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Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Products Arriving Daily

It's that time of year that new and exciting products are coming in.  Our key vendors are always creating new styles using the most fashion-forward colors in home décor and are constantly researching and developing new and cutting edge technologies for their flooring products.  Let's take a look at what's new at Enhance.

We have a brand new series of HGTV HOME carpets:  10 styles and 40 brand new colors, with a focus on the grey tones that are very popular today.  One of our favorites is Design Expert (what a great name---you will feel like one when you choose this carpet!) This style is available in three different thicknesses with a starting price point of $2.85 per square foot installed* with pad.  

Do you need the toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet?  If so, hurry in and see the Mohawk Essentials carpets.  This is a collection of SmartStrand Ultra Forever Clean carpets featuring 4 fashionable "cut and loop" carpets, 4 solid colored plush carpets, and two styles with practical color flecks.  One of these mid-priced styles is sure to be perfect for your active home! 

Norton Oak is a new hardwood floor style, also from the HGTV HOME collection.   It comes in three classic colors, Golden Wheat, Gunstock, and Red Oak Natural, with two different plank widths.  The ScufResist Platinum finish with a lifetime wear warranty makes this a great choice for your home.  This is an engineered wood floor, so you can have this timeless oak look regardless of your subfloor.

Mohawk Flooring has introduced some amazing new colors to their Brindisi Plank hardwood line.  Grey is an ongoing trend, and Brindisi Plank now has some gorgeous grey tones, from very light to darker shades.  One of the few engineered woods that is ½ inch thick, it is also beautifully handscraped; and is available  in maple, oak, birch, hickory, and walnut.

Orchard Walk is a new birch engineered hardwood floor.  Handscraped, wide planks (almost 5 inches) and beautiful colors to choose from, including Peach Brandy, Old Walnut, Apple Bark and Hard Cider.  And did we mention the price?  Only $4.99 per sq. ft. professionally installed*!

In laminates, Mohawk introduces new Rustic Legacy line.  It is the first laminate to have the ArmorMax Finish, which is one of the toughest finishes in the business.  Combined with incredibly realistic oak and chestnut looks, Rustic Legacy is sure to be a top seller.

Wood look tiles are on trend right now, and Interceramic has mastered the look with their new Amazonia porcelain tile.  It is offered in 3 different plank sizes and 4 realistic wood tones.  If you thought you wanted wood floors, but for whatever reason (moisture, intense sunlight, heavy traffic, etc.) you decided it was not a smart choice, this is certainly a product you should consider. 

If you have ever wanted the look of limestone or slate, but without the maintenance and high cost, check out Mohawk's two new tile looks.  The Trovato line features the look of vein-cut limestone in a porcelain with 4 stunning colors and one size, the popular 12" x 24".  The Volturno line is a stunning slate visual.  Also a porcelain, it comes in several different sizes (great for a patterned installation) and four color choices.

Karastan Live Beautifully Sale
We can all live beautifully when we select and purchase a beautiful new Karastan carpet this month.  Almost every Karastan style is on sale, with prices as low as $2.99 per sq. ft. installed*!  Hurry in now and select the perfect new carpet for your home.

Calling All Review Writers
Did you know that you can now write reviews on the Better Business Bureau website? Many clients check us out with the BBB before purchasing----please take a few minutes and write a review of your experience with Enhance Floors & More. Thank you in advance.  Here's the link:

Design Tip
Nothing sings "spring" like the color yellow. A large white bowl or tall glass vase of lemons can bring instant and simple style into the kitchen for spring. We love using beautiful objects that have a dual purpose for display and function-lemons are a fresh, inexpensive style accessory that are also readily on hand for cooking!

You can also bring vases of yellow daffodils into your living area to make the space happy.   Forsythia is another beautiful yellow choice to welcome spring (finally!) into your home.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

12 Ways to Beat the Home Décor Blahs

Do you sometimes feel like your house has a case of the blahs?  That you are tired of the same old décor day in and day out?  Fear not.  There are simple and easy ways to change things up without splurging on a total overhaul.  Go on a treasure hunt around your house, clear some shelves and counters and start fresh, swap out mirrors, table lamps, throw blankets and pillows; rotate artwork into more prominent positions, rearrange books and try out new objects on the dining table.
Here are some ideas to help along the way.

Treat yourself to a new shower curtain. One panel of fabric or plastic can completely change the look of your bathroom. A large-scale image can make a huge design impact, while a clear plastic curtain can make the room seem more open. 

Paint something a shockingly bold color.  Or a lovely pastel, or glossy black or Shabby Chic-style distressed white - it doesn't matter. It's only paint, after all; if you're sick of something, take a risk.You can paint one wall, the inside of your closet, a door or a piece of furniture.

Swap a mirror.  That large mirror over the powder room sink may crave a new home over your dresser or buffet, while your powder room may want two smaller mirrored medicine cabinets in its place.

Update your staircase. Replace your banged-up wooden balusters on your staircase with new wrought iron balusters in the design of your choice.  New balusters will make your house feel like it is a model home! Baluster options range from simple (twists, knuckles, baskets) to elaborate (scrolls, butterflies, and decorator finishes like Oil Rubbed Bronze and Stainless Steel.)  Your staircase design allows you to showcase your personality and creativity in what will become the new focal point of your home. 

Create a gallery wall. You may have some art pieces that have been out of rotation, are leaning against a wall on the floor or haven't been framed yet. Now's the time. Gather a stack of your favorites, clear out a big spot on the floor, spread them out and experiment until you find a composition that makes you happy.

Add unexpected pieces to a tablescapeUse different heights, textures and shapes on your table. Candlesticks, hurricanes, books, statues, small framed photos, bowls, shells, driftwood, beads and boxes are all good pieces to try. Many designers recommend arranging things in groups of three or five.
Rearrange your display shelves.  This is a big project, so make sure you have a few hours to complete it before you get started. Otherwise, stacks of mementos and books on every other surface will get on your nerves and you'll lose momentum. Take everything down - this is a great chance to give your shelves a good dusting. Look in other rooms for objects like bowls, vases, artwork and other items that appeal to you, so you can mix them into your arrangement.
Clear your kitchen counters.  Clearing your kitchen counters and leaving only a few items will refresh your view of the whole kitchen.  Everyone who comes over will talk about how clean your kitchen is. Coffee grinders, espresso makers, spices, olive oil, cookbooks, toasters, tchotchkes ... while you're at it, take a look at how many hanging dish towels you have. Take everything out of the room and reassess.  Perhaps you'll create a more organizedcoffee station, with all the fixings in the cabinet overhead. Maybe you have been buying ground coffee lately and the grinder is just cluttering up the space. Perhaps you'll find a place near the range to tuck all of your spices. Maybe you have a lucky rooster who needs a more prominent spot.

Mix up your kitchen table or dining room chairsGather every chair that's comfortable for dining in your home and experiment. For a rectangular table, give host and hostess chairs a try. You may want to alternate two different styles or have a completely nonmatching group.

Create a new centerpiece.  Forage outside for branches, buy 12 lemons at Kroger, get crazy with some moss, splurge on an orchid or, my personal favorite, spend $5 on a bunch of tulips at Trader Joe's and drop them in an tall vase, letting them fall where they may.

Change up your bedding.  This is a very simple thing to do that will have a huge impact.  You can brighten, darken, go modern or traditional, the possibilities are endless. Even something as easy as flipping your comforter and switching the pillows can go a long way.
Toss a throw. This is the easiest one by far, so we saved it for last. Raid your bedroom, linen closet or trunk for a blanket you may never have considered for your living room. Instantly update your sofa by draping it over the back.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What's NEW in Hardwoods?  

Wood floors that intentionally look OLD.  Shiny is out.  Texture is in.  And what is great about these popular floors is how practical they are to live with.  If you have an active family, pets, or just want a floor you don't stress over, be sure to take a look at these stylings:

Distressed Hardwood Flooring  Refers to the intentional scratching, scraping and/or gouging of a flooring surface to create an antique look. This is accomplished either through hand scraping or by machine. Floors that are distressed by hand will be unique - no two floors will be alike. Floors distressed by machine will likely have a repetition of pattern. These processes may involve aging the wood, wire brushing, sculpting, and hand scraping the hardwood floor. Doing so results in a floor with a lot of texture and character.

Hand Scraped/Sculpted Hardwood  Historically, floors were hand scraped on site to make the floors flat. Today's hand scraping is done at the factory to give the floor an antique or vintage look that duplicates generations of a family walking on the floor.  A truly hand scraped floor will be unique - no two hand scraped floors will look the same. A worker at the wood floor factory has taken a hand tool, and has worked the surface of each board.  This creates a series of broad, shallow grooves on the surface of the board that makes each one unique. The scraping may be heavy or soft, depending upon the style.  Hand scraped boards add real depth to the flooring surface and hide scratches, dents, and wear extremely well.  Less expensive styles use machines or templates for scraping, resulting in a series of ridges and troughs that may be repetitive and artificial.  Most hand scraped floors cannot be refinished.
Oil Rubbed Finish  A very low gloss finish typically using tung or linseed oil instead of polyurethane or wax.   An oil finish tends to make the wood look old, as if it had been installed for a very long time. Prior to the use of various urethane and similar finishes, oil was the traditional finish of choice.  Since an oil finish actually penetrates and becomes a part of the surface of a wood floor, it is not nearly as sensitive to scratches and wear as a urethane finish.  It is easy to maintain (DIY) and, if done properly, will prevent a wood floor from ever having to be sanded.

French Bleed   A blackened bevel.  This dark color usually draws a contrast between color of the planks and the bevel serving to outline each board.  Essentially, a French bleed is intended to give the look of a very old wood floor that has collected dust and dirt between the boards that no amount of sweeping will remove.

Random Width  Some flooring is installed as random width, meaning the boards are not all the same width. At least 2 different widths are used in the installation.  Historically, floors were laid with random width boards so as not to waste any of the wood from the log.

Reclaimed Wood  Wood that is salvaged from an old building or structure or from a lake or river and refinished for use in another project.

Whitewash  Also called pickled, is a light-colored paint (not a stain) that enhances the grain of the wood, making it stand out and look particularly textured and worn.   Gray tones are also being used with this treatment. 

Wire Brushed  A way to distress wood flooring by machine for an antique look. The weathered yet elegant authenticity of wire-brushed hardwood flooring uses wire bristles to remove the sapwood (soft wood) and open and enhance the wood grain, adding texture & character. The matte finish hides scratches and wear particularly well.

Design Trend's back!  Popular looks include geometrics, textures, and metallics.  Consider wallpaper for an accent wall, entry, or bathroom.  Today's wallpaper is different.  There is Easy Change Wallpaper that you can remove simply by pulling off the wall - no special tools or solvents needed.  You'll find today's wallpaper is more dimensionally stable (won't expand or contract) so no more seam separations and it is breathable - preventing moisture from being trapped below paper.   There are choices that are fully washable, too.

Enhance Floors & More does not offer wallpaper, but we recommend the HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams Wallpaper Collections.  These styles are designed to coordinate perfectly with the HGTV HOME paint color collections as well as the beautiful HGTV HOME carpet, wood, and laminate flooring that you can see at the Enhance Floors & More Design Center.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All About Free Standing Tubs

One of the big bathroom design trends is using a free standing tub. Installing a freestanding tub can be quite a project -- larger than expected, in many cases -- but it is almost always worth it.   Free standing tubs are deeper than an average tub, can be placed in different locations in a bathroom, and can give a bathroom an antique or modern feel.

One of the first things to think about before installing a free standing tub is where you are going to put it. You'll usually need a large bathroom.  Because these tubs can be installed almost anywhere, most people don't place them against a wall.  But installing a tub in this manner means that it will take up more floor space in the bathroom.

Free standing tubs come in many designs, sizes, and materials, depending on your taste and budget.The price may give you sticker shock, as most are in the $3,000--$7,000 range.Of course, you will not have to spend money on material and labor to build a deck around a free standing tub, which can save you a few hundred dollars.   A couple of things to think about when considering cost is the material (cast iron or fiberglass), brand, and design of the tub and faucet. You'll also want to factor in the cost of demolition, a plumber and a carpenter (if the ceiling below the bathroom will need to be removed to access the pipes), and new flooring.

Plumbing is a big factor in changing to a free standing tub.  The plumbing for these tubs is visible, unlike that of other tubs.  You will need to choose your finish---brushed nickel, chrome, and polished nickel are popular choices.  There are also several faucet styles, including gooseneck, rim, and hand-held. The faucets come in many designs as well. Again, it depends mostly on your personal taste and budget.  Unfortunately,
this beautiful plumbing does not magically appear next to your tub. The drain and water pipes must be run beneath the floor and up through the floor, so you'll have to consider how accessible and easy it is to reroute the plumbing. You should consider how easy or difficult this will be while deciding on where to put your tub. There may be a lot of cutting and drilling through beams in order to relocate the plumbing. Also, assembling free standing pipes, faucets, and drains can be a tedious process. There are also plumbing codes to consider, such as a faucet spout being located one or two inches above the tub rim.

The average cost in 2014 for a bathroom remodel in the Southeastern United States was over $15,000.  As you prepare your budget be sure to factor in that using a free standing tub will add a few thousand dollars to the cost.  Please come in and discuss your dream bathroom project with an Enhance Floors & More Design Consultant.  We're here to help!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Win A Free Floor

How do you make a great product even better?   You make it easier to clean, easier to maintain and easier to enjoy.   On December 5, Mohawk took the wraps off SmartStrand Forever Clean.  Forever Clean is billed as the "toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet."  The new fiber innovation features new Nanoloc spill protection technology, which gives SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets the highest level of beauty, comfort, and performance available.

What is SmartStrand carpet?  A fiber from DuPont and Mohawk that was launched in 2005.  SmartStrand is made of Triexta, which was the first newly classified fiber by the FCC in over 50 years.  Two years later, SmartStrand became the carpet industry's first bio-based product.  Most recently, SmartStrand Silk, unveiled in 2012, set the standard in premium soft carpet.  More than 7 million homes have been installed with SmartStrand in the past decade. 

To prove how easy the carpet is to clean, Mohawk is partnering with the Tough Mudder challenge, a competition which includes as many as 12 miles of obstacles over a muddy, rugged terrain at different locales held nationally throughout the year.  Mohawk and SmartStrand Forever Clean was at the recent World's Toughest Mudder challenge, held in Las Vegas last month.  This particular challenge culminates the yearlong Tough Mudder series with a 100 mile course completed over two days.  Featured on the Las Vegas course were two pieces of SmartStrand Forever Clean-one where the participants camped for the night and the other at the end of Mud Mile, the muddiest portion of the challenge-proving the product's durability and resistance to dirt and wear.  The 12 x 20 piece on the Mud Mile was brought to Mohawks Solutions Convention with a steam cleaned X celebrating SmartStrand's tenth anniversary and serving as proof that Forever Clean is, in fact, the toughest, easiest to clean carpet on the planet.  These pictures were made by Elisabeth Stubbs at the Convention and show the exceptional cleanability of SmartStrand Forever Clean carpet.   

To continue the message, Mohawk will participate in additional Tough Mudder events throughout 2015.  Will Dean, CEO of Tough Mudder, stated that "despite our best efforts to destroy this material and get it covered in mud in a way that would make my mother's hair turn grey, we're able to clean it."

Enhance Floors & More has installed thousands and thousands of square feet of SmartStrand carpet over the past 10 years.  You may even have SmartStrand in your home; the styles are always among our very best sellers.  And now the best has gotten even better!

New Year, New Look, New Showroom
We will be closed Thursday, January 1, for New Year's Day.  And then our huge Grand Opening Celebration begins on Friday, January 2.  

You can win a free floor and other exciting prizes just by coming in and registering. There will be food and drink and informative seminars, including wine and cheese and lunch and learn events.  (Don't worry if you are out of town for the holidays, the fun and festivities last the entire month of January.)  Please check our website or Facebook page for our schedule of events.  You may be one of our lucky winners!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Do I Do First?

Ready For A Bathroom Update?
One of every five homeowners surveyed by Zillow plan on updating a bathroom in 2015.  The project could be as easy as a new color scheme:  paint, towels, and shower curtain or as major as a total gut and redesign.  If you are thinking about a bath makeover, the new color scheme is your first and most important design decision.  Here are some tips sure to help:

Trending now.  Selecting your room colors can feel like an overwhelming design choice.  In small bathrooms in particular-our places of retreat, of waking up, of winding down-color plays a key
role, and almost every subsequent decision will build off your choice of color.  These colors are trending for 2015 bathrooms designs:  white (always #1), grey, beige, light blue, brown, black, and green.

Find inspiration.  Look at other rooms-not just bathrooms-to find color combos that appeal to you. Also review fabric, wallpaper, paint chips, and floor samples and create an inspiration board (real or on Pinterest) to find common color themes.  Pick colors using objects as your guide-an old celadon teapot, the burnt sienna in a paisley fabric, a blade of grass, the possibilities are endless.  It's so much more lively than paint chips, and much more creative and fun to start with an object.

Introduce patterns with accessories.  Accessories can be an effective element in a bathroom to supply complementary color or pretty pattern. Everyone thinks of walls when they think of color, but using color in accessories-rugs, towels, art-makes an amazing impression without going crazy on the walls.  When it comes to window treatments in your bathroom, if your bathroom's view isn't great, use contrasting color for focus; if the window should stand out, blend the curtainsor blinds more with the walls.

Play with samples.  Even after you've figured out your favorite colors, it's still important to play around with hues and tones. Test samples on a wall, placingthem at least 3 feet away from each other so you don't blend the colors together. Paint swatches in different parts of the room-by a window, by trim, in a dark corner, in a light corner.  Give yourself permission to use lots of samples and make a mess of your walls until you find the perfect color. 

Choose your mood.  Perhaps you look at your bathroom as a zen-inspired space. Or maybe you welcome an invigorating room that's bright and lively. Different colors and tones create dissimilar sensations and feelings. Case in point: A buttery yellow feels much softer than a sunshine-inspired tone. As you're thinking about what colors will work in your bathroom, make sure to review lights, darks, and a range of choices in the full color spectrum.

Mix up neutrals.  If you're worried about adding too much color in a smallbathroom, you can stick with neutrals-but play with them a  little. 
Mix and match textures or use off-white on a ceiling or on trim, instead.  When you put a warm white next to a color, it will still look bright and crisp.

Play with light value.  If keeping your small space cheery is a primary goal, ask at the paint store about the color's light reflectance value (LRV).  The higher the LRV, the more light will bounce around the room.  The lower the LRV, the more the color will absorb light, which will make the room seem dark and moody.

Look at your closet.  Want to quickly figure out what colors inspire you? Look no further than your closet and what you use to accent your wardrobe.  Also look at your accessories.  Your handbags, belts, and jewelry are bound to contain more colors that excite you. 

Don't be afraid of dark colors.  Just because a space is small doesn't mean that dark colors are out of the question. When contrasted with bright white trim, for example, or a white vanity, a dark color can make a small bathroom feel intimate and cozy.

It's Bound To Happen
Someone is certain to spill something on your carpet during the holidays. It might even be you! Do not panic and start grabbing bleach or other random cleaners. Most stains will come up with soapy water. A few general tips: 

blot, do not scrub the stain; place a dry white towel with something heavy on it on the damp area and let the stain wick into the towel; and repeat the steps until the stain is gone, patience is the key. You will also be thrilled to know that many stains on new carpet will come up with just plain water.

Here are some specific solutions for common holiday foods and beverages:
Red Wine  Red wine is usually considered the most annoying of stains, but they aren't impossible to get up. There are a lot of little tricks that can help you if a red wine stain happens. The first is table salt. Pour table salt on the spill and let the salt soak up the wine. Other treatments include club soda or detergent. Always follow with a clear water rinse to make sure you leave no residue behind.
Candle Wax  Put your iron on the lowest setting, cover the wax with a piece of brown paper, put the iron on top of the paper-the heat will melt the wax, which will then be absorbed by the paper.

Juice  Juice stains are a common problem any time of the year, especially if there are small children in the house.  When there is a spill, be sure to act on it right away by blotting the excess juice.  The best treatment for these types of stains is cold water and a mild detergent or dish soap.  If you need a little extra cleaning power, add a little bit of white vinegar into the mix. 

Chocolate  To successfully remove a chocolate stain, start by using a butter knife or something similar to remove the excess chocolate, being careful not to spread it to a larger stain area.  Then rinse the stained area with cold water.  Never use hot water on a chocolate stain as it will cause the stain to set.  If possible, let the item soak for 5-10 minutes.  Using a small amount of detergent, rub the stain and rinse as many times as needed.

Coffee  Coffee stains are a nuisance, but they can be removed.  Use a clean cloth to blot the stain.  Never rub a coffee stain, as that might cause it to spread deeper into the fabric.  In a small dish or cup, mix powdered laundry detergent, cold water and distilled white vinegar to form a paste. The paste should be the consistency of toothpaste.  Spread the paste onto both sides of the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes, then gently rub the paste into the stain.  Rinse the area with cold water until you have removed all of the paste.

Gravy, Grease and Butter  Dish soap is the first thing you should reach for when you spill butter, turkey grease, gravy, etc. If you get a little soap and water on it straightaway, you'll be far less likely to end up with a nasty stain.  You can also use cornstarch to pull up greasy stains.   Just pile the cornstarch up on the stained area and let it sit there, then sweep or vacuum it up.
Your Wood Floors Worst Enemy
We are seeing commercial after commercial about steam mops, all telling us how wonderful they are and that we should all be using one.   What they are not telling us is that steam mops cannot be used on all floors, and that many manufacturer warranties are void if you use one on your floor.   Do NOT use a steam mop on your hardwood or laminate floors, ever. Think about it---wood and steam---this combination can ruin your floor! These mops are OK to use on vinyl and ceramic tile, but never on wood

Friday, November 21, 2014

Need Help This Holiday Season

With Christmas just around the corner, everybody is starting to think about gift buying.  Making sure your shopping is done on time and without breaking the bank can be extremely stressful.  Here are a some tips from Consumer Reports and Clark Howard, among others, to

help you get through the holidays with your sanity-and bank account-still intact. 

Make a list.  This may seem trivial, but it is a valuable way to keep your shopping on track and within your budget.  A list will keep you organized and will allow you to plan ahead with your shopping.  This is especially helpful if you have a large family and you're responsible for getting many different gifts.  Shopping is much more enjoyable when you have a thought out plan instead of just rushing frantically from store to store.

Make a budget and stick to it
This is one of the most important, and sometimes the hardest, rule to live by during the holiday season.  The last thing you want is to incur debt, so having a budget in place will help you avoid that.  But, a budget is only as good as you enforce it.  It is easy to fall into the store credit card traps to get that awesome gift, but if it is not in your budget, it is best to pass. 

Start early.  Don't wait til the last minute to get your shopping done.  Getting easy and small gifts out of the way in November is a great way to manage your time, as well as not have those come out of the December budget.  The less you have to stress about buying gifts the closer it gets to Christmas, the better.  Getting shopping done early will also give you time for wrapping, shipping, or anything else you will need to do.

Have a plan to pay off your bills.  If you over-spent your budget last year, this year it's time to be more effective with your budgeting plans.  Come up with a realistic goal and hold yourself to it. 

Don't give in to the hype.  Just because it's Black Friday or an item is advertised as 50% off doesn't mean it's a great deal.  Sometimes, you can get the best deal after Black Friday, so don't assume that you MUST buy during a particular sales event. 

Keep receipts.  You might need your receipts for proof of purchase for warranties or to make a return.  Have a designated place where you unload your paper receipts after a day of shopping, such as an envelope in a kitchen drawer.  For online purchases, always print out confirmation e-mails and save them.  Even for gift cards, the receipt should be kept as it will be needed if the card is lost or stolen. 

Manage credit cards.  Credit cards are OK to use for shopping, as long as you are able to stay on top of them, and don't spend money you don't have.  Most credit cards offer cash back or rewards, as well as provide fraud protection.  If you decide to use your credit card, set aside savings in order to pay off the balance after your purchase.  Another good way to keep track of your credit card spending is to immediately subtract what you spent from your checking account after a day of shopping.  And don't get caught up in opening new store cards:  is the 10% off worth the hit to your credit score?   
Don't become a target.  Avoid theft by withdrawing cash only from ATMs in public places or inside your bank.  Also avoid giving your email address or phone number to walk-in stores, unless you really want to receive updates from them.  When shopping online, check out as a guest and never select the option for the online store to retain your credit card for later use. 

Think outside the gift box.  There are plenty of alternatives that are less expensive, and more fun, than buying a gift for every single person in your family.  Instead, why not do a Secret Santa with the family where you draw one person's name?  That way you can put more thought and money into one gift, instead of dividing your resources into multiple gifts.  If you are creative and artsy, think about making things for people.  Sometimes the best gifts cost very little (or no) money.

Support Your Local Small Businesses
Make a promise to spend $100 this holiday season at local small businesses and not the big chain stores.  Think about you neighborhood stores: a pet boutique, specialty toy store, craft and hoppy shop, florist-----we drive past them every day!  These stores are owned and staffed by your neighbors, and your money stays local, helping your economy, not someplace far away.  As you make your shopping list, please take a few minutes to think of locally owned shops to purchase from and don't automatically drive straight to the outlet store or mall.  Think small this year---we need you!

Buy Now, Install Later
No one ever likes to hear about price increases, but we are beginning to receive notifications of first of the year cost increases from some of our product manufacturers.  This is not unusual in our industry; the New Year seems to be a clear date for price changes to be made effective.  The great thing is we can order products and accept delivery and store your order in our warehouse until you are ready for your installation in January.  So if you plan on making a flooring purchase soon, but just can't get it installed til after the holidays, don't worry.  Just get everything finalized by the end of the year and your price is locked in, regardless of any future increases.

Fast 5 Design Tips
~~Tiles laid on the diagonal will visually enlarge a room - making a small space look bigger. Also, closely matching the grout color to the tiles will expand the look of the room.
~~Use the rule of 3 as you decorate:  3 candles, 3 pictures, 3 pillows.  Two can be too formal, and four can be too many.
~~Need a quick room update?  Buy a new rug and cover as much of your current floor covering as possible.  Worn, stained carpet or beat-up hardwood floors disappear under your beautiful new rug.
~~Every room needs a focal point, which is the one thing the eye is immediately drawn toward (it also drives the design of the room). Examples of decorative focal points are a fireplace, a four-poster bed, or an interesting piece of furniture.

~~Dark-stained or ebony hardwood floors are popular, but know that they show dirt and dust bunnies faster than medium- or light-stained floors.