Posts Tagged home design

Granite Countertops: Resilient, Durable, Luxurious.

Granite is one of the strongest stones in the world, second only to diamonds which is one of the reasons it’s been used for thousands of years as a building material. The other reason is its versatility and looks.   Granite is formed in the center of the earth, as heat and pressure combine materials such as quartz, mica, feldspar, and other natural elements to form its ultra-hard, luminescent stone with intrinsic designs of a three-dimensional appearance. Each piece of granite is unique, and different combination of naturally occurring materials produce a range of some 3,000 different granite colors.

That versatility combined with the material’s durability and heat-resistant properties make is a perfect choice for a luxurious kitchen countertop. In addition, with changes in the global economy and world trade policies, granite from all over the world with different patterns, designs and colors, is made available to home designers and builders. That means that, no matter the style or design of your kitchen you are sure to find a granite contertop to match it.

Choosing a granite countertop:

Considering that each single piece of granite is unique, and if damaged can only be replaced by something fairly similar but never exactly equal, there are two main features to consider when picking granite countertops:

Origin:  keep in mind that some types of granite come from overseas, and a change in trade policies may make a specific type of granite hard to find at some point.

Movement:  “Movement” refers to the variations in granite’s color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc.  Movement is really what makes each stone so attractive and one-of-a-kind.  Depending  on the size of your kitchen you can keep it uniform with slabs from the same block, or mix and match movements. You can, for example, have uniform countertops around the kitchen and a distinctive one on a central island. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aging-In-Place Movement: Preparing Your Home For the Future

mature couple at the beach

Image Credit: RoyaltyFree/Corbis

A combination of medical advances, and an overall increase in both our awareness  and willingness to make healthier lifestyle choices, is causing us to live longer . We are now more aware of the changes our body goes through as it ages, and we are able to make all the necessary changes to adapt to them, while still living full, independent and very productive lives.

What if your home could age just as gracefully as you do? What if it remained safe, comfortable and fully accessible throughout all the changes in yours and your family’s lives?

The Aging-In-Place Movement seeks just that: create homes that adapt to people’s changing needs over the years and allow them to live independently, regardless of their size, age, physical condition or mobility.

Aging-In-Place incorporates the concept of  “Universal Design: The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptation or specialized design.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tips on Shopping for Genuine Oriental Rugs

Oriental Rugs in CtFor centuries, westerners have been fascinated by the colors, patterns and textures of Oriental Rugs. These fine, hand woven works of art have been a must in practically every fine home in Europe and the Americas, where they became a symbol of both excellent taste and wealth. That because for many centuries, they were a luxury item only few could afford.

In today’s global economy, however, quality oriental rugs can be found at more affordable prices while remaining an excellent investment. The problem with that is that, unless you know the basics about oriental rugs, or work with a reputable, knowledgeable consultant and trader,  you can be easily tricked into purchasing an inferior product, sometimes for the price of a legitimate one.

What are Oriental Rugs?
Many furniture, carpeting, department and home improvement stores, call Oriental Rugs every kind of carpet that has a pattern resembling that of an genuine rug.  Some call oriental rugs, every carpet produced imported from Eastern countries, regardless of whether they are hand or machine woven.  Some call oriental rugs, every type of handwoven carpet produced in the eastern. That kind of confusion can be very misleading.

Genuine oriental rugs are indeed, handwoven and produced in several Middle Eastern and Eastern countries but they have one very specific characteristic that sets them apart from all the other products mistakenly given that name: they are hand knoted, not tufted, and they are made with natural materials and dyes, rather than nylon, polypropilene and synthetic dyes.

Where do Oriental Rugs come From?
Oriental rugs are produced mainly in Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, The Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey. However, not every carpet produced in these countries are classified as legitimate Oriental Rugs.  Legitimate pieces are hand knoted, not hand tufted.

How can you tell the difference between a genuine rug and an inferior product?

There are basically two “tell-tale” signs of a fake rug:

  • Fabric lined back: A hand tufted rug has a fabric liner glued to the back of the carpet. Because the yarn is not knoted over warps, the only thing holding that pile in place is the usually inexpensive latex glue, which tends to deteriorate and become brittle over time, causing the carpet to shed yarn. Hand tufted carpets are also usually made with inferior materials and are no more valuable in the market than machine made rugs.
  • Glued or sewn on fringe: Hand knoted carpets have a fringe formed by the end of the warp strings running from one end of the rug to the other. Hand tufted rugs have no fringe so a separate one (usually woven as a tape) is often glued or sewn to the piece.

If you are shopping for Oriental Rugs in Connecticut, Simjian Rugs, a trusted CTHDA member can help you. With an inventory comprised only of the finest pieces and the exclusive home consultation service, Simjian Rugs gives Connecticut homeowners an unique shopping experience: the opportunity to visualize a selection of area rugs in the privacy of their own homes.

Contact them today to schedule your in-home consultation.

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