New Hardwood Flooring Improves Value of Home and Quality of Life

When it comes to flooring your home, you can’t go wrong with hardwood flooring. Maple and oak floors don’t just look nice they have other benefits including:

  • They’re easily cared for
  • They’ll last a long time
  • They’re easily restored and maintained
  • They’re always in style
  • They have natural insulation properties
  • They work to improve the overall structural strength of your home


Maple Engineered Hardwood Flooring

There are many reasons so many homeowners turn to maple engineered hardwood when they wish to upgrade the flooring in their home.



Maple has a lovely creamy appearance that is quite unique and which creates a homey feel. Some homeowners choose to keep the natural cream color, but even those that desire a slightly different look will turn to maple since the wood does an excellent job absorbing stain, allowing the homeowner to create the exact, unique look they want for each room. Many have found that the stained maple flooring adds a great finishing touch for remodeling projects.



Maple engineered hardwood flooring resists wear and tear. It has a 1450 Janka Hardness rating which makes it a great choice not only for families with young children and pets, but also in office buildings.

After installing maple engineered hardwood flooring in your home, be prepared for lower heating and cooling bills. The flooring provides an additional layer of insulation.

Oak Flooring

Oak flooring is a very durable type of flooring you can install in your home. It’s one of the strongest types of wood that nature creates, so no matter how much traffic you get through your home, the floor will always look great. It’s a great choice for anyone who has pets.



Oak flooring is a great choice if you live in a humid environment or have a house that’s prone to moisture. Unlike other types of flooring that swells when damp, oak naturally resists moisture, making it a good choice for anyone who struggles with asthma, arthritis, or other conditions that are aggravated by damp conditions.



It’s important to remember that when you choose to have hardwood floors installed in your home, you take steps that significantly increases your home’s overall value.

Some realtors advise their clients to invest in hardwood floors before listing a house on the market. The new hardwood flooring may increase the value of the home, while also increasing the amount of interested buyers.

Author: Sara Rose

By |October 5th, 2016|Design, Modern design, Renovation, Surfaces|0 Comments

Using Grasscloth and Natural Wallcovering for Eco-Friendly Decor


Our homes are one of our primary outlets for self-expression. Whether we are entertaining guests or simply welcoming friends and family, our home decor says a lot about who we are and the type of atmosphere that we wish to present. For those with eco-friendly or earth-based style preferences, finding wallcoverings which project your personal style can sometimes present a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of grasscloth and natural wallcovering options which will flatter any living space while complementing your home’s existing eco-friendly style.


In case you are unfamiliar with these products, grasscloth wallpaper is a type of wall covering which is created by weaving dried grasses together and affixing them to a paper backing. Based upon the types of grasses used, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and with textures varying from fine to coarse. Because it is crafted from sustainable, natural materials, grasscloth wallpaper is considered an environmentally-friendly option for both homes and commercial spaces.

Note, however, that there are some factors that you should consider when choosing grasscloth wallpaper. The first is that because this is a natural product, it varies in color and pattern. That means you will not be able to perfectly match the rolls to one another. The result is visible seams which can be disconcerting to those who are used to flawless wallpaper patterns. Also, note that you should not use grasscloth or other natural wallpaper in smaller bathrooms or any space in which humidity might be a problem.


Most varieties of grasscloth wallpaper feature a single piece of seagrass held in place by a thin cotton thread, which is attached to the paper backing via a light adhesive. This means that grasscloth wallpaper is susceptible to damage if placed in a high traffic area. While grasscloth makes a lovely wallcovering choice for many homes, you should consider your space itself before making the grasscloth choice.

For spaces in your home for which grasscloth simply is not well-suited, there are a great number of designer wallpaper options from which you can choose. Options vary from vintage to modern styles, and textured options provide a great way to add depth to any living space. Choose a simple floral pattern or a unique color scheme to suit your home’s decor. Best of all, most wallpapers are suitable for any room, and provide a beautiful alternative to natural wallcoverings in the high-traffic and potentially humid parts of your home.

grasscloth_wall_designWhether you choose a grasscloth or other natural wallcoverings, you should take your time in making your selections. Unlike artwork, mirrors or other decor items, wallpaper of any kind is not easily interchangeable. Therefore, you should choose a pattern which does not overpower your space and can accommodate a variety of decor pieces should your preferences change over time. With a respectable time investment, you are sure to find something which will bring beauty to your home while showing off your personal style.



By |September 24th, 2016|Design, Fixtures, Modern design, Products, Surfaces, Tips|0 Comments

Custom Color Sustainable Ceramic Tile Now Available from Fireclay Tile


Founded in 1986, Fireclay Tile is a leading manufacturer of sustainable glass and ceramic tile that is based in San Jose, California. Fireclay creates 100% of its own product from locally sourced and recycled materials and produces its lead-free glazes in-house. All of its product lines can contribute to achieving LEED certification.


By |August 12th, 2013|Surfaces|3 Comments

Ecotec is a Soy Oil Based Solid Surface

Recently I noticed a new solid-surface called Ecotec on a list of the Best New Home Products 2012 from This Old House.  It’s priced from $15 per square foot, and the manufacturer says Ecotec is “the next generation in solid surface material.”  The product is made with powdered glass content and a urethane derived from soy oil.  Ecotec contributes toward LEED credits and contains 40% recycled and renewable content.


By |October 31st, 2012|Materials, Surfaces|0 Comments

Viridian Offers FSC Reclaimed Tabletops

Viridian Reclaimed Wood, a company we first mentioned in relation to their shipping pallet flooring, recently introduced a new range of FSC-certified, reclaimed, old-growth Douglas Fir tabletops.  Co-owner Joe Mitchoff said the tabletops come from an inventory of beams reclaimed from abandoned warehouses, decrepit docks, and old gymnasiums.


By |August 10th, 2012|Materials, Surfaces|0 Comments

3form Upgrades Recycled Acrylic Chroma

Chroma is a recycled-acrylic material by 3form that can be used as a horizontal surface.  It’s best used in illuminated designs and is available with a matte finish and thousands of translucent color combinations.  Up until now, 3form offered Chroma with 40% pre-consumer recycled content, but the company recently upgraded the formula, as explained in an article about closing the loop.


By |June 26th, 2012|Modern design, Recycled, Surfaces|0 Comments