Kitchen Trends For This Year (for tile cleaning piece)

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Kitchen Trends For This Year (for tile cleaning piece))

The kitchen really is the heart of the home in many households and probably the single most used space (after the bathrooms) Therefore, the fact that homeowners are willing to invest time and money into making their kitchens a great place to cook, eat and even just hang out should come as no real surprise.

Kitchen design trends are ever changing though. Especially as more and more technology is finding its way into the kitchen to make life easier and more efficient for the average cook. With that in mind here is a little about some of the hottest kitchen trends for 2015 and beyond:

Adding a Dining Nook

Most families are just too busy these days to sit down to a meal served in a formal dining room anymore, so therefore adding dining space to the kitchen is a popular choice. Simply stuffing in a table and chairs is not always very efficient or attractive though. Adding a kitchen dining nook can be a much better solution and it is easier to achieve than you might think. A dining nook like the one pictured here can be purchased ready to assemble at a local home store meaning that before dinner time comes around you could have a whole new place to serve up meals!

Floor Tile in Disguise

Stone and wood are often very, very popular choices for use all over the kitchen but often they are materials that are both impractical for use for a kitchen floor and rather too expensive for many peoples’ tastes. Ceramic tile is a far more durable and affordable choice but to many people not so attractive. Enter then a new generation of ceramic floor tiles that are created to look just like something they really are not.

These new ceramic tiles can mimic wood flooring of all different colors and types, granite or natural stone flooring and there are even ceramic floor tiles that look just like marble. As long as they are properly cleaned and maintained, and the grout is properly sealed by cleaner expert like the Tile Cleaning Service in Rhode Island  to prevent nasty and unattractive grime buildup, these tiles can look as good as the real thing and can last just as long.

Backlit Backsplashes

Two things that any great kitchen really needs is great lighting - both task and ambient lighting - and good backsplashes that protect the walls while still being attractive and easy to clean. Increasingly homeowners are combining these two functions together in the form of back lit backsplashes.

These units can be extremely eye catching and provide a focal point for the kitchen unlike any other (as well as a talking point when neighbors visit.) They come in all kinds of colors and some can even be programmed to turn on and off when you program them to.

The iKitchen 

We have all seen the iPhone commercials that proclaim “there’s an app for that!” and increasingly that is true for all kinds of aspects of kitchen function as well. You can get iPhone (and now iPad) apps that can help you do all kinds of things around the home including turn lights on and off when you are not home, open and close kitchen cabinets automatically and turn on a stove to begin cooking dinner while you are still at work. Sadly you can't get one yet that will cook and clean for you, but hey, you never know what might be coming next.

Holiday First Aid for Your Oriental Rug

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Holiday First Aid for Your Oriental Rug)
The holidays are a busy time for most of us, and for many a big part of that busy season is an increase in the number of people visiting your home as well as the addition of all of those great Christmas decorations. The holidays can be a hazardous time for your carpets though, especially your much loved Oriental rug, as spills and accidents, some of them rather unique to the season, are far more likely to occur.

The key to preventing permanent damage may very well be a rug cleaners and observe them on how to clean a rug, but you will also need to perform a little 'first aid' at home as soon after the accident(s) occur as possible. Here are a few tips for dealing with some of the most common 'seasonal stains' - specifically candlewax and Christmas tree sap - right away the right way.


Scented, brightly colored candles are a great addition to seasonal decor but spilled candlewax on your Oriental rug can be a very scary sight. Before you panic though, with some quick action it does not mean disaster.

The first thing you need to do is let the wax cool and harden. Prevent people and pets from going near the spilled wax though, as treading on it is only going to make things worse.

When the wax is cool, take a blunt butter knife and VERY CAREFULLY remove as much of the wax as you can. Having done that find a plain - no inks of any kind -  brown bag (like the ones you get at the grocery store)  and cut out strips that are large enough to cover the wax stain. At the same time turn your iron on to keep to a medium setting and find a clean, thick towel.

Once the iron is ready place a piece of the brown paper over the wax stain and cover it with the towel. Run the iron carefully over both the towel and paper. This causes the wax to melt again, but this time it will cling to the paper and lifted safely from the Oriental rug. Repeat with new strips until the wax appears to be gone. If residue remains after a few hours you may want to book that professional cleaning appointment.

Christmas Tree Sap 

A real Christmas tree is a wonderful thing to behold, but the sap can be pesky stuff. If it is spilled onto your Oriental rug, be very careful about how you go about trying to remove it. The only thing you should do is blot the area (no scrubbing) with a cloth dampened with a mild soapy water solution, and then blot that away with a new cloth and plain water.

We have seen some strange advice involving mayonnaise on the Internet, as well as suggestions about using alcohol and even dry cleaning solvents as well. None of this is very sage wisdom though, as all of those substances may cause more harm than good. If the sap stain is still there after the water treatment consult a professional Oriental rug cleaner.

For Other Spills 

To be as safe as possible, while still minimizing the damage of accidental spills to your Oriental rug for all other spills (wine, beer, gravy etc.) stick to the mild detergent 'bath' as described above. Most Oriental rugs contain natural dyes that are sensitive to harsh chemical cleaners and these can therefore cause permanent damage where the stain would have been a temporary blip that a professional Oriental rug cleaning could have solved easily because of their special care for oriental rugs.

Why Do I Need to Seal the Grout on My Tile Floor?

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Why Do I Need to Seal the Grout on My Tile Floor?)

Sealing the grout that is helping hold tile together and in place is often an afterthought for many homeowners. And when they do think about it they tend to balk at spending any money having it done, after all, when it gets a bit dirty you can always spend a little time cleaning it with a toothbrush or something similar, and all that will cost you is a bit of your time.

There are more good reasons to opt for grout sealing, especially for tile flooring, than just keeping it cleaner though. The simple fact is that unsealed grout is prone to allowing all of the following problems to develop:

Moisture works into the grout, loosening its seal on the tile, leading to loose tiles.
Moisture works into the grout and mold and mildew begin to grow within it.
Imposture works into the grout and mold and mildew begin to grow underneath the tiles.
The grout becomes so grimy that a week with a toothbrush couldn't get it clean.

Ready to get a little more serious about the idea of grout sealing now? We thought so.

Grout 101 

Most of the grout used in the average home is what is usually referred to as sanded grout. That is a slightly grammatically incorrect way to indicate that it is a substance that contains a lot of sand. Sand is obviously very porous, which means that the grout holding your tiles together will absorb a lot of the moisture in the air around it, as well as dirt, dust and debris and so even with regular mopping the grout lines in your ceramic flooring can be very dirty very quickly.

The Downsides of Daily Mopping 

The way you take care of a tile floor can add to a grimy grout problem. If, like many, you damp mop your floor the all too often you will not be removing dirt from floor but simply spreading it around. And if the sealant on your grout is old and worn, or does not exist at all you will be forcing grime deeper into it with every pass of the mop.

What's The Best Solution? 

Fortunately fairly simple tweaks to the way you care for your ceramic tile floor can help keep both the tile itself and the grout helping to hold it together cleaner, longer. Begin by calling in a company offering tile cleaning in Rhode Island. They will deep clean the floor, removing all of that dirt you have been 'moving around' for months and then add a protective sealant to the grout lines. This will leave you with a truly clean floor, and newly rejuvenated grout, a great way to start anew with your tile flooring.

After that, make a tweak to the way you mop the floor. Make sure that you rinse away all traces of any detergent solution you use and perhaps most importantly dry the floor after you mop (which can be achieved with a clean, dry mop)  rather than leaving it to air dry. All of this takes extra effort of course but we promise you'll be very pleasantly surprised by the difference in the overall appearance of your tile flooring as a whole, including that grimy grout.

Using Oriental Rugs in Less Usual Decor Settings

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Using Oriental Rugs in Less Usual Decor Settings)

When most people think about Oriental rugs they often immediately think of them as installed in huge living rooms filled with old fashioned, heavy furniture. And while that can indeed be the case and the aesthetic effect would be stunning, the simple fact is that an Oriental rug can not only fit seamlessly into any decor style it can even be used as the focal point.

Oriental Rugs and Modern Decor 

Although it is very stylish and neat, in some cases a room filled with sleek contemporary furniture, especially a larger one, can look and feel rather cold. The addition of a brighter, richly colored Oriental rug can change that in an instant though.

In this case it is often best to let the rug become the real center of attention. Neutral colored walls, which are generally a staple of contemporary decor anyway, allow the colors in the rug to shine and the addition of a few ornaments and accessories that match one of the colors in the rug - a vase of a pair of drapes perhaps - can heighten the effect even further.

Oriental Rugs and Country Decor 

Country style decor - also often referred to as rustic decor - is an increasingly popular choice among homeowners, especially in the kitchen. As wooden or wood look items, including floors and walls, are usually a big part of such decor, an Oriental rug that primarily features red tones can be used to especially great effect in such a space, adding to the sense of warmth and 'coziness'.

You may be wondering if an Oriental rug really can be used in the kitchen, as that is not necessarily a place you would expect to find one. In terms of durability why not? Provided they are vacuumed on a regular basis and are treated to a professional Oriental rug cleaning once every couple of years they are just as durable - if not even more so - than any other type of rug. And the visual effect is likely to be stunning.

Oriental Rugs and Shabby Chic Decor 

Another very popular decor style, for almost any room in the home, is the Shabby Chic look. This look depends on the use of gentle pastel colors though, not something many people associate with Oriental rugs. In fact though there are many types of Oriental rugs available that do make great use of softer blues, yellows and even pinks which would suit the overall look of a shabby chic themed room perfectly. An older rug would be an even better choice.

These are just a few examples of just how versatile an Oriental rug can be in terms of decor, there are many more. Why not experiment with some of them in your home?

Why Do Old Carpet Stains Keep Coming Back?

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Why Do Old Carpet Stains Keep Coming Back? )

Your kid spilled their juice all over the living room carpet. Or Fido had an accident because you were a little slow taking him for a walk. But it was OK, you remembered all of the advice you read in the Internet, you acted pretty quickly and mopped that mess right up. At the time your carpet looked nice and clean. But now weeks later that stained spot has reappeared and it looks worse than ever before but here's the "Tips for Dealing with Carpet Stains". What on Earth is going on?

There are two big reasons that old spots and stains may reappear on your carpet. Allow us to explain:

The Spill Made it to the Backing 

Even if only a few minutes elapsed between an accidental spill or pet accident occurred and you swung into action to clean it up that is still time for some of the liquid to seep down into your carpet and make its way to backing. As many people know, carpets do tend to be great at absorbing things, something that can be helpful when it comes to pollutants in the air that can be vacuumed up later but not so much when a liquid spill occurs.

If the spilled liquid did make it to the carpet backing as it dries it will often migrate back towards the surface of the carpet, seeming to reappear 'like magic' weeks later.

Residue Returns 

The other big reason that pesky - and rather ugly - carpet spots and stains may reappear after you thought you had dealt with them often has to do with the way you went about cleaning them up in the first place. Even if you followed the standard - and very sage - advice to treat the spill with simple soapy water if you did not rinse the area properly then some sticky residue may remain. Over time it will attract dust and dirt (even if you vacuum regularly) and it will then look like the stain has returned.

Out Damn Spot

So just how do you get rid of these annoying spots and stains for good? Many people turn to a stain remover product from the grocery store, but at this point these are rarely effective and can make matters even worse. The only real solution is to call in the professionals; a carpet cleaning company in Rhode Island that can deep clean the carpet without the use of harsh chemicals and help return it to its former glory.

Is Your Carpet Really Clean?

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Is Your Carpet Really Clean?)

This blog will show you on how to get or keep your carpets clean.  If you have carpet in your home you know that daily vacuuming is not always going to be enough and there will come a time when you have to break down and have it cleaned in some way, whether you do it yourself or you call in a company specializing in carpet cleaning in Rhode Island to do the job for you. The hard part can be deciding when that should happen, and being quite honest, that may depend on just what a clean carpet is in your eyes.

The Dirt You Can't See 

If you have a darker carpet in your home, and you do vacuum on a regular basis then months and months may go by and on the face of it your carpet may not even look dirty at all. But is it really clean just because you can’t see the dirt very well? Chances are that that is not the case. Regular vacuuming helps a lot but even the best vacuum in the world can't get it all.

Carpets and Aromas 

A clean carpet should also be a fresh smelling carpet. Noticing when that stops being the case can be hard though, because you simply become used to the smell in your home. Often it is not until a visitor arrives and you notice that they wrinkle up their nose a little upon entering the room (they will rarely comment on a smell though, people are, on the whole, too polite to do that) that a homeowner realizes that their carpet may not be that clean after all.

The Allergen Factor 

A clean carpet is also one that is as sanitary as possible. A carpet can often act as a sort of natural filter, pulling all kinds of allergens and germs from the air you breathe down into their fibers. From a fresh air point of view this is one of the benefits of having a carpet in the first place. However, all that nasty stuff has to go somewhere and that somewhere is usually deep in the carpet where you can't see it. Vacuuming will pull a lot of it back out but not all of it.

Timing Carpet Cleaning Right 

When you buy a new carpet you will probably be advised that it should be cleaned every 12 months or so, and I would recommend the carpet cleaning Barrington RI , and in many households that schedule is fine. However, if you have small children and/or pets - who usually spend lots of their time on the carpet - or you smoke you may want to consider doing it a little more frequently, especially if you want to make sure that you have a carpet that really is clean instead of one that just looks fairly clean.

Oriental Rug Types Explained

photo credit: thinkstockphotos - Oriental Rug Types Explained - Ideal Cleaning Tips

The term Oriental rug is actually a very broad one, covering a number of different types of rug that originate from many different places. Once you begin seriously shopping for one you will usually find that you are suddenly faced with lots of different names for what could essentially be called an Oriental rug and it can be very helpful if you actually understand what they mean.

Listing the names and types of every Oriental rug available here would be almost impossible, as there are so many. However, we can highlight some of the most popular 'sub-types' that exist within the world of Oriental rugs:

Chobi Ziegler

“Ziegler” rugs date all the way back to Iran, where production on this intricately hand knotted pieces began in the mid-1800s. The name came from the fact that the rugs were a part of a large, ongoing order placed with the Iranian rug makers by a German company, Ziegler and Co.

The name initially only applied to rugs that were specifically produced for that company but as time passed it came to cover all rugs made in a similar style. What is that style? Usually very intricately patterned and rendered in neutral, almost muted colors they have a medium knot count and are woven from the highest quality wool.


The Ikat design is perhaps one of the oldest known patterns in the world. In addition to being featured on rugs it also appears on all kinds of furniture and even on clothing. The Ikat pattern is one that is almost abstract in nature and almost always very bold and colorful, featuring vibrant shades of blue, green and ochre. Although the term itself is a Malayan word meaning 'to bind or wind around', rug historians are not sure where the use of the Ikat pattern in rugs originally began, as it has been observed on pieces originating from ancient Japan, Peru, Guatemala and in parts of India.


The Bokhara region is located in Uzbekistan and has been an area famed for the quality of its rug production for centuries. The design of these rugs is very detailed, featuring perfectly symmetrical patterns that include prominent oval motifs. A deep rich red is usually a large part of such rugs color palette, although blues and browns are commonly seen as well.

The production of these rugs was once limited to the Bokhara region only, but they are now crafted all over the world, meaning that you may encounter such terms as “Indian Bokhara” or “Afghani Bokhara” as you shop as well as “traditional Bokhara” to refer to rugs actually made in  Uzbekistan.

Persian rugs

Some of the most sought after Oriental rugs in the world, these rugs derive their name from the region from which they originated as well. Persia is the old name for Iran and although few people use it to refer to the country any longer it is still used to describe the rugs.

Persian rugs come in many different styles, patterns and colors but the fact that the craftsmanship is so good and the wool used is of such a high quality even new Persian rugs can still command some of the highest prices in the Oriental rug world.


A Kilim rug derives its name from the knot style used to create it. Kilims are typically lighter, flatter and somewhat rougher in texture than other Oriental rug types and indeed the term itself, derived from the Persian “gelim,” roughly translates as 'spread roughly'. Such rugs are still usually made from wool though and are known for their vibrant colors.

As is the case for Bokhara rugs Kilims are now crafted all over the world and so when shopping for one you are likely to find the name of their country of origin tacked on to the description as well.

Overdyed and Patchwork Rugs

These Oriental rug types are modern 'designer' inventions designed to breathe new life into older Oriental rugs that have seen better days. Overdyed rugs are aptly named as faded colors are literally covered up with new, bright dyes, sometimes in some less usual shades. Patchwork rugs are almost exactly what they sound like as well, with rugmakers taking pieces of old, damaged Oriental rugs and re weaving them together to form something completely new and rather cool and abstract.

As different as they all actually are all of these Oriental rug types have one thing in common; they will only remain beautiful if they are given the proper basic care, including a relatively regular professional cleaning performed by an Oriental rug cleaning in Rhode Island.  Do that and they will remain as beautiful years from now as they are today.

Buying an Oriental Rug Like a Rug Dealer

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Buying an Oriental Rug Like a Rug Dealer)

In the market for an Oriental rug to enhance your home decor? Then when it comes to the actual shopping you certainly have a lot of choices. Offline rug stores and online rug dealers are everywhere. However, if you are looking for a bargain, something a little out of the ordinary or an Oriental rug that is a little bit of both then you may be best served avoiding the obvious retail outlets and taking a few lessons from professional Oriental rug traders.

The Road to a Rug Less Travelled 

The vast majority of people who make a living as Oriental rug dealers or traders do usually buy about 80% of their stock directly from a manufacturer. The rest however, especially for a smaller, specialist trader tend to come from some very different, less expected sources and it is by following their lead in this respect that you may be able to score yourself a real gem at a bargain price.

So where should you shop. Experienced Oriental rug dealers head to, or browse through,  all of the following places when they have time:

Flea markets (especially the smaller, noncommercial ones)
Antique stores
Second hand stores
Consignment furniture stores
Local newspaper ads
Classified advertising websites like Craigslist and Backpage
Local Hospice thrift shops (which often carry stock from estate sales)

How Will I Know What I am Getting? 

The simple fact is that if you make use of the alternative avenues mentioned above the chances that the people offering to sell you a certain Oriental rug actually know very much about it all are slim (which in some ways can be a big boon for a buyer.) That means that you will having to be willing to undertake your own research if you want to learn more about the rug other than you really like the way it looks.

Fortunately there are a lot of resources out there that can help you discover more about your rug (including a number of them here on this blog.) Even something as simple as snapping a picture of your rug and then running it through a google image search can reveal quite a lot of information in some cases. If you are expecting to find a million dollar rug for $10 though prepare to be disappointed as things like that happen very rarely. If on the other hand you just want an Oriental rug you'll love and that suits your tastes and your home you are likely to be very happy.

Taking Your Find Home 

Before you permanently 'install' your new Oriental rug in its new home one of the best things you can do is contact a company offering Oriental rug cleaning in Rhode Island and arrange for your new find to have a refreshing 'bath'. As you are likely to know very little about when, or even if, the rug has last been cleaned doing so will make sure it is in the best possible condition when you lay in down in its new spot.

Key Maintenance for Your Ceramic Tile Shower Enclosure and Bathroom Floor

Ceramic tile showers are truly beautiful to behold and certainly add a huge decor boost to any bathroom they are installed in. They are usually a somewhat safer option as well, as the ceramic tiled shower floor is far less slippery than a porcelain bathtub. In actual fact there really only is a single common complaint that homeowners with such a shower installed in their home have to make; that keeping the grout in their ceramic tile shower clean, especially in the floor area.

That does not have to be the case though. Maintaining a sparkling clean ceramic tile shower - and gleaming grout to go along with it - is perfectly possible. It calls for a little effort, but not too much, and the beautiful shower you will be left with will be well worth it.

Getting Great Grout 

To maintain great, clean grout you have to start off with it. Grout is tricky stuff, its porous; in many cases it is light colored and in the case of the floor of a ceramic tile shower - and the ceramic tile floor that usually surrounds it - sees plenty of (dirty) foot traffic. Having the grout professionally cleaned, and then expertly sealed, can go a long way towards helping maintain its look in the long run. In addition, neither grout nor the tiles it holds together can ever be said to be completely waterproof and if the grout is not properly sealed it will hang on to a small amount of moisture every time the shower is used, something that is likely to eventually lead to a nasty case of mold.

When choosing a tile care company in Rhode Island to come in and clean and seal your grout experience is the key. As durable as it is, ceramic tile cracks and chips more easily than you might imagine and so should be handled with care.

Maintaining a Great Looking Ceramic Tile Shower (and Bathroom Floor) 

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Key Maintenance for Your Ceramic Tile Shower Enclosure and Bathroom Floor)

The real trick to a maintaining a clean shower is not a certain cleaning product, or special solution. Instead the very best thing you can do is make sure that the decor tile floor and walls of the shower, as well as the ceramic floor surrounding it, is completely dried off every time after every use. In order to do this easily you can make use of a simple window cleaning squeegee to pull moisture off the walls onto the floor and then use a 'shower towel' to wipe it dry.

There are a couple of things that will happen if a homeowner will often find happens if they do not take the time to have their grout properly sealed and then follow the drying procedure every day. The first is that the grout will become very grimy and even a few hours with a toothbrush probably won't get it clean. The second is that the chances that mold and mildew will develop are increased. And finally, the minerals in your water, especially if you live in a hard water area, may pit the glaze on the surface of the ceramic tiles, weakening them and detracting from their beauty. And that is the last thing that anyone wants isn't it?

Overdyed Oriental Rugs are Trendy This Fall - But What are They?

photo credit: thinkstockphotos (Overdyed Oriental Rugs are Trendy This Fall - But What are They?)

If you flip through some of the more recent issues of hose glossy home decor magazines - or check their websites - you will find that one of the often mentioned 'hot trends' for Fall and Winter 2014 is something called an overdyed Oriental rug. Great! Oriental rugs are back in vogue with the trendy design set (not that they ever really go out of style) but what you might be wondering is what is an overdyed Oriental rug anyway?

Overdyed Rugs 101 

Overdying is a way to repurpose and/or recycle Oriental rugs that might have seen better days. Oriental rugs are tough and durable and can last for decades, but only if you take care of them properly. If that is not the case, if they are allowed to be exposed to too much direct sunlight, or if they are rarely (if ever) treated to a visit to a company offering Oriental rug cleaning in RI, then they may very well become rather sad, dull and not quite fit to display.

Overdying a rug like this can give it a new lease on life as well as a new look, you essentially you would be getting a 'new rug' for a fraction of the cost of an Oriental rug that really is new.

How Is An Oriental Rug Overdyed?

Overdying should only be performed on an Oriental rug that you are sure is 100% wool and it is NOT a DIY job. Overdying does not just involve new dyed but also the use of a delicate balance of chemicals, which, if applied incorrectly will ruin the rug beyond all repair.

When the overdying process begins a rug is bleached to remove much of the existing   pigment. Soda ash is often used to do this so damage is not done to the rug's fibers.

With that part of the process completed, a special acid wash dye is utilizes in order to change the colors in the rug. This can be applied so that the whole rug is dyed or, as is often the case with lighter colored rug, only the 'background' is treated. Once the dying is complete the rug is washed to help set the color in the same way it would have been when it was first created.

Because these are rugs that are very fashionable right now some Oriental rug dealers are actively seeking out older rugs to overdye and resell. But if you do decide to pursue this type of rug you should know that after the dying process is complete you will need to resolve to treat the rug with more care this time so that this 'new ' rug does not become damaged again and here's the Care Tips for Silk Oriental Rugs.

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