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Kitchen Reno Survival Guide

Jan 18, 2023

Written by Patti Wilson | Design by Patti Wilson Design | Photography by James Lee Photos

If you’ve ever lived through a kitchen renovation, seen one in progress, or heard about the trials and tribulations second- or thirdhand, then you already know that a kitchen renovation takes time, patience, and a budget. At the end of it all, a well-designed and well-executed kitchen is worth every dime, every minute, and every bead of sweat spent. A successful kitchen remodel can make life easier, elevate your enjoyment of the home, and increase its market value. All in all, a kitchen renovation is a worthwhile investment.

On the other hand, a poorly built and finished kitchen can drain your wallet and suck the soul right out of you and your home. Don’t fall prey to a poorly planned kitchen project. Here are my tips for surviving the renovation—from someone who’s done it a few times!

1. Know what you’re in for.

A kitchen is by far the most complicated room in the home to renovate. It’s also the most expensive and arguably, the most important when it comes to the function of your home and your quality of life. With all the various moving parts involved, many people choose to work with a professional designer or company that specializes in kitchens to handle the heavy lifting, from creating a design that’s reflective of your lifestyle and aesthetic, to balancing the budget, sourcing and scheduling trades, ordering materials, and maintaining a timeline. If you choose to manage the renovation on your own, be mindful that all these elements require careful consideration and coordination. Before starting a kitchen project (or any renovation), be prepared for what lies ahead.

In my career as a designer, I’ve seen many well-intentioned kitchen renovations go wrong because of inexperience, overshot expectations, underestimated budgets, and unrealistic timelines. More often than not, a kitchen renovation will take longer and cost more than you think, so plan for this!

Tip: Book your installations well in advance. Depending on the time of year, your location, and preference, you may have to wait from six months to a year to complete your renovations. Discuss the scope of work, material details, and the timeline with your team. Beware of those promising to deliver the world in a weekend. Whether you’re working with a designer or going solo, engaging your professional team early in the process affords you time to plan and prepare for the inconvenience of living without a kitchen for a period, and it gives the pros plenty of notice to schedule installations, order materials, arrange for delivery, and do the work.

On Tour: A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

The kitchen in our most recent project struck a balance between function and style; it was designed for an energetic retired couple who love to cook and host family gatherings. The existing kitchen was in decent enough shape but lacked functionality and storage—a huge miss considering the kitchen is the busiest room in the home. The original cabinets were dark wood, which our clients wanted to trade for something brighter and more contemporary. Living so close to the water, they asked for a kitchen with a modern farmhouse vibe that reflected their location and love of the outdoors.

To achieve the casual, airy vibe and sense of community they were going for, we opened up the main floor by removing a non-load-bearing wall separating the kitchen and dining room. This layout also created an open sightline to the family room, allowing natural light to flow freely throughout the entire space, with a brightness that’s amplified by the light cabinets and countertops and the neutral walls.

A large island at the center of the space is the star attraction for function and style, offering more counter space and the perfect place to prepare a meal, serve, and dine in style with comfy seating. The island, together with the range hood, is finished in a muted, mossy gray color that complements the off-white cabinets and carries the country-kitchen theme.

We reviewed and curated every detail, including appliances, cabinets, the faucet, furniture, draperies, lighting, countertops—right down to cabinet hardware.

2. Create a budget and, more importantly, stick to it!

The kitchen is the most expensive room to renovate, with lots of big-ticket items such as installing cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances. A little extra spent here and there can quickly send your budget into a tailspin. This doesn’t even factor in those unexpected, unwelcome surprises that will inevitably arise once you open up walls. Any problems with the plumbing or electrical system, or other issues such as mold, will need to be addressed before any cosmetic work can begin. And yes, it can become more expensive.

To ensure that unforeseen circumstances do not force my clients to give up preferential design features or function, I typically dedicate between 10 and 15 percent of the total renovation budget as a “just in case” fund. If nothing comes up (but trust me, something always comes up), then you’ll have some money left over to indulge or put away for the next project on your to-do list.

Buyer Beware: On the topic of budget, I’m all for finding great deals, but be careful about buying clearance or “on sale” items online. Buy from a trusted retailer who stands behind the quality of their product and service. How will the vendor handle items that are damaged during shipping, and how long will it take to replace them? When it comes to critical components, don’t skimp out.

3. Be selective when it comes to upgrades.

What features and upgrades make sense for your family and your lifestyle? Stay focused on the end goals of the renovation and ask which features will help you achieve that. Kitchens remain a huge focus for manufacturers and suppliers in the industry, and trust me, there’s always something new on the horizon. But just because it’s new doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your renovation. Ensure that your design choices and upgrades make sense for practical purposes and property value. Features such as custom cabinets, quartz countertops, and extra storage space are always in demand and are generally a safe splurge. Conversely, avoid being too trendy, especially when it comes to the key items that are expensive and inconvenient to replace, like exposed beams or crown molding. When choosing things like cabinets, floors, and countertops, I always recommend opting for neutral choices that have more staying power.

Some things to consider when planning your kitchen remodel include:

  • counter space

  • cabinetry

  • open shelving

  • task lighting (such as under cabinet lighting)

  • backsplash tile (i.e. subway tiles, mosaic tile backsplash, or sleek marble tiles)

  • creative ways to include added storage (like hidden shelves in the kitchen island)

A kitchen renovation is one of the biggest projects you’ll undergo. It’s also the one that will have the biggest impact on the function, style, and value of your home. Be prepared before going all in, and most importantly, be realistic. Yes, you’ll be out-of-kitchen for a few weeks or months, depending on the scope of the project. Although it will be an inconvenience, remember that it’s only temporary. When the renovation is complete, your pleasure will outweigh any pain you endured along the way. The secret to surviving the kitchen renovation is ensuring that you have the right team and resources, a thoughtful plan, and a clear path forward for a kitchen that checks all the boxes: function, style, and budget.

Ready to start your next home renovation? Let your local Flooring America experts help by contacting us today and start planning with our digital design tools!

If you're looking for more home inspiration ideas, check out our Flooring America blog for the latest flooring trends and design advice.

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The Top Five 2023 Flooring Trends

The Top Five 2023 Flooring Trends

Jan 11, 2023

With the new year underway, many of us are eager to start on those new years resolutions! If some of your resolutions include making home improvement projects a top priority, then you're probably wondering what's trending in the world of modern design?

Let us look into our crystal balls and see what trending styles will be making their way into our homes in 2023. When it comes to predicting flooring trends for 2023, Flooring America is looking forward to a flooring future filled with style influences that have trickled down from the catwalk to the carpet.

The Top Five Flooring Trends for 2023 are...

1. Going Gucci

Design by Margarita Bravo, Photography by Tia Curran

Interior design trends take a hat tip from style that originates on fashion runways. That’s exactly what’s driving the “old with the new” trend of combining throwback vibes with modern graphic design inspired by the Metaverse.  

“Based on the 2023 Gucci collection, interior design will follow suit in creating retro atmospheres paired with a futuristic aesthetic, creating new designs and settings with an interesting new style,” said Margarita Bravo, a luxury interior designer based in Denver and Miami. “Think embellished and tactile wallpaper, crystal embellishments, floral appliques, Victorian ruffles, leather adornments, and velvets as accessories in a contemporary home. Now infuse these accessories with bolder choices for colors and shapes and use them as accents in furniture.”

Translating the Trend to The Floor: For the retro part of the trend, look for flooring options with hand-scraped hardwood flooring, wood-look laminate, or luxury vinyl tile. Hardwood floors provide the look and feel of tradition and history, so they're the ultimate in retro flooring.

Incorporate futuristic flair with sleek modern texture and material in your flooring, eco-friendly options, natural textures, and fashion-forward prints like leopard, tiger stripe, and other animal prints mixed with traditional old-world hardwood flooring to follow the top flooring trends for the upcoming year.

2. Embracing Curves

Design by Lisa Kooistra, Photography by Blynda DaCosta

When it comes to predicting style for “below your feet” fashions, look around at other styles in interior design for your home decor, like furniture. Curves are in for 2023 from furniture to the floor.

“We’re moving away from crisp, straight lines and are adding curved furniture pieces and interior archways. We have seen this trend in Europe for a while now,” said Lisa Kooistra, of Kooistra Designs in Ontario. “Curved furniture has the same effect because these pieces add interest and can be placed organically in an interior. This style was made famous by mid-century modern furniture designer Vladimir Kagan, who created the iconic Serpentine sofa in 1950. These sofas are largely referred to as conversation sofas or crescent sofas. They are not only meant for snuggling and watching TV, but also for cultivating aesthetic pleasure and conversation.”

Translating the Trend to The Floor: To mimic the twists of serpentine-shaped furniture in flooring, sculpted and tufted pattern carpet can create a sense of movement and give a room flow with your flooring. Vintage hardwood floors can do the same by showcasing the natural curved lines and knots of the hardwood flooring.

3. Much Ado About Hues

Design by Kandrac & Kole, Photography by Emily Followill

The naming of Pantone’s “color of the year” is always a harbinger of style trends to come, and 2023’s bold Viva Magenta is no exception. Look for punches of vibrant color in interior design for your home decor – including flooring solutions. 

Trending for 2023 is color. As we emerge from the pandemic, people are energized and ready to jump back into a life of travel, entertainment, and social events. This energy translates to color,” said interior design duo Joann Kandrac and Kelly Kole of Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs in Atlanta. “The colors trending for 2023 in home furnishing will be ochre, persimmon, tobacco, moss, and other staples such as blush and navy. We will also see color brought into homes through biophilic design, aka bringing nature indoors to foster a feeling of health and wellness. We will continue to maximize big punches of color in our designs through art, lamps, rugs, and pillows.”

Translating the Trend to The Floor: Look for consumers to embrace the rainbow when it comes to carpet flooring with vibrant shades of yellow, red, blue, green, and more; while tile comes in shades ranging from cobalt to cadmium. Even wood flooring features contrasting shades from dark to light. Combine multiple flooring options in a room to make your space even more vibrant and visually interesting.

4. Tactile Textiles

Design by Kate Davidson, Photography by Mike Chajecki

There’s a pattern to the 2023 design trends, and one is that patterns themselves will flourish. Beige, plain, and vanilla aren’t in the “floorcast”, but pattern and texture are firmly planted in the latest trends.

“Floor patterns are trending—from herringbone flooring to patterned tile. The herringbone is incorporated into tile or wood, sometimes throughout a main floor or in smaller spaces such as an entryway. The eye-catching patterned tile is created in a geometric style and is used primarily in powder-room floors, mudrooms, and laundry rooms. Terrazzo tile gives a nod to the hugely popular European vibe for interior spaces—one of my favorite looks. It’s available in both muted colors and vibrant tones,” according to Kate Davidson, the lead designer at Toronto-based Kate + Co.

Translating the Trend to The Floor: Terrazzo, graphic patterns, marble inlays, and boldly colored slabs and tiles are several flooring options that will be a hit in luxurious interiors. Look for herringbone flooring incorporated into luxury vinyl tile or wood floors, sometimes throughout a kitchen floor or in smaller areas such as an entryway.

Hardwood flooring in patterns like herringbone, checkerboard, and chevron are increasingly popular flooring choices and can provide an interesting contrast to existing –or new –tile, carpet, or other wood flooring choices. From carpet and wood floors to laminate and tile flooring, mixing and matching patterns of flooring can add character and visual interest to any room.

5. The Pull of Vintage

Design by Patti Wilson, Photography by Mike Chajecki

Following a few years spent mostly hunkering down at home, many homeowners have really turned to the comfort of vintage home décor. “We are introducing more vintage and repurposed elements into contemporary and transitional spaces, and clients are embracing it big-time,” said Patti Wilson of Patti Wilson Design in Ontario. “Lovingly cherished, repurposed furniture, antiques, quilts, and artwork invoke childhood memories at grandma’s house and can be seamlessly integrated into redesigned spaces that feel thoughtfully curated and gathered over time.”

Translating the Trend to The Floor: Everything old is also new again for flooring trends in 2023 with laminate, luxury vinyl flooring, natural stone, and the rustic look of hardwood flooring designs giving off serious vintage vibes. Embossed dark stain laminate and sliced black hickory hardwood are just two examples of distressed, repurposed flooring looks for your room that will be big in the new year. Plus, this rustic look of the flooring is a cost-effective way to create your next project for new flooring to elevate your room and stay on trend.

Read more about top design trends for 2023 and discover what interior design experts have to say in our latest issue of Design at Home magazine. For more inspiration on design, floor care, and the latest in flooring technology, read our blog.

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styles we love art deco

Styles We Love: Art Deco

Jan 04, 2023

Joss & Main Putnam Flush Mount; CB2 Emile Rattan and Polished Brass Floor Lamp; Alban Park Ẹkáàbo Albany Sofa; Homelegance Lucille Collection Mid-Century Modern Accent Chair with Tufted Seatback; Hearth & Home Circle Drive Plus in Leap Frog by Flooring America/Flooring Canada; West Elm Wheels Wallpaper; Dark Rustic Wood-Look Luxury Vinyl by Flooring America/Flooring Canada; Tory Burch 797 Madison Candle; Houzz Pia Chrome Coffee Table in Gold

Art Deco, short for Arts Décoratifs, is a fun, bold design style that combines rich colors, prominent geometry, and decadent detail. This style captures the glamorous essence of the roaring ‘20s and brings it into your 21st-century home. Art Deco is a surefire way to elevate any space in your home with its unique, luxurious design quality.

Best Art Deco Flooring Styles

Passages by Tigressa Passage to Grovery in Paris Rain

Choosing the perfect flooring for your Art Deco home comes down to incorporating geometric patterns and shapes into your floor, like this patterned carpet from Tigressa that highlights the honeycomb design. As an added plus, this carpet has uncompromising performance and an impressive selection of 16 hues so you can match your aesthetic perfectly.

Floorcraft Elk Island in Blackfoot

Another way to get the Art Deco look in your home is by selecting flooring in darker shades with noticeable gloss to keep the glamorous qualities of the style around, like this hardwood from Floorcraft. This wide-engineered hardwood brings a bold look to any space in your home along with its moisture resistance and durable nature.

Elements of Art Deco Design

Art Deco combines glamour with geometric design to produce a unique, bold look in any area of your home. The color palette for Art Deco is bold colors that often feature metallics that are complemented by black, silver, or gold furnishings. The texture is also important for this design scheme, as you can use materials like satin, silk, and chrome in abundance for a bit of Hollywood flair.

Looking for more design inspiration? Check out our Flooring America design blog to read about the latest trends in flooring and home interiors.

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pantone color of the year viva magenta

Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year: Viva Magenta

Dec 16, 2022

In these unprecedented times, the world needs a pop of color to represent the strength and spirit that we’ve all developed over the past couple of years. That’s why Pantone has made 2023’s color of the year Viva Magenta to signal fearless joy and bright anticipation.

This color is sure to put a pep in your step due to its electrifying, empowering nature. Pantone 18-1750 Viva Magenta is a shade of red that promises a look into a brighter future and radiates optimism and joy as it falls between the perfect balance of warm and cool.

An Expert Breakdown

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of The Pantone Institute, “We chose this color because we felt that it was an unconventional shade for an unconventional time, something that could present us with a new vision. It’s a color that really vibrates with vim and vigor, that demonstrates a new signal of strength, which is something we all need for a more optimistic future.”

Incorporating Viva Magenta Into Your Home

So, how can you incorporate this vibrant color into your home? We’ve compiled several tips and tricks to add some va-va-voom into your space with Pantone’s Color of the Year: Viva Magenta.

Magenta Accent Decor

While you might want to embrace the transformative nature of magenta in your home, that doesn’t mean you have to commit to a full monochromatic theme. In fact, adding pops of this color through accent decor is the perfect way to incorporate this easily embraceable color.

Through throw blankets and pillows, artwork, vases, flowers, and more, you can let your personality shine through the decorative accents in your home, all while highlighting the trendiest color of 2023.

Magenta Flooring

While choosing magenta flooring for your home may not be the most conventional choice, it certainly adds pizzazz to your space with ease. Plus, you can always incorporate floors that complement the bold color if bright flooring isn’t your thing.

Carpet

Passage to Kirwick by Passages By Tigressa in Dreamland

Passage to Kirwick patterned carpet is the perfect perfect way to spice up your interior design with its decadent pattern and rich color. Not only is it attractive in style, but it also offers uncompromising performance and is sure to last for years to come. Showcased in the hue Dreamland, this color perfectly ties in with the 2023 color of the year. Add it to your home office for a bold touch of personality or use it in the bedroom to elevate your cozy space with a dramatic hue.

Macomb by Downs H2O in Dormer

Macomb by Downs H2O luxury vinyl offers the rich character of real hardwood in a waterproof, kid proof, and pet proof form. This flooring is perfect for handling your bustling household, all while looking great while doing so. Showcased in the color Dormer, this color perfectly complements any magenta accents you want to display throughout your space. Or, choose Harvest, a darker shade of brown that will provide a nice contrast to the brightness of magenta.

Backsplashes

Vivify Tile in Bordeaux

This Vivify backsplash from Daltile features a woven pattern in a bright magenta hue that adds a distinctive style to any wall it’s placed on. Showcased in the color Bordeaux, this magenta-hued color is the perfect way to tie in Pantone’s 2023 color of the year into your space.

Bee Hive Medley Tile in Sun Marsala

With its unique geometric pattern, Bee Hive Medley is the perfect eye-catching design to display in your kitchen or bathroom. Displayed in Sun Marsala, this magenta-hued color adds a pop of vibrant color to your space.

More Flooring Inspiration & Tips

Looking for more design inspiration for your home? Check out our blog for more ideas as well as our design magazine for tips and tricks on styling your space.

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Wrapping Up Style Watch 2022

Dec 05, 2022

As the year comes to a close, it’s safe to say that it was one filled with unexpected surprises and ever-changing design trends. From the organic materials and white-washed white oak flooring to pops of blues and new ways to work from home, lifestyle trends like biophilia and art deco seemed to dominate the interior design world. Here, we’ve pulled together a list of the top ten trends, so take a deeper look into the trending styles from 2022.

Lighter and Brighter

We kicked off the year with the lighter and brighter trend, which brought forth a flurry of light floors and open spaces from white-washed luxury vinyl to plush white carpet. Lighter flooring added an airy, open vibe to home design and gave homeowners the illusion of space in smaller places like apartments and condos. 

Hints of Blue

In February, we moved on to timeless blues with a mood board inspired by nautical colorways in stunning blue tiles, blue patterned carpets and area rugs. This trend was perfect for those looking to add a splash of color to their home but unsure about where to start, as blue is a classic color that provides the perfect accent in home design. 

Organically Natural

March focused on a trend that has taken the spotlight all year long: Organically Natural. This style trend is all about taking your love for the outdoors, indoors. By incorporating natural finish hardwood, simple stone tile, or calming carpet, you can showcase everything the natural world has to offer through your flooring choices.

Unlimited Variation

In April, we gave our attention to the perfect way to showcase your personal style: Unlimited Variation. With varying colors, textures, and styles featured in your flooring, wallpaper and decor, you can add a pop of personality into any room in your home. 

Waterproof Flooring

May brought an emphasis on waterproof flooring, which is the perfect solution for active households with kids and pets that experience messes on the daily. Fortunately, our options for water-resistant flooring have expanded far beyond traditional flooring types and into other kinds that you wouldn’t have seen before, like hardwood and carpet. This was one of 2022’s hottest trends, and for good reason, as this is a guaranteed way to keep your home looking its best for years to come.

Multipurpose Work Spaces

Now more than ever, a lot of us are working from home, whether it’s partially or full-time, creating a need for multipurpose workspaces. 2022 emphasized unique solutions for work-from-home spaces included waterproof carpets built to handle the occasional early morning coffee spill and easy-to-please luxury vinyl, which elevated the gym-turned-into-home-office with its wood-look all while protecting you from the rolling desk chair.

Distressed Vintage

This past summer, we focused on all things vintage from distressed oak hardwood to antique barn-look luxury vinyl. The focus of this trend was all about investing in quality and creating a lived-in look to help make any space feel like home.

Patterns on Patterns

Inspired by the maximalist trend, patterns on patterns introduced a beautiful array of textures, colors and designs to the interior design world through floral wallpapers, striped upholstery and sculpted carpet. The goal of this trend was to add dimension and create a distinct warmth through fun textures that are visually appealing.

Luxurious Comfort

As we approached fall, many of us were craving the luxurious comfort of wool carpet, plaid throws and sheepskin rugs. This trend emphasized layers through various textures and materials. Flooring trends picked up in cozy carpets, rich-hued hardwoods and rustic wood-look flooring.

Charismatic Personality

To top the year off, trends turned to character and personality with objects that inspired color, warmth, and joy being infused into home design styles like Art Deco and Rustic Cabincore. In a post-pandemic world, it turns out the charisma of warm and natural flooring like traditional hardwood and shaker-style tile has found permanent roots in interior design.


To check out the extended list of our 2022 Style Watch, visit our website and read our design blog for more home design inspiration today!

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inspired by winter issue

Inspired by: Free Spirit

Nov 28, 2022

Want a preview of how new floors will look in your home? Try our room visualizer, My Floor Style. Upload a photo of your room, select your style preferences, and get a virtual look at each different flooring style. With My Floor Style, there are no surprises. Only beautiful new floors.

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