Tag Archives: decorating advice

Decorating Your Home for the Holidays

bigstock-Details-for-aThanksgiving-tabl-14088911-frinov12013Decorating for the holidays can be a very stressful time. There are so many fine details involved in creating the perfect atmosphere for the home. Plus, decorating trends change from year to year, so it is important to keep up with current fashions, even if you are going for that traditional holiday appeal. With these simple steps for decorating, anyone can create perfection in their Berea home and have a warm, inviting area to greet guests.

Appeal to All 5 Senses

When creating any environment it is important to appeal to every sense. This helps guests feel completely emerged in the room and creates a professional look when complete. While this may sound like a difficult chore, it is actually very simple to find items that appeal to sight, touch, sound, taste, and smell. Decorating homes with items that appeal to each of these senses will help you to establish the holiday mood.

Sight is the biggest one, but sticking with one theme will help you appeal to this sense easily. Touch is one that mostly refers to using comforting furniture or a warm fireplace to make people feel relaxed. For scent, place scented candles or potpourri in the room. Play soft music in the background that compliments your theme. Lastly, have something that appeals to taste in the room, whether it be a bowl of sweets or a decorative ornament, this will help people get in the holiday spirit.

Choose a Different Theme for the Season

Decorating your home for the holidays is more than working with what you have. While it is impractical to change out furniture when seasons change, working with the colors of the room to achieve a completely different look is. Choose two to three colors, incorporating your normal colors as one of them. Avoid distracting colors like pinks and purples. Instead include blues, reds, whites, golds, or browns in your holiday décor. Then, rearrange your furniture so that it faces a different point in the room, such as the fireplace, to give the room a completely different feel.

Invest in a collection of décor that can grow with you as the years go by. Vintage decorations are always eye-catching and can easily become heirlooms. Find one collection that really appeals to you and then personalize it with lighting and seasonal knickknacks. Part of the holiday spirit is abundance, so really focus on the details of your collection and theme to create a very big impression on your guests.

Light Up the Home for the Holidays

Another important aspect regardless of the décor is the lighting. During the holiday season, there are so many different choices that can change the entire look of the room. Since it is important to stick with a two or three color pallet when designing the room, you will need to find sources of light that can go with any look and remain neutral while providing a warm, inviting glow.

Candles are an excellent source of lighting that can help create a relaxing holiday space. Because the glow from each candle can be very dim, you may want to consider an abundance of candles hidden among the décor. Thick, bold candles can be a focal point in any table centerpiece or be placed above the mantle. With plenty of candles in the room, one can easily avoid any electric lighting if they so choose.

For those who choose an all-electric holiday, make sure the bulbs you choose are in neutral colors. White bulbs are the easiest to replace and will compliment any décor. When lighting a tree, use the bulbs sparingly to create a warm glow, rather than a bright light. The tree is naturally a focal point, but making the lighting a bit dimmer helps it fade gracefully into the background. The décor in the room becomes a very welcoming space, rather than a tourist attraction.

Don’t Forget the Trees

One of the first places to start decorating is the tree. Although the tree should ideally match the feel of the room, many people choose to model their décor after the tree. The tree is naturally a focal point in any holiday room, and while the design can be as busy as one likes, it can be undecorated and still get attention. If you haven’t picked out a holiday collection yet, try browsing ornaments first and find a couple sets that you like.

For some, sticking with one theme is difficult. People send and receive ornaments as gifts or acquire them through events. Perhaps there is a family heirloom that doesn’t quite match that you’d like to use. One way to get around this is to have small trees in multiple rooms, along with your big tree. The smaller trees can have their own themes. Not only does this help to keep crowds scattered in large parties, it allows you to have multiple tree themes that can incorporate different ornaments. For example, if you don’t want that green ‘Best Mom Ever’ ornament on the large red and white tree, you could make a green ornament tree and place it in a small side room. This gives you more flexibility in the decorating choices you make.

Pucher’s Decorating Centers in Berea, North Royalton and Westlake would love to assist you in decorating your home for the holidays. Stop by our showroom or call to schedule a free consultation.

Prepare Your Home For the Holidays

Pucher's Decorating CentersWith the holidays approaching, you are probably dreaming of getting your home cleaned, organized and ready for the splendor that awaits. The reality of the situation can also be frightening, though, as you look around your home and begin a check list of all that needs to happen. 

If you are worried about bringing your current state of chaos into focus for the holidays, some of the following home decorating ideas can help. You can take control and make your home look spectacular this coming holiday season in by visiting a Pucher’s store in Berea, Westlake and North Royalton. Instead of stressing out about what you are going to do, you can take control with a few simple tips and tricks to spruce your home and prepare for a joyous holiday season. 

Focusing Your Attention on Organizing and Cleaning 

Every week tackle a single room or area by applying four key skills to organize your home – eliminate clutter, organize, clean and plan for the holiday decorating touches that will make your home  look amazing. In the early stages of the plan, focus on your personal spaces, which make it easier to plan for the approaching season and give you the organized space you’ll need for decorations, craft gifts, wrapping and Christmas card writing. 

With Thanksgiving Day coming closer, storage areas and food preparation areas should be the main focus to help plan the menu, bake treats and cook delicious meals for the family to enjoy. By the time December rolls around, the focus shifts to organizing public spaces and going through a final cleaning phase. By the middle of the month, your home will be cleaned, organized and ready for everyone to enjoy the holidays. 

Once the holiday season is over, get a jump on organizing your space for the New Year by debriefing, storing your decorations and noting things you’d like to remember for the celebration next year while it is fresh in your mind.  

Decorating the Space Should be Enjoyable 

Holidays mean a time of love and celebration with your friends and family but it can also be stressful if you are worried about getting your home in top shape for approaching holiday guests. One way to minimize anxiety is to establish a reasonable budget and start early.  Decorating doesn’t have to be as difficult as one might think, so step in and embrace the holiday season with ease. 

Try Tackling the Paint Jobs that are Small and Quick 

Even though you could paint an entire room, you don’t have to take things to that extent. Save yourself money and time by harnessing the power of transforming your space with a couple of small paint jobs. Paint the trim and the molding. Choose an accent wall to paint with a color that is warm and inviting. Make a door wreath and welcome mat stand out by painting the door with a new color or add a splash of color by repainting an accent furniture piece. Home decorating can be fun and exciting if you take the time to focus your attention on the smaller things. 

Upgrade the Accessories and Faucets in Your Bathroom 

Since it is a room vital to every guest’s comfort, bathrooms are an important place to give your attention to. Fix leaky faucets and consider upgrading outdated accessories and bath hardware. Adding stylish antique brass or brushed chrome towel rings, towel holders and door hangers will add shine and sophistication to your space. A new mirror at the sink can go a long way towards sprucing up a small space. If your guest will be staying overnight, installing grab bars to make it easy for guests to get into and out of the tub and shower is a thoughtful touch.

Adding in New Living Room Accessories 

Families tend to congregate in the den and living room before and after  meals. You want to make people feel welcome and at home in the space by updating the accessories and adding in some new ones along the way. Accessorize your home decorating with some throw pillows in rich plums, browns and blues. Nothing warms and pulls together a room like fabric so consider replacing old blinds with drapery panels or roman shades.  Fabrics that have texture as well as pattern are really popular now and work with many types of décor. Remember the floors as well – adding in an area rug over existing carpet or floors can change the look of the entire room!

Upgrading the Lighting in Key Rooms

Christmas lights are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about lighting for the approaching holiday season. People will often overlook the fact that there are other lighting issues that should be considered when preparing for house guests. Changing the light bulbs in your closets, bathrooms, guest rooms, patio and porches a day before the guests arrive is important. Updating the interior lighting by adding in some chandeliers and sconces will add elegance to your space. Adding in motion sensing lights and path lights help illuminate the walkway for those who arrive in the evening. 

Holidays are a great time to have fun and enjoy spending time with those you love. You want to make sure you provide them with a holiday experience that everyone will enjoy and remember for years to come. Prepare your Berea, Westlake and North Royalton home with simple home decorating tips to make sure you have everything in order to enjoy your time bonding together and enjoying the company of your friends and family.

8 Reasons to Hire a Decorator

8 reasons to hire a decoratorYour home is a reflection of who you are. As such, when you decorate your home, always put your best foot forward. That’s often easier said than done, as there are times when even your best efforts fall short of the mark. That’s where a decorator can make a huge difference. A decorator has the expertise and ability to tie things together, to mix and match, to coordinate and blend and ultimately to find the style that ties in perfectly with your ideas.

At Pucher’s, we feel strongly about the benefits of using our decorator services for your home project. A decorator can pull your project together and add special touches that will not only look terrific, but will ultimately save you money. Our staff is accustomed to working with clients and utilizing items that reflect the latest trends in those special touches that make a difference. A decorator can help by showing you how to proceed with your project or to coordinate your efforts and manage your time. A decorator can be a valuable asset and your best friend during your decorating phase. Here are eight ways how:

 1. Manage Your Budget and Save Money

A decorator can help you avoid costly mistakes that will cost you dollars to correct or assist in choosing the right color combinations, perfect carpet, draperies, wallpaper and accent features. Whatever it is, wrong choices will cost you extra to replace or redo.

 2. The Eyes of a Professional

Decorators are involved with their craft full-time. As such, they can use their experience to your advantage. Because they are detached from your home and all its treasures, they see these items differently than you. They can find perfect settings for some of your treasured or underutilized items, which allow you to maintain a sense of continuity with some of your very special pieces.

 3. Keeping Track of Your Spending

Budgeting comes into play, not only in tracking the dollars spent, but also the time spent on your project. Locating and purchasing the various resources required to complete your project can take untold hours of your time and quickly erode your finances. A decorator is a wealth of information, a walking talking catalog of sources that have application in your decor. She knows where your purse strings are and when they need to be drawn. Consequently, she will work with those product lines that fit nicely in your price range. Often, she will have special arrangements with certain purveyors that can actually add up to more dollars saved. Plus, the decor items you end up with will not be found in the high volume shops and big box stores.

 4. A Go-Between

When your decorator and you are on the same page, she can be entrusted to handle details between your contractor and/or architect. Often these are the little details we are least prepared for: details like light fixture placement, special effects, décor arrangements and more.

5. Every Home Needs a Little OMG Sizzle In The Pot.

Decorators have made names for themselves by providing a touch of excitement to their projects. Their goal is to inspire a jaw dropping OMG reaction when people enter a room. They have ideas that we can’t imagine.

 6. Pre-Sale

Planning to sell your home? A decorator can increase your home’s desirability.  If your home is in the medium to upper price range, spending some money to freshen it may be a wise investment. An up to date look is less likely to languish on the unsold charts for months. Your decorator, along with help from one of her realtor contacts can help determine a reasonable amount to spend on the project and prevent you from going overboard with your spending.

 7. Eyes Center

If you are not sure what needs to be done to your home and consequently not certain where to begin, a decorator can give you an unbiased proposal of the situation. She can tell you what’s right and what’s wrong with your space and show you how to make the most of what you have. That should be the intent of your first meeting with a decorator from Pucher’s, painting and decorating stores in Westlake, Berea and North Royalton.

8. Discovery

When our decorator has successfully completed her job, the results should convey to the world who you are — your interests, experiences, your personality.

Among the painting and decorating stores in Westlake, Berea and North Royalton, you will find the three Pucher’s Decorating Centers. The company has made a name for itself as a leader in decorative services throughout the region. In addition to their excellent on staff decorators, the company is known for their expertise and inventory of flooring, window treatments, fabrics draperies and paint. Part of Pucher’s success and reputation can be attributed to their Free In-Store or phone consultation service. Call us today to schedule your free in-store consultation.

Design Trends: Go Bold With White

design trends whiteWhite is one of the most general and mass appealing colors you can pick. But is it always a safe choice? Believe it or not, you have to know how to manage whites and off-whites just as much as you would if you were considering a bold or pastel color. The wrong shade of white paired with certain aspects of a room can completely pull that room in the wrong direction. You’ll notice that something feels off, but you probably won’t be able to pinpoint exactly what it is that is making you uneasy. The problem that you may not be picking up is in the pure and reflective aspects of the color white. This will lead to it absorbing the colors surrounding it. Suddenly the blank white wall you were looking to match with a blue sofa might appear to have blue tints. Don’t get discouraged from using whites or off-whites just yet, though. These blends can bring great benefits, if paired correctly and specifically according to your individual taste and style.

White is Flawless

One of the best things about white is that it will match just about everything and can blend flawlessly into most design schemes. It has been said that the perfect color balance in a room is created using three or more colors—one of which being white or off-white. These blends can make bolder colors pop, and enhance other elements of the room. But which colors go best with which whites? With so many whites, off-whites, and whites with undertones to choose from, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when it comes to color selection. Our in-house design consultants can help you with any questions you might have regarding your home color scheme. However, we have also provided some tips so that you can develop some knowledge about how white might affect the ambiance of your home.

For ceilings and walls, we recommend sticking with a pure white with no undertones, or white with a hint of gray. Additionally, whites with undertones of khaki or buttercream yellow are pleasant for spaces consisting of warmer tones. Both of the off-whites recommended are universally appealing. For additional white and off-white pairing affects we suggest the following advice:

  • Warm off-whites can create feelings of comfort
  • Cool off-whites will offer a contemporary look
  • Off-white with a hint of red can result in a feminine pink
  • Hints of blue and green in off-white colors will bring about a sense of relaxation
  • Off-whites with creamy undertones are a good choice for rooms with elements of warm browns and tans
  • Cleaner off-whites are best with suggestions of color with cooler grays and blacks

It is also important to remember that off-white will often take a back seat to other features in the room. Darker colors do have the potential to swallow whites up, but colorful furniture can stand out among the plain colors. You also want to consider how the whites and off-whites will look in different settings. Try sampling colors in the space that they will be painted so that you can see how it will look in both natural and artificial light. You will hopefully select a color that is satisfying 24/7, providing a welcoming feel during the day and a romantic ambiance at night.

Many of these affects may turn out great for some people, but be an eye sore for others, depending on each individual’s desired result. Everyone will have a different taste in color selection, and for the best results, you may want to seek the advice of our design consultants at Pucher’s. We can answer any questions you may have regarding the interior of your home, and we offer a large range of paints and wallpapers for your convenience. Call us at Pucher’s today for a free quote, or stop by our showroom in Berea, North Royalton or Westlake for a free consultation.

Design Trends – Bamboo Flooring

bamboo flooringWhen you’re looking for home decorating options, Cleveland has plenty to offer. In a place like Cleveland which experiences a lot of different extreme weather conditions during both summers and winters, you have to choose materials that can withstand and literally weather such climatic conditions. Consult with your architect or interior decorator about the different areas in your home, their planned purpose and the ideal floors and walls and other furniture and fittings. Your floor is literally the most used and often abused space in your home, especially if you have young children and pets. You walk on them as well as run, stamp, spill and scratch them. Your flooring should be strong enough to withstand all that apart from the weather and the resultant variations in temperature and humidity.

The most favored traditional floors have been wood. In recent years, people are moving away from wood to bamboo because of the abundant supply of bamboo, and its growth rate. Bamboo matures quite quickly; where trees like teak, pine and oak might take fifty years to grow and be ready for lumber, bamboo is usually available in five! This makes the replenishment of bamboo faster, and hence people looking for a greener home opt for bamboo floors. Bamboo is a sustainable plant and is also available in a wide range of varieties making it suitable for flooring for the entire home, for all the rooms from nursery and bedrooms to the kitchen and the patio.

The various kinds of bamboo available for flooring in Cleveland depend on the type of plant and the way it is harvested. The most popular bamboo floors are of two types, called strand woven bamboo and fused fiber bamboo. The strand woven bamboo is much stronger and is used for floors where there will be a lot of foot traffic. The fused fiber bamboo floor looks more attractive and so can be used for decorating purposes like a hotel lobby or the patio that receives less foot traffic.

There are no standard grading systems for bamboo available, and so the seller or manufacturer reputation is very crucial when you’re thinking of going with bamboo floors. You need to learn about the different kinds of bamboo and their characteristics to make an informed choice. The age of the bamboo plant when it is harvested dictates its hardness and therefore its durability too. Ideally the plant should be at six to nine years of age when it is harvested for timber. At six to nine years bamboo becomes very, very hard and durable and is a great wearing floor. There are some engineered bamboo floors available today that combine a top layer of bamboo with layers of other wood which make them strong, light weight and yet durable.  The biggest scam in bamboo is the cheaper imports that sell for $3 – $4 that are only three years old. They are actually soft and do not hold up well – hence the lower price. Trust us – you do not want a floor made of three year old bamboo. 

At Pucher’s, started by Carl Pucher in 1928, we have been providing floors to the Cleveland area for the last three generations. Now headed by the grandson of Carl Pucher, Pucher’s is a by-word for flooring in and around the Cleveland area in North East Ohio. Our in-house design consultants can help you with any questions you might have regarding your home interiors. We also have a range of paints, wallpapers, other household products, cleaning agents, furnishings, fittings, window treatments, etc. apart from just floors. Anything you need for your home, you can find it at Pucher’s. Call us today for a free quote or visit us for a free consultation.

The Ease of Working With a Decorator

working with a decoratorYou have saved up for years and finally have your dream home built to your specifications so that you and your family can live happily for years to come. The next step is the interior decoration, like choosing walls, floors and window treatments, paint colors for the exterior and the interior and other such difficult decisions. Your home should be a relaxing place, a sanctuary. Your home should be a reflection of you. The modern version of “show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are,” is “show me your home and I will tell you who you are.”

However, your family members will also want their needs and personalities to be reflected in their rooms and private areas. If you feel it is a daunting task, it is better to engage a professional interior designer or decorator. The former gets involved with the architect and advises on the placement of rooms and planned activities for different spaces, based on the available light and other factors. The latter is typically engaged after the house is built to advise on floors, wall colors, draperies and other furniture and fittings to provide harmony and aesthetic appeal.

Engage with a Decorator

You don’t have to worry about any aspect of your interiors when you engage an interior decorator to do your home; you just have to state your preferences and have a beautiful home you can proudly show off. You can be assured of getting your home outfitted with the best possible floors, draperies, rugs, etc. as your decorator will be on top of the latest trends and innovations. You can save yourself both time and stress when you engage a decorator to help with your home décor, not to mention opting for something unsuitable and then having to get it fixed. Such costly do-overs can be avoided when you hire an interior decorator to help in fixing up your home.

Whether you are building, remodeling or redecorating your home, this time can very stressful to you. Oftentimes you will not know where to even begin. An interior decorator will relieve the stress and take the burden off of you. They will assist in space planning and décor by suggesting patterns, paints, flooring, and window treatments just to name a few. A decorator provides comfort and the security of knowing the services will be performed and completed without troubling you. This frees up your time and saves you money and frustration.

At Pucher’s we are fully aware of the importance of having your home look beautiful and appealing. You need to have a home that is welcoming, relaxing and soothing. Pucher’s, founded by Carl Pucher in Cleveland in 1928, has been serving the residents of Cleveland for three generations. We offer our customers professional advice and help you get your home décor the talking point among your family and friends. We offer home decorating services in Cleveland. We specialize in all household items and designer brands. Our staff members are well-trained and can help you with your fittings if required. Our in-house design team can handle any challenging project. Step in or call us today for a visit and a free quote!

Pucher’s – Three Great Locations in Ohio

Pucher's BereaPucher’s is one of the premier interior design and decorating companies in the state of Ohio. This company has developed an incredible reputation for helping consumers and homeowners dramatically improve the appearance of their homes. It doesn’t matter what your personal style is, there is something at Pucher’s for everyone. You don’t have to be a design expert to benefit from the products and services available at Pucher’s. In fact, this company was specifically created to offer assistance to homeowners who have no design experience or interior decorating knowledge whatsoever. Many homeowners have a vision for their home’s interior, but they simply don’t know where to go or what to do to transform that vision into a reality. That’s where the professional design specialists at Pucher’s can be invaluable. With three convenient locations in Ohio, high quality design is within your reach.

Our Three Great Locations Are Here to Serve

In order to better serve homeowners in the state of Ohio, Pucher’s owns and operates three distinct locations. Each location is filled with high quality products, tools, accessories, and design ideas that can help you plan your home’s décor from the ground up. There’s no need to hop around from store to store just to find the decorating products and inspiration you need to get started. A professional home designer can discuss your current home decorative theme and your vision for adding updates to your home. Pucher’s has home decorating center locations in Berea, North Royalton, and Westlake, Ohio, and you can find Pucher’s contact information at the easy-to-use Pucher’s website.

Choose From Incredible Flooring Products

One of the simplest ways to transform your home’s interior is through the addition of new flooring. Changing outdated tile or laminate flooring to beautiful hardwood, luxurious carpet, or gorgeous ceramic tile is a great way to make big changes in your home. If you don’t have the budget for high quality hardwood, you can take advantage of incredible new laminate and vinyl flooring products that closely resemble more expensive materials.

Window Treatments, Fabric, and Drapery

Often, all that is needed to dress up a space and make it uniquely yours is a few high quality window treatments. Instead of using low quality venetian blinds and drab window coverings, you can invest in stunning drapes, fabric, and other window treatments that will enhance your home’s preexisting décor. Window treatments don’t have to mask your windows and darken a space. You can visit Pucher’s three locations to discover how window treatments can actually emphasize the windows and natural light in your home.

Paint and Wallpaper

Never underestimate the power of the walls in your home. Walls can be so much more than a boring, plain support system for your house. Walls that are splashed with rich colors or papered with unique patterns and textures can actually turn into the focal point of your entire space. With so many paint and wallpapering options to choose from, Pucher’s locations in Berea, Westlake, and North Royalton are great sources for high quality products.

Convenient Locations in Ohio

With three different locations to choose from in Berea, North Royalton, and Westlake, you always have handy access to a company that can turn your outdated or old-fashioned home into a gorgeous canvas for beautiful in-home design. Changing the look of your home can be an overwhelming process when you don’t have the experience and expertise of a professional design consultant. If you are hoping to make dramatic changes to your home’s interior, be sure and stop by one of Pucher’s great locations. Team members are standing by to evaluate your current décor and discuss options that can completely transform the look and feel of your home.

Why Buy Pucher’s Paint?

buy Pucher's paintConsider this for just one moment – a single paint manufacturer often has more than 100 hues in their “white” palette. Now, if you are just starting to consider redecorating your home or office, the fact that you have thousands of hues to sort through can usually stop you in your tracks. How on earth do you go about choosing the proper colors and then the proper finishes? The answer is to ask for expert help.

Most consumers would say they just cannot afford to pay for an interior decorator’s services. That, however, is where Pucher’s enters the equation. Since 1928, they have been offering their services to the Cleveland area and have helped many satisfied customers to choose the right drapes, paint, flooring, and more.

Begin at the Beginning

Whether you believe it or not, the background color of any room will really set the immediate “tone”. Thus, it is pretty important to make the right choices, and yet the subtleties in paint colors and hues can make choosing a very challenging issue. When you turn to Pucher’s for help, however, it becomes the proverbial “piece of cake”. This is thanks to their expertise and knowledge, as well as their array of free services.

To make it simple, you will want to have a good idea of the general color scheme you intend to use. For example, you would want to say that you are hoping to have the dining room in a nice green palette. You may even want to have some color samples that appeal to you, or images from magazines that you find attractive. You could then make a visit to Pucher’s paint department. Their experts can provide you with color matching, samples, and many ideas that will help you achieve decorating success.

Whether you are considering an interior or exterior surface, thinking about  staining floors or walls, or doing a few different treatments, Pucher’s has a full line of all that is needed – including accessories necessary for painting. They can even match any other manufacturer’s colors to help you save money or get just the results desired.

The modern Pucher’s Decorating Centers actually began as the Pucher Paint Company more than seventy years ago. Over this extensive period of time, their team has developed an expert level knowledge about paint and stain. This allows them to know the ideal solutions for almost any setting, and to give clients the kind of skillful advice that ensures a high quality result.

Though many other decorating stores have to do tons of marketing and advertising, Pucher’s has developed such a good reputation in the Cleveland area that around 80% of their current clientele comes from word of mouth and recommendations. That alone speaks volumes.

Whether you are hoping for a self-priming paint that will allow you to put a new face on your living room over the weekend, or you are building a “green” home that you want treated with eco-friendly solutions, Pucher’s will have the solutions required. Start thinking about the various color schemes and decor themes you have in mind and head into their showroom to speak with their paint specialists.

You might be surprised and overwhelmed by the number of choices, but with the knowledgeable expertise of Pucher’s paint department, you will be able to choose the ideal finish and palette for your needs. The personal touch is missing in so many modern businesses, but the amazing array of services that Pucher’s clients receive shows that they take all of their clients seriously.

Trendy and Stylish Colors for the Year

paintingAre you thinking about repainting your home this year?  If so, then you should consider choosing some of the paint colors that are guaranteed to be “in” during 2013.  Below, we have listed some of the shades that are sure to be popular this year, along with the reasons why so many people are choosing them as their go-to hues for 2013.

Grays and Dark Greens

No matter what the year is, gray is always a great choice for walls in your home.  Gray is both timeless and modern, and depending on the shade that you choose for your home, it can be either dark and relaxing, or light and inviting. Pairing gray with a dark forest green will give your room a nice shot of earth tones, and will make your decorating scheme seem stylish, yet organic and at ease.  This color combination is great for rooms where you want to unwind and enjoy yourself, or simply sit and think.

Rust Red, Warm Yellow, Faded Green

Any combination of these three colors will be ideal for rooms that you want to evoke feelings of comfort and familial intimacy.  These colors are especially popular in kitchens, dining rooms, and great rooms because of the way they complement the palettes of many traditional American dishes.  As with the set of shades described above, these three colors allow you to create an aesthetic that is contemporary but will stand up well against the test of time.  Consider an accent wall or “nook” in one color and surround it with another.

Weathered Blue and Off-White

These two colors are wonderfully relaxing, but also bright enough to take full advantage of the light in rooms that receive only limited sunlight.  Many homeowners like the weathered blue for the way it reminds them of the ocean, while the off-white is reminiscent of a long stretch of sand by the shoreline.  This color scheme is good for those who want earth tones in their homes, but do not want to use darker shades, like deep reds, forest greens, and browns.  It is easy to punch up this décor with bits of accent colors like aqua, tangerine, soft pink or plum.  And as with both color sets mentioned previously, these two colors will work well no matter what other decorations you have in your home, now or in the future.

Fun Crafts for the Winter

C--Documents and Settings-pos.WESTLAKE-My Documents-LAURA-WEB-BABYPAINTING-resized-600When it is cold outside and you are stuck inside your house, it is always good to have something to keep your hands busy and your mind occupied. What better way to stay busy than by working on some arts and crafts that you can use to make the interior or exterior of your home a little more beautiful.  With a little creativity, there are lots of simple and attractive crafts you can make with just the materials you have lying around your home. Keep reading for some examples that will hopefully give you inspiration and spark your inner artist.

Bead Icicles

Want to replicate the beauty of hanging icicles with some materials that will never melt away?  Then make yourself some bead icicles.  Bead icicles are easy to make and can be created by artists of all ages and ability levels.  To make your bead icicles, get a roll of fishing line and a selection of clear glass beads.  For best results, use glass beads of varying shapes and sizes.  Start by tying the line around a smaller bead that will serve as the bottom of your icicle.  Then add other glass beads above that one.  The more beads you add, the longer your glass icicle will grow.

Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes are a classic winter craft that people have been making for generations.  Not only are they easy to make, but also with a little practice, you can make paper snowflakes that will be a beautiful addition to your home’s décor.  To make paper snowflakes, get a white piece of paper and cut it into a square or circle.  Then, fold the paper in halves or into corners.  Cut squares, triangles, circles, and other designs along the edges of the paper.  Once you are finished cutting, unfold the paper and admire your snowflake.

White Rock Snowmen

White rock snowmen are an easy craft that you can place inside or outside once they are finished.  To make them, gather some flat, white rocks and find a few small, back beans.  Stack three of the white rocks on top of each other, with the largest one on the bottom and the smallest on top.  Then, glue the beans onto the top rock.  The result will look like a tiny snowman with two pieces of coal for his eyes.

Tips to Keeping a Warmer Home

silquartette_easyrise_livingroom_5-resized-600With temperatures low and energy prices at an all-time high, this winter it is more important than ever to be clever and frugal about how you keep your home warm.  Fortunately, there are many quick and inexpensive ways that you can make your home more resistant to the cold.  Here are several useful tips on how you can keep your home’s heat in, and the winter cold out.

Check Your Windows

When the weather starts to get cold, you should take a quick walk around your house to make sure that all of your windows are in good condition.  Many homeowners make the mistake of not completely closing their windows after the summer heat departs.  Even if your windows are open just a crack, a lot of heat can be escaping from your home.  One easy way to check if your windows are air-tight is to burn a stick of incense inside your home.  After the stick is burnt, walk around your house and see if you can smell the aroma.  If any of your windows are leaking air, the smell will be especially concentrated near them.  You can fix leaks with clear, plastic coverings purchased from your local home improvement store.

Add Window Treatments

Many window treatments can add significantly to the R-value of your windows. In fact, installing cellular shades is much less expensive and is sometimes more energy efficient than replacement windows!  Consider adding blinds, shades or fabric treatments to your windows to keep the cold out in the winter. The staff at Pucher’s Decorating can help guide you through the many choices in style, color and energy efficiency.

Shut Off Unused Rooms

You may have rooms in your house that you rarely ever use.  If so, it does not make sense to pay for the energy needed to heat those rooms.  Instead, close all heating vents that are in those rooms, and then shut the doors that lead to them.  This way, your unused rooms won’t be heated and your total energy bill will be that much lower.  One other advantage is that when you are trying to heat up your house, you will notice the rooms you do use getting warmer, faster.

Cook More

The more you cook, the warmer at your house will be.  A normal stove gives off a lot of heat, and this heat can serve the double purpose of not only preparing your dinner, but also keeping your kitchen and adjacent rooms warm.  If you cook frequently during the winter, you will notice that your home stays warmer without you needing to set your thermostat so high.  Another useful tip is to burn candles around your house.  Though they only have small flames, candles give off a surprising amount of heat.  Just be careful that you don’t leave burning candles unattended.

Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring – Part 2

mannington-adura-provence-resized-600This week, we look at Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) as another smart alternative to hardwood flooring.  LVT is the fastest growing category in the flooring business.  Why?  Like laminate flooring, it provides the natural, elegant look of wood, tile and stone at a more reasonable cost.  But the real story of LVT is its exceptional durability.  LVT is so durable that many of them are even recommended for light commercial use.

  • Exceptional Durability

Because LVT is constructed to withstand commercial wear and tear, it’s probably “over-qualified” for residential use and can handle high-traffic areas with ease. Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not unusual to see 20-25 year warranties on brand name LVT.   Specialized wear layers (most commonly 20 mil) are engineered to be scratch-, stain-, dent- and scuff-resistant.   Then the floors are coated with urethane to enhance durability.

  • Realistic-Looking

LVT planks feature incredibly realistic photo replications of hardwood, with handsome graining, realistic knotholes, worn saw marks and beveled edges embedded in the wear layer.  This gives the floors the look and feel of real wood finishes at a fraction of the cost.

  • Naturally Water-Resistant

If  you’ve been longing for a hardwood look in your basement or bathroom – moisture prone areas that would normally be “off limits” for traditional wood flooring – this is your floor!  LVT can take water spillage and it’s possible that it may even survive flooding, provided that the floor was installed correctly and that you remove the water ASAP.  Now that’s impressive!

  • Safe & Comfortable Underfoot

Vinyl is inherently slip-resistant, making LVT a good flooring choice for folks with mobility problems, as well as kids and pets.  Plus, LVT is comfortable to walk on.  Because they contain multi-layers of vinyl as well as a resilient backing as the foundation, LVT tiles and planks have more resilience underfoot than hardwood.  It’s easier to stand on for long periods of time and it tends to be warmer underfoot than ceramic.

  • Fast & Easy to Install

LVT floors are either glued to or “floated” over a subfloor.  Although no underlayment is necessary, the subfloor needs to be secure, free of moisture, smooth and level.  This is important because roughness or unevenness of the subfloor may “telegraph” through the vinyl planks, resulting in an unsightly surface and excessive wear on high spots.  The cost and time involved in installation will depend on the condition of the subfloor.  That said, most LVT floors will be less expensive to install than hardwood.  As always, we recommend using trained, professional installers for the best long-term performance of any flooring product.  But the skilled “Do-It-Yourselfer” can save even more money by using special Luxury Vinyl Planks made for glueless installation.

  • Easy to Maintain

Simple damp mopping with a manufacturer-approved cleaner is the recommended cleaning procedure for LVT floors.  Although LVT is tough and durable, if a plank does become damaged, it can be removed and replaced.

mannington-adura-plank4-resized-600Our Favorite Luxury Vinyl Plank

Since its introduction in 2007, MANNINGTON ADURA® has been a perennial favorite of our customers.  In my opinion, it’s the most realistic-looking of the LVT products.  Mannington’s Adura collection features a nice variety of hardwood species, textures and plank sizes.  Adura Planks are available in today’s most popular 4″, 5″, 6″, and also variable width planks.  Take a look at Mannington Adura flooring in “Dockside” (pictured, above left) – a reclaimed and restored wood visual that makes a bold statement in design, color, and character.

freefit-amendoim-resized-600In a field of products known for their durability, Adura is “the best of the best” and is backed by a 20-Year Residential Warranty against wear, fading, staining, de-laminating and defects.  In fact, I can’t think of one instance where a customer has had a problem with an Adura floor.  The floor is that good (and our installers are that good)!

FREE FIT LVT Floors are new to Pucher’s.  When we learned about them, we were impressed by their innovation.   First of all, they’re totally glueless, making them really easy to install.  FreeFit planks feature a suction backing that forms an anti-skid surface between the subfloor & the plank.  FreeFit Planks are dense – the weight of the product allows it to lay flat to the subfloor. So, assuming you’ve got a good subfloor, the Free Fit floor is extremely stable and no glue required!  FreeFit claims to have the best warranty in the business – a Limited Lifetime Residential Warranty & 15 Year Commercial Warranty.  Pictured above, right is FreeFit LVT in Amendoim (Brazilian Oak).

Key Takeaway:  Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and Planks will give your rooms a realistic hardwood look with more durability and for less money!  Now that’s a great value!

Alternatives to Hardwood Flooring – Part I

Who doesn’t love the look of hardwood flooring? 

The look of natural wood grain adds warmth and beauty to any home.  But hardwood flooring is not for everyone.  For one thing, wood flooring can be expensive, especially if you like exotic species, designer finishes or reclaimed wood floors.  Plus, families with active households, children and/or pets may need a floor with more durability.  While hardwood finishes are continuously improving, if you’ve got kids or pets, scratches and dents are unavoidable.  To spare your household the frustration, it’s worth considering some alternatives to hardwood.  With today’s advanced manufacturing techniques, “faux” wood flooring is becoming so realistic-looking, it is often hard to tell the difference between faux and the real thing!   Here are several attractive flooring options that will give you the look of hardwood with more durability and for less money.

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About Laminate

Laminate flooring is popular today in North America and all over the world, although it started as a European innovation. For households and offices which require a low maintenance flooring solution, laminate is attractive, durable, easy to install, and reasonably priced.  It’s a great choices for households with heavy foot traffic, kids, or pets.

Benefits of Laminate

Laminate is a floor you can live on.  In fact, laminates are best known for their durability.  Laminate planks are constructed of three to seven layers of material.  The decorative layer features a photographic image that looks just like natural hardwood including grain, stain color and knots.  This decorative layer is glued and pressed to a high-density core and backing board, which provide structural stability.  The photo layer is then sealed with a transparent, wear-resistant coating that gives laminates their longevity.   This layer makes laminate flooring highly resistant to scratches, scuffs, stains, fading, and moisture.  Laminate floors are so durable, many manufacturers offer 10-25 year, even lifetime residential warranties.

Another thing you’ll love about laminate is that it is fast and easy to install. Laminate flooring can be installed over floors like wood, tile, vinyl or linoleum because laminates are usually “floated” which means they are not fastened directly to the subfloor. All that is required is that the underlying surface be clean, dry and level. The easiest to install are the “Click & Go” laminates (no glue or nails required) that feature a “tongue and groove” design in which planks easily “snap” together and lock in place, making a tight seal that resists even water.  Plus, laminate planks are wider than hardwood planks, so there are fewer boards to cut and the floor can be installed in a shorter time.  So DIY homeowners can save money by installing it themselves.  But even if you use a professional installer, laminate installation costs will still be less than hardwood installation.

Speaking of cost, laminate flooring is about 25-50% less expensive than comparable hardwood floors.  So if you love the look of Brazilian Cherry or wide plank reclaimed barnwood, you can still have that look for a LOT less money!

Last, let’s talk about moisture resistance.  There are some places in your home where hardwood flooring shouldn’t go – basements, bathrooms and anywhere moisture is an issue.  Moisture will absolutely cause a beautiful hardwood floor to warp and gap.  Laminates are constructed to be moisture-resistant and are a perfect way to add the warmth and beauty of natural wood to these areas.  Please note that while laminate flooring is water-resistant, it is not waterproof.  So don’t leave water standing on your laminate floor and wipe up spills immediately.

The Underlayment

One note of caution – when installing a laminate or any other floated floor, always use an underlayment or pad underneath and buy the best pad you can afford.  The quality of the pad is just as important as the quality of laminate you buy.  A good pad or underlayment acts as a cushion between the subfloor and laminate.  It is usually made of cork, rubber or foam and accomplishes several things:

  • Evens out bumps on a poured cement slab or plywood subfloor.  This puts less pressure on the interlocking mechanism of a floating floor and improves its structural integrity.
  • Prevents moisture penetration from the subfloor below into the backside of the floating floor, especially critical in concrete slab installations.
  • Acts as a sound insulator.  All floated floors, including laminate, tend to be “noisier” than floors that are nailed to a subfloor.  You may notice a hollow sound when you walk on floated floors with hard-soled shoes or when your dog runs across the floor.  This can drive some people crazy and many learn about it only after the floor is in.  A sound insulating pad is especially important in rooms on concrete slabs and in condo/apartment buildings where there are people living above or below you.
  • Prevents heat loss, especially in below grade installations.
  • Provides extra cushioning making your floor more comfortable to walk on.

Cleaning, Maintenance & Repair

Laminate flooring is virtually maintenance-free. Routine cleaning requires you only to vacuum, use a dust mop, or a slightly damp (not wet) mop and dry with a clean, white cotton cloth. For damp-mopping, use a hard surface cleaner recommended by the manufacturer.

Laminate floors are tough, but they are not indestructible.  Dropping something heavy can dent the floor.  Dragging something heavy like a refrigerator can scratch the floor.   In the event that the floor becomes damaged, the affected plank will need to be replaced.  So make sure you save extra planks for just such an occasion.

Our Favorite Laminate Floors

I have to admit, I was not a fan of laminate flooring until a couple of years ago when my husband and I  adopted two doodles.   Within six months, our beautifully smooth hardwood floor was littered with scratch marks.  So, we went out and bought large area rugs which ended up covering most of the wood floor.  So what was the point of spending all that money on a hardwood floor?   Another reason I am re-thinking laminate is because there are some really attractive laminate floors available today.  Today’s laminate floors are so realistic-looking, you almost can’t tell the difference!

endless-beauty-laminate-edited-resized-600

Case in point – my current favorite laminate is called Endless Beauty (pictured, above).  It is made in Germany – so you know it’s a quality product.  What’s unique about this product is how the grain and texture is repeated from board to board.  This creates a unique long board visual and mimics how reclaimed wood is manufactured.  You’ll also note how the embossed surface and matte texture gives the floor a natural look and feel.  If you love the look of reclaimed flooring, but don’t want to pay $15 SF and up, stop in to Pucher’s and ask about Endless Beauty.

QuickStep is “America’s Favorite Laminate” and you can see why!  They offer an extensive selection of hardwood species, styles and colors.  You’re sure to find a QuickStep floor to complement your interiors.

quickstep-laminate-girls-bedroom-edited-resized-600You’ll find rustic looks like hand-scraped, white-washed, barnwood and reclaimed wood. In the photo on the left, Quickstep’s White Brushed Pine Planks add a charming contrast in this girl’s bedroom.  The bonus is the floor not only looks great, but it will stand up to years of sleepovers, pets and play.

Note the authentic surface texture of the Dark Wenge Planks (pictured right).  QuickStep offers a wide selection of exotic wood looks like Brazilian Cherry, Merbau and Santos Mahogany.

quickstep-laminate-dark-wenge-resized-600Here’s a more classic look, but still stunning – Quickstep’s Walnut Planks.

Quickstep offers consumers more than just gorgeous hardwood looks.  QuickStep Floors:

  • Are Made in the US
  • Feature Limited Residential Lifetime Warranty
  • Offer longer planks lengths

Key Takeaway:

I hope we’ve convinced you to take another look at laminate flooring.  Laminates give you a lot of bang for your buck.  They are:

  • Economical – Less expensive way to get an upscale hardwood look
  • Durable – Does not stain or fade like hardwood, or scratch or scuff as easily as tile
  • Moisture resistant – Great for kitchens, bathrooms, and basements
  • Fast & Easy installation – Especially with “click and lock” laminates
  • Easy Maintenance

Blinds vs. Shades – Which are Better?

These are basically two types of window treatments, although they come in a wide variety of styles and with lots of options.

Blinds are “hard” window treatments with slats or vanes made of wood, composite, vinyl or aluminum.  They can be horizontal or vertical.  Shutters are a gorgeous alternative but function in much the same way.

Shades are “soft” window coverings made of fabric, vinyl, woven woods or grasses.

When deciding between the two and selecting any type of window treatment you need to consider these factors:

vigtailored_powerrisetwo_bathroom-resized-600Privacy & Light Control

How will you use the room?  Bedrooms and bathrooms have an obvious need for privacy and light control, as well as rooms where you’ll watch TV or work at a computer.  Blinds provide the most flexibility with privacy & light control because they can be raised or lowered, as well as tilted open or closed depending upon the amount of privacy/light you desire.   With shades, privacy & light control is mainly achieved by raising or lowering the shade, but also depends on the type and color of material you choose.  Shade materials range from sheer to light filtering to completely light blocking. (Note that darker fabrics block more light, as the Hunter Douglas Vignette roman shade pictured above  demonstrates.)

graber-cellular-1-resized-600Climate & Natural Light

The right window treatment can actually increase your home’s energy efficiency.  Western and Southern facing rooms receive strong warm light, plus homes in Southern climates or anywhere in the summer require stronger light & heat control.  Energy-efficient window treatments like cellular/honeycomb shades (shown here from Graber) trap hot or cold air at the window.  In a Northern climate, during the winter months or in a North-facing room, you might want to allow more light in to take advantage of the sun’s radiant heat.   Moreover, UV light can damage, fade or darken beautiful hardwood floors and fine furnishings.  In these rooms, you may want to consider window shades specifically made to block UV light.

heritance-truview-childsroom_1-resized-600Architectural Details & Room Decor

Great architectural details, like the bay window (pictured right), take center stage with coordinating wood shutters or blinds.   The clean, tailored lines of shutters and blinds also complement contemporary, classic and masculine interiors.  If you’re going for a more feminine, romantic look you would opt for a soft window shade or drapery.

Also, consider the mix of materials in your room’s decor.  Ideally, you want to achieve a balance between hard materials like wood, tile & stone, metal and soft materials like fabric. For example, if your room has porcelain tile on the floor, wood and metal tables with leather furniture,  the softness & texture of a roman shade will help balance the decor.

silhouette-views-resized-600Your Lovely Views

If you’re blessed with gorgeous views outside, you’ll want shades that completely retract into the headrail or blinds/shutters with larger slats (2′” or more) that preserve more of the view outside when open.  One gorgeous option is the Hunter Douglas’ Silhouette window shading (pictured left) which does both!

Cleaning & Maintenance

In general, blinds and shutters are easier to clean than shades.  You simply dust or wipe down the slats.  Some blinds even feature removable slats!  Shades are a little trickier and are usually just spot-cleaned as needed.  Some fabric shades can be removed and cleaned in the bathtub with mild soap and water.  Our sales consultants will provide you with each manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and care tips.

Key Takeaway:  There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for window treatments.  Our design consultants are window treatment experts and will help you navigate all the options to find the perfect blinds or shades for your home and family.

What’s New in Window Treatments

silhouette-chateauTrend #1 – Texture

This season we are seeing lots of interesting textures in all sorts of window treatments – from wood and vertical blinds to fabric shades, even aluminum blinds!  We think this really adds style points to window treatments.  Let’s face it – most people choose neutral colors for their blinds and shades because they want them to coordinate with other furnishings in their home.  It’s very practical, but also kind of boring, right?  Adding texture to neutrals is a great way to add visual interest and style to your windows.

This season, everything from wood blinds to vertical blinds, roman to roller shades are getting a makeover with textures like grasscloth, raw silk, distressed wood finishes & woven wood looks, and shimmery metallics.  Let’s take a look at this season’s standouts:

Hunter Douglas Silhouette Sheer Window Coverings in Chateau

These light-diffusing horizontal sheer blinds are shown in Chateau, a fabric that mimics raw silk.  The vanes are available in 2″, 3″ , and 4″ to complement any size window, even specialty shaped windows.   In addition to adding texture, color, and style to your interiors, they do a beautiful job filtering daylight and also block 99% of UV light, protecting your floors and furnishings.

chair1Graber Traditions 2″ Wood Blinds in Barnwood

Distressed finishes, like the Windswept Barnwood pictured here, add a weathered look and natural texture to traditional wood blinds.  We really like Graber’s Elite Woods & Unique Finishes Collection which features whitewashed and hand-glazed wood looks, as well as natural hardwoods and bamboo.  Graber also lets you custom match your wood blinds to any paint or stain color!

Hunter Douglas Natural Elements Metallic Blinds

blindsI know you’re thinking, “Aluminum blinds – really?”  The new Natural Elements collection made us take another look at metallic blinds.  This collection features riverstone looks,  sophisticated brushed matte finishes and shimmery, fashionable metallic finishes in Bronze, Nickel and Copper that will highlight any decor.  Made of a special spring-tempered alloy, these blinds have superior resiliency and are extremely durable.  They are also made from 95% recycled aluminum, making them an eco-friendly choice.  Natural Elements will add a lot of style to your home for the money – a great value!

Key Takeaway: 

This season, we’re seeing all sorts of textures in blinds & shades which add great style and fashion to your windows.  Stop in to Pucher’s to see the latest fabric, wood, even metallic looks in blinds and shades. 

Window Treatments that Work with Sliding Glass Doors

Which window treatments can I use on my sliding glass doors besides vertical blinds?

We hear this question from many customers.  The short answer is … almost any window treatment will work on sliders, but some are better suited to large areas of glass.  There are also some cool, innovative products that are not only stylish, they work particularly well in vertical applications.

Before You Go Shopping

  • How much privacy and light control will you need in that room?   For example, if the slider is in a room where you watch TV, you’ll need a treatment that completely blocks light when closed.
  • What types of window treatments are on the other windows in that room and the rest of the house?  You’ll probably want your new window treatment to coordinate with them.
  • Which direction does your slider open (to the left or right)?  For ease of use, it’s better if your treatment opens in the same direction.
  • Measure your window opening (length, width and depth). This information will help your design consultant identify which treatments will work for your windows and calculate a cost estimate.

panel1Panel Track Blinds

  • Wide, vertical panels on a track that smoothly glide open and closed.
  • Available in a wide variety of fabrics, woven wood looks and solar screens
  • Great for Contemporary to Transitional interiors (e.g. Hunter Douglas’ Skyline Gliding Panels, left)

 

shuttersShutters

  • Shutter panels on a bypass track (or bifold track)
  • Adds a clean, classic look plus an unexpected wow factor to your slider (e.g. HD Heritance Shutters, right)
  • Available in stained or painted hardwood panels, as well as economical composite shutters (white, off-white or select stain colors)

verticalVertical Sheers

  • Combine the softness of draperies with the versatility of vertical blinds.
  • Best of both worlds – total privacy when closed; soft, filtered light when open
  • One of our favorites is AdoWrap (left), which features a sheer fabric that can cover existing verticals blinds.  Best of all, the fabric unsnaps and is completely washable!

 

 

vertical2Vertical Cellular Shades

  • Made of single or double honeycomb cells that when closed, trap outside air at the window, providing 20% more energy efficiency than standard verticals (HD Duette Vertiglide, right).
  • Operate on a track, pulling open and closed with a handle (no wand or cords).
  • Available in opaque, light-filtering or sheer fabrics.

curtainsCurtains and  Draperies

  • Fabrics add softness, color and personality to sliders
  • Use a traverse rod that pulls open in the same direction as the door (try a cornice or decorative traverse rod to add extra style)

Vertical Blinds

  • vertical3Don’t rule these out – check out the updated wood, fabric and vinyl looks, like grasscloth, raw silk, faux suede, woven wood and other textures (e.g HD Somner Vertical Blinds, right).
  • Economical, excellent light control and tailor-made for sliding glass doors.

 

Key Takeaway:  Today there are so many gorgeous options to dress your sliders.  The design consultants at Pucher’s can help you find the right one for your home.  Right now, enjoy FREE INSTALL when you buy window treatments over $499 (Excludes shutters & draperies.  Offer ends 9/3/11).

The High Cost of Cheap Paint

C--Documents and Settings-pos.WESTLAKE-My Documents-LAURA-WEB-BABYPAINTING-resized-600We know you’re feeling it – rising fuel prices & an unstable economy are straining your budget. We feel it, too.  When it comes time to buy paint for your home, you might be tempted to look for the cheapest product out there.  But before you do that, consider what paint experts & professional contractors say about about getting the most value for your money.  In general, you get what you pay for.  So buy the highest quality interior paint you can afford.  Here’s why:

Coverage Matters.  Although almost any paint can look good once it’s up on the walls, the biggest factor separating budget brands & premium brands is the effort it takes to get it there in the first place.  That’s why some contractors pointedly refuse to use less expensive paints like those sold at big-box retailers.  The professionals say that in real-world situations, budget paints just don’t deliver the same covering ability as premium choices.  The result is that extra prep work & extra coats are often needed to achieve the same results.  So it’s important to weigh the extra time – and extra paint – an additional coat or two will require against the up-front savings.  This is especially true if you’re doing a big color change or painting a room in a deep, dramatic or bold color.

The pros agree – Benjamin Moore simply offer better coverage than budget paints.  Even better, Ben Moore’s Aura & Regal Select are self-priming, saving you additional time & money; and they are fast-drying, allowing you to recoat in 1 hour.  Do you want to spend Saturday morning painting your bedroom or do you want to spend all day Saturday & Sundaypainting your bedroom?

Think Durability.  High-quality paint is more colorfast, meaning it will stand up to repeated washings, won’t fade or yellow with age and will hold up to repeated washings.

Is it the right color?  How many of you have fallen in love with a color you saw in a magazine, bought a gallon of paint, got it up on the wall and then realized you can’t stand it?  It happens all the time.  The smart thing to do is to take sample chips home, hang them on the wall and look at them at different times of the day to see if you still like the color.  At Pucher’s, we offer 5×9 paint chips of any Ben Moore color that you can take home at no charge.  If you can’t decide between two colors, you can purchase pint-sized Color Samples of an Ben Moore color.  We also have color & design professionals on staff who can guide you on color trends, provide a second opinion or suggest a good paint contractor.

The bottom line – Buying Benjamin Moore paints from Pucher’s will save you a huge amount of time, money & headaches!  You can be sure that the colors you love will be up on your walls in no time and will look great for years to come – or until you change your mind ;)

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!