LED Lighting: Pros and Kind of a Con

led light

Below is a guest post on the subject of using LED lighting options for the interior and exterior of your home (or office for that matter!). S Interior Design specifies LED light options for all of our client projects.    Even if it is simply replacing existing recessed can light bulbs with an LED option, the new light output can make a big difference in how the space looks. Continue reading

A Guide to the Latest Interior Design Trends for Flooring in Your Home

When we were approached to host this guest blog, about one of our favorite topics, flooring, we jumped at the idea. Choosing the proper flooring from a functional and aesthetic point of view (always consider both!) is one of the most important items when re-modeling or simply re-decorating. Selecting the perfect hard or soft flooring helps to bring a room together and to unify the overall design. Sometimes for us, it all starts with the flooring and we design-out from there.

The three biggest current trends in the flooring industry are reviewed in this post and there is a suggestion that we are entering a new and hopefully more positive atmosphere with regard to consumer attitudes and desires.

Sustainable flooring is now a particularly important issue to a lot of people, and as a result, manufacturers are focusing on eco-friendly ranges and consumers are now certainly taking the environment in to consideration with their purchase, and thereby making a statement at the same time as acquiring a beautiful floor covering.

There maybe a few signs that the end of the recession may be in sight, in any case, consumers are looking to make plans to improve their surroundings and maintain or even raise the value and desirability of their homes. This is prompting a welcome increase again in new homes being built and a rise in home renovations, both requiring new flooring and pushing demand higher.

It seems to be a more widely held belief that products such as solid wood floors and high quality carpets will add to the value of your home and these choices are now seen as an investment rather than just a purchase.

With brighter news for the economy and the environment there is no surprise that the flooring style of the moment is all about bright colors.

Although interior design trends have mainly focused on neutral shades in recent years the mood and purpose for home improvements has changed and fewer people are now decorating with the intention to sell and are now more likely to want to put their own personal touches to a home.

Selecting flooring in your home is significant because the color, texture and pattern of the floor will set the mood for the rest of the room’s design. Many designers call their designing model the “floor-up” model for this very reason. When selecting a color, texture and pattern for your floor, consider the overall design you wish to pursue in a room, and select flooring that will compliment the walls, trim work and furniture.

If you are a person who changes furnishings often, you are best advised to select a neutral floor, which will easily work into any decor. This will protect you from purchasing a new floor to fit in with your design change. Ideally, a floor like hardwood could be purchased to accent the room’s trim. These floors typically look good with any furnishings. Select a hardwood that is a shade lighter, or a shade darker than the wooden trim in the room to give the room depth, and create distinction between trim and the floor. Generally, dark woods with a high sheen are considered appropriate for formal rooms, like a dining room, while lighter woods with a more natural finish are preferred in rooms with a rustic decor, or a less formal purpose, like the living room.

In an area where there is heavy traffic, or where there is a risk of water damage, avoid both wood and carpet. Instead select a tile, laminate, or vinyl flooring that will both hold up well to use and clean easily. In a bathroom, take the time to look at the permanent fixtures. If they are bright white, the floor is an opportunity to include a splash of color. If the existing fixtures contain color, a more neutral flooring is appropriate and will prevent clashing.

In an area like the kitchen, there are a lot of other design elements to consider when selecting a floor. Most importantly, the counter tops and cabinet fronts should be considered. Also, if the kitchen has canister sets, family heirloom kitchen elements or other existing decor, the colors already present in the room should be considered. Select flooring that can be worked into the room in other ways. If you are laying large tile, find one that is similar too or complements a small tile that can be used as a backsplash. If you are laying laminate, take a sample of your countertops and look for a laminate flooring that closely coordinates in terms of texture and color.

No matter what furniture and decor is in the room, remember that the floor takes up one-sixth of the visual space, more than any other uninterrupted space, with the exception of the ceiling. Select a flooring that ties all the furniture, decor and natural elements of a room together. Try to find flooring that contains the same color palate as the walls, the room trim, or the furniture. Avoid colors that are too bold, especially in small spaces where they will become overwhelming. Consider the room’s natural or artificial light source, and consider how that will affect the appearance of the flooring after it is installed. Finally, take home samples of the flooring and see how it looks in the room before purchasing enough to do the whole space.

 

About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID
Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at www.sinteriordesign.com.

Keeping Your Period Home Cozy Without Compromising on Style

Do you live in an older house? If so, you might feel like the winter cold is straining your heating budget. This guest blog gives those who treasure their period style homes some great ideas on how to create energy efficiencies without changing the styling of your fabulous home.

Making a beautiful old house more energy efficient can be difficult. Victorian and Georgian buildings are notorious for leaking heat and letting in the cold. But no one wants to compromise on style. So the question is, how do you make your house green and beautiful?

Here are some simple energy efficient solutions for period homes.

Eco Friendly Sash Windows

Often one of the first things to go when trying to make your home more energy efficient are the beautiful sash windows. Especially with so many double-glazing salesmen knocking on doors! But now you can get double-glazed and energy efficient sash windows with a U value of at least 0.8. However, they can be pricey. The good news is that a recent study by the English Heritage has shown that by simply getting your sash windows repaired you can reduce heat leaks by as much as a third. And if you add draft proofing you can improve the efficiency by as much as 86%.

Stunning doors that lock the heat in

Normally when we think of energy efficient front doors it conjures up images of ugly white plastic. Not exactly in keeping with the style of a period home. But this needn’t be the case. Most good composite door manufacturers provide you with a choice of period styles ranging from Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian to contemporary. In addition to the style you should also be spoiled for choice in the color department. But, best of all, they should all have low U value scores (the measurement of heat transfer) of 1.0W/(m2.K) giving them and your home great thermal performance.

Cavity insulation

Post 1920s houses are likely to have cavity walls so filling them with insulation can boost efficiency and shouldn’t affect the outside look. But with older walls there’s little that can be done without hiding away the beautiful stone or timber work. The good news is that a recent survey conducted by SPAB showed that 79% of old walls including timber, cob, limestone and slate retained heat better than expected. If you do choose to insulate your walls, make sure you choose a suitable material. Older walls need to “breathe” to function properly and a non-breathable material could cause damp problems down the line.

Attic insulation

Of course no one is going to see this so you don’t have to worry about style. But if you’re keen on keeping it contemporary to the period of the building you might consider insulating with sheep’s wool. It breathes naturally and unlike some man-made insulating materials won’t cause problems with damp.

This article was brought to you by Nick Williams and Yale Door. Yale Door manufactures new composite front doors; each door complies with strict U-value legislation and looks outstanding. 

About Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID

Suzanne Lasky, Allied ASID, is the owner and founder of S Interior Design, the exclusive provider of Pawprint Design Services™. Suzanne works with her clients to develop a winning combination of design elements that result in warm, comfortable and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personal style. Suzanne and her team specialize in residential, contract and hospitality interior design, from simple color selections, to office build outs, to restaurant, spa and hotel designs. Suzanne shares her years of expertise through the power of social media. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at this blog. To speak to Suzanne about your interior design needs, please call 480-220-4659 or visit her website at www.sinteriordesign.com.