How to choose the right hard flooring for your home

There’s so many different types of hard flooring on the market these days, it can get very over-whelming with all the different choices and advice you are given. As we are an independent supplier and fitter in Pembrokeshire, and regularly give advice to our clients on this subject, we’ve decided to put together a short guide to the benefits and drawbacks of some of the different types to help you see the wood for the trees (or the engineered from the solid!)

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

This is a fast-growing industry at the moment, and for very good reason. Vinyl tiles, or more commonly known by the brand names of Karndean, Amtico & Harvey Maria, are both stylish and practical. Karndean and Harvey Maria are our favourite brands because of the excellent long guarantees that they come with, as long as they are fitted by an approved installer. A flooring fitter should always check the damp levels of the floor, and provide sound advice on prepping it ready for a perfect finish when the final and top layer of flooring goes down. This will ensure that the floor won’t fail in months and years to come.

Vinyl tiles are easy to clean, and waterproof, great for homes with pets and children, warmer underfoot than ceramics and generally a very hard-wearing product.

Look out for anything less than a 0.55mm wear layer as it won’t be very hard wearing.

Natural Stone Floors

If you’re working on an old renovation or trying to add in some character to a building then stone floors could be the way to go. From slate to limestone to marble, these organic and raw materials are extremely tactile and will never wear out. If you want something more contemporary then you could go for a polished or honed finish which will give you a smooth surface. If you’re looking for something a little more rustic then you can go for tumbled or etched, which will give you the rough edges and more traditional look. Stone floors are a little bit less practical with children as it’s a harder surface. Very little maintenance is required with stone, as long as it’s sealed properly when installed. Stone is a natural product, there will be some variety in colour, tone and texture. This is part of the beauty of the material and should be expected. If you want a consistent colour and finish, a man made product would suit you better.

Things to look out for

Where the stone tiles have come from has an impact on quality, for both the stone itself and for consistency of quality control as it leaves the quarry. The depth of the tiles and the density. The deeper in the quarry they come from, the more dense and higher quality it will be. Also check if the palettes are taken from the same slab. This will ensure the colour variation is as close as it can be.

Cushioned Vinyl

A great budget option for bathrooms and small kitchens. Warm underfoot and available in hundreds of ceramic & wood plank designs available. Cushioned vinyl or roll vinyl flooring is perfect for lightly used areas with low footfall.

Things to look out for

This type of flooring is usually a great short-term option as it will puncture with high pressure such as walking on it with heels. It’s still easy to clean but won’t stand up to dog claws very well.

Laminate Flooring

Laminates are steadily being replaced by vinyl tile flooring. Laminates have a top printed layer which wears away very quickly in high and medium footfall areas. Any water contact will make the planks expand and very quickly ruin the floor. Laminate has always been a great budget option, but can also be noisy and doesn’t last very long. Try to stick to well known brands such as Quickstep, and look out for the Hydroseal version as this is a much better quality product.

Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles

This is another product that is slowly being replaced by vinyl tiles in the market because the vinyl is much easier to clean. There are still some great design options in ceramic & porcelain tiles and they work particularly well in bathrooms where you can match the wall and floor tiles for a consistent finish. Ceramics are perfect for kitchen splashbacks, although cleaning grout is always a little bit tricky. It’s worth looking at underfloor heating with these tiles because it can be quite cold underfoot.

Solid & Engineered Wood

Solid Wood

If you already have a solid wood floor, then it’s usually worth restoring. Because it’s solid all the way through, it can be sanded several times throughout it’s lifetime. Solid wood does dent and scratch, and is particularly expensive to buy new.

Engineered wood

A great alternative to solid wood if you are putting a new floor in. It’s much more cost effective than solid wood and gives a lovely natural finish. Oiled floors are relatively high maintenance and will need oiling every couple of years. Lacquered finished are also available and will last much longer without any maintenance. Again, these floors will dent and scratch, it’s part of the natural material so you’ll need to embrace the look of a not quite perfect finish.

Kahrs oak johan straight lay engineered wood plank in dining room

Thinking of having shutters installed in your home?

Here’s our quick guide to what’s available. There are so many options for shutters, so it can be a bit over-whelming when you first start looking, but we've covered some of the essentials below.

Main styles:

Full Height

Full Height Shutters

This option works perfectly for smaller windows that have Georgian bars or more than one pane of glass on the window. The shutters open and close fully with a single panel, but you can still choose multiple panels across the width of the window. Image shown has a decorative mid-rail, the panels open in one, but the tilt rod is in two pieces.

Cafe Style

Cafe Style Shutters

If you live on the main road, where people walk past your windows on a regular basis this can be a great style to choose. It gives you plenty of privacy, as you can leave the shutters closed and just use the tilt and turn option to let some light in. The top of the window will be fully open to let in the maximum amount of light.

Tier on Tier

Tier on Tier Shutters

This style of shutter is great for maximum flexibility. The top panels open separately from the bottom panels, plus you have the tilt and turn option too. This allows you to let the light in during the day and cosy up at night. Although the majority of our customers leave the panels closed 90% of the time.

Materials

We supply two main types of shutters, here are the different materials explained below.

Poly-Vinyl Shutters

Poly-Vinyl is a popular choice for shutters, and is a perfect option for bathrooms or any areas with moisture. With a 10 year warranty, these shutters are extremely hard wearing, the louvers are also supported with a metal bar running through the centre of them. Available in many versions of white, creams and pale greys, they are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Avoid dark colours in poly-vinyl, as the material absorbs too much sunlight and damaged the shutters.

Bass Wood Shutters

Gliding Shutters

Bass wood will give you the traditional look and feel of plantation shutters, available with a 3 year warranty. There are many colour options available. Sprayed finishes (usually white or an off-white) are made from engineered bass wood. Wood stain finishes are made from a solid bass wood because you will see the wood grain on these. Bass wood is a nice and lightweight wood, making the shutters easier to use and is a high quality wood. These are also available in bespoke, sprayed to order colours.

What to avoid

We recommend avoiding MDF wood in shutters. Any hint of moisture, which is common in bay windows, will get in to the wood, it will expand and your shutters will ruin. MDF is also very heavy, which can cause the shutters to drop on the hinges, which will damage the wood in the long term. Although a cheaper option, we do not supply MDF shutters for these reasons.

The Farmhouse Kitchen

Our kitchens are where we spend so much of our time, cooking, entertaining guests, baking with the grandchildren, dining, it really is the hub of the home. The farmhouse kitchen has always been around and is still a very popular choice with its enduring and charming appeal.

The look of a farmhouse kitchen is extremely versatile. With being able to use different cabinets, no need for base units to match wall units, the array of colours, textures and styles that can be used to create a truly bespoke kitchen that suits your homelife and your personality yet remaining completely functional.

The farmhouse kitchen always has that element of ‘Home’, that warm, inviting, cosy feeling, that wraps its arms around you as soon as you enter it. It is where the cooking smells and sound of laughter come oozing out of. Many farmhouse kitchens have withstood years and years of family life, showing signs of wear and tear but this just adds to its charm and character.

The design of a traditional kitchen such as this, is rapidly changing and moving along with the trends of today, it has the character that we know and love, but with a modern twist. Keeping the rustic feel, mixing the old with new captures elements of the style, but brings it fully up to date.

 

Let’s start with the units and worktops and build our kitchen around them. The Shaker Style units are predominately used in a farmhouse kitchen. Shaker style doors work in both a classic, country style kitchen as well as a modern, contemporary kitchen. They have a recessed centre which can bevelled or plain depending on the finish you prefer. The units can be free standing, giving the kitchen a more relaxed feel than a fully fitted kitchen and you can even mix and match the units to achieve the best space for your family’s needs. Alternatives to classic base cabinet doors are fabrics that can be used beneath the worktop to create a cute, vintage look. Fabrics are often used to hide under counter appliances.

For larger kitchens or open plan living areas, it would be an advantage to the design and practicality to have an island installed. The island is multi-purpose as it can be used to cook, socialise and eat, making it the perfect addition to a farmhouse kitchen.

The colour of the cabinets plays a very important factor within its design, white or light neutral colours are the most common palette, but other colours such as grey and navy blue are becoming an extremely popular choice. You can make your kitchen completely bespoke by considering other finishing touches such as, pelmets, cornicing, glass display units, plate and wine racks, tray inserts, larder units, the choices are endless. An effective way to turn your kitchen into a farmhouse style, is adding in some open shelving. It has a natural and raw effect, allowing you to show off some of your favourite crockery, adding colour and interest at the same time.

Considering other farmhouse staples, the traditional range cooker and butlers sink add character and compliment the units.

 

Your kitchen units also need to compliment other finishes such as your worktop. The most common choices for a worktop in a country style kitchen is wood or stone. Wood seems to be the most preferred choice as the warm tones of wood worktops add a wholesome, welcoming atmosphere. Wooden worktops do tend to need some looking after to prolong their use, but it can be easy to restore should it get damaged, as sanding and polishing can remove scratches. The colours of the stone worktop that tend to work best are the more natural colours rather than a heavy black, which will detract from the county look you wish to create.

With the kitchen being the heart of the home, choosing the right type of flooring for this busy area is an important decision. In many homes it is the area that sees most of the wear and tear, so it is important to choose a flooring that can live up to this demand.

Wood flooring is the traditional choice for many country kitchens. The warm tones and textures of wood fit naturally with a country interior. If you have original floorboards, the popular trend is for a ‘distressed’ appearance that maintains the extreme weathering of the boards. But for a crisper and cleaner look, you can sand the floorboards, wax or varnish, bringing the floor back to life.

Another desired look for the farmhouse kitchen is flagstone flooring. This captures the essence of a country kitchen with the natural colours and shapes that the flagstone provides. They come in an array of shapes, sizes and textures depending on where the stone originates from. The variety in which the flagstones are available means that you can achieve a unique floor for your home, and they are easy to care for.

If your kitchen has timbers on the ceiling or walls, leaving these exposed provides a focal point and a welcoming and cosy farmhouse feel. It adds to the rustic look and breaks up the paintwork. When thinking of colours to paint your kitchen, if you are wanting to add a splash of colour, natural tones tend to work better. Soft blues and greens are gentle enough to not detract from the other features of the kitchen.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, an accent wall always makes an attractive feature. In keeping with the natural elements of a farmhouse kitchen the most complimentary materials to use are wood or brick. If your desired featured wall consists of wood, you could paint it in colour that ties in with your kitchen units.

Choosing the correct window dressings for your farmhouse kitchen, is down to personal taste and the type of look you want to create. Whether your kitchen be completely traditional or have a modern twist. It is important to always dress the windows but making sure that the fabric chosen is not too heavy or dark. The importance of allowing as much natural light in as possible adds to the feel of the room.

A traditional farmhouse style captures grace and style but mixed with rustic elements. The most popular colours used are mainly whites and neutrals, but as with the kitchen units, greys are becoming more and more popular. The type of dressings more commonly used are soft curtains in sheer fabrics and roman blinds which give a neat finish and beautifully frame the window, in pretty florals or county checks.

Lighting plays an important role in the design you wish to create; it can even be the base to your design, marrying up your kitchen ideas with the features of the lighting whether that may be elegantly weathered or a more modern clean look. There are many types and designs of characterful lighting that would suit the farmhouse kitchen. You could opt for pendant lighting that can be placed above the island or breakfast bar, an iron chandelier or even vintage track lighting where the lamps can hang from a rustic wooden feature. All these lighting options would be in keeping with the farmhouse style.

 

Winter’s Coming..

Winter is coming… but don’t worry we’ve got you covered!
This is the ideal time to dress your windows ready for the winter months ahead!

Over the last year we have written a few blogs around the advantages of having Curtains, Blinds and Shutters, but we have mainly focussed on the customisable aspect!

But for this blog I wanted to focus on the best types of window dressing for the winter, so let’s get stuck in.

- CURTAINS -

Made to Measure Eyelet Curtains

When it comes to Curtains we would suggest that you either have thermal lining or that you have interlined curtains.

When paired with a heavy fabric, you will be sure to keep out any drafts!

Floor Length Curtains are particularly effective on Doors and Tall Windows, and can be removed once the warmer months come around!

 

- BLINDS -
Made to Measure Roman Blinds

The most effective blinds to keep the cold out and the heat in are Roman Blinds. Similarly to Curtains, we would also suggest having thermal lining or having your Roman Blinds interlined.

Romans can fit very snugly to your window, which makes them great if you have radiators under your window.

 

- SHUTTERS -
Shutters

When it comes to Shutters for Winter, we would suggest Full Height and Tier on Tier Shutters. They are fitted perfectly to your window frame, and so when closed, they’re great for keeping out unwelcome drafts.

Shutters create an air gap similar to that which double glazed windows do, which is great for eliminating any heat loss.

 

I hope this has helped you with choosing the best winter window dressing for your home. If you do have any questions about these window treatments, leave us a message in the comments, and we’ll see if we can help you!

2017 tile trends you need to know about

Tiles will never date or go out of fashion. They are a staple in any home to add a bit of character and elegance. Sure, tile styles may change from year to year, but I think we can safely say that tiles will always be welcome in our homes – whether in the hallway, kitchen or bathroom, they add a certain something that can put the finishing touches on the theme you’re going for.

However, not only do tiles improve the look of your home, making it warm and welcoming, they are also durable and extremely low maintenance. When it comes to tiles there are various styles, colours, shapes and installation patterns to choose from, but if you’re looking to redecorate, there are some trends you may want to read up on to achieve this season’s must have looks.

Glenalla Road After

Styles

Tile styles dominating the interior design world this season are major throwbacks to the trends of one of the most iconic decades. That’s right, seventies home décor is making a comeback.

Bringing seventies trends of bold coloured, textured and unusually shaped tiles in to your home this season will give your interiors a fashion–forward retro vibe.

Another huge trend in tiling styles this season is designing your kitchen and bathroom from the ground up with statement floor tiles to add impact. Design your kitchen or bathroom with your tiles in mind, and ensure everything works around the tile.

Colours

As mentioned, bold colours are really in this season but there are some colours which are particularly popular. Green and bronze are the main colours influencing current interior designs and are the perfect colour choices if you’re looking to update your tiles or simply inject some on trend shades in to your kitchen or bathroom.

Another colour dominating the interior design scene is grey. You’ve probably seen this colour make an appearance in every interior magazine or website you’ve visited lately – whether it’s a dark charcoal grey or a light and airy dove grey, there are so many shades to choose from to give your room the desired outcome – what’s not to love?!

Shapes

Geometric tiles are the most common tile shape trends this season and the most prevalent is hexagon shaped tiles. Seventies shapes like hexagons and circles incorporated in to kitchen and bathroom tiles are effective in adding interest to your home interiors.

There are other playful shapes that are huge right now such as the unique fish scale tile and with these scalloped designs you can welcome the mermaid craze in to your home. Rather than the regular square tiles, less daring shapes are the large brick shaped tiles and the long narrow subway tile.

Patterns

You can truly bring the seventies vibe in to your home with the classical Terracotta pattern. Terracotta pays homage to the creative layouts which are really on trend for kitchen and bathroom tiles this season. You can have fun experimenting with which tile layouts would suit your room space or be extra daring and try some patterned tiles to make a bolder statement.

Whilst tile trends tend to come and go, tiling floors or walls in your kitchen. bathroom and hallway is always going to be an interior design staple.

 

Thanks for reading!

Cheryl Christer

Managing Director and Interior Design Expert at Glamorgan Tiles

We hope that you enjoyed reading about the latest Tile Trends! We welcome your comments below.

Rug Rules: Part 2

In Part 1 of Rug Rules, we covered positioning and sizes of rugs in the living room. Part 2 of our ‘Rug Rules’ series will be covering some useful tips that a lot of designers are using in bedrooms and dining rooms.

This guide has pulled together a lot of clever ‘rug rules’ we have come across over the years that help give your living rooms that expensive and finished look. If you haven’t already bought a rug, these tips will help you decide on what size rug you need.

 

Bedroom (18 inch rule)

- Around the Bed -

To help balance out an area rug which is placed under a bed, it must be large enough to extend on both sides of the bed. The general rule which is used, is that the rug should extend at least 18 inches (which is roughly 45cm for us Brits) either side. The same rule applies whether it is a large rug, or a rug just at the foot of the bed.

 

 

- From the Walls - 

For a smaller room, this tip may work better for you. By placing just the front legs of your furniture onto your rug, it will give the room a good sense of proportion. This option is also practical, the furniture will still keep the rug in place.

 

 

Dining Room (24 inch rule)

- Around the Table -

The rules change slightly when it comes to the dining room. It is suggested that there is at least 24 inches (around 60cm) around the whole dining table to allow space to move your chairs without the back legs coming off the rug. It is also more pleasing to the eye when you have a rug the same shape as your dining table.

 

That’s us done on rug rules for now. We hope that you feel more confident for when you buy your next rug! If you are having any troubles with your furniture layouts and rugs, leave us a message in the comments, and we’ll see if we can help you!

Rug Rules: Part 1

Are you looking to buy a new rug or unsure how you should be making the most of the rug you have? Keep reading Part 1 of ‘Rug Rules’ to learn some useful tips that a lot of designers are using in living rooms.

This guide has pulled together a lot of clever ‘rug rules’ we have come across over the years that help give your living rooms that expensive and finished look. If you haven’t already bought a rug, these tips will help you decide on what size rug you need.

 

Living Room (Placement of Legs)

THE DO'S

- All on -

It generally looks very smart if all your furniture legs (sofas, chairs, side tables) are all on the rug. This is
not only visually great, but it is also a practical option, as the furniture weighs the rug down, keeping it in place. This tip works the best in a particularly large room.

 

 

- Front on, back off - 

For a smaller room, this tip may work better for you. By placing just the front legs of your furniture onto your rug, it will give the room a good sense of proportion. This option is also practical, the furniture will still keep the rug in place.

 

 

THE DON'TS

- None on -
This is a controversial point. It is rare that this one works well within a design, and is often where people go wrong with their rugs. Rugs without any furniture on it generally looks awkward, as if it is floating in the room, and also the rug is very likely to move as people walk on it.

 

 

Hopefully, you will have learnt something new about furniture positioning, if you are having any troubles with your furniture layouts and rugs, leave us a message in the comments, and we’ll see if we can help you!

In Part 2 we will be covering ‘Rug Rules’ in your Bedrooms and Dining Rooms.

Fixing your flooring fears

So you’re looking to buy new flooring, but you’re already feeling limited because it has to be.. easy to clean because of the kids, or incredibly durable because of the every day use in your business.. sound familiar?

At Emily May Interiors we know how daunting buying flooring can seem, but I’m here to let you know that you are far from limited. With new technology, comes new materials! 

I have narrowed it down to 3 different issues, in order to help you with what flooring will best suit you and your needs.

 


1. PETS

Pets

What are the issues?

The main issues for pet owners face is hoovering up fur and cleaning up dirty paws after your pet has been outside.

What would we suggest?

For Pet Owners, I would suggest an LVT – Luxury Vinyl Tiles, which although it is a commercial product, you’ll soon find out the benefits.

LVT is thinner and more durable, which is perfect for stopping those sharp claws from ruining your floor. It’s also amazing for high traffic areas, as well as being very easy to clean. The best collections for residential properties, are “Camaro” and “Colonia” which come in both wood and stone designs.


2. CHILDREN

Children

What are the issues?

Children are messy, you are likely to get food, crayons, drinks pretty much anything they get their hands on or feet in will also end up on your floor!

What would we suggest?

For Parents, I would suggest either LVT (mentioned above) or a LVS – Luxury Vinyl Sheets.

For parents of toddlers in particular I would suggest Vinyl as it is the cheaper option. It is easy to clean and you can also get them cushioned, which – if they are learning to walk – is great for softening any falls! The other bonuses are that cushioned vinyl is warm under foot, and it reduces impact sound to help minimise noise.

But if you really wanted carpet, don’t worry, they’re not off the cards, did you know that a lot of them are even bleachable now? It’s just a matter of asking!


3. COMMERCIAL USE

Rhapsody Bridal AfterWhat are the issues?

The main issues commercial properties such as offices or retail face, is the constant use. The flooring must be hard-wearing and durable to withstand every day use.

What would we suggest?

For commercial properties, I would suggest using either carpet or LVT flooring.

Carpets are great because they can be cut to any shape, and come in many patterns and designs. Commercial carpets have short loom loops, such as “Tivoli Carpet Planks”. They are very hardwearing, and you can also mix and match different colours and patterns, making them not only a practical choice, but also a visually interesting one too!

LVT as you have probably guessed by now is a very practical choice of flooring. There are many different collections available, but are more suitable for a commercial environment as they have been designed for heavy duty areas, such as “Expona Commercial Wood PUR” and “Expona Commercial Stone Effect PUR”

Our Showroom is officially open in Narberth!

THE SHOWROOM

For those of you who weren’t aware, Emily May Interiors has officially moved from Llanelli, and has now opened in Narberth! We now have an office space and also a new showroom to show you all the wonderful items we can supply. I wanted to show you all what I’ve been up to if you haven’t seen our Facebook updates, so here it is..

The showroom is located in the Workshops on Jesse Road, it was a blank canvas which was a dream to design! I managed to decorate it all (with the help of my wonderful handyman & partner, Phil) within 6 weeks, and we officially moved on May 1st 2017.

I am so pleased with the final result! I have always wanted a showroom, and now I get to work in a beautiful place and be inspired all the time. I can’t stress how important it is to invest into the spaces you spend a lot of time in!


THE OPENING NIGHT

We had the opening night on the 17th of May, and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support we were shown! Here’s a couple of pictures from the evening!

Opening Night Images


NEXT GOAL: THE ONLINE SHOP

We have been working with our suppliers to get some great deals on products, and I cannot wait for it to go live!

Hope you have a great month!

Emily

x

Beautiful Blinds

Blinds are great because they are such a flexible window treatment, keep reading to learn more about having your own Blinds made.

Made to Measure Roman Blinds

1. CHOICE

The great thing with blinds, is that there is such a great choice. There are many different types of blinds, and all of them are customisable. These are the ones we currently supply:

  • Roman Blinds can be made in almost any fabric, making them a very customisable choice.
  • Vertical Blinds come in many different colours, making them suitable for a traditional or modern home.
  • Roller Blinds are made of a lighter fabric than romans, but again are very customisable, coming in voile fabric, black outs, plain fabrics, or even have your own design printed onto fabric!
  • Venetian Blinds are the closest choice to shutters, giving them a very slick, clean finish. Venetians come in a wide variety of colours, and can vary from aluminium to wood.
  • ‘Perfect Fit’ blinds are either Roller or Venetian blinds that fit perfectly within the frame of your window or door.

 

Don’t forget that blinds can also be combined with curtains to achieve this gorgeous look!

2. QUALITY

It is important to buy your blinds through a trusted supplier. All the blinds we supply, other than our roman blinds, are ordered through our suppliers. We are very fortunate to work with great suppliers and fitters who will ensure that the jobs are carried out in great time and very professionally.

As I mentioned, we don’t use a supplier for our roman blinds, that;s because our roman blinds are handmade by my mum, Pauline who has over 25 years’ experience. Which means that not only can you can be assured that they will be of high quality but they will also be bespoke!

3. CHILD SAFETY

As the years have gone by, blinds have undergone many safety tests, it is now a legal requirement that blinds are made child friendly. It’s very important when you are buying blinds, that you get them from a trusted supplier that follows these regulations.

As a supplier ourselves, we must ensure that all the potential hazards regarding the cords and chains are eliminated.

Your home should be a place that you can leave your children explore, and know that they’re going to be completely safe.

We hope you enjoyed reading; “Beautiful Blinds”
If you would like to arrange a FREE Consultation, please contact us 
We welcome your comments below: –