When it comes to performance and return on investment there are relatively few home design products that can compete with porcelain and ceramic tile for flooring and walls. With a life cycle of 50 years, when broken down on an annual basis, it is also a sustainable low maintenance and low cost choice that on average cost less than 40¢ per square foot annually, according to the Tile Council of North America. On the surface, when it comes to flooring most people assume it’s the most expensive option given the initial cost in comparison to lower initial cost options such as carpet and vinyl tile. That is until you consider that most carpet and vinyl tile has on average a 6 to 10 year life with a $1.08 to $1.39 per square foot annual cost when factoring in greater maintenance requirements.
Contrary to popular opinion interior design is serious business. I had lunch with a friend recently who shared with me that when he was just starting out as a financial advisor he invited a potential client to his office and assumed that the meeting went well until he followed up and was told by his prospect that given the condition of his business office he would not even consider doing business with him. Property managers know that in addition to location the quality of the materials and finishes used in the design of the interiors of a space dictates the lease or rental rates they can command. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a business environment or a residential environment the decor makes a lasting impression on all that enter the space. But beyond aesthetics the quality of the indoor air you breathe has definite health consequences that should be considered and addressed in the design of your home’s interior spaces. In fact according to the EPA indoor air quality is said to be anywhere from two to five times worst than outdoor air quality and most people spend 90% of their time indoors.
As I was looking through the August issue of This Old House magazine I came across an article about cottage style which centered on a home located on Tybee Island which is less than 20 miles from Savannah, Georgia. It’s a community of over 2,500 year round residents and boasts a unique collection of beach cottages, ocean front condos and million dollar single family homes. Although I’ve never visited this beach, having spent time in Savannah I hope to visit soon, as I haven’t quite gotten over my cravings for pecan pralines. On the next trip the plan is to buy twice as much having devoured this delectable treat on the drive between Savannah and Hilton Head on my last trip. I’ve coped by topping my Greek yogurt with Trader Joe’s Pecan Praline Granola each morning (it also makes a great crust over a blueberry cobbler). But I digress (sweets are one of my indulgences).
After settling on the foundational investment pieces mentioned in previous posts (carpets, rugs, sofas, draperies) accessorizing becomes the next priority when creating a home environment that appeals to your personal taste. The accessory that makes the biggest impact when it comes to creating the visual illusion of spaciousness is a mirror. Mirrors can not only make a room look larger but they also, when properly placed, can reflect additional lighting into a room and reflect back beautiful views within and outside of a space.