Author Archives: Beth Roehrig


The New Bronze Age for Fixtures

After so many years of classic chrome and nickel faucets dominating in kitchens and baths, bronze finishes are finally starting to get their due. While the sleek, silvery look will never go out of style, homeowners have a lot more choice now that manufacturers have embraced bronze and keep introducing new variations on the finish. As real bronze ages, the color can change dramatically, and these finishes reflect that unique quality of the metal.

Bronze Fixtures

Symmons' Elm Collection lav faucet in Seasoned Bronze finish

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Linoleum Flooring: It’s Green & Gorgeous!

Linoleum Flooring

Photo: forboflooringna.com

Think linoleum and vinyl flooring are the same thing? Wrong. While many people mistakenly call vinyl tile ‘linoleum’, the two couldn’t be more different. Linoleum, which was patented in the 1860s, is made with natural, renewable materials, including linseed oil, tree resins, recycled wood flour, cork dust, and mineral pigments, all mounted on a jute or canvas backing.

Linoleum was considered a luxurious material for many years—it was actually used in the Grand Ballroom, the dining room, and other areas of the Titanic! But gradually cheaper (and decidedly unnatural) vinyl flooring overtook linoleum in the 1940s. And while vinyl is easy to maintain, it’s simply a printed design with a protective layer on top. Once that protective layer wears down or is damaged, the flooring must be replaced.

Linoleum Flooring - Armstrong

Photo: armstrong.com

On the other hand, linoleum is naturally anti-bacterial and biodegradable, and can last up to 40 years with proper care and maintenance. It has a protective top layer that wards off dirt and scuffs, but you’ll still need to clean it regularly with mild, non-ammonia-based cleansers. Since the color in linoleum runs all the way through the material, if it does get stained or scratched, you can buff out the damage and refinish your floor. So if you’re looking for a green product that’s resilient, durable, and yes, beautiful, linoleum is the way to go. While it’s often used in kitchens, it’s also a good choice for entryways and bathrooms.

Linoleum Flooring - Marmoleum

Photo: forboflooringna.com

Two companies now sell the majority of the linoleum here in the US—Forbo Marmoleum and Armstrong Marmorette. It comes in sheets or tile form, in a wide variety of colors that can look just as great in a Craftsman-style home as a super modern one. One of the great things about sheet linoleum is that you can have it hand-cut in any design you like.

For more on flooring and sustainable materials, consider:

Cork Flooring 101
Fresh Ideas for Kitchen Flooring
Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices


Jonathan Adler’s New Kohler COLORS

Jonathan-Adler-Colors-for-Kohler

Given Jonathan Adler’s all-consuming love of color (after all, the man did write a book called Happy Chic Colors), it’s no surprise that he’s teamed up with Kohler to introduce four bold new hues for a selection of enameled cast iron kitchen and bath sinks.

Kohler actually began offering colorful kitchen and bath fixtures in the 1920s and has continuously updated the shades in its repertoire to reflect changing times and tastes. The fresh yellow, green, and blues created by Adler are thoroughly 2012. The designer took inspiration from various places, including the lush green of an English estate, an exuberant yellow evoking London’s Picadilly Circus, a serene aqua that matches the Italian Mediterranean, and a nautical navy that calls to mind the sailing-centric city Annapolis.

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