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 Karstan.com.

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!

Hardwood Flooring; Oak is Back!

Yes, it’s true.  Oak hardwood floors are the hottest trend in wood flooring. Oak has managed to reinvent itself into a modern look, disguising itself so well that most clients can’t believe it’s oak they are getting excited about!  If you’ve previously described yourself as being “oaked out,” this article might help you reconsider.

Stain Color:  Color is the number one deciding factor when selecting a hardwood floor.  Today’s prefinished oak floors are factory finished with stain colors that are soft and muted (no more orange)!  Colors vary from light to medium browns, greys, natural wood tones, and even beachy, white-washed colors. Many are finished with dual stain colors to provide depth and interest.  This two-tone style ranges from barely noticeable (minimal and quiet) to extreme shade variation (dramatic and bold).

Wide Plank: The number one selling width in oak flooring is currently 5 inches wide.  5 inches is now considered “the new narrow,” with popular widths ranging from 5 – 12 inches, overall.  This wider scale will make your home feel large and expansive, which is perfect for small spaces, open layouts, and for homeowners who want to install wood floors throughout their main level.  If you’re on the conservative end of the design spectrum, a 5” plank will feel more “classic.” If you’re more daring, choose a 7 ½” or wider size to get that “modern rustic” look.

Distressed Style:  Hand scraped, hand sculpted, and wire brushed textures are chosen more often than smooth finishes in today’s market.  These beautiful textures provide interest and style but also camouflage wear and tear. If you have an active home with kids and pets, you won’t have to worry about every dent and scratch showing.  When accidents happen, they simply blend in and add more character and charm to your floor!

Dull Finishes:  Shiny, glossy finishes on oak floors are a thing of the past.  Today’s oak floors feature satin and matte finishes. The satin finish will “bounce” more light than the matte finish.  To some clients, the matte finish will appear “unfinished.” For a slightly less casual look, satin might be the better choice.  Both options are meant to have that “farmhouse” feel, and once again, hide scratches and imperfections.

I’m often asked where to start when searching for a new hardwood floor.  Designers can help you find your style identity by listening to your goals and visiting your home.  If you prefer to shop for yourself, large samples are the key. To see the nuance of texture, color variation, and sheen level you really need to see a big sample in your home so that you know what you’re buying.  You might just find yourself giving oak another chance!