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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

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Other Flooring Options

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For my September column, I researched flooring samples that would achieve a similar look to my new floor finish.

1 For my September column, I researched flooring samples that would achieve a similar look to my new floor finish.

I arranged them on a counter in the office and labeled them with some sticky notes.

2 I arranged them on a counter in the office and labeled them with some sticky notes.

I used two sample planks of my floor finish to compare and find the closest options.

3 I used two sample planks of my floor finish to compare and find the closest options.

Then ordered them into hardwoods, engineered woods...

4 Then ordered them into hardwoods, engineered woods...

and laminates.

5 and laminates.

For hardwoods, I loved these samples (top to bottom) of European White Oak, Tudor Nostalgic with wax finish from Bois Chamois (boischamois.com), Ethereal Walnut, Chinchilla and Fables Walnut, Natural and White from T. Morton & Co. (tmorton.com) and Sterling Strip Winter White Oak from Bruce Hardwood (bruce.com)

6 For hardwoods, I loved these samples (top to bottom) of European White Oak, Tudor Nostalgic with wax finish from Bois Chamois (boischamois.com), Ethereal Walnut, Chinchilla and Fables Walnut, Natural and White from T. Morton & Co. (tmorton.com) and Sterling Strip Winter White Oak from Bruce Hardwood (bruce.com)

In engineered woods, (top to bottom) Winswept Gray Maple from Armstrong (armstrong.com), Artic Oak from Kährs (kahrs.com) and European White Oak prefinished with UV oil in White from Bois Chamois (boischamois) were my top pics.

7 In engineered woods, (top to bottom) Winswept Gray Maple from Armstrong (armstrong.com), Artic Oak from Kährs (kahrs.com) and European White Oak prefinished with UV oil in White from Bois Chamois (boischamois) were my top pics.

There were also great laminate options too.  (Top to bottom) Whitewashed Pine from Pergo (pergo.com), Premium Lustre Blizzard Pine Commercial Laminate from Armstrong (armstrong.com) and Driftwood Pine also from Pergo.

8 There were also great laminate options too. (Top to bottom) Whitewashed Pine from Pergo (pergo.com), Premium Lustre Blizzard Pine Commercial Laminate from Armstrong (armstrong.com) and Driftwood Pine also from Pergo.

I have been getting a great response to my new floor color. When I first conceived the idea of lighting the Wenge floors, many people thought I was crazy to do it, but after visiting the apartment and seeing the results, they all love the look. I know my situation is unique and not everyone has Wenge flooring but there are great options available to achieve a similar look. For those of you considering installing new flooring, here are some of the best options in hardwood, engineered wood and laminate.  I would love to see images of your own flooring transformations.

Q&A with Kevin

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Pillows are a great accent to any space - indoors or out.  They can really make any house feel like a home.

1 Pillows are a great accent to any space - indoors or out. They can really make any house feel like a home.

Plants and flowers inject life into one's home.

2 Plants and flowers inject life into one's home.

Brionvega is the name behind one of the most famous radio and Television manufacturers.  Play your local radio stations while you unpack your new house!  Check out their website: www.brionvega.it

3 Brionvega is the name behind one of the most famous radio and Television manufacturers. Play your local radio stations while you unpack your new house! Check out their website: www.brionvega.it

Pets are great company in a new home.

4 Pets are great company in a new home.

The color of your walls and window frames are up to you - you can stick with the same color, or use two different ones - but one rule always holds true: walls get matte paint, while frames and molding get gloss.

5 The color of your walls and window frames are up to you - you can stick with the same color, or use two different ones - but one rule always holds true: walls get matte paint, while frames and molding get gloss.

Last Monday's Q&A post was so much fun to write, I decided to give it another go! I appreciate all of your comments and am fascinated by the wondeful questions I have received thus far. Please keep them coming. If I didn't get to yours today, stay tuned - I'm going to make Monday's my regular Q&A day. Enjoy! - Kevin

Q: I moved to a new state and home 18 months ago and I don't feel comfortable in my new home yet. What can I do to feel at home like I did in my old house? Can you give me some tips on feeling comfortable in my new home? - Michelle

A: Good morning, Michelle. Settling into a new home can be as challenging as the move itself.  Aside from unpacking and introducing yourself to your new neighbors, I would suggest putting some plants and flowers around the house, or a small garden outside if you have the space. Invest in some pillows for the living room, bedroom, or any other room that could use some softening, and use them to accent your space and make it feel more homey. Carpeting can have the same effect - turning a room from an empty vessel to a soft, warm space. Playing music throughout your home is also a great way to create ambience. Invest in a dock with speakers for your iPod, or find out what the best local radio stations are and tune in while you unpack! Last but not least, pets are a great accessory to any home. Whether it is a goldfish, cat or dog, it's always nice to have someone, or something, to come home to.  All of these touches are an expression of your individuality - exactly what your home should be. I hope this helps and you settle in soon!

Q: I was thinking of painting my window frames the same as my wall color. I currently have white gloss on the frames - if I repaint, should I do the frames in matte or gloss? -Pru

A: Hi Pru. A general rule to go by is: matte paint for the walls, and a coat or two of gloss paint for molding, door and window frames. While the color may be the same, the finish should always be different.

Q: I am curious to learn more about your ideas of window treatments for your new apartment. It looks like such an enormous amount of glass to deal with - I have a friend with a similar situation and we did sheers as not to block the view. Can you give us some alternate ideas? - Joe

A: Like anything else in one's home, window treatments are a matter of personal choice. From the start, I knew that I wouldn't be putting curtains up. I considered doing sheer panels the same color as the walls, which I'm sure would look excellent, but decided to hold off. Now I'm researching solar and black out shades. As the renovation of my apartment unfolds, I'll be sure to keep you updated on what I decide to go with, as well as provide several alternate options!

Fabric Shopping at the D&D Building

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I love the door pulls on the entrance to the Design and Decorating Building.

1 I love the door pulls on the entrance to the Design and Decorating Building.

Rogers & Goffigon - a study in sophistication.

2 Rogers & Goffigon - a study in sophistication.

R&G's fabrics are milled in Europe.

3 R&G's fabrics are milled in Europe.

They come in a variety of luxurious textures in refined, muted tones.

4 They come in a variety of luxurious textures in refined, muted tones.

Loving these colorways and the brocade pattern.

5 Loving these colorways and the brocade pattern.

Warm hues and cool tones.

6 Warm hues and cool tones.

Considering all of my options.

7 Considering all of my options.

I love a neat desk!  And that bowl of candy...!

8 I love a neat desk! And that bowl of candy...!

Maharam - a New York original.

9 Maharam - a New York original.

Maharam's collection is boundless...

10 Maharam's collection is boundless...

Their style ranges from classic twentieth century designs...

11 Their style ranges from classic twentieth century designs...

...to textiles with more contemporary twists.

12 ...to textiles with more contemporary twists.

I want to just snatch all of them up!

13 I want to just snatch all of them up!

Check out that mod print to my right.

14 Check out that mod print to my right.

Larsen was founded in 1952 by Jack Lenor Larsen, the internationally celebrated textile designer.

15 Larsen was founded in 1952 by Jack Lenor Larsen, the internationally celebrated textile designer.

In the fifty plus years since its inception, Larsens fabrics have become a go-to for designers seeking innovative, sophisticated textiles.

16 In the fifty plus years since its inception, Larsens fabrics have become a go-to for designers seeking innovative, sophisticated textiles.

Such as myself!

17 Such as myself!

They are revered for their weaving techniques - a mix between classic and modern.

18 They are revered for their weaving techniques - a mix between classic and modern.

And their multicultural style, which is inspired by every corner of the world.

19 And their multicultural style, which is inspired by every corner of the world.

Hinson, founded in 1972 by Harry Hinson, is dedicated to timeless classics.

20 Hinson, founded in 1972 by Harry Hinson, is dedicated to timeless classics.

Their textiles are largely inspired by historical patterns and classic forms.

21 Their textiles are largely inspired by historical patterns and classic forms.

You won't find any fads or trends here, only time-honored classics.

22 You won't find any fads or trends here, only time-honored classics.

And superb design that welcomes comfort and good taste.

23 And superb design that welcomes comfort and good taste.

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I know, I know - my floors have just been completed, but when you are renovating your home it is never too early to start thinking about decorating. Hence my recent trip to the Design & Decoration Building in Manhattan - or D&D as the insiders call it!  With over 120 showrooms and 3,000 manufacturers, it is an emporium of resources for designers and tradespeople like myself. I could easily spend an entire afternoon there, as I very nearly did! To streamline the visit, I decided to focus on 4 showrooms only.

First up: Rogers and Goffigon.  Their fabrics are milled in Europe and come in a variety of luxurious textures in refined, muted tones. Curran Online is a great online distributor - check out their selection of Rogers & Goffigon here.

Next, I stopped by Maharam's showroom.  I forgot how boundless their collection always seems - ranging from classic twentieth century designs to textiles with more contemporary  twists.

A trip to the D&D wouldn't be complete without checking out Larsen's fabrics.  Larsen was founded in 1952 by Jack Lenor Larsen, the internationally celebrated textile designer. In the fifty-plus years since it's inception, Larsen's fabrics have become a go-to for designers seeking innovative, sophisticated textiles that celebrate both classic and modern weaving techniques, and a multitude of style inspired by every corner of the world.  Their website, www.larsenfabrics.com, has lovely photos of their current and past collections.

Last but not least was Hinson.  Harry Hinson's company, founded in 1972, is dedicated to timeless classics, inspired by historical patterns and classic forms.  Their fabrics are truly time-honored - you won't see any fad or trend here, only superb design with a proclivity towards comfort and good taste.

If you are in New York and in need of a interior designer, whether it be for a small space or entire home renovation, let me suggest setting up an appointment through D&D's Designer Referral Program. Not only does this service allow you access to the D&D Building, you are also invited to peruse through a variety of designer's portfolios, while a representative from their service helps you locate someone who fits your individual style and budget.  Of course, you can always check back here for tips!

D&D Building

979 Third Ave

New York, NY 10022

212.759.5408

*Designer Referral Program, 212.759.5408, x.204