Natural stone: always makes a statement. Mix marble, granite and limestone in a design in the foyer; use granite on kitchen countertops, fireplace surrounds. Marble is always at home in a master bathroom on floors, counters and surrounds.
Hardwood: Hardwood floors work well in formal and casual environments depending on the stain, finish and sometimes species of wood. Some popular choices for formal homes include: Brazilian cherry, Birdseye maple, Bamboo, Pecan. Some hardwood products have the ability to be installed in patterns such as herringbone, chevron or diagonal. Hardwood floors with a darker stain are typically a good choice for the formal interior.
Ceramic tile: Larger sized tiles for floors, walls and surrounds with a high gloss finish create a formal atmosphere. For a more customized look add liners or decos on backsplashes and surrounds. Use ceramic tiles that emulate the look of natural stone. Install floor tile on the diagonal with a border around the perimeter of the room or special feature such as a kitchen island or a beautiful table in the foyer.
Carpet: Saxony or Plush: great for formal living rooms, master bedrooms or throughout the house for an overall formal appearance. These carpets are also available in higher ounce weights called Velvets. Although they show footprints these styles are very luxurious and are perfect for any formal environment.
As you know, different products have different maintenance requirements. Now is a good time to think about how often you or someone else will clean your home. By determining now how much time you want to devote to the maintenance of your home, you will be able to select products that will compliment your lifestyle and needs.
The following products are typically easier to maintain:
Solid surface materials: for countertops are great because there is no grout.
Laminate floors: are known for their easy upkeep. A good vacuuming or sweeping and light damp mopping will do the job.
Remember one word: NEUTRAL.
If you think that it is likely that you will sell your home in less than five years, select your interior finishes wisely.
Remember, when your house is on the market and potential buyers are touring your home, they must be able to visualize themselves and their belongings in your home.
A neutral environment provides that opportunity.
Kitchens and bathrooms, particularly master bathrooms, are great areas to upgrade and hold their value.
Ideas for upgrading the kitchen: