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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Solutions To Your Window Covering Problems

Did You Know
that Enhance Floors & More is a Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Alliance Dealer?  Did you know you could see many different types of window treatments installed in our Design Center?  Did you know that if you have odd shaped windows there are a variety of styles for you to choose from?  Did you know if you have specific problems that you need a window covering solution for that we can help?  Did you know that Enhance Floors & More can install your beautiful new Hunter Douglas products so that you don't have to do it?

If you did not know Enhance Floors & More can assist you with your window treatment needs, please read on.  We have compiled a list of the questions we are asked by our clients about window coverings, and the answers, so now you will know!

What type of window treatments do you sell?
We are an authorized Hunter Douglas dealer.  Our selection of window treatments includes blinds, shutters, many different types of shades, and draperies, available in a wide variety of fabrics and woods.  Hunter Douglas window fashions have a lifetime warranty and are regarded as the highest quality in the industry.

Who measures for my new window treatments?
Our own window treatment professional measures for your new custom-made window treatments.  

Do you install my new window treatments? 
Yes, we have a certified Hunter Douglas window covering professional to measure and install your window shades, blinds, and shutters for proper fit and function.

How much does an average window cost?
Depending on the style of window covering you choose, a standard window 48" x 60" will run from $177 for the least expensive up to $1,131 MSRP.

What are my choices in blinds?
There are two types of blinds, vertical and horizontal.  Vertical blinds are ideal for larger window expanses, such as patio and sliding glass doors.  Choose from an impressive selection of materials, fabrics and colors.  Our wood, alternative wood, and aluminum horizontal blinds beautifully complement the design of any room. Select from a vast selection of colors, paint and stain finishes, slat sizes, and decorative tapes.  You have a completely customizable world of blinds to choose from.
What types of shutters do you have?
We carry a line of plantation-style shutters.  Precision-crafted, our shutters lend warmth and classic styling to any room. Enjoy an impressive selection of real hardwood, modern-day hybrid materials and polysatin compound for maximum strength and durability.

I have children and do not want any cords.  Is this possible?
Absolutely.  Child safety is very important, and Hunter Douglas offers a variety of options.  From cordless and motorized operating systems, retractable lift cords, cord tensioners and wand controls, we offer a wide array of lifting system options for enhanced child and pet safety.

Tell me about the motorization options.
Almost all of our custom window treatments 
are available with a motorized operating system.  Convenience is a key advantage---but it is not the only one. Motorized window coverings offer enhanced child and pet safety. They can be programmed to optimize energy efficiency.  You can easily operate your window coverings from a remote control, a wireless wall switch or from your own Apple mobile device with the Platinum App.  PowerRise allows you to raise/lower your window coverings, PowerGlide allows for easy opening, closing or rotating the vanes of your vertical window coverings, and PowerTilt easily tilts slats.

How many fabric choices do I have?
Hunter Douglas window fashions offer hundreds of different fabrics, patterns and color choices.  There is sure to be a look perfect for your style and décor.

What are Roman Shades?
Roman shades are a type of window covering used to block out the sun. Roman shades are different from standard window shades in that they stack up evenly when being opened, however when they are open they are visibly smooth, not bumpy or ribbed like typical vertical shades or blinds.  Featuring a sculpted, modern look, our Roman Shades offer distinctively elegant styling. Choose from a range of fold styles, fabrics, colors and textures to meet all your light-filtering and room-darkening needs.

What do you recommend for a sliding glass door?
Vertical blinds are recommended for a sliding glass door.  Since they draw to the side rather than lifting and lowering, they operate better on doors and windows that also slide from side to side.

How long does it take to get my new window treatments?
Depending on the window treatment you choose, 14 - 21 days

My neighbor's house is very close to mine.  I want light to come in but also want my privacy.  What can I do?
You will like the "Top-Down/Bottom-Up" operating system; you can maintain your privacy and still enjoy the natural light.

I work at night and need total darkness so that I can sleep during the day. Is this possible?
Hunter Douglas offers a range of options for the right amount of room darkness. While every Hunter Douglas product allows you some measure of light control, some products offer more room-darkening benefits than others. A key consideration is fabric or material type and color. Sheer fabrics typically soften and filter sunlight, while semi-opaque and opaque versions almost completely block sunlight. We say "almost" because these fabrics and materials darken a room but do not entirely eliminate light.  If you want to block out as much natural light as possible, look for fabrics and materials with maximum light-blocking qualities that are uniquely designed to minimize light gaps, seams and rout holes such as the de-Light feature on many of our horizontal blinds.   NOTE:  Window shades and blinds cannot completely eliminate incoming light as there will almost always be slight light gaps.

What is the guarantee on your products?
Hunter Douglas products are designed and custom-assembled in the U.S. with the highest level of quality. But just in case, every window treatment from Hunter Douglas is covered by a lifetime guarantee. 

Some of my rooms get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. What do you recommend and how much will it help?
Without energy-efficient window treatments, as much as 50% of a home's heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. Consider Duette Architella honeycomb shades featuring a honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb design for greatest energy efficiency.  Hunter Douglas products help conserve energy at the window in these three important ways: insulation, solar heat control (allowing the sun into your home in the winter and minimizing the amount that comes in during the summer), and daylighting (lighting rooms with natural light rather than artificial light.  By drawing natural light into a room many of our window treatments reduce the need for other types of lighting, thereby reducing your energy use.)

I have arches on the tops of some of my windows.  How can I cover this? Does it always have to stay closed?
Hunter Douglas has many different options to cover your specialty shaped window. Depending on the shape and type of window covering you choose there are some that open and close.

I saw a picture of window treatments that opened from the top. How does this work?
We offer a Top Down/Bottom Up operating system.  Using the LiteRise system itvirtually eliminates cords and allows blinds to raise or lower with the touch of a finger. Many shades can be operated top down, bottom up or in combination.  With this feature, you create the perfect balance of privacy and natural light.

Do you do draperies?
Yes.  The seamless, contoured fabric columns in Luminette Modern Draperies create traditional elegance, available in a full panel of fabric or a dual panel that combines drapery fabric with privacy sheers.

What is a honeycomb shade?
A shade that is not made in a single layer but instead with multiple cells.   Honeycomb (think of the inside of a bee hive!) are available with single, double, and triple honeycombs and are very energy efficient as this unique cellular shade traps air in distinct pockets to help keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Architella is our advanced honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction---further increasing your energy-efficiency options.

How do you clean and take care of the window treatment?
Hunter Douglas window treatments are designed to require minimal care and cleaning.  Depending on the product, dusting, vacuuming, and/or blowing with compressed air or a hair dryer is recommended.

Do you offer financing?
Yes we offer interest free financing.

Design Tip
What is popular in window treatments today?  The hottest look currently is shades that are hand-woven from natural reeds, grasses and woods, for example Hunter Douglas Provence Woven Woods.  Greys are the big "in" color, as well as statement colors such as bright reds, blues, etc. Textures, stripes, and geometric patterns are also popular choices.   Layering, pastels, and pretty and romantic fabrics are the coming trends.  Simple, sleek lines, chrome decorative hardware, and clean, modern looks are also on trend.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Don't Be Afraid Of Your Floor

Mohawk Love Your Floor Sale
It is that time of year!  Take advantage of Instant Rebates up to $500 and the lowest prices of the season on Mohawk ColorCenter carpets, hardwoods, tile and laminate floors.  Or you may prefer the long term financing----33 months interest free on installed purchases of Mohawk flooring.  You get to decide!  Come by today and Love Your Floor again!

We Have Never Installed Lumber Liquidators Products
In the wake of the recent "60 Minutes" report alleging that Lumber Liquidators sells laminate flooring with excessive levels of formaldehyde, many of our past and current clients have questions and concerns. Here are some answers to some of the common questions that have materialized since the airing of the "60 Minutes" episode: 

Are other flooring companies involved in this report?
No. The allegations focus solely on laminate flooring products sold by Lumber Liquidators from Chinese suppliers.

Do the allegations in the report pertain to Lumber Liquidators' wood flooring as well as their laminate?  No, the report focused exclusively on the company's laminate flooring, which is not wood flooring. In the report they tested Lumber Liquidators' laminate made in China, which, in 30 of 31 cases, was found to be at unacceptable levels as defined by CARB standards. Lumber Liquidators disputes the methodology used for the testing.
What is CARB?
CARB is the California Air Resources Board, which is a state agency that creates regulations governing everything from car exhaust to emissions from televisions.  Engineered wood flooring and laminate flooring sold in the state of California must be compliant with CARB's Phase 2 requirements, meaning that the cores used to manufacture the products are in compliance with the formaldehyde emissions deemed acceptable by CARB.
Do the CARB requirements apply to the rest of the country? 
No, but most manufacturers find it too expensive to produce two different types of product, one to be sold only in California, and another for the rest of the country.   It is also expected that the EPA will enact the regulations nationwide this year.

What are the health hazards of formaldehyde?
According to the EPA, formaldehyde can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat. High levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers. The level of exposure is the issue; formaldehyde is present in many natural materials and foods
 and is produced by the human body.

How do I know if my floor is safe?
Again, the episode only investigated Chinese-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators. Consumers who are concerned about their flooring may have it tested. The testing starts at around $350 (the National Wood Flooring Association has a list of independent testing labs). For the most common test, the homeowner sends in a sample of the flooring and emissions from the finished sample are measured. Deconstructive testing can also be done, in which the face is taken off the flooring, but that is more expensive and is only done by a few labs in the country.

Are there special removal procedures to use when dealing with flooring that may have excessive formaldehyde?
No, it isn't like removing products with mold, lead paint or asbestos.

We understand that many customers are concerned that our laminates are affected.  They are not.  We carry Mohawk, Palmetto Road, HGTV Home by Shaw, Quick Step, and Armstrong; all of which are CARB2 compliant and are completely safe for your family.  Our manufacturers tell us the following:

Quick Step:
"Quick Step flooring is made in the USA and not in China.  Quick Step controls every step of the production process, and Quick Step laminate flooring is CARB2 compliant based on third party approved lab results.  Our floors meet strict formaldehyde emissions standards for healthy indoor air quality."

"Customer satisfaction and safety are paramount at Mohawk.  We take these obligations seriously and constantly insure we are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements as well as our own internal requirements.  All laminate and engineered wood flooring manufactured and sold by Mohawk Industries has been tested and approved to be compliant."

"Shaw carefully considers the impact of our products throughout their lifecycle on the environment and society.  Our laminate, as well as solid and engineered hardwood products meet or exceed CARB2 requirements."

"Our product specifications require adherence to all environmental, health and safety requirements, including formaldehyde emissions.  Our suppliers have their products tested at independent certified labs and then provide the test results to us on a regular basis.  As part of our commitment to product quality and safety, we will continue to conduct random annual testing to ensure the compliance of our products.  Based on our testing practices, certification and specification requirements and experience, our products meet or exceed all applicable formaldehyde standards, just as they always have."
Palmetto Road:
"All of the Palmetto Road products that are made in China adhere to strict environmental and safety requirements including formaldehyde emissions and meet CARB2 compliances.  These products have been tested in reputable, certified labs and have passed all emissions testing as required by CARB2."

Design Tip:  Jetted Tubs
In the 1980s, whirlpool bathtubs were a hot commodity. Now, we are noticing that people aren't using them as much as they used to.  Jetted tubs take up a lot of space that can be used in other ways that tend to be more desirable for people today, like bigger showers or his-and-hers vanities.  They can also cost homeowners big bucks when it comes time to pay the water bill. One whirlpool bath can use between 80 and 100 gallons of water.  If you still want the look and feel of a spa-like master bath, a smaller soaking bathtub can create a similarly relaxing environment and save you money in the long run.   A shower with a bench, shelves for bath products and a rainwater showerhead is on today's "must have" list; whirlpool tubs rarely are.

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.