Go With the Flow: Making the Upstairs-Downstairs Connection With Stair Treatments

StairTreatment2

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

If your home has multiple levels, chances are, you have a few different floor treatments as well. If you have the same flooring on both levels, or if your stairs were already covered when you moved in, you may not have given the matter much thought — but what goes on those stairs can impact how your home flows from one space to the next, and deciding what that treatment should be is not always straightforward. For instance: If you want to have something soft on the stairs, but both levels of your home have hard flooring, can you still carpet the stairs? And what if the upstairs is carpeted, but you don’t want a carpeted stairway? Read on for solutions to these and other common scenarios.

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Traditional Staircase Salt Lake City, original photo on Houzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard Flooring Upstairs and Downstairs

Solution: Use a runner. With hard flooring throughout the home, fully carpeted stairs can look a bit out of place. To add softness and reduce wear on your stairs, try a runner instead. A runner leaves some of the hard flooring exposed, which helps create a visual connection between upstairs and down.

Adrienne DeRosa, original photo on Houzz

Adrienne DeRosa, original photo on Houzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution: Paint a runner. If you like the look of a runner but want to keep all of the flooring consistent, a painted-on runner might be just the thing. Make it as simple or as bold as you want — you can always change your mind and repaint it

Solution: Leave the stairs bare. 

A simple option when you have wood floors both upstairs and down is to leave the stairs bare, with a finish that matches the flooring in the rest of your space. However, if your stairs are not in the best shape (and sometimes you may not find that out until you’ve ripped out the old carpeting), it can be more economical to re-cover them — or paint them.

 

Sally Wheat Interiors, original photo on Houzz

Sally Wheat Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your heart is set on fully carpeted stairs … This look can work, but know that it’s trickier to pull off. With hard flooring upstairs and downstairs, what you want to avoid is that forgotten-carpeting look, as if a work crew just forgot to rip out the stairway carpet. Carpeting in a bold color or pattern for the stairs looks more intentional than bland beige. And carpeting tends to look more natural in a narrow stairwell, like the one shown here, rather than on wide stairs in an open foyer. If you can, choose a pattern with at least one color that matches the tone of the flooring in the rest of the house, for consistency.

Related: Match Mats to the Stairs to Make a Statement in the Foyer

Carpeting Upstairs, Hard Flooring Downstairs

Solution: Carpet the stairs to match. This is the most common stair treatment when the upstairs floor is carpeted — the cushy carpeted stairway is a visual link to the next floor and gives a hint that the upstairs space is for bedrooms.

Alexander James Interiors, original photo on Houzz

Alexander James Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution: Choose a runner with contrasting trim. For a classic look that lets some of the wood beneath show through, pick out a runner that matches your upstairs carpet, but with contrasting trim. The trim makes the runner look crisp and neat, sweeping the eye upward.

Traditional Staircase DC Metro, original photo on Houzz

Traditional Staircase DC Metro, original photo on Houzz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution: Choose a fun runner. If you want to do a different carpet on the stairs from the one you’re using on the upper floor, use a runner rather than wall-to-wall. Even though it’s just a bit of hard flooring showing around the edges, when you’re using a really bold pattern (like the one shown here), it makes all the difference.

Solution: Leave the stairs bare. Just because the upstairs floor has carpeting does not mean you must carpet the stairs, too. Hard flooring that matches the floors on the lower level looks just as appropriate as carpeting — and requires less upkeep.

StairTreatment6

Solution: Make a change at the landing. If your stairs have a switchback, this can be a good place to make a change in floor covering. If you have a carpeted upstairs, you could have the upper portion of the stairs carpeted as well and then switch to hard flooring at the landing and below.

No Matter What: Consider the View From Below 

Often the clearest view of a staircase is from the base of the stairs, not from the top — so keep that in mind when choosing a treatment for your stairs. Whether you decide to go with carpeting, a runner or hard flooring, make sure it complements the flooring on the lower level.

8 Ways With Colored Floors

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By Kimberly Collins Jermain, Houzz

 

Walls and trim are most often finished and maintained using paint, so they are the place where homeowners first see potential for personalizing their house with a new palette. But people often overlook their floors, the color of which can greatly influence your decor scheme. If you’re looking for a seismic shift in your interior design, or are just looking for smart ways to add height or create energy or calm, try one of these grounding color concepts.

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design, original photo on Houzz

MANDARINA STUDIO interior design, original photo on Houzz

1. Go deep for more height. Successful architectural design always takes human scale into consideration. We want to fit the proportions of our home.

 

Color can help adjust the visual perception of the height of a space, especially in areas of the house not part of the original floor plan, like this sleeping loft under the eaves. Want to drop the floor? Take a cue from your favorite swimming hole and saturate the surface with dark blues or blue greens.

 

Related:Why You Should Give Teal a Chance

 Davignon Martin Architecture, original photo on Houzz

Davignon Martin Architecture, original photo on Houzz

 

2. Use white to quiet a room. Visual distraction and clutter can take away from the calm you want in a room that will host music study, quiet contemplation or conversation. By selecting a white-finished floorboard, close in color to the walls, the perimeter of the room is diminished and the space opens up to present a feeling of stillness.

 

3. Let unusual colors become neutrals. In a small house, the floor is a good place to put saturated color. A hefty hue taken in from overhead is less dramatic than surrounding your peripheral vision with it. Strong color on walls will appear to come forward and diminish the space.

 

When flooring is stained or painted an unusual color and used throughout the home, it becomes a neutral. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you use an unexpected color, the less out of the ordinary it becomes.

Moroso Construction, original photo on Houzz

Moroso Construction, original photo on Houzz

 

4. Add energy with warm colors. A warm color, like this citron floor, can raise the temperature and energy in a room where you want a positive vibe. Because of its bold flooring installation, this ostensibly classic white kitchen radiates heat rather than cold.

 

5. Anchor vibrant artwork with bold colors. Like a landscape to be taken in and enjoyed, a well-thought-out interior of color and form can enhance the enjoyment of life at home. And the perfect rug can add interest and easily pull a room together.

 

Zinc Art + Interiors, original photo on Houzz

Zinc Art + Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

6. Play with patterns to visually expand a room. Superimposing a large, organic pattern in white over the clear-coated hardwood makes this kitchen floor appear expansive. Sticking to a simple white and orange color palette keeps the design from overpowering the space and drawing all of the attention.

Vanillawood, original photo on Houzz

Vanillawood, original photo on Houzz

7. Introduce wallpaper and paint to highlight architecture. Stair treads and risers are often overlooked as design elements. These wallpapered risers add interest to a steep set of stairs.

 

Or try painting treads to set them apart and define the steps for easy transit.

Texas Construction Company, original photo on Houzz

Texas Construction Company, original photo on Houzz

 

8. Use soft, bright colors to bounce light around. The soft yellow deck of this side entrance welcomes with a sunny glow. The happy porch floor, which complements the purple gray of the home’s exterior wall color, provides a place to linger and sends light in through the interior windows all year long.

 

Related: How to Add Color to a Porch

 

How to Remodel Your Kitchen in 9 Steps

By Rebekah Zaveloff, Houzz

You’ve decided to remodel your kitchen. Now what? Not knowing where to start, many homeowners fall into two camps. Some start by looking at appliances. Others start by collecting inspiring kitchen photos. Some decide they need more room. Others simply want to upgrade their current kitchen. Homeowners may find themselves in this exploration stage for a year or longer before they start interviewing kitchen designers or general contractors.

Once you’ve pondered long enough and you’re ready to greenlight a kitchen remodeling project, then what? We’ll start with the first 9 steps and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details under specific steps as we move through the complete workbook.

Kitchen Remodel 1: Mary Evelyn Interiors, original photo on Houzz

Kitchen Remodel 1: Mary Evelyn Interiors, original photo on Houzz

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Sustainable Interiors with a Modern Edge

by Erin Vaughan

You want your home’s interiors to be as sustainable as possible. But eco-friendly home decor doesn’t have to mean a crunchy-granola aesthetic. In fact, with a wide range of stylish, environmental materials available, you can get home design that’s polished and visually stunning, while improving the health of your home—and the Earth.

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COUPLE OF ARCHITECTS CONVERTS A LONDON BAKERY INTO A BOLD TWO-BEDROOM

BY NATALIE WAIN, HOUZZ

“When we first saw this flat, it was pretty dark and in bad condition, but we felt it had so much potential,” says architect Pereen d’Avoine of Russian For Fish. It was part of a former bakery that had undergone a cobbled-together conversion in the 1980s, and what it lacked in windows and natural light, it made up for in ample floor space.

Her partner, Matt, is also an architect, “and luckily we have similar taste when it comes to interiors,” says d’Avoine. “But we were on a really tight budget, so we decided to live in the flat for a while before starting work on it, so we could understand what we needed from the space.”

One year later the pair applied for planning permission to put in a new window, transforming a dark corner and helping them to make the most of their living area. Completed in 2012, the crisp, well-designed space now enjoys lots of natural light and is filled with restrained, midcentury-style furniture that complements the bold checkered floor.

13 Choices for Checkered Floors

Houzz at a Glance

Location: Bethnal Green district of London

Designer: Russian For Fish

Size: 2 bedrooms; 1 bathroom

“We had a really tight budget, so we didn’t want to rip out the solid wood floor, but it was stained a dark red color that totally sapped all the light in the room,” says d’Avoine. The solution: “Matt and I both love checks, and the bold pattern gives the flat a sense of width, which is helpful, as it’s quite long,” she says. “It also leads your eye naturally into the other spaces.” The statement floor is d’Avoine’s favorite part of the flat, although her contractors were not such big fans. “I think they hated it,” she says. “It’s all hand painted, and it took a whole week to finish.”

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Russian For Fish, original photo on Houzz

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Your Guide to Luxury Vinyl Tile

 

Tarkett LVT Rock Maple in Natural

Tarkett LVT Rock Maple in Natural

This article was written by Bryan Sebring of Sebring Services, he owns a home remodeling company located in Naperville, Illinois.  Bryan is very passionate about educating homeowners, from design ideas to hiring contractors.

As one of the least expensive forms of flooring, vinyl seems like the last thing you would attach the word ‘luxury’ to. But luxury vinyl tile is real and has become one of the most popular flooring options among homeowners and even businesses.

Luxury vinyl tile is essentially a type of vinyl-based flooring that is designed to resemble a wide range of materials including wood, ceramic and natural stone. Luxury vinyl tile or simply LVT, offers a number of advantages and improvements over traditional vinyl. It is more durable, better looking and provides a wider variety of style. For all these advantages however, you can expect to pay several times more per square foot for LVT as compared to traditional vinyl.

 

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LVT is such a great option that it is no longer considered a low budget flooring option. In fact, you will find it used in high-end apartments and condos. Here is a more detailed look at the main benefits of luxury vinyl tile.  Continue reading

Spotlight On: FiberFloor

Tarkett FiberFloor Hex in Copper Mine and American Chestnut in Saddle

Tarkett FiberFloor Hex in Copper Mine and American Chestnut in Saddle. Combining the two patterns is a fun, unexpected way to soften transitions and create separation in open concept spaces.

Recently, we added several new designs to our FiberFloor collection. These designs represent taking risks and embracing trends that you can still live on. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how some of these designs came to be and fun ways to use them.

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Top Six Tips for Tracking Trends Like a Pro

Pickled finishes from the ‘90s are now called a more sophisticated cerused. Tarkett Laminate Heritage Oak Light 42139385

Pickled finishes from the ‘90s are now called a more sophisticated cerused. Tarkett Laminate Heritage Oak Light 42139385

Recently, our senior design manager, Traci Kloos, presented at Voices from the Industry at KBIS 2016 about becoming a trend tracker. The National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)  is part of Design and Construction Week, which brings together more than 110,000 design and construction professionals in the largest annual gathering of the residential design and construction industry. In Traci’s presentation, she discussed how to be a trend tracker to a wonderful audience of kitchen and bath designers. Trend tracking is a requirement for designers, but you don’t have to be a professional to be an authority on trends. You can trend track yourself to get the most out of your love of design, tap into your creativity and perhaps most importantly, decide if you should skip the rose gold or embrace it wholeheartedly.

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Design Inspiration: New York Fashion Week 2016

To celebrate New York Fashion Week, our design team is curating inspiration boards based on what they’re loving at the shows. High fashion, architecture and design blend beautifully together and draw inspiration from one another.

From Traci Kloos, senior design manager: 

Olive with products

I’m loving the rich olive greens that are showing up on the runway. Olive green is the neutral many people forget about. It pairs well with other neutrals such as grey, brown and tan. I like it paired with an unexpected pop of color. My favorite for spring/summer 2016 is a bright burst of orange. It livens up the green with a bit of unexpected whimsy.

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Five Easy Ways to Declutter Your Open Storage Spaces

Luxury vinyl tile Permastone Rush in Atlas

Luxury vinyl tile Permastone Rush in Atlas

It’s about this time of year that it always happens. The fanfare of the holidays is over, you are deep into winter, but spring seems too far away to fathom. It’s about this time that the walls start closing in and you feel like you are trapped in your home surrounded by clutter. It’s at that moment when I am feeling caught between moving out for the next three months and donating all my possessions to charity that I snap back to reality and come to grips with the fact I need to declutter. Being the pragmatist I am, I tackle only the spaces that will be seen. Leaving the additional mess behind closed doors, for another day. Continue reading