Category Archives: News

Unfurled Bamboo


It looks like bamboo might be back again in a big way. Not that it ever really left however with such a liner looks it has up until now been mostly used in contemporary and modern style homes and offices. I recently did a search on bamboo flooring to see what “new” things might be out there and amongst all my findings I saw something that really stood out… “unfurled bamboo”. My curiosity got the best of me. I clicked on a link from Dasso (http://www.dassoxtr.com) and discovered the little gem that is unfurled bamboo.

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Imagine my surprise when I saw what a traditional and even vintage look “unfurled bamboo” gives. What is so amazing about bamboo is not just its characteristics but it’s renewable qualities. Most think bamboo is a wood but it is technically a grass. There are over hundreds of species of bamboo and just like with trees they all have their own interesting traits. Moso bamboo which is the vartiety most often used for floors can grow over 3′ in a day. It takes 3-5 years to fully mature and be harvested. One of the best parts about bamboo is that unlike trees when they get harvested the root system is left intake so it simply keeps growing.

Bamboo has been present in the flooring industry since the early 90’s and has grown and changed since then. A lot of the changes having to do with the addition of laminates, resins and other binding agents, styles and color. There have been 3 generations of bamboo flooring:

The first type of bamboo flooring we saw was in laminated bamboo stripes that were in the form of the round bamboo stalks. They were cut into approximately 1/4″ strips and laminated together to form the plank. These were in the natural yellow color of the bamboo but also released was a caramelized version which was actually bamboo that had been steamed. The market place also only saw 2 types: vertical grain and horizontal grain. This flooring was sold as being harder than oak but in actuality it was not and dents were noticeable.

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The second type of bamboo flooring introduced was the strand woven. The stalks were still cut the same however the difference was that they were also partially shreds in order to expose the underlying bamboo fiber. Resins were prior to subjecting the bamboo to enormous amounts of pressure which resulted in a denser and hardier product. The introduction of tiger hue (a mix of the natural and caramelized shades) came about as well as giving customer’s the option of having their bamboo stained before the top coat was added.

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The third (and my favorite) type of bamboo flooring introduced is current wonder that is unfurled bamboo. A company by the name of Dasso created a product called EcoSolid which is an unfurled bamboo that was created using a patented manufacturing process that “flattens” out one bamboo stalk into one piece. With this process the hardest part of the bamboo stalk (which is the outer skin) can be used for an amazing flooring surface. “The EcoSolid Forest collection boasts an impressive natural look because no lacquers, polyurethanes or waxes are used on the surface, which is the actual skin of the bamboo as it comes from nature. The Vintage collection adds another element to the EcoSolid line by incorporating rich colors into a smooth, UV-finished face.”

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This is thus far my favorite and I for one can’t wait to use it in a client’s home!!

Check out Dasso’s partner for this amazing bamboo product: http://www.ecotimber.com

http://www.ecotimber.com/product-collection?skugroupid=301&title1=42&title2=Dasso.Flooring

 

Special thanks to Floor Trends Mag for their brilliant research and wonderful information shared about on going trends in flooring. http://www.floortrendsmag.com/articles/96805-the-continuing-evolution-in-bamboo-flooring?v=preview

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Why Not Go Green This Fall?


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(ARA) – When you think of the colors associated with fall, green doesn’t necessarily come to mind. Environmentally speaking, however, it should. There’s no better time than now to lessen your home’s impact on the environment and change the way you decorate and live. So, why not go green this fall? It’s not nearly as difficult to become earth-friendly as you might think.

“From products that contribute to good indoor air quality to ones that truly reflect the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ mantra, the number of affordable green interior decorating products has literally exploded within the past five years,” says Donna Schroeder, Dutch Boy color marketing and design manager.

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These days, you can find stylish, eco-friendly design elements for every room in the house. And, contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for sustainability. The two can coexist quite effortlessly.

You can start simple by dressing your bed in luxurious sheets, throws and comforters made from fabrics such as rich, renewable bamboo or soft, organic cotton. Cover your floors with formaldehyde-free carpets constructed of recycled fibers or select a natural material, like stone, slate or even concrete. Then, hang energy-efficient window treatments with high insulation and shading properties.

Don’t stop there. Spice up your tired sofa with a design-forward slipcover and throw pillows crafted from 100 percent recycled materials. Add bright recycled glass plates and serving pieces to your china cabinet. Buy furniture made from sustainably harvested wood or, better yet, visit local secondhand shops and repurpose. Or, look around your own home and see what you already have that can be adapted for a new use. You’d be surprised what a little creativity and some good old-fashioned elbow grease can do.

If you’re looking to add bold, fun color, paint fits perfectly into this overall green scheme. It’s an inexpensive, effective and, most importantly, environmentally-minded way to change the look and feel of an entire room. Many paint manufacturers now offer coatings that contain few, if any, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or vapors that are released from paint as it dries.

Using paints formulated without VOCs, such as Dutch Boy’s new Refresh interior paint with exclusive odor-eliminating Arm & Hammer technology, takes your home one step closer to reducing your environmental impact while leaving your interior looking fresh, modern and filled with personality.

Many home improvement products, including Refresh, are also Indoor Air Quality certified by The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, a nonprofit, industry-independent organization that certifies indoor products that meet satisfactory indoor air emissions standards.

Keep in mind that greening your home, inside or out, doesn’t happen in a matter of minutes or even overnight. It’s an ongoing process. The limit to how green your home can be is up to how willing you are to adjust your lifestyle. The choice is yours. “It doesn’t take any grand gestures to start going green,” Schroeder says. “Tiny changes add up to make a big overall impact on the environment.”

Courtesy of ARAcontent.com

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Design Trends for 2011


With our economy in the dumps what we are all wanting is to remember happier times. With that what you will most likely see as a leading design trend for 2011 are throw backs. Look for newer versions of 1940’s design, Tudor to Elizabethan and some Tribal & Native American influences. Also animal and whimsical prints will be hanging around but beware of going overboard.

There will be a lot more mixing of old with new as people try to bring life back to their older. Also a lot more focus and use out of “grandma’s antique chair”, thus reminding us of the past and of happy family moments.

Watch out for colors that will aim to inspire and will be bolder and brighter while still using those subtle hues and classic neutrals.

Sincerely,

Christine Craig

Owner & Principal Designer of Designology Santa Barbara

http://www.DesignSB.com

COLOR TRENDS 2011 BY DUNN EDWARDS

Look for a lot of softer pastels as people seek to bring a sense of calm to their homes and offices. Bold colors such a jewel tones will still be featured but will be shown in a more subtle display than before.

FABRIC PRINTS BY GREENHOUSE DESIGNS

A bit of whimsy, traditional, modern and good old basics look well placed together if done  correctly.

RECYCLED BARN SIDING FLOORING

This weathered barn siding has been reused to become a rustic hardwood flooring. The flooring is made up primarily of white oak but with some red oak pieces mixed in and being outside and exposed to the elements has aided in creating a grayed patina look that translates beautifully into hardwood flooring. This is a perfect way to reuse something that would normally be thrown away and to bring a sense of warmth to your surroundings.

REUPHOLSTERY

Not many people have the money to spend on furnishings like they use to. Instead make something old new again. If you already have some old furniture you can reupholster you are already ahead of the game if not hit those yard sales and thrift stores for hidden gems. Jazz up an antique chair by adding a bold and fun print. A little sanding and refinishing never hurts either.

1940’s INSPIRED KITCHEN

Bringing the past into the future is not a new concept but this oldie but goody is definitely making it’s way back into our homes and hearts.

RETRO CHIC BEDROOM

A sense of calm mixed with drama creates a fun flair that does not go overboard and looks clean and fresh.

TRIBAL WHIMSY

Definitely more dramatic and it shouldn’t be used everywhere unless you love chaos. Use items seen in this room sparingly. Remember you can always add, it’s much more difficult to take away.

ENGLISH TUDOR GROTTO REPRODUCTION

Warm, elegant and comfortable. There is something so comforting about being surrounded by well tailored and aged elements. Mix dark with light and keep those family memories alive by surrounding your living room, study or game room with nostalgia games and well read books. Also don’t forget good lighting is key!

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Remodeling to increase…


—- Are you remodeling? Thinking of remodeling? Or looking to buy?

Originally posted by: Residential Architect

Home improvement activity and remodeling spending are expected to improve, showing increases on an annual basis, by the end of 2010, according to the most recent Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released by the Remodeling Futures Program of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS). The LIRA also projects that growth will accelerate into the double-digit range in the first quarter of 2011.

Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program, suggests that returning homeowner optimism and confidence in an economic recovery is driving growth in home improvement investments—and not just in necessary replacement projects and energy retrofits, but also in remodels and upgrades.

Of course, any significant spending growth hinges upon continued improvements in the U.S. economy, which will feed homeowner confidence. “Absent a reversal of recent economic progress, there should be a healthy upturn in home improvement activity by year-end and into next year,” noted Eric S. Belsky, JCHS managing director.

http://www.residentialarchitect.com/economic-conditions/double-digit-remodeling-spending-increases-projected-for-2011.aspx

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