Tuesday, 16 February 2016

FLOORED!

The right flooring can make a world of difference to your home since it forms the base of any design. We've been thinking of changing out our carpeted areas and maybe also the tiled ones for a while now. So, I've been spending copious amounts of time researching floors and I'm going bat crazy tossing up between all the options. At first I narrowed it down to 9 options and now it's down to my top 3 - natural jute carpet / hardwood timber / tiles.

However, I wanted to discuss all 9 options since they are all fantastic and it can get confusing to choose between them. So in no particular order our top 9 picks are concrete / carpet / hardwood / tiles / brick / stone / marble / laminate / vinyl.

1. Topping the latest design trend: Polished Concrete Floors
Concrete is extremely low maintenance and looks amazing. It's a great option for hot, tropical areas. However, you would need to add a lot of natural wood and soft textures to make it feel the room warm and cosy and not too sterile or cold.
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2. Next option...Carpets
I'm a huge fan of anything natural and I love natural fibres...jute, linen, cotton. And this beautiful natural flat woven jute carpet...just love love love! Hypoallergenic, natural, easy to clean and feels so great underfoot, this carpet gives the room a relaxed coastal beach vibe! However I'm not too sure how it would survive 'the baby crumbs' in our home.
There are so many amazing textile choices in carpets but everytime I see jute my heart just sings!
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3. Hardwood floors...go dark, go light or painted?
Extremely popular and common flooring option. Easy to maintain and clean and looks beautiful. It is expensive but a great investment. (Hardwood timber floors remain beautiful for longer if they are polished every other year or so.)
I really, really want hardwood floors in my home. I've already started dropping hints left, right and centre to husband dearest, hopefully it works!
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4. Hugely popular option: Tiles
On the design trend-o-meter, checkered black and white tiles are way up there and Moroccan mosaic tiles, gosh they just look great in any room.
We have really nice greyish brown tiles in our open plan kitchen and dining area and the corridor leading from the living room. We also have them in both the bathrooms. However, with a baby who is  starting to crawl, I feel like I need to remove the current tiles and the synthetic wool carpets from the playroom, dining and living room and get a seamless look right from the front door all the way to the back.
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5. Not so common: Brick
Brick floors reminds me of my childhood, after-school playdates at a friend's gorgeous Welsh cottage with brick floors in the foyer and mudroom. Fond memories!
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[Another very unique option that is quite different is a combination of wooden flooring with hexagonal tiles. The result is quite impressive and unique! Great for maybe a restaurant or cafe with an industrial modern twist. Not sure if it would work in our home.]
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6. Natural Stone floors...a staple for a French Provincial or a glamorous Italian design!
The texture of stone is so beautiful and again low maintenance!
Natural stone is available in different shades, depending on the type of stone you choose and also the price of stone depends on the type and quality. But be ready to spend the big bucks!
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7. The most expensive option....yes you guessed it Marble!
Marble is luxurious and looks stunning! Very trendy, very expensive and high maintenance, especially since marble stains quite easily.
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8. Budget floors: Laminate
Want hardwood floors but don't have the budget for it? Laminate floors are just the thing! Laminate is a great mid-priced flooring option since its mass produced, easy to install - it just clicks and locks together over existing sub-floors. No need for glues or nails! Woohoo!
But they are not completely waterproof...so any spills, you need to have the good ol' mop handy!
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9. The last option: Vinyl or Linoleum
Perfect for high traffic areas, vinyl flooring comes in a range of attractive colours, patterns and textures. It's affordable, eco-friendly, easily available, easy to DIY and can handle spills like a pro! You can get vinyl or linoleum floor tiles that look like wood, tile or natural stone at a fraction of the cost.
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Good quality flooring enhances your home's interior design and selecting a good floor is extremely important depending upon your specific needs. Just remember flooring is a permanent fixture of a home. Well, unless like me you like to change things around, then flooring is semi-permanent! Haha!
Oooops don't tell the husband!
Anyway decisions ....decisions ...decisions ...eh?!
I'll keep you guys posted!
xoxo
Rani

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Flat Pack Frame™ - An Easy Decorating Solution for Renters!

Making your rented house or apartment feel like home can be a challenge. Hanging art and personal photos on walls can instantly make a sterile space feel more welcoming, lived in and comfortable.

Unfortunately, while we were renting our first apartment, we had no photos or artwork up on the walls. Our landlord was quite stringent and strict about putting up nails, hooks and picture frames. And for someone like me, who has a ton of photos, prints and canvases...it was difficult to resist the inner rebellion. But it was essential to follow the rules, since we wanted our security deposit back.

We used 3M hooks, but putting up the frames took time... positioning them and trying to get them to line up and making sure they were all straight, and if like me you like to change artwork and photos to match decor or seasons or if crooked frames drive you bat crazy...it can take a very long time each time!

Enter.... Flat Pack Frames!!! This product is perfect for those renting!

I know what you all are thinking....it's so IKEA!

But no...nothing like IKEA...yes it's flat packed, arrives in a box with instructions to put the frame together, basic assembly is required...but it's so much easier and quicker!

The whole frame connects together using strong magnets! It takes 60 seconds to put together and it's so easy to change out the artwork every time!
And the best thing - it's so easy to put up!!! No nails are required to hang this baby up on the walls, a couple of 3Ms go on the back of the mounting bar which has a built in spirit level {whaaaat!}, align the magnets and Bob's your uncle! Sayonara crooked frames!

Have a look at this video to see how easy it is!


A big shout out to Stephen & Team - the Flat Pack Frame™ design team based in Melbourne who've worked hard to introduce this new and smart decor concept! They are launching FLAT PACK FRAME™ via Kickstarter (the world’s biggest crowdfunding site)... Well Done You! It really is a great concept and if you'd like to fund the project, you can do so by clicking here.

These Australian made gorgeous frames come in various sizes and two beautiful timbers - Tasmanian Oak & Jarrah.

And drumrolls please......
Flat Pack Frame™ are offering 100 early bird rewards at an exclusive price to 
La Maison Jolie readers before opening it up to international customers!

Such an innovative design idea...the Flat Pack Frames would have to be the new cool and smart home decor product for 2016! A damage free way of adding personal touches to your rental space or even your own home!

Connect with them on Facebook facebook.com/FLATPACKFRAME or Instagram @flatpackframe.

Till next time!
xox
Rani