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Interior DesignWe spend of good part of our lives collecting – antique china, crystal figurines, sports memorabilia, old pottery, Christmas ornaments – the list is varied and unique to each individuals’ taste.  Sometimes vacations and excursions are primarily focused on adding to our collections.  When we get home and review our collectibles, we think, “Now what am I going to do with this?”.  Read the entire article HERE. Bryan Pule Interiors. 303-399-8866.

Turn on any television lately, and there are a myriad of programs to inspire homeowners. Whether the program is a total home makeover, a celebrity kitchen makeover or an educational program that objectively weighs the pros and cons of surface materials, one product has received more air time than any other—Silestone by Cosentino.
Made from quartz, Silestone has obtained rock star status for good reason, having been featured on over two dozen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, five recent HGTV Dream Homes, highlighted on the Discovery Channel, selected for the Dream Kitchen Makeover by Rachel Ray and most recently featured on Good Morning America.

This award-winning countertop has garnered the attention of celebrities and design professionals alike, for its durability, beauty and affordability. For HGTV, Silestone, was a proud sponsor of the 2010 Dream Home Giveaway in New Mexico. There they collaborated with the HGTV house planners and designers to incorporate Silestone throughout different areas of the home. This year’s HGTV Dream Home featured stunning handpicked Silestone products for the kitchen countertops, master bath vanities and walls; as well as Eco by Cosentino recycled surfaces for the secondary bathrooms.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

For more information, call Stone System of North Carolina at 704-238-1659 or visit them on line at or Silestone quartz is available nationally in over 65 colors and offers a 15-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

1. The Bangle is a spherical fixture made of smaller hand-crafted iron circles. Featuring either a modern bronze finish with cream ice diffuser or silver leaf finish
with antique mist diffuser, this fixture is available as a four-, three- and one-light pendant. Also shown is the companion Kyoto fixture, featuring handmade Japanese
2. If you are looking for a beautiful alternative to wood flooring, walls or countertops, consider Wood Expressions. An ideal solution for everything from
outdoor decks to kitchen floors. Available in a variety of sizes for design versatility. It’s virtually maintenance-free with a lifetime of beauty. Crossville Tile and Stone. 704-927-8453.

3. The Modern Square cabinet knob mixes the classic concave face common to Mid-Century Modern hardware with a modified square outline. What you get
out of the equation is a unique retro design for your cabinet doors and drawers. Available in bronze, brushed chrome and polished chrome.  Rejuvenation. 888-401-1900.
4. Free-standing bathtubs are all the rage, they present a dilemma–how do you get water into the tub? GRAFF has introduced seven floor-mounted tub filters that
solve this problem. Shown here is the Immersion. The floor-mounted exposed tub filter with hand shower, has a spout height between 31 1/2”- 34 5/8”. HD Kitchen and Bath. Huntersville: 704-892-6466, Charlotte: 704-845-5970.
5. Wolf dual-fuel ranges offer a wide variety of top configurations and standard dual-stacked sealed surface burners. The optional infrared char broiler, infrared
griddle and French top allow you to customize your range. The large oven features the Wolf exclusive dual convection system.
Queen City TV and Appliances. 704-391-6000.

6. The Eileen fixture series is part of the casual transitions. Kichlers Casual Transtions styles unite traditional and contemporary, equating to a classic,
timeless design. Unique Lighting Showplace. 704-553-1341.

7. Inspired by nature and winner of Interior Design Magazine’s Best of the Year award, Ziva is a sculptural,
three-dimensional stone tile designed with an undulating pattern. Each tile is hand carved and uses
a combination of a polished and a honed finish. Ziva is available for indoor use.
InStyle Charlotte. 704-665-8880.
8. This 12×18 Solid bronze mural is created using the highest quality materials, each piece is made by skilled
artisans. Available in bronze, bluminum, and pewter. There are hundreds of designs to choose from, giving
you a chance to add your personal touch and sense ‘of style to your home.
Tile Collection, Inc. 704-541-8453.

1. For a dramatic statement in any room, the Sausalito Collection is a powerful and elegant addition. The hand-worked wrought iron construction and linen shade give the collection an Old-World feel with contemporary updating. Finished in deep bronze or silver gold, the fixtures are available in chandeliers, sconces
and pendants.

2. Sleep like royalty in the new Harlow queensized platform bed from renowned designer Michael Weiss. Featuring a sculpted headboard, leather upholstery and brass nail heads. Available in dozens of different wood finishes. Vanguard
Furniture. The Furniture Connector. 704-507-9023.

3. Add a little bling to your home with thisbeautiful floor lamp. A vibrant sparkler with a three-diamond stem and kaleidoscope base, it features antiqued mirrors and recyclable tin. This floor lamp is a sophisticated lighting solution for even the most casual of rooms. Lucy and Company. 704-342-6655.

4. Inspired by the shapes of birds’ nests, the  sleek and lightweight Rin chair by Hiromichi Konno is an ideal complement to a desk or dining table. Made of molded plastic with a powder-coated aluminum frame, it measures 30.3”h. x 22.4” w. x 21.6” d., comes in six colors. Republic of Fritz Hansen. 212-219-3226.

5. Robert Allen’s Hollywood collection features rich, shimmering fabrics mixed with tailored patterns to evoke memories of old Hollywood grandeur while maintaining modern sensibility for a versatile selection of designs. Robert Allen
Fabrics. Front Door Fabrics. 704-844-6330.

6. Fresh and futuristic, these mid century fixtures are handcrafted from aluminum. They are an elegant update for period and modern homes. Rejuvenation. 888-401-1900.

7. Serve up some style with Jonathan Adler’s new Porcelain Dinnerware. Greek Key – a modern twist on classic China, platinum details and bold graphic patterns make any occasion special. Platinum Stripe – with clean stripes and platinum details, this China is an heirloom in the making.

8. The exuberance, glamour and lush coloring of Lelievre’s latest collection frames Stark’s newest carpet: the elegant Samora. This hand-loomed wool carpet is  available in four colors but can be created in a custom color if desired. Stark Carpet. 704-588-8842.

SECAUCUS, N.J. (December 3, 2010) –Artistic Tile’s Ziva Collection has won Interior     Design magazine’s 2010 Best of Year Award.  The winners of the Fifth Annual BOY Awards  were announced on December 2nd at the renowned IAC Building in New York.  Thousands of members of the design community voted on and the final winners were selected by a panel of esteemed members of the design community including  Interior Design magazine’s Editor in Chief Cindy Allen.

Hand carved by master craftsmen in India, the Ziva Collection is inspired by nature and brought to life in stone. Each piece is individually crafted by stone carvers who can spend up to one full day on a single piece.

“Ziva is a dramatic statement, but in a very classic way,” says Nancy Epstein, CEO and Founder of Artistic Tile who designed the distinct look of Ziva and traveled to India to work with artisans on its creation. “Ziva’s unique finishing technique and excellent craftsmanship puts it just a few steps ahead.”

The collection has two patterns—Lotus and Leaves—and each are available in two colorways. Leaves is available in white Thassos marble as well as Lake Blue. Lotus is available in Gris and Bianco Carrara. The new collection is offered in any of Artistic Tile’s eight showrooms or through their authorized dealers around the county. For more information or to find a showroom near you, please visit

Artistic Tile is one of the largest wholesale distributors of luxury tile and stone in the country, and offers unique products to architects, designers and homeowners available for immediate delivery.  The company is a family-run business headquartered in Secaucus, NJ.  Artistic Tile brand products are distributed through Artistic Tile showrooms, as well as through a network of more than 150 dealers across the United States. For more information about Artistic Tile, visit The Artistic Tile line is available locally at InStyle Tile at Call them at 704-665-8880 with any inferences.

Here are some elegant and thoughtful holiday decorating ideas, from Serena and Lily, on how to comfortably prepare your home for guests, this holiday season!

5 Festive Ways to Create a Comfortable Guest Room with Serena and Lily products:

1. “Pimento Sheets”- Start getting your guests in the holiday mood with festive and colorful sheets.

2. “Kuta Tin Boxes”- Offer you guests a gorgeous place to store their cherished belongings.

3. “Throw Pillows”- To promote a relaxing atmosphere, make sure everyone has a soft pillow to cuddle.

4. “Lucky Stools”- Creatively accommodate your guests luggage with seasonal sophistication.

5. “Chunky Throws”- Make sure your guests are warm and cozy with large, soft blankets.

For more information about these trends and products please visit

1. Thou shalt embrace maximalism.
Thou wilt find minimalism to be something of a bummer in thy abode. Thou wilt grow tired of an endless sea of beige and thou wilt long for a splash of color & a dollop of pattern! Bargello pillows, Furnace bottles, and rustic modern lamps – these shalt be the accessories that add some panache to your pad.

2. Thou shalt not deny thyself hotelish comfort at home.
Thou shalt furnish thy rooms with paw-pampering, hand-loomed llama wool rugs, luxurious lighting and our fabulous furniture.
Thy rooms shalt feel like the most opulent hotel rooms in which thou hast ever stayed.
Thou art worth it.

3. Thou shalt buy an X-Bench.
Then, thou shalt buy another. Thou shalt use them in pairs, perfect under thy console or placed near thy sofa. Thou shalt rest thy feet upon them & so will thy guests. In fact, thy guests might even fight over who gets to rest upon them. Therefore, thou shalt establish house rules about thy X-Benches. Perhaps thou should consider a sign up sheet.

4. If thy nest needeth zest, consider thy crest!
Thou shalt emblazon with thine initials wherever possible.

5. Thou shalt mix fancy with frisky.
Thou shalt not be overly formal, for if thou art, thou will be sad. Conversely, thou shalt not be overly whimsical, for if thou art thou will not feel chic. Therefore, thou shalt embrace a mix, pairing the chic classical foundation – excellent proportions, classic furniture – with a layer of playful punctuation. Then thou shalt rest.

6. Thou shalt honor the funsters of yore.
David Hicks, Alexander Girard, Piero Fornasetti, Bonnie Cashin, Bjorn Wiinblad – if thou dost not knoweth them, thou should. Thou can use Google Images to learn more about them and thou shalt channel their fun, idiosyncratic, playful spirit in thine own interiors. Thy home will be fun, happy, and chic.

7. Thou shalt not commit murder,
…unless thou art murdering for a decorative accessory.
If thou should find thyself at one of our stores and seeth the last bird bowl on our shelf, thou shalt feel free to use whatever means necessary to obtain that special something.

8. Thou shalt not be afraid of orange.
Thou shalt use orange copiously in thy interior, whether it beeth in an orange breakfast room or via the zing of an orange lacquered box. Thou might even consider painting thy front door orange to pique thy neighbor’s curiosity. Thou shalt also covet chocolate brown.

9. Thou shalt play ping pong.
Better still, thou shalt have a ping pong table in thy living room. Then, lo, thou shalt play ping pong with thy spouse rather than sitting around watching thy tv.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
In fact, after following these 10 commandments, thy neighbor might covet thy house. So there.

For more information about current decorating trends and tips please visit our website at

kreecherCHARLOTTE, NC — The Furniture Connector, the city’s premiere sourcefor designer market samples and close-outs, is pleased to announce a partnership with Levine Children’s Hospital on a holiday incentive that is sure to bring out the kid in everyone, and a share joy with pediatric patients at the same time.

Now through Saturday, Dec. 11, for each Kreecher ($42) sold in the Southend store, one of the squishy, stuffed pals will be donated to the hospital to give to hospitalized children.

It’s the best kind of two-for-one shopping: someone on your list gets a special gift, and a patient at Levine Children’s Hospital gets a warm hug and message of love in a colorful package.

So what exactly is a Kreecher? Manufactured by industry pioneer Manhattan Toy, Kreechers are as adorable as they are varied in texture, color and shape.

levineThe story goes that what started as a mad science project of cross-pollinating baby blankets, old sweaters and abandoned teddy bears has become a line of characters that are as adorable as they are unique.

Each Kreecher has a name and a back story. For example, there’s Eugene (above), who’s described as “a holiday sweater experience that went south in a hurry.” The bright colors, soft textures and non-traditional design make Kreechers appealing to children and adults and everyone in between.

“Everybody needs a little something to love on,” said Rodney Hines, owner of The Furniture Connector, and Kreechers certainly fit the bill.

The Furniture Connector
2905 Griffith St.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday
1-5 p.m. Sunday

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Please visit our website at

With a return of family togetherness, smaller living spaces have U.S. families adjusting to new household realities.

Things are getting tight in the American household, and it’s not just the recession squeeze.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2000 and 2007, the number of parents living in an adult child’s household increased by 67 percent. At the same time, a recent Pew Research Center report (Nov. 2009), shows that one in 10 young adults ages 18 to 35 say the poor economy has forced them to move back in with their parents. Add to that the fact that for the first time in nearly 15 years, the size of new homes in the U.S. is shrinking, (down 7 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau), and it’s clear that the American household may be getting a little too cozy for comfort.

Whatever the cause of these new phenomena—whether it can be blamed on job loss or the more positive signs of Americans’ desires to build closer family bonds during increasingly insecure times—forward-thinking designers, architects and builders are being called upon to consider “proximity with privacy” solutions that will take some of the pressure off crowded households.

The need to relieve tension and stress and promote independence and interaction, yet also provide the much-needed personal space within multigenerational homes, has become a necessity for sandwiched families.

Many experts agree that separate living quarters, which may include a second master suite and even a second kitchen or cottage, are the best solutions for third- and fourth-generations living together. However, with major conversions being out of reach for many financially strapped homeowners, experts such as JELD-WEN, a leading manufacturer of windows and doors, are offering simple solutions designed to work with the many different needs that an extended family may have.

Peace and quiet
There’s no doubt about it: the more people crowded into close quarters, the more noise increases exponentially.

“Most people don’t pay attention to interior sound control,” said John Downs, JELD-WEN
product marketing manager. “However, they may subconsciously experience general discomfort or uneasiness in an area of their home and not realize the impact doors can have to improve this issue. Unfortunately, that means many people are still living with thin, hollow core interior doors that do next to nothing when it comes to blocking sound. Yet switching out interior doors is one of the most cost-effective changes you can make to increase living comfort.”

For a few hundred dollars, replacing interior doors with the latest sound-reducing technology can drastically help control noise.

JELD-WEN’s ProCore® The Quiet Door® is up to 50 percent quieter compared to a hollow core door, effectively blocking out many common household sounds. It also delivers the heft of an all-wood door and is available in a wide variety of stylish designs.

Other lower-cost tips for instilling peace and quiet in the home include testing the sound emission of appliances and household items such as vacuums before purchasing them. Many sound-reducing models cost no more than other new versions, yet won’t significantly contribute to household noise.

Experts also say that at least 25 percent of noisy rooms should have sound-absorbing materials like carpet or wall coverings to prevent loud footsteps from carrying throughout the home. Finally, consider designating a “quiet zone,” such as a spa-like bathroom retreat or a reading nook in the farthest corner of the home, that is free from noisy electronics and the hustle and bustle of family activity.

An increase in household energy
A household full of family members undoubtedly raises the energy level. More people typically means a bigger energy load, as the home is working 24/7 to try to keep up with different schedules and individual demands. That means more household electronics, laundry loads, and heating and cooling needs. This can be an unexpected financial drain on families who may be working hard to conserve limited resources.

One of the best ways to offset the increase in energy demands is to incorporate more energy-saving features that will also increase the home’s comfort level. Highly energy efficient, affordable JELD-WEN® Vinyl windows that are ENERGY STAR® qualified can help reduce utility bills over the long run, saving money month after month. Under the government’s new economic stimulus plan, families can also take advantage of federal tax credits of up to $1,500 for qualified energy efficiency improvements related to items including windows and doors. JELD-WEN has made it easy to determine the specific requirements and which products qualify for the tax credits by visiting

The federal requirements stipulate that qualified products must be installed between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010.
Different needs, universal solutions
As children boomerang back home after college and elderly parents move in with their children, home designs and operations need to function well for both the young and the old.

Safety, including easy-to-operate and secure window and door locks, as well as wider doorways to accommodate increased traffic flow and potential mobility issues, are important considerations. Making sure family members check to ensure fire alarms and fire extinguishers are operable, develop an emergency evacuation plan and create a centralized place for updated emergency numbers are key priorities.

Above all, most experts agree that multigenerational living can be a joyful, rich experience—it simply requires some planning and a shift in what has been the “typical” American lifestyle.

“Americans have gotten so accustomed to bigger houses and bigger spaces, this may be a bit of an adjustment,” said Danny Lipford, home improvement expert and host of Today’s Homeowner television show. “The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do within an existing home to make it more comfortable and accommodating, no matter who ends up coming back home.”

If you have window and doors needs for a multi-generational household, visit The Design Center, a completely new retail concept in the Ballantyne Area outside of Charlotte offering JELD-WEN windows, doors, garage doors as well as professional installation services all in one showroom.
The Design Center is located at 9484 Old Bailes Road, Fort Mill, SC, 29707. The phone number is 800-276-0411.  For further information please visit our website at

When it comes to home improvement, there’s no doubt homeowners will be pickier with their pocketbooks in 2010 and 2011.

In fact, according to leading sources such as Meredith Publishing, homeowners with limited discretionary funds are weighing their priorities this year, picking and choosing among home improvement projects that will make the cut.

But not all home improvements are created equal when it comes to the best investment choices. Take windows and doors. With hundreds of styles, options and performance combinations, the decisions can be daunting. With that in mind, JELD-WEN, one of the largest manufacturers of windows and doors, offers “insider tips” on where homeowners should look to save, and what features might be worth the extra splurge.

Where to Save

Materials make a difference. When it comes to windows and doors, experts say materials do make a difference. In general, for windows, vinyl will typically cost less compared to wood. Although if you need to replace old wood windows, JELD-WEN offers replacement wood window sash kits that can be installed in existing wood frames and can be very cost-effective.

Good taste can come standard. Custom trim, style and hardware options will typically cost more. It’s always worth asking first whether there might be a standard design option in an alternative material so a particular look can be achieved without sacrificing style. For example, JELD-WEN offers more than 100 panel designs as part of its interior door line, many that mimic classic and traditional solid wood styles, but cost far less. The company’s standard line of  hardware options also gives homeowners variety when it comes to finishes, colors and designs, without having to pay more.

Maintenance requirements can be the “X” factor. Save by looking for pre-primed, prefinished options that can help reduce costs over the long run and protect the initial investment. Choices such as vinyl windows or fiberglass doors mean minimal maintenance requirements year after year.

Efficiency is in the bank. For long-term savings, insist on windows and doors that come standard with energy efficient, Low-E glass. JELD-WEN offers highly efficient models that don’t cost extra, and energy saving models that qualify for tax credits. The U.S. Department of Energy says that homeowners can save an average of $125 to $450 a year on energy costs by replacing worn-out windows with more efficient models.

Where to Splurge

Don’t scrimp on style. Homeowners don’t have to pay big bucks to achieve a great look, but experts agree that if you don’t love the style or if it doesn’t fit with the character or architectural design of the house, it’s not worth the investment, no matter what the price.

“Windows and doors make a huge difference in terms of the overall look of a home—considering there is at least one of each in every single room of the home,” said John Downs, JELD-WEN product marketing manager. “As a homeowner, these are product categories where you can’t afford to have something that detracts from the overall style of the home or your taste in décor. Today there are so many choices that can reflect personal style and theme. Doors and windows give homeowners a major opportunity to get creative and make a décor impact throughout their home, often at a fraction of the cost of other home improvement projects that focus only on certain areas.”

Go for major impact. Don’t sacrifice on main focal points. Homeowners with limited budgets may want to put the majority of their dollars into areas that are going to make the biggest impact such as the entry door, garage doors and the rooms they spend the most time in. And don’t forget about resale value: respondents in a JELD-WEN nationwide survey of real estate agents estimated that a typical 2,500-square-foot home with updated entry and garage doors is worth, on average, an additional $16,000.

Consider performance features as well. For example, spending a few extra dollars on a
JELD-WEN ProCore® The Quiet Door® interior door to reduce sound between the laundry room and the rest of the house may be worth the peace and quiet.

“It’s increasingly common to see homeowners splurge on a custom wood or fiberglass entry door, for example, and save by putting affordable, energy efficient vinyl windows in the rest of the house,” said Downs. “When it comes to balancing the budget, it’s a matter of prioritizing in a way that’ll deliver the most bang for the buck. For literally a few dollars, more homeowners can impact the décor, design and their own peace of mind throughout the entire home.”

Little extras well worth it. It makes sense to invest wisely in areas that’ll provide a strong payback. Cladding, which is essentially a prefinished metal layer for the exterior of wood windows, provides great weather protection and never needs to be painted. As a result, according to JELD-WEN, nearly 90 percent of homeowners choose the clad wood option, recognizing the long-term value and payoff, even though it costs slightly more than primed wood.

Above all, do your homework. There are literally thousands of choices when it comes to windows and doors. Compare features, benefits, warranties and style flexibility, and choose products that will stand up over time.

“It’s worth spending the effort in order to get the maximum return out of your investment,” said home improvement expert Danny Lipford. “In today’s market especially, that’s essential no matter what your budget or your priorities.”

If you want to save or splurge, energy efficient and stylish windows and doors are currently available through The Design Center, a completely new retail concept in the Ballantyne Area outside of Charlotte offering JELD-WEN windows, doors, garage doors as well as professional installation services all in one showroom.
The Design Center is located at 9484 Old Bailes Road, Fort Mill, SC, 29707. The phone number is 800-276-0411.  For further information please visit our website at

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