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6 Eco Friendly Interior Décor Tips perfect for Earth Day

Eco friendly interior décor is not just a trend, but a movement.

Consumers are striving to create interiors that are healthy, have better indoor air quality, and lessen their “carbon footprint”.  While we may not be all be able to afford a LEED Platinum home, we can take small steps in choosing our interior décor products to make our homes more eco-friendly.

So today, we're introducing you to 6 eco friendly decor tips!

1. Seating & Sleeping

From the living room to the nursery and the dog bed you want eco friendly products to make your home comfortable and healthy. 
California based Viesso provides one of the most versatile lines of eco friendly products for the home.  Whether you want something for indoor or outdoor, the living room or the office, you can find a variety of pieces to choose from.  And for every product you can learn about “What makes it Green” to help you make an informed decision.  You can browse their products, learn more about their eco-friendly initiatives here.

Viesso Eco Friendly Furniture on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

 

When selecting furniture and bedding pieces there are a couple eco-friendly details to look for:

• Wool filled pillows and cushions to eliminate dust mites
• Furniture made from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) wood
• Recycled steel, metal and other construction components
• No anti-flame retardant
• Zero or low VOC (volatile organize compounds) in the construction and fabric materials
• Solid furniture vs laminate products

If you are making eco friendly a lifestyle change, extend that for all family members, even your four legged ones.  Check out BigShrimpy, based on Seattle, WA for some stylish, and all natural bedding options for your pet too.

 

2. Green Underfoot

There is no other wood floor covering more eco friendly than reclaimed wood floors (Also known as antique wood floors). 

 

These floors are salvaged from centuries old buildings that have been slated for demolition.  These structures were built using some of the best construction materials of the time such as White Oak, Long Leaf Heart Pine and Chestnut in the walls, sheathing, beams, floor joists, and other components of these factories and barns. 
Instead of wasting this valuable resource, you can recover and recycle it for a 2nd generation into a wood floor.

Replace you carpets and rugs with a new wood floor to immediately improve your indoor air quality.

 Aside from using an antique wood floor product, you can also look for wood floors made in America from american wood - American forests have much better forestry management practices, that keep them sustainable.  Or you may consider FSC certified wood for exotic species.

3. Fair Trade Interior Décor

We’ve all heard of fair trade products like coffee.  But did you know you can find fair trade products for your interior décor too?

 

Fair Trade initiatives helps disadvantages producers often in developing countries deliver their product to market without the sometime debilitating side effects of international trade laws and expenses.  Learn more here.  We’ve found a few sites that promote fair trade for home décor items like linens, kitchenware, textiles, and other housewares.

If you can’t find a fair trade supplier for the items you most desire, look for items made locally by a local craftsman, or buy something made in the USA.   Buying local helps reduce the carbon footprint of manufactured goods.

4. Eating & Drinking

Installing brand new, ecofriendly cabinetry may not be something you are ready to do.  Energy efficient appliances are the most natural choice, if you are in the market for new appliances.

If neither are due for replacement, upgrade some little things in your kitchen to make your space a little more green.  Here are some kitchen items you might want to consider:

  • Reusable chop sticks
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Drinkware and glassware made from 100% recycled glass
  • Bamboo serving bowls, utensils and cutting boards 
  • Water conservation sink fixtures
  • Compost Bucket

5. Lighting the Way

There has been a big push in recent years to educate consumers about the transition in lighting solutions for the home.

Traditional light bulbs are being replaced with Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) or Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lighting.   Inhabit provides a great summary of the benefits of each type of lighting, such as did you know if every household replaced 1 traditional bulb with a CFL bulb its like taking 1 milliion cars off the road. 

 

Other tips to improve the eco friendly aspects of your interior lighting:

  • solar lightings
  • increase natural lighting in your rooms
  • install a skylight
  • lighten up your interior wall color to make rooms brighter

6. Color me Happy

Going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice color.

In fact, any paint manufacturer today can provide you with green paint solutions to help you create any color for any room.   But you may also want solutions for dog houses, or decking or chalkboard paint for the playroom!
 

Things to look for in your eco-friendly paint:

• Low or zero voc
• No toxic solvents
• Increased coverage rates
• Eco friendly packaging
• Organic
• Ordorless
• Non allergenic

One of the best suppliers today is ECOS Paints, which provides all of the above,  at the same price as traditional suppliers like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams, with more eco-friendly benefits and an unlimited color pallet.  Find out more at Ecos Paint.

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5 Wood Floor Care Tips for Spring

Spring is here. With it, comes the ever faithful "April Showers", which in most areas of the country equates to mud and dirt.

So now is an ideal time to review some of the best ways to protect your wood floors.  With the proper cleaning and protection you can significantly increase the life of the finish, and minimize your maintenance and repair costs.

Today, we’ll show you 5 ways to take the best care of your floor.  Most of which are DIY-friendly!

1. Entry & Traffic

You can’t cut down on traffic into your home. 

All you can do is manage the traffic as it enters and give everyone the proper tools to keep harmful elements off the wood.  Here are a few products that might come in handy.

Entry Mat

Contemporary Doormats by West Chester Furniture & Accessories FRONTGATE

Plastic Boot Storage Mat

Contemporary Shoeracks by Atlanta Furniture & Accessories Ballard Designs

Boot Cleaner

Contemporary Doormats by Other Metro Garden & Landscape Supplies Gardener's Supply Company

Also, be sure to keep a mop handy, something like a Swiffer to pick up water, spills, and mud as it happens.

2. Pets

Pets bring so much joy to a household, but when Spring comes it’s not hard to see where Fido took his last nap, with the dried up mud puddle on your wood floors.

It is important to keep dirt and debris off the floors, because it can act as sandpaper with continued traffic.  So if you aren’t one of the lucky few with a custom mudroom, complete with a dog shower, you are going to have to deal with this indefinitely.  But who wants to sweep and mop every day!  Why not invest in a little technology and consider an iRobot.   It will be the most expensive mop you have every purchased, but could well save you a lot of time cleaning each week.

iRobot Floor Cleaning for Hardwood Floors on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

 

Another area of concern when it comes to pets is pet bowls. Wood floors are becoming increasingly popular in the kitchen due to the comfort, beauty and longevity, and there are easy (and stylish) solutions, like decorative vinyl mats, to protect your wood floors from water.

Modern Pet Bowls And Feeding

Always be sure to test the cleaning agent you are using, in an inconspicuous area of your hardwood floors, to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

3. Furniture

Unless your furniture consists of oversized Turkish pillows, chances are you are going to have furniture of all styles, sizes and weight sitting on top of your wood floors. 

Furniture tends to show up with metal glides on the bottom, or just Raw wood.  When this rests on the flooring, and especially if it can move around (even slightly) from day to day, it can cause mild to severe abrasion on the surface of your flooring.  Initially, this will cause scuff marks on the finish, but can eventually start to actually scuff the wood flooring itself.  This could mean that you need to refinish your floors sooner than later.

To help minimize, and potentially avoid this entirely you must invest in protective pads for the bottom of your furniture.  Unfortunately, this hasn’t been quite as modernized as most interior décor accessories.  While we wait for the next best thing, check out UK-Based Charles and Marie and their trendy chair socks.  Magic sliders works well if you know you need to move furniture often.  Then you’ve got the old standby with felt bottoms.

Wood Floor Protection for your Furniture on Carlisle Wide plank Floors Blog

 

Some furniture protectors are installed via adhesive, while other just rest under the furniture, or they can be screwed into the bottom furniture. Either way, make sure you can replace the soft, protective layer between the furniture and the flooring to ensure you can install a new pad when the other one wears out. Also make sure you don’t install any adhesive material directly to your floor, this is impossible to remove and can eat away at your finish over time.

You can also consider installing decorative rugs under your primary furniture, like this home from Studio Santalla, featuring Carlisle Hickory flooring.

Contemporary Living Room by Washington Architects & Designers Studio Santalla, Inc

If you use rugs, be sure to avoid those with an abrasive backing, which can scratch your flooring finish.

4. Cleaning

Hardwood flooring is one of the easiest flooring styles for your home.  They are easy to clean, they don’t collect dust and debris like other floor covering, such as carpet, which also keep your home healthier.

Unfortunately, there is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to finding the right cleaner for your floor, it all depends on the type of finish you have on your floor.  It is best to seek out the recommendations from the flooring manufacturer for instructions.  They may even sell their own hardwood flooring cleaner so you know exactly what to use.

As a general Typically, you want to avoid very hard chemicals and cleaners, which can eat away at your finish.   Vinegar and warm water is often the best cleaning solution.  Avoid waxes, unless that is a specific component of your maintenance plan, as these are difficult to clean and maintain. 

No matter what cleaning methods you use, avoid using excess water during the process.

5. Finish Maintenance

The frequency of your flooring maintenance will depend on the type of floor and finish you have. 

But there are three other things to consider as well, and hopefully you learned this before your installed your floor:

• What are the maintenance requirements

Each style of wood floor can have its own maintenance requirements, some of which can also depend on your personal preference.

Pine flooring, for example, is meant to develop a vintage look, so most people will allow the floor to age for a longer period of time  before recoating the finish.  With more modern flooring styles, like hardwood, you may want to maintain them more regularly.   Commercial spaces also have different requirements than residential spaces.

• Can the floor be sanded and recoated

Wood flooring today is not created equal.  A large majority of floors are mass produced resulting in a thin piece of flooring, with an even thinner wear layer - the top layer of wood that you walk on.  Sometimes this wear layer is only a few pieces of paper thick!  These floors are appealing due to their low cost, but the reality is, once the finish wears out you cannot sand and refinish them.  So the long term costs of owning this type of floor may actually be higher than other wood floors, because of the cost of replacement. Typically, you want to make sure your floor has at least a 3/16" wear layer, which will allow for 3 sandings, if needed, over the life of the floor.

• Do you need to sand the floor to refinish it

Wood floors are also finished with a variety of different sealers - tung oil, polyurethane, aluminum oxide.  Floors that are finished with aluminum oxide are the hardest to “touch up” and often require sanding, which is messy, not to mention the interruption in the home.  Floors, like Carlisle Prefinished hardwood floors finished with Carlisle Custom Coat urethane, don’t need to be sanded when you want to touch up your floor.

Spring is a great time of year to refresh your floors, if its time to touch them up.  There are two ways to do it.  The first, is an actual touch up of heavy wear areas such as by your front door or in the front kitchen sink.  The second, is an entire recoat of your floor.  The latter is the most disruptive, but some clients choose to do on a fixed schedule, perhaps every few years when they know they will be on vacation.  Most of the time though you can easily maintain specific areas in the home, so you won't need to recoat the entire as frequently. 

What do you do to care for your floors?

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A Colorful Equilibrium for your Interior with Pantone Spring Colors

With the Pantone Color Institute you need never worry about knowing what colors are right from season to season!

Based on research, insight from leading designers and industry experts, you can uncover the best on-trend colors for Spring 2014!  Once you see them, you'll find they aren't just for the Spring season, but can add a dash of color to any room, to enjoy all year long.  And whether you use them alone, or in combination they'll create a colorful equilibrium for any space.

Placid Blue

Placid Blue probably makes you think of baby boys, sunny blue skies or the nautical décor of a beachside bungalow.

Whether it is your cabinets, your curtains, or your walls, this color is sure to add a cheerful hue to any room.

Pantone Placid Blue Interiors on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Photos Credit: Google

Violet Tulip

Violet is a soft, pastel color that can bring a feminine spirit to any space.

It makes a nice contrast to emerald and sage greens – especially endearing to those of you with a green thumb.  Or complement it with bright, white cabinetry, and furniture for a clean, crisp look.  Use varying shades of the Violet hue on the furniture, walls and lighting for a more dramatic impact.

Pantone Violet Tulip Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Photo Credits: Google

Hemlock

Visions of 70’s era sofa and refrigerators might come to mind when you check out the Pantone Hemlock hue. 

But, we think it’s time to let go of old stereotypes for this pleasant pastel, so you can see it in a modern light.

Retro appliances, like those from SMEG, are back in style.   But this color doesn’t mean you have to create a vintage look. 

Look for modern lighting pieces or bedding, for a spring-inspired décor.  Or why not switch up your wall color or the upholstery on your favorite couch.

Pantone Hemlock Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Photo Credits: Google

Paloma

Spring, summer, winter or fall, gray just never goes out of style for fashion or home décor – and it is not hard to see why.

You can go nautical use Paloma on your exterior, to recreate the appearance of weathered gray shingle siding of your favorite beachfront home.    Or dress things up with a sophisticated look using grey and white color palette in your new master bedroom.  Create a vintage look with rattan or wicker furniture and accents and some distressed oak wood floors.  Freestanding tubs are all the buzz in 2014, as is metallic so why not pick up a silver clawfoot tub for your bath.

Pantone Paloma Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Photo credits: Google

Sand

Natural colors, like Pantone Sand, seem to never go out of style.  

You can use them in the most elegant, or the most casual setting, depending on the other interior décor elements of the home.   And when your décor starts with this color as the foundation, in your walls or your sofa, you can mix them with bright orange, subtle gray, and everything in between. 
You can find a variety of interior décor items in this shade from Wide Plank White Oak hardwood flooring in Peaceful Sand, to lighting fixtures, and window fashions.

Pantone Sand Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

Photo Credit: Google

Decorating with this color makes it easy to stay on trend, and adjust your décor from season to season as you see fit!

Freesia

If you want to go bold this Spring, then the Pantone Freesia color is for you! 

No matter what the day says outside – rain or shine – you are sure to brighten up your space with the vivid rays of sunshine.   You’d be surprised what Freesia can go with, everything from simple white cabinetry (which goes with anything) to a zebra print rug.
If you really love this color repaint an entire room, or go more subtle with a freesia design on your wallpaper.   Create a 2-tone effect and repaint your dining room chairs, or pick a favorite piece of new furniture to brighten up your room.

Pantone Freesia Interiors

Photo Credit: Google

Cayenne

The color red exudes a lot power, demands attention and stimulates the mind.

Red is also versatile.  Infuse your space with oriental, Spanish or Indian textiles – all of which are sure to come in vibrant Cayenne red.  Mix it with other pantone colors like some Paloma and Sand and create a southwest feel.  Or add in some white and black for a luxurious look, with the ultimate contrast.   Or why not start your home décor out right, and give everyone a warm welcome, with a Cayenne front door!

Pantone Cayenne Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Image Credit: Google

Celosia Orange

Like red, orange commands attention.  Like the yellow of Freesia, it is often shied away from for its overbearing nature.

But if you love Sunkist and orange sherbet Pantone’s Celosia Orange might be right for you.  Highlight an island in your kitchen with orange beadboard.  It goes great next to dark wood floors!  There are some great furniture pieces with which you can adorn your home too.  Or go all out with rugs, walls, curtains and textiles.

Pantone Celosia Orange Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Photo Credit: Google

Dazzling Blue

There is a reason they call it “dazzling blue”.  When you walk into a room with this color you’ll be thinking of radiant blue gemstones.

But don’t be fooled.  Blue is a calming color, and create a relaxing backdrop for your space.  Like its lighter cousin, Placid Blue, it always goes with white.  But mix it with grays and blacks for something more chic and modern.  The good news is, you can mix it with a variety of other colors and metals, like gold and bronze, both popular in 2014.

Pantone Dazzling Blue Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

Photo Credit: Google

Which Pantone Spring color do you like most?

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7 Interior Decor Ideas for the Wine Connoisseur

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”

-Andre Simon

Homeowners around the country are converting bedrooms, bonus rooms, and cellars into more desirable spaces.  If you are a wine enthusiast that unused space might be the ideal location for your new wine cellar or tasting room.

If you are looking to bring your passion for fine wine into your home, we've come up with some guidance, along with 6 interior decor ideas, to help you with planning!

My Design

Like a fine wine, the design of your room can take on many "flavors".  So the first question to ask yourself, is "what kind of style do I want?".

Do you want to recreate a rustic wine cellar from an old French Chateau? 

Mediterranean Wine Cellar by Las Vegas Architects & Designers Pinnacle Architectural Studio

 

Do you want a sophisticated and contemporary look to your new space? 

Contemporary Basement by London Interior Designers & Decorators Urban Cape

 

Do you want something a bit more retro and modern?

Contemporary Wine Cellar by Nashville Interior Designers & Decorators Beckwith Interiors

 

This decision will help you determine what kind of materials you want to use for your walls, flooring, and other interior decor elements.  

1. Walls

The walls of your wine room provide the cornerstone for your space.

They begin with proper construction, framing, and insulation provided by your builder.  To gain some insight into what this process looks like and what products are used check out this guide from Wine Cellar Innovations.

Once the basic construction is complete, this is where the find begins! You need to decide what type of material you will use for the walls. 

Will it be old brick or stone? How about reclaimed wood wall paneling?  Or some polished concrete.  You may even be interested in a faux finish painting, or mural.

Wine Cellar Wine Ideas with Reclaimed Wood Wall Paneling from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

 

2. Wood

The use of wood in a wine cellar is very common.   Here are a few ideas:

Dark Wood Flooring and Reclaimed Wood Flooring for Wine Cellars from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors

 

3. Seating

Before you can figure out the seating arrangements, you want to understand how your wine cellar will be used.

Are you going to have wine tasting parties and host gatherings in your wine cellar.

If so you want to have plenty of seating.  Consider an oversized table with plenty of seating, or a hand-crafted island with bar stools. 

If you want something more casual, why not some leather armchairs and ottomans.

Traditional Wine Cellar by Evanston Design-Build Firms Benvenuti and Stein

If you are exclusively going for storage then some traditional seating, or stools should be all you need.

4. Lighting

Lighting is an important consideration for a wine room as it serves many purposes.

Naturally, the lighting is important to support the functionality of the room.  You don't want it so dark that you can't move around.  Installing lighting with dimmers or a timer, is a great idea for a wine room so you have complete control.

Lighting also helps set the ambiance for the room.  Recessed lighting, pendants, natural or colorful LED lighting will be perfect for a modern wine room.  For something a little more vintage, consider wrought iron lighting fixtures, glass globes, and lanterns.  Create spaces within your walls for candles (real or fake) to add to the antique decor. 

Mediterranean Wine Cellar by Irvine Home Builders GRADY-O-GRADY Construction & Development, Inc.

5. Water Fountain

Every wine room needs proper humidity. 

You can do this the modern way with a basic humidifier, or you can have a little fun with the decor and add a water foundation or misting bowl.  In some of the more elaborate wine rooms you may even find custom made fountains and small pools.

Wine Cellar by Burke Design-Build Firms Berriz Design Build Group

6. Storage

The storage within your wine room will be one of the most important elements of your room.

They will store all of your carefully crafted treasures until you are ready to uncork it and they can add an interesting design element to the room as well.

You can build custom wood shelves to store your wine.  There are a variety of contemporary storage options as well

And don't forget to include some cabinetry to store your wine glasses!

7. Entry

The entry to your wine room can be something as simple as a wood door, or a think glass entry to allow everyone to see inside.

If you have a valuable wine collection proper security is going to be a necessity.  Locks, wrought iron doors, and other methods might work.  But if a complete electronic surveillance system works best for your collection, be sure to include that in your electrical design and home security when the rooms is being built. 

Transitional Wine Cellar by Dallas Architects & Designers Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro

 

For more ideas on the fundamentals of building a wine cellar, check out this helpful article from Houzz.

What do you think of the idea of having a wine room or wine cellar in your home?  What would be your favorite design style vintage or modern?

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Love the Labels for Organized Spring Cleaning

If you are striving for an organized home, you might be looking for some small ways to achieve your goal.

This spring, why not try something new – labels!  There are so many fun ways to use labels to organize your home and keep everything where it belongs.   We’ve come up with some ideas for each room to help you get started!

Label Ideas

Before you can start labeling you need some supplies. They don't have to be boring clear plastic tubs with 2x3 avery white labels. You can have fun with it!

 

Here are a few things that you can use to make your own containers and labels.  This is a fun DIY project, or arts & crafts project with the kids!

Now that you have some suppliers lets see how you can put them to good use!

The Mudroom

Think of your first cubby in elementary school.

You’ll find a hook for your coat and hat and backpack, and a spot to put your snow boots.  Most importantly your cubby is labeled with your name so you always knew right where you needed to be, and no one else was allowed to stash their stuff in your cubby.  Simple, compartmentalized, organized.

From mom’s purses, dad’s golf shoes or your child’s rain boots, bring this elementary design into your home and get great results.

SOURCE: HGTV

In the Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the home so we had to share more than one good idea with you here!

Ok so this may not be a label, but how many times a week do you get asked “what’s for dinner”. If you plan ahead for your weekly meals, broadcast the menu each morning on a tasteful blackboard in the kitchen.

Use Labels to Organize your Kitchen from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Blog

 SOURCE

These chalkboard paint labels from Martha Stewart and Staples are a nice touch for any kitchen.  Add them to your pottery or storage containers to know right where things go.  The labels are removable so you can keep your containers clean.

 SOURCE: Staples

Have you every wondered where that missing measuring cup has gone.

Having a dedicated cabinet with measuring cubs and spoons neatly labeled and stored, is an easy way to keep track of them, and know which ones missing.  Plus chances are, if they have a dedicated home they are less likely to be placed in the wrong spot.

 

Other by Other Metro infarrantlycreative.net

Laundry

No one likes laundry. The sorting, the washing, the folding.

While we can’t take away the chore, we can make it a little more organized. Label your stations to suit your laundry habits – white, light, dark, towels. Even your teenager can get it right.

Laundry Room

The Pantry

Everyone dreams of having a walk-in pantry.

Those that have them, dream of having an organized pantry.  With labels, it is so easy!  Install some modular shelving like the MAX Pantry shelving from Crate and barrel, add in some baskets or old wood boxes, and go label crazy, and you’ve got yourself an organized pantry.

 SOURCE

 

LAUNDRY

No one likes laundry. The sorting, the washing, the folding.
While we can’t take away the chore, we can make it a little more organized. Label your stations to suit your laundry habits – white, light, dark, towels. Even your teenager can get it right.
 

Beauty Products

No matter how much, or how little, space you have in your bathroom, you can never have too much organization.  Find baskets, boxes, and other contraptions to hold your beauty products and label them from the outside so you never have to dig for barrettes or your eye liner again.

Laundry Room
Eclectic Bathroom
 

Child’s Room

The best habits are taught at an early age. 

There are many ways to help your child learn to be organized.  Paint their furniture so you can draw or write on it with chalk.  Show them where their clothes go, and draw some helpful reminders on the front.

Contemporary Kids by Calgary Interior Designers & Decorators elle design

 

Use every available space to store toys, and keep clutter to a minimum. Even these handy, labeled canvas bags are out of the way, but serving a great organization purpose from the back of the door.

Eclectic Kids by Port Washington Kids & Nursery Play Chic!

Going Green

We all know the importance of recycling, but items can add up quickly, you only have so much space, and do you ever put your cans in the paper bin.  

With some handy labeled organizers, this can be a problem of the past and make your weekly recycling trip so much easier.

SOURCE

Don’t Forget the Herbs

For those of you with green thumbs, don’t forget to take your labels to the gardens. You can use these colorful Chicklettes….

SOURCE

 

Or stick with something a little more traditional. Either way when it is time to pick you’ll  know right where to go.

Eclectic Landscape
 

How can you use labels in your home for spring cleaning?

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