Working Out At Home

Covid-19 has us staying home and staying safe. Getting enough exercise without regular “gym time” has been a real challenge for my clients who require a routine and regimen to stay on top of their fitness and mental well being.

If you’re fortunate to be able to designate a space for a home gym, you need to start with a good foundation. Two flooring types I recommend are rubber and cork.

Rubber and Cork are:

Water resistant: A water based coating allows you to bring on the sweat! Simply wipe clean

Shock absorbing: Easy on joints (perfect for sensitive knees)

Durable: 2-3 times more resilient than wood flooring and vinyl plank

Fashionable: Available in several styles and colors (vivid colors and unique pattern)

Cork takes the edge over rubber in that cork is also:

Healthy: Naturally antimicrobial, it repels mold and mildew and has zero harmful chemicals

Sustainable: The bark of the cork oak tree is harvested every 9 years without harming the tree

Warm: A thermal insulator, it reflects your body heat back to you Rubber and cork floors are available in tiles, planks, and rolls of various sizes. Most can be glued down or floated to create simple or intricate patterns. As a designer, I am a huge fan of the unique and different. So many options in this category!

Waterproof Hardwood Flooring

I am excited to introduce water-proof hardwood flooring to our midwest market. If you’ve always wanted the natural beauty of real wood, but determined that wood was too fragile for you or your kids and pets; think again!

The technology involves pairing a stone polymer core with a top cut of wood in a wide plank, interlocking format. The core will not absorb water, so spills that would normally seep through a traditional hardwood floor won’t damage these floors. This core is extremely dent resistant and has the nick-name “rigid core” in our industry. The floating installation and overall thickness of 5/16″ is perfect for remodeling. (It installs over several types of existing flooring).

As a natural hardwood, the cost runs a little more than luxury vinyl but much less than traditional hardwood. Now I have a real wood flooring option that can handle the pets and the kids and still have money left over for new counters and updated lighting! A huge bonus is the finish is renewable (simple screen / recoat to eliminate scratches). 

So, yes, it’s waterproof, dent resistant, and renewable, but my favorite aspect of these floors is how gorgeous they look. I recently toured a design show where I was able to see several styles installed. I was blown away by the hickory, white oak, walnut, and maple options. The rustic hickory was my favorite!

Karastan Rebrands with Real Wood and Luxury Vinyl Plank

Summer is here and I am updating our design center to stay engaged with my passion for products during the challenges of Covid-19. My work life tends to mirror my home life. I love to rearrange, re-organize, and refresh! I’m especially excited to share Karastan’s new hardwood
and luxury vinyl plank lines with you.

Karastan BelleLuxe and Karastan Luxecraft debuted in Las Vegas last January and my samples are finally here. A collection of stylish hardwoods and unique luxury vinyl planks, their designs are sure to win over my most discerning clients. Their campaign encourages a “Live Beautifully” philosophy that I relate to. Why not live beautifully? I don’t want anyone to live hideously!

Karastan’s tagline is “Better than nature intended.” Now, I’m a wood nerd, so this was taking marketing a bit too far in my opinion. And then I saw the line. Wow. They’re gorgeous.

With the best design team in the industry, Karastan took inspiration from fallen old growth trees, vintage barn beams, and weathered fences to create a stunning assortment to choose from. You can preview their latest designs on

Carpet Trend: Silky & Soft

Even though the carpet footprint has shrunk in today’s modern floor plan, consumers are absolutely loving the luxurious feel of the extremely soft carpet styles. These synthetic yarns utilize the latest technology to combine performance with the ultimate comfort. If you’re thinking
about new carpet for a bedroom or family room, here are a few reasons you may want to consider this carpet trend!

1) Soft Feel: Their soft and silky texture is so dreamy that you wish you wouldn’t have to put the furniture back after the installation! Karastan’s Smartstrand Silk and Mohawk’s Innovia Touch are two popular brands that have the softest textures on the market. Rivaling the softest make-up brushes, the feel is truly impressive!

2) Durability: The recent technology creates an extremely crush resistant yarn that holds its shape and texture. With the lowest claim rate in the carpet industry, designers, builders, retailers and homeowners are all happy with the results.

3) Easy to Clean: Everyone appreciates a carpet that is easy to clean, but this is especially true for active families with pets and kids. Bring on the pet stains, coffee, red wine, soda, pizza sauce and more. These styles are guaranteed to come clean, and they clean up quickly.

4) Sustainable / Affordable: Most styles are made with 100% recyclable plastics or with 37% less petroleum than traditional nylon brands. This is great for the environment, and also great on your wallet as most of these yarns are a fraction of the cost of nylon and wool.

Why I Love Herringbone Design

When I think herringbone I certainly don’t think of the bone structure of a herring fish (where the name originates). I imagine beautiful textiles and stunning interior design concepts! I confess I am an art history nerd, and being such I wanted to shed some light on this classic design.

History: Did you know that the herringbone pattern dates back to the Roman empire? We are talking roughly 500 B.C.! The Romans were a rather ingenious bunch and they invented this interlocking pattern of criss-crossing chevrons to absorb the weight of movement on their roads.
The design basically went extinct after “The Fall” until it experienced a rebirth in the Renaissance. And really, if it’s good enough for the palace of Versailles, might you want to consider how to use this design in your modern home?

Classic Modern: These two words have guided several clients to their style identity. Classic means the design is founded in history and it will never (NEVER) go out of style. Modern refers to applying these classic elements in new and exciting ways. A can’t lose combo if you wish to update with a sense of timelessness. Take a look at the various ways herringbone can make your home a “WOW” today.

Floors With Pattern

One of the favorite parts of my job is touring trade shows. Back in January of 2017, I was amazed at how many patterned floors were on display. Trends tend to begin on the east and west coast in the U.S., and eventually make their way over to those of us tough enough to live in the
midwest. If you pick up a current issue of a home design or home decor magazine you will see examples of floors that are quite dramatic.

Floors with pattern create interest and make a statement. They can be a “WOW” element of interior design. In the right space it can add just the right amount of pizzazz, and can be exactly what the homeowner is envisioning. Interior styling that is fresh, clean, and minimal with regards to walls and furnishings tend to offer the best opportunity for active floors that can anchor the entire space. Here are a few versions of how this trend can translate to a room:

This trend is definitely more bold and not for everyone. Homeowners who prefer a more timeless design with balanced interior design elements may want to participate in this trend in those spaces that are separate and small, such as powder rooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Afterall, it’s just one room!