Should I Match My Floor and My Cabinets?

As more homeowners are choosing to install their hardwood floors in every room of the house including the kitchen, this creates some confusion about what to do with the cabinets. After all, if the cabinets are wood as well, is it better to match or to contrast the two wood tones in one room?

The Case against Matching

While it can be tempting to say I want maple cabinets; why not get maple floors as well? This can actually backfire in terms of your overall design. Wood has a lot of variation in it, even when you choose unfinished and unstained woods. Because your cabinet maker and your floor provider will be sourcing their wood from different areas, you can’t guarantee that your cabinets and flooring will actually “match”. One may be lighter or darker than the other, or it may include colors and undertones you didn’t expect. This means that you could end up with floors and cabinets that clash, rather than match perfectly.

Try Contrasting

If you want natural wood for your cabinets and your floors, consider contrasting your colors. Use a pale, clear maple on the cabinets and a dark mahogany on the floors. Mirror the floor color on the countertop to create a cohesive design. It can work the other way, too, using dark cabinets and light floors. If you really want to match species, consider staining one, such as using natural cherry cabinets with a dark burgundy stain on the floor.

Contrast with Material

If you really love the look of wood floors, but don’t want to contrast them with a different wood on the cabinets consider using a painted cabinet instead. White cabinets work well with nearly everything, particularly dark floors, while a cream colored cabinet could work beautifully with a red or white oak floor, as well as with a clear maple.

Avoid a Miss-Match

While it is tempting to try to match the woods in different places in your house, you may find this more difficult to do than you imagined. Unless you are able to luck into an exact match, play it safe and add some contrast to the kitchen. 

Color Challenge: How To Decorate With Orange – Autumn Roses Inspiration

Fall is on the way, and that means that the warm weather that is so conducive to interior design projects will soon be gone. Take heart! It also means that Fall’s spectacular colors will soon be everywhere you look. Now is a great time redecorate and possibly change up the color scheme in your home.

Perhaps you are a person who strives to change the look of your home with every season, or maybe you just love autumn colors and you want to fully commit for the next several months. No matter your reason, we have the perfect color pallet. You must be bold though! Orange is at the heart of this look and using orange in your home is a brave choice. It’s a statement color. The trick is to surround it with classic, subtle, natural colors. To help us get it right, we allowed our imaginations to ponder the beauty of this stunning collection of roses.

This pallet is very much nature inspired, but with the polish of a designers touch. In other words, you’ll find all of these colors outdoors in autumn, but not necessarily right next to each other.  Remember, in home design, you can always take advantage of the control you have indoors. 

First and foremost, start with your favorite orange. Where fall colors are concerned, orange reigns supreme! Go for a true, rich, warm orange that is easy on the eyes while also demanding attention. Next, add a cranberry red. It will deepen the pallet, and it is strong enough to both accompany the orange and stand apart from it. Ground the scene with plenty of cocoa brown. It’s earthy without taking away from any glamour.

Brown is also well suited to flooring and furniture so it will be easy to use it liberally. Although you’ll note that green is also included in the pallet, it is very much in a supporting role. The best plan for the green hue is to incorporate it with live plants or faux greenery. Last, surprise everyone by incorporating a soft, light cream color. You’ll look like a color genius. The bold colors are rather demanding, and the white will go a long way toward preventing them from seeming over bearing. Use as little or as much of as it as you like, according to whether you want the room to feel light and airy, or warm and cozy. 

Color Challenge: How To Decorate With Orange – Wedding Bouquet Inspiration

So you want a home that stands out, and your imagination is swimming with colors. It seems like everywhere you look there are bold, beautiful colors and you simply must take part! You’re on the right track. Homes that have wow-factor rarely shy away from a perfectly orchestrated set of hues. It’s a tricky thing though.

Best intentions can definitely go askew if you don’t have a selective and planned way to incorporate bold hues. The color orange is especially tough to work with, but it pays off big time. It’s fresh, vibrant and cozy. How to go about it? One easy trick is to borrow inspiration from this gorgeous bridal bouquet. 

Select a rich, soft orange as your focal point. Let it take center stage, but in a limited way. In other words, less of the orange will make it more evident. By burying it in soft pastels, it has plenty of opportunity to show its personality without taking over the room. Perhaps just one accent wall will do, if you have your heart set on orange paint.

Otherwise, opt to make it the color of choice for every key accessory. Then add a true pink to the room. It is a great partner for the orange because it has the same spunk and vibrancy, but without screaming for attention. Next, the lavender is a lovely and unexpected addition. Purple and orange? What? Yes! When done right, a soft blue-based lavender is exactly what you need to add sophistication to the pallet.  (Orange and blue are complimentary colors on the color wheel.)

Rounding out the whole color scheme with soft off-white adds elegance, and completes the look by providing the ever-important area for the eye to rest. It also helps achieve that shabby-chic look that continues to be popular, and is thus proving to be timeless. Now your turn to surprise us! If you were going to add just one more color to this pallet, what would it be?

Color Challenge: How To Decorate With Orange – Peach-Faced Love Bird Inspiration

So you want a home that stands out, and you’ve chosen color as the method to your madness. Good for you! Color is one of the boldest ways to make a statement in your home and not everyone has the “decorating courage” to pull it off.  Sometimes, though, the best intentions can go terribly awry if you don’t carefully plan out how a strong color will be incorporated into your life. Although bold colors make for fantastic interior designs, they can feel like unwelcome, overbearing guest is they are allowed to run rampant without complimentary hues to give the room balance and focus.

It’s safe to say that the color orange definitely falls under the category ‘Very Challenging.’  It’s gorgeous and rich, but it doesn’t typically fare well on its own. Orange is kind of like a loud, crazy, vivacious friend. She’s a joy to have around and she makes life fun, but with no else in the room but you two, it’s easy to tire of her quickly! Prevent orange from being obnoxious by taking inspiration from the pretty Peach Faced Love Bird.

Notice how only about ¼ of the bird is the boldest color – the deep and vibrant orange. As the orange is rather dark, and could thus be too intense, balance it by using the warm yellow liberally. Yellow is a lovely choice for paint or furnishings, such as a chaise. Round out the color scheme with a neutral pink that will blend in naturally, especially when used for accessories. Then throw in an unexpected neautral by incorporating a subtle gray-violet such as the color that extends through the end of the bird’s wings.

People will be impressed by your unique choice and the gray-violet will add a touch of sophistication to an otherwise approachable and friendly color pallet. Once the room is complete, it will feel feminine, fresh and bright. So much so, that you just might find yourself on your way to the pet store…to buy a pet bird! Before you grab your keys and purse, though, tell us which animal is your favorite for design inspiration!

Floor Styles For Various Tastes

Flooring is one of the most important parts of the house. Because it often takes the brunt of most activities from mere walking to playing, it is important to carefully choose which material and style to use.


Fortunately, there are many flooring options available in the market. The homeowner can opt for different textures and colors depending on his preferred style.




In order to emulate the informal elegance that is associated with rustic styles, old wood planks that feature nail holes, knots, cracks, saw teeth and milling marks should be considered. These old or even salvaged planks give off a sense of aged grace.


Modern and Sleek


To complement a modern design palette, polished concrete floors can be used. Aggregates can be slightly exposed in order to introduce some accent. The shiny finish easily matches additional smooth surfaces within the room.


Seaside Escape


For those who live near the beach and for those who simply love the seascape, patterned and painted floors are a great choice. Stripes of blue and white, for example, can brighten up the room. Coastal motifs such as compasses, shells, and fishes can also be stenciled on bare wooden floors for a playful look.


Bold Retro


Retro is often characterized by bold and fun patterns. Therefore, when choosing the retro look, contrasting tiles placed in a checkerboard pattern is a great choice. Another is shag carpeting with fuzzy throw rugs.


Art Deco


Similar to the retro style, the art deco is also associated with black and white tiles. However, vibrant colors are added in order to make bold statements. The colors most commonly associated with this style are yellow and purple as well as tones of blue-grey. Metals such as gold, silver and chrome are also used in order to add some accent to neutral background colors. Tiles with rich curved and geometric patterns can also be incorporated in the floor design.

We are happy to help with any questions you may have about finding the perfect look for your individual taste.  Feel free to ask!

What Backsplash Can I Use With Ubatuba Granite?

Ubatuba granite is one of the most popular choices for kitchens around the country. It works with nearly every color of cabinet and style of kitchen, which is why people keep choosing it. Unfortunately, once they’ve chosen it or had it installed, they often end up asking the same question: What backsplash can I use with it? The answer is in the stone itself.

The Colors of Ubatuba

At first glance, Ubatuba appears to be almost black in color. A closer inspection will reveal, however, that this is far from the truth.

Ubatuba is actually a green granite that also contains numerous flecks of other colors including:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Gold
  • Turquoise

Like all stones, no two pieces are exactly the same, so the colors you find in your counter may vary slightly. Yours may have more gold and no turquoise or it may have lots of blue and turquoise and very little black. So when choosing your backsplash, it’s important that you have a sample of your counter, not a showroom sample. If you have just chosen the counter, ask for a corner piece to be cut for you; if you are having it installed, request the sink cutout piece to use for this purpose.

Picking the Backsplash

Like any backsplash, your first step should be determining what you want the overall look to be. Do you want a simple subway tile backsplash for a Country kitchen, or do you want something more contemporary and show stopping like a honey onyx mosaic in a fan pattern? Take a look through some kitchen magazines for backsplash styles that catch your eye; don’t worry about what counter they are paired with, the idea is to get a sense of what you want.

Once you have a basic idea, it’s time to pay a visit to your tile showroom with your piece of Ubatuba. Speak to your design consultant or kitchen designer about the style you like, and ask to see what’s available in that style. Hold the Ubatuba sample up to the tile and try to find a tile color that matches one of the flecks in the stone – cream, gold, or turquoise usually. This will ensure that your new backsplash matches your counter perfectly, while also meeting your style needs.

We are happy to help with any questions you may have during the process of choosing your backsplash.  Feel free to ask!

Flooring Ideas For Seniors

You probably don’t give much thought to your flooring beyond how it looks in the home, and maybe how easy it is to keep clean. There are other considerations that older adults may need to make, however.

Very hard floors such as stone or porcelain can be dangerous in the event of a slip and fall. Some types of flooring can also be very slick when wet, and may not offer quite enough traction. Other types flooring may cause trips, such as older carpeting or throw rugs that roll up or wrinkle.

Therefore, older adults may need to consider changing out the flooring in their homes for types that are easier to navigate, as well as potentially safer.

Flooring Types for Older Adults to Consider

There is no one type of flooring that older adults need to consider.  Many styles, patterns and color choices can be found that will fit into a variety of different homes. Some choices include:

  • Resilient flooring such as vinyl or linoleum: When well maintained, these types of flooring are non-skid, not likely to cause a fall, and may be gentler on the bones of someone that does tumble. Both are also easy to maintain, and linoleum has some antibacterial properties as well.
  • Low-pile carpets: Older adults that use canes or walkers may also find a lower pile carpeting easier to navigate. When padded properly, carpeting can also help to protect against the impact during a fall.
  • Cork flooring: Cork is resilient and less likely to cause harm on impact. It’s also naturally antibacterial and easy to keep clean, as well as being non-skid.
  • Rubber Flooring: Another resilient and soft flooring to consider is rubber. Rubber floors are non-skid, easy to care for, and can offer some cushioning upon impact.

Stay In Your Home

If you intend to stay in your home as an older adult, be sure to give your flooring some consideration. Many different types of flooring are attractive and easy to maintain as well as being easier and safer to navigate; consider changing your floors and stay safe at home.

Fun Family Activities

You want to spend quality time with your family no matter what time of year it is. Don’t wait for a major event to occur to get together, and try one of these fun family activities instead.

Visit a Fire Station

You’ve probably driven past it a hundred times, but have you ever stopped to visit your local fire station? In addition to learning fire safety tips, your kids can get the chance to climb on the equipment, try on firefighter coats and boots, and learn more about the role the firemen play in your community.


If your family loves to hike or spend time outdoors, why not give geocaching a try? This is a fun activity where you and your family use GPS coordinates to find a hidden box or treasure. Take something from the box as a souvenir and leave something behind for others to find.

Visit Minor League Home Games

While a family’s worth of tickets to a big league game might be out of the budget, most major cities also have a minor league team who is just as much fun to root for, but for a lot less money.

Have a Picnic

Don’t forget about the simple joys of simply gathering outdoors to eat and spend time together. Consider going for a hike or to a local park for a picnic, and don’t forget to bring some balls, bats, and other outdoor toys with you as well.

Volunteer in the Community

You don’t have to focus on yourselves to have fun as a family; there are plenty of ways you can have fun while also helping others. Plant a community garden, volunteer in a soup kitchen, or help clean up the local park.

Try New Foods

Give going out to eat a new twist by going way out of your comfort zones for some truly exotic foods. Introduce the kids to a variety of different cuisines, and experiment as a family.

Study a Star Chart

If you live in an area where the stars are visible at night, consider investing in a star chart to study together. Look up the various constellations and see what you can find with or without a telescope.

No matter which activity you choose, make sure that your family does something together out of the ordinary.  These are memories in the making!

Activities Inside for Bad Weather Days

Although the summer season can bring beautiful days, not all are suited for the outdoors.  Rain, wind or days where the thermometer can’t even keep up with the heat index can drive families indoors for the day.  With everyone stuck inside together, the time can run very slowly without activities to keep the kids busy.  Below are a few time fillers to enjoy together.   


Cooking as a Treat


No matter what your kids ages, cooking is a special treat.  Select a recipe that will reward everyone at the end.  Marshmallow rice treats, cookies or simply a mixture of dried fruits and nuts in a trail mix are wonderful to munch on during and after the cooking time!  Grandma’s favorite recipe can be a great way to continue the baking tradition in your family or go off the beaten trail with “Kitchen Sink Cookies”, allowing kids to use their imaginations.  Any ingredients can be added to a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe to create a one-of-a-kind treat that no one will forget! 


Crafts from Pinterest


Have you ever taken a cruise through the crafts available on Pinterest?  The posts on this site are a craft-lover’s dream.  Ask your kids to browse through a few boards or take to the computer screen with them and find a craft suited to their ages.  The kitchen table can be converted into a temporary craft headquarters while they create their masterpiece.  Depending on the length of the activity, this can last a couple of hours to an entire day!


Indoor Games


Charades are a great way to pass time with a small group indoors.  Not only can the laughter be a wonderful distraction, but also there is no set up, cleanup or items to purchase!  Board games can also be a welcome time filler during a bad weather day.  Snacks, blankets and pillows make this activity a super special treat around the kitchen table or in the middle of the living room floor.


Movie Time!


A movie day can lighten a gloomy day quickly!  Rather than taking everyone out to a theater, homemade popcorn, a sweet treat, PJs and cuddling together can pass the time while bringing everyone closer together.  Movies can even be shown in a theme – black and white movies, musicals or movies from a particular decade are fun to watch as a family.


With so many options for a bad weather day, you may find that rainy days can be the most fun!