17 April 2020

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors Brings Tranquility with Newest Collection

Back in July of 2009, I was a kitchen and bath designer in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was also a newbie blogger at a time when nobody really knew what a design blog was. I was working on a renovation project and I had to specify some wood floors. Wood floors aren’t very common in Florida, and my client at the time was looking for something out of the ordinary.

I found Carlisle Wide Plank Floors through a combination of a Google search and a recommendation from a colleague from New York. Carlisle Wide Plank Floors was an absolute joy to work with as a supplier and, as a bonus, they were the first real brand who took me seriously as a blogger and who allowed me to use their image library.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when bloggers had to beg for content, but Carlisle Wide Plank Floors was different. They saw the potential in this new medium and were only too glad to help. I have always had a great deal of admiration and respect (my feelings toward them border on affection, to be honest) for Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Fast forward 11 years and here I sit on the other side of the country from that long-ago project in Florida. Due to an unfortunately placed and now damaged waste line that has to be fixed, Frank and I have to replace the wood floors in the first floor of our home this year. Thanks to my great first-hand experience with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, guess whose floors are going into our home?

I’d already selected the finish for our project, but I may have to rethink my decision because Carlisle Wide Plank Floors just unveiled their new Tranquil Collection. This new collection was created to meet the growing demand for smooth face flooring in a low matte, layered finish in warmer tones. Honestly, check out the finishes in this collection. I am over the moon for Eden.

Originally, I selected Hideaway from their Retreat Collection because it worked so well with the other floor finishes we have in the house, but as soon as I saw Eden, it felt as if the decision had been made for me.

Anyhow, the Tranquil Collection is available in eight-inch wide Signature Grade planks, each carefully hand selected by Carlisle artisans. The collection includes six gorgeous colors: Eden, Haven, Harbor, Oasis, Preserve and Sanctuary. Those finishes range from a subtly weathered taupe to a deep warm gray to a richly saturated brown, and all of the collection’s inviting hues whisper a feeling of comfort and calm. The organic character of the timber is maintained, instilling a sense of elegance and an instinctual connection with nature.

Most wood flooring products with layered color use a hard wax oil to create the finish, requiring both daily maintenance and periodic re-oiling to prevent the finish from drying out over time. Carlisle’s Tranquil Collection utilizes a UV-cured oil that doesn’t require specialty cleaning products or frequent reapplications of finish.

The Tranquil Collection comes in ¾” plank thickness and in two- to 12-foot lengths, with a choice of engineered or solid construction. Planks are end matched for ease of installation. The collection can be ordered through Carlisle showrooms and design consultants.

In all candor and with all hyperbole aside, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors are an industry leader for a reason. No one else in their industry approaches wood floors with the level of thought and precision these guys do. If you’re looking for wood floors, start your search with Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.

13 April 2020

Back in (Matte) Black

In early February of this year, the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas was a showcase of trends and new products put on by an industry buoyed by the outlook that 2020 was going to be a banner year by all counts. Well, nobody could have seen what was coming and continues to unfold today. Despite what feels like a global pause, builders are still building and designers are still designing.

Construction and renovation lead the way to revitalized economies, and there can be no doubt that these industries will become even more important as the global economy comes roaring back to life in the coming months.

Some of what we were seeing at IBS a few months ago is still very much relevant, and an overriding color trend that will continue to grow in popularity is the generous use of matte back in the home. While black has always had an allure and a sophistication, designers tended not to use it as a focus in home decor. However, the availability of matte black as opposed to more glossy finishes is opening a door to integrating more black into interior spaces. Matte black is subtle and luxurious at the same time. It invites touch but – unlike a lot of shinier finishes – it’s easy to live with and keep looking clean.

Two real standouts when it comes to matte black offerings are appliances from Elmira Stove Works and heated towel racks from Amba.

Elmira Stove Works’ retro-inspired Northstar refrigerators in textured black take what’s already a statement-making appliance and ratchet up the cool factor even further. Even more amazing, you can order your Northstar fridge with a factory-installed BrewMaster draft system that includes a through-the-door tap dispenser, coupler, connections, CO2 cylinder, retro-flame splash plate and drip tray. Add a keg of your favorite brew, pull the tap, sit back and chill. And, of course, the keg and fittings can be removed to utilize full fridge functionality.

In addition to fridges, Elmira also offers its ranges, dishwasher and microwave in textured black. These high-performance cooking appliances include sleek chrome accents and classic retro styling for a nostalgic look with modern functionality.

Wildly popular in Europe and now catching on in North America, heated towel racks are a great addition to any bath renovation you’re considering. An Amba heated towel rack isn’t just luxury for the sake of luxury, however. Heated towel racks not only do an amazing job of warming up drafty winter bathrooms and, drying damp towels and clothes, but they can also prevent mildew growth.

A pre-warmed towel and bathrobe can take the edge off of a chilly morning – that’s a given. Beyond that, the sculptural beauty of an Amba heated towel rack can become a bathroom design focal point. The fact that Amba offers their towel racks in a matte black finish makes them a bit of attainable luxury that’s on trend.

Appliances from Elmira Stove Works and Amba Heated Towel Racks stand ready to help you make your design visions a reality as we pick and move toward a “new” 2020.

09 April 2020

Choosing Appliances for Your Home: Décor, Priorities and More

Whether you have just bought a home, or you’ve finally got around to starting the kitchen renovation project that you’ve been putting off for a while, choosing appliances with care is crucial. Décor is certainly a factor, and we are going to discuss it, but it shouldn’t be the only, or even the first, thing you consider about a home appliance.

What Do You Need?

This is one of the most underrated questions of all time in this department, because people often start looking with a vague idea, rather than a definite one. Don’t make that mistake; list down the following first:

  • Which appliances do you need? Not every home really needs a dishwasher, for example.
  • Decide on the size/capacity of each appliance, as would be appropriate for your home’s needs.
  • Some features are gimmicks, while others are quite helpful. Do your research to determine which are essential.

By the time you have this list, you will be able to save money and select the best appliance for each category.

Prioritize the Essentials

You can perhaps do without a microwave, but having a water filtration system is critical to everyone’s health at home. Visit the Discount Filter Store and check out the excellent whole house water filtration systems they have from international names such as Tier1 and Culligan. Safe drinking water in all rooms, at all times, is a must for big houses, but they also have smaller portable water filters for the kitchen that are ideal for small apartments.

Consider the Climatic Conditions

Speaking of essential appliances, don’t forget about the HVAC system. Decide on the model only after taking into account the climatic conditions first. A house in Fort Myers is going to need a lot of cooling, for example, while one in Aberdeen is going to need a large heat capacity. The more climate appropriate your heating and cooling solution turns out to be, the more you will save on energy bills. Also, you may want to look for a HVAC model that comes with a smart thermostat to further shrink the bills without affecting indoor comfort.

Décor is Easier to Manage than You Think

Try to buy only the most essential and necessary appliances for your new/newly decorated home first, before expanding from there on, following the as-needed rule. This strategy can do wonders for your internal décor because the less appliances you have, the less you will need to worry about them fitting in with the décor. Below are some décor tips to keep in mind:

  • Concealed ovens and washers come in all sizes and they disappear without a trace when not in use
  • If you feel that the fridge won’t look good as a standalone, opt for an integrated solution during the renovation

Keep a minimalist approach with a focus on the essential appliances first, and you’re all set. You may still need to repaint a wall or add new tiles if you cannot find space for concealment, but that can actually work in your room’s favor.