Monthly Archives: August 2016

Keeping an Organized Closet

Start with your shoes. Gather all your footwear together and have a good think about what you wear often, the pairs you genuinely love and which have seen better days. Do you really need three pairs of black high heels? Maybe not.

Think about your lifestyle and weigh your choices with that in mind.

Empty your closets and drawers. Get absolutely everything out of your closets and off your coat rack and place it all on the bed. This will let you see the true extent of what you have. (It’s often an eye-opener and will shame you into action.) It also means you can review everything in good light, try things on and make good judgments.

Choose three words to describe your style. As you’re surveying your wardrobe, think about which three words best describe your style. Your interior tastes will inform this too. Maybe you’re “arty, monochrome and modern” or “retro, Scandinavian-influenced and bright.” Perhaps “smart, sophisticated and individual” sums you up better? As you sift through your clothes, pick up each piece and ask yourself whether it fits with those three words.

Keep only what you love. Not sure about something? Hoped you’d find something to go with it or that it might fit you better one day? Get rid of it.

Keep only what you love — that way, getting dressed each day will no longer be an exasperated cry of “I’ve got nothing to wear!” You’ll be surprised at how easily your “uniform” starts to come together once you’ve got a capsule of outfits that automatically define your look.

Have a system for seasonal wear. Set aside everything seasonal. If it’s warm right now, gather up your favorite knits and sweaters and store them away. Do the same for coats, scarves and gloves. Conversely, if you’re heading into the colder months, think about how to make sure those items are close at hand, and store your shorts and flip-flops instead.

Pick out special-occasion wear. There’ll be items of clothing that you wear once in a blue moon, or that hold sentimental value, such as evening gowns, tuxedos or wedding dresses. Store such occasional wear near the back of your closet or in a separate area, as seen here.

Choose a handful of each. Now that you’ve cleared out what no longer fits, doesn’t match your style or only gets worn at certain times of the year, you can get down to business.

Ban excessive loungewear. Many of us keep old clothes as loungewear for the weekend, or for when we’re painting, gardening or dyeing our hair. While it’s useful to have a couple of pairs of old pants, sweaters and T-shirts, you don’t need a whole drawerful. Be ruthless and pare back.

Consider your accessories. Look at your belts, ties, scarves and jewelry. Do they still fit in with your remaining wardrobe? Select and keep only those that enhance your core style.

Invest in a drawer organizer like the one shown. Having everything easily accessible like this will help you make quicker decisions when you’re dressing in the mornings.

Donate what you don’t want. Now that you’ve selected your keepers, pack up all the items you’re parting with.

Best Hardwood Seller of the Day: Antique White!

The Chateau Collection® creates an exceptional time worn look that showcases the character and longevity of a hardwood floor. Natural variation in the very grain exemplifies the true vintage aesthetic of the collection. The otherwise ordinary elements of natural wood are the special attention and in this detail, we give The Chateau Collection® floors its unique beauty.

Specifications

  • Species: European Oak
  • Botanical Name: Quercus SPP 
  • Construction: Engineered
  • Grade: Aged Character 
  • Finish: Hard-Wax Oil
  • Surface Treatment: Smooth with Chiseled Bevel
  • Janka Rating: 1360
  • Installation Methods: Glue-Down, Nail-Down, Staple or Floating
  • Radiant Heating: Yes
  • Wood Description: Straight, long grain in trees cut from large stands. The wood’s texture is coarse and characterized by open pores. Wood harvested from the northeastern areas of the species’ distribution zone tends to be denser and tougher while wood from the central regions tends to be straighter and more uniform.
  • Warranty: Lifetime Structural, 25-Year Residential Finish, 3-Year Commercial Finish

Green Attributes

  • Finished in Hard-Wax Oil, a 100% ALL NATURAL, VOC-Free finish that is non-toxic with no biocides, no preservatives, and benzene-free.
  • Certified 100% Pure by Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), adhering to strict environmental and social standards.
  • CARB-2 compliant, made with a formaldehyde-free adhesive.
  • Meets the E1 and 2012 CARB standards for indoor air quality.
  • Engineered construction, a commitment to producing environmentally sustainable materials.

LEED® Qualifications

  • MR 6 – Rapidly Renewable Materials – manufactured with rapidly renewable raw materials
  • MR 7 – Certified Wood
  • EQ 4.4 – Low Emitting Materials

Enviromental Logos

Using Color in Your Home

1. Keep it cool. When using color in a large space, tone it down to achieve a calming effect. While bold colors can add energy, working with soft, muted colors in restful spaces elicits a feeling of serenity.

2. Create a focal point. Using colors and patterns together is powerful and eye-catching. It allows that one special room to stand out from the rest of your home and become a focal point. Mix different sizes of patterns with bright colors for an even more dramatic effect.

3. Choose a color you can live with. When using color in your home on items besides walls and accessories, make sure that it’s one you can live with for some time. Tile and millwork are pretty permanent, so it’s best not to base their colors on trends that may pass in a year or two.

4. Start small. It’s only natural when moving away from grays and beiges to feel lost and unsure of where to begin. Start with colorful accessories so that you aren’t married to a particular hue. For example, a colored area rug can set a mood without breaking the bank, and you can even change it seasonally.

5. Don’t think you have to be matchy-matchy. Sometimes breaking rules can bring surprisingly good results when it comes to design. Utilize colors that aren’t related to each other to create a free-flowing yet modern space. Mix vibrant shades with a grounding one to add playfulness in any space.

6. Designate a main color for a child’s bedroom. Kids often want to paint their entire room in a favorite vivid shade. Splash it not only on the walls and floor but also in the accessories to brighten up every inch of the room. But don’t be afraid to add little accents, such as the yellow touches in this bedroom, to break it up just a bit.

7. Limit competition. When going with a bold shade, keeping the other colors to a minimum can be a good idea. Stick with neutrals on everything else to create a big effect without making the space look too cluttered or busy.

8. Let opposites attract. Colors that are on the opposite side of the color wheel can bring lots of fun to a space. They create an unexpected quality that adds character and interest.

9. Use color to brighten up the space. Stark white rooms may look beautiful and calming, but the reality is that we need some fun in our everyday lives. Bursts of color will make a white room feel much more alive and active. Even in a minimalist white space, a dose of color won’t detract from a modern, clean look.

10. Follow function without being beholden to it. Determine the function of the room before selecting the colors. A game room, for example, will lean toward a different scheme from a formal living room. Understanding the function will limit color palettes and narrow down choices. At the same time, don’t be afraid to go bold wherever you want, provided a bold color choice is a clear reflection of your personality.

Hunter Douglas Hybrid Shutter Benefits

THE ULTIMATE HYBRID SHUTTER

UV protection: SUNSCREEN FOR YOUR VALUABLES

Protect furniture, flooring and artwork from fading with 99% protection from harmful UV rays when louvers are closed.

Exclusive new Finetech® low-luster finish that beautifully replicates the warmth and character of solid wood, modern new color choices including Crisp White, Swiss Cream and Urban Grey, enhanced frame selections that complement any decor and new rectangular French-door cutout options.

Durable hybrid material: LONG-LASTING BEAUTY

Combining the look of wood with the resilience and durability of man-made materials.

UltraGrain™: THE LOOK OF REAL WOOD

A grain-like finish for a charming and natural beauty that mimics the look of genuine wood.

Truemill® dovetail construction: SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP

Truemill® dovetail construction is one of the oldest and strongest forms of joinery used in woodworking, valued for durability and a long lifespan.

Finetech® finish: EASY DUSTING

The Finetech® Finish coating provides a lasting, micro-smooth satin finish that makes cleanup as simple as dusting with a soft, dry cloth.

UV protection: SUNSCREEN FOR YOUR VALUABLES

Protect furniture, flooring and artwork from fading with 99% protection from harmful UV rays when louvers are closed.

 

Simple Fixes for a Perfect Home

1. Repaint or reface existing cabinetry. If the interior structure of the cabinetry is still sound, refinishing, repainting or refacing (replacing the cabinet fronts) can be a more cost-effective way to refresh a dated kitchen than completely replacing the cabinetry. If the cabinet doors are in poor condition or you want to change the style, consider refacing.

2. New appliances. Swapping out old appliances for shiny new models is one of the biggest-impact ways to make over your kitchen without getting bogged down in a full remodel. And because the cost of appliances and installation is pretty straightforward, it’s easier to plan and budget for this upgrade than projects that might expand beyond your original scope.

3. Fresh carpeting. Stained, worn-out carpeting is a real bummer, and it can be hard to see past it when viewing a potential home. But ripping out old carpeting and putting in something new can make a huge difference in how a space looks and feels.

4. New paint color. It’s amazing the effect color can have on us — remind yourself of this fact the next time you tour an open house with some (ahem) unusual color choices. You can easily (and cheaply) replace any wall color with a beautiful hue.

5. Replace light fixtures. Swapping out dated light fixtures with new ones you love is a quick and easy fix an electrician or DIY-savvy homeowner can accomplish in relatively little time. From modern pendants to Edison-bulb chandeliers, there’s a light for every style and taste.

6. Repurpose a room. Just because a room is shown as a messy kids’ room or workout space doesn’t mean that’s what will make the most sense for you. As you tour potential new homes, think creatively about the spaces you see and try to imagine your own furniture in them. One person’s overstuffed home office could be your perfect sun room.

7. Remove or cover up popcorn ceilings. Not much dates a house like the lumpy, bumpy texture of a popcorn ceiling. Thankfully, fixing it isn’t too complicated, and you’ll soon have a nice, smooth ceiling. The most common method is simply scraping it off, but if there’s any chance that lead and-or asbestos might be present in the paint or the popcorn material itself, you’ll need to cover it up with drywall instead.

8. Add architectural interest. If you love the look of older homes with lots of original architectural details but haven’t been able to find the right one at the right price, it’s still possible to get some of the detail you crave, even in a newer build. Crown molding, baseboards, picture rails and even built-in features like bookcases and bench seating can be added by a carpenter to give a boxy new build added character. It’s an extra cost, but it’s not especially difficult, and it can make a big difference in how you experience a home.

9. Refinish floors. If you’re lucky enough to spot a house with real wood floors, don’t let a dull finish turn you off. While engineered hardwood can usually be refinished only a few times during its life (the number depends on how thick the veneer is) solid hardwoods can take a lot more, so you can have gorgeous, glossy floors (or artfully beat-up floors if you desire) for years to come.

10. Add landscaping. Yard looking a little bare? Adding landscaping, whether a simple DIY job or a landscaping pro’s design and installation, is something that can make a huge impact on curb appeal and, more important, how you feel when you come home each day.

Top 10 Bathroom Trends

Here are great ideas featured in the most popular bathrooms over the past three months.

1. Faux wood flooring. Wanting the look of wood floors in the bathroom without the risk of water damage has led many to embrace faux wood floors.

2. Integrated lighting. The streamlined look forgoes pendant lights from above or sconces to the side of the mirror. It also provides effective lighting at face level, which is ideal for plucking eyebrows, shaving and other grooming routines that benefit from good lighting.

3. Oversize sink. If you’re not a fan of water splashing from the sink onto the countertop or floor, you may want to consider a larger basin.

4. Glass blocks. A shower wall made of glass block — a popular style in the 1980s — is still a sleek look.

5. Bold shower doors. These blackened steel shower doors add architectural heft to a bathroom.

6. Wall panels. If you want a luxe look for your loo, consider adding classic wall panels.

8. Decorative windows. Adding a window to the top of a shower wall is always a great way to bring in natural light. For more visual interest, consider a decorative window.

9. Overhead storage. To make the most out of every square inch, consider adding cabinets or a storage nook all the way to the ceiling.

10. Brass fixtures and hardware. Warmer metal tones have been popular for a little while now, and are a terrific example of how brass fixtures and hardware can warm up a marble-clad bathroom.

10 Cool Ways to Use Hex Tiles

One of the most common requests I get from my clients during a remodel is to add hexagon-shaped tiles. But with so many different options in sizes, colors and materials, it can be hard to know the best way to use them. Here are 10 fresh ways to incorporate these tiles into your home for maximum impact.

1. Create texture. Use hexagons in a neutral space. You can add texture in a subtle way by contrasting the grout with the tile and creating a pattern that mimics the look of a textile.

2. Mix and match. There’s no rule in bathroom design that says you can’t use more than one type of tile. Feel free to experiment. Remember hexagons also come in ceramic, marble and granite.

3. Use them anywhere. Hexagons aren’t just for the bathroom and kitchen. They can create an interesting atmosphere in rooms where the shape is less commonly seen. Besides being a great choice for a backsplash or a countertop, they can be used on an entryway floor or even on its walls.

4. Backsplash. The right backsplash should be forgiving but still gorgeous. Gradient hexagons are up to the task: They’re easy to clean and maintain, hide water marks and, of course, look stunning.

5. Flower power. Depending on the size of your tiles, you can create decorative shapes that mimic flowers large and small.

6. Pretty in pink. Like all tiles, hexagons come in different colors. Try mixing them to create fun patterns and shapes.

7. Splash of color. If you want a pop of color rather than a big splash, consider working just a few colored tiles into the mix. Hexagons are great for having a little fun with your design. A sprinkling of colored tiles will make a kids’ bathroom come alive while keeping you on budget. Order some single hexagons in your kids’ favorite colors for a playful effect.

8. Focal point. You can mix hexagons with rectangular or square tiles as an accent to your space. Use a wraparound line of small colored hex tiles to make a bold statement.

9. Drama. Because hexagons aren’t linear, they create a beautiful graphic pattern. Use them on an entire wall for a dramatic effect.

10. Geometric fun. Have some fun with them and get creative. It’s about connecting the dots so that the tiles become a single entity. No matter how you lay them, hexagon tiles can add a dose of fun and character to a room.

The Best and Worst Kitchen Countertops

Looking for new countertops that will stand up to everyday use? Based on maintenance, appearance and affordability, here’s a look at the three best and three worst countertop material choices.

The Best (Most Practical)

1. Engineered Stone (Quartz): Quartz is the “plug-and-play” alternative to marble and granite. While quartz can be pricy, it doesn’t require the sealing or constant maintenance of natural stone. If you have a busy kitchen, consider quartz. It’s resistant to spills, burns and scratches.

Winning factor: Maintenance

2. Butcher Block: Wooden countertops require a regular mineral oil rubdown. But, depending on your desired look, some finishes require less upkeep than others. Butcher block countertops come in several types of wood that can be stained to match any interior design. A quick sanding and refinishing will also hide stains and scratches or update the look of your countertops altogether.

P.S. You’ll never need a cutting board again.

Winning factor: Aesthetics

3. Laminate: Today’s laminate isn’t like the bubbled Formica countertop you had growing up. In fact, modern Formica is available in numerous styles that mirror expensive materials like granite and marble. Laminate countertops also come in a variety of designer patterns and solid colors. Aesthetics aside, laminate is significantly more affordable than any other countertop material.

Winning factor: Affordability

 

The Worst (Least Practical) 

1. Marble: Yes, marble looks great. But when it comes to maintaining your investment, you’re in trouble. Marble countertops are notorious for their susceptibility to chips, scratches, stains and gouges. If you’re an avid chef (or even just a casual cook), it’s best to avoid marble.

Losing factor: Maintenance

2. Grouted Tile: Grout has a tendency to collect kitchen mishaps (resulting in off-putting discoloration). If left unchecked, blemished grout will give your kitchen the appearance of perpetual dirtiness — and nobody wants that.

Losing factor: Aesthetics

3. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel countertops are expensive to install, and they require eagle-eye maintenance to avoid scratches, smudges and dents (which result in additional costs). If you’re a serious cook and aren’t concerned with costs or blemishes, stainless steel is hard to beat. But, if you’re looking for a moderately priced, easy-to-maintain countertop, avoid stainless. If you don’t have the budget for stainless, consider cheaper alternatives like quartz or granite.

Losing factor: Affordability

Art and Wine Stroll

DANVILLE – Experience the best of what downtown Danville has to offer as you enjoy a fun-filled evening of art, exquisite wine tasting and delicious food samplings.

You’ll indulge in the area’s finest wines as you make your way throughout downtown Danville and the Rose Garden Shopping Center via a trolley which will shuttle you to and from the Rose Garden. Have fun with live music performed by local favorites during the evening. Your $35 ticket includes a commemorative wine glass to add to your collection. Grab yours early as they sell out fast! $15 Designated Driver tickets are also available for non-drinkers, entitling you to food samples and non-alcoholic beverage offerings.

The Art & Wine Stroll is proudly presented by the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization with a mission to enhance the growth and development of local businesses. Events and fairs sponsored by the Chamber not only bring enjoyment to the entire community, but also offer opportunities for residents and businesses to foster a cooperative community spirit.

13th Annual Art & Wine Stroll
Thursday, August 18, 2016
6-9pm
Downtown Danville

Creating a Perfect Landscape

The entry garden sets the stage for your modern home. In traditional home designs, a relatively solid exterior wall defined the house’s edge. The modern approach was to make the home’s exterior walls largely of glass and create a garden wall that defined the “edge” of the house, making the garden as much a part of the home as any other room.

Why not take the entry garden further by creating an enclosed outdoor space that ties itself spatially to the interior? To achieve a comprehensive modern vibe, take the same care in the selection of garden walls, fencing, plants and pathways as with your interior finishes and furniture. Here’s how to design a high-impact visual front garden.

1. Create harmony through materials. Coordinate the strong geometric design of the home with the entry garden through materials. Many of us delight in a rambling and verdant garden, but to achieve a modern success, borrow from the more geometric lines of your home.

One of the best ways to achieve this connection is to carry the floor materials from your indoor space to the outside. Material choices for this can range from classic bluestone to the harder granites and concrete. These materials are low maintenance and create a seamless continuity indoors to outdoors.

2. Embrace the entry garden as an outdoor room. To take your entry to a higher level, go beyond creating a space you pass through. Think about how you might like to use the space, perhaps as an intimate seating area. If space allows, consider a larger seating area or perhaps a fire pit for evening marshmallows.

An outdoor room needs definition to make it comfortable. A screen offers privacy but still lets in some light and allows breezes to flow through.

3. Add a gate. A gate for your entry garden helps create a sense of privacy, separating it from the public realm. The gate can also be a way to mirror the finishes and materials used in your home’s interior.

A wooden gate can tie your entryway into the home’s siding.

4. Include water. A water feature with a soothing splashing sound is the secret to a walled entry garden. The white noise transports us from the busy outdoor world into the home’s realm.

5. Keep it simple. Understand and be realistic about your interest and time availability for maintaining the garden. When it comes to planting, less is often more.