Rock Star Artist Sean Yseult Unveils New Line of Wallpaper Designs

Flora and fauna play a significant role in the designs of artist Sean Yseult. Image: Sean Yseult Photography

There are rock star designers, and then there are rock star designers. The former represents those high-profile artists with lucrative product deals, spots on design shows and panels, and huge social media presence. Sean Yseult is the perfect description of the latter — a musician, artist and entrepreneur who recently unveiled a new line of textiles and wallpaper designs.

The former bass player for Grammy-nominated rock band White Zombie, Yseult now leads a decidedly different life. She lives in a Greek Revival home in New Orleans, where she focuses on design, photography, writing and her newest business, Yseult Designs.

Strong start in the arts

Hailing from Raleigh, N.C., Yseult grew up with a strong appreciation for the arts. Her mother was a Chaucerian scholar and her father a Hemmingway expert, having penned five books on the author. Yseult and her sister were surrounded by other professors, writers and artists, and studied and attended ballet, opera and other musical events. They both performed in some fashion at a relatively young age.

Though dance and music were her main focuses, Yseult always had a pencil and pad in hand, doodling fantastical images of flora, fauna and woodland creatures.

“I remember my parents coming to one of those parent-teacher conferences when I was maybe 5 or 6. All the kids had their pictures of the cute grey mouse on the wall, except for one, which was painted in every color imaginable. It wasn’t hard for my parents to pick mine out,” says Yseult with a hearty laugh.

A dancing dream takes a detour

Yseult left home at the age of 11 to attend the prestigious Preparatory Dance Program at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, N.C. She recalls with fondness her years studying dance and says she is grateful for the internet, which recently reconnected her to one of her former roommates and fellow dancers.

Tragedy hit Yseult in her senior year. A broken foot meant her dance career was all but over. However, the talented artist had never given up drawing and photography and switched majors to study visual art instead.

Her talent won her a scholarship to the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City for graphic design and photography. Yseult’s life was forever changed and her visual art pursuits put on hold.

“I met Rob, my band mate at Parsons. We would go to the same clubs and run in the same circles, so it made sense we ended up in a band together,” she says.

Artist, musician and entrepreneur Sean Yseult. Image: Sean Yseult Photography

Yseult‘s musical endeavors took a front seat as the band began a series of cross-country tours, gaining momentum and fans, recording albums that garnered attention and awards. It was a 10-year hiatus from visual art, but one Yseult is glad she took.

“I recently found an old journal of mine from when we were just starting out together as a band, and I was asking myself why I wouldn’t take the plunge then to pursue music. I’m glad I had the foresight to do it then. I can’t even imagine sleeping on floors and living in a van today,” she says.

Returning to an old love

After a decade on and off the road, Yseult was ready to hang up her bass and get back to visual art. Having visited New Orleans on the road and on her own, she decided to make it her permanent home. It was there she found inspiration and met her husband, an artist, musician and entrepreneur as well.

Yseult focused on her photography once more, with her unique and somewhat macabre style taking off. She spent the next several years showing her work in galleries across the country.

Though she loved photography, Yseult disliked the dark room aspect of the work and began dabbling in graphic design. She created scarves in the style she had always favored — colorful, nature-influenced and psychedelic patterns. Once again, her art was a hit, with stores such as Barneys, Liberty of London and Fred Segal carrying her work.

“I apply the same technique in visual art and graphics I always have. I draw by hand, filling up a page with designs and images before coloring anything in,” she says. “I have a perfectionist streak, and it is hard to break free from that,” she adds. The artist says she prefers to draw by hand rather than using the computer, as it allows for imperfections, something she says is important to her.

Color and fantastical imagery from the new Sean Yseult Designs wallpaper collection. Image: Sean Yseult Photography

Making her mark with wallpaper designs

After some success with her scarves, Yseult set her sights on a series of prints and specifically, wallpaper designs. It was a task she always wanted to accomplish. Creating intricate wallpaper designs can be a complicated process, and Yseult had to learn how to tesselate. Her patterns are intricate and being just a hair off can ruin her work. It was a huge challenge, but one she conquered.

“I wanted to be a designer, but not in the fashion world,” says Yseult.

Since the beginning of 2017, the artist has focused on creating her current wallpaper design line, and several stockists across the country are already on board. In New Orleans, designer Namita Joshi-Gupta, owner of Spruce, carries Yseult’s designs and is excited to have her on board.

“Apart from being a longtime friend, Sean’s unique designs and cutting-edge style make her wallpaper a good fit for Spruce. She is local and represents the funky New Orleans music culture,” says Joshi-Gupta.

www.sprucenola.com

Wallpaper designs from artist Sean Yseult can be found at Spruce in New Orleans. Image: Spruce

Spruce is a boutique shop that carries a limited number of up-and-coming and style-forward designers. It celebrated the new designs with an intimate gathering of friends, fans and supporters within the design community to view Yseult’s work and talk to her about her plans and inspirations.

The city of New Orleans has always been a source of inspiration for Yseult and to honor its upcoming 300th birthday, the artist has a special project in mind that will include several historical locations around the city.

“It’s such an honor to do this work. I’m grateful,” she adds.

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Delightful Rustic Feel Exuded by California Beach Home

Anders Lasater Architects transformed a decrepit beach dwelling in Laguna Beach, California, into a welcoming contemporary residence. The two-level house comes with an impressive open-plan social area, an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace.

“It’s hard to imagine now, but this light-filled, contemporary California farmhouse was once a tired and worn 1950s rancher lacking any of the style that made the 1950s cool and hip,” the architects said. “Instead, it was dark and dreary, and had no space for a growing family to make a home.”

“Working closely with the owners, we set out to create a luminous collection of thoughtfully organized volumes that form a backdrop for their daily family life, while embracing the sunlight and view beyond.”

The first floor of this beach house in California accommodates the living, dining and kitchen areas organized in an open plan. Floor-to-ceiling windows capture sea views and bring daylight inside.

The color palette consists of lovely wood tones (for some of the furniture and flooring) and bright white (walls, ceiling, kitchen appliances, sofa). This merger makes for a spacious and welcoming home. The bedrooms are located on the second level and have a charming rustic feel. Enjoy the virtual tour! Photography courtesy of Anders Lasater Architects.

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The Freshome Gift Guide: Tiny Living and Small Apartment Gifts

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. 

That special person who lives in a small apartment or studio is one of the hardest to shop for during the holidays. When space is limited or  tiny living is a way of life, you have to be thoughtful of what you’ll bring into a smaller space.

If a gift doesn’t serve multiple purposes or isn’t small in scale, it might not be the right choice. Luckily, great things come in small packages! Here’s our tiny living gift guide filled with great small apartment gifts in stores now.

Small Kitchen Gifts

small kitchen gift ideas - freshome.com

Look for colorful and multipurpose gifts, like this Nest Set of 9 Kitchen Set by Joseph Joseph. The stackable items include a mixing bowl, a colander, strainer, measuring cups and spoons. Available at Target

More small kitchen gifts:

1.| 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6.

Tech for Tiny Living

small apartment gifts - freshome.com

Know someone who doesn’t have enough space for a desk in their small apartment? How about a workstation with integrated USB charges that they can set up anywhere? The iCharge Bed Table in black is available at Overstock

More tech tiny living gifts:

1.| 2. | 3.

Studio Living Decor

tiny living gifts - freshome.com

Small and colorful Swedish felt planters can be flattened and stored when not in use and make perfect stocking stuffers. Available at the Container Store

 

Small Apartment Gifts for Entertaining

small apartment gift ideas - freshome.com

Even small apartments can be the life of the party! Gift the tiny living wine lover with a wall mounted, all-in-one wine and stemware rack. Available at Crate and Barrel

More small apartment gifts for entertaining:

1.| 2. | 3.| 4.

Small Space Organization Gifts

tiny living gifts - freshome.com

Thoughtful gifts for small apartments, like this Bedside Caddy available at the Container Store, will be well used and much appreciated.

More small space organization gifts:

1.| 2. | 3. | 4. 

Small Apartment Furniture

small space gifts - freshome.com

The Zadlee 3-tier bar cart can work in all rooms as storage and even for serving, thanks to its wheels. Available at AllModern in blue or white.

More small apartment furniture:

1.| 2. | 3. 

Small Space Appliances

small space coffee maker - freshome.com

Kitchen Aid created a small space 4-cup coffee machine a barista would appreciate. Available at Wayfair in stainless, red or black for $80.

More small space appliances:

1.| 2. | 3. 

 

What’s your favorite tiny living gift idea for the holidays?

The post The Freshome Gift Guide: Tiny Living and Small Apartment Gifts appeared first on Freshome.com.

Source: https://freshome.com

The Freshome Gift Guide: Tiny Living and Small Apartment Gifts

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. 

That special person who lives in a small apartment or studio is one of the hardest to shop for during the holidays. When space is limited or  tiny living is a way of life, you have to be thoughtful of what you’ll bring into a smaller space.

If a gift doesn’t serve multiple purposes or isn’t small in scale, it might not be the right choice. Luckily, great things come in small packages! Here’s our tiny living gift guide filled with great small apartment gifts in stores now.

Small Kitchen Gifts

small kitchen gift ideas - freshome.com

Look for colorful and multipurpose gifts, like this Nest Set of 9 Kitchen Set by Joseph Joseph. The stackable items include a mixing bowl, a colander, strainer, measuring cups and spoons. Available at Target

More small kitchen gifts:

1.| 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6.

Tech for Tiny Living

small apartment gifts - freshome.com

Know someone who doesn’t have enough space for a desk in their small apartment? How about a workstation with integrated USB charges that they can set up anywhere? The iCharge Bed Table in black is available at Overstock

More tech tiny living gifts:

1.| 2. | 3.

Studio Living Decor

tiny living gifts - freshome.com

Small and colorful Swedish felt planters can be flattened and stored when not in use and make perfect stocking stuffers. Available at the Container Store

 

Small Apartment Gifts for Entertaining

small apartment gift ideas - freshome.com

Even small apartments can be the life of the party! Gift the tiny living wine lover with a wall mounted, all-in-one wine and stemware rack. Available at Crate and Barrel

More small apartment gifts for entertaining:

1.| 2. | 3.| 4.

Small Space Organization Gifts

tiny living gifts - freshome.com

Thoughtful gifts for small apartments, like this Bedside Caddy available at the Container Store, will be well used and much appreciated.

More small space organization gifts:

1.| 2. | 3. | 4. 

Small Apartment Furniture

small space gifts - freshome.com

The Zadlee 3-tier bar cart can work in all rooms as storage and even for serving, thanks to its wheels. Available at AllModern in blue or white.

More small apartment furniture:

1.| 2. | 3. 

Small Space Appliances

small space coffee maker - freshome.com

Kitchen Aid created a small space 4-cup coffee machine a barista would appreciate. Available at Wayfair in stainless, red or black for $80.

More small space appliances:

1.| 2. | 3. 

 

What’s your favorite tiny living gift idea for the holidays?

The post The Freshome Gift Guide: Tiny Living and Small Apartment Gifts appeared first on Freshome.com.

Source: https://freshome.com

Splurging vs. Saving: Where It’s Worth Investing in Interior Design

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. 

investing in interior design

Interior design is much more affordable when you know where to splurge and where to save. Image: RisherMartin Fine Homes

Shop a similar look: Lamp | Serving Bowl | Wall Art

One of the complaints we hear most often against interior design is that it costs too much — and when you look at some of the price tags out there, it’s not hard to see why. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to redesign on a budget. At the end of the day, your success will come down to making smart choices on where to splurge and where to save.

If you’re thinking of investing in interior design, this post is for you. We’ll show you where your money will be well-spent and where it’s OK to cut corners. Read on to learn how to make smart purchases that will be well worth the cost.

remodel

If you’re going to do a remodel, do it the right way. Image: Designing First Impressions

Shop a similar look: Wall Mount Mirror | Mirrors | Vase

SPLURGE: Remodeling projects

Whether you’re considering flipping a house or you just want to add a little sweat equity to your own property, we understand the impulse to cut corners on your remodeling process. After all, the bottom line for all those improvements can be shocking. That said, skimping on these projects won’t pay off in the long run. In fact, it will probably do more harm than good.

The reason is simple: Cheap remodels show signs of wear and tear fast. Too fast. Refaced cabinets chip, laminate flooring bows and stick-on tiles fall off. Once those signs appear, the opportunity for added value has, unfortunately, passed. If you’re going to undertake one of these projects, be sure to do it right.

neutral furniture

Neutral furniture pieces can be used again and again. Image: Alex Maguire Photography

Shop a similar look: Dining Chairs | Dining Table | Flowers

SPLURGE: Timeless furniture

There’s no getting around it. Good furniture can be costly, but if you choose right and take care of your pieces, it’s also an investment that can last for decades. When you’re looking for furniture — especially staple items like sofas, beds and dining tables — focus on finding neutral looks that can withstand the test of time.

If you don’t have the cash to splurge upfront, that’s OK. Trying to furnish a home can be costly, especially if it’s for the first time. Find some serviceable, interim pieces and start saving as soon as possible.

wall art

Great wall art can make or break a room. Image: Leigh Olive Mowry-Olive Interiors

Shop a similar look: Dining Chairs | Table Lamps | Throw Pillows

SPLURGE: Wall art

Wall art is highly personal. However, when you love a piece, you’ll likely be enthralled with it for the long haul. So go ahead and splurge on pricey artwork. Not only will it add a sense of richness and complexity to the room, but it will also likely bring you a sense of enjoyment, which is the most important detail of all.

Don’t worry about ever-changing styles here. Even if you eventually decide to redo your design, you can still make use of the artwork. Take it as an opportunity to change things up and try moving your wall art to a different room in the house.

accent items

Accent items may need to be switched out when you redecorate a room. Image: Klopf Architecture

Shop a similar look: Dining Chairs | Planter | Centerpiece Bowl

SAVE: Accent colors

We talk a lot about the big impact a pop of color and coordinating design elements have in a room. Color is an easy and effective way to add visual interest to any space. That doesn’t mean it has to stay around forever.

Usually, accent colors tend to be trendy. One year, everything will be in that shade and the next year another color will be in favor. If you decide to go the bold accent route, be ready to switch the look around as your tastes change. Keep any accent items low cost, so you won’t mind buying new ones whenever it’s time for a fresh look.

textiles

You can easily change out textiles as trends come and go. Image: Corynne Pless

Shop a similar look: Accent Chair | Throw Pillow | Blanket

SAVE: All your textiles

If you’re a regular reader of Freshome, you know how much we love textiles. These items — blankets, throw pillows, area rugs and bedding — go a long way in terms of pulling a room together. On the one hand, they’re instrumental in layering and can add a sense of complexity to the space. On the other, they’re also the perfect tool for adding a bold color or dose of pattern to the room.

Popular colors and patterns have a tendency to change though. These items tend to have a lower price point as-is, but unless you’re investing in a well-made, neutral piece that can blend with a variety of aesthetics, we recommend making sure your textiles stay affordable.

decor items

Purely decorative items don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Image: Crowell + Co. Interiors

Shop a similar look: Book | Picture Frame | Planter

SAVE: Décor elements

Last but not least, décor items should be one area where you save. Since these pieces don’t offer any function to the space other than aesthetics, they’ll be the first thing to go when you’re ready for a new look. While they’re often thought of as the finishing touches for a room, there’s no reason to spend a lot of money on them.

In fact, if you’re on a tight budget, we recommend sourcing these items from alternative places. Look for them at secondhand stores and yard sales. You could even go the DIY route, if you feel so inclined.

investing in interior design

Use our tips as a guide on where to splurge and where to save. Image: Krista + Home Design

Shop a similar look: Wicker Basket | Bath Caddy | Towels

Many people are under the assumption that interior design is too expensive to be accessible, but that simply isn’t true. It’s entirely possible to redo your rooms on a budget, as long as you spend your money wisely. Use this post as a resource for learning where to splurge and where to save on your next design projects. With our help, you should be able to purchase the pieces that make the most sense for you.

Where do you think it’s important to invest in interior design? Where can you cut corners? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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Apartment in Texas Hides Mondrian-Inspired Wall Design


Sanders Architecture collaborated with Cravotta Interiors to design and develop a modern apartment in downtown Austin, Texas. An array of materials and textures make this place vivid and appealing. Moreover, each functional area has its own personality, as you can observe in the photo gallery below.

“Close attention to detail is key to the beauty of this 3,100 square-foot (288 square-meter) condo customization,” the architects said. “A rearrangement of spaces and a playful embrace of existing infrastructure was necessary to accommodate a family of four in this high-rise urban condominium.”

A steel and glass wall divides the living areas; this installation is inspired by the art of Piet Mondrian and is undoubtedly the highlight of the apartment. It also serves a practical purpose, as it opens up to reveal a television set. Check out the pool table next to it, that can transform into a welcoming dining table for eight.

Large expanses of glass bring views of downtown Austin inside and keep the room naturally lit all day long. Moving over to the kitchen, you notice a colorful backsplash against dark-colored appliances, which makes the space come alive. The large kitchen island features bar tables on one side, making it perfect for small group parties. Any elements you find particularly appealing? Photography by Ryann Ford.

The post Apartment in Texas Hides Mondrian-Inspired Wall Design appeared first on Freshome.com.

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Decorating with Mustard Yellow for a Mid-century Holiday Season

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

Want to add an unexpected color to your modern decor? Decorating with mustard yellow may be the answer. The warm, golden tone is a perfect addition to your everyday neutrals like whites, tans and greys. Also known as golden yellow, saffron and maize, the warm, rich hue of yellow adds a fresh pop to your home, especially during the holidays. Check out these ideas and mustard yellow home decor in stores now.

Decorating with mustard yellow in the kitchen and dining room

decorating with mustard yellow - freshome.com

Mustard yellow accents include the glass pendants and tiles on the wall. Image: HGTV

Shop a similar look: Pendants | Serving Bowl | Counter Stools

Mid century modern yellow ideas - freshome.com

Mustard yellow accents warm up the cool tones of the space. Image: Zac and Zac

Shop a similar look: Dining Chairs | Sofa | Throw Pillows

 

 

how to decorate with yellow - freshome.com

Velvet mid-century modern dining chairs in mustard yellow add a bit of fun contrast to this blue space. Image: Leivars

Shop a similar look: Throw Pillows | Dining Chairs | Vase

Mustard color products in stores now:












Decorating with mustard yellow in the living room

mustard yellow and saffron colors - freshome.com

Throw pillows, a framed print and a vase in the window add a touch of golden yellow to warm up the grey and white living room. Image: Elle Decor UK

Shop a similar look: Throw Pillows | Ottoman | Throw

adding yellow home accents - freshome.com

An elegant space of blackened white gets small touches of mustard yellow. Image: Elle Decor Italia

Shop a similar look: Accent Chairs | Wall Art | Throw Pillow |Coffee Table

Mustard yellow home accents in stores now:












Add the golden mustard color in your bedroom

yellow bedding - freshome.com

Add a quilted mustard yellow blanket to your bedding layers. Image: Room and Board

Shop a similar look: Quilt | Rug | Table Lamp

mustard yellow bedroom - freshome.com

Mustard looks most contemporary with cooler tones like taupe, mocha, grey and white. Image: Clem Around the Corner

Shop a similar look: Table Lamps | Throw Pillows | Rug

Golden yellow bedroom accessories in stores now:

mustard yellow bedroom - freshome.com
mustard yellow bedroom - freshome.com





Holiday decorating with mustard yellow

yellow for the holidays - freshome.com

Warm and brighten up the holiday table with pops of vibrant mustard yellow. Image: Country Living

Shop a similar look: Dinnerware | Table Runner | Stems

Golden mustard color holiday decor in stores now:








Where will you add some mustard yellow to your home for the holidays?

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Avocado Acres House in California Reveals a Sloping Curved Roof

Surfside Projects + Lloyd Russell completed an original residence in California that pays homage to the coastal style. Avocado Acres House stands out thanks to its bold geometry and welcoming outdoor spaces.

“A sloping curved shed roof unifies the three pavilions that define the U-shape plan and courtyard space,” the architects said. “Throughout the interior a constant engagement to the outdoors gives the building a grandeur that belies the home’s small footprint. It’s single level living spaces, privacy from the street and functional layout for the inhabitants is the soul of our design strategy.”

As you step inside, you see an array of colorful spaces, bursting with personality. Natural wood tones on the vaulted ceiling, flooring and cabinetry contrast with the concrete finishes in the living area. Surfboards on display and framed artistic works add to the holiday feel of the place.

“The floor plan consists of three defined areas joined in a U shape where each volume programs directly to the outdoor courtyard,” the designers added. “Tall sliding glass walls vanish into wall pockets and clerestory glazing that entirely wraps above the main living space provides plenty of natural light.” Photography courtesy of Surfside Projects.

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Here Are This Year’s Coolest Picks from Oprah’s Favorite Things

Oprah's favorite things 2017

Oprah’s Favorite Things list is kicking off the 2017 holiday shopping season. For the last 20 years, Oprah has featured gifts that are perfect for friends, family or that special person in your life. This year, she selected 102 items that range from fresh blueberries to a DNA testing kit — and they’re all available for purchase on Amazon. ‘Tis the season for giving, but always remember to treat yourself too!

Here are some of our top picks from Oprah’s Favorite Things:

Ichendorf Tonda and Rings Cruet Set. Handmade in Italy and contemporary in design to showcase your best oil and vinegar.

How about a portable cold brewer for that person who can’t live without an iced coffee? Cold Brew Set by Asobu.

For those who are limited on space and can’t have an authentic wood-fired oven, the BakerStone Original Pizza Oven Kit will turn your barbecue grill into a pizza oven.

These colorful, high-gloss trays would be perfect for a contemporary home or even a traditional farmhouse. Beatriz Ball Trays with Handles.

Designed to look like sticks of dynamite, this selection of seven hot sauces comes with a couple so spicy that they could start a fire. The Good Hurt Fuego Gift Set.

Soft cashmere throws in herringbone or a checkered print will keep someone special warm and cozy all winter. Lands Down Buffalo Check Throws.

Each ergonomic knife is expertly handcrafted – and so is the stunning wood slab that houses them. Cangshan Six Piece Knife and Mountain Block Set.

These birdhouses are architecturally perfect. Novelty Bird Houses by Home Bazaar.

It’s a sleek lunchbox with bamboo detail on the outside and a small, organized bento box for your lunch and snacks on the inside. Prepd Pack Lunchbox.

These duvet sets are made for the princess, astronaut or little mermaid in your life. They make bedtime fun and help your little ones dream big! Snurck Duvet Sets.

 

Here are a few more of Oprah’s Favorite Things you won’t want to miss:

  1. Yellow Leaf Hammock
  2. Cailyn O! WOW and O! Brushes
  3. Gratitude Glass Jar (currently out of stock)
  4. Honey Can Do Herb Preserver
  5. BeatsX Earphones
  6. 23AndMe DNA Test
  7. Emu Australia Mayberry Slides
  8. Corkcicle Stemless
  9. Canvas Home Tinware Mugs
  10. Smart Nora Snoring Solution
  11. Sabatino Truffle Salt Collection
  12. GoBone
  13. My Audio Pet Bluetooth Speaker
  14. Orbit Card Bluetooth Tracker
  15. Montes Dogget Trays (currently out of stock)
  16. Nespresso Creatista Plus
  17. The Magnolia Company: magnolia and olive trees
  18. Lollia Dream Bubble Bath
  19. Bellocq Chai Tea Gift Set
  20. Brouk & Co Stackable Jewlery Box (currently out of stock)

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Picking Flooring for Your Home: Make the Right Choice Every Time with our Step-by-Step Guide

picking flooring

Flooring is one of the most important design decisions you can make. Image: ADM Flooring Design

There’s no getting around it: Picking flooring for your home is a big decision. Between the cost of the materials, the time spent on installation and a continued need for maintenance, it’s easy to see why many homeowners are desperate to be certain they’re making the right choice before taking the plunge.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar conundrum, you’re in the right place. Below is our guide on how to pick the right flooring for any room in your home. Read over your options carefully and use our tips to find the perfect fit.

consider function

Consider the function of the room first to determine the best flooring. Image: Scenario Architecture

Think about function

How — and where — the flooring will be used needs to be your first point of consideration. For example, some materials may be well-suited for high-trafficked areas while others would not be able to stand up to the same level of wear and tear. On the other hand, some are optimal for providing comfort while others may seem lacking in comparison.

Below is an overview of optimal uses for the most common flooring types:

  • Vinyl: Made of synthetic polymers and added pigmentation for color, vinyl is easy to clean and highly water-resistant. It’s a natural pick for utilitarian spaces such as kitchens, laundry rooms and mud rooms.
  • Tile: Since tile is made from ceramic or porcelain, it is also very water resistant and easy to clean. It’s typically considered a step up from vinyl aesthetically and is used in spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms that need to stand up to frequent cleanings. Tile is now available in a variety of faux-finishes — like wood and stone — which only serves to further its popularity.
  • Engineered or composite wood: This processed version of wood flooring is made by compressing several layers of plywood and putting a thin layer of hardwood over top. It can be installed over any type of subfloor and is a good fit in any room that is free of moisture.
  • HardwoodThe gold standard of flooring, hardwood is extremely durable and can be sanded and refinished many times. It also is a natural fit in just about any moisture-free area.
  • Carpet: Commonly made from polyester, nylon or polypropylene, carpet’s fibers make it a natural choice where comfort is key. It’s best used in bedrooms and living areas.
think about maintenance

Be honest with yourself about your willingness and ability to perform maintenance. Image: Mark Williams Design Associates

Keep maintenance in mind

Since most rooms in your home could be served equally well by more than one flooring material, you should also consider how much maintenance you’re willing to perform. Be honest with yourself. Over time, proper maintenance is what ensures you get the most out of your investment.

Consider the following as you make your decision:

  • Vinyl: Surface dirt and spills clean easily with vinyl. All you need is a broom, mop and mildly soapy water. However, vinyl is difficult to repair when damaged, so do your best to keep it safe from dents, chips and abrasive chemicals.
  • Tile: Tile itself is easy to clean with some soapy water, but grout is another story. Grout can easily attract dirt, stains and even mold. You should be prepared to replace it every 5-10 years, depending on the quality of upkeep.
  • Engineered or composite wood: Typically, all you need to do to care for an engineered wood is sweep away debris and clean the surface with a damp mop. That said, since this wood bows easily, you need to clean up spills as soon as possible and avoid damaging it with sharp objects such as high heels or cleats.
  • HardwoodSince hardwood floor is fairly durable, it can stand up to a decent amount of wear and tear. Regular broom cleanings and the occasional mopping is most of what’s needed. Once you start to notice scratches and the corners begin to lose some of their shine, consider buffing the floors to restore their luster.
  • Carpet: Carpet fibers stain easily, so spills should be cleaned up immediately with a cleaner that’s approved by the manufacturer. Other than that, regular vacuuming should also become part of your cleaning schedule.
remember budget

Obviously, budget should factor into your decision. Image: Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

Remember your budget

As always, you need to take into account the cost of your flooring material. Pick one that fits comfortably within your budget. While every product is different, here are some typical price ranges (via homewyse):

  • Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is your most affordable option. It usually ranges from $2-$4 per square foot and can be bought in large sheets. It also can be installed over any type of subfloor, which reduces installation cost.
  • Tile: Tile designs are more expensive. They can range from $12-$19 per square foot, depending on the material and design used. Additionally, unless you’re truly handy, it’s best to let a professional handle the installation, which means you need to add in labor costs.
  • Engineered or composite wood: A more affordable alternative to hardwood, engineered options tend to range from $7-$11 per square foot. Installation of these products tends to be fairly simple, so it’s up to you if you want to bring in the pros.
  • HardwoodReal hardwood is more costly and the price varies greatly based on the type and specific grain of wood. On average, be prepared to pay between $10-$15 per square foot, plus the cost of installation.
  • Carpet: At $4-$6 per square foot, carpet is a fairly affordable option, despite usually requiring professional installation.
picking flooring

Use our tips to pick the flooring that’s right for you. Image: Blansfield Builders Inc.

Picking flooring for your home can be stressful. For starters, it’s a big investment and, in a perfect world, you’d like to be able to ensure it stays looking nice for the considerable future. However, if you choose wrong, it will likely end up being a costly mistake. For an easier decision-making process, use the tips in this post for picking flooring for every room in your home.

How did you decide on your flooring? Do you have any tips to add? Tell us in the comments.

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