Style, Quality and Value for your Home and Garden

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stained Concrete-Floor Pattern

Staining Concrete floors got off to a slow start about a decade ago. This process was more often used for commercial settings such as restaurants, retail spaces, etc.  Some brave architects and designers were incorporating this look in their own homes.  Staining concrete floors was considered specialty work and not for amateurs, so this was not always feasible and if not done correctly could become very costly. Contractors became aware of the growing demand for staining concrete, some added this service and became masters in this area.  As time went on, new techniques and ideas were introduced such as, engraving and scoring techniques, stenciling, and patterns for motifs, medallions or free-hand painted designs.   This caught the attention of many homeowners and they started to look at staining concrete floors as an alternative to traditional flooring.
Just the other day I was asked to help with a project that had about 400 units.  The investors wanted to stain and pattern all the floors throughout the complex. I started to research for ideas and ran across some really cool stuff!  We have come a long way in 10 years, so if this is something you are considering, Go For It!  Just remember to use a reputable contractor, be creative and have fun!  For more ideas go to

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interior Designers-How they work

     A designer is brought in early on a project to specify materials that will be installed by a contractor. The designer selections to include flooring, granite and other solid surfaces, cabinetry, plumbing, tile and tile patterns for kitchen and bath, electrical fixtures and paint color. Other design services also can provide help with color schemes, style analysis, furniture layout and selection, draperies, placement of art and accessories. Imagine how much time this would take if you are not familiar with all the showrooms and contractors. A designer will also save you money by helping you make the right choices the first time. Remember to interview several designers before choosing one. If hiring a designer is not within your budget and you must do this on your own, just do your homework.
     Here are some tips: Educate yourself before any project. Give thought to what you want, research in magazines, design books and other homes for ideas. Have detailed plans, make sure you are on the same page and are heading in the same direction with your contractor. Use references and reviews of contractors you are thinking of using. Be available when the work is being done, you might need to make changes or adjustments and you don't want to delay the project. Most showrooms have sales people that will help you along the way. Pay attention, get to know your style, and have fun!