Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remodel: Picking Out the Finishes

To continue my remodel series today I am going to discuss how we chose the finishes and lighting we have in our new room.  I have had three other posts in my remodel series which were: making an idea book, planning, and choosing color.  Click on any of those links to read previous posts. 

The first finish is flooring.  We chose carpeting in our new room for three reasons.
  • Budget- carpeting is still on the affordable end of the flooring spectrum.
  • Kids- a soft place to play.
  • My husband- he sold carpet, tile, hardwood, and vinyl for 20 years and he saw hardwood covered up by carpet many, many times.   
Hardwood is extremely popular right now.  Better Homes and Gardens  new issue of Remodel states that a national survey revealed that real estate agents say homes with wood floors sell faster and at a higher price than  homes with other types of flooring.  Popularity seems to be driving the demand.  Wood floors look great but we chose carpet.

Wall & Ceiling Treatments:
In our new room all of the walls and ceiling are dry walled in a knockdown texture.  I have seen this used in commercial applications but it looks fantastic in your home. I wanted the color of an old map on the wall and the knockdown texture ages the wall even more looking like stucco or plaster.  It is also great at hiding blemishes on the wall and with three boys it has already paid off that we chose this finish over smooth drywall.

Layering lighting to get different moods and usefulness out of your room seems to be the best approach.  We used recessed cans on dimmer switches to start with and later we will add more layers to our lighting. Ways to add more layers are:
  • Central ceiling fixture along with recessed cans.
  • Lamps with 3-way bulbs.
  • Lights to highlight art.
  • Lights to highlight shelving.
  • Candles 
  • Natural light from windows
Lighting is all  about setting a mood in you interior space and it can be very dramatic and effective. The best way to find the perfect mix of layers is to play with lighting. Try different bulbs ( soft white, clear bulbs, different watts, and 3-way bulbs) and different lamp shades. The affect you get will vary a great deal. We enjoy our recessed lighting, when dimmed it turns our family room  into a home theater. 
Not to be overlooked, fabrics play a key role in the finish of your interior.  The first place I think of fabric is on the windows. We chose a tapestry curtain for our windows.  It picks up all the colors in the carpet.  Here; when applying color, is where you can think of the 60:30:10 rule.   I discussed the rule in last week's post now let me explain it better.  The 60:30:10 decorating rule is how to apply color to a whole room.
  • First, chose your favorite color.  This will be 60% of the color in the room, the dominate color.  This usually applies to walls. It can also include larger elements such as dominate fabric, floors, and furniture.  We used Almond Brittle by Pittsburgh Paints on the walls and ceilings.
  • Select a second color as your intermediate color, this will compromise 30% of your room.  Ours was the caramel colored carpet which also flowed up onto the drapes.
  • Third, use the remaining 10% for other color in your room such as accent colors.  Ideal for trim, molding, pillows, rugs, or other accessories.  We used burgundy furniture and the smallest amount of sage green trim in the art, trim on the curtain tiebacks, and in fabric on a table covering.

One more word about texture. With many finishes you can pick something with a texture that is appealing to the eye.  We chose that in the texture on our walls with knockdown. You can also use texture very effectively in your fabric choices.  A velvet, tapestry, or silk drapery will each give you a very different texture.  Look all of the choices over and see what textures are soothing to your eyes when planning your interior space.

I will also mention here the choices in the bathroom that were also a part of this new addition. We used the same drywall finish and trim as the living room to tie it all in.  Here were the choices for the bathroom.

It is really peaceful to have flow from room to room so the colors and the textures aren't fighting one another as you move through the space.  The old part of the house that adjoins to this new addition also has matching paint in a lighter shade on the paint chip and the same trim as the new addition. One day we would love to change the drywall in the old part of the house to the knockdown texture so it also matches. This is on our list of things to do. 
This gives you an overview of how we chose our finishes. Hopefully it helps in some way if you are working on a remodeling project.  
Next week I am wrapping up my remodel series with a post on adding accessories and personality to your space. All the other choices can look great but the space can still be empty if you don't accessorize.  That is the best part of decorating.

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