Work Out While Doing Household Chores! Part Two – Lower Body

In Part One of our series, we discussed some household tasks that focus more on Upper Body Strength.  In Part Two we will be putting the focus on your Lower Body. 


Before you can get started with cleaning the floors, countertops and other furniture throughout your home, you usually must walk through and put things back where they belong.  This is a great opportunity to incorporate squats, lunges, calf raises and step-ups into your routine. 



For items on the floor, reach down while keeping a neutral posture.  Be sure that you transfer weight back towards your heels so you prevent yourself from bending your knees past the front of your feet.  You can also do a sumo squat, which requires you to place your feet facing out at a 45-degree angle. The same rules apply for keeping your weight in your heels to prevent an injury to your knees.


Calf Raises

For items on countertops and other waist-level furniture surfaces, stand straight with your tailbone tucked in and your feet hip-width apart.  Raise your item and your heels simultaneously.  Hold for three seconds and lower heels back down.  Repeat with all your items.  Your calves will be burning in just a few minutes!


Walking Lunges

To keep things moving in between all those squats and calf raises do some walking lunges as you put everything away.  Stand with your feet hip-width apart with both hands holding the item in front of you to maintain balance.  Keep your back straight and step forward with one leg, lowering it until you have reached a 90-degree angle. The knee on your back leg should be just above the ground.  Lift your forward bent knee up and repeat with the opposite leg. 



Keep on going as you put the items in their rightful place.  If the item goes in a lower drawer, get going on your squats! If you are staying at waist-level, let’s see those calves! Finally, if the item needs to go up somewhere high, get a small stool and do some step-ups!  Keeping your posture neutral, place one foot on the stool and press your weight back towards your heel as you pull your body upwards.  Return to the floor by stepping down with the same foot you first stepped up with. Repeat the movement for the opposite foot.  


We hope you enjoyed Part Two of our series. Check back for our final installment where we will be discussing chores that give you a full body workout!

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Work Out While Doing Household Chores! Part One – Upper Body

Making sure your living space is taken care of through a steady household routine is important and taking care of your body through a physical fitness routine should also be a priority.  The only problem is that while there may be enough time each day to accomplish one of these tasks, there is not always time to do both consistently.  To save time, why not combine the two? 


The key to making your chores work for you is form.  Just moving each part of your body in the direction you need to go is not going to give you any benefit.  It’s all about engaging the muscles you are targeting, keeping proper posture and maintaining form throughout the movement.  You should have intention with each move.  To start, here are a few chores that target the upper body.


Hand Washing Dirty Pots and Pans

While this may not seem like a very labor-intensive chore, it’s a great place to start your workout.   Stand up straight and engage your abs. Grab those dirty pots and pans and start scrubbing in a circular motion, making sure to apply a decent amount of pressure to create resistance.  After 10 to 12 rotations, switch arms to keep things even.  Keep a straight back while rinsing off dishwasher-safe items.  Use the time loading the dishwasher to stretch the muscles now that they are warmed up. 


Folding Laundry

To maintain proper posture while folding laundry, have a basket nearby to place the freshly dried items into so you are not straining your back to retrieve every piece of clothing as you go along.  Lift each item out of the basket, shake out the wrinkles and fold each item without pausing for too long.  Constant movement will help burn those calories!


Cleaning Your Countertops

Stand firm in front of your countertop with a slight bend in your knee.  You want the lower half of your body to be stable throughout the movement.  Using your rag or piece of paper towel make 10-12 circular motions with one arm and then the other.  Apply pressure to create resistance as you did while scrubbing your dirty pans.  Make sure your body is not leaning over the countertop or you will lose the impact on your abdominal muscles, biceps, and triceps.


Be sure to check out Part Two of our series as we discuss working your lower body muscles.


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Virtual Room Designer

Our Virtual Room Designer tool is amazing!  Watch the video below and then go try it for yourself! 

Levis 4 Floors Virtual Room Designer – YouTube

Design your room with Levi’s 4 Floors Virtual Room Designer. Just upload a picture of your room and select the flooring you would like to see.

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Making the Most Out of Limited Kitchen Space

For someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen, having a large open concept design is a dream.  But the reality is that not all kitchens are created equal in size, storage or walking space.   What is the chef or baker of the houses to do? Find the advantage points in a seemingly disadvantaged space. 


When dealing with a kitchen that is tiny all around, the best thing you can do is to use its height and wall space to your advantage.  If the ceilings are high enough, install cabinetry that will store items you will only require for special occasions. This will prevent the daily inconvenience of constantly having to retrieve more heavily used kitchen tools.  Another way to free up some storage space is to install a shelf or stainless steel rack to hang pots and pans from.  Be sure to install it as a height that won’t cause you to bang yourself in the head when you walk by but still allow you to remove it from the rack without having to stretch too far to do so. 


To create more walking space, try to de-clutter the room as much as possible.  If the garbage bin is taking up space, try installing a roll-out rack in the cabinet under the sink to get it out of your way.  If there is no space below the sink try a wall mounted garbage bin.  Anything that is in the room for decorative purposes and taking up valuable foot space either needs to find a new home mounted on the wall or hanging from the ceiling. Failing that, it’s time to move it to another location! 


Lighting is also important in a tiny kitchen.  While there may be nothing you can do about the dimensions of the space, you can use lighting to make it appear more open than it is.  If there is a window, you are already ahead of the game, as natural light is what you need to showcase first.  Make sure that you are letting this light reach as much of the kitchen as possible by leaving any drapery open during the day or simply using sheer panels.  What the natural light doesn’t illuminate, allow artificial means to compensate for.  Installing overhead and wall-mounted lights that are slimmer in design will help keep things bright without overcrowding the space.



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Four Things to Know for Your Bathroom Tile Installation

One of the most important decisions you will make during your bathroom remodel is choosing your flooring.  It serves as the foundation for the rest of the design and must provide style and function if it’s going to work.  There are multiple products you can use in this space but one of the best options is tile.  Here are a few things to consider when deciding to install this material in your washroom. 


  1. Be sure to choose tile that will hold up well in wet areas.  All tile are not created equal when it comes to the bathroom.  The most popular and water-resistant choice is porcelain or ceramic tile.  They are also made in a textured style different from what you would use on the walls to create a non-slip surface for safety.  Travertine is another popular choice, but this material must be sealed to provide protection from standing water.  Keep in mind that tile will feel cool underfoot so you might want to consider using radiant heat beneath the flooring.
  2. Be prepared to remove existing bathroom fixtures to ensure that the tile can be properly installed wall to wall in the space.  This usually means that the toilet and vanity will be temporarily unavailable during the renovation.  Be sure to have an alternative washroom to use while work is being done in this room.   If you are installing a new vanity or toilet with different dimensions than your pre-existing fixtures, remember that this may change the amount of materials needed for purchase.
  3. Establish that the floor you are working with is level to prevent issues when installation begins.  If the surface is not completely flat, the tile may not be able to be laid properly, which can cause cracking in the future.  Use a marble to ascertain whether you are working with a slanted floor by placing it in the corner of the room.  If it immediately starts rolling away, you know that a correction is needed before work can commence.
  4. Consider the size of the room you are working with before choosing your design.  While you may have your heart set on a certain look, ask yourself if it is appropriate for the space.  Try not to use anything too dark in a washroom with no natural light, or use tile that is too small for a tiny bathroom.  Large tiles are always a safe choice for smaller areas.  Smaller tiles are better suited for accent areas in a large bathroom, but use no more than 3 different sizes to prevent the area from looking too busy. 


Now that you know what to prepare for with your bathroom remodel, come visit us at our showroom to pick out the best tile patterns and styles for your space today!

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A Bathroom Project

Bathrooms can be one of the most used rooms in a household. Whether your family or guests are using it, the washroom’s aesthetic appeal can be very important. Updating and remodeling your home’s bathroom can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be!


Things to consider for your bathroom remodel:


  1. Heated flooring has become a popular trend for household bathrooms. This tasteful option allows your feet to remain warm at all times. Imagine not having to worry about stepping out of the shower onto the cold ground again! 
  2. Invest in a top-quality shower head. People take notice of bathroom fixtures, because the fixtures add to the overall experience. Incorporating a nice shower head will add quality and value of your bathroom. 
  3. Consider putting tile on the bathroom walls. Tiling your bathroom wall can add elegance as well as accent to a wall. Also, there are many different looks that can be accomplished when using tile on your walls. Compare accenting the wall with a classic wood, marble, or stone tile. 
  4. Make sure you will have enough storage. There is nothing more frustrating than not having a place to put your personal items. Since you probably do not want to leave them lying out on the countertop, make sure to consider where all your belongings will go. Think about adding a niche or corner shelving in the shower for shampoo storage. 


Pro Tip: During the construction, you will need another bathroom available. This part is extremely important depending on the size of your family. Take into consideration the number of people who need to get ready in the morning and the amount of time each person will take in the bathroom. A helpful tip is to set a schedule for your family on when each person can get ready in the morning.


A bathroom remodel adds value to your house. This is an investment, especially if you are considering selling your home soon. You can do as much or as little as you want to your bathroom. This is your chance to customize it just the way you would like! 


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Add Some Color to Your Home!

Life without color would be boring! The colors you choose to go together in a room can complete the overall look. Mixing and matching different colors can be easier than you think. We have put together stylish color trends that you can use in your space: 


1. Add a pop of color

A popular trend is to add a pop of color throughout a neutral-toned room. 

The Pantone Color Institute has officially named “Greenery” as 2017’s Color of the Year. They stated “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.” This color is not necessarily meant just for your walls; you can use “Greenery” as a pop of color in any room.

Do not stop there, bright colors are great for adding a pop of color to your space. Surround the bright color with subtle color tones and everyone’s eyes will draw to the statement pieces.  


2. Build off of the same color. 

Neutral colors are great for a monochromatic color schemes. This is where you use the same color is different values all over the room. This color scheme will give your room depth and warmth. 


3. Use a statement wall. 

This wall can be painted, tiled, or decorated with colorful items to draw people’s eyes to it. Consider painting the wall with an interesting design. If you go the painted design route, think about your different options to help you achieve the look. Stripes can be accomplished with a measuring tape and some painter’s tape. You also have various stencil options to choose from. 

Keep in mind: statement walls can be any wall in your home. Let your creativity drive this decision. 


4. Decorate with Pastels. 

Pastels have become a major trend for homes lately. Pastels are not obnoxiously bright, but they add subtle color to any room. Whether it is your kitchen appliances or living room decorations, pastels can be worked into any room’s interior design. 

Whatever color scheme you decide on, remember to add your creativity and personality to the space.

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Kitchen Trends for 2017

There are some major changes coming to kitchen design. These changes are fresh and refreshing. Likely they will remain longer than a simple trend. Find out what is new in kitchen design and how to implement them into your kitchen!

Horizontal wood grain is huge for cabinetry. This technique is revitalizing traditional wood cabinetry. Most commonly the cabinet faces are flat panels. There is no recessing or molding details on this style of cabinet. Turning the wood grain on the horizontal actually makes the kitchen seem wider. Hardware does not need to be ornate or fancy. The most popular style of hardware is simple metal, horizontal pulls. One of the best features of installing this kind of cabinetry is that it can be paired with other types of wood. For instance, if the cabinet grain is very prominent, pair it with wood flooring that has a smaller visible grain. Also run the other kind of wood grain in a different direction, preferably vertical. This will create interest with a clean look!

Mixing in two kinds of cabinets is a wonderful way to add dimension and interest. In the photo you will notice the horizontal wood grain cabinets are paired with clean white cabinets, and some of them have frosted glass insert. In this case, three different materials were mixed to create an interesting cabinet design. The key to pulling this off is to keep the cabinet design simple. Again there is no raised panels or ornate moldings on the cabinet doors. Each different cabinet material is in the same flat panel design.

2017 is all about contrast. Contrast is the key to keeping a design looking fresh and interesting. Monochromatic schemes can be great if done perfectly; which is very hard to pull off. Details get lost in a monochromatic setting and everything just sort of blends together. Creating contrast is one of the best ways to add interest and dimension. Details are noticed and appreciated when contrast comes into play!

If you are making some changes to your kitchen this year, consider the above read. These are not simply trends but good design ideas that will remain!

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Space as an Element of Design

Space is one of the most fundamental elements of interior design. It is a blank canvas and the basic structure of an establishment.  In fact, space provides the foundation for an entire design scheme. That’s why it’s essential for a designer consider how much space is available, the dimensions of the room when planning the layout of a room.


Types of Space

Space is categorized into two categories: two dimensional and one dimensional. Two-dimensional space refers to the length and width of the floors while three-dimensional space covers the living area which refers to the length, width and height.


How Is Space Used In Design

In design space is used to both connect and separate elements. When the spaces are wider they are meant to separate elements. However, narrow spaces are meant to reveal relationships between elements those that overlap place special emphasis on elements.


Positive and Negative Space

There are positive and Negative spaces in design. Areas that are filled with furnishing and decorating items are known as positive spaces. Negative spaces are areas that are virtually empty. There should always be a balance of negative and positive spaces. Neutral spaces are often used to draw attention or place emphasis on the main subject.


Space Planning

During the design process, it’s important to plan for space for efficiency. What is involved in the space planning process?  First off, you’ll want to start off with an in-depth analysis of the what you desire the space to be used for. An interior designer will draw a plan that specifies what type of activities will be taking place e in each space and how people will move around these areas. Finally, furnishing placement is determined.


Space also helps you set boundaries when decorating. For instance, you’ll avoid crowding a small room with lots of furniture.

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The Lifestyle Quiz

Searching for the right type of flooring to install in your home? There are many flooring options on the market. Therefore, determining which one is best for your lifestyle can be difficult. While you love the look of hardwood floors would your home be best suited for laminate flooring? How can you make the appropriate decision?


We have a free online tool that can assist you in determining what type of flooring textures you should utilize in your home. This powerful tool is an in-depth quiz that generates interior selections, finishes and a host of other suggestions. Once the quiz is completed, in whole, you’ll receive tips on how to achieve a balanced home life through your interior design selections.


How exactly does it work? You’ll be prompted with a series of questions regarding your lifestyle. These questions will cover your daily activities, interests and the individuals living in the household and what their specific needs. These questions can help determine what type of interior materials will be durable for your home.


Why use the quiz? By determining your needs, the quiz can help you formulate a plan. Whether you’re set on turning a spare bedroom into an office or building a small gym this tool can provide you with a blueprint. Yes, the Lifestyle quiz can provide detailed suggestions. We believe that a home should reflect the family as well as fit the needs of all individuals within the household.


Are you ready to take the Lifestyle quiz? Visit our website today!

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