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Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places0

Finding Inspiration in Unexpected Places1. When using ceramic tile to tackle a renovation project, make the material’s versatility work as much as possible for you.  Plan the kind of ambiance you want to create in any given room and select colours and finishes that will help achieve it.  Bright colours help enhance the light.  Earthy & ochre colours transmit serenity.  Blues, greens & browns can be used to create natural spaces while the contrast of black & white adds simplicity & elegance.

2. Combining finishes & textures in ceramic tile help break up the linear nature of a room and make it more dynamic. Relief and “volume” finishes, as well as large format tiles, enable you to change the apparent dimensions of a room and play with the light. Imitations of wood and stone give a greater sense of comfort and create references to natural elements.

3. The shade of hardwood or laminate flooring you choose can dramatically change the look of your room.  Lighter colours of flooring help small rooms appear larger, while rich, dark tones add drama to larger rooms to create a warmer, more intimate feel.

4. Choose a starting point.  Pick your favourite object in a room, whether it’s an antique armoire or a bay window. Make it the centerpiece and decorate around it. Let your favourite object suggest the colour palette for the entire room.

5. Hang artwork at eye level, generally so the centre of the artwork is 60 inches high. If it’s too high or too low, it loses its impact. If you’re hanging it above a sofa or chest of drawers, place it between 5 and 10 inches above.

6. Don’t rush it. Rooms should evolve over time.  If you’re having trouble getting started, look for inspiration from a favourite piece of furniture, a photograph or area rug.  Build from there. All spaces should be a reflection of you.

7. For contemporary interiors consider tile with clean straight edges to ensure tighter grout joints.  For a more traditional feel, look for tile with chiseled edges and wider grout joints.

8. Before making a final decision always take flooring samples home with you to view them in the proper context and under various light
conditions.

9. When renovating your space don’t forget to look up. One element homeowners tend to overlook when renovating is the lighting and good lighting plays a key role in your home.

10. Keep your fabric pattern and print choices to a minimum. Using a few solid colours in all of the room will give the space a more natural, peaceful flow.

11. Tired of white & neutral coloured flooring? Go for colour and you’ll have a floor that shows better because it’s more forgiving of your busy lifestyle.

12. If you have pets, know that some carpets (especially looped ones) are not a great choice because pet claws and collars can get caught in them. Ask your flooring retailer about the best floor covering to accommodate your furry friends. Also, choose darker palettes or patterns to hide pet stains.

13. Consider laying your floor on a diagonal as opposed to more traditional straight lines.  This can break up your space and add more interest to your room.

14. When designing your room, consider the 3 F’s of interior design; Function, Flow & Focal Point.  Function; what will the room be used for?  Flow; What are the entrances & exits & how will traffic move through the room? Focal Point; What is your focal point?  Is it a window, fireplace or table?

15. Arranging furniture is more of an art than a science, so try a few different arrangements on your paper floor plan before attempting the real thing. It’s a lot easier moving a paper sleeper sofa than a real one.

16. Place area rugs around the areas you designate for seating. It is better that the rugs are too big as opposed to being too small. The rule of thumb for size is that, at the minimum, the front legs of couches or love seats are on the rug. Ideally, all legs should be on the rug but just the front legs are acceptable. Other items such as end tables or chairs need to be completely on the rug.

17. Darker hardwoods tend to highlight dust, nicks and scratches.  Medium and light colours will better conceal wear and tear and are more forgiving if you have a busy schedule that doesn’t allow time for daily dusting.

18. Painting the walls a similar colour to some of the major pieces in the room will make it appear that there is less furniture in the room. Basically, maintaining a monochromatic colour scheme will open up the space.

19. Who says you have to install only one width of hardwood flooring?  Consider laying 2 different widths side by side for more pizzazz.

20. One of the best things about ceramic tile is the variety of sizes available today.  Combine different sizes of tile to create striking patterns.  Some modular formats allow you to put 2, 3 and even 4 sizes within one space.