The Benefits of Natural Stone

Stonewhy01We love telling you about the advantages of this product because we know how much you value the true and the genuine in life.

Natural stone is the real deal. Strong, solid and stable to live with (be still our heart), this is the world’s oldest building material. It was the material of choice for Egypt’s pyramids, Grecian temples and splish-splashing in Rome’s ancient baths. (Imagine you in a marble bath in your home!)

Natural stone is beauty solidified. From granite, the hardest, most dense stone, to luxurious marble, from soft limestone to “touch me” travertine, natural stone exudes elegance, transforms your home – speaks to your soul.

Natural stone has a unique personality. Quarried from Mother Earth, natural stone’s “complexion” is impacted by temperature, pressure, minerals and underground springs. Each slab cut from this environment is one-of-a-kind. You’re not imitation. Why should the “face” of your home be?

Natural stone invented variety. You only need to walk a seashore, lakeside or riverbed to experience the variety of stone. Colors, patterns, finishes and textures beyond imagination – all available for the walkways of your home.

Natural stone can be affordable. (Now we’ve really got your attention.) Today’s stone quarrying and processing technology is more efficient than ever before. Automated equipment cuts the stone in thinner slabs for less cost and, being lighter, it’s cheaper to transport. You’re the solid winner.

For the joy of you list lovers, here are ALL THE BENEFITS OF NATURAL STONE FLOOR COVERING:

• Natural stone is genuine, timeless and authentic

• Natural stone embodies beauty and rich character

• Natural stone is singular, exclusive, one-of-a-kind

• Natural stone offers variety, choice, imagination

• Natural stone has become more cost conscious

• Natural stone virtually always adds resale value

• Natural stone is ideal for radiant heat applications

Feel free to call me for more information or to ask a question.

And don’t hesitate to leave a comment here – we’d love to hear from you!

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.

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!


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.

Primary Space

How would you describe this room to someone? The flooring is light wood, matching the kitchen cabinets. The furniture is a combination of neutrals and the two area rugs are brown-bordered sisal. Given this information, who would imagine the three primary colors on the walls?

This is a daring decision. Imagine this home without the colors. It would be attractive and well-proportioned. The lamp over the table would add some color and the throw pillows provide interest and warmth. But move into the wall colors and the entire picture changes.

Red is a good color for a dining room. It encourages eating and liveliness. Red and black also combine to pack a punch. In the office area, dark blue adds a serene feel, and with the charcoal desk and chair, it is the professional space in this home. Light reflections also contribute, although a large piece of art on that wall would add drama.

Once the homeowner decided to use red and blue primary colors, yellow was a natural third choice. Using it on that central pillar put it in juxtaposition with the other colors, while adding a spark of brightness to the living room.

Although this home doesn’t have the childlike feel that primary colors generally fit with, in this room they take a standard look and bring it up a level. As you look at your home, are there any areas that could benefit from a daring display of colors? Why not take a chance?

Today’s Patterned Carpet

In the world of flooring, neutral colors dominate most carpet and hard surface flooring like woods, laminates, stone and tile.  While there are some homeowners and decorators who choose to do bright or deep colors for their carpet and flooring, the majority of us stick to the steadfast idea that neutral is best. You can always add bold color with an area rug or throw rug.

Neutral carpet is a builder’s favorite because it sets the tone for personalization on the walls and furnishings. But neutral carpet doesn’t have to all be the same type.  In fact, a trend for carpet right now is patterned like the one pictured here.  Low pile with a subtle texture can bring added life to a neutral carpet.  Geometrics, subtle stripes, dots and even vines add interest and texture to carpeting without adding color. Even more traditional Berber carpets have a subtle dot pattern that adds visual interest. Keeping the color neutral allows these patterns to stand out more.

Carpet tiles are also allowing people to use patterned carpet in their homes without the commitment of installed wall to wall carpeting.  These carpet tiles can be arranged to create runners, area rugs and even room sized carpets.  Of course, for durability and comfort, an installed carpet with a good pad is worth the investment. Investing in a good quality, stain-resistant neutral colored carpet with a subtle pattern is a good idea for your home and its resale potential.  Neutral doesn’t have to be boring with great texture and patterns available in today’s carpets.

Life’s Little Messes

25714482_SCheese puffs on the rug, dirty paw prints on the wood floors, juice spilled on the sofa… life’s little messes can happen throughout the house, and they do on a daily basis.  Having the right flooring and upholstery can help make sure life’s little messes can be easily cleaned up.  The perfect house that is never dirty or the perfect sofa that never has popcorn between the cushions might exist somewhere, but for the majority of us, it isn’t a reality. Homes and rooms are meant to be lived in and enjoyed. So eat your cheese puffs and let the dog into the house.

When shopping for carpet or area rugs, look for materials that are stain-resistant. Ask about stain fighting properties when purchasing your carpet and rugs. Wool is a natural stain-resistant material because of the natural oils in the wool yarn. Other types of carpet and rugs may be engineered or treated to fight stains.  To hide stains and dirt, look for rugs with deeper colors and complicated patterns.

For new upholstered furniture purchases, ask about stain fighting properties in the different upholstery options.  Some retailers offer a stain protection plan that will protect your investment with professional treatment of stains. Using outdoor upholstery indoors is a smart idea if you have kids or pets. Outdoor fabrics are designed to withstand moisture and dirt more than delicate fabrics.

Messes happen. This is a fact of life. Choosing the right flooring and upholstery means the little messes are no big deal.

Tips for Adding Glamour to Bathrooms

Adding a little glamour to a bathroom, master bathroom or powder room can be done with a few simple and easy additions. If you want a more glamorous bathroom, you don’t have to start from scratch.  After quick changes and a few additions you’ll have a more glamorous bathroom.


One of the easiest ways to add glamour to the bathroom is to add a beautiful mirror. In this bathroom, a Venetian style mirror is hung above the free standing soaking tub.  The mirror adds sparkle and brings in additional light to the space. Adding molding around a wall mounted mirror or replacing the builders’ standard with two smaller mirrors can add a glamorous touch as well.


Luxurious materials like marble and crystal can instantly give a touch of glamour to the bathroom. While marble floors and counters would be gorgeous, if you aren’t renovating the bathroom you can still add luxurious touches. Thick bath towels and bath mats can add texture and soften the straight lines of the bathroom. Monogramming the towels with your initials personalizes them as well as adds a touch of glamour.


Reflective surfaces can also add sparkle and glamour. The soaking tub in this bathroom has a rich metallic finish on the exterior. Chrome and shiny nickel on fixtures are good choice for extra glamour. Add a bit of crystal in a chandelier or wall sconce. Sparkling glass and silver containers for bathroom necessities can add glamour to the counter top.  A small nosegay of flowers is the finishing touch of glamour for the bathroom.