I think having your cake and eating it too is something everyone should strive for. Heck, why not eat that cake on the new velvet sofa? “Are you crazy?” you gasp… “That sofa cost $10,000”… Let me tell you a story my friends. It involves a custom velvet sofa and blueberries. My custom sofa as a matter of fact.
In my infinite parental wisdom one day, I decided it was okay to let my son ice a leg injury with frozen blueberries (I know, I didn’t have my head screwed on straight that day). I went back to work in my office until I heard a shriek from the living room. I guess it only takes a half-an-hour for blueberries to melt, the bag had come open and they COMPLETELY covered one cushion. Well, I’m not a complete idiot I guess, because while I had chosen a lovely soft velvet from Kravet, it was also from their performance fabric line and Teflon coated. I took it into the kitchen where I quickly rinsed it with water. That’s all it took. There was nothing on it – nada! That fabric was worth every penny. So, when I ask you, why not use family-friendly finishes and materials that look luxurious and feel luxurious, but don’t have the high maintenance pain points? I may know where I’m coming from…
Goodbye crunchy old-timey outdoor fabrics and hello who-the-heck-would-know luxurious, hard-wearing heroes of the day. These “solution dyed” fabrics can undergo extreme conditions in both inside and outside applications. And by extreme, I mean kids, pets and family life in general. "Solution-dyed" means it will not fade in direct sunlight. These fabrics are easy to clean with a simple wipe down with water or Clorox, none of which will change the integrity of the fabric.
In addition to the true indoor/outdoor, most fabric manufacturers have what is called either endurance or performance lines. These are fabrics such as the one on my thankfully still pristine sofa. They are not intended to be used outside but have a special coating that will enable you to easily clean with water and a cloth. These coatings offer significant value in that your investment in any upholstered piece will stay looking beautiful, longer. Best of all, there is no need to give up form for function. And they come in a wide range of truly gorgeous patterns and finishes. That’s a win in this mom’s books.
The New “Marble”
Through time, marble has always been one of the hallmarks of luxury living and has oft been used to make a statement by discerning homeowners. Although beautiful, the need for maintenance and the potential for staining in kitchens and baths can be a deterrent. Marble requires frequent sealing to maintain the porous material and it is prone to chipping. Enter the Engineered Quartz look-alike! Yes, quartz. Manufacturers such as Caesarstone (shown above) and Cambria have perfected elegant look-a-likes that will please even the most particular. Cleanable with only warm water and a clean cloth, quartz does not need to be sealed and is durable, abundant and sustainably sourced. There’s a reason it is now specified in so many new homes and renovations. Score!
Tests have found that faucets with a physical vapor deposition (PVD) finish improve their longevity and decrease maintenance. PVD is a very durable finish created by a process which bonds the molecules of the finish to the faucet to create a hard coating. PVD fixtures are best at resisting scratches, tarnishing, discoloring, and corrosion. They come in a wide variety of finishes including currently popular gold and up-and-comer copper as well as nickel, pewter, bronze, and polished brass.
If you are building or remodeling, you may want to consider a PVD finish if you want your faucets to retain their color brilliance or you are planning to stay in your home for longer than five years. They are a good choice if you have hard water and will resist some of the build up that comes with it. Bonus points for this product: compared to other finish coating processes, PVD is considered eco-friendly because the process is toxin free and does not produce hazardous waste.
Hard Surface Flooring
There was a time when wall-to-wall carpeting was a sign that you had arrived. Hence all the 1940’s and 50’s bungalows with beautiful hardwood underneath a layer of shag. Although carpet might be soft underfoot, consumers have since realized the maintenance level required to keep it clean and stain-free.
As families have become busier with both parents often working outside the home, low-maintenance is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. And hard surface flooring such as hardwood and tile is worth every penny. They are easy to clean, won’t trap allergens and last longer. Both require a simple vacuuming and a wipe down. But what about grout you say? We recommend larger format tile and a good seal on the grout to minimize the cleaning of grout lines. And if budget permits, in floor heating will keep it cozy on cold days. One caveat – if you have a rather large pooch, tile may be the way to go. No allergens and no scratches.
If you are considering a renovation, we’d love to talk to you about the perfect options for your home. Give us a call at (403) 860-5901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week on the blog: How Do I Know How Much to Budget for My Renovation?
Until next time,