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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Are You An HGTV Lover?


One of the great things about the extra space we will have in the new Design Center is being to bring in new product lines.  We think the one we are most excited about is the HGTV Home Collection.  You know what HGTV is, but you are probably wondering what HGTV Home is.  The idea was simple: Create collections of home products around a core design philosophy that make it easy for HGTV enthusiasts to create smart, stylish, inspired spaces. Pick a paint color and match it with a sofa. Add a table lamp, new carpet or wallpaper. It all works together and you don't have to be a designer or a TV host to get it right.

The experts at HGTV have created home product collections with one idea in mind: How to help you get the looks and styles you've seen on HGTV and HGTV.com.  HGTV Home is smart, stylish home products such as paint, flooring, furniture and more from the experts at HGTV. HGTV has partnered with trusted, experienced brands like Bassett Furniture, Sherwin-Williams and Shaw Floors to bring you the very best in quality as well as style. It's all part of making sure every single product lives up to your expectations and the HGTV name.

We have been chosen as an aligned partner for HGTV Home Flooring by Shaw: extraordinary style in a vibrant selection of quality carpet, hardwoods, luxury vinyl and laminates. Get inspired and use these HGTV styles to create rooms in your home that are as functional as they are beautiful.

Want wood? HGTV®Home hardwoods come in many styles and with innovative technology that helps your floor look brand new longer. These incredibly strong, patented finishes give you permission to live on your hardwood floors.  Choose from traditional strip hardwoods, contemporary wide planks, and rustic textured woods.  In fact, the hand-scraped hardwoods from HGTV Home really are scraped by hand, not by machine, so there's a unique character to each skillfully worked plank. 

Make your house a home with carpet from our HGTV Home collection. These colorful carpets are beautiful, stylish and protected with R2X, a stain and soil repellent so you can enjoy your carpet instead of worrying about every spill.   Choose from super soft plushes, durable and practical textures, and beautiful patterned carpets.


Low-maintenance, eco-friendly and with the beauty of hardwood, HGTV® Home laminates are an affordable, stylish solution for busy families.  Some HGTV Home laminates have an exotic look that's greatly in demand-but the manufacturing process involves no rainforest destruction and is totally made in the USA.  HGTV Laminates are great for active families who want the look of real wood but with added durability and scratch resistance. 

 
HGTV Home also includes a stunning selection of Luxury Vinyl.  You may be thinking that coupling the word "luxury" with "vinyl" seems like an oxymoron. After all, vinyl flooring has long been associated with bargain installations. So why are we now seeing Luxury Vinyl in $2 million downtown condominiums? Answer: new technologies and totally realistic wood and stone visuals.  And some of the most gorgeous products we have seen are in the HGTV Home luxury vinyl collection.

We are super excited about the HGTV Home product line and know that these beautiful new styles will be exactly what you have been looking for.  We plan on being open in our new location on Saturday, September 27, so come see us that weekend and meet HGTV Home!

Watch Our Progress!
This week we are installing the floors in our new Design Center.  If you want to see a wide variety of flooring actually installed, you will love our new showroom:  five different carpets, thirteen hardwoods, three laminates, three luxury vinyls, and six different tiles.  And that is just on the floor!  Plus three different bathroom designs and large kitchen vignettes.

We plan on moving into our location in East Cobb in late September.   We will be increasing the size of our showroom by over 2000 square feet and will be bringing in exciting new product lines including HGTV Home, Masland Carpets, and Hunter Douglas Window Fashions.  Look for us in the Restaurant Depot Shopping Center on Roswell Road adjacent to the 120 Loop in Marietta.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall In Love With This Carpet

Coming Soon
Enhance Floors & More is moving into our new Design Center in late September.  We will be bringing in some new product lines and thought we would begin introducing you to them now.  First up is Masland Carpets.  Masland Carpets and Rugs has long been a favorite of Interior Designers and decorators and is recognized as the styling leader and producer of new original products. Masland products exemplify originality, innovative construction and color treatment as well as lasting beauty.

 
 Masland was founded in Pennsylvania in 1866 and still today boasts of its heritage as the leading and most fashion forward carpet manufacturer in the United States.  Masland's manufacturing and distribution plants measure over one million square feet. The facility has state of the art technology insuring quality throughout the manufacturing process.   Masland carpets aren't just floors; they are works of art!

You can sneak a peek at the beautiful Masland carpet styles on the Carpet Catalog on our website.  If you fall in love with one and just can't wait to see it, let us know and we will get the sample in early for you.

 
Choosing The Right Cabinets and Countertops for Your Kitchen's Style
Many clients are telling us that they are beginning to think about remodeling their kitchen.  The amount of options you have in designing your dream kitchen is enough to make your head explode.  So, how can you make the decision a little more manageable? The easiest way to whittle down your options is by establishing and sticking to your budget. Once you've done that, you'll want to identify the design style you want to achieve. From there it's all about selecting the material that works best with each aesthetic and fits your budget.  Some of todays most popular design concepts are:

Less is more:  the contemporary kitchen
When designing a contemporary kitchen the thing to remember is that it's all about simplicity. You'll want to consider shakercabinets for their sleek lines, multiple color options, and ability to pair well with nearly any type of hardware. Flat cabinets are also a nice option as they afford a simple, yet sophisticated look. As far as countertops are concerned, look at solid surface, concrete, stainless steel, or glass.

Anything goes: the eclectic kitchen. 
Built by combining elements from different time periods and different origins, eclectic design creates a unified look by fusing these styles. Which is to say, anything goes. When choosing cabinets, consider distressed, bead board, inset, or shaker style. Either work well with tile, butcher block, or laminate countertops. While eclectic can be harder to design, when done right it results in a wonderfully unique look.

Celebrating structure:  the modern kitchen. 
Not to be confused with contemporary design style, modern design refers to the style popularized from the 1920s through the 1950s. Most refer to the style as mid-century modern. If this is the look you're after, you'll want cabinets and countertops that create a sleek and simple look with strong lines. Consider flat cabinets with minimal hardware and laminate or solid surface countertops.

Keeping it classy:  the traditional kitchen. 
There's nothing trendy about a traditional kitchen. Classy and always in style, the traditional kitchen is all about celebrating craftsmanship and attention to detail. When looking at cabinets, focus your attention on shaker, inset, distressed, or thermofoil. Either option will look great when paired with granite, solid surface, marble, butcher block, or soapstone countertops.

The best of both styles:  the transitional kitchen. 
For many of us it can be hard to decide exactly what style we like best. If you're stuck between contemporary and traditional, transitional design is the style that would work best. Not surprisingly, transitional design is the go-to style for many homeowners as it offers the best of both traditional and contemporary design. Pair shaker cabinets with granite, quartz, laminate, or butcher block and you'll create a space that's clean and inviting.

At the end of the day, the best kitchen design is the design that works best for your tastes, your lifestyle, and your budget. And while it can feel like a daunting task, enlisting the help of a kitchen designer and a reputable kitchen contractor is one of the easiest ways to ensure that the kitchen you've always dreamed of is the kitchen that gets built.  Enhance Floors & More is here to help you every step of the way!

Why It Doesn't Pay To Be Cheap

Wanda found a great article on Mark Hunt's Everyday Cheapskate blog.  We loved it because his points are very relevant.  We hear over and over again that if the price is too good to be true it probably isn't, but human nature is to keep hoping that this time we have finally found a true bargain.  How do we know when the cheapest is not the best?  Mark writes:

"There is a predictable progression many of us go through as we make a decision to stop living beyond our means.  We get cheap.  In fact, some even call us cheapskates-a label that personally I enjoy because it proves that I'm not the person I used to be-a credit card junkie and a totally whacked out spendthrift.

It didn't take long for me to adopt a mindset that if cheap was good, then cheaper must be even better.  As noble as that thought might seem-and it pains me to admit it-that is not always true.  Sometimes the cheapest option ends up costing the most.  It's a wise person who can see the big picture not just the cash outlay on the front end.

Case in point:  Our house was in desperate need of paint.  Spending thousands of dollars to have it painted made me queasy.  So when one of the bids came in much lower than the others, I jumped on it.  I figured paint is paint.  We'd get the house painted and still have money in the bank.

It never looked that great, and we were very disappointed from the start.  Before even two years passed, the paint job failed.  The trim cracked and peeled, making our paint look 10 years old, not two.  By the time we reached the three-year mark, paint was falling in chunks from the stucco.  It was truly pathetic and we lived with that mess far longer than I like to admit.  I know now that our cheap paint job cost us far more in the long run than if we'd gone with the highest bid from the start.

There are other times when buying the most quality you can afford is the cheapest way to go.  Buying a mattress, putting on a new roof, dental care, a decent pair of shoes-all of these are places where you are likely to pay less in the long run by opting for the most quality you can afford at the outset.

So how do you know whether you should go for the most quality you can afford or the cheapest price you can find?  Ask, "How long do I want this item to last?"  If the answer is "As long as possible," that's a sign that you need to buy the most quality you can afford.  If your answer is something like, "Until the end of the wedding reception," you don't need quality.  You need to shift your thinking to finding the best-looking wedding dress at the cheapest price.  Who cares if the quality is so poor you couldn't make it down the aisle multiple times?

Knowing when to buy the most quality you can afford, and when to go for the cheapest price you can find, is a learned skill.  The more you practice, the better you'll get.  And the better you get, the more you will enjoy some of the finer things in life that will turn out to be the cheapest way to go, after all."

Look Who Came To See Us Last Week
If you are a long time Enhance client, we know you remember Sandra!  Sandra was our favorite employee from the late '80s til she retired in 2011.  She made so many friends in her 20 plus years at Enhance Floors & More.  Sandra and her dog Chloe came by to visit last week and we greatly enjoyed spending time with her and catching up.  We'd love you to respond to this newsletter and tell Sandra hello.  
We will pass your message along to her.  We know she will enjoying hearing from you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Is Granite Going Out Of Style?

Given the fact that trends, by definition, come and go, it only makes sense that granite will eventually lose its place as the must-have countertop material. And while granite countertops remain one of the most popular design features, some interior designers suggest we've reached the end of the granite countertop trend.

As far as countertops are concerned, granite is a material that wasn't widely used until the late 80s. However, it wasn't until the late 90s and early 2000s that it became the material of choice that it is today. With its near ubiquitous presence in kitchens across the country, granite is still one of the most popular countertop options you can choose; it's just not as in-demand as it once was.

There's lots to love about granite. It's durable, looks good, and is becoming more affordable. That being said, granite appears to have become a victim of its own popularity. Homeowners are individuals, and individuals like their homes to be a reflection of their personalities. For many, granite is just too mainstream. But there's another reason fewer homeowners are choosing it: in recent kitchen designs the countertop is less and less of a focal point and granite is almost impossible not to notice.  As we like to say, there can only be one star of the show, and in a kitchen it is usually the granite.  But if you are considering an elaborate custom backsplash design and a large island that looks like an ornate piece of furniture, a granite with a lot of movement may not be your best design choice.

There are lots of different options other than granite, the most popular choices being quartz, marble, even wood and concrete.  Today's kitchen styles are becoming more understated and neutral. Clean simple lines are the new buzzwords.  You'll find that homeowners are choosing countertops that seamlessly blend into the rest of the kitchen, rather than stand out.  A subtle quartz countertop harmonizes instead of competes with your apron- front farmhouse sink, untraditional light fixtures like chandeliers and pendants, and the new cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling.
 
If you're getting ready to remodel your kitchen you've likely given a lot of thought to what kind of countertops to go with. The fundamental question to ask yourself is who are you remodeling for? If you're remodeling for yourself and not planning on moving anytime soon, choose the materials that you like most. If that means granite, go with granite. However, if you're remodeling with an eye towards selling soon, we advise going with a more neutral option. You'll get the classy, upscale look you're going for, but not at the risk of alienating potential buyers who don't care for granite.

Did You Know
Enhance Floors & More will be moving soon?  We are thrilled to announce that we have signed the lease and that construction and build-out has begun on our new Design Center.  We hope to move into our location in East Cobb in late September.   We will be increasing the size of our showroom by over 2000 square feet and will be bringing in exciting new product lines including HGTV Home, Masland Carpets, and Hunter Douglas Window Fashions.  Look for us in the Restaurant Depot Shopping Center on Roswell Road adjacent to the 120 Loop in Marietta.

Click below to follow our progress on our Facebook page

Renovating Before The Holidays


Now that summer is coming to an end (school starts Monday in Cobb and Cherokee!), it is the prime time to start seriously thinking about those indoor renovations you have been wanting to tackle.  If you are playing host for the holidays, now is the time to get started in order to have everything done and perfect in time for the holiday season.

Upgrade Your Kitchen
Does your kitchen always seem cramped with people over for holiday get-togethers?  However you celebrate, the kitchen seems to always be at the heart of the season.  Maybe it's time to consider a mini or major makeover.  Start by assessing the things you would like changed.  Perhaps the addition of an island, new countertops, flooring and backsplash is all you need, or maybe some major construction will be involved.  Either way, you want your kitchen to be fully functional come holiday cooking time!


Finish the Basement
If you have been going back and forth about converting your basement into an extra living space, now is a good time to jump into that project.  You will be glad you tackled it.  Not only does it instantly expand your home's square footage, it can also act as a nice alternative to just a guest bedroom for relatives or friends staying overnight.  You can also turn part of it into a playroom for the younger guests to have a place of their own.  Set a budget and keep things simple.  For flooring, consider luxury vinyl or tile in your basement as these products are not as sensitive to higher moisture levels, and carpet for warmth and insulation.

Remodel the Guest Bedroom and Bathroom
A little remodeling can do wonders towards making your guests feel at home.  A new bathroom vanity and frameless glass shower enclosure are quick and easy upgrades.  A new glass shower door adds instant value to your home, and offers a sleek look that will make the bathroom appear larger.  Strip that dated old wallpaper and paint the walls.  You may also consider updating the bathroom floors and walls with new tile.  In the guest bedroom, is it time for a new mattress?  Do you need new window treatments?  Assess the carpet in your bedrooms.  We tend to update the rooms of our home that our guests see:  the family room, kitchen, and powder room, and ignore our bedrooms for years. 

Enhance Floors & More can help you get your home ready for the holidays.  Come by today and meet with a Design Consultant to begin the process.

Monday, July 21, 2014

WAKING UP A TRADITIONAL SPACE

Many of our readers live in traditional homes, and you can never go wrong with a traditional decorating style.  Traditional d├ęcor is always "in," and it creates a comfortable, cozy feel to a room.  However, traditional styles can sometimes be a little bland and boring.  Here are some tips to add a little bit of pop to your traditional spaces.

If you're tired of your living room, check to see if you have traditional furniture on a traditional rug with matched side tables and lamps. That might be your problem. This look often lacks tension, which creates strong design that rarely gets tiring.  If you absolutely love your furniture with its original upholstery, try a modern rug to give your room hip appeal. A sisal or sea grass (real or faux) is a great go-to, but if you don't prefer natural fibers, you might like a bold, graphic rug like stripes or an animal print.

Along the same lines, re-evaluating your upholstery is another good option.  The key to taking a traditional piece from tired to stylish is the tension between the furniture style and the textile you select. Patterns like tight checks, herringbone or houndstooth can update traditional furniture just right.  With the updated upholstery, changing something as simple as lamp shades can have a big impact.  Look for simple, classic drum or box shapes and skip the pleats, scallops and odd shapes. Those styles tend to look dated. Pick a simple shade that is proportional to the base and that echoes the base's shape. Black shades make almost any lamp instantly stylish.

Breaking up a set is a refreshing effect.  A matching set of a table and chairs was suited to the more formal lifestyles of days gone by. To relax your room, it may be time to break up the set. If you're happy with your table, then change the chairs to enliven the look.  There are so many ways you can play with this. Add new his-and-her chairs at either end, for instance, or upholster the two chairs at either end in a different fabric.

Historically, textile manufacturing and fiber dyeing processes weren't able to produce fabrics and patterns in hues as vibrant and saturated as the ones we see today. Using black adds a level of contrast that wasn't achievable years ago and makes a room look more current.  You don't need a lot to anchor a room with black. Black lamp shades, upholstery, throw pillows, picture frames - any of these can add an edge of graphic appeal that will update the look.

Adding a high contrast graphic pattern is another use of the advances in textile production that wasn't available years ago.  Today's mills and print processes are capable of producing high-contrast patterns in saturated colors. Traditional furniture paired with traditional textiles and wall colors can be so muted. Adding a graphic element instantly delivers a wake-up call to a tired room.

Last but not least, don't be afraid to embrace the abstract.  Throw in some contemporary art, a clear coffee table or a bold, modern rug into the mix.  If there is one outstanding characteristic of a tired traditional room, it is too much formality. So loosen up and have some fun!

MODERN RUGS IN TRADITIONAL SPACES
Inspired?  Need a new rug or two but having a hard time finding one that work?  Here are a few tips if you are shopping for a rug.

Modern rugs come in all shapes and sizes, and are suitable for every area of the house, including hallways and staircases. When introduced into a traditional or rustic setting, they can add vibrancy, a touch of the unexpected and a striking counterpoint.  Keep in mind when pairing a modern rug with a more traditional setting:

~~~Go overscale. An overscale floral rug pattern in bright colors provides a pop of bold contrast in an otherwise all-neutral room. Don't be afraid to use large-scale patterns in a small space - they can bring it to life, especially when there aren't many furnishings.

~~~Repeat a pattern or color.  Using a simple geometric pattern on a rug that ties into another pattern, say, a light fixture of a modern style, can add a great visual to a traditional space.  Subtlety is key here; maybe you have a particular pattern in the wall decorations or windows.  The subtle visual of 

matching patterns will create appeal without taking away from the modern style.  You can do the same with colors.  Even though the rug will not match the style of the room, matching the colors with the furnishings or decorations can tie everything together and create a cohesive feel.

~~~Don't be afraid to add color, pattern, and energy.  Modern rugs add a refreshing edge to traditional style spaces, and are a good way to spice up a plain room.  Keeping with the same color palette will allow you to be as bold as you want without distracting the eye.


Need More Design Help?

Then simply schedule an in-home design consultation with us.  An experienced Enhance Floors & More design consultant will come to your home and help you put your new look together.  Prices start at $99 for this helpful service.  And remember, consultations in our showroom are always free.  Just bring in your fabric and paint swatches, kitchen drawer (if you are redecorating your kitchen), take some pictures of the room(s), and spend time with a showroom design consultant for complimentary decorating assistance.

Scared of a White Kitchen?

 Year after year white is one of the most popular kitchen colors.  Pinterest and Houzz are filled with pictures of beautiful white kitchens.  But if you are like many of us, your first thought is "How pretty" and then "How will I keep my white kitchen white?" or "I love the clean, white look but don't want it to look dirty all the time."  Is it possible to have a clean white kitchen?

The truth is, it IS possible to have your all-white dream kitchen, and you don't have to be a compulsive cleaner to get it.  You just have to be a little diligent is all.  The perfect white kitchen is one that looks like no one ever cooks there. And that is, of course, the very best way to keep that white kitchen sparkling. If, however, you insist on actually using your kitchen, you are likely to encounter yellowing cabinets, accumulations of grease, and stained and marred sinks and countertops. What fun.

Before we can tackle the problem, let's look at why cabinets start to yellow.  The first culprit is exposure to direct sunlight, which tends to jaundice or fade painted wood (and laminated surfaces). You should consider draperies, blinds or window film to shield your cabinets from direct sunlight.  The second culprit is actuallyusing your cooktop. As soon as you start cooking, those mouthwatering aromas rise into the air in the form of microscopic food or grease particles, and since they have to land somewhere, why not on your white cabinets? The result? Cabinets that turn yellow.

To prevent this, you can't let grease accumulate on your cabinets. As soon as you begin boiling, broiling or deep-frying, turn on the exhaust fan or range hood to filter out at least some of those minuscule bits before they reach the surrounding surfaces.  To keep cabinets looking their best and sparkling white, give them a monthly "bath" with a solution of warm water and a grease-busting dish soap.

Then there is the inevitable muck and grime that accumulate from oil and grease splatters, and food and beverage spills.  You should not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads on painted cabinets, as they can scratch or dull the finish.  A soft 
cotton cloth dampened with warm water is usually sufficient.  The most important thing to remember is  to not let those stains linger.  Prolonged exposure to spills can cause permanent damage and discoloration to your cabinets' finish.
  
White sinks in many homes take approximately five minutes to look yucky. You can brighten them and remove stains with common household bleach. Experts suggest laying paper towels flat across the bottom of the sink and wetting them with bleach. This prevents the bleach from running straight down the drain. Leave the paper towels in place for half an hour to allow the bleach to do its job, then remove them and rinse the sink thoroughly with warm water.  
  
White tiles with white or a light grout can be tricky.  The whiter and cleaner your white tile looks, the dirtier your grout will look.  Keeping the grout clean is an important part of keeping your white kitchen looking its best.  The best option is to have the grout sealed (or to have chosen a stain resistant grout like Fusion), and keep it clean with a cleaner specifically made for tile and grout.  Use a toothbrush or scouring pad to really get the grout clean.  Do not use harsh cleaners such as bleach that will erode your grout over time.


Stains show up easily on white marble or granite counters. Prevention is the best cure, so blot spills immediately, before they penetrate or dry on the surface. If that is not convenient, you can make stains disappear with a solution of hydrogen peroxide with a few scant drops of ammonia added. Natural stone will etch when cleaned with acids or abrasives, but the naturally occurring chemicals in peroxide and ammonia will safely remove even tough stains. Stone sealers should be applied as soon as you notice water no longer stands (beads up) on the surface.  (You can purchase sealer at our showroom.)
   
In the grand scheme of things, just remember:  Any kitchen will be a cleaning nightmare, dark or light.  So prepare to roll up your sleeves and pick the kitchen you've always dreamed of!