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Everything you need to know about resilient flooring

If you think “resilient” is just our tricky way of saying vinyl, think again. Although vinyl does belong in the resilient family, it has many impressive cousins, including:

  • Linoleum

  • Cork

  • Rubber

  • Poly Resin

Simply put, resilient flooring is neither hard nor soft, has some “give” and usually stands up well to spills, heavy traffic and typical household abuse.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, vinyl and linoleum got a bad rap, conjuring up images of grandma’s 70s decor or perhaps just the idea that they were somehow “cheaper looking” than other flooring choices.

So, we’re here to tell you that resilients have come a long way. Not only are they more durable and low-maintenance than ever before, but they are as stylish and eye-catching as stone tile, wood, laminate, etc.

But in case you’re still skeptical, we’ve rounded up some winning examples. Let’s start with good old vinyl (as you’ve never seen it before).

Here we’ve got Stonehenge Mosaic, Castle Stone and Canyon Stone – probably all looks you don’t remember ever seeing gracing grandma’s kitchen.

And linoleum? We’ll let you judge for yourself . . .

Or how about this:

Gorgeous, easy to clean, hard to damage – what’s not to love? Once caveat – linoleum requires just little more care than vinyl and is sensitive to cleaners that are high in pH. But, linoleum comes in a wider variety of colors and patterns than vinyl; it just depends on what’s a better fit for your house.

Let’s check in on cork, shall we?

Works beautifully in the kitchen, or . . .

Even in the bedroom. The first thing people notice when they step on a cork floor is how soft it is, making it the perfect flooring for those who enjoy walking around barefoot. It’s also a natural insulator, not only for heat and cooling, but for noise as well.

Due to its softness, cork can be damaged easily by scratches and dents, but it can also be repaired easily, much like a wood floor, since trouble spots can be sanded down and refinished.

However, cork is one of the pricier choices, is prone to stains and can be slippery when wet, so maybe not the best choice for the powder room.

Now, onto a flooring substance that’s been gaining in popularity: Rubber

Your rubber floor can either look like rubber, or . . .

Really anything you want. Like most resilients, rubber is durable, somewhat soft, easy to clean and, like cork, a great noise insulator.

Last, but not least, we’ll cover poly resin, which looks great in pristine, modern spaces.

Poly Resin, or epoxy, floors are a designer’s dream, since they can be virtually any color; are able to look shiny, matte, cloudy, reflective, opaque, etc.

Although they are susceptible to normal wear and tear, they don’t require special cleaning products and are considered the most hygienic of all floors due to its non-porous surface.

If you have questions about resilient flooring or would like to see some samples, call or stop into Primera anytime!

Posted in Flooring | Tagged |

Design trends: brightening up dark walls, glass backsplashes, and the wild world of wallpaper

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Lighten Up

The Problem? Dark walls.

The Solution: Combine multiple light sources, add bright color accents, and resist over-furnishing. Voila! Less cave-y, more cozy.

 

Patterned Wallpaper

 

No need to buy elaborate furniture or replace lighting fixtures. Those small, simple sitting rooms can become bold and exciting with a little patterned wallpaper.

 

Glass Backsplashes

For a touch of glam, some extra light, or a feeling of extra space in the kitchen, consider a glass backsplash behind the range.

 

Embrace the Mismatched

Create a free flow feeling in your home with mismatched picture frames and staggered placement.

 

Taking Little Risks

Thinking about splurging on wallpaper, but scared to take the leap? The bathroom is the perfect place to make your wallpaper dreams come true. Less space to cover means it’s safer to take a bold risk—and less money to spend!

Posted in Design Trends | Tagged , , |

Design trends: pot fillers, swinging daybeds, and the latest and greatest in paint color

Pot Fillers

 

There’s something cumbersome about filling a bulky pot with water in the kitchen sink. But now you don’t have to! Pot fillers are brilliant little faucets installed right above your stovetop for easy fill-ups—and they make pasta night extra convenient.

 

All-Natural Kitchens

 

White kitchens are wonderful—but warm wood and soothing stone makes for a naturally rustic kitchen.

 

Create a Tropical Escape in Your Own Bathroom!

 

Lounge under the palm trees while you soak in the warm water—of your bathtub, that is. Surround your tub with green plants and tropical-themed wallpaper for a relaxing escape every day.

 

Swinging Daybeds

 

Swings and summertime…is there anything better? Instead of the run-of-the-mill porch swing, swinging daybeds offer ultimate summer relaxation. Warning: these comfy swings may result in long naps in the sun.

 

The Newest Color Trend 

 

Buttermilk is the flavor of the week in the world of colors. This hue is more inviting than white but softer than a pastel yellow. Perfect for the kitchen—or almost any other room in the home when paired with wooden trims and accents.

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Design Trends | Tagged |

Popular interior improvements for home sellers

Although it’s difficult to know which home improvements help a house sell faster, and for top-dollar, there are some that offer a better return than others. If you’re thinking of selling in the near future, it would be wise to evaluate any structural or decor changes with a view to future value as well as present appeal.

Some renovations are more appropriate than others. For example, look to the floor first. Welcome guests as they step into your home with natural stone or a dramatic tile floor that’s as beautiful as it is easy care. It’s a “value added” feature that will impress prospective buyers!

 

Look to the Kitchen

Buyers want kitchens that are bright and happy spaces, filled with great appliances, attractive countertops, and cabinets with abundant storage. You may replace your cabinets, or you may brighten and refinish old wood, repaint cabinet doors and add new hardware. If the style is outdated but the boxes are in good shape, consider replacing the doors, something a professional contractor can easily do.

A lot of sellers opt to replace outdated laminate countertops with a solid surface, either natural stone or a modern composite, for a trendy look. Add a shiny new sink with a modern stainless faucet/sprayer combination to immediately vault your kitchen into the 21st Century of style. Display pots of herbs on the windowsill!

Repaint the walls, replace vinyl flooring with trendy new wood floors, natural stone or oversized ceramic tile. Modern engineered wood is perfectly suited for kitchen use and will look beautiful for years to come. However, your newly refurbished kitchen might be tempting enough to make you change your mind about moving!

 

Whole House Improvements

If you’ve lived in a home for a number of years, it is easy to overlook small faults. Try to walk through each room with new eyes, or ask a trusted friend to point our areas that need attention. They might suggest you repaint some walls or even entire rooms. They also might recommend you lighten up your window treatments, or replace older mini-blinds with more modern wide-slat style, or switch to adjustable interior shutters that allow light as well as privacy.

Replacing round brass doorknobs with more modern stainless or oil rubbed bronze levers and updating a dining room chandelier with a contemporary pendant will make a world of difference.

It’s all about adding style without spending too much and creating a backdrop to stimulate a buyer’s imagination. The best advice is to update without stamping your own personality on each room. Neutral backgrounds are adaptable, but don’t overdo the “plain and simple” approach. Study online decorating sites and visit local paint stores and design centers for ideas.

Freshening up your home’s decor may take some thought, but it is by no means an impossible task!

 

Ryan Tollefsen is the founder and team leader of Unity Home Group. Ryan specializes in negotiating offers, marketing, managing the team, setting goals and achieving them. 

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Choosing the best granite thickness: two centimeters vs. three

Looking for a new, fresh countertop?

Picking the right material, color, and design gives your kitchen or bathroom an instant facelift. When it comes to choosing the right thickness for those granite countertops, however? Not quite as exciting!

It is often not a priority decision but choosing the right slab thickness is vital as it affects every aspect of the installation and long-term reliability of your new counters. Let us explain how to pick the perfect thickness for your granite countertops—and why it’s so important.

 

The Basics

Traditionally, granite countertops are available in two options: two centimeters and three centimeters-thick.

And while a centimeter difference may not seem like much, everything from the installation, short-term price, long-term value, and overall strength are impacted by this one decision.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Strength

We’ve all done it: leaned against the kitchen counter while reading a recipe or propped our child on the edge to tie his shoe.

Kitchens are the busiest rooms in our home, and our counters should be up to the challenge.

But the truth is, a two-centimeter granite slab can’t handle as much pressure (eek!) as its thicker counterpart. This is especially true around narrow cuts such as in front of a sink. While three-centimeter counters are strong enough to support their own weight when being installed, two-centimeter slabs have to be installed on top of plywood decking to boost its strength and resistance. When scrutinized the plywood is in fact visible from underneath the top. Your guests are unlikely to notice it but you will. Just reaching underneath your two-centimeter laminated top you will be able to feel the plywood support as opposed to polished stone.

Meanwhile, three-centimeter countertops can withstand an overhang of up to a foot, which makes for an ideal, casual eating area.

 

Price

The more material you use, the higher the cost, right? Well, with granite countertops, this isn’t entirely true.

Sure, three-centimeter slabs are technically more expensive than two-centimeter slabs…if you’re only paying for the material alone; however, the installation is simpler, the fabrication costs remain the same, and handling requires a less strenuous attention—as two-centimeter slabs are more delicate.

So, what does this mean? At Primera, the cost of 3cm slabs are about the same as 2cm slabs.

 

Long-Term Value

Three-centimeter granite countertops are, ultimately, more valuable in the long-term. The material is stronger and has a sleeker aesthetic, as the profile can be fabricated with more detail.

That’s not to say two-centimeter slabs can’t be fabricated; in fact, they often are. But this is only made possible with the process of lamination, another point off the two-centimeter slab’s value.

Here’s why:

 

Two-Centimeter Slabs and Lamination

Laminate treatments are used frequently on two-centimeter granite countertops. This process involves applying a thin strip of the same material under the entire border of the countertop (think of it like a small, upside-down fence).

Lamination essentially makes the countertops look thicker, but the seam between the strip and the counter is noticeable—and the countertop is no stronger because of it.

 

Here’s the Deal

At Primera, we think it’s a bit silly to charge more for three-centimeter granite countertops when the installation, handling, and final result is easier, more efficient, and truly gorgeous.

We’ve seen a pattern:

Two-centimeter slabs tend to be more popular. But the slab requires the edge to be laminated, a labor-intensive process—not to mention the seam is visible. The three-centimeter slab, however, requires no lamination and can be completed faster.

Overall, three-centimeter granite countertops simply offer a much cleaner, more contemporary look while proving to be stronger and offer better value as they cost about the same.

So, are you ready for your new granite countertop? Reach out and we’ll give you the look you’ll love and the strength you need, within your budget and on time.

Contact Primera today.

Posted in Countertops | Tagged , , , , , |

Say anything you want with wood home accents

So, wood’s been around as long as, well…as long as anything on the planet.

And it’s been an essential element of design for as long as “design” has been a concept. Our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all probably utilized wood design in some way.

Few can contest the beauty of an expertly finished wood floor or deny the handsomeness of the original wood trim found in older homes.

But is that where it ends for wood? Is it only for floors and fans of old-fashioned or rustic design styles?

Absolutely not. In fact, we absolutely love reclaimed wood walls:

 

 

But just by changing the wood species, arrangement and finish, look what else a wood wall can say:

Voila!

This slatted wood wall’s warm, modern feel is a far cry from the homespun coolness of the previous photo, proving wood has a lot more up its sleeve than many folks realize.

Luckily, professional designers are switched on to wood and are constantly mining its spectrum of expression to say all kinds of fascinating things, like this:

Or this:

 

As you can see, there is nothing run-of-the-mill about these looks. Now, try to envisage the previous two images without the wood. Can you imagine how much more uniform, chilly and, dare we say, dull these rooms would be?

So, we know wood looks fantastic on floors and walls—but what about ceilings?

 

This magnificent contemporary ceiling shows that cedar is meant for more than just grandma’s hope chest, and it pairs beautifully with the Brazilian cherry wood flooring.

 

Faded antique oak barn wood and faux-finished heart pine trusses lend this vaulted ceiling a lovely, graceful, nostalgic quality.

 

Of course, reclaimed wood isn’t just for rustic looks, as this modern space charmingly demonstrates, while also proving you don’t have to match ceiling to floor wood tones to achieve an ingenious effect.

Now let’s switch gears and talk about trim. Remember when we mentioned the timeless beauty of the original wood trim sometimes found in older homes? Yep, original or not, it’s always going to be a winning look:

But it doesn’t have to be traditional to work . . .

 

From the zebrawood fireplace panels to the honey-stained built-in shelving, this eclectic sitting room oozes sophistication.

 

And this organic-modern shiplap cedar entryway puts this foyer’s cool quotient through the roof.

In light of the evidence presented, we believe it’s safe to say we’ve made our case: wood endures as an ageless, highly versatile, inherently beautiful element of design that translates superbly in virtually any design style.

And for those who adore wood and like it to be much more than an accent piece:

 

Whether you’re remodeling or just thinking of adding a few accent pieces, the best thing about designing with wood is the vast scope of choice it affords. If you have questions, from how to create breathtaking ceilings with simple wood flooring to what types of grains make for stunning wall panels to which stains will give you the look you’ve been longing for, Primera’s team of design professionals is ready and waiting for you to visit or call.

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Design trends: open storage, backsplashes, and the illusion of space

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Make Board Games the Main Event!

 

It’s easy to forget about Monopoly or Bananagrams when they are tucked away in storage. Keeping your games out in the open will remind you to partake in the fun more often.

 

The Illusion of Space

 

Small living area? No problem! Lean a mirror against the wall for the illusion of more space.

 

Never-Ending Backsplashes!

Why limit yourself to a backsplash just above the sink or oven? Continuing your kitchen backsplash throughout the entire room is dramatic, chic, and stunning.

 

Instant-Hallway

 

Studio apartment problems? Create an entry hall or divide up living spaces with low bookshelves.

 

Open Storage Space

 

Open storage space in the kitchen is both visually appealing and practical—keep your favorite appliances, utensils, and ingredients within arms’ reach at all times!

Posted in Arizona, Backsplashes, Cabinets, California, Colorado, Design Trends, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: marble countertops, vibrant velvet, and barn doors

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Bland-Be-Gone with Neutrals and Gold

 

Save white walls from looking flat. Adding neutral colors and gold accents keeps the eye interested in an otherwise boring room.

 

Marble Countertops

Matching marble countertops and backsplashes makes for a chic, fresh kitchen look.

 

Stand Out with Vibrant Velvet Furniture

This thick fabric material deeply absorbs colors, showcasing the full display of color.

 

Give a Nod to the ‘80s with a Bold Bathroom Design

 

Contrasting geometric shapes and a powerful color-stripe brings the best of the era to life.

 

Barn Doors

Most modern homes utilize an open floorplan. But if you’re looking for the option of seclusion, consider rustically-fabulous barn doors—beautiful left open or closed!

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Countertops, Design Trends, Nevada | Tagged |

Design trends: practical storage, glamorous bedrooms, and outdoor kitchen space

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Glass Cabinets  

Conventional, closed-off cabinets can block views and light. Instead, consider adding cabinets with glass doors or panels on both sides to make the kitchen feel more open.

 

Top-to-Bottom Storage

Make the most of your storage space! Shelves and cabinets with top-to-bottom storage offer that extra organization you’ve been craving.

 

Glamorous Bedrooms

Want to add some glamor to your bedroom? Place a mirror on the wall above each nightstand. This is perfect for small spaces, creating greater depth in the room, and adding glitzy style to the bed wall.

 

Outdoor Kitchen Space

If you love the outdoors, building a small kitchen space around the grill makes it easier to prep meals on a porch. A sink makes for easy cleanup and cabinets offer storage for tools, dishes, spices and more.

 

Entertainment Rooms

Looking for some Friday night fun with the family? Cinema rooms are a modern way to get the everyone together for movies and games.

 

Photos provided by Houzz.com

Posted in Arizona, Cabinets, California, Colorado, Design Trends, luxury kitchens, Nevada | Tagged |

News flash: mixing metals in your kitchen is more than okay!

You may have heard it the first time you put on one of your mother’s gold necklaces and paired it with her silver bangles.

Or the time you came home from the hardware store with brass towel racks for your family’s bathroom, only to be met with stares of disbelief as your spouse pointed out the chrome faucet and knobs.

We’ve all heard it somewhere: “You can’t mix metals! Gold with gold, silver with silver, copper with copper, etc.”

Finally, there’s good news for those who’ve always bucked the “matchy-matchy” system, since mixing metals isn’t just acceptable—it’s hot!

As more and more designers enter the arena to show off their metal-mingling acumen, the look is catching on everywhere.

The caveat?

There is a method to the mixing madness, so don’t go rushing to the fixture store just yet.

We’ll start things off by going on record as saying there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the kitchen below. If you appreciate a smooth, uniform look, then matching your stainless steel appliances with silver drawer pulls, faucet and chairs is a nice choice.

 

But take a look at this:

 

Even though both kitchens are primarily white, the difference in tone is the difference between a brisk winter morning and a balmy summer afternoon. Compared to the first kitchen, the second exudes warmth and gives the eye so much more to do.

Of course, the flooring has a lot to do with it, but check out those antique brass pendant lights. Not only are they the perfect complement to the stainless steel hood and appliances, but they pull they entire room together and guide its overall tenor.

We also like the black iron light fixtures next to the hood and the black sliding track over the refrigerator. This designer has done a masterful job mixing three metals to gorgeous effect, which leads us to hint number one (we call them “hints” because this is not about rules):

  1. 1.    Stick to two or three metals in order to avoid an overly “busy” or confused look (unless you really know what you’re doing).

 

Below is another example of a warmer metal saving an already chilled-out space from being a touch too frosty. Although the designer went with only two metals here, the antique copper pendants are all that’s needed to offset, even complement, the room’s coolness.

 

 

Below we see three cool metals being used together for a pleasingly eclectic look. Although the metals used here more correlative than contrasting, the finishes are not. And that’s what makes it interesting! Yep, texture mixing isn’t off-limits either. From the brushed stainless steel hood to the satin nickel faucet to the polished stainless steel canister set, this scene provides some fiber for your visual diet.

You’ll also notice that the black iron light fixture ties in perfectly with the black iron cabinet pulls, the darker lower cabinetry and the island, making this kitchen charcoal dominant, which brings us to our next hint:

  1. 2.    When mixing metals, pick a dominant one that’s used more than once and position the others as accent pieces.

 

Here’s another great example of a lovely dominant metal informing the ambiance of an entire room:

 

 

We love the copper hood, sink and bar top and think they look splendid with both the stainless steel appliances and the brushed bronze light fixtures. This kitchen positively glows with hospitality, thanks in no small part to the prevailing copper influence.

But copper also does a bang-up job in a supporting role, too. Doesn’t this hammered copper sink look amazing amongst its vintage nickel and stainless steel neighbors?

 

 

The last hint we’re going to offer involves visual planes and we’ll lead with our example:

 

At first glance, this kitchen seemingly has a lot going on, but it’s metal medley arrangement is really quite simple. Here we have a juxtaposition of mostly ebony tones with both brushed and antique brass, with a little stainless steel thrown in for good measure. But if we divide the room by horizontal planes, we see that the brassware is mostly contained to the central portion of the room.

Even though there are myriad elements at work in this kitchen, it’s still cohesive and has a sense of order, since the rich, bold, darker surroundings are made snug and toasty by the burnished brass that constitutes the “heart” of this space. So, hint number three is:

  1. 3.    When mixing metals, try to keep different finishes on separate horizontal visual planes (divide the room into bottom, middle and top).

 

As we mentioned before, none of our tips are hard and fast rules.

In fact, if you paid close attention, you may have noticed one or more of our tips were completely disregarded in many of our own examples. Of course, most of our examples are the work of professional designers and our tips are merely guidelines for people who are just getting started.

When it comes right down to it, so many of today’s trends are about breaking rules, making it a most opportune time to “get your remodel on.”  Never before have there been so many fun and exciting options, or as many ways to express your unique personality.

If you’d like to know more about what we’ve covered here, or see other combinations and possibilities that will really get your brain humming, reach out any time to schedule an appointment.

 

Posted in Arizona, California, Colorado, Countertops, Design Trends, luxury kitchens, Nevada | Tagged , , |