Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Let's look at Wood Flooring - Hardwood and Engineered Hardwood

Do you wonder what is the best flooring for your home.  There are so many products on the market today it is fabulous but also can be a bit daunting. Certain flooring is best in certain spaces.
Some of the options are - Hardwood, Engineered Hardwood, Laminate, Cork/Bamboo, Ceramic, LVT,  Stone, Carpet.

Let's look at wood first.  What is the difference between engineered hardwood and hardwood?  Solid Hardwood will expand or contract due to changes in moisture content. Cupping or gaping can occur in our varying humidity conditions.  It is best to keep your selection to no wider than 4 inches as the wider the flooring the more pronounced the cupping and gaping. Solid hardwood should not be used below ground due to this fact.

That is where Engineered hardwood comes into play.   Engineered floors are real wood and are made by adhering a solid hardwood face layer to a sturdy multi-layered plywood core which are placed in opposing directions.  It is more stable and durable.  It is also excellent value since  you are only using an expensive top decorative layer, you are saving money.  This multi layered construction is a greener choice since use less trees than hardwood.  The plywood core is made of rapidly renewable wood grown on tree farms. This application also allows for wider planks without cupping or gaping.  Engineered flooring can be used below grade and will not be affected by the moisture.

Refinishing - We know you can refinish a solid hardwood floor.  What about engineered hardwood? Yes you can but it is not promoted to sand and refinish either type of floor. The original factory finish is strong and should not be removed.  This can void the wear warranty.  Refinishing is a long and arduous process and will not yield the quality of the original finish.  The other advantage to engineered flooring is that it can be used in basements over heated subfloors.  Because of the multi ply core construction they are more stable than solid wood.  You cannot install hardwood in a basement due to moisture changes.

Another decision to make is the finish - matte, satin, high gloss, wire brushed, hand scraped, distressed and on it goes.  So many options and so many beautiful wood floors. These days people are choosing their floors by texture rather than just colour.  Texture is more tactile and stimulates our senses. Adding texture can be a good choice with a growing family or pets as marks will be less visible. This give a rustic look while a more sculpted floor gives a contemporary look.

These days the finishes are so durable you only need to vacuum your flooring.  Do not use water or wax on hardwood or engineered floors

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Trends - Whats in and What out

Yesterday I attended a Designer event at Brentwood and the guest speaker was Shai DeLuca-Tamasi, a regular design expert on Cityline.  He spoke about some of the trends that are "in" and those that are "Out".

What's In......

One of the biggest things we are seeing and have seen for a little time now, is the use of mixed metals.  There is no matchy matchy of all one metal and this givves greater interest in the space.  We see  it in jewellery and as we know what is on the runway comes to home decor.

Mixing Black with Metals gives a dramatic and rich look

Our look is now a more liveable, relaxed and less staged look which is refreshing and welcoming.   We are less formal in our lives and now in the way we design and decorate our homes.

Area rugs that are painterly in style which is like a Monet painting.  There is an inconsistent pattern which doesn't show dirt as much as other designs.  This is great for families with young children.

Remember the 70's - well smoky glass is back.  Not sure if I like this trend.  I will let it grow on me

The colour Indigo which is a mix of black and navy is being seen and gives a moody look that can be quite elegant and very french.  Mixing it with carrara marble or mother of pearl is lovely and softens it

We are seeing graphic tiles more and more and now continuing as a popular and easy to maintain product - back painted glass which makes for easy clean up on a backsplash or shower.

What's Out....

The ombre look has been overdone and is not being seen as much.

Chevron - only being used in small amounts not as much as previously done

Mirrored Furniture which is still popular to a point but in the more formal design spaces

Text as decor has been around a while and now is going away

Friday, June 5, 2015

Cannes has it all - Sun, Fun and Architecture

To anyone following this blog I have an amazing announcement - Air Transit found and returned my lost tablet with my vacation photos.  Wow, I am delighted!  Now on to the 2nd part of my trip to France.

Yes, Cannes has it all - fun in the sun, great food and amazing architecture.
Our second week in France took us to Cannes, (known for the famous film festival.and pronounced Can like a can of anything)
A stop at the famous french flea markets is a must

A block from our hotel is the historic Suquet districe which is lined with
shops and cafes right down to the waterfront

A cafe closed during the early day
open at night

 Home of the famous Cannes Film Festival on the waterfront

 A short boat ride away and we landed on the Abbey of Lerins, where Monks wander and
practice as well as make wine

 A little retail therapy in the Suquet

All the fabulous yachts in Monaco

I couldn't come to Cannes without looking for the area that housed interior decor items - Le Hoche