Why All The Questions?

Can you believe we're on the doorstep of February?  December and January have been brutal, "survival of the fittest" kind of weather, and we are glad to see them go! When the Valentine month is here, Spring is just around the corner, and very welcome. But meanwhile, we have a few more weeks of the cold stuff, and no better time to make plans and daydream a bit about some of the changes we want to make in the coming months, while we are snuggled up in front of the fireplace.

Of course, there are the "I'm gonna be a better me" kind of changes: eat better, do more charity work, spend more time with our families. But for most of us, changes to our environment are more realistic, and a lot more fun! How would you like your home to look? How will that change the way it functions? What really works for you and your family? Are you more concerned about looks? Saving money? Spending less time cleaning? These are echoes of the questions we ask folks when they come  into the store.

We are trying to determine what product will be the best fit for our client.  Sometimes a customer will come in with a picture in the head (or in their hand) of what they think they want. And sometimes that is exactly what they get. But there are times when the want is just not what will really work best for them and their family. Smooth grain, beautiful maple floors, for instance. Gorgeous, yes. With two big dogs that you adore? NO! You'd regret those floors in a few weeks, and we would have done you a disservice to sell them to you. With big dogs (or with active children) you need a floor that won't show every little ding. Because, really, dings are gonna happen. So, rethink your vision, and let's look at a floor with better wearability for active families and big dog lovers. A nice distressed hickory floor, or a beautiful laminate, or one of the gorgeous luxury vinyl planks. There's your sweet spot!

And carpet! If you have been in the store lately, you've seen how many choices there are: textures, patterns, colors, weave, pile, fibers..... it can be overwhelming!  We ask a LOT of questions, trying to steer you towards the best decision for you and your family. There are so many different situations, so many carpets.  Relax, we've done this before.  Once we understand your lifestyle and what you are trying to accomplish, we will recommend the right product for you. 

This should be your mindset whenever you are making a purchase for your home- what works best for me and my family? Is this a realistic purchase, something that will really serve you and the kind of life that you want for yourself and your family? Who lives in your house? Who will live there in 5 years? Are you an empty nester who may be downsizing in the next few years? Less responsibility, more fun! If so, congratulations! Then consider, when redecorating, what will make your house more attractive to potential buyers in the coming years.

Less Is More
As you're thinking ahead, go ahead and unload some of your unneeded possessions. Start small-- go through kitchen tools. Throw away the ones that have been limping along for years, the tongs without a spring, the cake pan that always sticks, that hand can opener that never worked right. Toss 'em! You will find it is like losing a bit of weight! And it is addicting! When you realize how liberating it is to get rid of stuff, you may become a Minimalist! There are a couple of great books with guidance on decluttering and letting go of the possessions that weigh you down. Sometimes we don't throw something out just because we've always had it. Sometimes we have an emotional attachment to things, or perhaps an attachment to the memories they bring. Yet there are so many good reasons to give things away-- that benefit you and the recipient.

Read "The Life-changing Art of Tidying Up" by Kondo for some help for the emotional part of letting go.  Also check out "New Minimalism"by Fortin and Quilici. They offer some real and realistic methods for getting rid of things and keeping clutter at bay. Fortin and Quilici have some good ideas for organizations that would be grateful for the items you are looking to give away:~~Local libraries for books and periodicals~~Preschools for paper, art, and office supplies~~Church organizations that accept unopened toiletries and unexpired non perishables. (Here in Marietta we recommend Must Ministries)~~Pet rescue centers are always grateful for worn but usable towels, sheets, and blankets.

Meet Rosy Robin
If you have been in the store recently, you probably know that we currently have a canine visitor. Rosy is a sweet pit/boxer mix who is a foster through Angels Among Us Pet Rescue. She is looking for her forever home. Rosy is the latest visitor in our "foster facility." We are all dog lovers, and work in rescue on our days off. We are always happy to talk about dogs!

Design Tip   
When designing a room, many people tend to stick to the comfort and ease of neutral colors. While an all neutral palette creates a space that is easy on the eyes, warm, and sophisticated, the neutrals can begin to wash out and the end result is a bland space. How can you successfully execute a neutral color scheme? Read on to find out. ---Use variations of the neutral hue:  If you're afraid to design with color, try using different shades of the neutral color throughout the room.  Yes, you'll want to take a monochromatic approach, but use several undertones of the color. For example, in a greige living room, you might use the darkest of the shade on the windows treatments,  a lighter shade for the couch, and other beige or grey tones for your pillows and accessories.

---Contrast with textures:  Utilizing just one texture in a room of neutrals is guaranteed to make the design fall flat.  If you have a microfiber or suede couch, then try adding hints of leather and matte textures. Light absorbs and reflects various textures differently, so always use a mixture of weave or coarseness.

---Create interest with shapes:  Since we've removed the color element from the design, it's time to play around with shapes to really catch the attention of your guests. You might use side tables or an ottoman that features a unique shape. Chairs and sofas with details on the arm and legs also work.

---Play with patterns:  Don't shy away from patterns. A large-scale pattern on the upholstery that features colors from your neutral palette allows you to stick to the theme while creating some visual interest. You can also use pattern pillows and textiles. Use pattern pieces of different composition, some with a shine to them while others that are matte.

How Much Does It Cost?
What's hot in hardwoods?  Wide planks and low gloss finishes. And lots of wood---we are doing entire main levels of homes in wood floors.  We are installing a 5" butternut oak with a matte finish in almost every room of the home for a Marietta client.  Living room, dining room, three bedrooms, hall and foyer:  almost 1600 square feet for a little over $13,000.  This price includes removing the existing flooring (wood and carpet), moving all the furniture, new shoemold and transition strips.  As our client told us:  this will be the last floor she has to purchase for her home.