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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thinking About Painting?

We are a flooring store, yet we answer questions about paint every day. Paint is such an integral part of your décor, that some decision about paint is almost always involved when we are discussing flooring with customers. We have paint color samples in the store, and use them constantly with clients, as paint and floors go hand in hand.  Statistics tell us that in the US, 120 million gallons of paint are sold each year.  Seems like at least a million are sold right here in East Cobb!

Frequently, the customer is giving the room a total update, and changing the paint is only a part of their plan. Sometimes we help customers who have bought a home and are "making it their own", changing many things. And there are customers who are only updating the flooring. In all of these instances, the paint is a subject of discussion, whether it is the color or the type, whether it is starting from zero, or making it work with existing factors. 

What colors are we discussing with customers? Nothing new or shocking- gray is THE color. Or we should say the colors. Gray is a color with a thousand faces. Silver gray, blue gray, green gray, light gray, dark gray, beige gray, it's safe to say that gray is a perfect neutral paint color. Gray is particularly versatile because of its wide range of undertones. A warm gray or greige (a combination of gray and beige) paint color mostly resembles a beige and can be used almost interchangeably. Cool grays can appear more modern and fresh, with soft blue and green undertones.

The beautiful secret about gray as a neutral is that you can go much darker than you may feel comfortable going with a bolder color such as blue or even beige. Gray somehow manages to stay crisp, even in the darker shades. The key is finding the right gray for your space and sampling colors thoroughly.

Gray is now the most popular color for fact, it has surpassed white!  If you look at Sherwin William's Top 50 paint shades, the #1 shade is a gray! In fact, among the top 50 paint shades, 20 of them are gray.  And, if you look at paint color fan decks, you'll see there are tons of grays. But, how do you know the right gray to use?

For our painting customers, we have found that 80% prefer cool tones, while only 20% prefer warm tones.  Warmer tones are made with oranges, yellows and reds. They remind us of heat and the sun. They tend to make rooms cozier and more intimate.  They tend to make spaces look smaller.  Cooler tones include blues, grays, greens, light purples (or mixtures of that include these undertones).  They are more soothing and calming. They remind us of the sky and water. Cooler tones tend to recede and hence make spaces look larger.

Gray is both chic and neutral.  So, it's super easy to decorate with.  It goes with almost everything. It's the new neutral.  Years ago, it was beige, but beige has become a bit boring.  Most homeowners, especially those that focus on style, opt for the trendier and more stylish gray.

This collage shows just 5 of the variations of gray, and how they compare. Next to each other it is easier to see the various undertones.

Sherwin-Williams Amazing Gray SW 7044 is a warmer gray void of any harsh yellow undertones. It has a lot of depth and works well with warm whites to create a modern, monochromatic palette. Try it in a kitchen with white cabinets and a few accents with some pops of color.

Behr's Irish Mist has an airy quality, making it the perfect paint for a darker bedroom or bathroom without a lot of natural light. There is a slight warmth to this pale gray that makes it much more versatile than a traditional beige neutral. Pairing it with crisp white trim will help lighten the color even more.

Agreeable Gray (SW 7019) is such a versatile and neutral color that it can be used as a wall color in virtually every room, including bright and low light rooms.  Whether it's your living room, dining room, kitchen, family room or bedroom, it blends and complements almost all colors, making decorating a breeze. It works in bathrooms, laundry rooms, offices, and well, just about everywhere.

What's Next?
For 2020 paint colors and trends, so far, things are leaning blue.  Blue paint colors account for two of the first five paint colors of the year already announced.  Other trending colors are soft peachy pinks and shades of green.  Colors to look for all refer to nature and comfort with names like "First Light" "Light Drizzle" and "Dragonfly". The non-blue colors are softer, more muted shades---not quite pastels, but with the same relaxed appearance as some chalk paint colors.

Overall, though, all the "colors of the year" announced so far are about building a calmer, more soothing environment in your home, which indicates that creating a comfortable home that energizes and replenishes could be a major theme in the year to come.

When making decorating decisions, just keep in mind the things that are easily changeable versus the things that are more semi-permanent. While it may be an annoyance, the things that are more temporary are paint, hardware, light fixtures, area rugs, and window treatments. The things that are more fixed are a bit more work (and money) to change out, for example flooring, backsplashes, cabinetry, and countertops.   So paint away for a quick refresh to your room that doesn't break your budget!

What Do I Do First?
One question we are asked by many customers: Do I paint first, or do my floors first? USUALLY the answer is paint first. If you are painting the ceiling, that is ALWAYS first. Consider if the baseboards are being replaced or not, because that will affect your painting if there is a possibility of a height change. Carpet can scuff the baseboards during installation, so we usually advise paint first, but keep a small amount of touch up paint handy.

If you are ready for new floors now and painting is a down the road project, no worries.   A reputable painter will not have any problems protecting and not damaging your brand new floors. Also, by doing the painting last, you don't have to worry about touch-up painting, painting your primed shoemold, etc.

Design Tip
Create your own oversized paint swatches by painting two coats of the color(s) you are considering on a large piece of poster board.  When dry, use double-stick tape to adhere to the wall. Move the poster board around the room(s) as needed, and be sure you are using the sheen you are considering.  Look at the color under various lighting conditions, daytime, at night, cloudy day, etc. If one color does not look absolutely perfect in every room, go with the color that looks best in the room or at the time of day that is most important to you visually.

I Was Floored By Enhance
Amy in Woodstock writes:
"Enhance Floors & More did a really good job. They're very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We had our living room carpet replaced by one of the Big Box stores not that long ago. It was not worn out, but we were having issues with it and needed to replace it again. When the owner came out to measure for the new carpet, he explained to us why it was doing that and what we should choose differently so moving forward we wouldn't have any more problems. He helped us choose the right carpet for what we needed. I appreciated him sharing that knowledge with us. The installers were very professional, polite and nice. In addition to the living room they replaced all of the carpet upstairs. It took 2 days to complete the work. They moved all of the furniture and were careful to put it back in the correct place, even asking before they left if everything was where it should be."

Thank you, Amy.  We are always here to help and share the knowledge we have gained from 34 years of selling and installing new floor coverings.  We know this carpet will perform much better for you than the previous carpet did.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Print and Save

Halloween will be over in a little over 24 hours, and Turkey Day approaches! The one day a year that ihas been all about the food from the beginning.  Yes, we are grateful, and yes, we are happy to be together, but part of learning about Thanksgiving in elementary school is "What did the Pilgrims eat?"

Thank goodness we have other choices than they did back then, and grocery stores! It seems the entire month of November is a whirl of grocery shopping.  It is good to have a timeline for everything that needs to be accomplished before the entire family gathers, because there is so much to accomplish and chances are only one of you to do (most of) it. 

If you are like most of us, the menu does not vary much year to year, because everyone has those traditional dishes that must be there. Deviation from those would surely cause grumbling at the least, and possibly a decision to celebrate at someone else's home next year (hmmmm, maybe not such a bad thing!) Consequently, you probably have the routine down pat, but it never hurts to have things organized and written down to keep yourself on course. 

Once you have created the menu, you should build a custom timeline. Figure out what you're going to do when. What can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen? What must be done the day of the holiday meal? Pay close attention to oven times and temperatures when making the timeline for the day of the meal. Many holiday recipes can be prepared up to a month in advance. We suggest starting your preparations as early as possible and breaking the work up into manageable chunks, so you're not overwhelmed when the house is filled with guests.

A couple of tips from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, include: Start ahead, with a few things that can be made way ahead of time or frozen on Monday and Tuesday, then using Wednesday as a prep day for chopping, brining, peeling, prepping, so that Thursday can just be about assembling and finishing the cooking/baking process.  Place printed recipes for remaining dishes on island with corresponding non-perishable ingredients (cans, spices) sitting on top of each recipe. Saves time, especially when others are helping in the kitchen.

We are going to give you a few others that don't make it on every other list, but we think these are really good ones:
When you are deciding on the menu, consider your available cooking formats: Oven, stove, microwave, and grill or smoker. Plan so that you are not overcrowding any of them. If you don't have a warming drawer (or maybe even if you do) you may need some "out of the box" ways to keep things warm. How about the grill set on the lowest possible flame? 

Gravy, potatoes, or other items can be kept warm in the crockpot. And how about your cooler? It insulates warm just as well as cold!

Do you use a tablecloth and cloth napkins? Make sure they are clean and ready to use.

Check the salt and pepper shakers. Make sure they are filled.

De-clutter the kitchen counters. Most of us have at least one thing sitting there that got left there for no good reason, and doesn't belong there, but just ended up staying there. If the Air Fryer and the Instant Pot are out but will not be used for Thanksgiving, find them a temporary home.

Decide on serving pieces- dishes and cutlery. Having a written menu will help you make sure you have both for everything you'll be serving. 

Don't forget pitchers for whatever you'll be drinking! 

Put a little post-it on each platter or bowl with the name of what will belong there.

Inventory your plastic bags, foil, plastic wrap, as well as other leftover and take-home containers.  You may need to buy a stack of new plastic containers as these seem to disappear over the course of the year!

And here's the last and possibly most important tip: Early November, go through and clean out your refrigerator and freezer. If you can't identify it, throw it out! If you saved it thinking it could be better next time with some "fixin' up," throw it out! If it has lost its' color or is freezer burned, throw it out! (Here is where you will recover some of those leftover containers, by the way) You will not miss it! And you'll make room for a host of new goodies!

While we don't sell leftover containers here at Enhance, we do sell lots of things you may need before November 28. We have beautiful new backsplashes, area rugs in stock and rugs to be ordered, and Flexi Felt feet for your furniture. We can probably fit you in if you have a flooring project to be done- but hurry!

And when you come in to see us, please remember that we have a Must Ministries barrel to collect for their Thanksgiving Food Bank. A donation of 5 items gets you an Enhance Goody bag. Please help us fill the barrel to the brim!  

Design Tip
Time changes this weekend, and it will be dark when most of us get home, and the temperatures are getting cooler.  Adding -- or relocating -- seating around a fireplace creates a cozy new space for fall fellowship. No fireplace? Pull a couple of sitting chairs in a corner, add candles for ambiance, and keep a stack of books close at hand.

How Much Does It Cost?

Look at this beautiful LVT (luxury vinyl tile) we just installed in the kitchen, breakfast area, and utility room of a Roswell home.  $3600 was the cost to get rid of the old, ugly, worn sheet vinyl floors and have brand new timeless marble-look floors installed. Gorgeous!  And yes, if you come in today, we can get your project completed by Thanksgiving!

I Was Floored By Enhance
Janet in Marietta writes: "I love my floors. The selection process was easy thanks to Sandy and Fran. The installation was quick, and the guys were very professional, honest, and clean."  
Thank you, Janet.  You were great to work with.  Don't forget to tell your friends and neighbors about us---you'll earn Decorating Dollars just by spreading the word!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Halloween Treats For You

Treats, Please....No Tricks!
Halloween is a holiday loved by kids AND adults.  Adults love the costume parties.  Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, haunted houses, classroom parties, but especially the candy.  But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

Here are some ways to prepare for the Big Night!

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove from around the front door anything ghosts and goblins could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes or lawn decorations.

Replace burned-out bulbs in outside lighting.
Restrict pets so they do not jump on trick-or-treaters or escape from the house.

Use a glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage kids (and adults!) from filling up on Halloween treats.

Consider purchasing non-candy treats to give out, such as pretzels, popcorn, or stickers.

Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Try to ration treats for the days and weeks that follow.

Adults should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.  If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you.

●Agree on a specific time children should return home.

Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car.

Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.

Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.

Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.

Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.

Consider taking your kids to a Trunk or Treat.  These are community events, usually at shopping centers or churches, where adult volunteers decorate the back of their cars for Halloween, load up on candy, and come sit in a parking lot for kids to "trick or treat" from car-to-car. Kids come in the hundreds, fully dressed in Halloween costumes and holding out bags or plastic pumpkins for treats. The adults get to socialize and be creative while seeing all the cute and scary costumes.  Many parents find this safer than going door to door.

We hope you and your family have a safe and happy Halloween!

Here's A Treat For You
Mohawk offers our clients a financing option thru Synchrony Bank.  6 month and 12 month interest free financing plans are available.  This month, when you open a new Mohawk credit account and make a purchase on the card of at least $999 at Enhance Floors & More, you'll get a $100 Visa Prepaid Card by mail.  All you have to do is fill out a quick rebate claim form online!  It's like free money!  

Ask your Enhance Floors Design Consultant about taking advantage of this great offer.  Hurry, purchase must be made by October 31.

Design Tip
October brings the crisp, autumn air. Layering with sweaters, cardigans, and scarves complete the fall aesthetic. Having warm, cozy layers are the perfect way to warm up outside and feel cool inside. Practice this same concept at home-- layering creates a sense of warmth and coziness. Lay a beautiful area rug over a wood floor, or even over a carpet for a cozy seasonal update. We have a selection of gorgeous rugs here in the store, and many more available by special order.

We Need Your Vote
Last year, thanks to your votes, we won Atlanta's Best Place to Shop for Flooring. We are nominated again this year.  We would really appreciate your vote so that we don't relinquish our "crown"!

We are nominated in two categories:  Best Carpet Company and Best Flooring Store/Company.   You can vote in as many other categories as you wish.  Here's the link:

You only need to give your email address to vote.  You can vote every 24 hours until October 25. 

Thank you for taking a quick moment out of your busy day to vote for us!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Helping You Fall For Fall

Fall is finally just around the corner! The leaves will be changing, and the weather will be cooling down (hopefully!)  Fall in our area is just beautiful! And the change of seasons is always exciting to experience.

Incorporating seasonal touches into your home throughout the year makes each season more enjoyable because you get to participate in the beauty. It doesn't take much to transition your home décor. Just a few small changes can make a big difference. Here are a few ways to get you and your home ready for the new season:

Before you get started adding fall elements to your décor, store away anything that has a distinct summer feel. If you always decorate for the seasons, then you'll already know what you added and can put away. However, if this is your first time transitioning your décor from one season to another, go around your home and look for anything that makes you think of summer, such as items in bright colors, like blue, orange, coral, and yellow. Vacuum or dust those items as needed, then store them until next summer. This is also a good time to decide that some pieces are ready to be permanently retired!

During the fall, it's all about rich, warm scents. You can start subtly with fragrances that have a musky undertone, then as we get further into the season start bringing in more traditional scents like pumpkin and cinnamon. To really create a wonderful aroma, make a simmering pot of cloves, apple, orange, cinnamon, and vanilla. This can be done in a crock pot, or on the stove. Check every once in a while to add more water as needed.

One of our favorite ways to transition décor from summer to fall is to switch out or add cozy textiles, such as accent pillows, throws, guest towels, and even window treatments. Choose warm colors and rich textures like knits, wools, and flannel. On your bed, simply changing the sheets to something heavier and adding a blanket over the foot of the bed will completely change the feel.

It's a lot of fun to update your vignettes for the seasons. During the fall, think rustic touches and accents from nature: branches, leaves, moss, and even seasonal fruits such as apples and pears look great as fall décor. Be sure to incorporate pumpkins and gourds, because these are the very essence of Autumn. Other organic components to include in your "still life" vignette are apples, pears, acorns, pinecones, and kumquats.

While summer is all about the sun shining bright, fall is about cozier, warmer lighting. If your home has a lot of natural light, you can dim it a bit with heavier curtains. Candles are a wonderful go-to for fall vibes, but there are safer alternatives. There are battery and electric candles on the market that offer the same look and feel, or warmers that melt scented wax without a flame.

Here is a fun activity:
Take 3 items, one from each list, and compose your vignette--
  1. Mums, cinnamon and cloves, fall color throw pillows, gold and orange leaves, decorative branches
  2. Pumpkins or gourds, apples, corn stalks, acorns, or pinecones
  3. Lanterns, wheat sheaves, hay bales, copper pots, or scarecrows
Work it all together, group the smaller items in a bowl or fun jar, and instantly, it's Fall!  Now wasn't that easy?

One last thing we love about this time of year in Atlanta-- it is the perfect time of year to spend more time outside! So, dine alfresco, or just go sit and read a book, the weather is delicious!

And remember, as you are preparing your home for colder weather and sorting through the closets, to round up outgrown winter coats and shoes, and extra scarves and gloves to donate. Someone out there can use them!

What's New At Enhance?
Subway tile has been a very popular choice for years. Traditionally white and glossy in 3" x 6" rectangles, these timeless tiles go with everything, even the busiest granite countertops.  The new look in this classic tile is larger sizes like 3" x 12" and 4" x 24". Recent arrivals include new colors (lots of blue shades!), new textures, and gorgeous glass tiles. Come in today and see what's new in subway tiles.

How Much Does It Cost?
The larger format subway tiles do cost a little more than the 3" x 6" size.  We just installed a large kitchen backsplash in a 4" x 12" embossed (textured) subway tile for $1800.  This included an upgraded stain resistant grout.  

I Was Floored By Enhance
Image result for engineered hardwoodLinda in Cumming recently wrote this 5 Star Review: "My husband and I hired Enhance Floors & More to redo our entire first floor. They did an outstanding job removing all old carpeting and engineered hardwood, and installed beautiful high quality engineered hardwood throughout and tile in our mudroom entrance. They removed carpeting from our front staircase and installed beautiful oak treads, newels, railing and wrought iron balusters. We also hired them to paint the staircase, which I highly recommend; the finished product is gorgeous. They are very knowledgeable, skilled and professional and kept us informed throughout the process. We plan to hire them again next year to do our second floor and another staircase." 
 Thank you, Linda.  We really enjoyed working with you and look forward to seeing you next year for the upstairs!

Friday, September 13, 2019

What Should I Be Looking At

What's HOT Besides the Weather???
Wow, this summer has been brutal-- hot, hotter, hottest! But in spite of the weather, we have been busy, busy, busy! What have we been selling, and what are we installing? Lots:

Berber Carpet. Yep, Berber carpet is back! And we love it. This is not the Berber your parents had back in the 70's. First of all, the fibers are better. Back then it was mostly Olefin, and it was rough and scratchy. Today's Berbers are nylons, wools, and Triextas and they are soft and subtle. The loops aren't as big, making the carpet less "Playroom" and more "Living Room."  Back in the day, most of those Berbers were multicolored, adding to their casual appearance. Now they are mostly solids, and appropriate for any room in the house. Just beautiful!

What else is selling like hot cakes?  Wide plank wood and wood-look floors. By wide we mean 7, 8, and even 9-inch planks. We have beautiful wood floors that look like they could have come from a stately old castle in Europe, gorgeous colors, rich patina, and a little bit of distressing. And following that trend, we also have luxury vinyl plank (LVP), laminates, and porcelain floors that have those same features, for those who want the look but not the maintenance of wood. Some of them are amazing! We have even done combinations of these, for customers who wanted wood in the "living" areas of the home, but LVP or porcelain in the kitchen and bathrooms, for instance.

Which is wood? Which is LVP?

They're both gorgeous, aren't they? The bedroom is LVP, the living room is wood!

We have some other finishes that are sizzling hot! Porcelain tiles that resemble real stone are so beautiful we are looking for reasons we need it in our own homes! Look at this one called Fitch by Happy Floors-- so dramatic, so eye-catching, yet so durable. We think it would be a perfect choice for a den, an office, or a super masculine master bath.

And here is another of our favorites-- Contessa by Interceramic.
Contessa is so regal, so classic, and sooooo easy to live with! She is beautiful with grays and beiges, and is subtle and quiet, content to let other surfaces be the star of the show.

When it comes to laminates, we are in love! Laminates are "becoming" popular again-- they never stopped being great with us. Anyone with kids, dogs, rowdy husbands, or teenage boys should consider laminates, especially now! The looks are just incredible, so realistic and current, and this stuff holds up to all that an active family can do, and more, and most of it is water resistant. Great floors!

Mohawk's Beachside Collective, color Beachwood, is one of those floors that brings back memories of summers with the sand between our toes, no cares, and a warm breeze blowing. Who doesn't want to be there again? A beautiful color, with distinctive oak graining, and a timeless worn-soft look. 

If you are looking for something a little darker and more rustic, we recommend Rustic Legacy, also by Mohawk. It is a beautiful floor. We have it installed here in the showroom in the color Earthen Chestnut if you'd like to see it in person. The lineup also includes Cedar Chestnut, Knotted Chestnut, and Sandcastle Oak. 

The new Mohawk laminate line-- referred to as Revwood, is gorgeous, with lots of new introductions-- colors and textures galore, and water resistant! We also carry other beautiful laminates-Mannington Restoration, Beau Flor's Eternity line, and The Signature Collection. They are all so good looking, you'll have a hard time deciding! Mannington even offers three Chevron patterns that are color coordinated with their regular plank floors.
And usually carpet doesn't bring the ocean to mind, but how about a color called Clamshell? Dreamweaver's Exceptional II is an update to their original style Exceptional, but with all new colors, and their best-selling color is Clamshell-- that is wishful thinking! But really, if you are looking for a GREAT price on a GREAT quality carpet, come in and see Exceptional II! Other colors include Morning Fog, Sawgrass, and Iced Coffee, so we have colors for all your beach moods. 

Design Tip
Flooring stylings are influenced by fashion-- hot colors in clothing, for example, make their way into home décor.  Colors you see on the runway will start showing up in stores like Pottery Barn and Target, in paint colors, in rugs, and yes, in flooring.  The downside of this is that older colors start feeling stale and get discontinued.  

We've told you about floors that are in vogue right now.  What isn't? Frieze and super shaggy carpet. Parquet floors.  Small bathroom floor tiles like 4" x 4" and 6" x 6". Very dark, almost black hard surface floors.  Narrow width (2 ¼") wide hardwoods. Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry and bamboo. Not to say that we don't install these products anymore (hey, if you love something, it's your house, own it!) but there are fewer and fewer offerings and choices these days.  If a manufacturer does not sell much of something, it's not cost effective to keep making it.  

Every week a client calls or comes in wanting more of a product we installed 20 years ago, and the first thing we do is see if it is still available.  Sometimes it is, but not always. Your design vision may become floors that complement what you already have, particularly if you do not want to replace everything.  Luckily your Enhance Floors Design Consultant can help you find products that will be beautiful in your home, once you get past the initial shock of what you have and love no longer being made.

How Much Does It Cost?
We just worked with a client that is expecting a lot of family staying over for the holidays.  They needed to finish off some rooms in the basement to add more "hang out" areas. We installed a little over 600 sq feet of LVP, 7" wide in pretty brownish-red tones, for $4500.  The space is now warm and inviting, and very much on trend.

I Was Floored By Enhance
Mickie in Smyrna writes: "We replaced carpet in our den with new hardwoods, installed on premises. They were stained to match existing hardwoods in the adjoining room that are 22 years old. We were astonished how well the staining person matched the existing hardwoods (ask for Mike, he is a genius!). You can't even tell where the old hardwoods end and the new hardwoods begin! Friends and family told me there would be dust everywhere from the sanding and that did NOT happen at all. We also replaced 22-year-old carpet with new carpet in our very large living room. Everybody showed up when they said they would, they all were quite nice and respectful and communicated perfectly despite language differences. From start to finish I loved working with all parties involved. We have had nightmares with other companies or contractors but the experience with Enhance is the BEST experience we have ever had in 33 years of home ownership!"
Thank you, Mickie, for the great review.  We are so glad that adding to your older existing wood floor turned out perfect.  Enjoy your "feels brand new again" home!