Bar Furniture 300x233 Choose the Right FurnitureIf you are lucky enough to have a bar in or near your kitchen, then you know what a useful place a bar can be. Those who live without a bar don’t know the way that it adds space and seating options and the way it allows families to gather for short or long times in a setting more informal than at the dining room table. My kitchen bar has become the gathering place for my children both before and after school. We use that spot so much that my wife and I knew we needed to be intentional about choosing the right bar furniture.

As an interior designer, I am always giving people advice about creating their ideal homes. The longer I have been in the business, the more I have learned that there are certain areas of the home that need to be focused on more. A bar nook is one of those places that I always encourage people to spend a little more time, energy and money being intentional about. I say this because of the frequency with which most people use their bar nooks. My advice to people is that they will use their bar nooks a lot more if they take time to do it well. I share with them that a bar nook can become one of the biggest gathering places for families. Bar furniture is a necessary step to creating this great environment.

Obviously, you want your bar furniture to match the style and feel of the rest of your kitchen and dining area, so don’t be too quick to rush off into plans that will make your bar nook stand out too much. My advice to people is always that they should have a unique element or two to their bar furniture without making them entirely other than the decor of the surrounding area. You want it to stand out and blend in at the same time.

One of the key features of any bar furniture should be comfort. No one will stay in an area long if it is not comfortable, so think about longevity and comfort when you are looking for the perfect bar furniture. Grab a few magazines and get ideas from other peoples’ homes. See what works and what looks like too much in the bar nook area. Magazines are one of the best sources of creativity, so use this resource and slowly gather ideas for your bar furniture. If you have an interior designer working with you, he or she will be able to really help you make this space effective as well.

hardwood floor installation 300x168 Five Tips to Help Choose the Proper Hardwood FloorAgeless beauty, durability, and ease of installation and maintenance make hardwood floors the perfect choice for remodeling your home floors.

There are a multitude of choices when it comes to floor replacements. Hardwood and laminate floors come in an overwhelming variety of shades, sizes and installation methods. Here are some pointers to help you make a decision.

First and foremost, always set a budget for your project. With the wide variety of designs and materials available, spending beyond your budget is very easily done.

1.Style and color should be your first criteria for the area in which you are updating. Is this an elegant area, like a living room, or is this the family room where the kids and pets might be present? You might want a laminate substitute in the family room, and luscious cherry finished rosewood in the living area.

2.Selecting the shades of the room is important as well. The setting of the design will dictate what shades you will use. A dark shade for the entertainment area to help hide dirt and keep the light level down for the big screen TV might be what you’re looking for.

3.Don’t try to put hardwood flooring in the powder room or bathroom. A laminate substitute can be used, but it must be impervious to moisture.

4.Proper installation of the floor must be your highest priority. Even if you’re a great “do-it-yourselfer”, hardwood floor installation requires professional tools and knowledge of angle cutting that most home owners don’t have. If you decide to try it, be sure to do the research first. Take a look at the angles and corners that might be required to cut.

5.Be sure the area, on which you will be installing your new floor on top of, is smooth and even. You will want to select an underlayment that will provide cushioning, soundproofing and additional insulation for your new floor.