Our 5 Favorite Flooring Options

“What’s the best place to start when beginning a decorating project?”  That has to be the question I am asked most often.  No matter what the budget or project, the best place to start is always at the floor and to work your way up.   There was a time when this meant carpet or hard wood, but times have changed;  Now there’s a multitude of choices!

 

Cork

Pros:  Super resilient, “spongy” feel is better on your feet and back.  It is shock absorbent, warm, and comes in a wide variety of colors.

Cons:  Can be costly, may have permanent marks from heavy furniture, or cat and dog claws and paws.

APC Cork

APC Cork

 

WeCork

WeCork

 

WeCork

WeCork

 

 

Tile

Pros:  Available in porcelain, stone, and an endless array of sizes and colors.  It can be installed over radiant heat, and it is easy to maintain if sealed.  It’s even non-toxic and hypoallergenic!  Tile is great for animals with easy clean-up, and can withstand heavy foot traffic.

Cons:  A hard walking surface, tile is cold if radiant heat is not installed.  With no insulating properties, it has nothing to dampen sound, and can be easily chipped or cracked.

HGTV

HGTV

 

 

Mannington

Mannington

 

 

Mannington

Mannington

 

M S International Inc.

M S International Inc.

 

 

M S International Inc.

M S International Inc.

 

 

Carpet

Pros:  It will feel warm on the feet!  It has great insulation and sound absorption, and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles.

Cons:  Spills may stain, and poor quality carpets may mat down.  Carpet can hold dust and mildew, so it is not a good choice for allergy sufferers.

Mislaid Carpets & Rugs

Masland Carpets & Rugs

 

Mislaid Carpets & Rugs

Masland Carpets & Rugs

 

BHG

BHG

 

Laminate

Pros:  An incredibly durable “floating floor”, laminate can be installed over existing hardwood!  It is relatively low cost, easy to install and maintain,  and great for allergy sufferers.

Cons:  Laminate may feel hard underfoot and damaged planks cannot be sanded, but must be replaced.

 

Pergo

Pergo

 

Pergo

Pergo

 

Floor and Decor

Floor and Decor

 

 

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Pros:  It comes in a great array of colors and choices, has a high durability, and low maintenance.  LVT can be glued down to “floating”, and is even slip resistant.

Cons:  LVT is relatively high in cost, and has limited transition strip options.

Mannington

Mannington

 

Shaw Floors

Shaw Floors

 

Milliken

Milliken

 

Which flooring would suit your home best?  Do you currently have one that works great for your lifestyle?

“Semi-Precious” Style Like You’ve Never Seen!

One trend that I have been seeing lots of is a very glamorous addition to rooms that totally steals the show wherever it’s displayed.  Semi-precious stones are no longer reserved for jewelry; They are being found in the design world in everything from lamps to headboards!

With the vibrance, depth, and complexity of the colors naturally found within many of these stones, they are sure to be show-stopping additions to any room.  We’ve pooled a few of our favorite semi-precious inspirations to show you how versatile these stones can be for your home when you think outside the box!

 

 

Purple has always been a color representing richness and luxury, so how perfect would it be to put amethyst on display in the bedroom or entryway to really make a statement?  I just love the way the light shows off the depth in its many colors!  Perfect for that glamorous condo in the city.

Majestic Gemstone

Majestic Gemstone

 

New Ravenna

New Ravenna

 

The Stone Collection

The Stone Collection

 

 

Lately, we have been crushing over this color, so it seems all too perfect to see a countertop overflowing with this gorgeous rose quartz!

The Stone Collection

The Stone Collection

 

 

I cannot stress enough how much I love the way these stones are cut to show off their natural beauty and unique characteristics.  Not to mention, they surely create a bold look that guests will “Ooh” and “Aah” over every time!

Majestic Gemstone

Majestic Gemstone

 

Majestic Gemstone

Majestic Gemstone

 

Veranda

Veranda

 

If you’re not ready to commit to quite such a bold statement, try this look in tiles.  Bathrooms are the perfect place to add a little glitz and glam on your walls!

HGTV

HGTV

 

 

New Ravenna

New Ravenna

 

If tiling is still too glitzy for your style, try any of these accent pieces around your home!  We love them all!

Horchow

Horchow

Anthropologie

Anthropologie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RabLabs

RabLabs

 

 

Global Views

Global Views

 

 

What do you think about the use of semi-precious stones in your home?  Would you be willing to try more oaf a bold look, or stick with the accents?

Tile Mosaics Meet Modern Technology

I love tile… particularly, mosaic tiles.  I am so awed by the technology of today and the artwork that can be created from it.  Artaic is a Boston-based company specializing in exactly that- custom mosaic tiles.  Established in 2007 to make the beauty and artistry of the mosaic medium more accessible, they use sophisticated design software and an innovative robotic mosaic assembly system.  With that, Artaic brings the ancient art of mosaic to a new level.  

Artaic won a Gold Award and a $50,000 grant at the 2011 MassChallenge for start-up companies.  I had the opportunity to go by their offices after their MassChallenge win with my son, Justin, who works with many of these entrepreneurs,  to see the robotic process in action…  They can take ANY image and turn it into a work of art!  SO impressive!  Here are a couple of their designs as well as some other tile inspirations that we love!  The variety of colors and uses is limitless.

Have you creatively used a tile installation in your home?  Send us pictures!  We want to see what ideas you have as well!

 

 

Enviro Green, Artaic

Enviro Green, Artaic

 

Fish in Turmoil, Artaic

Fish in Turmoil, Artaic

 

LBI Pancake House, Artaic

LBI Pancake House, Artaic

 

Franco Pecchioli, via Trendir

Franco Pecchioli, via Trendir

 

Apartment Geeks

Apartment Geeks

 

Apartment Geeks

Apartment Geeks

 

Apartment Geeks

Apartment Geeks

 

Mosaico via Digs Digs

Mosaico via Digs Digs

 

Seneca Tiles

Seneca Tiles

 

New Ravenna

 

NR2

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Trip Around the Globe… Without Leaving Your Home!

One of the hardest parts of my job is the realization that I just can’t possibly use all the beautiful things that I see-  it’s actually one of the reasons I started blogging!  Sharing amazing products, colors and design ideas helps me find a “use” for all of these amazing things… through you!  My blogs topics are usually generated by things that I see that I just can’t get out of my head and I just have to share them.  Lately I’ve been going “global”.  I don’t know if it’s the time of year and looking ahead to vacation 🙂 but I am finding myself traveling the world through design.  Here are a few of the “countries I’ve visited”.  I hope you enjoy the trip!!!

 

Cook in CABO!

 

Avente Tile

Avente Tile

Putting a backsplash in your kitchen is such a wonderful way to add life and personality to one of the most important rooms in the house (I’m full-blooded Italian! so at least it’s the most important room in MY house)!

In this Latin-inspired kitchen, I love that this Avente tile can be customized to your exact color and style needs, enabling you to personalize the look for your own kitchen.  In my house on Cape Cod, I complimented my “beachy” home with a beautiful turquoise backsplash made of cut glass that reminded me of the beach glass I find on my morning walks on the beach!

Spanish Revival 1 Light Bronze Foyer Pendant, San Giorgio

Spanish Revival 1 Light Bronze Foyer Pendant, San Giorgio

Talavera Handpainted Rectangular Sink, Casa Daya Tile

Talavera Handpainted Rectangular Sink, Casa Daya Tile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This talavera sink is another handpainted and made to order item.  Choose a size, color, and design to complement  your backsplash, or just use it on its own!  Either way, what a BEAUTIFUL and unique addition to your kitchen!

For overhead lighting above this rustic kitchen island, using a pendant light like this one is simple yet perfect for a Latin-inspired kitchen.  Add several over a kitchen island to add warm lighting.

This kitchen island is not only a great, sturdy workspace, but look at all of that STORAGE space!  I never seem to have enough storage room in the kitchen and love the utilitarian function of the drawers.  More storage will help keep your kitchen organized and tidy to prevent clutter on your countertops.

 

 

Stone Top Double Kitchen Island, Williams Sonoma

Stone Top Double Kitchen Island, Williams Sonoma

 

 

 

Dine in PROVENCE!

 

French Country Rustic Antique Farm Table, The Bella Cottage

French Country Rustic Antique Farm Table, The Bella Cottage

The name of this table just says it all- a french country rustic antique farm table is the perfect centerpiece for your French dining room.  The rustic antique charm of this table is a perfect way to showcase your “thème provençale”!  I just love the rustic feel of the weathered wood.

Dafny French Country Empire Camel Back Dining Arm Chair , Kathy Kuo Home

Dafny French Country Empire Camel Back Dining Arm Chair , Kathy Kuo Home

Paris Couture Antiques

Paris Couture Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a neutral tone for your dining chairs, like a cream camel back arm chair that will compliment your rustic table while still keeping a clean, simple look.  Antique lighting is a beautiful addition here to bring the whole look together!

Fleur de Lys Dinner Plate, Anthropologie

Fleur de Lys Dinner Plate, Anthropologie

Le Vallee Du Loire Cabinet, Soft Surroundings

Le Vallee Du Loire Cabinet, Soft Surroundings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love these Fleur de Lys dinner plates from Anthropologie for a few reasons- first, because they are white!  There is no better canvas for a beautiful meal than a clean, white dish on which to serve it.  All of my dishes are white!  I use beautiful colored serving pieces to jazz things up and constantly change things up.  The ruffled texture to this collection adds a the dainty touch that your rustic farm table needs, sealed with a Fleur de Lys!  Store your dinnerware and china in this Vallée Du Loire cabinet, and your dining room is ready to go!

 

 

Relax in ROME!

 

Celestino Sofa, M-Geough

Celestino Sofa, M-Geough

I LOVE the framing design on this sofa!  The simple yet elegant style is SO inviting.  Love the soft pillows – this is definitely a sofa to sink into!  Pair it with a luxurious leather recliner like this one from Pottery Barn.  You’re all set to relax by the fire and have a cup of cappuccino!

Lansing Leather Recliner, Pottery Barn

Lansing Leather Recliner, Pottery Barn

Global Views ALWAYS seems to nail it!  This coffee table just looks like a piece of jewelry, and I love the clean lines juxtaposed with the ornate lamp from Soft Surroundings.

Cuff Cocktail Table, Global Views

Cuff Cocktail Table, Global Views

Acanthus Lamp, Soft Surroundings

Acanthus Lamp, Soft Surroundings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bathe in BERMUDA!

 

BOYS Collection Vanity, Teak

BOYS Collection Vanity, Teak

How INNOVATIVE is this bathroom vanity!?  I always love the idea of “his and hers” bathroom sinks, but this is such a funky take on an already wonderful style!  The bamboo shelves are another great way to keep away the clutter off your vanity, or maybe even add some seashells to add to your Caribbean vibe!   The multi-purpose laundry hamper from West Elm provides even more needed shelf space.

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, West Elm

Bamboo Laundry Hamper, West Elm

Add some fun to your room with this great bamboo mirror, and can you resist this shower curtain??  I saw it and it just made me smile.  What a way to wake up in the morning!

 

Lanai Mirror, Serena & Lily

Lanai Mirror, Serena & Lily

Cori Dantini Woven Polyester Sweetness and Light Shower Curtain, DENY Designs

Cori Dantini Woven Polyester Sweetness and Light Shower Curtain, DENY Designs

 

 

 

Dream in DELHI!

Time to lay me down to sleep, and what better way to fall asleep than in this bed by La Lune.  It feels like it is straight out of Casablanca!  Pair it with our great linen finds and you’re off to dreamland.  I love the carved wood doors in this chest by Hooker and we seem to always find the right accessories from our friends at Kouboo that work EVERYWHERE!

Bed #4066, La Lune Collection

Bed #4066, La Lune Collection

 

 

North Country Bedding, Coyuchi

North Country Bedding, Coyuchi

 

 

Horizontal Tree of Life Tapestry, India Arts

Horizontal Tree of Life Tapestry, India Arts

 

 

Hooker Mélange Matisette Chest, Benjamin Rugs and Furniture

Hooker Mélange Matisette Chest, Benjamin Rugs and Furniture

Sphere Vase with Coconut Twigs, Kouboo

Sphere Vase with Coconut Twigs, Kouboo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I always love hearing how others use their global finds.  Please share yours with us!!

Cinco de Mayo

As an interior designer, it is always such an inspiration to learn about other cultures’ traditions and design.  This year, we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo by sharing some of our favorite Mexican-inspired design with you!

 

Talavera & Ceramic Tile Studio

Talavera & Ceramic Tile Studio

Handpainted Custom Talavera Tile, Casa Daya

Handpainted Custom Talavera Tile, Casa Daya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When choosing items for any of my clients’ homes, I am always on the lookout for handmade products first.  I love the unique, one-of-a-kind feel that artisan pieces bring to every home, and that is why I have chosen these beautiful handpainted talavera tiles.  Use them as a backsplash on your kitchen wall or as an addition to your staircase as they have so beautifully done here!

 

 

Old Wood Carved & Painted Bench, Direct From Mexico

Old Wood Carved & Painted Bench, Direct From Mexico

 

This rustic carved and painted bench would look wonderful on your porch or patio!  I love the earthy tones and floral embellishments for outside!

 

 

Zocalo Embroidered Quilt, Anthropologie

Zocalo Embroidered Quilt, Anthropologie

Multi-Color Round Chindo Pouf, World Market

Multi-Color Round Chindo Pouf, World Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vibrant colors in both this quilt and pouf will totally transform the feel of your bedroom!  Using multicolored prints like these are especially great in smaller spaces!

 

 

Diamond Weave Chair, Anthropologie

Diamond Weave Chair, Anthropologie

Suzani Terai Folding Chair, Anthropologie

Suzani Terai Folding Chair, Anthropologie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riviera Armchair, Serena & Lily

Riviera Armchair, Serena & Lily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you are looking for a set or one single chair, we think any of these three would be a perfect choice for your home!  Don’t you just love the patterns and texture of these unique designs?!

 

Square Chip-n-Dip, Kouboo

Square Chip-n-Dip, Kouboo

Blue & White Talavera Salad Plates, Direct From Mexico

Blue & White Talavera Salad Plates, Direct From Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, we can’t forget about the food!  Set your table with these beautiful talavera salad plates and make your dish one that your guests won’t soon forget!  For the appetizer, use this handmade basket that would go PERFECT with your Cinco de Mayo meal.  Kouboos’s chip-n-dip basket is even handwoven from scratch from Nito-vine!