When you think of flooring, what first comes to mind?
Usually, carpets, hardwood, or tile.
But there are so many other choices you may not have thought of. Different flooring selections that are interesting, very appealing, and functional as well.
Take a look at these examples and see if it doesn’t give you some new ideas to give your home a fresh sense of personality.
They’re presented by YANIC SIMARD, Houzz contributor and Toronto interior designer.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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How often have you looked around your home and thought “If I only had just a little more space.”
Most of us have experienced this at one time or another. While we can’t expand the footprint of a room without re-modeling, there are design tricks that can, at the very least, give the feeling of more room.
Take a look at this infographic from WIMDU, a Berlin-based rental service. They offer 7 decorating mistakes made with small spaces and how to correct them.
Sometimes, it only requires small changes to make a big difference in how a room can be designed to feel larger than it is. The result? A happier home.

7 Decorating Mistakes That Will Make Your Home Seem Smaller [Infographic] by the team at Wimdu

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around

 

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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Do you remember wall-papered kitchens of old?
You may recall the  cute collection of teapots scattered everywhere you looked. Or, it could have been a ceiling border of grape vines . And who could forget the trailing ivy which was a favorite choice back in the day.
The wallpapers of today are contemporary and elegant.
They can be found in almost any design you can think of. Whether you favor subtle or bold, there is sure to be one that catches your fancy. Check out casartcoverings.com for fabulous examples.
Wallpapers can be an excellent design choice in a kitchen, especially where we are so used to seeing paint, tiles, and stone applications.
They can also be used in expected places. Take a look at these photos for ideas you may not have thought of.
TIP: When papering behind the sink or stove, use a professionally coated wallpaper or wall coverings made of vinyl for obvious reasons
1)  Paper applied to an accent wall only.
2)  Add eye-catching interest to the front underside of an island.
3)  Give the range hood its own attention.
4)  Look upward for ceiling appeal.
Traditional Kitchen by Adams + Beasley Associates
5)  Cover the blank area behind open shelves.
6)  Instead of just paint, paper above wainscoting.
7)  Surround your stove.
8)  Use a wall covering instead of tile or stone.
9)  Separate an eat-in area from the rest of the kitchen.
10)  Give your pantry its own personality.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours…
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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What do you do if you’re combining households?
This is a common situation that can bring up a lot of emotional stuff that can create tension in a relationship.
What goes? What stays? How do you decide?
As a designer, I’ve often felt I was playing the role of therapist while trying to reach design decisions with a couple where each felt listened to and happy with the results.
One thing I know for sure is each partner needs to decide what is non-negotiable with each person respecting the other’s choices.
By this I mean a few things, not a laundry list!
Beyond that, Freshome.com did an article that gives some essential tips that can really help
couples solve this situation and make moving in together a joyful experience it should be.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE ” I DO”: ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR COMBINING HOUSEHOLDS

So you and your significant other are moving in together … congratulations! Although combining households can seem like a daunting task, especially when both of you have a lifetime of possessions to account for, the process doesn’t have to be an overwhelming ordeal — all it takes is a little planning and forethought.

Here are a few tips for combining households (and furniture, and decorating styles) to ensure that the move into your home together is a positive experience for both of you from start to finish.

Assess Belongings Before the Move

One of the biggest hurdles in merging two households is dealing with the sheer volume of stuff that you both have accumulated over the years — far too much to deal with while the moving van is parked outside. Take stock of your belongings well in advance of the big day so that there are no surprises.

Each of you should go through your things individually. Get rid of anything that won’t be needed in your new home, and make a short list of sentimental, must-have items that you’d like to be given a place of importance. Once that’s done, discuss your inventories and, above all, be respectful of your partner’s wishes.

combining households - Freshome

Image: Rikki Snyder

Let Space Dictate Compromise

There are bound to be more than a few duplicate items on both of your lists, especially if you’ve been living on your own for a while. Rather than arguing over whose couch is the comfiest, it’s best to let your new space decide which piece will stay.

Think realistically about your new home’s size, shape and aesthetic. Just as a giant, L-shaped couch may not be the best choice for a tiny apartment, modern furniture will probably seem out of place in a historic building that’s full of quaint charm. When in doubt, remember that selling everything and starting fresh is always an option.

combining households - Freshome

Image: Adrian Wilson

Find a Style You Both Like

It goes without saying that your new home should be a reflection of both your styles. For some, that means embracing an eclectic look that allows each person’s personality to shine through. For others, it means deciding on something new that pleases each of your aesthetics.

Take some time to browse through home design sites (such as Freshome) together and see if you can find an aesthetic that you both agree upon. In the rare event that there isn’t much common ground, make sure that each person has a designated space where they’re in charge of choosing the decor.

Combining households with a significant other can feel like a big ordeal, but all it takes is a little preparation. By tackling these tasks with the right attitude and following these tips, you can help ensure that your move will be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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There’s one area of the home that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
That would be the foyer.
Because it’s a pass-through place and not where we linger, it’s often not given the consideration that the other rooms are given.
Yet, the foyer is where we greet our guests, the first place where we introduce them into our home. It also may be the entrance you use and why shouldn’t you feel as gracefully welcomed as your guests?
Here are 11 ways that show how your foyer can be as mindfully designed as all of the areas of your home.
We often paint the outside of the front door, but consider doing the same to the inside as you see in this photo. It’s unexpected making it a wonderful surprise.

If you don’t have a high enough ceiling for a chandelier, you can still find a light fixture that will bedazzle instead of having a plain flush-mounted one.

Beach Style Entry by Ethos Interiors

If you have a small foyer, consider a door with flair such as the one in this photo. The window panes can be glazed or textured if you need privacy.

Another trick for a small entrance, is the tried and true mirror. It bounces light and makes the area feel larger.
Instead of a squared corner table, consider a rounded one. It’s good feng shui as well because it allows energy to flow more easily. This is an exceptional piece. It’s not only an unusually designed table, but with no legs it feels suspended taking up less visual space.

Natural wood and fabric pieces add texture and always have a warm and homey feel to them that make it easy to say “welcome home.”

In a narrow entrance, an unusual and narrow side table, art piece, and a plant are all that’s needed to make a welcoming design statement.
This entry has a rather long hallway, so consider using a wall to display a collection as this owner as done. You start sharing your personal story before your guests have even reached the living room.
Imagine stepping into your home and smelling something delicious like the roses in this photo. Appealing to all of our senses is an integral part of Mindful Interior Design because we use all 6 senses everyday, not just visual.
Another of our senses is hearing, and the entrance to our home can be a lovely place to have wind chimes. Just make sure you’re hearing a soft singing of chimes and not a gong sound which would be jarring and irritating.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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Speaking as a designer, there’s nothing quite like natural fabrics
However, also speaking as a designer, there are situations when using gorgeous natural fibers is simply not wise or practical.
When I owned my day spa in my last professional life, I had a love seat recovered in a beautiful, creme-colored, soft wool. You felt like you were receiving a big hug each time you sat in it.
Needless to say, it was wonderful for about 6 months. With so much use, it started showing wear and tear and stains were not easily removed, if at all. It had been a poor choice and had to be replaced; it was an expensive lesson learned!
Fabric choice is also important if you have children and/or pets, or you simply want easy-care in your home. For everyone, daily living takes a toll in our home.
You want to be practical, yet you also want your fabrics to be beautiful.
Here are 4 fabrics that can offer the best of everything.
VINYL
Vinyl is a synthetic leather that comes in many colors and finishes. It can have the look of shiny patent leather as well as other finishes.
It’s easily wiped clean with a mild detergent and a soft, damp cloth. It also doesn’t tear easily.

In this photo, vinyl has been used as a wall covering.

ULTRASUEDE
Ultrasuede is the trade name for a synthetic microfiber that looks like suede.
It feels soft, plush and sensuous to the touch. This fabric is unbelievably resistant to stains. Ultrasuede has the same long-wear as leather and it’s very animal friendly.
SUNBRELLA
Sunbrella has come a long way since its debut in 1961 as an awning fabric.
Today, it’s chosen as an indoor fabric because of its durability and also because their advanced fabric finishes match the look and feel of fine interior fabrics.
Sunbrella fabrics are available not just for up upholstery, but also drapery and accessories like pillows and throws.
CRYPTON
Crypton refers to its fabrics as the “super fabric” and in many ways it is.
On their website, crypton.com, they show a short video with an upholstered Crypton fabric. They take red wine, blueberry pie, crayon, ice creme, dog slobber, and watermelon and apply it to the fabric (it hurts to watch). Then using a tooth brush and their cleanser, each of the notorious stains are easily brushed away.
Available in a wide array of textures and colors, it’s considered a “green” fabric. The protection is built into each fiber and is also odor-resistant.
There you have it—4 fabrics that allow you to keep designer style and make living easier.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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You’ve decided this is the year to remodel your bathroom.
You have a million and one questions and concerns: what should you budget, should you do it yourself, who should you hire, what are the best materials?
The list goes on and on.
This week’s article addresses all of these questions and many more in a realistic step-by-step workbook that MITCHELL PARKER, Houzz Editorial Staff has written.
It really is a complete “bible” on having a successful bathroom remodel. Even if you decide to hire a designer and/or contractor, you’ll have a heads up before even starting the work.
Many of the decisions will be yours to make, so the more you know ahead of time, the greater your success will be.
Imagine—your bathroom remodel is completed. It came in on budget and the result is even better than you dreamed it would be.
All because you planned ahead so thoroughly.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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 MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
I’ll never forget the day that I saw the color green appear around my beloved Westie, “Watney’s” mouth.
We brought him to work with us each day and it was located in an old building. Consequently, there were a couple of rat poison kits stationed in what I thought were hidden corners. Not hidden enough apparently for my curious dog who loved to eat anything!
Realizing he had found the deadly poison, I rushed him to the vet feeling very scared and  certainly like a bad Mom.
After receiving an emetic, we were sent home to let the medicine take its course which it did over several hours. My poor Watney was exhausted, spent, and totally done in with a low-hanging head. However, the treatment worked, luckily for us all, and he went on to live a good life.
It taught me a good lesson and made me aware that rat poison not withstanding,there are other more benign-seeming poisons that we have in our homes and yards that are equally as deadly and risk the lives of the treasured furry members of our families.
ELLEDECOR.com recently shared an article and photos written by MARIA CARTER from WOMANS DAY that show 12 common plants that can harm and/or kill our 4-legged “best friends.”
We love our pets so much in this country that we spend billions each year making sure they’re healthy and happy.
There’s comfort here in knowing that forewarned is forearmed.
                       12 COMMON PLANTS THAT CAN BE DEADLY FOR PETS [PHOTOS]
Dumbcane
While Dieffenbachia is rarely deadly, it can cause airways of pets and humans to swell up and prevent breathing. Avoid the plant’s sap: It causes irritation to skin and, if it comes into contact with eyes, damage to the cornea.
Rosary Pea
Also called prayer bean, Buddhist rosary and Indian licorice, this invasive outdoor plant houses abrin, one of the most powerful toxins on the planet. Just one “pea” can cause death. Watch out for rustic jewelry made with the seeds: A recall was issued for bracelets made with the peas in 2012.
Larkspur
The genus Delphinium (larkspur) covers approximately 300 species of perennial wildflowers.Alkaloids found in these plants can cause muscle tremors, respiratory paralysis, cardiac failure, and death in both cats and dogs.
Foxglove
Although an extract from foxglove is used in pharmaceuticals for heart failure patients, the plant in its raw for is extremely toxic for people, cats, and dogs. Just a half gram of a dried leaf, or 2 grams of a fresh leaf, can kill a human.
Autumn Crocus
Also called “naked ladies” and “meadow saffron,”crocus contains a toxin that causes symptoms that resemble arsenic poisoning and can lead to death—bloody vomiting, bone marrow suppression, damage to multiple organs, and more.
Sago Palm
A common ornamental tree in tropical climates, sago palm has a mortality rate of 50% to 75% when ingested, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Symptoms include black “tarry” feces, bruising, and liver failure.
Black Locust
The entire black locust tree is harmful, but the bark and shoots are the most toxic. It is estimated that 10% of black locust exposures result in death. Symptoms include nausea, depression, weakness, and kidney failure.
Yew
Never play fetch with a yew branch—a dog could get a deadly dose of the tree’s leaves or bark just by holding a twig in its mouth. Worse, symptoms often go undetected until its too late.
Oleander
Oleander leaves can kill a human, and even take down a 1,500-pound cow, so yeah, needless to say it’s extremely toxic to pets. Symptoms include diarrhea, muscle tremors, difficulty breathing, and cardiac failure.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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Do you have a non-working fireplace or one that you don’t use very often?
You love the look of a fireplace mantel and surround so you don’t want to cover it up.
However, you don’t like the look of the black hole that’s the fireplace box either.
Using your fireplace as a “frame” is a wonderful design element even without the fire.
Here are 22 ways to decorate the firebox minus the fire.
TIP:  If you choose filling the fire box with wood, make sure all of the wood pieces are clean. The last thing you want are any bugs crawling out!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
I’m always looking for unusual table centerpieces for myself and my clients, If it’s something that nature gifts us with, so much the better.
The idea I’m sharing with you this week, comes from landscape designer, ROXANNE KIM-PEREZ. It utilizes simple things that are easily found and not difficult to put together—namely, driftwood, succulents, and tillandsias (air plants).
For those of us living in the Northwest, driftwood is found on beaches everywhere. It’s usually kicked aside like the sand it rests on as we walk along.
But if you really look at driftwood through your artist’s eye, you notice beautiful shapes, color, and texture. This simple  and seemingly common gift of nature becomes a piece of sculpture that time and tide creates and becomes a piece of sculpture—one that you can turn into your own piece of art to be enjoyed for a very long time and with little care.
Roxanne shows you step-by-step, everything you need to create your own “masterpiece” centerpiece. It does require a drill which if you’re uncomfortable using, someone can help you with this step.
Take a look and see how easy this project is to do. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you create something that requires your heart, mind, and hands. You become the artist and how great is that?
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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