Home Office – How to Create a Productive Space

Home Office

Now that so many of us are working from home (WFH), more and more people are looking into how to create a dedicated, productive home office space. Aesthetics is an important factor, particularly as it relates to cleanliness and neatness, while other factors such as colors used and types of flooring, whether its hardwood floors and/or carpet play significant roles as well. A look at the long term is essential as you’ll likely spend a considerable amount of time in your home office.

Importance of Seclusion

If you have the flexibility, it’s important to have a workspace that’s set aside from any hustle and bustle that’s otherwise occurring in your home. If you’re able to have a closed door between you and others, take advantage of it. One of the most important factors in a person’s productivity is their ability to focus, so anything that you can do to help you focus is preferred.

With that said, make the best of your situation. If there’s no way to be in seclusion, which is the case for many, do your best to create your own bubble to keep things separated. Putting earphones in often helps as white noise or music can keep you focused while doing so also gives a visual indication that you shouldn’t be interrupted. Regardless of the setting of your home office, ensure that others know when it’s work time for you versus when you’re free to talk.

A Must Have: An Ergonomic Chair

If you take just one thing away from this article, it should be this: get an ergonomic chair. You’re probably going to be spending a considerable amount of time sitting at your desk, and you want your chair to be comfortable. An ergonomic chair will help to keep you from developing back, neck and other issues. Also look into securing an ergonomic desk.

Compactness Over Style

If your space is limited, keep in mind that compactness should be your focus over any style-related decisions. You must be able to enjoy mobility and have a chair, desk, and related items that allow you to easily access everything you need.

Personalize Your Home Office Space

Regardless of how much space you’re working with, personalize your area. That’s not only related to things such as which colors to use, but also items that help you feel productive and calm. Photographs of beautiful areas and your loved ones is a good option. Another is houseplants. Meanwhile, some like to have one or more inspirational quotes printed and visible while they work. Not only is physical comfort important, but so is emotional comfort.

Your view is important as well. If you have the option to, consider if you want to look out your window or if you believe that you’d be more efficient if you’re facing a wall instead. Also consider the effect of sunlight in your eyes or, if coming from behind you, on your screen. If you will be on many video conference calls, lighting is important. Additionally, remember to also take into account what’s in your background since others will be able to see that on your screen.

Importance of Tidiness

Ensuring that your work area is kept clean and tidy will help your productivity. That’s because having the visual of papers scattered around, empty cups sitting here and there and office supplies no longer being set up in an organized manner consciously or subconsciously affects our frame of mind and our ability to focus.

Home Office Layout

Your home office color palette for your office furniture as well as on your office walls and adjacent areas will help set the tone. You want to use colors that soothe and help you narrow your focus. If you cannot decide on which to use and are looking for inspiration, consider that blue has been viewed as a calming color that encourages productivity, green helps people work longer hours while remaining efficient, and yellow sparks optimism and creativity.

Avoid sensory overload, which often results when too many items, colors, or patterns are included in your workspace. It’s important that the colors of your office furniture blend with each other and with the walls and floor.

With regards to your flooring, consider whether you prefer hardwood floors, carpet, or a combination. Hardwood floors can provide the coloring that you’re looking for as well as be durable and safe. Conversely, maybe carpet or an area rug fits the vision that you have for your home office. Regardless of which you choose, ensure that you use flooring that’s durable and will last.

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If you’d like assistance with your flooring, contact us! Our Classic Floor Designs flooring experts are happy to answer your questions and help you create the best workspace possible.

 

Five Tips for Your Floors During the Summer

As summer begins, people around the country are welcoming warmer weather. While your flooring may be down a few notches on your list of t0-do priorities, it’s still important to protect your floors from being damaged over the summer. Increasing heat and humidity accompanied by wear and tear can cause your floors serious harm. Below, we’ve compiled some tips to prevent that from happening.

Protect your Hardwood from Sunlight

UV rays can easily cause color deterioration in hardwood. Shutting your blinds, drapes, or shutters can keep your home cool and prevent UV damage. If your home has horizontal blinds, simply tilt them upwards. This directs the sunlight up towards your walls and ceilings instead of down on your hardwood floors. You can also use large area rugs in the parts of your home that are exposed to significant amounts of sunlight. 

Regulate Humidity

Wood responds to humidity by expanding and contracting. Failing to keep your home at a consistent level can cause your hardwood to warp. Keeping your home’s humidity level between 35% and 55% is a good practice. Using a dehumidifier may also be necessary in areas with natural high humidity, but otherwise, regulating your home’s temperature with air conditioning should be enough to keep your hardwood safe.

Use Doormats 

Homes typically see as much or more in and out traffic during the summer months. This leads to mud, dirt, and sand being easily tracked into your home. Even trace amounts being tracked in can damage the finish of your hardwood. A doormat conveniently located at all outside entrances is a simple way to prevent that from happening.

Vacuum and Sweep

As much as we try to avoid it, outside substances will undoubtedly make their way into your home. Consistent sweeping and vacuuming around your home can add years on the life of your floors. It’s important to follow a two step process: sweep with a broom, then vacuum the same areas, at least once a week.

Use the Right Cleaning Products 

Some products can strip your hardwood of its shine, damage the wood, and lead to faster aging. Harsh and damaging cleaning product chemicals will exacerbate the damage to your floors. Always make sure to do proper research on the products you use for your floor.

Contact Us

Contact us today to get in touch with a Classic Floor Designs expert. We are here to help make your next project come to life! With over 40 years of experience, Classic Floor Designs provides hardwood floors, wool and nylon carpet, carpet, area rugs, leather, cork, exotics, and green flooring services to residential flooring, commercial flooring and government clients in the DC area.

Hardwood Flooring Trends 2020

Hardwood remains the most popular flooring choice for homeowners across the country. While other trends flow in and out of style, hardwood has always kept its status as a timeless look. You can count on almost all new constructions and renovations to feature hardwood in a prominent area of the home. It’s just what buyers are looking for! 

So, you’ve decided on hardwood, but what style? There are so many options to consider: the wood, the stain, the finish. It can be hard to settle on the right one. But, you can take comfort in knowing the top home designers today ask themselves the same questions! Let us do some of the work for you as we cover the top hardwood trends of 2020:

Dark hardwood

For homes that prioritize style over maintenance, the trend of installing dark hardwood flooring has been on the rise and doesn’t seem to be slowing down now. Dark hardwood is synonymous with drama and having dark flooring opens up a world of wall color options.  From ebony to deep browns, dark hardwood floors look luxurious. Cool-toned hardwood

Cool-toned hardwood

Cool-toned hardwood flooring is the hottest new trend for many new townhomes and apartment complexes. Aimed at attracting a younger buyer and renter, this trend has been gaining popularity over the past few years. This style of flooring works best with walls decorated in cool tones. And, since dark hardwood is easier to keep clean and maintain, cool-toned hardwood floors make a lot of sense for your home. Consider this cool-toned style, like many designers, and replace dark hardwood with cool-toned hardwood to stay on trend for 2020.

Grey and grey blends

Grey hardwood floors are another popular choice among new homeowners and first-time renovators. Many new constructions go for a grey color scheme to enhance neutral furniture. Certain woods can be stained grey, so refinishing rather than replacing your existing hardwood floor may be something to consider. 

 

Light and natural 

Light, natural hardwood flooring is timeless. And compared to dark flooring, light hardwood floors show less dirt and scratches. Another benefit to lighter floors is that they tend to make rooms look larger rather than smaller. While the trend today might seek to drown out more of the yellowish tint for a contemporary look, it’s still tried and tested. It can also give you more flexibility in the color and style of your furniture than other hardwood.

Solid hardwood

Hardwood flooring, as a rule, increases the value of your home. How much, however, depends on the quality of the wood. Popular types of hardwood flooring include oak, hickory, and maple. Once installed, hardwood is known for its durability and transformative effect on the space. Whether its purpose is a powerful selling-point or revamping the flooring you have always dreamed of, let us help you every step of the way. Solid hardwood can last 100+ years. It consistently holds up to heavy use, and allows homeowners to sand, refinish, and change the colors and styles as their preferences change.

Wider planks

There has been a shift in recent years from the standard size strips of old. Installation is faster since the wide planks take up more room per square foot than a thinner board. Many homeowners appreciate that wider planks make their space look and feel larger, and make contemporary homes feel more rustic and authentic.  

Contact Us

At Classic Floor Designs, we know flooring. We’ve been providing top-notch flooring products and services to homes and businesses in and around the Washington, D.C. area for more than 40 years. We’re always pleased to put our expertise to work for our clients. To learn more about flooring trends or explore our services, contact us today to arrange for a free design consultation.

Add a Wood Accent Wall in Your Home

Looking to bring life to a lackluster wall in your home?  Adding a focal point with a wood accent wall will add interest, texture, and dimension to your room. This trend is being adopted by top designers across the country are incorporating flooring to define the space and create a statement piece.

The style of your home and your preferred aesthetics will help you determine which type of flooring will work best on your accent wall.  The type of hardwood flooring that can be used on your walls can run the gamut from oak, cherry, or birch to bamboo.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Showcase your (and your home’s) personality

Wood walls bring warmth and natural beauty into your home while also creating a focal point. An entryway wall is an ideal place to consider because it the space that visitors first encounter so it will really make a statement. As an added bonus, a wood accent entry wall can achieve form and function; adding hooks to hang your coats and jackets or shelves to display art and photographs and convey a homey vibe.

Create a focal point

Many homeowners disregard the importance of creating a focal point in a room. Focal points create a well-balanced space and also a sense of harmony. Some homes come with a built-in focal point like a big picture window or an interesting fireplace. However, if your home lacks an existing architectural element, you can create one.  A wood accent wall is a perfect solution to garner attention, draw the eye, and give your room character.

The fifth wall

Often times a room already has a built-in focal point. For that reason, adding an accent wall can confuse the eye, clash with your existing furniture and other elements, and consequently diminish your wow factor.  Remember the fifth wall, otherwise known as your ceiling!  Eliminating your white, boring ceiling will result in a show-stopping statement. Furthermore, a hardwood ceiling will enhance your room and make it unique.

Contact Us

Contact us today to get in touch with a flooring expert. We are here to help make your next project come to life! With over 40 years of experience, Classic Floor Designs provides hardwood floors, wool and nylon carpet, carpet, area rugs, leather, cork, exotics, and green flooring services to residential flooring, commercial flooring and government clients in the DC area. 

How to Stay Busy and Healthy At Home During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Ways to stay busy while you’re practicing social distancing and following CDC guidelines during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many Americans under stay at home orders. For some, that means working from home. For essential workers, it means altered work schedules, or even increased hours. We send our sincere support and gratitude for those who are on the front line of this health crisis. We are thankful for you!  For those who find themselves stuck indoors or with more time on their hands during this period of social distancing while following CDC guidelines, we’ve compiled a list of endeavors to keep you both healthy,  busy, and productive.

Keep a Clean Home Environment

Keeping your home clean during this pandemic goes hand in hand with keeping your household healthy and strong. For those essential visits to the grocery store or pharmacy, we might not be thinking of the dirt and germs we bring back home on our shoes and clothing. Diligently disinfecting high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, remotes, and light switches, and keeping your carpet and hardwood floors clean will help to reduce the risk of bringing the virus home and spreading the virus. It’s advisable to remove your shoes before you enter your home. Don’t walk through your house with your shoes on, rather leave them at the door or in a designated spot (such as a garage) as not to introduce the virus from a simple trip to the grocery store or a walk around the block. And of course, every time you come back home remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Home Maintenance

If you’re like us, you’ve been procrastinating and avoiding fixing and sprucing up things around your home.  If you’re stuck at home, there’s no time like the present. Small repairs and home projects you’ve been putting off can help make this time spent sheltering in place feel productive, and give you a real sense of accomplishment. It can also have real health benefits! 

If the weather outside is suitable, start your yard upkeep and begin cleaning up the exterior of your home. Getting fresh air outside, remaining productive while being sure to still follow social distancing recommendations is a healthy and rewarding way to utilize your time.

Virtual Learning and Communication

The internet is a great blessing during this time of isolation. Not only is there a wealth of knowledge available for free online, but we can also connect with loved ones instantly with the touch of a button. Take some time to research a new skill, learn a language, or just unwind with that movie or TV series you’ve been meaning to watch. Keeping entertained and in touch with friends and family can help you stay social and connected and reduce the feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. Even if you can’t visit in person, thanks to technology, you can stay connected from a distance which is proven to improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Stay Healthy &  Physically Active

Following general advice to keep yourself healthy, such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are the best recommendation for staying healthy during quarantine or self-isolation.  For those who usually dine out, or can only have quick meals in between their busy schedule, time at home can be a perfect excuse to meal plan. Remember that eating a well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant and animal proteins, and healthy fats is the most effective way to get all the essential nutrients your body needs to keep your immune system in tip-top shape and stay healthy.  Practice mindful eating and be sure to watch your portion sizes since there’s a tendency to eat more and be less active while we are self-isolating. 

Healthy adults should plan for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily; the recommendation for healthy children is at least one hour of daily exercise. Many of us rely on gyms and trainers for an exercise regimen. With gyms shuttered it can be challenging to find the motivation to work out and stay physically active while you’re stuck in your home. Luckily, there are both paid and free workout classes available online. Some of these services are pre-recorded, so you can access them at any time that is convenient for you during your “new” daily routine. 

Contact Us

With over 40 years of experience, Classic Floor Designs provides hardwood floors, wool and nylon carpet, carpet, area rugs, leather, cork, exotics, and green flooring services to residential flooring, commercial flooring and government clients in the DC area.

How to Kill the Coronavirus and Germs Living in your Home

People across the globe are staying at home on the advice of the CDC with regard to the ongoing Coronavirus situation. While non-essential travel is discouraged, trips to the pharmacy, grocery store, gas station, and doctor’s office are currently permitted. Venturing out of your house offers plenty of opportunities for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be brought back into your house. Recent studies have shown the Coronavirus lasts up to 72 hours on surfaces, so anything you touch out in public is potentially contaminated. Remember to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds upon arriving home, and make a daily effort to clean and disinfect your surroundings until the virus has run its course. Below are some helpful tips to accomplish that goal.

Clean your car

If you’re traveling anywhere, your car is the most likely mode of transport for the virus. You can use disinfectant wipes on high-touch areas such as car door handles, controls, steering wheel, keys or start button, touchscreen, seatbelts, and cup holders. The virus can also attach to your clothes and spread to your seats. Lysol and similar disinfectant sprays can sanitize your seats when given time to dry.

Wipe down surfaces at home

Think about the high-touch areas of your home: doorknobs, refrigerator handles, tables, counters, light switches, and remotes. Especially when living with others, germs can accumulate quite quickly on these surfaces. A daily wipe down of these areas will go a long way in prevent the spread of any illness.

Spray areas that cannot be wiped down

Spray your carpets, couches, and other seating areas with disinfectant spray in a sweeping motion, then wait for it to dry. If you run out of wipes for your other surfaces, you can always spray disinfectant into paper towels to achieve the same outcome.

Clean your floors

Your shoes can easily bring the virus into your home. Remember to remove your shoes immediately upon entering your home to minimize the amount of flooring you need to disinfect. For non-porous flooring, use a mixture of 1 cup of bleach to 5 gallons of water. For porous flooring such as hardwood, use a half cup of white vinegar and 1 gallon of water. A disinfecting mop cloth works as well.

Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can kill the coronavirus within 8 minutes. It’s recommended to pour the chemical directly on surfaces like your sink, countertops, toilet, shower, or bathtub. Allow 10 to 15 minutes to soak, then scrub the area and rinse with water. 

Other items to remember

While cleaning all the things around us, we often forget the highest touch area of them all, our mobile phones. We touch our phones more than any other item during the day, yet we never remember to disinfect it. A few swipes a day using a disinfectant wipe should do the trick. Similar items include our wallets, money, and credit cards, laptops, and keyboards.

Classic Floor Designs in DC’s premier source for all your flooring needs. Contact us today!

Vacuuming the Right Way.

Vacuuming is a key component of carpet and flooring maintenance in any home. Besides the obvious cosmetic benefits, carpets are home to unseen dust mites, pet hair, mold, dead skin cells, insect feces, and other particles. And for hardwood, a simple sweeping isn’t always enough. Something else you might not know? There is, in fact, an art to vacuuming. Below are some tips you might want to add to improve your vacuuming skills. 

Don’t wait until it looks dirty

It’s important to stick to a schedule to prevent the aforementioned gunk from accumulating. By the time your carpet looks dirty it’s probably time for a deep clean, not just a simple vacuum job. Dirt on hardwood and tile is a lot more noticeable, but it’s still important to stay ahead of things. 

Vacuum in multiple directions

Dirt and dust do not come out easily. Vacuuming in every direction will help loosen things up and get the job done. You’ll find it also saves you time whenever you vacuum next.

Don’t let your vacuum bag fill up 

Many folks let their vacuum bag fill up fully before emptying it into the trash. This adversely impacts the vacuum’s efficiency and can release dirt right back into your home. Instead, make sure to empty when its halfway full and remember to never reuse the bag itself.

Use the crevice tool!

We often forget about the corners of the room when we start vacuuming. The crevice tool is key to fully cleaning your carpet and preventing a buildup of gunk in the corners of the room. These areas tend to be neglected, leading to more cumbersome cleaning months down the road.

Take your time

This tip goes hand in hand with keeping a schedule. It’s not a great idea to start vacuuming when you’re in a rush. Dashing the vacuum across your floor for five minutes before heading out the door will do next to nothing for its health and cleanliness.

Use the right vacuum

Some vacuums are superior to others. A low-cost or smaller size vacuum will take twice the amount of time to get the job done, so consider looking for high-quality and durability when making a new purchase. Also, if you have both carpet and hardwood in your home, make sure to either purchase a specific vacuum for each or one that is labeled multi-use. 

Classic Floor Designs in DC’s premier source for all your flooring needs. Contact us today!

Eco-friendly Flooring Options

As consumers become more environmentally savvy, designers have come up with plenty of ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials for their clients. Gone are the times when environmentally responsible designs were labeled as bland or boring. Consider some of these exciting options and our flooring experts will be sure to make it work for any space!

Reclaimed Hardwood

Deadset on getting a traditional hardwood flooring look but want to limit your impact on the environment? Reclaimed hardwood uses wood from trees that were chopped down decades, or even centuries ago. First used as a beam in a farmer’s barn or a supporting joist in a warehouse roof, reclaimed hardwood can come from many sources. Going the reclaimed hardwood route is a great way to bring environmental sustainability into your home.

Wool

Most carpets are made with compounds and toxins that are harmful to the environment. Luckily, wool carpet is an eco-friendly option that is readily available and can be dyed the color of your choice. Wool is one of the first materials ever used for flooring and has proven to be extremely durable. It is a perfect fit for heavy use areas in a family home.

Cork

Cork is more commonly known for its use in wine bottles and as a wall covering in office spaces. Although in recent years, it has risen in popularity for traditional flooring. You may also be surprised to learn that cork is a renewable resource. Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak tree, and its harvest does not require cutting the tree down. The bark will grow back every few years. In your home cork flooring is anti-microbial, fire retardant, and a natural insect repellent. 

Bamboo

Bamboo is a grass that shares similar characteristics to hardwood after manufacturing. It is sustainable and only takes three to five years to reach maturity, far less than the two decades it takes for trees. Other than reclaimed hardwood, bamboo is the closest to hardwood-eco-friendly flooring can get. You will be surprised by the wide array of colors available to choose from.

Leather

You can group cork and leather together as the two flooring options that surprise and delights first-time buyers. It has a soft, warm feel that fits naturally in a personal space like a bedroom. While it does wear over time, it is extremely durable and can develop a personality of its own over the years from scratches and age. 

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs is committed to fulfilling your flooring vision in an environmentally friendly fashion. Our experts have decades of experience in the Washington D.C. area and are waiting to give you a complimentary consultation! Call us at (202) 872-9860 and we’ll be more than happy to set up your FREE in-store design consultation.

Things to Avoid if You Have Hardwood Floor

The organic material in hardwood flooring makes it much more susceptible to damage than other floorings. Instead of focusing on what you can do to increase the longevity of your hardwood, look to what to avoid. In fact, it is often the most common of practices that can end up ruining your hardwood. Below, we have compiled a list of what to avoid in order to preserve the beauty of your hardwood for as long as possible!

  • Don’t wear your shoes in the house

This one may seem obvious, and a rule prohibiting this is already in place in many households. In addition to scuffs and scratches, moisture and dirt brought in by your shoes can seep into the floor, causing noticeable damage over time.

  • Don’t use harsh cleaners (including vinegar!)

Cleaners that are not specifically designed for wood flooring can cause serious damage. Many households report using vinegar to clean their wood floors, believing it is a natural alternative to the harmful chemicals found in synthetic cleaners. In reality, the acid present in vinegar will eat away at the protective finish covering your floor over time.

  • Carefully move furniture and appliances

Professional movers take moving client’s furniture very seriously. Any damage caused during the move will come right out of their pockets. Use the same caution they do by using felt pads or furniture straps when deciding to move any heavy furniture and appliances. Those dents and scratches are not easily fixed and can end up costing you big. After moving things around, always remember to use protective padding.

  • Don’t steam clean

Steam cleaning your hardwood can cause water damage and warping. Use a damp mop or cloth if necessary, but try to avoid any water contact unless necessary. A microfiber pad or dry mop pad such as a Swiffer will do fine for normal upkeep.

  • Don’t forget about the dog

Your dogs, as cute they may be, can cause a lot of damage to your hardwood floors. The only effort you can make to mitigate this is by keeping his or her nails trimmed. This will limit the scratching when the dogs run around the house. If you have a puppy, you’ll want to have house training done as soon as possible. A urine stain is one of the worst for the health of your floor.

  • Don’t forget to refinish

No matter how careful you are, the time will come for a refinishing. Reapplying a protective finish smooths out any imperfections and gives your hardwood its shine back.

Contact Us

Need help picking out your new hardwood flooring? Already have an idea in mind? Give us a call at (202) 872-9860 for a FREE consultation. Classic Floor Designs has over 40 years of experience in the Washington DC area, and we are proud to be a premier flooring expert for our clients. Let us get you started, call today!

Hardwood Flooring: Everything You Need to Know

Hardwood is the most popular flooring option in the United States for a reason. Its durability, beauty, and versatility instantly make your home look great. Hardwood is highly sought after by home-owners and potential home buyers, and offers a look and feel that other types of flooring simply cannot provide. There’s more to simpling picking a type of hardwood for your home. The options available to homeowners may turn out to be a taller task than previously imagined. Here are a few things you should know before making the leap to a hardwood home.

Two types of hardwood floorboards

Solid hardwood 

Each board of solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood. It has a beautiful appearance but comes with some drawbacks. The single piece of wood will expand and contract based on temperature and humidity in the room it’s been placed. Avoid installing solid hardwood in a basement or kitchen as it may be damaged easily. The hardwood flooring will also need to be acclimated.

Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is made up of several pieces of wood, bonded together in layers. This allows for a much simpler, and cheaper, installation. Engineered hardwood will not expand and contract due to temperature and humidity 

Finishes and species  

Two huge considerations for new flooring in any home is the finish and the species of wood. Popular options for wood species include oak, birch, cherry, maple, bamboo, walnut, and hickory. When it comes to your floors finish, you can opt for a factory finish or site finish.

A factory finish will limit your options, but the installation will be much faster and less expensive than a site finish. The world is your oyster with a site finish, but the drying and curing process could take days or weeks. For a brand-new home, this is a more popular option. For a renovation, which is usually time-sensitive, a factory finish usually makes the most sense.

Other considerations

Check out other articles on our blog for tips and tricks on hardwood care, flooring trends for 2020, and signs that it’s time to replace or refinish your hardwood flooring. We cover refinishing, remodeling, and more!

Contact Us

Classic Floor Designs has been Washington DC’s premier flooring source for over 40 years. Our experts are here to help you tackle your project no matter the size or scope, and we are proud to have earned the trust and respect of our clients when it comes to hardwood. Call us at (202) 872-9860 to schedule your FREE consultation. Let us help make your flooring dreams become reality today!