Concrete Floors: Not Just for Patios Anymore!

If you think sidewalk or patio when you hear the word “concrete,” then have I got an eye-opener for you!  Interior concrete floors are stylish, durable, eco-friendly and come in a myriad of colors, styles and finishes, often at an extremely competitive price.

Concrete tiles by Arto Brick, used with permission

The days of typical, gray concrete are long gone!  There is such a range of options for concrete flooring now, that if you’re in the market for a new floor, it really pays to get educated about what’s available.  So first, let’s talk about the options that are available with concrete.

Types

There are two basic types of concrete floors — existing concrete and decorative overlay.  If you have concrete in your home already, the surface can be enhanced with stains and polishes.  A concrete overlay can be installed over certain types of hard-surface flooring.  This offers the chance to mask damage or update your look.

There are a variety of surface textures from smooth, polished, troweled, stamped, scored or even aggregate, which incorporates crushed stone into the finish.

Concrete can also be made to look like tile, slate or marble, and can also be enhanced with stenciled borders or custom graphics.  No other flooring choice gives you the ability to create such unique looks.

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Basement floor by Supremecrete

Colors

Obviously, color is a huge consideration when choosing a flooring material, and there are various methods used to color concrete.

  • Integral Color is added during the mixing process of the concrete
  • Stains offer a unique look through translucent finishes
  • Achieve more vibrant shades using dyes, often mixed on-site
  • Colored Hardeners give surface-level colors when added to fresh concrete.
  • Paint

Concrete is the chameleon of the flooring world, because it can be stained or colored to match any hue, thus giving you limitless design potential.  Recent advances in materials and finishing techniques have also resulted in some pretty trendy new looks, especially in polishing and metallic epoxies.  Concrete polishing will give you a high-luster look, similar to polished stone, that will never require waxing.  Metallic epoxies are a great choice for modern, upscale looks and contain the addition of metallic powders or reflective pigments that will give the look of copper, aged bronze, silver or other metallic patinas to the concrete surface.

Please come back next week for Concrete Floors Part 2, when I’ll be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of concrete flooring.

Creatively Yours,

Melanie

All About Interiors

 

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Improve Your Bathroom and Increase Your Home’s Value

Homeowners often want to know where they can get the best bang for their buck when they take on a remodeling project in their homes.  The bathroom is one of those places!

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If you’re going to put some money into home improvement, whether you have plans to sell your home soon or not, it’s wise to put your money into improvements that make your life better AND increase the value of your home.  A bathroom is just one of those places.  It’s a room that sees a lot of use, so it should be well-designed, functional, eco-friendly, and beautiful.  Here are some great ways to go about improving your bathroom.

Improve Your Bathroom and Increase the Value of Your HomeIf you’d like to improve your bathroom, whether it’s just cosmetic or a total renovation, call me!

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer for All About Interiors

Infographic used with permission from DecorPlanet.com

 

Rooms of Color: Sunny Yellow

When I think spring colors, yellow is near the top of the list.  Think of how delicate daffodils and branching forsythia bloom before most other plants really have a chance to get going in the spring, and don’t you just love that pop of yellow?

If you were to ask people which color is the happiest, I’d wager that most of them would say yellow.  If you need a mood-lifter inside your home, add yellow!  For the same reasons that spring flowers stand out so beautifully in the yard, yellow will lighten and brighten your mood and your home.  If this color isn’t your favorite, though, there’s no need to douse your walls in the most daffodil of yellows.  Using yellow as an accent and choosing the right hue will give you the mood-lifting benefits of yellow without feeling like a lemon exploded in your house!

This dining area is an excellent example of how yellow as an accent color can pack a lot of punch.  Imagine this space without it.  A bit sterile, huh?  The yellow accents warm up and brighten the space in a subtle way that will please even the pickiest person.

Whether a yellow has a red or blue undertone to it will change its personality and how it feels in the room.  Yellow with a red undertone will feel warm and welcoming, so it’s a good choice for furniture or walls, whereas a blue undertone can feel cold, so you should keep this hue for an accent color or small furniture pieces.  Choosing a warmer shade of yellow is a little more forgiving, so you can feel more at ease when using it.  A pale yellow will also function as a neutral, thus making it easier to incorporate, especially into a space such as a bedroom where you want to create a soothing atmosphere.

This kitchen is another good example.

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Source:  Flickr

For more inspiration, check out my Mellow Yellow Pinterest board, BHG’s or Real Simple’s Decorating with Yellow or contact me for help creating a home that makes YOU happy.

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer for All About Interiors

 

Decorate with What You Already Have

You may not be in a position for a full-scale remodel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the effect of a different space with a little time and effort!  These 5 tips for how to decorate with what you already have will get you started.

1.  Create a Vision

Is there something that you don’t like about your room?  Maybe you lack a strong color scheme or there’s just too much stuff.  Try to identify any design problems you want to fix before starting any heavy lifting – trust me, your back will thank you for it!  Perhaps you like your space but just want to update or breathe some fresh life into it.  Before you start, evaluate what you want to accomplish, and keep that goal in mind as you work.  For more on this planning process, check out our post on Decorating with Designer Secrets.

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All About Interiors

2.  Remove

The best way to get a fresh viewpoint on a room is to remove what’s there.  If you’re already planning on some spring cleaning, this is a great opportunity to accomplish both things at once.  Remove as many items from the room as possible, cleaning those hard to reach places as you go, and then evaluate each item critically to decide whether it should return to the room or find a home elsewhere.  Make sure you use the criteria or plan that you came up with in step 1 to decide whether to use an item or not.

3.  Rearrange

One of the easiest room makeovers can be done simply by rearranging your furniture.  While you have the room emptied, ask yourself what other location an item could have in the room.  If you find yourself at a loss, do a little homework on the rules of furniture arranging or how to arrange your furniture.  You might also find it valuable to book a consultation with a designer.  Even the budget conscious homeowner may consider the money very well spent for the peace of mind you’ll get knowing that your efforts to change things up are done right.

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Christopher Barson Interiors

4.  Re-Imagine

Do the items in your rooms have to be used as they are intended?  Perhaps you have a console table that could serve as a desk or vice-versa.  Can your ottoman serve instead as a coffee table?  Look through your house to find pieces in other rooms that might work in the room you want to redecorate.  When mixing and matching, look for unifying elements that will keep your room from looking too mish-mash.  It also pays to do a little homework!

5.  Get Creative

A little crafty know-how or elbow grease can give you the feel of a new space without a large dent in your wallet.  Use the main colors you already have in your space and choose a new accent color.  Some paint or a little bit of fabric can transform an accustomed item into something brand new!  Pillows are also a great way to bring in a new accent.  If entirely new pillows aren’t within your budget, perhaps you can find pillow covers that will fit over your existing pillows, or, if you’re handy with a sewing machine, create new pillow covers.  Maybe you have a piece of art or some photos in another room that can have a new life elsewhere.

Do you remember TLC’s Trading Spaces?  Each episode paired two designers with two sets of neighbors charged with redecorating a room in each other’s houses on a very limited budget.  One of the things those designers did frequently was to check out other rooms in the home or storage areas to find items that the homeowners already had that could be used in the redecorated room.  Don’t be afraid to do just that; you may be surprised with what you find!

To rent a designer’s eye to help you with your redecorating, to undertake a full remodel or for anything in between, contact me today!

Creatively Yours,

Melanie

All About Interiors

April 1, 2015 - 2:45 am

Jerry Hoekman - Great tips Melanie, it is good to be reminded to use the ideas and furniture we already have available and to do things one step at a time. Have been thinking about remodeling recently, but this makes things a lot easier. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

April 1, 2015 - 7:21 am

Melanie Langford - Thank you Jerry, I completely agree! Thank you for stopping by, please come back often! I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and suggestions! ~Melanie

Spring Color Themes for the Living Room

If your home looks like it needs waking up after a long winter, it may be time for a spring makeover for your living room.

Our grandparents were great believers in spring cleaning – brushing out the cobwebs and the dirt from the home that was suddenly so much more visible now in the bright sunlight after the dark winter. But how about going one step further, and giving your living space a spring redecoration?

Uplift your mood

According to health experts, changing the color palette of a living room in springtime can actually help uplift the mood of those who live there, invigorating spirits and giving its users a new burst of fresh spring energy. If your home feels like it’s lacking in energy and inspiration, here are some ideas on how you can promote a cheerful and optimistic spring living environment in your home with lush and lively color schemes and bright, bold furnishing and textile combinations.

Color schemes

Springtime is traditionally associated with a pastel palette of fresh, minty greens and dreamy sky blues. These traditional tones offer a fresh and light look that is reminiscent of budding shoots and romantic landscapes.

mint fleur by caitlin wilson

Pillows by Caitlin Wilson

But you don’t have to go in this traditional direction: for a more contemporary and youthful look, you might want to jump right in with splashes of bright, bold color. Be adventurous with soft or even deep purples and pinks, making for a very modern and trendy look that will appear especially bright and vibrant when incorporated with natural wood tones. If you do feel like casting yourself into the brighter palette, let yourself be inspired by floral tones, such as those seen in purple crocus and yellow daffodil petals. You could even consider investing in some pretty floral wallpaper, whether it’s a romantic and classic design or a bolder, more abstract style.

Accessories and furnishings

Remember that you don’t have to repaint your whole living room to give it a life-affirming spring makeover. The simple addition of some select textiles and furnishings can instantly soften up the whole look of a room – and it doesn’t need to cost the earth.

When selecting the right textiles and furnishings for your spring look, consider not only fresh color palettes, but also charming seasonal motifs of flowers and birds. For example, choose a beautiful peacock rug or some floral curtains.

East Haddam Kitchen

Like color, these motifs can be used in a traditional or a modern way – from chintzy fabrics to smart, clean lines. If your living room has a romantic, shabby chic look, then small, ordered patterns of budding flowers on everything from throws to seat pads will look adorable. For the more contemporary urban pad, more abstract designs, such as those inspired by the Finnish design company Merimekko, are especially trendy on everything from Fatboys to rugs.

It’s not just in the garden that life starts to wake up in the spring. Refresh your living room with bright color and lively prints that will get you in the mood for warmer spring days and fresh sunny mornings.

Questions?  Contact Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer for All About Interiors