Insightful Interior Design – Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of our Insightful Interior Design series.  In Part One we discussed the importance of preparation.  Having as much information as possible prior to purchasing materials puts you in the best position to stay on schedule, remain within budget and preserve the integrity of your design.  In our second post, we are going to offer some easy ways to best show off your space.


Choose Quality Over Trendy

When it comes to the larger pieces being used in the room, choose quality items that are well-made and versatile.  Trends change constantly and it may be tempting to go out and purchase the next big thing, but having to replace these items when they become outdated will end up costing more in the long run.  If there is a trend you enjoy, express that through the accessories you use in the space.


Keep Your Pieces in Proportion

Proportion and scale are an important part of making sure your design flows.  Space large and small pieces together for a more even look.  Separating them will only make the design look lopsided.  A room should also have easily accessible walking space so be mindful of overcrowding it with too much furniture.  If need be, remove a few pieces to keep the space functional.  Consider the shapes of the furnishings.  If the predominant shape is circular, sprinkle some more circular items throughout the room.  Do this just enough to tie them together, but don’t go overboard.  You want to show intention without looking like you tried to hard. 


Proper Layering is Key

Proper layering of a room is essential for bringing the look together.  The correct amount of color, shape and texture will bring effortless warmth to your space.  Start simple, with accent pillows or a luxurious throw blanket.  If you have a larger room, go for a larger pattern while a smaller one works best for a smaller space.  With every detail, think of what can bring out the personality of the design.  Can the drapes be made from a thicker, more decadent material?  Will a bold wall color accent the furniture?  Is there a special piece that can be showcased in the room?  Make what you have work for you.  Layer slowly and with purpose.  Step back and assess the room often to be sure you’ve achieved the right balance.


Check back in with us for Part Three of our Insightful Interior Design series!


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Fall Craft—Thankful Tree

As Thanksgiving approaches, here’s a fun family craft and activity to foster a thankful heart in yourself and your family members. A grateful heart is especially important to have if cooking and hosting are not your forte.

Some individuals love the holidays and everything involved with them; the time with extended family, planning, shopping, cooking, entertaining. Others find the season stressful, dreading the anxieties and tensions that can run high during the last two months of the year. If the later rings true for you, this activity can help you center your heart on all you truly have to be grateful for each day, bolstering your spirits for the season to come.

Fill a medium to large sized heavy-bottomed vase or pot with dry branches and make leaf “ornaments” to hang on the branches. Before your Thanksgiving meal (or however it fits in your schedule) you’ll each pick out a leaf from a basket placed next to the tree, write one thing you’re thankful for on the leaf, and hang it on the tree. During your meal, you’ll have a beautiful visual reminder in your home of all you have to be thankful for.

Here are a few ideas for making the leaves:

  • Since you’ll be writing on the leaves, you can simply cut leaf shapes out of paper bag material and craft paper in colors you like for a rustic, shabby chic look. Make patterns of leaf shapes you like by tracing leaves from your yard onto a piece of thin cardboard. Use these as your template.
  • Download and print leaf illustrations as pictured below for a fun artsy look. Cut each leaf out and write on the blank backside of the image.
  • If you love being crafty and creative, let your imagination run wild and get as intricate as you’d like! You can find fabrics or papers that coordinate with your décor and make your tree a real work of art!

To hang the leaves, simply punch a hole at the top of each leaf, and make loops out of string or use ornament hooks for easier hanging.

Remember to find a container to hold the leaves, and a separate container for different colored pens and markers so there will be plenty of choices and enough writing materials to go around when you all sit down to write together. Place both next to the tree for a complete gratitude station!

Let us know in the comments if you do this craft and how it helps you be more grateful this season. We always love to hear from you.


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Insightful Interior Design – Part One

If you are currently working on a new design for your home’s interior, chances are you are trying to find out some insider tips to help you get started on your project.  Many individuals decide not to work with a professional, so we are here to help you with some suggestions about how to make your home look like you had the help of an interior designer without having to seek one out!



As excited as you may be to get started on your home renovations, keep in mind that having a plan is the best weapon in your arsenal.  Knowing what you want will prevent frustration and delays that may arise from “winging it”.  By not taking the time to think about the results, your space will end up looking thrown together and any intention you may have wanted to showcase through your design will be lost. 



To get started with your planning, choose a way to brainstorm your ideas so you can experiment with different looks prior to purchasing materials.  You can do this through using a large pin board, with magazine cutouts, idea lists or printouts from our room designing program.  Take measurements of the space or spaces you are working with.  Our Virtual Room Designer program allows you to upload a picture of your space and visualize the room with new décor. 



Decide what is staying and what is going.  Updating a room doesn’t necessitate getting rid of everything in it just to make it look new.  Keep a list of the pieces you want to stay in your layout and what pieces you want to replace, remove or add.  When you have a proper inventory of all the room’s items, it may shed light on how many things you may have allowed to pile up in the space.  Doing this prep work ahead of time will help keep your design looking clean and functional. It will also assist in determining what color scheme will work best with the pieces you choose to keep and purchase.



Finally, keep in mind the function of each room you are renovating.  There are a lot of creative ideas out there and it’s good to try things that may be out of your comfort zone, but do not forget to keep the purpose of the space foremost in your mind when making design decisions.  Remember to let your individuality shine through while making sure your new arrangement still provides its proper use.


Be sure to check back for Part Two of our Insightful Interior Design series.

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Organizational Tips

With the holidays rapidly approaching, now is the time to get more organized. Before you know it your home will be filled with extra decoration, people, food, and presents. It will be helpful to get organized now to free up some space.

Choose the proper containers

When organizing the pantry, it is good to choose clear, rectangular containers that will hold dry foods and spices. Clear containers allow you to find what you are looking for in a cinch. The square shape is a space saver, as opposed to cylindrical containers. The square shape makes it easier to fit more containers on a single shelf. Round ones are hard to stack and waste space.

Donate Items to the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is not for profit. Anything you donate will actually go to people in need. Not to mention that your donation is tax deductible. It is a good idea to have an area in the home, preferably in a hall closet or garage, where you keep a bin of items to be donated. This will cut down on the clutter in your home, and help people in need. Donate clothes that are no longer being worn, old furniture, or anything that works but is no longer being used. A good rule of thumb is: If you have not used an item over the course of a year, donate it.

Take Control of Papers

It is so easy to end up with piles of bills, junk mail, and other paper items. The first thing to do in order to help with filing important papers is to buy an accordion type file folder that can be easily closed. Make tabs for the following:

Bills, Manuals, Home, School, Pets, Medical, Miscellaneous

When opening mail head straight to the recycling bin and dump junk mail.  File away important papers as soon as you can. This will help you find important documents and keep the paper clutter at bay.

Designate a Place for Shoes:

Shoes can pile up next to the door or just lie about. They are clunky and a tripping hazard. Figure out a place to store shoes. This can be a cabinet that old shoes and can store items on top. Another possibility is to get a shoe organizer for behind the door in a mud room. These are great items to keep in each family member’s closet as well. It is nice to have a place for each person to store shoes as well as being a centrally located place to hold regularly worn shoes.

Follow these easy tips to clear some space in your home. You will be glad you did once the holidays arrive! These tips can be used year round for a clutter free home.

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What is the Proper Height to Install a Shower Border?

Question: From a design standpoint, what is the proper height to install a tiled shower border?

Decorative tile borders set the tone for your entire design. This is a very good question since the border makes or breaks the tile design. Border tiles are the most exciting part of a design. They add the finishing touch to the shower, and it is very important that they are installed at the right height based on the look you are trying to achieve. 

Eye Level:

If the tile is not being carried throughout (meaning tiling the wall or chair rail) then the border should be installed at eye level.

Eye level ranges from between 59 and 64 inches. Installing the border in-between these numbers will give you a healthy height. 

Carry Chair Rail Throughout:

If you are installing the same tile in the shower as you are using to create a border on the wall, consider one of these options.

  • Continue the chair rail through the shower. This will keep the room open, without interrupting the flow. Your space will look and feel larger than it really is.
  • Select a border tile that is appropriate for wainscoting or chair rail. (Proper height for wainscoting or chair rail is between 30 and 36 inches. This method is exciting and unexpected. Doing the application in this manner will really open up your space.)
  • If you wish to stay away from this style, feel free to use mosaic or any other type of accent tile. Make sure that if you choose this route, cut tile sheets so that the border height is at least 3 inches tall. Too thin of a border style strip will get lost in the rest of the room; since it is lacking a three-dimensional depth to set it apart from the wall tile.




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The Lifestyle Quiz: Your Key to a Custom Home Design

When you are trying to update the look of your home, sometimes it can be difficult to find a starting point.  You may have some general ideas but want to be sure that you aren’t forgetting about any new materials out there that would help complete your design.  Updates in any part of your home should reflect your lifestyle and accommodate every person and/or pet living within while also adding value to it in the event you want to sell in the future.  This may require some interior design know-how and we’re here to help with that by inviting you to take our Lifestyle Quiz.


This helpful tool is available on our website and covers any design information you require.  Once you answer questions about your lifestyle needs, the quiz will give results that contain useful suggestions about furniture selections, finishes, color palettes and more.  No matter what area of the house you are working with, this tool will help provide the right balance to your living space.


The key to achieving the best results is being as specific with your answers as possible.  Be sure to include descriptions of your daily activities, how many people are being accommodated in the home and if there are any pets present.  All of these things will have an influence on what materials are suggested to you to ensure that you do not end up installing something that cannot stand up to the foot traffic or frequent use of certain items in your home.  Information on your pets is essential as some flooring can dent or scratch from their nails. 


If you or any one of your home’s occupants has a particular hobby that needs a dedicated space in the house, remember to add that to the information you provide in the quiz.  This tool will be able to provide you with not only the correct placement of the furniture in your home but also give you suggestions on items that can be used to accommodate hobbies within the home’s current design.  The more data you enter into the quiz, the more seamless the designs will be.  Arrangements you may not have previously entertained before, can be brought to life on your computer screen.  There’s no better way to be sure about your choices than a completed visual. 


Visit our website today to get started on your Lifestyle Quiz!

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Transforming a Bedroom For Winter


With the cooler temperatures approaching, it is beneficial to make a few changes to the bedroom. After a long day of working and commuting, there is no better way to unwind than to relax in a cozy bedroom. Read on for easy tips that will transform your bedroom into a warm sanctuary!

Warm up the bed:

Do so by changing out the bedding. Opt for warmer sheets. Flannel is an excellent choice. If you have storage for your current comforter, consider getting a seasonal one for winter. Pick a comforter that is thicker and heavier than a cool summer blanket. If you do not want to change out the comforter, simply add a folded throw or soft blanket to the foot of the bed. An extra blanket is easy to lay over an existing comforter. This will help hold the body heat inside the bedding. Have a little fun and use this opportunity to add some fun faux fur pillows!

Warm Up Your Space:

If the floors are hardwood or tile, getting a cozy rug will add immediate warmth. Select a rug that has a thicker pile, so that your feet will be warm when they hit the ground; instead of shockingly cold floors. For extra comfort in the space get a thick carpet pad, that will make the rug even more comfortable to walk on.

Warm Up Lighting:

Change bulbs out for a warmer colored bulb. Warm yellow tinted bulbs will add instant warmth to any bedroom. Cool colored bulbs should be saved for the summer months.

Warm Up Windows:

To hold heat in, replace blinds and sheer curtains with thicker draperies. This will help hold the warm air in. Draperies also add a sense of privacy. When you close them it is like closing out the world and the nasty winter weather. Thus enjoying your own private, cozy sanctuary.

Make the most out of winter and treat yourself to a warm comfortable space, you can relax in!

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Too Many Choices? Let the Discover Your Style Quiz Narrow it Down!

Are you looking to decorate your home but have too many style ideas running through your mind?  Then the Discover Your Style Quiz is for you!  A person is not drawn to just one style, but many.  Through visiting friends and family and traveling the world we are exposed to many different arrangements of colors, furniture design and architecture.  While all these things can be enjoyed for what they are, trying to implement them in your own decor can be a little challenging.  Some design choices are going to clash with others.  Colors that may be prominent in one geographic area may be too showy when you try to integrate it into your living space.  Taking our quick quiz will help you pare down the numerous concepts you are wanting to bring to life and pinpoint the ones that will work the best together. 


This tool is equipped with information for the interior and exterior of your home.  By providing precise answers to our provided questions, you will receive results on furniture style and placement, complementary color patterns, proper lighting and flattering floor materials.  Once you have all the information you need for the basic foundation of your design this tool then gives recommendations on the best accessories to accentuate these features.  It only takes a few minutes to complete.


The quiz results will give you a better understanding of interior design tricks and allow you to set the proper tone in your home without causing clutter and disorder.  This tool will make it possible to pull in influences from places you may have traveled and teach you how to properly implement them into your home design.  Any style you love can be beautifully showcased in your home with proper arrangement and lighting styles.  Let our quiz results be your guide. 


Take the Discover Your Style Quiz today to unlock your home’s potential.  It’s guaranteed to teach you how to bring your best ideas to life and make your home as personalized as possible.  Your guests will think you had a designer come to your home!  We promise we won’t tell…

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Pet Guard Plus!


While our pets bring so much joy to our lives, it’s those moments when accidents occur that we are reminded of how tough it is being a pet parent. Levi 4 Floor Pet Guard Plus is the perfect solution to extend the life of your flooring by keeping it good condition.


Levi 4 Floor Pet Guard Plus is an exclusive service installation package.  The package is accompanied with several beneficial features. Customers will receive a free initial spot and stain cleaning. In addition, a lifetime warranty on flooring and hypoallergenic moisture barrier pads all of which is free of charge. There is no charge for a reasonable amount of moving furniture and stair service during the installation. This exclusive package applies to laminate, carpet and hardwood.


Animal urine and defecation contain scent chemicals that can linger long afterwards. As a result, they naturally return to that specific area otherwise known as a scent post. That’s why it’s crucial to thoroughly clean up accidents in a timely manner.  Removing pet stains is relatively easy.  Be sure to blot away excess stains from your carpet or hardwood floors.


Using the appropriate cleaning agent on the stained surface is important so as to prevent lingering smells and further accidents in the same spot. Apply the cleaning sparingly initially to ensure that it doesn’t cause discoloration.  Clean thoroughly, working your way from the outer edges to the inward surface to avoid spreading the stain. Next, rinse the area with cold, clean water and blot the wet spot with a paper towel to effectively remove leftover cleaning agent.


Yes, keep your floors looking brand new by following these cleaning instructions. Pet Guard Plus can provide you with the tools you need to ensure that your flooring last for many years.


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All About Hickory

Hardwood floors are a sought-after look in every home. They are durable, resist allergens better than carpet and give any space a natural atmosphere.  Some popular domestic hardwoods on the market today are red oak, maple and black walnut; but if you’re looking for something more distinctive and durable, consider installing hickory hardwood.



Hickory hardwood is more striking than most. It can vary in color from white to brownish-red and has a thick grain, adding character to any room.  We advise you to choose larger planks when installing to prevent the floor from looking too busy. As with other hardwoods, hickory can be stained a variety of colors. If you want to tone down the contrasting hues, a dark stain is recommended. While the various colors will take to the stain differently, the integrity of the look will be maintained, just slightly muted.



The Janka hardness test is often used to measure a wood’s sturdiness when confronted with denting and regular wear and tear. The force needed to embed a small steel ball halfway into the wood not only determines how hard it is, but helps give installers an idea of how much force will be needed to drive nails through the material. Higher numbered test results mark the wood as more durable.  Hickory is highest testing domestic hardwood with a Janka Scale number of 1820 as compared to maple and red oak, coming in at 1450 and 1290 respectively.


What does this mean? Hickory is going to hold up better in high traffic areas since it is less likely to dent or scratch. Consider pre-sealed boards when installing, as they will have a more even finish that will last longer than sealing on site.



When it comes to the transcendent look of hardwood, there are many choices out there. Consider choosing hickory to make your home stand out from the rest while still achieving the durability and beauty you’re looking for in your flooring. 


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