look.

  • It will be lit

The main focal point of dining rooms is typically the chandelier. Homeowners want to captivate guest’s attention to their exquisite light fixture. If you are looking for inexpensive version, check your local antique shops for rustic chandeliers. You can even spray paint the antique fixture a solid color to make it look brand new. 

  • Mix & match

Seating does not need to be all the same style anymore. Mixing and matching seating is trendy and affordable. Go to your local thrift shop and search for a bench to put under your dining room table. This look gives the room a modern twist. 

  • Make a statement.

Statement walls are a necessity in dining rooms. From a bold color wall to a gallery wall, you can easily transform the space with a simple statement. The best part is that statement walls can be really affordable. You can incorporate some of your favorite pictures and decor to make an affordable gallery wall. 

  • Bring in the outdoors

Add flowers and plants into your dining room to bring life into the room. Nature can give subtle pops of color throughout the room without being obvious. 

  • Don’t forget the floor.

Often, the floor is the last thing on your mind when decorating.  But your entire space can be transformed just by changing the flooring type.  Replace carpet with wood or tile for a more formal dining room.  Add an area rug or simply change it for a rug with a more daring design.  You will be amazed at how quickly your room can take on a new tone!


Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part Two

Let’s continue to look at great flooring alternatives for your home…



This flooring choice is a cost-effective way to achieve a variety of looks without purchasing multiple materials.  Constructed of four layers for durability, laminate can mimic the look of hardwood, stone and ceramic tile.  No matter which style you choose, this flooring will hold up well in high traffic areas.  Be sure to install an underlayment before putting down this product in order to create a moisture barrier to protect from any possible leaking through the seams.  As an extra benefit, the underlayment also provides noise reduction.  This material is also resistant to staining and fading. 



Vinyl is another great economical choice for achieving the look of hardwood, stone and ceramic tile.  Available in sheets, planks or tiles depending on your desired look, this material also comes in a variety of glosses so you can choose your level of shine.  Vinyl is moisture-resistant and comfortable underfoot so it’s perfect for places like the kitchen, where you may be standing for longer periods of time.  Ideal for high traffic areas and durable enough to withstand your pet’s nails, this flooring is a great choice for the busiest rooms in your home.  It’s easy to install and is usually made with an antimicrobial layer, making it a healthy choice for your home.  


Engineered Wood

This man-made alternative to hardwood flooring has improved a lot since it became available in the 1960s.  It’s easy to install and more cost-effective than the original while maintaining the same timeless look.  This flooring can be installed anywhere you would want hardwood to go as well as a few additional areas that you wouldn’t think possible.  As this type of wood does not expand and contract as much as hardwood when placed in humid areas, it can be installed in basements as well as near heating elements.  While it may perform well in these areas this material is still not a good choice for bathrooms as standing water would be too much for it to withstand on a regular basis. 

Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part One

Considering what flooring to put in your new home or existing renovation can feel a bit overwhelming.  There are multiple options that would most likely work well in your living space, but what’s the best one for you?  You may be familiar with hardwood, ceramic tile and carpet, but let’s take a moment to check out some alternative choices available in flooring.



While concrete has a good reputation for outdoor use, it is also a great choice for indoors as well.  Whether you use the existing concrete slab in your home or have it freshly poured, this is an environmentally friendly option as materials are locally sourced.  Floors can be customized using different stains and dyes and can easily be given a textured surface or a sleek and shiny appearance.  It can also be stamped to look like tile or a uniquely shaped design with contrasting but complementary colors.  Once sealed it resists mildew, mold and other stains, making it a safe choice for moist areas. 



Another eco-friendly choice is cork flooring as its manufacturing process is easier on the environment than other flooring materials.  It is also recyclable and biodegradable.  Using stain and paint, you can achieve any look you desire from this material. Cork naturally helps retain heat, making it warm to walk on and reduces indoor noise.  The thicker the cork, the better the insulation.  This flooring requires sealing and is resistant to fire, mildew, and mold, however, it is not best to install it in a moist environment as it is not water-resistant. 



Bamboo is an easily sustainable and durable choice for flooring.  If you like the look of hardwood but want something a little more unique, this is the flooring for you.  It is technically a grass but is a very hard surface.  Natural bamboo is light in color, but there are also multiple stain options to suit your needs.  Keep in mind that the darker the bamboo, the softer it becomes because the material has been processed to alter its appearance.  Bamboo can be constructed in multiple ways depending on the look you are going for. Pieces can be layered together horizontally and vertically as well as shredded and woven together.  While this is a great material for most rooms in your home, keep in mind that extreme humidity can cause this flooring to expand or shrink. 


For more home flooring options, please see Your Guide to First-Rate Alternative Flooring – Part Two

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.

Building a House…I Wish I Had Thought of That! (Part Two)

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.36.28 AMAs promised we have added more helpful tips that will hopefully keep you from saying “I wish I had thought of that!”

  • Bathroom: I wish I had thought of this one…when designing your cabinets for your bathrooms, think about longer drawers and fewer cabinets. The storage in drawers can be so efficient. Adding draw organizers is sure to make anyone happy!
  • Rounded Corners: Round corners create a smooth custom look throughout your home, which is sometimes easy to miss when you’re thinking about the design of your home.
  • Wall Texture: have you ever noticed the wall texture on homes that you have visited? Some are rough, others a little textured (referred to as knocked down), and then there is smooth. Think about the style of your home and remember there are options when it comes to wall texture.
  • Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 1.30.12 PMHardwood or Ceramic Floors: You don’t have to pick one or the other, you can have both! Combining wood floors and ceramic adds texture and style to any home. Just remember that the transition from one material to another can make or break a design. Make sure you have a clear-cut line between the two rooms; adding a border in the wood creates a very clean look.
  • Basement Ceiling:  The average basement ceiling is 8 to 9 feet tall. To make your basement feel more open and like the rest of your house consider 10-foot ceilings. You will pay a little more but at the end you will be happy you did it!
  • Interior Doors:  Solid 8-foot wood doors throughout your home will make a statement. Larger doors bring a custom feel to your home that you will enjoy for years to come.

Building a house takes a lot of time and planning. Try to put things in perspective and prioritize what is important to you and your family.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Megan for spending her time and sharing her home building insight!

Carpet Cushion for Radiant Heat Flooring

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 1.19.48 PMReader’s Question: What types of carpet cushion can be used with radiant heat flooring?

Answer:  The best carpet cushion to use in a radiant heat flooring application would have the lowest R-value possible.  Carpenter’s product that would be the best suited for heated flooring is the Emerald 1/4″ product.  It has a density of 8 pounds per cubit feet and is approximately a R-1.  There are some low profile rubber products that have R-values that would be alternative to bonded cushion.

Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Creating a Cottage Style Bathroom

We wanted to finish up Bathroom Blogfest 2012 with a  traditional, warm bathroom design.  This design can work for both newer and older homes.

Cottage style is a charming choice for the bathroom.  Cottage style can work with traditional and farmhouse architecture as well as cottage homes.  These bathrooms favor traditional elements and surfaces and often reference vintage and antique elements.

This bathroom features one of the timeless classics of bathroom design: the claw-foot tub.  These antiques are classics because of their deep soaks and cast-iron construction that holds the heat. Antique claw foot tubs can be found restored to their original condition, and can also be customized with color on the exterior.

The pedestal sink is a nice vintage touch that fits perfectly with cottage style. While these sinks don’t provide storage, their narrow profile is ideal for a small bathroom. Additional storage can be created with a small vintage cabinet, bookshelf, or hanging cabinet.

You could add penny tiles or hexagonal tiles on the floor for a classic vintage cottage style.  Typically, white and black, today’s penny tiles and hexagonal tiles can be found in an array of colors to suit any taste. A soft throw rug next to the tub is a stylish and smart addition to create a soft place to step out of the tub.

Wainscoting on the walls is a great touch in a cottage bathroom. Subway tiles, in classic white, would work nicely on the walls in a cottage bathroom, as well. Charming vintage art and the simple framed mirror complete the cottage look in this bathroom. The wainscoting dark color framed by the white trim and patterned area rug adds visual interest to this bathroom.

We hope you all enjoyed reading about bathrooms this week as much as we did! We’re so grateful to have participated in Bathroom Blogfest 2012 and cannot wait until next year’s group blogging adventure.  Don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the Bathroom Blogfest writers below:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo!


Bathroom Blogfest 2012: Using Marble in the Bath

We are participating in the 7th annual Bathroom Blogfest! This year’s theme is “Still Coming Out” and it is a great way to bring together bloggers from all over the globe to talk about bathroom designs.  Take a look at who’s participating this year and get the inside scoop on everything bathroom.

There is just something classic about marble in the bathroom. Marble counters and sinks are traditional designs that continue to be popular today.  But there are new ways to use marble in the bathroom in addition to the classics.

Marble tiles can be applied to the floor, walls, and shower stall.  New tile sizes and patterns make this centuries old material feel contemporary.  Laying the tile in a horizontal pattern, rather than a traditional vertical pattern turns these classic tiles into a contemporary style.   Oversize horizontal tiles, like in this bathroom, are another way to put a contemporary twist on marble tiles.

Marble can be polished, honed and tumbled for shiny and matte surfaces.  Honed and tumbled are better choices for flooring as they are not as slick when wet.  Placing a bath mat down can help absorb water and prevent slips.

The tile is a neutral color, which allows a homeowner to have versatile options for the sinks, countertop, and bathroom accessories.  This homeowner chose to keep the bathroom sinks and countertop clean and neutral by choosing white, but they always have the option of adding a pop of color with towels or candles. Another great option for marble tile choices is classic white marble with grey veins.  A mix of white fixtures and marble has a crisp feeling that makes us think of a luxury hotel or spa.

Covering the walls and tub surround in the same marble tile gives this bathroom a uniform look and only adds to the luxurious spa feeling. Using the same material throughout the space makes the room feel even larger.

Even a little marble can make a big impact. A marble counter in the bathroom would take a small amount of stone and could fit most budgets. You could also add a strip of small marble tile for a sink’s backsplash in the bathroom.  It will add detail and interest to your bathroom.

Read more about Bathroom Blogfest 2012 from other writers:

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo!