Nail Cottage Style Decorating With These Simple Tips

Cottage style decorating is simple, laid back, and almost anything goes. It’s seen a revival lately, and you can nail this aesthetic very easily in both large and small homes. We’ll outline a few things that you should keep in mind when you decorate, and you’ll be well on your way to a gorgeous cottage style home in no time.

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Furniture

Your furniture pieces in this decorating style are usually recycled. You can buy them from a flea market, charity store or ask family if there are any pieces they don’t need anymore. Nothing has to match between pieces, and this is the entire point of this decorating style. This mismatch with your furniture gives you a comfortable and charming look. You can recover or paint anything you find to help it fit into your overall decorating scheme.

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Flooring

Your flooring should follow the same general theme of everything else. Floors are usually imperfect or informal. Bare wood flooring is a perfect choice. You can also make new wood look old, or you can choose painted wood flooring with patterns stencilled on to define different areas or add interest. Cover raw wood flooring with vintage throw rugs to add a little colour and interest into your space. It’s a blank canvas that you can use to tie the room together.

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Window Treatments

Most cottage decor is very informal and comfortable, and you want your windows to look airy and light. Lace curtains instead of putting up heavy drapery or adding sheer panels instead of opaque panels can add to the charm of a room. If you need privacy, pair it with simple shades that you can put up during the daytime. When you don’t have an issue with privacy, leave your windows bare, or you can add valances.

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Patterns and Colours

While you can easily incorporate several different patterns or colours into your cottage decorating style, it’s a good idea to have a unifying theme. If you’re going for an English Cottage, floral prints and pink hues suit. A rustic style calls for rough-hewn furniture against forest colours like rust, greens or golden tones. If you want a cottage theme near the shore, try sandy beige with soft blues and lots of white. Faded colours schemes also work well.

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Fabrics

This type of decor usually calls for a unique mix of fabrics in the form of upholstery, slipcovers, draperies, curtains, pillows and table skirts. You can easily coordinate several prints like stripes, florals, plaids or checks. Slipcover protectors on your furniture is another very popular design that offers a relaxed look and allows you to quickly update your furnishings. Tossing a few throws adds a homey and warm feel to the entire room.

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Accessories

This is a very flexible style that allows just about any odd thing to serve as your next accessory, so you want to keep an eye out wherever you go. Old hats, charming plates, interesting frames, instruments for music or heirloom pieces can quickly turn into the centre of attention with this decorating style. Look in tag sales, antique shops, family member’s attics or flea markets to find a veritable treasure trove of items that are both decorative and useful.

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Bottom Line

Cottage style decorating is something you may want to check if you’re looking to get a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. These simple tips can help you embrace this trend and end up with a beautiful and functional space.

 

Six Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value When You Sell

It’s easier than you think to increase your home’s property value. You want to take a few steps before you get it ready to sell in order to get as much for it as you possibly can. We’re going to give you a few quick tips to help you increase your home’s value without breaking your budget below.

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

You’d be surprised how much adding a fresh coat of paint to the interior or exterior of your home can update the look. Take a look inside and look for any chipped, scuffed or worn areas and be prepared to add a coat of paint. Doorways and trim go through a lot, and it can quickly age a home. A bright white paint can update your space and give it a clean feel, or you can go for blends that mix and match with several styles.

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Update Your Flooring with Timber Flooring

Adding timber flooring is a way to create eye-catching looks, but it also adds an element of low maintenance and convenience to every room you put it in. If you have darker rooms, brighten them up with a lighter flooring colour, or you can go bold and get a vibrant hue with reds or golden tones. Timber flooring is an excellent way to easily add a lot of value to your home because it can last for decades.

Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay

Add Kerb Appeal

Although updating the inside of your home is important, the exterior is just as important. Give your home a power wash to cut through the grime and cobwebs that built up over the years and can make your home look dingy. Consider repainting your trim or front door. Get a healthy yard, fix up your driveway and add a few landscaping trees, shrubs or flowers to add points of interest to your home. This all makes it more appealing to buyers when they go by your home.

Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Update Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is the focal point of your home for many people, and you want to update it a little at a time. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul. Instead, start by swapping out that stained sink that you’ve had forever for something more modern. Maybe you have an old microwave that you want to swap out, or you need to refinish your cabinets. Every small piece can boost your home’s overall value.

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Install Energy-Efficient Appliances

A little energy efficiency goes a long way when it comes to boosting your home’s value. You can install an energy-efficient refrigerator, oven, microwave, washer and dryer quickly and easily. Not only do they make your space flow better, but they can add a modern twist to your decor. This higher upfront cost comes back to you in the form of reduced utility bills and a boost in your home’s value.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Install an HVAC System

If your home doesn’t have one already, consider adding in an HVAC system to keep the home cool in the winter and warm in the summer. For homes that already have one, schedule a routine cleaning or maintenance check to ensure that it’s running as it should be. Both large and small homes can benefit from having it.

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Bottom Line

These six quick tips can help you update your home and boost your value. You can do one or do multiple ones. Either way, you’ll see your home’s value climb when it comes time to sell it.

Is Bamboo Flooring Better than Hardwood?

When it comes to bare flooring materials, is hardwood or bamboo the better choice? For years, hardwood flooring has been the go-to in bare flooring. It’s timeless, elegant and classic, but bamboo is giving it a run for its money.

New flooring types are quickly becoming popular with homeowners that want a stylish option to traditional hardwood flooring. One type that a lot of people are trying is bamboo. It looks very similar to hardwood flooring, but how does it compare?

We’ll break down the pros and cons of traditional hardwood flooring and the alternative bamboo flooring to see which one is best. Before you pour your money into new flooring, make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Hardwood Flooring Bamboo Flooring
Cleaning Daily with a broom, mop or vacuum. Can wax it to restore shine. Do not saturate it or use a wet mop. Daily with a broom, mop or vacuum. Do not wax it. Do not saturate it or use a wet mop.
Durability Should use harder woods for more durability. Can be prone to denting or scratching. More durable than most hardwood options.
Installation Nail it down Floating floor, nail it down or glue it down
Good for Allergies Yes Yes
Lifespan Over a century 20 to 25 years on average
Pet-Friendly Yes but prone to scratching Yes
Price Around $10 per square foot depending on the wood species $5 and $7 per square foot
Professional Install Costs Around $5 and $8 per square foot Around $4 and $7 per square foot
Refinishing Able to refinish it Able to refinish it with care if you sand it
Waterproof No. Can stain, mould, warp or have mildew growth No. Naturally resistant to mildew and mould. Slightly more waterproof than hardwood

Care/Maintenance

  • Bamboo – You can use a dust mop, broom or vacuum to pick up any debris. There is a bamboo-specific cleaner you can use to restore shine. Don’t use wax-based products or waxes to try and bring your bamboo flooring back because it’ll soak in. 
  • Hardwood – You can use a dust mop, broom or vacuum to pick up any debris as long as the vacuum is for hard flooring to prevent scratches. Use a spray product with a microfibre cloth to add shine back to the floor, and you can wax it if you’d like. 

    • Winner – Hardwood because bamboo is more difficult to maintain.

Durability  

  • Bamboo – Bamboo is harder than a lot of traditional hardwood flooring. However, lighter bamboo flooring isn’t as durable as darker options due to a carbonisation process that weakens it.
  • Hardwood – The Janka Hardness Scale will set the standard for your flooring’s durability. Harder options that are less prone to scratching include Brazilian Walnut, Brazilian Cherry and Ebony. Hardwood is more prone to scratching and a softer option that isn’t as durable against kids and pets.
    • Winner – Bamboo because it is harder than most hardwoods. 

Installation 

  • Bamboo – You can float, nail down or glue down bamboo flooring. You’ll have to cut and measure the bamboo planks to fit your area, and you’ll need a tape measure, mallet and power saws. 
  • Hardwood – You nail down hardwood flooring. You’ll have to cut and measure the hardwood before nailing it down. To install it yourself, you’ll need a nail gun, hammer, crowbar, mallet and other tools. 

    • Winner – Bamboo because it’s easier and less time-consuming to install.

Price

  • Bamboo – Bamboo averages between $5 and $7 per square foot to buy it. To have it installed professionally, you should expect to pay between $4 and $7 for every square foot. 
  • Hardwood – Hardwood averages between $3 and $`0 per square foot to buy it. To have it installed professionally, you should expect to pay between $5 and $8 per square foot.
    • Winner – Bamboo because it’s usually the more cost-effective choice out of the two.

So, looking at the chart and the breakdown of the most important features, is bamboo flooring better than hardwood? They’re both very durable options. People who want an easier installation with a more affordable choice should go with bamboo.

People who want a floor that can last for 100 years, is easier to refinish and has dozens of colours and styles available should go with hardwood.

All About Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is rapidly gaining in popularity and becoming one of the most popular types available. It’s usually less expensive than traditional hardwood, tile or stone. It can also mimic the look of different types of wood that wouldn’t withstand everyday use.

Laminate can have the appearance of wood-grain, and each plank is the same shape and size as wood flooring planks. You can also choose any colour or look you’d like with it because laminate flooring takes their designs from photographs. You can get a textured appearance that looks real, and it can mimic Brazilian cherry, oak, walnut, mahogany, maple, hickory, chestnut, pine, ash and more.

1. Is laminate flooring durable?

Yes. One large selling point with this type of flooring is that it’s very resistant to scratching or scuffing. It’s also very easy to clean with a microfibre cloth, broom or vacuum. However, it does tend to swell if you get moisture in between the boards, and this can cause your floor to warp. 

2. Is laminate flooring waterproof?

No. It can withstand the occasional accidental spill as long as you wipe it up right away and don’t let the water sit and collect. Since this flooring is more porous, it’ll let the water soak in. When it does, it’ll start to swell in the grooves between the boards. Eventually, you’ll get a warped floor that doesn’t fit seamlessly together. 

3. How does the price compare to other flooring styles?

Laminate flooring is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to engineered wood, solid hardwood and a stone floor covering. You can compare it to how much you’d normally spend on porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles or luxury vinyl flooring. 

4. What makes up laminate flooring?

Manufactures form the sheets for this flooring using aggregated wood particles. Then, they add a photorealistic layer of stone or wood to the top of that. To finish it, the manufacturers add a thin layer to protect against wear. It’s a thin, clear and durable plastic sheet that helps to protect the exterior elements and lower layers against scratches, UV rays and moisture. 

5. Does laminate flooring need underlay and a subfloor?

Yes. Laminate flooring requires that you have a solid subfloor, just like you’d have with all of your floor coverings. You add foam underlay between the laminate itself and the subfloor. This provides a slight cushion when you walk on it. If you don’t have an adequate subfloor, people will add a thin plywood sheet to act as an intervening underlay. 

6. Can you use laminate in kitchens?

Yes, with precautions. You can use laminate flooring in every room in your home. However, you want to pay attention to areas with a lot of moisture exposure like kitchens, entryways and bathrooms. Moisture can wreck your flooring if it collects in and on it. If you have it in one of these areas, be prepared to wipe up any spills very quickly. 

7. How do you install laminate flooring?

Your new laminate floor is a floating floor. This means that each plank has a fold and lock mechanism or a tongue and groove build into it that snaps together. The flooring planks connect to each other, but you don’t attach them directly to the subfloor. Hence the term floating floor.

Do you think laminate flooring is a good choice for you? If you want a versatile, durable and cost-effective flooring option, you may want to check into it. The fact that it’s very easy to care for, easy to install and that it comes in dozens of styles and colours makes it an attractive option on any budget.

6 Reasons to Choose Luxury Wool Carpets

Luxury wool carpet is a top choice for what is arguably among the most comfortable and high-quality flooring money can buy. It is natural, renewable and incredibly soft, with the potential to last several decades. Here are some reasons why luxury wool carpets are an excellent option.

luxury wool carpet

It’s resilient

Resiliency refers to the ability to bounce back after compression and maintain shape. Luxury wool carpet certainly has plenty of resiliency. Sure, synthetic fibres, such as polyester, are even springier. But when you’re interested in natural fibre, you can’t go wrong with luxury wool carpet. It will not wear down or mat over time, keeping a beautiful and welcoming appearance.

It cleans well

Luxury wool carpet has natural soil resistance properties. Thanks to its resiliency, it means dirt won’t tend to mess up its appearance, which would require deep cleaning. Dirt and dust take a while to sink down.

It also has a natural resistance to oils. Like other fibres, it cannot resist stains, so if you so desire, you have the option of adding stain protection during the manufacturing process. However, it’s not really necessary with proper cleaning.

A little special care goes a long way with luxury wool carpet. With the right know-how, you can work with it rather than against it. This means using gentle tools to clean it. As for vacuuming, luxury wool carpet sheds. A canister vacuum with low abrasion is best. It must be vacuumed from side to side instead of end to end so the fringe isn’t caught. A yearly vacuuming of the back will remove embedded dirt, and it needs washing if any dust blows up.

Other caveats about luxury wool carpet are that it fades in the sun and needs airflow to prevent mould and mildew. You can reduce this risk by limiting sun exposure and installing a moisture barrier on top of the carpet padding. Take care of it like the special carpet it is and it will prove to be well worth the cost.

It dehumidifies

Luxury wool carpet’s ability to absorb water isn’t necessarily always a bad thing and in fact can benefit people with respiratory issues. It removes excess moisture from the air. Even when the air is dry, it will release any moisture it had previously trapped into the air, making a humidifier unnecessary. Exceptions are rooms where there is standing water, which it’s not suited for, or humid climates.

It’s fire resistant

Unlike synthetic fibres, wool will not burn or melt when exposed to flame. Instead, it will char. It’s also not very difficult to remove scorch marks.

It’s warm

Because its plushy feel, luxury wool carpet prevents heat and cold from entering your home. It’s a great insulator and so can reduce your air conditioning and heating bills. You’ll sleep like a baby in your bedroom and spend more time in your living room with luxury wool carpet.

It’s hypoallergenic

The non-toxic and organic properties of luxury wool carpet make it appealing for anyone. Synthetic fibre carpets can off-gas, while some timber flooring can cause allergic reactions or irritate one’s respiratory system. Make sure yours is manufactured without any dyes or chemicals so that it stays hypoallergenic.

In the world of flooring, luxury wool carpets are a premium option. They are naturally soil resistant, fire resistant, resilient, hypoallergenic and sustainable. Their beauty and environmental properties are great for people who want the benefits of natural fibre carpets. Take care of luxury wool carpets properly, and they can potentially last a lifetime.

If you’re interested in finding out more about luxury wool carpets and our own selection, contact us.

A Basic Guide to Scotia Flooring

A well-laid floor has no nooks or crannies in it. Scotia is the final key to a successful installation for solid wood, engineered wood and laminate flooring. That’s because such flooring needs to have an expansion gap around the room, and what Scotia does is fill in that gap by attaching to the skirting board and around the perimeter of the wall. Here’s what you need to know about Scotia flooring so you can make sure it’s both beautiful and functional.

ScotiaCheck the expansion gap

Your flooring has a specific expansion gap depending on the type of flooring as well as the size of the space. The expansion gap goes around the perimeter of the space and anything installed such as cabinets, pipes and door jambs. Its purpose is to ensure airflow and that the flooring can safely shift with temperature and not warp. Since solid wood, engineered wood, and laminate flooring are all commonly installed using the floating floor method, the planks will tend to contract when cool and expand when warm or moist.

If you happen to have an insufficient or no expansion gap for your flooring, what will happen is something called buckling. It causes a hump to form in the flooring. While repairable, it’s inconvenient and time-consuming, as you will need spacers to make sure the gap is uniform after cutting away from where the planks meet the wall and any vertical barriers.

An expansion gap usually matches the flooring’s thickness. So if you have wood flooring that’s 19 mm, for example, the expansion gap should be at least the same. On the other hand, you can have an expansion gap that is bigger than what is recommended, as a matter of taste.

Installing Scotia

Scotia differs from skirting in that skirting is simply a baseboard made of wood or vinyl that covers the expansion gap. However, it goes on top of the flooring rather than inside the gap. The Scotia depends on stable skirting as its base.

Some homeowners install skirting with Scotia moulding (coving) between the skirting and flooring Since skirting typically comes in white, the Scotia is often white as well and so will look like part of the skirting.

What is Scotia made out of? It can be solid, veneered, or MDF. Solid is made of solid wood, typically oak, and comes in lacquered or unfinished. Veneered is a softwood with a thin veneer of uncommon species like bamboo, walnut or sapelle. And MDF (or laminated) has foil or paper attached to the surface to match wood or laminate flooring.

It’s important for your Scotia to completely cover the expansion gap in order to keep out moisture and dust. When you measure for Scotia, allow 10% for any cutting errors. Scotia typically measures 2.4 metres, so you’ll have to measure the perimeter and divide it by 2.4 metres to find out how many pieces you’ll need.

There are two methods you can use to install Scotia. The first is adhesive fixing, and the second is pin (stapled) fixing, which makes for a more secure attachment to the skirting board.

Scotia styles & colours

Scotia comes in two styles: One is concave, and the other is convex, also known as beading. Convex Scotia is typically made from softwood in order to create its shape. Because softwood is delicate, a softwood Scotia must be painted after installation.

While Scotia comes in many colours, it also comes in a colour match option for homeowners who want consistency in their flooring. A colour match Scotia makes it look like it’s coming out of the flooring.

Your flooring is as good as its installation. Scotia is a decorative and practical addition to solid wood, engineered wood and laminate flooring. It presents a neat finish and covers the expansion gap.

If you have questions about our Scotia flooring options, contact us.