Is it time for your baby to leave the nest and explore the great halls of higher education? While your teen is probably super excited to spread their wings, going off to college can sometimes be a tough transition. Today we're going to look at some dorm room essentials as well as creature comforts to help your student create a home-away-from-home.
First things first. Every dorm room MUST have comfortable (and cute) bedding! This alternative down comforter set is super soft and comes in seven color combinations! Remember to get bedding and sheets in the Twin XL size.
Dorms (and roommates) can often be noisy, so throw in some ear plugs and a sleep mask to make rest a little more easy.
Add a little flair and extra coziness with this playful, soft throw blanket, and don't forget to throw in some accent pillows for good measure.
Next, let's talk storage. You can never have enough storage! Most dorm beds are adjustable so that you can fit just about any size storage containers underneath. We like these fabric bins with handles and lids to keep thing neat and tidy and at arm's length. They're perfect for housing clothing, bath linens, mementos, or extra supplies.
Keep shoes tidy with a hanging organizer inside the closet, and add another rack like this one on the back of the door to store extra odds and ends. Don't forget to add a makeup tray for beauty essentials and a hamper for all that laundry!
While college is a lot of fun, there's a lot of work going on too! Your student needs a comfortable, well-lit spot to study. Most dorm rooms provide a desk; you'll just need to provide the lighting and organization! This light is the most amazing multi-tasker! Not only does it have a built-in desk organizer, but it also features a USB port, perfect for charging devices while hitting the books!
Not everyone likes to study at a desk, so consider adding a comfy chair like this swivel papasan for those late-night cram sessions or for vegging out after!
Now comes the really fun part: decor. Cover up that standard vinyl tile with a rug like this one that really pops and shows off your teen's style.
Cover the wall with framed favorite posters and a bulletin board for important notes and cherished photos. Add softness to the room with a wall tapestry or even fairy lights. Don't forget to include a full length mirror; this one even has jewelry storage!
Top everything off with your photo on your child's nightstand, and they're all ready for college life!
Hard surface flooring is more popular than ever. Whether it’s hardwood, tile, vinyl, or waterproof, people want it in their homes. Although carpet is often kicked to the curb, many still crave some softness and warmth underfoot. That’s where rugs come in. The possibilities when it comes to rug style, material, function, and design are endless. It’s really all about personal preference. A rug can simply be a neutral backdrop (such as a piece of custom-bound carpet) for your space, or it can be a statement piece like an ornate area rug. Let’s look at some things to consider when searching for the right rug.
Think about whether you want your rug to go under your furniture, or if you simply want it centered in your space. Make sure to measure your space before you begin shopping. There’s nothing worse than finding your perfect rug that doesn’t fit when you get it home! Read more on choosing the right size rug.
Even the best-trained house pets have accidents and track in dirt. If you’ve got fur-babies, consider investing in a “pet-proof” rug or a good pet vacuum and rug cleaning supplies. Click here for more on treating all types of stains, including pet urine.
Make sure you know how to properly care for your rug to extend its beauty and durability. Cotton, jute, wool, polyester, sisal—these are just a few rug fiber types, and each requires different maintenance. Always check for manufacturer instructions. For a basic guide on rug care, click here.
Where in your home will this rug reside? A living room rug is going to function somewhat differently than a kitchen rug. Are you going for warmth and comfort, style and color, or both? For high-traffic areas, it’s also best to invest in a non-slip pad to go underneath your rug. Pads or mats with memory foam are excellent for comfort under kitchen rugs when standing for longer periods of time at the stove or sink. For bathrooms, mudrooms, and laundry rooms, make sure you choose a rug designed for high traffic, easy care, and that dries easily.
There are so many things to love about fall and winter: changing leaves, colder temperatures, hot chocolate, and roaring fireplaces; however, with this seasonal change, we often find ourselves spending more time indoors and trying to stave off allergies, the flu, and of course, the common cold. If you find yourself stuck inside a lot, you need to make sure your home is healthy place in which you and your family can thrive. Today we’re going to look at some ways to make your home a healthy haven.
First of all, let’s go ahead and talk about flooring and floor care. Hard surface flooring products (hardwood, tile, vinyl, laminate, etc.) have long been the darlings of homeowners (and allergy sufferers) not just because they are beautiful but because they are easy to keep clean and free of allergens. Carpet has thus gotten a bad rap, but according to the Carpet and Rug Institute, studies with allergy and immunology physician Dr. Bruce Mitchell, prove that carpet IS a good choice for asthma and allergy sufferers when it’s properly cared for:
“These studies challenge the long-held belief that carpet must adversely impact indoor air quality as it pertains to asthma and allergy sufferers,” Dr. Mitchell is quoted in the press release. “Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
Whether you have carpet or hard surface flooring, vacuuming/sweeping and dusting are key components to improving air quality in your home. For allergy sufferers, a vacuum with a HEPA filter is ideal, and make sure to replace vacuum bags or empty the canister when they’re 2/3 full. For dusting, using a dry cloth often stirs up dust and dander. Use a damp cloth or one treated with a dusting product to wipe surfaces clean.
While air purifiers are a great way to improve indoor air quality, another wonderful option is house plants! We all know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Did you know that many plants also absorb harmful pollutants and gases? Check out HGTV's "Top Ten" of houseplants that promote air quality.
Next, make sure to check your bathroom for mold and mildew. Shower curtains should be washed or replaced regularly to prevent and remove mildew buildup. Also, check your wallpaper (if you have it). Wallpaper can foster the growth of mold if a bathroom isn’t properly ventilated with an exhaust fan. Install a fan, and consider replacing wallpaper with mold-resistant paint or tile. Invest in a good mildew remover or tile cleaner, or make your own if you’re sensitive to chemicals. Many great household cleaners can be made from vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice. Check out some homemade cleaning recipes HERE.
For the kitchen, the same cleaning rules apply. Wipe down surfaces to remove grease, dust, and mildew. An often-overlooked item that can go bad fast is the trash can. Make sure to wipe it down regularly to remove stains and buildup and prevent mold growth.
If you have pets, all these cleaning tips are going to help with keeping hair and dander at bay, but there are a couple of extra points to consider. Bathe your pets once a week, and keep them off furniture and out of bedrooms.
Speaking of bedrooms, wash any linens you’ve had in storage before using them, and don’t forget that dust collects on curtains! They should be washed too. If allergies are a big problem for you, you might even consider hypo-allergenic bedding like this collection from Pottery Barn. Find tips on choosing hypo-allergenic bedding HERE.
Putting these tips into practice as regular habits will have keep your home healthy for fall and winter “hibernation.” For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out our Keep It Clean Pinterest board.
Whether your bathroom is large and spacious or cramped and cluttered, storage sometimes presents a problem. Larger bathrooms tend to accumulate more stuff, and small ones, well, they often can’t handle the bare minimum of bathroom essentials. Today we’re going to look at some organization hacks that will change the way you look at and function in your bathroom and hopefully shave minutes off the morning mayhem.
One of the most obvious choices for bathroom storage is containers and baskets. Glass, metal, wicker, plastic, modern, or vintage: there are so many options depending on the look you’re going for. If rustic farmhouse style is your thing, check out these super cute DIY mason storage jars.
Another look we love is baskets! They’re so versatile, whether you’ve got them tucked in a cabinet or on full display. Makespace.com has some amazing organization ideas using baskets like the one pictured below, as well as other organization tips you may have never thought about (think cake stand caddies and magnetic makeup boards!).
In smaller spaces, it’s often easier to go up than out. This is where floating shelves and over-the-toilet pieces come into play. We love this ingenious wire contraption that couples a basket with a toilet paper holder! Another great idea is utilizing a wine rack for towel storage. Check out this link for more ideas on utilizing the spaces you have overhead.
This look incorporates several methods at once with floating shelves, baskets, and glassware. Learn how to get this look HERE.
Love floating shelves? You can learn how to make these beautiful floating shelves from Shanty Chic!
Let’s not forget about that void that often becomes a cluttered catch-all: under the bathroom sink. This space is actually ripe for organization and storage! Better Homes and Gardens has some great ideas (including an instructional video) on making this space cute, functional, and clutter free!
If you have kids, no doubt you have bath toys. Rather than shoveling them out of the tub every time you need to shower, you need a storage solution that makes them easily accessible to your little ones yet also easy to put away. This idea from The Inspired Home will make everyone happy.
Last but certainly not least, keeping those beauty products and tools under control can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out this link at m.design. They offer basic, streamlined products, everything from drawer and cosmetic organizers to trays and trash cans.
If you still don’t see what you need, take this quiz to find out exactly what type of style and organization you need for your space. You’ll be organized before you know it and shave time off your morning routine! Happy organizing!
Our homes daily endure many spills and liquid-related accidents, especially if there are kids or pets in the home. With these accidents, generally just being attentive to spills is all you need, but with rain storms you may have an abundance of water finding its way to your floors. Your entry way may be taking the most damage from family and friends coming in from the outdoors and tracking water and mud all through the house. Having super absorbent mats near entry ways and a space for visitors to remove their shoes at the door is a big step in the right direction for preventing water damage. When using absorbent mats, be sure to not let the mat hold too much water as you could be redistributing your water problem under the mat.
Another simple tip that is especially helpful if you have wood floors is air flow. This can help keep moisture build up from the atmosphere at bay. Another important maintenance tip is to watch for roof leaks in your home. If you see cracks, sagging, or discoloration in your ceiling, you may need to check your roof for damage.
If you’re tired of having to worry so much about water damage to floors, there are some good water-resistant and waterproof flooring options to consider. One of the best options is ceramic tile. We use it in our kitchens and bath rooms for a reason: it’s very water-resistant. But, you don’t have to limit yourself. Ceramic tile is perfect for any room in the house with endless styles available, including wood-look planks. The next option might surprise you: laminate now has some very water-resistant options, such as Mannington’s SpillShield technology that allows it to be used in any room of the house. The final flooring option is WPC which is a vinyl plank product that is completely waterproof. Many manufacturers like Mohawk now offer this flooring in a wide variety of wood and tile looks.
The first step in water-damage prevention is to make sure there isn’t a structural problem like the roof or leaks allowing moisture in the home. If your problem results from normal every-day traffic bringing in water, liquids, and mud, a waterproof or water-resistant flooring may be just for you! Call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600
It’s that time of year again! Time to work in our yards and gardens and freshen up our outdoor spaces. Whether you’re building a palatial patio, outdoor kitchen, or a gathering spot around a firepit, the right tile will help turn your backyard into an outdoor oasis.
Maybe you never thought about using tile outdoors; it can add beautiful, eye catching features to your home. Opting for slip-resistant tile around your pool area instead of concrete really adds polish to a design. The tile surrounding your pool can carry over into an outdoor fireplace or kitchen and patio area. If you really want to get fancy, you can use tile to surround your outdoor fireplace or as an accent wall in your outdoor grilling space.
Whatever space you design, the type of tile you choose is important. Natural stone tiles like slate are often used outdoors, but natural stone does require more maintenance and can be susceptible to discoloration overtime. Porcelain tiles are one of the most durable and well-suited tiles for outdoor use. If you’re set on a natural stone look but don’t want to deal with the upkeep, you can find porcelain tiles that emulate natural stones like slate and travertine.
Outdoor tile tips:
Color is often used to express our personal style and feelings, whether it be through art, home décor, accessories, or clothing. When it comes to home décor, color is all about the mood you want to set in your home. Do you want your space to be bright, vibrant, and energetic, or cool, calm, and collected? Today on the blog we’ll examine two different color schemes in regard to home décor: earth tones vs. bright colors.
Earth tones are just what their name implies: a color scheme made up of natural colors found in nature. This color scheme is particularly popular in many homes and businesses because these colors are neutral, calming, and flow well with a variety of styles and spaces. When you think of earth tones, you might generally think of colors like tan, beige, gray etc., but earth tones also encompass so much more. In nature, there is a wide variety of colors and earth tones that include muted greens, oranges, reds, blues, and yellows.
Bright colors on the other hand, are not as commonly found in nature. Bright colors consist of primary colors (along with their bolder and brighter variations) and are known for conveying a sense of energy throughout a space. Vibrant hues are most commonly used in contrast to neutrals for an eye-catching contrast. There are many fun ways to use bright colors in a space, and while flooring is mostly in neutral colors, there are some fun options in tile that can be used for floors, showers, walls and backsplashes. Carpets and rugs are also an area you can be creative with your bright colors. Keep in mind that bright colors can be used to add a stunning pop or focal point but can become overbearing if used too much.
There is no right or wrong color palette for your space. It’s all about personal preference. If you prefer a calming color scheme that evokes thoughts of nature, then earth tones are for you. However, if you want your space to be full of energy with eye-catching colors or a focal point that pops, go for more vibrant tones. The right flooring can provide a neutral backdrop for any space, or you can create stunning tile combinations on floors and walls to really make your home unique.
All the changes in weather have us dreaming about spring, longing for consistent warm temperatures and the chance to see the world bloom out of winter hibernation. The changes we see outside during the spring often lead us to make changes in our homes, whether it’s doing a little spring cleaning or home maintenance.
During the cold months we tend to seek out cozy, warm areas, breaking out the fluffy rugs, pillows and throw blankets. Storing these away for next winter is an easy place to start freshening up your home for spring. Refresh your space by minimizing clutter and brining in brighter colors through accessories like pillows, artwork, and lamp shades. Even swapping out a cozy, wool or shag area rug for a lighter, earthier woven rug will bring a breath of fresh air to any room. For an even bigger refresh, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Changing out darker colors for lighter neutrals or bright colors can breathe new life into your home.
Spring is also a popular time for home maintenance projects and renovations. Maybe you’ve noticed all the winter weather has been less than kind to your floors, and it’s time for something new. Spring and summer months also mean more time in the great outdoors, and those outdoor activities often find their way back into the house with water and dirt. If you don’t have a space already, consider carving out an area as a “mudroom” or organized entryway with cubbies, hooks, and durable flooring. Excellent flooring choices for these areas are ceramic tile, LVT (luxury vinyl tile), and WPC (made of wood plastic composite and waterproof). All of these come in wood and stone looks and are very stylish and durable. Whether you’re resurfacing one area or want to give your whole home a new look, never underestimate the value of new floors. Floors also add a wealth of color and texture and can be the foundation for your spring home makeover.
With spring right around the corner it's time to freshen up our homes. We can start by swapping out those dark colors and fluffy textures for fresh and smooth colors and textures. If you feel like it’s time for a bigger change with new flooring or even kitchen or bathroom tile, call us today for a free estimate! 256.231.5600.
As we head into the winter months, many of us are longing for the great outdoors. Sunrooms are a comfortable space in the home where you can enjoy the outdoors, no matter the weather. When choosing flooring for your sunroom, you will have to consider the needs of your space since it will likely be different from the rest of the home. Let's consider three options in flooring that are perfect for sunrooms.
Sunrooms are an indoor-outdoor space, so the temperature of your room usually varies somewhat by season. Two flooring options that can help insulate the room and keep your feet feeling warmer are indoor-outdoor carpet or carpet tiles. These kinds of carpet are good choices because they are durable and easy to maintain due to their short, tight bristles. Another benefit of carpet tiles is that they are easy to replace if damaged and also come in a wider variety of colors and patterns than that of indoor-outdoor carpet. When considering carpet, keep in mind sunrooms may let in outdoor elements like water which could cause some soggy carpet.
If you want hard surface flooring, porcelain tile and WPC (waterproof flooring planks) are excellent choices. Porcelain tile is often used both indoors and out for its water-resistant properties and durability. It also comes in a vast array of looks and styles, anywhere from traditional tile and stone patterns to more contemporary concrete and wood looks. Another option to consider with tile is a radiant heating system to keep those tiles from getting cold in the winter.
If radiant heating isn’t in your budget, and you don't want the hard, cold feel of tile or the maintenance of carpet, WPC is a great option. WPC is a luxury vinyl plank product that is waterproof and can easily stand up to the elements. If your sunroom takes on water sometimes, it would be best to install your WPC with a vapor barrier underlayment to prevent trapped moisture under the planks. WPC also comes in a variety of stylish tile and wood looks.
When planning your sunroom, consider not only syle but the form and function of your floors. Increase the longevity of your space by installing a floor that holds up well with changing climate and suits your decor style. With the proper flooring installed, you can be sure to have a room that is perfect for all seasons.
Carpet is a flooring favorite, loved for the softness, warmth and style that it brings to our homes. There are many options to choose from in carpet brands, styles, and colors, but let's consider the difference in just two options you have with carpet: multicolored or solid?
Regardless of the kind of carpet you’re looking for, there will always be the option for multicolored or solid. Multicolored can refer to patterned carpets or the more common lightly-speckled carpet that is subtler. Solid-colored carpet generally refers to no pattern or speckle. What pros and cons should you consider when deciding on carpet color? Both carpet styles come with different attributes that will really just depend on the needs of your space.
One advantage of multicolored carpet is that it hides those little stains our carpets always seem to acquire from daily living. Because of the small, speckled pattern of multicolored carpet, it can better hide a stain, whereas a solid carpet will usually show a stain in stark contrast. As far as the differences in looks go, that really just depends on the style of your space. Multicolored carpet (especially the neutral colors and patterns) is perfect for traditional, contemporary, rustic--any style that calls for subtle patterns, depth, and texture. Solid colors give a smoother, continual feel to a space, perfect for modern, minimalist styles or if you want a blank canvas ready for any décor or color scheme.
Both multicolored and solid carpet have their pros and cons, but in the end, it depends mostly on the needs of your space and personal preference. If you have kids, pets, or a high traffic area, multicolored may be the better option for you because of its neutral style and stain hiding ability. If high traffic is not a problem for you and you'd like a smoother look, solid color carpet is the way to go.