Spot On Carpet Care

Is there any better feeling than rolling around on freshly vacuumed carpet? Luckily my mom, Marsha Halpin,  vacuums often and likes to keep the carpet clean. I overheard her tell the guys at our Gonzales Halpin’s Flooring America location that she has to vacuum so often because of me and my sister.  How wonderful is it that she is so concerned about our happiness?!

So while I was wiggling around on that fresh carpet I began to wonder, do humans really know how to care for their carpet so their critters can enjoy it to the fullest?  Caring for your carpet will make it last longer and look better longer, but let’s face it – the important part is making us critters happy!  I got my sister (human sister that is) to help me out and put together some notes on carpet care so I could spend more time upside down on the carpet!

The most important part of caring for your carpet is vacuuming. When dirty carpet is walked on the dirt and dust trapped in the carpet actually breaks down the carpet fibers causing the carpet to wear & crush. Some important points to remember when vacuuming your carpet are:

  • Vacuum all carpeted areas at least once a week.
  • Areas with high traffic or pets may need to be vacuumed more often, maybe even once a day.
  • Use walk off mats at entry doorways. Mats help trap excess dirt before it gets tracked to the rest of your floors.
  • Vacuum AFTER you dust your furniture.
  • Avoid vacuuming in the same pattern every time. Changing the direction you vacuum will help keep your carpet looking great.

Professional Deep Cleaning

  • Follow your carpet manufacturer’s recommendations, but most advise having your carpet professionally deep cleaned once every 12 – 18 months.
  • Remember that most carpet warranties require you to have your carpet professionally deep cleaned so make sure you save your receipts in a file along with your warranty information.
  • Don’t wait until your carpet looks like it needs cleaning – have it cleaned regularly and your carpet should stay beautiful for years of enjoyment.

Spot Removal
When it comes to creating spots – I am an expert.  No, not all of my spots are from “potty accidents!” I happen to know that a cherry glazed honey ham leaves a nasty spot on carpet.  I thought I had eaten all the evidence – but the stain on the carpet gave me away!

  • Take care of the spot as quickly as possible. The sooner you begin to take care of a spot the better your chances are that it will not be a permanent stain.
  • Remove any solid material with something like a spoon or dull spatula.
  • BLOT up any excess liquid first with a clean white cloth towel.
  • Use clean water or a tested spot cleaner and treat the area. You may want to let it sit for a minute or so, then start to BLOT from the outside of the spot in. Blotting from the outside in will help keep the spot from spreading.
  • You may have to treat and blot the spot several times before the spot is removed.
  • Once the spot is removed – the most important step is to rinse the area with clean water and blot that water up.
  • Rinsing the spot with clean water is necessary to remove any residue the cleaner leaves behind. If not rinsed, this residue can attract more dirt to the area creating a new spot.

So now you know some of the basics of carpet care. Below you’ll find a couple resources for carpet care and stain removal.
Stain removal guide from Flooring America:
Carpet Care Guide from the Carpet and Rug Institute:            

And for your enjoyment…….Here’s a video of me…..showing an example of how NOT to take care of your carpet.

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Dog Days & Cool Floors

It’s HOT! I’m in a fur coat (essentially), running around with the sun beating down, gathering up every stick I can find because I KNOW that my Daddy wants me to pile them up on the porch. You should hear him when he sees that huge pile of mangled, chewed up sticks…. “Oh, Sunny Girl! Just what I’ve always wanted, a pile of sticks to clean off the porch.” I am so glad I can bring him joy!

Anyway, it’s HOT! So what are my favorite ways to cool off? Well of course number one has to be – leaping into the pond paws first! But that’s usually off limits if someone is watching me! But a close second is bounding into the house and spreading out – belly first on ceramic tile! Or any hard surface floor for that matter!

Dogs (& other four legged furry pets) everywhere can beat the summer heat with cool ceramic, natural stone, laminate, vinyl, or wood flooring! It’s so simple to do.  Just extend all four paws out away from the body, let the legs follow until the belly is pleasantly smashed against the refreshing chill of the floor.  Those getting up in dog years, may want to just lie on their side or back.

My favorite spot is the kitchen porcelain tile at my sister’s house.  I’ve been enjoying that tile for as long as I can remember.  Pictures are worth a thousand words so here are some to show some of the best positions to achieve maximum cooling. 

Ceramic, natural stone, laminate, vinyl and hardwood are always cool in the “dog days” of summer. (I asked my sister to see why the hottest days of summer are called Dog Days. Apparently it has to do with Sirius, the Dog Star, being really close to the sun.)

Bottom line …. Cool hard surface floors are a great way for pets to beat the heat! Make sure your house has some so your pets can spread out and cool off!

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From the Mouths of Dogs, Cats, & Birds

Wow, did I get a ton of flack for putting my video up in my last blog!  It seems my fellow “critter friends” think that I might become a “Doggy Diva” with all the attention.  So I decided to take the spotlight off of myself and let my buddies shine. 

In keeping with the Tigressa Great Debate, I asked my friends to show me what they think of Tigressa Soft Style CarpetSmokey the Cat and Red the Rooster were pretty upset when they found out that animals are not eligible to win the Tigressa Area Rug.  In fact, I heard Smokey coughed up a fur ball the size of a grapefruit and Red chased me around the yard trying to peck my tail off until Dixie finally was able to “bark” some sense into that crazy rooster!

The good news is that until June 30th  you can enter to win a Tigressa Soft Style area rug simply by casting your vote.  If you need help deciding, visit your local Halpin’s Flooring America showroom and discover Tigressa Soft Style for yourself.  But first see what some of my friends think……

Dixie Chillin on the SOFTEST carpet around.         

Little Yellow Dog is caught in the act!

Hoosier and Little Yellow Dog discuss Tigressa

Hoosier says she KNOWS Tigressa is SOFTER


Murphy is a tough customer, but a happy Tigressa customer

Smokey has some thoughts on Tigressa
Red the Rooster takes on Tigressa

Abby has her own ideas on the subject of Tigressa Soft Style


A baby Blue Jay even got in on the excitement

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Tigressa “Lab” Test

What the heck is “The Great Debate?” The Halpin’s Flooring America showrooms are covered with these sale signs in the shape of speech bubbles. (Okay I had no idea they were called “speech bubbles” – I asked my older sister Dixie, she’s really smart.) Anyway, these signs say “Softer” and “Stronger” and “The Great Debate.” So I decided to listen in for the details of our “Tigressa 1/2 Off Sale” at our sales meeting.

Basically, Tigressa wants to know what side you fall on. Do you like Tigressa because it is Softer or Stronger? You can cast your vote at and while you’re there you can learn more about what makes Tigressa Carpet so awesome.

So while bounding around the showroom early one morning I had a thought. (Look, a thought that doesn’t involve Frisbees, doggy treats, or chasing critters is worth blogging about!) How can I provide folks with some extra information about “The Great Debate” and help them make the decision – Softer or Stronger?

A “Paws-On” demonstration of Tigressa’s Strength and Softness is in order. Yeah that’s it! I’ll have my sister, Elizabeth, record me “testing” Tigressa Soft Style using the most advanced “Lab” techniques available……the chew test, the paw and claw test, the tug-o-war test, and my super strong shake test. There is no way Tigressa Soft Style Carpet can stand up to my rigorous “Lab” tests.  My favorite toys are made of car tires, and “indestructible” toys are no match for me!  I am the “Queen of Destruction.”  Still, I have to admit…..Tigressa Soft Style really surprised me! It is super strong! But oh so soft on my paws and mouth! What a tough decision!

Check out the video and then cast your vote! Why do you like Tigressa Soft Style Carpet?

In the end, I LOVE Tigressa – because it is STRONGER!  

Leave me a comment with your thoughts on Tigressa Soft Style Carpet or my first starring role in a video!

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What is “New Nordic” Interior Design

Scandinavian decor is, without a doubt, one of the top decor styles at the moment. This style originated as a way to make Nordic homes feel bright and clean during dark winter days, but has now gained popularity in regions that see sun all year round. Now, as homeowners and designers begin to shift away from minimalism, a new twist on this design has emerged. Read on to learn how you can incorporate “New Nordic” style in your home.

One element of traditional Scandinavian home decor that is still used frequently in New Nordic design is raw, bleached hardwood or wood-look floors. The effect is bright and clean, and neutral enough for you to experiment with a wide range of colors (and even other decor styles as your preferences evolve).

In an effort to add a more personal touch to their decorating, designers are focused more on decluttering and opening up a space, rather than recreating the typical minimalist look of Scandinavian decor. You can do this in your own home by being selective in the accessories you choose for the room, whether it’s a few thoughtfully placed family heirlooms or trinkets, or a piece of art that you love.

One noticeable difference between “New Nordic” design and traditional Scandinavian design is the frequent use of color. While white is often the dominant color in Scandinavian design – and still heavily featured in this newer twist – bolder hues are also being used to liven up and add personality to a room. Pops of color, like red or blue, add dimension and keep the space from feeling flat.

Bold colors aren’t the only way to add dimension in a New Nordic design. Have fun with your home’s decor by mixing different subtle patterns and textures. Classic hardwood floors alongside more modern materials, like these clear acrylic chairs, gives this kitchen nook a contemporary look and creates the illusion of a more open space.

Comfort is key with New Nordic design. Plush, wall-to-wall carpet is guaranteed to warm up a room where traditional hardwood may have been featured. For extra comfort, consider adding soft textiles, like faux sheepskin or a cozy throw blanket, in unexpected places – like the kitchen or dining room.

Do you prefer New Nordic or Scandinavian design?

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How to Decorate with Lighter Floors

Change up your space with a lighter shade of flooring! Whether you’re looking for hardwood, laminate, or LVT, interior designers are predicting a shift towards lighter tones in 2019. These hues are versatile and great for any room, be it the bedroom, home office, or kitchen. Going for a bright, airy look? Pair light floors with neutral or pastel colored walls. If you’re looking to create a more dramatic look, opt for dark, saturated colors for an edgy contrast.

If you’re looking to achieve a tone on tone look, make sure to play with textures in your decor. Light hardwood floors will add a raw element to the room and also keep the space from feeling too monochromatic – and the right accessories will make the room come to life. Try adding a fabric headboard, unique bedding, or a velvet throw blanket to give dimension. All can work together to create a calm, aesthetically pleasing room.

Light, hardwood floors are a great addition to a farmhouse style home – especially in the kitchen. The right stain will add warmth to the space, and pair nicely with white cabinets and rustic accents. Though some may prefer tile floors in the kitchen, wood-look flooring provides a more interesting contrast against tiled backsplashes and granite or marble countertops, and will keep your kitchen from feeling too cold.

When we talk about light hardwood floors, we aren’t just referring to those warm, yellow and honey tones. Another option that’s becoming increasingly popular is grey or ash colored stains. Grey floors create the perfect foundation for vibrant greens, blues, and metallic accents. In this living room, the flooring accentuates both the natural and gilded decor.

Light floors are also a hallmark of the coastal beach house style. This bedroom uses creams, natural finishes (like the rattan headboard), and pastel blue to create a breezy, Oceanside feel. Light flooring helps to create the illusion of sand at your feet. Consider adding a wicker bench or table, or woven baskets to play off the flooring and tie the room together.

Light wood-look floors are also a great option for kids’ rooms! Because light floors tend to be more neutral, they can be paired successfully with bright, primary colors. If you have little ones at home, try hard surface flooring and adding an area rug, rather than wall-to-wall carpet. We have an array of luxury vinyl hard surface flooring that may look like hardwood, but are durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic and messes as your children grow up.

What are your thoughts on lighter flooring?

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Create a Wow Factor with Statement Ceilings

Underappreciated and often overlooked is the fifth wall, the ceiling. While many people think a statement can only be made on the walls or with furniture, they often forget that the ceiling is an excellent place to make a unique statement.

There are so many ways to create a focal point with your ceiling that whether you’re all in or not feeling incredibly risky, there is a choice that’s just right for you.

For those who are on the fence with this design trend, start by focusing on what you have such as architectural details that your ceiling may have. Polish any wooden beams or paint coffers to make them stand out and pop. Sometimes simply freshening up your ceiling is a subtle touch that can make a big impact.

If you have ceilings that lack architectural detail, consider adding your own, such as shiplap or wooden beams to pull your room together. Using natural products on your ceiling is great in homes that evoke a coastal or farmhouse style

Another great way to create a statement with your ceiling is to paint it a fun color, or if in a kid’s room, a pattern that matches their favorite hobby or sport.

What are your thoughts on statement ceilings?

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How to Bring Timeless Velvet into Your Home

Thanks in part to today’s fabric technology; velvet is no longer reserved solely for luxurious homes, as it has become a more affordable option to all. With more color choices and a more maintainable fabric, there’s no reason not to incorporate velvet into your home.

Velvet is a luxurious and warm fabric that adds considerable depth to a room thanks to its bold, rich colors. Our favorite way to incorporate velvet into your living room is with a sofa. A velvet sofa in a rich, jewel tone adds such a level of beauty that it truly speaks for itself.

For those not quite ready to jump to a velvet sofa, try starting smaller, with accent or tuft pillows. Velvet curtains can also add a dramatic touch while still keeping a low profile. They add both a hint of glam and timelessness to your space.

Velvet accent chairs, either in your living or dining room are fabulous for packing a punch with a small footprint. Chairs are a great piece of furniture to bring in a bold color to make a statement. In the case of dining room chairs, a little goes a long way.

And in the bedroom, especially during the colder months, a velvet blanket or comforter is perfect for adding a cozy and warm feeling to your space.

How do you incorporate velvet in your home décor?

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Bringing a Statement to Your Walls

This year, people are moving away from accent walls and instead, focusing on textured walls to add depth and personality to their home. From abstract wallpaper to shiplap and everything in between, homeowners have plenty of options for creating a statement in their home through the use of their walls.

Gone are the days where wallpaper is considered old-fashioned, bleak, and an eyesore. Thanks to beautiful patterns and colors, wallpaper is trending again in home design. Some wallpaper is actually removable, which makes this a great option for those who are a bit hesitant venturing back into this trend. In a small room such as the bathroom, patterned wallpaper can make the space appear larger and also very elegant. Patterned walls in a smaller space can heighten the impact it has on the space.

In an eclectic bedroom, bold wallpaper can add the finishing touch that your room needs. It’s a fun way to make sure that the entire room is full of personality and pizazz.

For those not wanting to use wallpaper but still want to bring texture to their walls, consider adding wooded boards. Natural wood, like in the room below, bring earthy elements to the room, creating a warm and inviting space. You can also play around with shiplap on your walls for a farmhouse feel.

Another great option that we love is to use textured paint, which is especially great for covering up imperfections or just to create a rustic or farmhouse feel in your room.

Would you bring texture to your walls? If so, how?

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Maximalism in Home Decor

Minimalism has been hugely popular in the home when it comes to both design and organization. It’s long been touted that “less is more,” but when it comes to your décor, maximalism is giving minimalism a run for its money.

Maximalism focuses on incorporating unique colors, bold patterns, and all kinds of textures to create an over the top look. You might confuse this with eclectic style; however eclectic involves mixing styles, such as traditional, rustic, and modern all in one room.

When it comes to designing, there are no rules. Go ahead and mix any textures with any fabrics and patterns. However, we find that maximalism looks best if there is color coordination with your pieces. It’s important to connect the dots with your design.

Not sure where to start? Don’t be afraid to start small with this trend by adding unique lamps, colorful cushions and pillows, curated décor, and furniture with different textures. In time you can bring more colors and patterns to your walls, floors, and ceilings.

Maximalism is the perfect storyboard to share your life experiences. Are you known for wearing bright pink? Douse your room in the color. Always wearing cheetah print? Choose artifacts, an ottoman, or wallpaper in this print.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to rely on color in order to maximalize your space. If neutral tones are your style, then place the emphasis on mixing design styles of furniture, texture, patterns, and materials. Think wood with metals, contemporary with mid-century modern, velvet with fringe.

Have fun and personalize your space.

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Our Top 2019 Bathroom Trends

This year the bathroom is getting a big makeover, as a handful of trends will be taking over this small, yet powerful room in your home. If your bathroom is in need of a refresh, follow along for the trends that we want to see in your bathroom this year!

Drama in a small space is a look that we love, and statement wallpaper in the bathroom will do just that. To make an impact, think bright, saturated colors and bold wallpapers. Have fun in this space; it’ll make it easier to wake up!

White and grey marble or marble-look quartz and porcelain will also be top materials for bathroom surfaces. This will give your bathroom a timeless look that is great for both a traditional or modern space.

You’ll also see an uptick in open-concept designs in the bathroom, allowing more natural light to shine through and more space to move around while you get ready for the day.

Bathrooms with a spa-like look and feel will also be popular this year, as more people want their bathroom to feel like a retreat so that they can relax and unwind from the day.

What trends are you looking forward to incorporating into your bathroom design?

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