Thursday, June 30, 2011

Color Compromise

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It happens all the time. Color preferences that are so divergent there seems to be no happy medium. So how does a married couple (or a designer consulting with them) find a harmonious solution? What I have found in many years of color consultations, is that there is more than a little competitiveness between husband and wife on this subject. And both want to get their way on color choices. You would be surprised to learn that husbands are just as adamant about their preferences as wives are. They are looking to the designer to take sides, be a tie breaker, (or in some cases, referee), and that is something a professional can not do. It’s the designer’s job to create a total environment, including the right colors that will reflect the overall ambiance they are trying to achieve.

There are some key clues that couples give during the initial consult, and it’s their words, rather than specific colors, which helps determine the final color palette. For instance: cozy, homey, warm, inviting are words that indicate the predilection for warm colors: red, orange, yellow, warm neutrals and any secondary combinations of those colors. Conversely, relaxing, restful, calming are words that convey the need for cool colors: gray, blue, green, purple, and any secondary combinations of those colors. A third hugely popular category uses descriptives such as timeless, understated, earthy, natural, and that’s where interesting neutrals come into play.

What I have found is that, given the clues any married couple provides me, we can come up with a palette that accomplishes the ultimate goal of their interior design, and incorporates individual color preferences–either in one room of the house, or as an accent color in a main living area. I have yet to work with a couple that feels their preferences were disregarded or that their designer “took sides”. So how do you find this middle road on your own? Exactly the way a professional designer does. Make a list of adjectives (that you both contribute) to define the ultimate look of what you want your new design to achieve. Based on those descriptives, match the feel of what you want to accomplish to the colors that historically can pull that off. I have researched color associations thoroughly (with the help of Color Marketing Group International) and devised a chart that will help you make those color connections (see lead photo).

As long as you remember that color choice isn’t a contest between spouses, you can incorporate the best of both your preferences and (with luck and a bit of compromise) live happily ever after.

Article and photo taken directly from http://floortalk.wfca.org 1a 2a
Americarpet carries all of the color palette mentioned in this article.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Marble Flooring Pros and Cons

There is no doubt about it, marble flooring has become one of the hottest new materials on the market for those wanting a sleek, elegant surface on their home floors. But before you make the financial commitment to this beautiful and pricey flooring material, take a look first to see exactly what you are getting into. Along with the benefits, a few disadvantages also appear immediately and with the long-term use of that gorgeously stylish marble floor.

Hard, Cold, Beautiful
The first thing to consider when going over marble flooring pros and cons is its hardness. Of course, that's one of it's attractions: With this type of floor, you won't worry about the dog's paw nails scratching the surface like you would if you selected a wood flooring surface.

But then again, if you're thinking about using marble as the material in a kitchen, don't ever plan on dropping a glass dish. That good, hard marble surface will most likely cause even the toughest types of glass to shatter if dropped from any distance at all.

Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating marble flooring is their warmth, or rather, the lack thereof. If you habitually run around the house in bare feet, better buy some house shoes if you're seriously considering marble floors.

Especially in winter, those tootsie toes will absolutely freeze when you walk across the floor in the morning for that first cup of java. Conversely, however, cool is downright, well, cool, if you are thinking hot summer days/evenings when a nice, cool floor would be welcomed.

Cost
Marble flooring runs on the expensive side. Pricing, at anywhere from $4 to $8 per square foot, makes this type of material one of the most expensive. You can purchase vinyl tile that looks remarkably like marble for a fraction of the cost of real marble. You also get some of the benefits marble doesn't offer like a softer feel, ease of maintenance, and simplicity of installation. The fact that marble flooring does cost so much puts in the getting ahead of the Joneses category, however.

Maintaining Its Beauty
Probably one of the biggest reasons marble should be re-considered is when it comes to keeping it shiny and clean. Marble does not hold up well in heavily trafficked areas. You will need to regularly polish it to maintain its beautiful sheen.

Also, marble cannot tolerate cleaning products with chlorine, which is guaranteed to ruin its gorgeously shiny finish. The rebuttal to this con is that if someone can afford to have marble flooring installed, they can afford to have it cleaned and maintained properly, a good, logical argument for those who heed it.

Marble makes one of those flooring materials each homeowner must decide for him- or herself whether or not it's right for their particular home. It's beautiful, hard to keep that way, hard, cold and inimitable in its league as far as imparting elegance and class. But only you can decide if it's the flooring for you.

Americarpet carries marble flooring. Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. This article was taken directly from http://www.onlinetips.org/marble-pros-cons 3a

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Armstrong Floor Tile

Armstrong floor tile is one of the most easily recognized brands of tile on the market today. This particular brand of tile is known not only for its strength and durability but also for its beauty and elegance. The Armstrong floor tile brand is expansive enough to offer many selections that suit many budgets from the low economy range to high society range and has every kind of taste in between well represented as well.
Armstrong floor tile caters not only to the single home consumer but also to much larger corporate consumers as well. Commercial flooring by Armstrong is made to stand up to more rigorous use and abuse than traditional home flooring and commands a higher price tag for that benefit. These floors are often quite lovely but their prices do not accurately convey the price of Armstrong flooring for the home. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples when price shopping and not apples to oranges.
Benefits of Floor Tile
When searching for the perfect flooring for your home I am sure you have come across more than one sample of Armstrong floor tile. What you may not know is the incredible value you are holding in your hand at the time. The fact is that vinyl tile is much cheaper than many flooring options on the market today.
Another great thing about tile is the fact that modern tile is easier than ever to install. You simply peel and stick (once you have painstakingly measured and have the perfect starting point that is). All that considered it is one of the easiest floors in todays market to install. If I was able to do it on my first try, anyone can do it.
Another great thing about tile, particularly Armstrong floor tile is the vast selection. You have a lot of options with tile from which to choose and define the look of your room. This of course, can apply to any room. Tile is not limited to kitchens and baths, especially the tile of today.
Tile is a durable alternative for entryways, dining rooms, living rooms, utility rooms, bedrooms, basements, and any other room I may have left out of the description. Perhaps my favorite reason to install vinyl tile in the home is the fact that it is very low maintenance. All you really need is to sweep and mop regularly (paying occasional attention to scuffs) in order to keep your tile floors looking nice.
Cons of Tile Floors
It would be rather remiss to mention the many benefits of installing flooring such as an Armstrong tile floor without also mentioning some of the less than favorable consequences. The first of these consequences is the fact that tile has a much lower life expectancy than hardwood, ceramic tile, or granite flooring would have. There is also the fact that there are many seams in which dirt and moisture can creep that will create issues over time.
Vinyl tile is somewhat susceptible to gouging and tearing than ceramic tile; even Armstrong floor tile despite its extraordinary strength is more fragile than well-installed ceramic tile. Vinyl tile is also less likely to raise the value of your home than stone, granite, or hardwood flooring. No matter what type of flooring you choose for your home, the important thing is that you make an informed decision and have all the facts before you.
Americarpet is an official carrier of Armstrong flooring products. Visit out main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. 3a

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Best Carpets for Homes with Pets

Many of us are pets lovers but keeping animals in the house and ensuring our carpets remain looking their best do not always go hand-in-hand. Some people are tempted to give up, and simply choose hard flooring instead, finding it easier to maintain when animals are about. But for those who do like to feel the soft warmth of a carpet under foot, there are options.

Think About Color
The color of your carpet is perhaps the first place to start. This will need to tie in with your overall color scheme while also being a sensible option with your pets. Firstly, think about the animal traffic in and out of the room you are designing. Will you have pets – particularly dogs – that might, despite your best intentions, be coming in and out with muddy paws? If so, you will have to go for a darker shade – try blacks, chocolate browns or even deep terracottas.

Next, you need to consider coordinating your pet with your home! Having a carpet that is constantly covered in obvious animal hair results in a lot of work with the vacuum cleaner. If you have a long-haired dog, cat, or even rabbit with dark hair, then do not lay a light carpet. Similarly, white or gray hairs will be far more noticeable on a darker carpet. To overcome the problem of grubby paw prints from a light-colored animal, choose a patterned or multi-colored carpet.

Carpet Quality
With regard to wear and tear, always take advice from your carpet retailer or manufacturer. Also, consider the pile on the carpet. Although long-pile may be warmer and more comfortable underfoot, choosing a shorter pile may wear better and less likely to encounter paw damage. Look for a non-looped pile as this is likely to pull on nails and to be loosened by playful cats.

Preventing Stains
If you have a puppy or kitten and are worried about house training stains, then once again take advice from your supplier. Some carpets have been treated with special chemicals and therefore come with a certain degree of built-in protection. These carpets come in a range of twists, piles and colors, so you should be able to find something that broadly meets your design needs. If not, research just how easy it will be to clean the carpet you really desire, should the worst happen. Some carpets, such as those made from man-made mixes, will be more suitable for Home Cleaning with a vacuum, gentle rubbing or carpet shampoo. Others, such as those made from natural fibers, will need more careful handling.

Animal Allergies
Finally, there are a few people who despite their animal allergies just cannot resist keeping a pet or two. While many of these owners will opt for hard flooring in a bid to be able to keep their home hair-free, others many still wish to have carpets. Options for those householders would be to have as short a pile carpet as possible or to have the carpet cleaned with a product that works to break down pet allergens.

Americarpet sells carpet that is pet friendly and can guide you in choosing a carpet for your pet-friendly needs. Visit our main website at www.AmericarpetFloors.com for all of your flooring needs. Visit www.stylishrugs.com for area rugs specifically and www.americarpetcommercial.com for commercial carpet specifically. 2a