Hardwood Flooring Home Decor

Is It Important For My Home’s Floors to Match?

When it comes to home design, one of the most important decisions you will make is what flooring to choose. Flooring can really set the tone for a room and it’s important to select a style that will match your other decor. But what if you can’t find the perfect flooring to match?

Is it still possible to have a cohesive look in your home? In this blog post, we will explore the importance of matching flooring and provide some tips on how to achieve a coordinated look in your home even if your floors don’t quite match.

Consider the Cohesiveness

One of the most important things to consider when choosing flooring is how it will work with the other elements in your home. If you have a lot of wood furniture, for example, you might want to choose a wood floor that will complement it.

Alternatively, if you have very modern furniture, you might want to select a more contemporary flooring option. It’s important to think about the overall “look” you are going for in your home and what flooring will help you accomplish that “look”.

Think “blend and contrast”. The last thing you want is for your flooring to clash. The transition between two different types of flooring can be quite jarring if they are too different. If you have a hardwood floor in your living room and carpet in your bedroom, for example, try to find a carpet that has similar colors to the hardwood. This will help create a more cohesive look in your home.

Match the Flooring or Go for Contrast?

Source: Unsplash

Once you have considered the overall cohesiveness of your home, it’s time to decide whether you want to match the flooring or go for contrast. If you want to create a seamless look, matching the flooring is probably the best option.

This can be especially effective in open concept homes where different rooms flow into one another. By having matching flooring throughout the space, you can create a cohesive look that ties the whole home together.

On the other hand, if you want to create a more unique look, you might opt for contrasting flooring. This can be a great way to add interest to your home and make it feel more dynamic. If you choose to go this route, just be sure that the different flooring options complement each other and don’t clash. A good rule of thumb is to choose two different but complementary flooring options that are in the same color family.

Tips for Mixing and Matching Flooring

Source: Unsplash

If you can’t find the perfect flooring to match or you simply want to mix and match different styles, there are a few things you can do to ensure a cohesive look. One option is to choose one flooring style for the main living areas of your home and then use a different but coordinating style in more private spaces like bedrooms and bathrooms.

Another option is to use similar flooring throughout your home but in different colors or finishes. For example, you could use hardwood floors in your living room and kitchen but in different stains or finishes. Or, you could use the same tile throughout your home but in different colors or patterns. There are endless possibilities when it comes to mixing and matching flooring, so get creative!

Mistakes to Avoid When Mixing Flooring

While there are many ways to successfully mix and match flooring, there are also a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.

Too Many Styles

One mistake is choosing too many different flooring styles. If you have too many different types of flooring, your home will look cluttered and busy. Instead, stick to two or three different flooring styles and use them throughout your home in a cohesive way.

Clashing Colors

Another mistake to avoid is choosing flooring colors that clash. This can happen if you choose two different flooring options that are in the same color family but have very different undertones.

For example, pairing a cool gray floor with a warm brown floor can create a clash that is very noticeable and off-putting. Instead, try to choose two different colors that have similar undertones.

Keep Carpets Away From Kitchens

If you’re going to have both carpets and hardwood floors in your home, it’s important to keep the carpets away from the kitchen. Carpets can be difficult to clean, and if you have spills or other accidents in the kitchen, they can be very hard to clean up.

Instead, stick to hardwood, tile, or laminate in the kitchen and save the carpet for other areas of your home.

Attempting to Create Contrasts That Are Too Extreme
Creating contrasts is a great way to add interest to your home, but you don’t want to go too extreme. For example, pairing a very dark floor with a very light floor can create a contrast that is too extreme and can make your home feel jarring and uncomfortable.

Instead, try to choose two different but complementary flooring options that are in the same color family. This will create a more subtle contrast that is stylish and sophisticated.

Poor Quality Flooring

When mixing and matching flooring, it’s important to make sure all of the flooring options you select are high quality. Choosing one high-quality flooring option and pairing it with a lower quality option will create a noticeable difference that can make your home look cheap.

To avoid this, only choose flooring options that are made from high-quality materials and that will stand the test of time.

Some Floors Just Don’t Match

There are some floors that just don’t go together, no matter what you do. If you’re having trouble finding two flooring options that match, it’s probably best in that situation to choose one flooring style for your entire home. This will create a cohesive look that is much more stylish and sophisticated than two mismatched floors.

Source: Unsplash

The Bottom Line

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to whether or not your home’s floors need to match. It really comes down to personal preference and the overall look you are trying to achieve.

If you want a cohesive look, matching flooring is probably the best option. But if you’re looking for something more unique, mixing and matching different flooring styles can be a great way to add interest to your home.

Whatever you decide, be sure to consider the overall cohesiveness of your home and choose flooring that will complement your other decor. With these tips in mind, you can achieve a coordinated look in your home that you love!

Learn how to get your own beautiful floors here.

Home Decor

Should I Use Light or Dark Hardwood Floors?

Should I Use Light or Dark Hardwood Floors?

If you are someone who is lucky enough to live in a home with hardwood floors, you should be thankful. Hardwood floors are the epitome of class and elevate a home’s look and feel that is tough to replicate.

But if you are deciding upon the type of hardwood floor you want in your home, you have options. There are many selections for your home flooring but when it comes to hardwood floors, most people start with selecting the tone: light or dark? Yet, even those two options might feel overwhelming and impossible to choose between.

Getting Started

Light, cool, dark, warm – these are the tones of hardwood that can alter the overall look and feel of a floor. There are many factors to consider. In the end, it all depends on what type of homeowner you are and what sort of things you value. What type of cleaner are you? Are you a pet owner? Do you have children? All of these things will come together to help inform if your hardwood floors are going to function better in a dark tone or a lighter one. 

Before you really get into the pros and cons of dark and light hardwood floors, it is important that you make a commitment to decide upon the option that you like the most. At the end of the day, the final choice should always be the one that makes you happiest. It’s your home and it should look the way you want it to. 

When the time comes to make the final decision, here are the things to think about when choosing between light or dark hardwood floors.

Which is Easier to Keep Clean?

While some of the competing topics between light and dark hardwood floors end up with neck-and-neck results, this one isn’t really close. The truth is that lighter toned hardwood floors are much easier to keep clean. Light hardwood floors tend to show less dirt than their dark alternatives. This is important if you have a home that has a lot of open windows, fans, or pets. An open window, for example, will bring in dirt and dust from the outside world. That will show up pretty readily on your hardwood floor. 

The same dirt and dust will also get all over a carpeted floor too. However, it will show up much more on hardwood. Thankfully, seeing a mess easier on hardwood can actually be a good thing because that means you will be able to tend to it faster and get it cleaned. People who have carpets are often walking around on dirty ground without even knowing it. Meanwhile, homeowners with hardwood are able to spot and fix these problem areas much faster. 

If you are looking for a floor that is easier to clean, you should go with light hardwood floors.

Which Shows Scratches More?

Hardwood floors are striking in their appearance, there is no doubt about it. But it is also undeniable that hardwood floors are more prone to scratches and little damages more than most other flooring methods. This makes sense when you think about it, wood is more susceptible to little imperfections over time. Hardwood floors are still strong, don’t misunderstand that. However, there is a good chance that your hardwood floor will receive some dings and damage over time. 

Since some minor damage is unavoidable, the question becomes which shows scratches more: light or dark hardwood? Most people agree that dents, dings, and scratches show up much more on dark hardwood. Why is that? Because most wood floor species are light, so when you scratch through the dark-colored surface, the contrast of the light underneath is more obvious, meaning that the scratch shows up much easier than it does on a light-on-light hardwood floor. 

This is something to consider if you are a parent or pet owner. Children and animals are the two biggest culprits when it comes to damage to hardwood floors. They bring a lot of love into your home but they also can bring in a lot of roughhousing and damage. If you have children or pets – or both – you should seriously consider having a light hardwood floor for your home. 

If you still decide to get a dark hardwood floor knowing that your scratches will show up more, there are options for you. There are many ways to clean your hardwood floor, no matter how dark it is and how many scratches it has.

[Source: Unsplash]

Which One Will Cost You More?

You may be wondering which one, light or dark toned hardwood floors, will make a larger impact on your wallet. The truth is that in this case, both light and dark hardwood floors are about the same when it comes to pricing. In some markets, that may be different. However, generally, the difference in pricing is minimal. 

Personal Preferences

While maintenance and cost are common deciding factors, one thing that can’t be neglected is considering one’s personal preferences. 

A home’s style is unique. Depending on the color schemes of the rooms in your home, there is usually an optimal choice. There is actually a science that revolves around floor color. Here are some highlights. 

  • Floor colors impact the way we perceive the size of a room. Some colors make a room look larger, while others make the room feel smaller. 
  • Brown has a feeling of comfort and inspires nature.
  • White has a feeling of cleanliness, innocence, and happiness.
  • Black has a feeling of sophistication and power. 

Specific colors are used by interior designers in numerous ways. 

  • Bring attention to a specific part of a room
  • Convey emotions
  • Create contrast
  • Create connections
  • Alter perception of space

Final Thoughts

No matter which you choose, light or dark hardwood flooring, no choice is wrong. Although, each has their own unique benefits. To make the final choice, you should think about what type of homeowner you are, who lives in your home, and how often you want to clean. And of course, don’t forget to consider your own personal preferences, which is the most important factor in deciding which tone is right for you.

Home Decor

Making a Small Room Look Bigger – Expert Tips

Making a Small Room Look Bigger – Expert Tips

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could wave a magic wand and add a couple more square inches here or there? We have compiled tips from experts on interior design, flooring, and color theory to do just that! We’re covering the top 3 methods you can use to maximize your small space and optimize your home, ultimately making your small room look bigger.

Declutter Your Space

The minimalist lifestyle is continuing to get traction among homeowners. Even just a few trinkets can really make your home feel crowded when working with a small space. Some of us just can’t help it! We love stopping by quaint little shops for delightful trinkets and antiques. But, small, cramped rooms don’t have to stop your passion for collecting. 



Decluttered Space



Pick a few of your favorite pieces to have on display, and then create a space to put the rest of your collection in a safe spot, out of sight. The key is to keep your home feeling fresh. Rotate your favorites every month or seasonally.

Donate gently used pieces to your local shelter, church, or community program. Before deciding what to give away, go to the front of your room and take a look at the placement of your furniture. Are there any pieces that are obstructing your view? Move them! 

You’ll find you can really make the most of your space when you shift large pieces away from walkways or doorways. Swap out tall pieces for shorter stylish options like an ottoman or low table. Your remaining tall pieces actually work best when they are positioned alongside the walls rather than in the middle of the room.


For big pieces and large hauls, plan ahead! Give the business you’d wish to donate to a call and see if they accept large pieces before dropping them off. Sometimes they’ll even give you an extra hand. If you don’t have a way of transporting your donations to the location, they’ll arrange for a truck and movers to pick up your donation right at your doorstep. That way you don’t have to bug your friends on a weekend or pay out of pocket for a truck rental service and moving company. 


Update Your Flooring

How many walls does your room have? Most people would say four, but the experts say 6. Why? The flooring and ceiling can dramatically impact the look at feel of any room. Dark wood has a very rich aurora and can feel regal and romantic, but it also can swallow up your space. Matching woods can be tricky. Sometimes the colors may not exactly match up due to staining or natural process. Swap dark-colored flooring for much lighter choices, like light oak or maple hardwood flooring; they tend to be the most popular choices for homes.



Is there such a thing as too light? There’s a common misconception that white flooring is harder to maintain. Most homeowners find the exact opposite. They find that dust is much easier to hide. Well, that ultimately depends on you; just be aware of the care and maintenance. 

Let’s say you’re redecorating your kitchen. We suggest light cabinets paired with light flooring. If your kitchen cabinets are already dark wood, use a lighter finish to run adjacent to the woodwork. 

Ultimately, if you do decide to choose a darker wood finish, trust us! You don’t want to select anything more narrow than 8” wide. Having wider boards means that there will be fewer visible seams and provide more balance for smaller rooms. Lucite and glass furniture typically is super modern, and it’s also a popular design choice for homes. Transparent furniture simply takes up less visual space. You can switch your dark wood kitchen table for a translucent set of chairs to create the illusion of more space.


Switch Up Your Color Scheme

When it comes to small spaces, less is more. Small spaces are not ideal for going “color crazy.” Experts say to stick to a cool light colors monochromatic color scheme. We based our small room design concepts on color theory.


The color wheel essentially categorized colors as either warm or cool. Think about the colors in nature, like the green in plants, the blue hues in water and the sky; these are all considered cool and calming. When you enter a room with cool colors, it’s almost like they recede away and open up the space. We suggest starting with a shade like white, gray, taupe, or beige; pick a cool neutral shade. It will be much easier to match your furniture and floor if they all remain neutral.

Our bedrooms should be our safe space to relax and unwind; no matter how small it is, we can still visually expand the space. For instance, keep the walls in the bedroom a creamy white color, and pick bed linens that are also neutral with light pops of color like a soft, warm yellow. Deep purples, like eggplant, can be used for the throw pillows and other accents to highlight and balance your space so it feels larger.



Use light and inviting hues that are all in the same family. For example, ideally, the more light we can let into a room, the better. Yet, we know sometimes leaving windows completely uncovered isn’t really an option. 

We love the way sheer curtains transform spaces. You can also pick light floor-to-ceiling drapes that match your walls to make the room look larger. There is something about long lines that play tricks on our eyes. Stripes are the perfect interior design trick for small spaces. It actually doesn’t even matter what width you use; either thicker or narrow stripes make walls seem longer and taller! Horizontal stripes are also an excellent choice because they make walls appear more expansive.

Just because your space is small doesn’t mean we have to skimp on style. Small apartments can still feel like spacious and cozy homes; it just may require making a few tweaks. Lighting can make a huge difference. You can start small by uncovering your windows and inviting more natural light into your home. Stay tuned for more home remodeling and decorating tips from the experts.

Home Decor

A Guide to Western Home Decor

A Guide to Western Home Decor

There’s no doubt that the term “western style” will evoke a John Wayne-esque image in your mind of a room filled with cow hides. But a more modern western style home has evolved from floor to ceiling wood and antlers as decoration. While you can use these elements in moderation, western style today plays into its classic heritage while also incorporating more modern elements. Below, we’re explaining the best way to achieve a tasteful, western decor in your home.

Western Home Decor

Photo by Christian Harder, Elle Decor

Choose your Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors lay the perfect backdrop for any western styled home. Because elements in this style of decor tend to feature bold patterns and colors, a neutral floor is a good base for your room’s palate. A more traditional approach may feature warmer oak, hickory and light maple species.

However, it’s important to note that any hardwood flooring can match your ideal western decor if you plan ahead. Even cooler colors like a dark maple can work well in a western home. It’s important to understand the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve first, which is why hardwood flooring is one of the most important styling decisions you’ll make throughout your home designing process.

Western Home Lighting

Photo Courtesy of

Don’t Forget Lighting

Warm lighting is key when creating a western style home. Unlike sleek, minimal designs, western influence is reminiscent of cozy cabins and fireplaces. If you’re going full western, look for copper lanterns and pendants with farmland scenes on them. If you’re going for a more subtle look, embrace tableside lamps in warm, neutral colors.

No matter how far into the western aesthetic you’re going towards, comfort lighting is key. You wouldn’t associate fluorescent lights with this decor, so embrace the cozy and gravitate towards warmer hues.

Western Bedding

Photo by Sante Fe Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Texture Brings the Room Together

One of the best parts of a western style home is the amount of playful patterns and textures you can incorporate. While colors in this type of home generally lean more neutral – with deep red and orange accents – texture is where you can have more fun.

Consider accents like cowhide rugs and throws mixed with vibrant quilts. Dark leather makes for great sofa and chair materials. Turquoise accessories can add subtle pops of color throughout a room. Whether you’re fully committing to the style or choosing a few key pieces, western accessories can tie any home together.

Home Decor

How to Pick the Right Area Rug

How to Pick the Right Area Rug

If you’re in the process of renovating or decorating your home, an important factor in your design process will be selecting furnishings. From sofas to tables and lamps, everything will affect your space’s aesthetic in either a cohesive or (in worst cases) dysfunctional way. You want your furniture, especially your area rugs, to compliment some of the harder finishes in your home – hardwood flooring, wall texture, built-ins, etc. While everyone has their own sense of style, we’ve provided a couple of basic tools to help you maximize how to pick the right area rug for your space.

blue couch with area rugSource: Unsplash

Consider the Area Rug Style


Just like hardwood flooring, there’s an almost endless style of rugs you can choose from for your flooring. While cheesy, some describe rugs as artwork for your floors. Traditionally, you’d probably find either Persian or European style rugs lining the rooms of most people’s homes. While these types of rugs will always be classic, rug styles have become much more experimental in the last twenty years.

Styles like geometrics and bright florals are all popular in this current moment. Like hardwood flooring, the color of your area rug will also play a crucial role in the overall look of a room. You don’t necessarily have to match your rug to your wall and sofa colors. In fact, bright, complementary colors are popular right now. On the other hand, neutral rooms are also having a moment with beige sofas and cream-colored rugs. In this instance, if you’re going for a more subtle look, be sure to select a color that will match your finishes and hardwood floors. 


monochromatic room with beige area rug

Source: Unsplash

Experiment with Area Rug Sizes

If you choose hardwood flooring over carpet to begin with, chances are you appreciate the look and feel of hardwoods, so you don’t want to cover them all up with a massive rug. An area rug can vary in sizes from encompassing almost the entire room to framing a certain portion of a room. As a general rule, you never want your rug so large that it touches the baseboards or edges of the room. You still want to be able to see your oak, pine, or whatever hardwood flooring you chose. On the other hand, you don’t want your rug to be so small that parts of your furniture don’t touch the rug, leaving the appearance that they’re floating away. Most designers say that there should be around 10-20 inches of hardwood between the edges of the rug and the baseboards of the room. However, depending on the size of the room, some designers will bump this up to 24 inches or down to 8 inches. 

Rugs are also a great way to separate parts of the room. Say you have a huge, open concept room that you’re working with. Selecting two medium-size rugs – one for under the sofa and one for more of the dining area is an easy trick to making the room more manageable in size. 

chunky woven area rug

Source: Unsplash

Choosing a Rug Material

While appearance is an important factor in choosing an area rug, choosing a rug based on material and how it will work with your family is equally important. In rugs, there are different tiers of sturdiness, called piles. A high-pile rug will likely be softer and feel more expensive, but less sturdy, making it more susceptible to wear and tear. Low-pile rugs are generally more sturdy and easier to clean, which makes it a better option for high-traffic areas.

Lastly, think about how often you actually want to clean your area rug. Some rugs need to be vacuumed and rotated more often than others, so consider how much use this room will be getting and how likely you will be to clean it. 


Home Decor

6 Living Room Decor Tips to Inspire You

Looking for some living room decor tips to inspire you? Good news – you don’t have to duplicate a magazine or online image to create a living room befitting of a magazine spread. Throw caution and “can’t” to the wind, and create a living room that is meaningful and personal to your family. Carefully consider the following questions, and you will be ready to decorate your living room:

1) Examine the room, does it have any outstanding characteristics

2) How will your family be using the living room?

3) Is there a natural focal point in the room?

4) What is your decor style?

5) How are you going to frame the room with the walls and the flooring?

6) How can you make use of the natural light in the room?

7) What prints and patterns will you be using?

8) How can you mix color?

9) How should you place furniture to facilitate the traffic flow?

10) How can you do all of this within your budget?

As you answer these questions using the following expanded suggestions, visualize a living room worthy of a magazine spread, but one that is uniquely yours. Then use these living room decor tips to make your vision a reality.

Does the Living Room Have Any Characteristics That Need to be Deemphasized?

Are you lucky enough to have a perfectly sized and proportioned living room, or does it have features that you need to accommodate? Some common issues are small, large, and long and narrow rooms.

You can create the illusion of a larger room by using carefully placed mirrors, lighter colors, furniture that is less massive, lighter-toned wood, and drawing the eye up with items such as floor-to-ceiling drapes. Painting the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls also adds height. Do not crowd too much furniture, accessories, or visual highlights into a small room.

Larger living rooms can be made to feel less massive by creating multiple furniture groupings and using area rugs. Make sure only one area is dominant while the other areas serve to draw your eye around the room without being stopped by a heavily competing area. High ceilings can seem lower if you paint the lower part of the walls a darker color and the upper part a lighter color. Larger, heavier furniture in darker woods also fills space.

For a long narrow room, start by creating a path, preferably a straight path, to one side of the room, allowing furniture to be arranged on the other side into two groups occupying two-thirds and one-third of the room. Arrange the main conversation setting around a round coffee table or hassock. Create a table and chair area, reading area, or a desk area in the other third of the room. Just as you do for small rooms, draw the eye up with items such as floor-to-ceiling drapes, and use light colors and lightweight furniture. Don’t clutter the room with too many items or accessories.


What Is the Intended Use for Your Living Room?


Will your living room be a place where your family will gather, or will it just be used for entertaining while your family favors another room? If the family is going to use it as a gathering and activity center, then you need to make a list of the items that need to be included in the room, such as a television and a games area, and find room for them. If it is just going to be used for guests, then you can concentrate on aesthetics and not on the utilitarian aspects.


What will the Focal Point be in Your Living Room?

Some rooms have natural focal points. Do you want to emphasize any natural focal points or create your own? If you want to emphasize a natural focal point, carefully build items around it that support it without overpowering it. For a window, create a window treatment that helps draw your eye there.

Fireplaces require adding items on the mantel and on both sides of it that support but don’t overpower it. Built-in bookcases – add displays to the bookcase that create interest without being cluttered. Place furniture so that it faces your focal point or set a larger piece of furniture, such as a sofa, in front of the focal point to help draw your eye to it.

To deemphasize a focal point, use neutral colors and create a monotone area, such as deemphasizing a window using drapes that are the same color as the wall. Monotone doesn’t mean boring. It means that the area blends in and complements the room without drawing attention.

To create your own focal point, use an item such as wall art or a piece of furniture that is special to your family as your center of interest. Support the attention that you are trying to draw to it by doing things such as creating an accent wall behind it, arranging the furniture to face it, or sitting furniture in front of it. This will make your room magazine-layout-ready and yet personalize it.


What is Your Style?


Do you favor traditional, modern, minimalist, or rustic decor? Defining your style helps you set boundaries that create a unified look. However, you can blend in items that are outside the style you are featuring to create interest and personalize your living room, such as a few steampunk items in a traditional room.


Living Room Decor Tip #1: Use Your Walls and Flooring to Frame Your Room

If you think of your room as a piece of artwork, then your walls and flooring are the frames. Frames aren’t always plain. They can have accents without competing with the artwork that they are framing. You can do the same with your walls and flooring.

As already mentioned, you can paint three of your walls one color and use the fourth wall to create a different color accent wall. You can also wallpaper one wall, paint it with a design using multiple colors, or give it any other treatment to make it the focal point of your room.

The same idea can be applied to your flooring. Many flooring companies have designs that range from parquet to medallions and other true focal point designs. If you want the room to look bigger, maybe you want to extend your flooring between rooms to create a more cohesive look. So browse and see what is available and consider these options.


Living Room Decor Tip #2: Make Use of Natural Lighting


Light colors make a room brighter and shades of white help reflect the natural light while giving a warm feel. Use satin paints instead of matte paints to also reflect natural light. Mirrors, glass, metals, and the shiny wood surfaces from furniture and wood floors also help reflect the natural light.

Try to arrange the furniture in the room so that the natural light is located in the areas that need it the most, such as reading areas. In addition, custom window treatments can help you enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your room while leveraging natural sunlight to brighten your room.


Living Room Decor Tip #3: Mix Wood Tones

Don’t be afraid to use and mix. These days, it’s not uncommon to mix various shades of wood in one room. This more modern approach allows you to blend rustic style wood with various stains and grains, creating a look that is diverse. 

You can achieve this by purchasing wood flooring that compliments your flooring without being exactly the same. One way to still make the look cohesive sit to keep similar undertones of the wood similar.

Living Room Decor Tip #4: Balance Color and Texture 


Gone are the days where you need to match everything to your hardwood floors. Now, it’s easier to see hardwood flooring as a base or neutral, allowing you to build the room from there. Don’t feel like you need to pick wall colors or art that perfectly match your floors. Bring in bright colors and allow yourself to get creative. 

Also consider adding texture in your accent pieces to balance out the hardwood floors. This can be done with plush rugs, airy window treatments and even softer sofas. 


Living Room Decor Tip #5: Place Your Furniture to Create a Smooth Traffic Flow

Now you are ready to decide where to place your furniture. As we have already discussed, furniture placement is affected by the size and shape of the room, your focal point, and the natural lighting. You should also consider the traffic pattern. Consider how people will move between doorways in the room, and don’t block that flow. Then, try to create 3-foot, easy-to-maneuver paths between the furniture. Finally, consider the overall look of the room and make adjustments.


Living Room Decor Tip #6: Learn to Decorate on a Budget


Decorating or redecorating a room can be expensive, but there are ways to cut the cost. First, do a little at a time. Of course, you want to have the new look immediately, but sometimes it is necessary to do the project in small steps. Look for found items or items that you can repurpose and use them. If you see someone throwing out something that you can use, ask them for it. Look for items in other rooms or items that have been stored away in your home and use them.

Shop for items on Craigslist, at second-hand stores, and check out garage sales. Let your family and friends know what is on your wish list so that they might be able to get it for a gift-giving occasion. Finally, see how many of your friends might be interested in participating in a home decor exchange. All of you can bring items or pictures of items that you no longer want and select items that others have contributed that fit your new look.




It might help you to use a spiral notebook to record your ideas and organize your plan as you work through the various aspects of decorating your living room. As you read through your notes, you will probably find additional ideas and inspiration. This will also help you edit ideas and control your budget. In the end, you will have a room that will look as editorial as any living room seen in a magazine, but it will be your own unique and personalized living room.

Hardwood Flooring Home Decor

The History of Hardwood Flooring

When you think of a timeless home, chances are the image in your head will have hardwood floors. Hardwoods have long been favored for their appearance and ability to stand the test of time. Like most of us, sometimes we take for granted aspects of home design that seem to have been around forever. But it wasn’t until the 17th century that hardwood flooring started to gain popularity. If you’ve ever wondered how and why hardwood flooring came to be, let us walk you through the history of hardwood flooring.

The Early Years

The history of hardwood flooring dates back to the early 1600’s French Baroque area. At the time, only wealthy people and French nobility would have adapted this style due to cost and timeliness of the installation. Hardwood flooring was made by hand, where each plank would be scraped, sanded and polished. Examples of this type of early flooring can be seen at Versailles in the traditional Parquet style that is still popular today.

Image courtesy of

Hardwood Flooring in America

Most of the hardwood flooring we imagine today – polished and uniform – weren’t common until the 19th century. In fact, most flooring in early colonial America was made from wide, thick planks that were likely cut from nearby forests with whatever material they could find. Unlike today where you can choose from flooring like bamboo, hickory, oak and more, these people were working with what was right outside their door.

The process for cutting timber into lumber was also extremely lengthy and difficult. A pit saw was most commonly used to do the cutting and required at least two men to get the job done. Because the process was so manual and strenuous, the planks of wood were often different widths and sizes, resulting in uneven flooring or flooring with gaps in it. It was common to lose smaller items like marbles under the gaps in the floors.

As time went on, a new method for laying flooring was created that allowed for a much more uniform look. The long edge of a plank of wood was planed with an “L” profile, allowing it to lock in with adjacent boards. So, when wood inevitability changed shape and size due to weather, gaps could be covered up by the end of the other, adjacent board.

Early Hardwood Flooring Design Trends

Like so many aspects of design, popular hardwood flooring styles have changed drastically over the years. In the 18th century, many people began to paint their flooring as they would their walls and ceilings (staining and varnish wouldn’t become popular until the late 19th century). These decoratively painted wood floors ranged from monochrome to fanciful designs such as diamond or checkerboard patterns, making for a memorable timestamp in the history of hardwood flooring. Because of the low quality of the wood in most of the homes during this time, painting was a relatively easy and inexpensive way to upgrade the look of your home. If you were part of the wealthy elite, however, you might have been able to invest in parquet flooring, similar to the Versailles style mentioned earlier.

This historic faux marble treatment is quite formal.
Photo: Geoffrey Gross, courtesy of Rizzoli

Colors in a hand-painted floor were cued by the original jadeite-green glass wall tiles.
Photo: Leslie Tomlin

For a compass rose, paint reproduces the look of inlaid wood species.
Photo: Sandy Agrafiotis

The Industrial Revolution

Along with many other inventions, the Industrial Revolution also brought a more efficient and expedited process to the hardwood flooring world. With new, steam-driven machinery, the production time of flooring decreased significantly. Additionally, flooring became much more uniform and began to look like the polished flooring we think of thinking of today.

Around this time, the most popular way to install flooring was known as the “Tongue and Groove” flooring method. Tongue and groove flooring fits together like a puzzle piece, where one part of the flooring is fitted with a protruding “tongue” that fits into a concave “groove.” The most common type of hardwood around this time was narrow, oak floors – much different from the types of flooring we saw in earlier years.

Photo: Superior Flooring

Hardwood Flooring Today
Besides a decline in popularity around World War II when wall to wall carpeting was more common, hardwood flooring has remained a classic and favorite type of flooring for most homeowners. After many different phases of hardwood flooring, the polished hardwood flooring we know today finally appeared in the late 19th century.

Today, hardwood flooring goes through a much more detailed manufacturing process than in the past, creating an appealing and durable product. Whereas hardwood flooring might have only been in certain rooms of the house in the past, today, it’s much more common to see hardwood floors through the entirety of homes. Whether you’re renovating a home and trying to find your style or simply thinking about hardwoods in general, there’s a myriad of options to choose from. If you’re on the fence, remember that hardwood flooring has stood the test of time for centuries and we don’t anticipate it going away any time soon.

Home Decor

Home Decor Tips For This Summer

Summer is just around the corner. People are shedding their winter coats and reaching for cut-offs. With summer comes socializing. We have friends and family over for cookouts and patio parties. Just as we spruce ourselves up for the sunny skies, we take a good look at our homes to see if they are summer ready.

Whether you live in a Denver home or in a more affordable city like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, let’s look at some easy ways to update your home decor in time for the summer months.

Let There Be Light!

We naturally want to let sunlight in through the windows. Maybe you spent the winter months with flowing drapes, colorful wool throws, and a fire in the fireplace. Of course, you are going to pack away the blankets and clean out the fireplace. But, while you are doing that, take down those drapes.

The windows in our homes are very important. We use a great deal of time and a great deal of money to have efficient and beautiful windows. Then we drive to the closest department stores and buy curtains. Here is a tip. If you just must buy drapes, have them custom made to fit your windows. They will look better and last a lot longer. But, you may consider buying custom blinds instead.

Why would custom blinds work so well? Because the trend today (and for many years to come) is to place hardwood floors instead of carpet. Buy custom blinds to match your hardwood floors and your home looks like a model home. Everything fits perfectly.

As for the fireplace, you can buy a pretty decorative screen to block off the fireplace. But, if you want to be a bit more creative, place some iron candle holders in the fireplace. Stagger them in different heights and sizes. Large candles draw attention to the eye when they are unlit. Lighting them gives your room a romantic glow with the flames flickering in the dark area.

sitting on chair painting portraits
photo credit: Aleksandr Slobodianyk

Wall Galleries

In the 1970s people decorated their walls with framed photos of their family. Then the world went “arts and crafts” nuts and our memories were being replaced with cross-stitched pictures, sun hats with flowers and lace hot glued to them and roosters. We don’t know how roosters became a home decor fashion statement, but they did.

Now, family photos have made their way to the halls once again. They may be hung with “word art” but they are being hung. Here is a really cool twist to this idea. The days of average people going to an artist to sit for a painting are no more. But, now you can select your favorite photograph of your family, a loving grandparent who has passed away or even a little baby. You send it to the artists. They upload the photo and paint you a beautiful oil painting on canvas. You can make this portrait the focal point of the room. Other options include watercolors, pencil, and chalk. Click here for more information, just give it a try.

kitchen with wood floors


It is perfectly fine to put down an area rug to protect your hardwood floors, but if you want to keep up with the trend, hardwood flooring is a must.


The days of all white kitchens have finally slipped away. If you just changed your kitchen to that look, you can rescue yourself with black accessories. Black and white are holding for a while. Shaker cabinets have been the top of the line cabinetry for decades. They were designed to be high quality with no maintenance and understated beauty. They were created in the 1800s by a group of religious members of the same name.

You can order your RTA cabinets with open fronts or some with glass doors. There is no wrong way to use Shaker cabinets.

Get away from the white walls. Pastels are trending this year in colors like yellow, baby blue, and green. You will not see shiny paint this year. Matte is where it’s at. Matte finishes on cabinets and countertops. As for countertops, the going thing is concrete. The colors are up to you. Gray, black, steel blue or green looks good as long as they are (you guessed it) painted with a matte finish.

Trends for kitchens and bathrooms include the vessel sink with chrome faucets. When you have a pretty vessel sink, it quickly becomes the focal point of the room.


There is always a need for plants in the house. But, 2019 will push away from the rainforest in the kitchen and bath. A few plants (hanging) is great. A small herb garden in the kitchen? Awesome. Other than that, place your vegetation on the patio.


Buy a summer duvet cover. Place a matching rug on the floor. Use what you have learned about window treatments and add wall mirrors.

patio furniture outside
photo credit: Marianne



Place an indoor/outdoor rug on your patio. Use the extra space to plant a few of your favorite veggies or berries.

As you can see, there are many ways to update your home for warmer months. Get started now, and you will be ready in plenty of time. Your home will have the wow factor that you dream of.

Home Decor

5 Meditation Room Decor Ideas to Help You Get Your Zen On

Designing a meditation room in your home is a great way to gain peace of mind. You can create a designated space to relax in and get your zen on! Meditating is no longer only reserved for traditional monks and those who have a passion for the new age lifestyle. Meditation has proven mental and physical benefits and now is popular in cultures around the world. With the right meditation room decor ideas, bring the ambiance you truly desire while relaxing and unwinding to life.

#1: Choose Your Meditation Room Colors Wisely

Selecting the colors for your meditation room is one of the first steps to take when you are designing a space that is genuinely welcoming, calming, and inviting. When you are looking to create an area in your home that you consider to be your retreat, avoid flashy and bright colors or distracting patterns that make it difficult to concentrate and zone out.

Some of the most popular earth-tone colors to go with when designing a meditation space include:

  • Neutrals: Beige, Eggshell, Light Brown, Dark Browns
  • Grey: A variety of grey shades work with a wide range of accent colors
  • Colors: Rust orange, Hunter green, Navy blue, Cerulean blue, Eggplant, Berry, Blush

Meditation Pillows Bright Colors

If you are interested in using a bright color scheme, consider these before making your selection:

  • Berry/Hot Pink with Grey/Dark Brown/Burgandy
  • Grey with: Rust Orange, Teal, Purple, Pink, Deep Red
  • Teal with: White, Eggshell, Grey
  • Yellow: Dark brown, Dark grey
  • Purple: Deep orange, Earthy browns
  • Orange: Eggshell, Dark Grey, Dark Brown, Medium Brown

Browse online communities such as Pinterest to brainstorm color schemes for your meditation room based on your personality and the type of decor you enjoy implementing throughout your home. Search for keywords such as “bohemian,” “boho,” “meditation ideas,” “Indian decor,” and other relevant phrases that are most appealing to you for the best results.

#2: Eliminate Distractions

Eliminate all distractions from your meditation room including televisions, tablets, and other electronic devices. Distractions keep us from focusing, especially when trying to relax. Minimize the amount of clutter you have in your meditation room to prevent yourself from feeling bogged down and overwhelmed each time you enter the space. Clear the floor and walls of excess clutter or belongings that are just not fitting for the atmosphere you want to create.

Create as much open space as possible with your meditation room. Clean or remove cluttered bookshelves and instead, opt for window plants or decor that is peaceful and meshes well with the color scheme you have chosen. Avoid clutter that is loud or distracting while you concentrate.

#3: Consider Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floors Meditation Room

If you have the option to select the flooring throughout your meditation room, consider opting for hardwood floors. Hardwood floors provide an earthy, yet natural aesthetic appeal to spaces designated to meditation and unwinding. Choose a dark, grounding, calming wooden floor if you are looking for an aesthetic that is peaceful and optimal for nurturing transcendental experiences. Hardwood floors are also ideal if you are interested in utilizing seat cushions and meditation mats that require a flat and level surface for desired results.

#4: The Importance of Versatile Lighting

Lighting is essential for a meditation space, regardless of the size of your room or the number of windows you have available. Use blackout curtains or drapes that can be easily opened or closed depending on the type of lighting you prefer during your meditation each morning or evening. Choose lights on a dimmer that allow more versatility when creating an atmosphere based on your mood each time you meditate. Avoid using stark white lights or fluorescent lighting in your meditation room if you want to maintain a calm and inviting ambiance at all times.

#5: Incense, Candles, and Popular Decor for Meditation Spaces

Choose Candles, Incense, and Items That Appeal to You

Spend time comparing incense and candle scents that are most appealing and calming to you. Choose scents that are not overly distracting but provide a sense of peace, especially during a meditation session. Search for aromatherapy scents for additional relaxation, optimal during a deep or guided meditation. Tapestries, rugs, and throw pillows all create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere when designing your personal meditation room. Consider the type of cushions or the seating arrangement that works best for the space you intend to use.

Taking the time to plan for your meditation room decor with the right color scheme, decor, and overall aesthetic is a way to remain encouraged and motivated to incorporate meditation each day in your daily routine. With the right look and feel in your meditation room, unwind and gain peace of mind whenever you need to let go of your troubles.

Hardwood Flooring Home Decor

What are the Benefits of High-Quality Oak Flooring?

This is a guest post contributed by Zac Ferry, an experienced writer, blogger, and social media promoter. He provides valuable information which helps readers to get more ideas. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter to see what he shares next.

Solid oak flooring is insanely popular because of its durability. It is suitable for all types of properties, such as residential as well as commercial premises, offices, hotels, etc. One of the main advantages of using this type of flooring is that it lasts a long time without losing its appealing. Solid oak floors, derived from natural wood planks, bring timeless beauty and a distinctive appearance to any room.

So, when it comes to choosing the hardwood floor for your home or office, oak is the best choice. Overall, oak is the most preferred hardwood flooring materials compared to others available out there. Since this material comes in different colors, such as white, black, red, etc., it compliments with any interior design thereby providing a uniform look throughout the building.

Benefits of Choosing High-Quality Oak for Your Floors:

The only concern of every homeowner, while undergoing flooring installation, is whether it will get ruined in a matter of months or not.  No one would want to go through the entire installation process to have to do it again. Having the best oak flooring installed is the best solution. Also, it has many advantages over other types of floors. Here are some of those benefits.

Benefit #1: High-Quality Oak Flooring is Hard-Wearing

Oak is a hardwood flooring material with exceptional resistance to wearing. The fact that most homeowners prefer buying old oak furniture is due to the trust factor it offers. Also, floors made of such material improve with time and shines with a flair for years to come.

The ease of use makes this flooring the best in the business without any alternative. It is so strong that it does not break down when any heavy machine is used, or screws are pinned on it. Hence, one does not need to take extra care while installing oak hardwood flooring in a house or any other building.

Benefit #2: Oak Planks Have Amazing Natural Designs

Another great feature of oak flooring is its designs, crafted with the utmost care. The look it creates in a space is unmatched. Since oak flooring is made of natural wood, the patterns and styles it possesses have unfounded elegance. In addition to this, wood is customizable catering to the needs of every individual and is also available in different sizes making oak wood advantageous.

Benefit #3: Oak, as a Rule, is Highly Durable

Most of the house or other property owners prefer oak hardwood floors because they are highly durable and give a kind of distinction from others. Moreover, the hardness of the oak wood makes it the best option, when it comes to flooring.

Benefit #4: The Color-Absorption Capacity of Oak is Outstanding

Oak hardwood has high color absorption capacity and thereby it makes sure the color of wood stays for long. Due to this feature, many people opt for this flooring option to improve the aesthetic appearance of any room.

Benefit #5: If Finished Properly, these Floors will be Low-Maintenance

Due to high resistance, the best oak flooring can easily withstand fungal and insect attacks compared to other types. Due to this, there would be no need to spend extra bucks on maintenance, repairs, and damages. It is also not affected by moisture thereby making it durable.

These are some of the advantages of using oak hardwood flooring in a house or any other building. Also, getting the best oak flooring installed in a premise makes it complete without having to think about renovating for many years to come. The texture and timeless beauty provided by this type of wood are what that can make one feel like walking in the most comfortable and aesthetic place on Earth.

Whether or not oak is right for you, we’re not sure. But, you can find out for yourself by reading, “How to Choose the Best Hardwood Flooring for any Home.”