Timeless Style

We pushed the lobby door of the King Charles Inn open and stepped out onto Meeting Street. The smell of rain was fresh and had calmed the heat of the day making it surprisingly tolerable for a stroll through the historic streets of Charleston. Moving at a brisk pace through the “Holy City” we passed many churches and I could not wait to get my eyes on some historic homes as we worked our way toward White Point Gardens. I tripped many times on the uneven stone of King Street as my eyes stayed skyward trying to study the classic and timeless ironwork and architecture of the oldest and most stylish city in South Carolina. The “Clop Clop” sound of the dappled grey Percheron pulling the carriage tour down the street seemed to enhance the historic imagery that surrounded us. I stopped for a minute to watch the mammoth horse pass us by and let my mind wonder to the world of decorating, classics and timeless style. If you are doing some home improvement and worry about choices that will stand the test of time, here are a few tips that will keep you as stylish as Charleston somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Wood or tileLuxury vinyl or wood, tile, Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida, Iris model.
I know that many people are installing luxury vinyl and it is very nice. However, I am writing about classics and the classics of flooring are still engineered hardwood and tile. No matter what comes along in the industry engineered hardwood and tile will still be the reining kings of finishes because they are still the most desirable. I would advise that if tile or wood are not a possibility for you then get a vinyl that looks so real it is almost impossible to tell the difference. When I am choosing a vinyl for a customer I will always find a piece of hardwood that looks like the vinyl and lay them next to each other to see how real the vinyl looks. If it is hard to see the difference then it is a good choice.

• Wainscoting
Wainscoting is a wall treatment in which molding is placed beneath chair railing to highlight a specific room or area of the home. When it is painted white from the chair rail down it always looks rich and classic. When wainscoting is installed up and over the buffet it looks custom to the space. This will always be a good choice because varying sizes of buffets will work in the highlighted area.

• Crown molding
Crown molding is always a stylish classic. Crown molding is neutral in design so if you have modern taste, crown molding will still look amazing in your space. Modern design calls for a plain crown molding and tradition taste calls for something a bit more ornate. Remember, nine foot ceilings and over should always receive seven inch crown.

• Window Casing
Large molding around the sliding glass doors of most models in The Villages looks amazing. If you have a golf course view or a water view, the casement molding will frame and highlight the view like a picture frame.

• White Kitchens
White kitchens are absolutely a classic! They are a classic because they never go out of style. Why do so many people crave a white kitchen? White is a color that we associate with cleanliness and a white kitchen, like white plates are perceived as clean. White is bright and always makes a kitchen look large. In a fifty-five plus community the common request that I hear is, “I want light, bright and airy.” A white kitchen will provide the light and airy feeling in the space. White is a color that any other color will look good with as an accent. Finally, this is not HGTV where clients have tons of money to be spending on strange colored kitchens “for fun”. My clients are spending real money that was hard earned and we don’t want to waste it on a color they will regret in years to come. Remember, you can always paint the walls a color to highlight the white cabinets but you cannot replace cabinets as easily as repainting walls.

• Granite
Granite and natural stone counter tops will always remain the king in kitchen and bath design. However, the desirable colors have changed. Lighter granite will always be complementary to a white kitchen and will always stay in style.
I personally, have not had anyone chose a dark granite for their new kitchen.
Granite can be sealed with a fifteen year sealer when it is installed and it will be protected and maintenance free.

• Quartz
The second runner up for kitchen countertops is Quartz which is a manufactured product. Since it is manufactured the slabs will always look just like the sample. Quartz offers whiter colors and softer movement in the veining. For those who do not like stone, quartz provides a stone look without actually being stone. Quartz is often more expensive than granite so I would do my research before purchasing. Either product would be considered an application that will stand the test of time in your kitchen as long as it is light.

• Backsplashes
I encourage my clients to run the granite or quartz all the way up to the back of the cabinets and that will be a cohesive backsplash. There is no grout to deal with and it looks so rich when the under cabinet lighting is shining down. However, if you really want tile, I would encourage you to pick something that blends and will stand the test of time like subway tile. White subway tile as a backsplash is always a great complement to a white kitchen and stands the test of time. If you don’t have a white kitchen but would like a classic backsplash, consider travertine or tumbled travertine. This is natural stone and can be purchased in squares or a subway cut. A modern application of the classic subway tile or subway cut travertine is to have it installed in a herringbone pattern. This makes a great visual statement.
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