How Cleare Interiors Floored Martha Stewart Living

I’ve talked a lot about floors so far this year.  In fact, I’ve done three blog posts.  I’ve written: Rethinking Wood Floors: On wood stencils to give the expensive look of parquet flooring without the expense and upheaval. There’s Nothing Faux about Painted Floor Rugs: On painting a rug image on the floor of heavy trafficked areas to minimize wear,tear and upkeep. How an Interior Designer Goes With and Against the Grain:  On the latest trends in flooring, planking colors and finishes. Why am I so obsessed with floors?  Because: They are a major expense and don’t always have to be There are so many practical and innovative solutions They are natural and I am Infatuated with Mother Nature It was quite an honor recently to be contacted by Martha Stewart Living to be on their radio show; even more gratifying to be chosen for my experience in spotting trend setting designs. So what do you think we talked about?  You guessed it.  Floors. Here is the 1st of 3 segments.  It’s a show and tell where I tell and they show examples.  Listen and see if it gives you an idea or two about what you could do in your home and maybe save quite a bit in the process too. Just click the video below and then go to My YouTube Channel to view the remaining segments. http://youtu.be/WdQl46V3sKY I thank Martha Stewart Living for giving me my first floor show.  If the floor show peaked your interest, a fuller portfolio can be seen on my website. Did Martha Stewart Living and I give you any ideas about the floors in your...
read more

How an Interior Designer Goes With and Against the Grain

The selection of a wood floor is one of the most considered and concerning decisions I see with clients. I certainly understand because of the expense. Maybe I can put your mind at ease and make you feel more confident by letting you in on the most current trends; Let me try. Gray finishes on oak floors are a huge trend.  This white washed rift and quarter sewn white oak has a more natural oil finishing system which makes it great for any space, from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. If a little less grain is more your taste, this Paris Ceramic flooring is a more opaque version of the flooring above. There is less of a natural wood effect and more of an opaque stain applied to the grain of the wood. Another popular floor is the Watermill Walnut from Carlisle which embodies a very natural distressing but also a timeless aged appearance.  Traditional and timeless is always trendy. This light, bright and durable wood floor from Paris Ceramics uses the same kind of paint that is applied on bowling alleys. You get a terrific glossy finish that will endure a high traffic area.  It could easily go from a beach house to a pent house. Harringbone is a huge trend and I just love the eased edges in the antique wood floor.  It  gives a wonderful warmth and patina to the room.  Flooring by Exquisite Surfaces. Believe me, when it comes to wood floors, I agonize as much about the decisions as you do.  Since for me, it’s all in the details, it is helpful to see what is out there.  Did this help you? Related Sites Carlisle Paris Ceramic Exquisite...
read more

Not your grandmother’s indoor/outdoor fabric and carpeting

  If you think indoor/outdoor carpeting is what you see on a miniature golf course, I understand because I once thought that way too.  Not anymore. Indoor/outdoor fabric and carpeting has done a 180.  Now, the differences are imperceptible with real fabric and carpeting and this ROCKS MY WORLD! Why? Because indoor/outdoor fabric and carpeting makes possible a new interior look outside your home and adds years to the look of rooms inside your home.  Nothing gets an interior designer more excited than that! Let me show you what we have to work with now. This faux leather by Valtekz looks like the real thing.  When I first saw it, I had to turn it over to see it didn’t have the imprint of cowhide on back.   I once saw faux leather on the bridge of a yacht where it looked fabulous even though the rain, sun and seagulls gave it a workout. I just did a family room in faux leather.  The family had two 125 lbs Burmese mountain dogs and a cat.  It stood up to them. Another example is this striped fabric.  It even has the texture of velvet woven into it. This white matelasse has raised velvet dots in the middle of it.  It looks beautiful in a formal setting. In a less formal setting, I’ve used the large leaf pattern to the left. It was for a teenager’s room where the challenge was to find a material that would look good all through the teen age years. It passed the test. The fun part is you can make an outdoor porch or patio look as inviting and beautiful as an interior room.  The area rugs below are waterproof so you can put them on an outdoor patio or a high traffic area indoors like a mudroom. They create a room that is set for years to come indoors or outdoors. All that is required to keep them clean is to hose them off or scrub them with a brush. Think about the time this gives you to enjoy a beach house or vacation retreat instead of cleaning it.  If you worry about wet, sandy kids or dogs rocketing though, now you can just relax and take in the scenery, not the mess. Has this changed the way you think about indoor/outdoor fabric and carpeting?  Do you have any rooms in your home you’d like to create or re-create? Why not leave me a comment below?  I’d love to hear from you. The companies featured...
read more

There’s nothing faux about painted floor rugs

If you think a painted floor rug isn’t a real alternative, think again.  It could be one of the most satisfying decisions you make in decorating a room or a home.  Let me tell you why. Painted floor rugs are: Highly practical Really beautiful Can look even better as they age Can be changed out should you decide to do so Live near a beach? Does an area of the house attract a lot of dirt from outside? Does water in a bathroom ruin a regular rug faster than it should?  Do you have a family member with special needs who could trip or have a hard time moving around on a regular rug?  A painted floor is a highly practical solution.  They are easy to keep clean and very durable. I once renovated a beautiful home on Corn Neck Road in Block Island.   It sat on 50 acres with a sloping lawn that went all the way to the beach.  While it was great to be on the water, all that sand finding its way into the house was not. Painted floor rugs were in the hallways just like the one on the right.  Did the owners of this luxury home feel they were making a sacrifice in beauty and aesthetics?  No way. You might think floor scratches, bleaching from the sun and other effects of age are a big problem.  Actually, these natural signs of wear and tear are a big benefit.  Their patina brings out the beauty and character of the painted floor rug.  It even accentuates the painted weave, just as it would with a well-made and beautifully woven area rug. What if after a while you decide a painted floor rug doesn’t reflect your personal tastes or a new design grabs your attention?  Nothing to worry about. You just sand out the old one and bring on a new one. Of course, the person you hire to paint your rug is critical.  Ask to see examples of their work.  Talk about your needs and point out other design characteristics of the room or hallway. If you work with me, I know great people who do painted floor rugs.  Want to see examples of their work?  You’ve been looking at them as you’ve been reading this blog-post. Is there an area in your house that would be perfect for a painted floor rug? If you have questions about the interior design of your house or are intested in the new trend setting designs, visit my website or drop me a comment below.  I’m always looking for topics for my next...
read more

Rethinking wood floors

My guess is, when you read blogs with new ideas on interior design, you expect to be delighted but also expect to spend a lot money. The goal of this post is to delight you with ideas.  But I want to show you how to save a significant amount of money.  The topic is wood floors, like the one on the right. If you think wood floors depend on the quality of the wood and choices like pine, oak, white oak, maple, cherry maple or laminate, think again.  Wood quality does play an important part, but so does what you do with it. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Did you know the floor uptop is blow-torched.  That’s right.  Blow-torched.  Why?  The effect from a little blow-torching brings out the accents in the wood and gives the floor a rustic, historic look. Here’s another secret and one of my favorites.  Wood stenciling.  Before you rip out a perfectly good, high-quality, wood floor and spend a small fortune using intricate pieces of wood for that tiled or parqued look, think about stenciling a wood floor.   These pictures are from our house.  All of them are the original floor with wood stencil designs.  If I didn’t point it out, I’ll bet you’d never know.  And the design were as limitless as my imagination. Instead of spending a lot of money on wood, labor and disruption, we spent a much smaller amount on stain and stencil designs. From all of these pictures, it might look like I got carried away with wood stencilling; maybe I did.  Maybe it’s because I like the way it looks; maybe once I got started, I saw all the many possibilities; maybe I realized I didn’t have to spend a lot to have beautiful looking wood floor. Does this change your thinking about wood floors.  Would like some ideas about what could be done in your home? Just leave a reply to this blog and I’ll let you know. Hope this teaches you something new about interior design ideas for your...
read more