Thursday, February 9, 2017

Choosing the right INTERIOR PAINT FINISH

Image result for paint cansHi All! so... you just bought a new home or renovating or just want a change. Paint colors in each room can make such a difference in mood. But we will get into paint colors, moods, color psychology, etc. at another time. For now, let's talk paint finishes. It may seem like it's not a big deal but it can make a difference in the kitchen or the children's room.

Take the following into account when choosing a paint finish:

1. Choose your sheen based on how much traffic the area receives.

Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well & hides minor surface imperfections. It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls & ceilings.

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well & also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms & interior walls.

Eggshell has a soft, velvety appearance & is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin if you desire a pearl-like appearance & are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

Semi-Gloss if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great for cabinets, trim, high-traffic areas & high-moisture areas.

Hi-Gloss creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces.

If you're using Semi-Gloss or Hi-Gloss, apply the paint in multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat to achieve a smooth finish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Horray! our new site is live. Visit and let us know what you think!!


Bluestone Installation

2x2 Thermal Bluestone outdoor 
raised patio installation. Stone installed 
using felt roofing underlayment paper 
on iron grated floor.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Choosing Drywall (sheetrock)

Choosing drywall aka sheetrock is an important part of a building project. It can be a little confusing and sometimes intimidating. However, look at it as a fun way to start a journey into design and renovation.

Here are some pointers to get you started:

The most popular sizes for drywall are 1/2", 5/8" in thickness and 
4' long x 8' wide. There is also green board which is used in spaces that are moist--like bathrooms and basements.

Although, 1/2" is okay to use, 5/8" is thicker and provides more of a barrier. The advantages of 1/2" is the cost is less than 5/8".

Now, let's talk Fire-rated.

When you are installing drywall, often building code dictates certain types of drywall that must be used. One type of drywall that shows up in building code is fire rated drywall, also known as Type X drywall.
Fire-Rated Is Not Fireproof
Type X is by no means 100% fireproof; simply it is drywall that will stand up against flame longer than regular drywall. If a conventional 1/2" thick sheet of drywall will stand up to 30 minutes of fire, then the added 1/8" (5/8") found in the Type X drywall, along with its other properties, will increase your margin of safety another 30 minutes. For this reason, fire-rated drywall is sometimes called one hour fire wallboard.
Places to Install Type X Drywall

In residences, fire rated drywall is typically required by building codes to be installed near furnace and utility rooms; places where a wood stove is used; in garages; and on ceilings that up against the main living structure.
Thickness, Composition
Drywall typically comes in 1/4" and 1/2" thicknesses. But Type X drywall is 5/8" thick. In addition to the usual gypsum found in regular drywall, fire rated drywall contains glass fibers to form a super-tough core. Not only that, the gypsum and fiberglass are packed in tighter and denser than in regular drywall.
Cost and Availability
Fire rated drywall costs more than the regular drywall. As a rule of thumb, you can count on it costing about 5% to 7% more than conventional drywall of the same thickness. Type X is not a specialty product; it is available at local home improvement stores or contractors' supply houses.

Two added benefits to Type X drywall: it inhibits sound transmission and it stands up well to impact.

If you want fire rated drywall to be installed throughout your home, please request that it is installed. You can also have 1/2" or 5/8" standard drywall installed throughout, type x for the kitchen and furnace area and of course green board for the wet/moist areas. A mix can be cost effective.
Tips to remember about fire rated drywall:

Always 5/8"
Glass fibers added
Denser than normal gypsum-only drywall
Up to 1 hour fire rating
Also called Type X drywall
Absorbs sound well (for all of the music lovers)



Choosing a countertop. Granite, concrete......

Concrete Countertop

Concrete Countertops are easy to clean and have become a great alternative to granite or marble. They can be designed into versatile styles, colors and look like natural stone while keeping its uniqueness. They do need to be sealed to prevent bacteria growth and stains. However, the cost is significantly lower than granite/marble and worth having it in your home. Countertops can also be paired with matching tables to create a creative splash in your home or kitchen.

Concrete table

Solid Surface (Corian) countertops are easy to clean and nonporous, which means that it does not need to be sealed and stains cannot penetrate the surface. They also resist the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Countertops, sinks and backsplashes can be perfectly integrated to create one solid surface without any cracks to collect dirt and moisture. This is a unique characteristic only to solid surface materials and are great for kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, shower walls and bathtub surrounds.


Quartz countertops are engineered with pure quartz crystals and are extremely hard and durable. What makes this stone countertop unique over granite is that it never needs to be sealed. That means that food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface and you don’t have to worry about harmful bacteria growing beneath the surface of your countertop. Quartz is the hardest non-precious stone and through the engineering process they are stronger than granite. With a wide range of colors, Quartz countertops give you the beauty of nature without sacrificing performance.


Granite countertops are imported from all over the world and each piece has it own unique characteristics. Some have simple patterns and others possess swirling veins and movement. Although beautiful, Granite does require some additional maintenance over other countertops. It is important to seal your Granite regularly to prevent stains and bacteria growth.

For more information or to schedule a FREE design and renovation consultation. Email us or 
call 718.207.1625

Laminate Flooring. To do or not to do?

LAMINATE FLOORING has become a very popular alternative to wood flooring for several reasons. It is versatile, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced. However, there are a number of drawbacks when it comes to laminate flooring. It is important to understand what you are getting into before making a final decision about whether to use this material in your home, or commercial properties.

Convenient Packaging: Natural hardwood flooring comes in planks that are 8 or 10 feet in length, and sometimes even longer. By contrast laminate planks that simulate hardwood are sold in convenient 4 foot strips. They are also available in tile form in varying sizes.

Versatility: Today laminate flooring can simulate the look of dozens of different natural hardwood materials. The printing process can also reproduce the appearance of a variety of natural stone, and ceramic flooring materials. With EIR embossed in register texturing they are even able to somewhat reproduce the surface texture of these natural materials.

Cleaning: The wear layer of a laminate floor protects the material from stains and some spills making cleaning and maintenance relatively easy. Typically the only regular requirement is sweeping or vacuuming of the floor to remove grit and dirt which can slowly erode the floors wear layer over time.

Installation: The installation of a laminate click together floor is one of the easiest do it yourself flooring projects you can undertake. New innovations in the manufacture of this material have made it so you do not even need to use adhesive. You just roll down a sheet of underlayment material, and then snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another. An entire room can usually be finished in just a day or two.

Goes Anywhere: With the exception of carpet, laminate flooring can be installed over almost any existing floor in the home. As long as a moisture barrier is in place and water prevention measures are taken it can also be installed at any grade. This removes the hassle and expense of having to remove old flooring installations before installing new laminate materials.

The Elements: Laminate flooring is resistant to many of the outdoor agents that can discolor other flooring materials. The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges due to dirt and mud making it a great material for hallways and entryways. It also resists fading from UV light exposure making it popular in sun rooms.

Health: Laminate flooring is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. It can also be treated with special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Expansion: The nature of the installation process means that the flooring material is not adhered directly to the subfloor. Rather all of the pieces of the floor are interlocked, or adhered one to another. That means that the material can expand, or contract, due to changes in pressure and temperature, without buckling and snapping against the subfloor.

Acclimation: Hardwood needs to sit in an environment for 3-6 weeks so that it can acclimate to the temperature and pressure of the area. Laminates can be installed in as little as 36 hours.


Refinishing: Laminate floors can not be refinished. They have a single wear layer, and when that is damaged the individual piece needs to be replaced. Over time the wear layer on the entire floor will degrade and scratches will appear in the surface of laminate materials. When this occurs the entire floor will need to be replaced.

Sound: When you walk on a laminate floor it produces a hollow sound, that makes the material feel fake and manufactured. This can be offset to some extent through the use of dampening underlayment materials, which can help to simulate the sound of natural hardwood flooring.

Unnatural Feel: While laminate can simulate the look of hardwood, stone, or brick perfectly, the illusion fades as soon as you feel the material with your bare hands. While embossing can provide a textural surface for laminates, the material itself has a man-made feel that makes it obvious that this is not a natural floor surface.

Hard: Laminate flooring is quite hard and unyielding under foot. Even cork or foam padding on the back will generally not alleviate this characteristic.

Lifespan: The life span of a laminate floor is going to be based on the quality of the material and the thickness of the wear layer. Most laminate floors will come with a warranty, however it is important to check the terms and conditions of that warranty before you buy. In some cases you will need to take certain precautions during the installation process or risk voiding the warranty and losing its protection.

Cleaning: Unlike other flooring, you can not allow laminate to get wet. It may start to buckle underneath from repeated moisture.

Laminate is an easy and quick solution to making a room look updated. Make sure you think about where to place it. In other words, it may not be a good idea to place it in an area where there is moisture. Ie: a basement that may be prone to dampness. 

We have installed laminate in brownstones and they have lasted for years and look beautiful!!!!

Wood Floor Install

Before and After photos of a bedroom renovation. We installed new walls, closet and hardwood floor.