By Alexandra Garcia January 1, 2010

Distinctive Countertops

In your otherwise beautiful home, does your eye go straight to those ugly, cracked countertops? Sounds like you’re in need of a custom countertop makeover. Distinctive Surfaces’ flawless natural stone or wood countertops are sure to impress. For a limited time only, celebrate the New Year with special pricing; the granite at Distinctive Surfaces of Florida is affordably priced at only $37 per square foot on select colors. With almost 25 years of delighting countless satisfied clients at their three Florida locations in Sarasota, Tampa and Tallahassee, Distinctive Surfaces of Florida will get rid of your ugly countertops and make your home a star through and through.

Modern Furniture for Your Life

Living Walls Furniture and Design offers a collection of modern furniture and contemporary furniture classics. The newest collection available through Living Walls is GUS*, which creates modern furniture made easy. GUS* pieces are inspired by simple forms and are eco-friendly. The furniture, accents and accessories mix elegance with the industrial look. With GUS*, you can combine great design and practical purpose.

Or for a minimalist character and modern feel, try the Delta Bookshelf from Tema Home. It provides an edgy storage solution and creates depth for your bookshelves, for creative living spaces. These pieces and more are available at Living Walls Furniture and Design, 1311 Main St. in downtown Sarasota.

A New Twist on Coastal Design

For a fresh approach on coastal design, the experts at KR Design recommend adding a punch of lavender or magenta to the ocean palette in a seaside room. Then mix in clean contemporary furniture pieces to balance the natural textures and fibers of coastal design: A chrome coffee table looks fantastic in front of two rattan wing chairs. Introduce a lively flower arrangement full of bold colors in a quiet coastal room for a burst of energy. Replace the all-too-predictable ceiling fan with an antique or whimsical chandelier. To give the ordinary a pop, mix the standard white linens with bold bursts of color and pattern on pillows and upholstery. Add a twist to the room by using a classic leather chair covered in a white or sea glass leather trimmed in bright chrome nail heads. Most of all, have fun! For more design advice, contact KR Design at (941)927-3522.

How to Choose the Right Fabric

With such an enormous selection of fabric available, how do you know which to choose?  To make sure that your design project is successful, it’s essential to know which type works best for your specific function, says Barbara Collins of Collins Interior Design. Cotton is a popular choice for home décor projects: It works well for window treatments, as it hangs nicely and usually keeps its shape. But prolonged exposure to sun can cause yellowing, so use a lining for protection, warns Collins. Silk has a beautiful, luxurious sheen but is a fragile fabric, so it’s best used on pillows and draperies, and usually avoided on upholstered furniture. Another good choice for many home décor projects is polyester. It can be woven to resemble natural fibers, like silk or leather and makes perfect window treatments because it resists the sun and requires little ironing. Leather adds a rich touch to a room, but it does require work to keep it looking good. It fades quickly from the sun, so don’t keep it close to big windows. Nylon is a very strong synthetic fabric, Collins adds. It’s usually blended with other fibers, and adds a silky shine. Strength and resiliency make nylon and nylon blends good choices for upholstery. 

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