The Shoes Of The House: Engineered Hardwood And Parquet Flooring

As I perused social media sites this morning,  a blog post link from Rashon Caraway, a.k.a.  Mr. Goodwill Hunting  inspired me.

Inspiration is everywhere, and today it came from Mr. Goodwill Hunting’s words and not from one of his trademark thrift finds or a vintage ensembles.

To quote Rashon, “so always remember ladies and gentleman, it’s not how much something costs, it’s how you wear it.”

Yes it is, and that fact remains the same through both fashion and interiors.

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Flooring is the literal and figurative foundation of a house.

It can easily be considered the shoes of the interior design and decor ensemble.

If you channel your inner Sex and the City recollection, Carrie taught us the shoe is as essential to to the look as the couture or vintage piece of clothing.

In terms of interior design and decorative selections, flooring ties it all together in a stylish, comfortable and functioning package.

As it is with shoes, style comes before comfort.

See what I mean?

Hardwood FloorsArmstrong

Stylish and comfortable flooring choices exist without the shocking price tag.

Engineered hardwood and parquet flooring are wonderful alternatives to traditional plank hardwood floors.

Parquet flooring is composed of similar or contrasting woods such as oak, walnut and cherry in grades of laminates, veneer  and solids.

shaw floors1

Laminate flooring is the least expensive option.

Laminate is faux-wood pieces married to a base such as particle board and contains no actual wood.

The easiest way to explain laminate floors is in layered terms.

laminate-flooringHouzz

The top layer consists of clear resin protecting the second layer- a photograph of real wood.

Flooring photoshop, if you will.

How’s that for an explanation?

The next two layers are comprised of wood composites, fiber board and melamine for absorption and stability.

Veneer parquet is solid wood attached to a material such as plywood.  Solid parquet is exactly that, solid wood.

The designs are created by placing the wood(s) in both angular and geometric formations.

parquet flooring1, 2

Engineered flooring is produced by adhering three to five layers of plastic laminate veneer with real wood.

Engineered wood flooring is not a laminate.

Engineered flooring is both moisture resistant and a green product.

hardwood flooring

Flipping, building, and remodeling houses over the years, Dave the Builder has installed and refinished his fair share of solid hardwood floors.

refinishing-hardwood-floors1

We’ve had solid hardwoods in two of our personal homes, and currently have engineered hardwood floors in our dining room.

Which do I prefer?

Based on price, quality, appearance, and ease of upkeep, I’m going with engineered hardwood floors.

engineered hardwood flooringMohawk Flooring

engineered flooring

These cost efficient and sustainable flooring choices come in a wide range of design and finish options, quality grades and price points.  

Engineered hardwood and the grade choices of parquet flooring offers consumers excellent options in the flooring selection process. 

 

 

It’s Formica Laminate And It’s Spectacular!

Change is a wonderful thing when it is all about improvement, and Formica laminate is changing and improving with the times.

vintage kitchen Formica laminate countertopPinterest

Formica laminate introduces the 2020 Living Impressions™ Collection featuring 180fx® Laminate patterns covering the modern to the traditional to the sophisticated kitchen in artisan style.

2020 Living Impressions™ Collection

2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
White Painted Marble – Black Painted Marble
Watercolor Porcelain – Watercolor Steel

Gone is the basic get the job done approach to kitchen design of past decades and designs.

water-color-steel-brushed-bronze-toned-aluminum2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
Watercolor Steel

Stylish function and performance is paramount to today’s kitchen design. Into consideration  place high on the list of kitchen design and detail priority.

black-painted-marble-hotel2020 Living Impressions™ Collection
Black Painted Marble

Sourcing, showing, and telling you all about the latest product designs and news regarding kitchen design, home furnishings, and decor products is an exciting and enlightening process.

When a product grabs and holds my attention I label it share worthy. Formica laminate has done just that.

Formica light countertops

Calacatta Marble – Neapolitan Stone
Calacatta Cava – Antique Mascarello

Calacatta-Cava-Formica1Calacatta Cava

Brand leaders often become the verb of the product line.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory hilariously demonstrates my point as he explains not all hot tubs are a Jacuzzi® in the video clip below.

Dave the Builder and I are both guilty of “verbing” one product line in particular.

We refer to all laminate countertops as Formica.

Why?

With both of us coming from construction, remodeling and design backgrounds, I guess you could say we were raised on the Formica brand.

Dave the Builder and I cut our kitchen flipping-remodeling teeth on the Formica brand of laminate countertops.

The majority of the houses we bought in our flipping days were built circa 1940-1960, which meant the kitchens were lacking in suitable features and style details.

metal trim edge

Retro was not throwback chic at the time, and although Dave is a master at reworking and re-imagining existing features to update and visually please, the outdated metal edge trim was the first thing to go.

Design trends ebb and flow and personal style choices evolve, but one thing remains a home improvement constant.

Wide Planked Walnut

Black Walnut

Construction, design, remodeling and renovation budgets favorably respond to quality products that deliver on all design points, offer impressive decorative results, and accomplish the project with an affordable result.

Formica granite laminate

Formica 180fx® Laminate offers the luxurious look of a full granite slab.

Petrified Wood with Etchings Finish

Taking today’s kitchen decorative details into consideration, Formica has perfected the look of granite, offering chic pattern choices in colors, textures, and patterns reflecting preferences popular in today’s kitchen design market.

Yes, decoristas, it’s Formica laminate and it’s spectacular.

Formica=patternsI asked Dave the Builder if I could get his feedback on this post.

Very impressed.

How could you not be?

The striking pattern choices meet with the design guidelines and tastes of today’s homeowner.

Formica laminate remains a quality, time tested, affordable, durable, sustainable and decoratively impressive product choice.

 

Just so you know disclaimer:
This is not an official product review or paid advertisement post.  Safe to say Formica® Brand does not even know I exist.  I’m just following the original intent of this blog;  Places In The Home- A Design Show and Tell. 

Curb Appeal Ideas

It’s time to consider curb appeal ideas to update, refresh and spring spruce up the look of your home’s exterior for the upcoming season.

Curb appeal goes a long way in making the right first impression- style lives here!

Feast your eyes upon these curb appeal ideas.

curb appeal ideas

Inexpensive exterior updates range from outdoor lighting-to decorative brass and copper accents-to simply painting the front door in a spring spectacular color.

Infuse new life into drab and winter beat flower beds with colored mulch, tired patios and walkways with stones and pavers.

Afternoons and rocking chairs go together so very well.

Dave the Builder refers to our front porch as his office.

The man makes his best plans out there.

Our front porch rocking chairs tend to be full most afternoons with the neighbor men of our street aka the neighborhood patrol.

Spring is for cleaning up and summer is for sprucing up!

painting rocking chairs

Refreshing existing paint colors or going with an entirely new palette guarantees instant update wow factor.

Freshening up  for the summer season begins with a Lowe’s run and a fresh coat of paint.

My late father (pictured in the above image) utilized every opportunity to rock the hours of a spring and fall day away.

Valspar paint colors

We’re rockin’ the Valspar Maple Taffy.

It complements the colors in the brick and pops up against the shutters that shall forever remain painted in Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black.

Updated Refresh:

painted-rocking-chair

It seems when we undertake one project it encourages the wheels of home improvement to turn and the ideas to flow.

fern-rocker-dusty-miller

Freshly painted rockers begets freshly painted shutters, and freshly painted shutters means we might as well paint the trim.

Sherwin Williams paint colors

Trim color choices in the running are Sherwin-Williams Rice Grain and Sherwin-Williams Nacre.

Neutral with a splash of gray, brown, or green keeps the look just this side of vanilla.

Notice the lantern in the above image- it’s on the move to our kitchen, replacing the one in the image below.

Update:  It ended up better serving our decor needs as the dining room chandelier.

lantern-fixture-bronze-gold The hunt is now on for a new exterior light fixture.

Update: A new recessed LED retrofit downlight keeps the exterior porch light on.

porch-light

One home improvement project does tend to lead to another, but the new and improved look makes it all worth it.

Now that’s better!

Cup Pulls & Camellias

Like most everyone at the first of a new year,  I’m recharged and ready to embrace new projects like updating cabinet hardware.  January starts things fresh, new, and in this case, blooming with color.  With major rain and the potential for flooding forecasted for the rest of the week, it was time to trek to the backyard to retrieve a bouquet of color.

A spring color tease beautifully overshadows this week’s dreary, rainy, and wintery color palette.

inspiration

Listening to the all Beatles, all Rolling Stones station on iHeart radio reminds me time is on my side for only a few weeks until taxman time rolls around. I will be knee deep in paperwork which means the office, kitchen, man cave and possibly the dining room will temporarily be out of photo/staging commission.  In the meantime, I’m going to see how many small projects team Places In The Home can meet and master.

Dave the Builder handles the installation of things like handles, pulls, and decorative hardware on cabinetry.  He penciled this installation in on his schedule and here we are.  Small edits, updates, and accent additions breathe new life into the look of a space.  Updating cabinet hardware gives instant and decorative gratification.  The idea was to add cup drawer pulls to this high use, high traffic section of drawers, complementing the existing cabinet knobs and keeping the integrity of the finish and the look.

With juxtaposition being the goal, the small drawer and liquor cabinet door hardware were purposely not changed.  Dave measured the center for the pull placement and new holes, drilled two new holes in each drawer front, and from the backside of the drawer screwed the cup pulls into place with a Phillips head screwdriver.  The pewter hammered cup pull handles were purchased from ebay for $1.25 each.  Arts and Crafts~Mission accomplished! It’s on to the next project- the lantern light fixture redo.

Love your style!

 

Street Cred & First Impressions: Create Curb Appeal

Interiors float my boat, but it is crucial to the overall design to create curb appeal.

What is the first thing seen by neighbors, guests or potential buyers?

Minnetonka Shingle-Style

TEA2 Architects

The back of the house may be the brains, but the front is the decorative brawn.

Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC- Traditional Exterior, Dallas Dan Piassick - photography

Ellen Grasso & Sons, LLC

Summer seems as good as time as any to spruce things up around the old homestead.

Let’s look at a few big impact, small investment ways to create curb appeal around the old homestead.

create curb appeal

Shut the front door fabulous is not difficult or expensive to achieve. Painting an existing front door is a sure way to create curb appeal.

Color guarantees instant paintifcation will come knocking.

glossy-blue-front-door-brass-handle

Erica Burns Interiors

A decorative entry door kick plate, door bell, house number display, and door hardware

curb-appeal-brass-kick-plateBetter Homes and Gardens

chime-button-081203016708

The Pineapple is widely regarded as a sign of hospitality.

Let welcome ring!

peacock-blue-front-door

P2 Design

Knock, Knock!

Who’s there?

Theodore!

Theodore who?

Theodore knocker is beautiful!

Bronze door handle fist & ball door knocker

Bronze Door Handle Fist & Ball Door Knocker

A door knocker is a great way to enhance the look of an exterior entry door.

A new or refreshed mailbox will garner street cred aka curb worthy attention.

mail-slot-front-door-curb-appeal

Sarah Berry – DecorPad

Spray paint is the power tool to keep stocked in your DIY home projects toolkit.

It has the power to affordably transform items into stylish home decor.

There are at least 50 shades of flat, gloss or metallic gray and other colors that can invite a pop of color to the street party.

metallic-spray-paint-krylon

I want to share two inexpensive outdoor planter ideas that will add color and unique individuality to your front porch and walkways.

First up: terracotta pots painted with spray paint.

terra-cotta-pennington-plant-pots

Bright pops of color go so well with your annuals, perennials, herbs or ferns.

4 Terracotta Pots In Wire Basket

Your favorites will stand out against the backdrop of a clay pot painted with  flat, hammered, gloss or metallic spray paint.

Take the curb appeal party from plain to front porch palette perfection with a can or three of spray paint in your favorite designer color.

light-blue-front-door

Curb appeal is not strictly a spring or summer consideration.

As seasons change, so do outdoor decor options.

I like to suggest items that make the transition from season to season while sparing the pocketbook.

Bright colors with a whimsical twist take to a summer color palette, but they also keep beautiful company with the classic neutrals and deep rich tones of fall outdoor accessories.

dark-outdoor-throw-pillow

Toss an outdoor throw pillow in seasonal colors, patterns, and textures here and plant a full of fall color croton there, and you’ll effectively and affordably warm up the place without missing a beat.

exterior-lantern-light-mounted

Dering Hall

Exterior lighting adds ambiance, direction, and safety to an entryway.

exterior-lighting-lanterns

Solar walkway lights, landscape lighting, hanging and wall lanterns, and sidelights can be found at home improvement and discount retail stores in a large variety of finishes to coordinate with the style flow you are trying to achieve.

shutter-dogs

Southern Living

Shutters and trim hardware frame windows in additional exterior wow factor.   

Love the look of board-and-batten shutters trimmed out with forged iron shutter dogs!

fall-shutters

There’s no better time than curb appeal o’clock to put a fresh coat of paint on the brick, soffit, fascia, shakes and shutters.

Weekend paint party, anyone?

painted-bricks-shutter-window-planters-exterior_AFTER_detail_160404_503238.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.1449HGTV

First impressions make lasting impressions.

Investments to the front of the house to create focal point curb appeal interest brings impressive results and big returns.