Photo from reSAWN Timber Where you can use it. Charred flooring can be used in most of the home. As with all wood flooring, wet areas should be avoided. Look and feel. The shou-sugi-ban process produces an elegant surface with distinct lines and textural beauty. It is usually associated with a dark, rich charcoal appearance, as shown in this photo. This material has become popular in modern interiors because it offers a textured matte, almost black appearance that reads as chic, yet with imperfect qualities that balance the look for a fuss-free feel.
Burnt Wood Flooring How it’s made. Charred or burnt wood flooring is made using the ancient Japanese technique of shou-sugi-ban: treating wood planks with heat on their outward faces. This produces a scorched layer of carbon that is highly resistant to water, fire, mold and insects. Charred Wood Flooring, a collection of flooring manufactured by reSAWN Timber, uses this ancient technique. Once the wood is scorched, this manufacturer then cools, cleans and prefinishes the planks with hardwax oil. No chemicals, preservatives, paints or retardants are needed. Designers and architects are drawn to burnt wood for its elegant appearance and sustainable qualities. By selecting wood, a renewable resource, from sustainable sources and applying this ancient Japanese treatment, manufacturers achieve a high level of resiliency. Ultimately, the longevity of burnt wood leads to less material waste over time. Durability. ReSAWN Timber applies a nontoxic, zero VOC hardwax oil prefinish on its charred flooring for extra protection and resistance to wear. The hardwax oil connects molecularly with the wood fibers, adding strength to the planks. When regularly cleaned and maintained, this floori...
Look and feel. Linoleum flooring comes in hundreds of colors, from subtle to vivid, and can be installed in a wide range of patterns. Your only limit is your creativity. Sheets in a single color work well for a modern aesthetic. Unlike wood, which has joints, or tile, which has grout lines, linoleum offers the opportunity to create a nearly seamless appearance. Care and maintenance. Linoleum can be swept, dusted, or vacuumed regularly. For a more thorough cleaning, the flooring should be wiped with a damp mop or cloth using a solution of one gallon of hot water, one cup of vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. As with cork, avoid cleaning products with ammonia. Spills should be tended to immediately. Some manufacturers add a coating to linoleum flooring to protect it from scratches and fading. Without such a protective coating, linoleum should be cleaned and waxed every two or three years to maintain its luster.
Where you can use it. Linoleum has traditionally been installed in schools, hospitals and commercial spaces, but it is making a comeback in the home. It’s durability and versatility make it a good choice for many rooms. Not all manufacturers recommend linoleum in bathrooms, so check the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure the product you choose is suitable.
Linoleum Flooring How it’s made. Linoleum is often confused with sheet vinyl, and as a result it is overlooked as a flooring option with positive attributes. True linoleum is made of natural materials. Linseed oil is oxidized to form a thick mixture that is then cooled and mixed with cork powder (which gives linoleum its bounce and resilience), pine resins and wood flour to form linoleum sheets on a jute backing. Limestone dust may be added for hardness and durability. Due to its natural makeup, linoleum is biodegradable and does not emit harmful VOCs. Linoleum comes in glue-down sheets and snap-together tiles. During the glue-down installation process, special care should be given to select adhesives that are free of solvents and labeled “no-VOC.” Durability. Linoleum flooring can resist scratches and mask them well because its pigments are saturated throughout the material, not just the surface. Linoleum does, however, get dented by high heels and furniture legs. Linoleum is water-resistant but not waterproof. It should never be fully immersed in water, as this can cause edges, corners or seams to curl. Much like cork, linoleum can also fade, or turn yellowish, when exposed t...
Care and maintenance. Due to its highly textured appearance, cork naturally masks small scratches and stains. Regular sweeping, vacuuming and mopping with a damp cloth will keep cork floors looking their best. Avoid harsh abrasive cleaner and any cleaning products with ammonia. A simple solution of four parts vinegar and one part water is recommended.
Where you can use it. Cork’s buoyant qualities make it soft underfoot and a great choice for rooms where you typically stand for long periods of time, like kitchens, laundry rooms and workshops. Its soundproofing qualities make it a wise choice for music rooms and apartments where noise may be a concern with neighbors. Look and feel. If you want a warm, attractive flooring material with a comfortable, informal appearance, cork is the right fit. Since this material will develop a patina, it is probably not the best choice if you want a pristine floor material that will not change with time. Cork is available in tiles and planks and in many styles, colors and sizes. Alternating shades of cork can be combined to achieve unique patterns and custom designs.
Cork Flooring How it’s made. Cork is harvested from a thin layer of tree bark, typically from cork oak trees, with care taken not to damage the tree. This thin bark is an impermeable, water-repelling material that is buoyant, elastic and fire-retardant. To make flooring and other products, the bark layer is stripped into long, wide slabs that are then used to make wine corks, bulletin boards, flooring and other items. Binders are added for flooring applications to hold the ground cork together. These binders vary by manufacturer, and therefore it’s worth researching which binders are used before purchasing a particular product. Cork is a natural insulator and sound absorber and can be recycled. Cork trees live for 300 years and aren’t cut down to produce cork floors. This has made it a favorite of eco-conscious designers and homeowners. Durability. Cork floors normally last longer than wood floors. They stand up to everyday traffic with the bonus of repelling water from spills. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and termites. It’s also anti-microbial. Over time, discoloration of cork floors may occur if the flooring is exposed to direct sunlight. For many fans of cor...
Photo from Organoid Where you can use it. Organoid can be used in any area of the home. For wet areas such as bathrooms or saunas, the company recommends the glue-down version of the flooring rather than the click-in floating system. An extra coating of epoxy resin can be added to this material after installation to protect it from scratches. Look and feel. Organoid floors have an organic, natural appearance. Alpine hay, hop cones, cornflower blossoms, stone-pine needles and nearly any natural substance can be combined to achieve a desired look and palette. You can choose from a range of existing Organoid blends or create your own custom mix. This material makes a statement and would be an excellent way to add warmth and whimsy to modern and minimalist design schemes, or another layer of interest to an eclectic or maximalist space. Care and maintenance. Caring for Organoid flooring is like caring for laminate or hardwood. Clean regularly with mild soap water on a damp mop. Never use detergents that contain acids, and don’t soak the floor — otherwise water could seep into the joists and damage the flooring.
Photo from Organoid Durability. The natural, petalled surface of Organoid flooring may appear delicate, but it is in fact a sturdy surface. This material has a very high resistance level, according to European standards, making it suitable not only for residential use but also for shops and restaurants. Organoid surfaces can be treated with conventional oils and varnishes to increase their resistance to abrasion and water, as well as to fading from light.
Organoid Pressed Alpine Hay Flooring How it’s made. Organoid makes flooring with surfaces of pressed alpine hay and florals. From rose or cornflower petals to daisies and moss, nature makes its presence known in this flooring material’s look and its scent. You can literally smell the flooring’s organic components in the room. The natural surface of scented and textured hay and florals has a cork backing applied to a high-density fiberboard, which is a type of engineered wood product. Floor impact protection is added on the bottom of the fiberboard. For waterproofing and abrasion resistance, the surface is protected with polyurethane. Organoid is one of the few manufacturers in the world to be carbon-positive. Each metric ton of hay the company uses binds with approximately 3,300 pounds of carbon dioxide, helping to create a waste product that is environmentally neutral. In 2019 Organoid used about 28 tons of hay for its natural surfaces, so its products from that year alone bound with more than 92,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. By comparison, a new car emits 0.271 pounds of carbon dioxide per kilometer on average. Using this average, the surfaces Organoid produces each year ...
Colors: This color scale is much more lively, with bright yellow, medium pink, dark burgundy, emerald green, khaki and lavender. The colors can be combined in any way. Technologies: It’s about the creative process of cobbling together and repairing. Patchwork will become a potent method for creating new things. Material offcuts and shreds will be combined in new surfaces. Here there are no bounds to the joy of experimentation. Examples: Digital patchwork from Tim van der Loo, “hacked” textiles from Julie Helles Eriksen, paper textiles from Henriette Tilanus.
Colors: True natural hues with many green, beige and brown tones. Accent colors such as gray-blue and warm orange. Textiles colored with herbal dyes. Everything is reminiscent of classic camouflage; tone-on-tone; no color blocking. Examples: The wall hangings by Rebekka Nielsen, seagrass textiles from Convert, low-tech designs from Julia Watson, mulberry tree fabrics from Buro Belén.
Colors: A familiar palette of grays, off-whites such as buttercream, gray-white, dark green, and black with brown tones. It’s about shades that have been on the market a long time and proved successful. These colors are used in monochrome palettes. Technologies: Robust materials with a firm structure. Additional stuffing becomes superfluous. Tight weaves and high-quality textiles that guarantee long use. Examples: The Bouncing Patterns 3D textiles from Juliette Berthonneau (pictured here on the right), minimalist furniture by Swedish manufacturer Massproductions.
Colors: Familiar hues that aren’t overly dominant, such as marine blue, reseda green, copper, marigold, dusty pink and sky blue. Color blocking is used as an aid in repurposing. Patterns: Well-loved old patterns such as checks, stripes and small, romantic florals. Examples: Color-blocked creations from Dutch studio Simone Post or the clothing trend of printing new patterns and symbols onto old textiles.
Conduct an energy audit. A trained auditor can assess your home’s current energy efficiency and give you a list of recommended improvements you can make, which may include upgrading to Energy Star appliances, adding insulation to the attic or beefing up weatherstripping. You can also find instructions for a do-it-yourself energy audit at Energy.gov. Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Making sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one — it will stop critters from crawling down your chimney!
Maintenance and Extras to Budget for This Month Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits. Clean gutters and downspouts. Once most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts (hire a helper if you are not comfortable on a ladder). Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding.
Add weatherstripping. Weatherstripping applied around the frames of windows and doors helps boost winter warmth and cut energy costs. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even make your own cozy draft stopper from an old flannel shirt, wool sweater or fleece blanket: 1. Cut a length of material about 3 inches longer than the width of your door (to allow for seams) and 6 to 8 inches wide. 2. Fold the material lengthwise, with right sides together. 3. Stitch a seam (by hand or on a sewing machine) down the long side, creating a tube of fabric. Stitch one end closed. 4. Turn the draft stopper right side out so the seams are hidden on the inside (use a yardstick or wooden spoon to get it completely turned right side out). 5. Fill with dry rice or beans. 6. Fold the open ends under and sew shut.
Care for trees and shrubs. If you have trees on your property, consider hiring an arborist to care for them. These pros can spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss. And they know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms. “The most important maintenance for a homeowner to do in the fall would be trimming [the] dead out of trees,” says Bryan Gilles, owner and arborist at Arbor Doctor in Calabasas, California. “Trees are going dormant at this time, and are less likely to get a disease.” Because trees are slowing growth in the fall, it’s not an ideal time to plant a new tree, as the roots may have trouble getting established. For treatments, Gilles recommends fungicide injections in the fall to prevent diseases such as diplodia, which can affect pine trees. It’s also a good idea to observe your trees throughout the fall, keeping an eye out for signs that signal a need for intervention. “Early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and/or needles turning brown, and dead branches are all signs of diseases,” Gilles says. “Ash trees spotting yellow sporadically around this time of the year is a bad sign of a disease called ash yellows, since ash tr...
Tackle These To-Dos Over a Weekend Rake leaves. Leaves look beautiful blanketing the ground, but leaving too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth. To make the job easier, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly. Seal gaps where critters could enter. Mice need only a tiny gap to be able to sneak into your house and raid your pantry. And with colder weather coming, all of the little critters out there will be looking for warm places to make a home. Fill small holes and cover any larger gaps securely with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.
Vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters and grates. Get ready for heating season by clearing away dust and grime from radiators, baseboard heaters and heating grates. If your radiators have removable covers, take them off and vacuum beneath the cover before replacing. Remove window A/C units. If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you must leave in window A/C units, cover the exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.
Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed. If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so — as the weather gets cooler and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home. Radon at high enough levels is extremely harmful, so if you find that your home has radon (a radon level of 4 or above is considered unacceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency), hire a contractor qualified to fix radon issues.
Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be a challenge. Make navigating around your home safer by checking that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, and that the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shoveling. Test outdoor lights and replace bulbs as needed. As the days get shorter we rely more on exterior lighting, both for safety and ambiance. Test lights on the front and back porch, on the garage and in the landscape, and replace bulbs as needed.
Tasks to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less Stock up on winter supplies. If you live in a region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare. Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed. Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed. Restock emergency kits for car and home. If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors. Drain and winterize irrigation system, if using.
Set yourself up with these essentials for minimizing mess without going overboard. A half-hour or so with these little beauties goes a long way: A long-handled feather duster A handheld vacuum cleaner All-purpose spray cleaner Foam spot cleaner A Swiffer mop with dry and moist cloths A gorgeous room fragrance
Eclectic Entertainment Room Designer: Artistic Designs for Living Designer Tineke Triggs took inspiration from the Art Deco and Pop Art movements to bring bright colors, abstract geometric shapes and bold patterns to the entertainment room. A large digital art display on the wall above the sideboard shows a painting by San Francisco Bay Area artist Lauren McIntosh. A bold yellow area rug adds a strong counterbalance to the hand-painted abstract ceiling. A custom sectional in the right corner is a cozy spot for relaxing or entertaining guests.
Plush Winter White Upholstery Last fall at High Point Market, white wool bouclé upholstery popped up in quite a few spaces. Slubbed and plush winter white textiles follow suit this summer at the Las Vegas Market, often accented by metal finishes. Scandinavian modern style influenced the design of these inviting armchairs. Nubby winter white upholstery provides strong contrast to the chiseled iron frames. The metal has a distressed finish that adds a hint of industrial style. Jacobsen accent chair: Uttermost
Heavy Metal Influence Whether vintage brass, antiqued bronze, blackened steel, chiseled iron or polished chrome, prominent metal accents are adding patinaed style to all sorts of furniture. Metals are showing up on furniture feet; upholstery nails; industrial rivets; and console, cabinet, sofa and chair bases. Here, metal adds something special to this faux shagreen side table. Harrington side table: Worlds Away