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!

Putting the Family in Family Room

7596084_SOne of the best ways to create family time is to create a family room that is warm and inviting for the entire family.  Furniture and flooring can go a long way to making the family room a place the entire family will want to hang out.

Starting on the floor, choose flooring that works for your family’s lifestyle.  Super high traffic areas like family rooms mean you’ll want a durable and stain resistant material. Given some activities like gaming and play in the family room mean sitting on the floor, you’ll want flooring that is also comfortable.  Stain-resistant carpet could be a good choice. So could wood floors or laminate flooring with the addition of an area rug in the seating area.  If you have pets, a wood or laminate floor might be the better choice than carpet.

Ample seating for watching movies, the big game or playing games is also key for a family friendly room. A mix of seating options is always a good idea. Sectional sofas or a pair of sofas in an L-shape creates a nice cozy arrangement for conversation and television watching. Portable seating like poufs, ottomans or stools can be moved around the room as needed, or stored out of the way.

Family photos on the walls and good storage to hide clutter are also good additions to a family room. Make the room inviting and you’ll find yourself and your family hanging out there more.

Decorating with Comfortable Farmhouse Style

Even if you don’t have a farmhouse style home, the style can work for you. Farmhouse is all about comfort with a nostalgic, vintage flair.  Found pieces from flea markets, estate sales and antique shows mix with comfortable upholstered pieces in either traditional or shabby chic styles.  It’s an easy style to live with and great for all rooms in the home.

This living room is full of charming farmhouse furniture and accessories.  The room itself is a standard design with wood floors, recessed lighting and crown molding.  It could be a renovation or new construction, and demonstrates how well farmhouse style can fit into a home. Neutral wall color lets the colors of the curtains, furniture and accessories stand out.

Vintage finds add character to the room. An old painted trunk makes for a charming coffee table with storage in the seating area.  Vintage inspired lamps throughout the room create lighting zones and accent lights for reading.  Comfortable seating in pretty slipcovers in natural linens and cotton make for easy cleaning.  This is definitely not a living room where you’d be afraid to put up your feet.

The wide plank wood floors offer a rustic charm.  A jute rug with a colorful border that coordinates with the colors of the room centers the seating area.

This living room shows how charming farmhouse style can be. Mixing in vintage and antique pieces let the homeowner’s personality shine through to make the room feel comfortable and personal. Fabrics and furniture further the feeling of comfortable farmhouse charm.

Modern Flooring Trends

Are you now in the process of building your dream home? Are you thinking of giving your house a whole new look but do not know where to start? Well, here’s an idea. Did you know that changing your floors can do wonders for home? If you are contemplating on giving it a modern feel through your floors, read on and find out what’s trending on modern floors.

Hardwood:  It’s a very great choice for modern floors. There is a wide variety of plank sizes and colors to choose from. However, the trend today leans toward wider planks with darker and elegant colors. Although the traditional hardwoods like teak, walnut, mahogany, cherry, birch and oak are still popular options. You can also go for the distressed and hand scraped ones. Surprisingly, even exotic choices are great. If you want to go with the green revolution, you can opt for those salvaged hardwoods.

Carpet: It actually never goes out of style. They give a luxurious and comforting feeling to any room. However, unlike hardwood floors, you need to choose more neutral and earth tone colors for your carpet. Many modern homes use hardwood flooring in all rooms except the bedrooms or den where carpet feels wonderful underfoot.

Mixing Light and Dark Woods

With wood floors being so popular in homes these days there is a new discussion about matching or mixing wood tones between flooring and furniture. Having all the same type of wood furniture in a room is an older way of approaching design. Very formal rooms, such as dining rooms, often had all mahogany or cherry furniture. Today’s design style is more apt to mix one or more woods in a room’s design, including the flooring.


If you have light floors like maple or dark floors like ebony stained hickory, you are not held to only have light or dark furniture to match the floors.  Placing dark wood furniture on light floors and vice versa can make the wood of both pop. Using similar wood, dark on dark or light on light, will cause your furniture to blend in more with the flooring. This can be remedied by using a colorful or patterned area rug to break up the unified wood tones.


The contrast between light and dark has a more modern and contemporary feel than the traditional style of using similar wood tones. Using different wood tones can give your space more visual interest while also creating a more eclectic style that is favored by many designers today.


When mixing woods, pay attention to the undertones of the color just as you would when mixing paint colors or fabric colors.  Cherries and mahoganies have red undertones while maple has a more yellow undertone. These undertones will be more noticeable when you mix your woods.

Decorating with Blonde Woods

As with any other trend, wood floors and cabinetry go in and out of color trends. For a number of years dark cabinets and floors have been the favorite tones and types of wood for the home. Painted cabinetry comes in and out of style and trend as well.  Lighter wood tones on floors and cabinets are due for a return to popularity. It is just a matter of time now that the pendulum has swung over to the dark tones before it will return to the light.


Birch, ash, beech and maple are all naturally pale woods. These woods are favorites of Scandinavian design which favors lighter wood tones and colors.  Other woods like pine and oak can come in lighter shades or be stained with a white wash to make them as pale as possible. Light woods with tons of grey can recalled sun and salt water bleached driftwood, making them perfect for coastal style.


This picture illustrates how blonde woods can be used together to create an interesting and stylish design. The heavily figured wood on the chair backs adds pattern to the overall neutral space. Blond woods on table tops, the banquette, shelves and the room divider help unify the seating around. Pairing blond woods with pale neutrals creates an open and airy design.  Accents in darker wood tones or color can easily be added to such a neutral design. A few touches of black on the chair legs and table bases ground the overall pale palette.

Light Colored Floors

A big design trend of the past few years has been deep, dark stained wood floors. Ebony floors can be found in homes that range from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.  On the opposite end of the spectrum from these super dark floors are ultra-light wood floors.  Pale woods like beech and ash as well as floors that have been lime stained or painted white are showing up on blogs and in design magazines.  Lime stained floors have a white, almost light gray look to the wood that recalls Scandinavian style and works well with both traditional and contemporary styles.

These light floors work well with contemporary and modern spaces in homes, apartments and lofts. This living room features very pale wood floors that perfectly suit the all white furniture scheme. The textured area rug helps break up the smooth surface of the floor.  Texture is important in monochrome or neutral spaces that don’t rely on colors for interest.  Sisal or jute would also bring texture to the floor without adding too much pattern or additional color.  Having just a pop of color in a throw on the sofa doesn’t take away from the white floors or furniture.

Lighter floors can be a bonus because they don’t show as much dirt as dark wood floors.  This is good if you have a pet or kids who track in dirt from outside.  With any flooring choice, wall colors and other features in the room should be taken into consideration to make the best choice.

Let Your Small Kitchen Sparkle

When a small kitchen sits to one side of an open living space, the general tendency is to hide it with neutrals. This kitchen breaks that rule and the design decision works.

Red cabinets grab and hold the eye when you first look at this kitchen, but there’s more happening than red. White, silver and green with touches of yellow also help this kitchen to stand out.

The extensive use of white keeps the red cabinets from overwhelming the space. White and silver are the only other tones that play permanent roles in the space, and silver is the unifying element. If you count, there are nine stainless features in this kitchen, scattered throughout, particularly around the boundaries.

Ebony wood flooring always works well with a contemporary environment. Its rich dark tones support the other color choices while grounding the room. This choice will also work well in the rest of the living space due to its versatility and automatic style.

The plant styles and positions are cleverly planned to add another color and also as a connecting feature. At first glance, the vases of greens above the sink appear to be an image or perhaps a tile backsplash. In reality, they are real plants set in an opening over the sink. The consistency of size, material and spacing turn houseplants into art. You can do the same thing if you use the same vases or pots and space them evenly.

Altogether, this kitchen invites you to cook, despite its small space. What can you do to your own kitchen – of any size – to add to its warmth and charm?



Flooring Favorites from Boen

The Boen Floor Studio offers floors that feel modern and natural.  Grouped by shade, from lights to deep dark stains, Boen hardwood floors come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and sizes.  We had so many favorites we decided to just share what we love about each of the collections.

The Nordic Light Collection focuses on light floors that recall summer days.  Paired with strong, fresh colors or blues and whites favored by Scandinavian design, these floors can feel modern or traditional. We love the birch floors with their natural, dark flecks.

The Natural Feeling Collection features warm, golden toned floors. A golden toned floor works well with natural colors, earth tones, stone, leather and natural linens for a relaxed, inviting space. The Doussie wood floors, from Africa, are a light brown mixed with a pale straw color with well defined pattern from the heartwood.

Beautiful Shade Collection offers dark wood floors which are a hot trend in design. Boen offers a range of warm tones to ebonies to fit traditional to very contemporary designs. The Smoked Oak is one of our favorites. It is created by exposing oak timber to ammonia vapor, which turns it black throughout the wood.

My Dreams Collection has four groups: Stonewashed, Patterned Floors, Boen Chalet and Solid Oak Plank. We love the reclaimed wood feeling of the Stonewashed floors.

Maritime World Collection was inspired by the Scandinavian boat building tradition which gives these floors a distinct maritime feeling. You can even opt to have the wood pegs at every joint. Love this look!

Shaw Floors Chosen by House Beautiful: Kitchen of the Year

Shaw Floors has been chosen by House Beautiful magazine for its fourth annual “Kitchen of the Year.”

As the flooring sponsor, the kitchen will feature Shaw’s Grand Canyon, a hardwood style made from 100% post-industrial wood byproducts.

The design reflects Tyler Florence’s vision of the kitchen as “the new American living room,” incorporating his concepts of family, cooking, entertaining, comfort, design and heritage.

This year’s Kitchen of the Year will be held in conjunction with “Tastes of Summer,” an outdoor food festival that features samples from Rockefeller Center’s most popular restaurants.

Thanks for for supplying this article!

About House Beautiful

House Beautiful ( is a leading authority on American home design and decoration, reaching more than seven million readers every month. Founded in 1896, House Beautiful is the oldest continuously published shelter magazine in the United States. Readers can also interact with the brand on the digital front, with House Beautiful mobile ( In addition to its U.S. flagship, House Beautiful publishes two editions around the world. Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation (, one of the nation’s largest diversified communications companies with interests in magazines, newspapers, digital media, business media and television.

About Shaw

Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider with more than $5 billion in annual sales and approximately 31,000 associates. Headquartered in Dalton, Ga., the company manufactures and distributes carpeting, rugs, hardwood, laminate and ceramic tile for residential and commercial applications worldwide. A recognized leader in environmental stewardship, Shaw has implemented hundreds of sustainability initiatives and cradle to cradle design solutions, collectively termed the Shaw Green Edge. For more information, visit