Monthly Archives: April 2011

Color Trends & Decorating Ideas

beautiful rooms 1-resized-600Much has been written over the years of the regenerative properties of spring.  So it is no wonder that your thoughts are focused on the inside of your home and the rooms that can use anything from a “nip and tuck” to a full face lift.

There is no doubt that color is in and is being used in wonderful ways today.  We are seeing more mid tone and deep colors now than we did 10 years ago and it makes spaces very warm and inviting.

One key to a great interior is to establish a flow from room to room. Many more recently built homes have open floor plans that create a natural flow, but it can also be accomplished with thoughtful wall color selections or by tying spaces together with flooring and woodwork.

Hardwood flooring is one of my favorite ways to create flow. With all of the new engineered technology and durable finishes, hardwood can be used everywhere in the home which naturally draws you from space to space and allows for the character of the room to be created with wall color, rugs and fabrics.  Plus hardwood always adds to the value of a home.

If you prefer softness underfoot, the same flow can be created with the many beautiful carpets that are available today.  Choose a color and a texture that suits your family’s needs and carry it into as many adjacent spaces as possible.  Be sure to consider texture and tone-on-tone patterns as a way to add visual interest to your rooms.

There are many colored neutrals that are on trend right now.  In the Benjamin Moore palette HC-45 Shaker Beige is one of our most popular colors because it is a mid tone color that is so easy to live with.  If you prefer a gold cast try AF-365 Amulet and for a putty color one of my favorites is 984 Stone Hearth.  I also like greens as a colored neutral because they work so nicely with other hues – 515 Baby Turtle and 494 Lewiville Green are good examples.”

Benjamin Moore’s color forecast for 2011 is out and includes a continuation of the sea glass colors with the addition of soft purples, yellow toned greens and beautiful warm grays.  A free color brochure entitled “Envision Color” is available at any of the three Puchers Decorating Centers locations.

If I have to pick just one other bit of decorating advice for this season it would be… Don’t forget the windows!  The reason that every home magazine photo includes drapery is because nothing lights up a room like fabric.  There is a style to suit every interior, from lush and embellished to smooth and streamlined, and if you feel uncertain of your approach, we’d love to help you.  Stop into one of our stores or visit our website at www.puchers.com for more information and inspiration!

Eco-Friendly Flooring Choices – Cork & Bamboo

almadacork-resized-600The interest in Bamboo and Cork flooring has never been higher and the sale of these products continues to rise rapidly. Many new suppliers and channels of distribution for these flooring products arise monthly. As beautiful and, many times, as eco-friendly as these products are, there are many reasons to become an educated consumer and protect yourself from unscrupulous business practices. Let’s take bamboo to start. Certainly anywhere on the internet you can find bamboo flooring that pricing starts as low as $2 – $3 per square foot but what are you really buying? As a raw material bamboo can be harvested in as little as two to three years, and almost all of the $2 – $3 bamboo flooring is harvested in less than three years. Trouble is that three year old bamboo is actually softer than pine which makes the durability very poor. When bamboo is harvested at six to nine years it becomes as hard as Brazilian Cherry and is very, very durable and also more expensive but well worth it.

What about the offers you see for very low priced wood flooring from leading National suppliers. You really want to make sure that the floor you are buying is not ranked as a second. You may save money initially but then find that you have to throw away half of the flooring because of warped boards, poor finishing, or poorly milled edges. Another major thing to be aware of is what is known in the industry as short boards. Sure you can get a great price on the flooring but who wants a wood floor that has boards that are two feet or less in length. Some mills sell off the leftovers from their production and they are repackaged and sold at “bargain” prices.

Purchasing a new floor is usually a major expense so it really pays to do your homework and investigate exactly what you are buying. It is a great idea to investigate the company from whom you are considering purchasing your flooring via online customer reviews.  Make sure you consider their reputation, as well as how long they have been in business, should you need help a few years down the line.

Like anything else, with flooring you get what you pay for and because flooring can add value to your home and is permanent it pays to be wise.