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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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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How to Mix Different Woods and Stains

Now more than ever we are seeing rooms designed with different woods and different stains, as most people collect and purchase furniture at various stages of their lives. Having your floors match your furniture can make your space feel stale and flat, so follow along for our best practices for mixing and matching different woods and finishes.

The first rule of thumb is to make sure that the undertones of the wood finishes match. You will either want your wood to be warm or cool, and it’s important that you do not mix the two in a room. A wood can have a neutral undertone, and in this instance you can mix warm or cool with neutral undertones.

If you have wood floors, make sure to place a rug where wood furniture sits, such as the dining room table. By adding a layer in between larger wood pieces, it will help soften the transition between different stains.

Choose a few different wood finishes to mix and match throughout your room. Your space will feel more balanced if you stick to 2 or 3 stains for a put together space with visual interest. For instance, try lighter floors with a darker coffee table, with a patterned rug in between.

And lastly, choose one dominant wood finish for your room. Usually this will be your largest wood piece, such as the floors or a dining room table.

What are your thoughts on mixed wood finishes?

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2019 Kitchen Trends to Look For

A new year brings new trends for the home, and a lot can be expected for the kitchen in 2019. We are seeing changes in technology, colors, flooring, and fixtures. When it comes to new trends, nothing is off limits in the kitchen.

Raw Materials

Expect to see stone, wood, shiplap, concrete, and copper heavily used on all kitchen surfaces and fixtures.

Pendant Light Fixtures

These are great in an open floor plan for defining the different areas in the room, such as the prep and dining area. Not only that, but with so many different styles and looks, it’ll be incredibly easy to add a unique look to your kitchen.


Prepare to see more digital technology incorporated into your appliances, such as touch controls, handless appliances, and sinks with integrated features.

Open Shelving

This look not only opens up your space, but it makes your kitchen feel larger and brighter. Give this look a try and you’ll add warmth, design, and character all at once. Even better, open shelving helps you stay on top of organization and allows you to display your beautiful kitchenware!

Darker Colors

The desire for an all-white kitchen isn’t as in demand as it used to be. Instead, you’ll see a shift to darker colors used in the kitchen, on the walls, cabinetry, and also the floors.

Patterned Floors

Patterns are great for adding visual interest to both your floors and the kitchen in general. These are great especially in a kitchen where the overall cabinetry and wall colors are neutral and simple.

What kitchen trends are you most excited about?

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The Importance of Shopping Local

Did you know that we are part of a cooperative of more than 500 independent retailers that work hard to offer you quality flooring at competitive prices, all while ensuring you receive the best customer experience and the care that comes with a locally owned business?

As an independently-owned business, we can fully cater to your needs and work with you to make sure that your needs are being met and not overlooked.

We value our customers and work hard to make sure that our community is well taken care of.

Shopping locally allows you to support your neighbors while simultaneously receiving personal customer service that you won’t receive at the big box stores. From your initial consultation to the installation, we are here to answer any questions, offer our flooring & design advice, and make sure that your home gets the makeover it deserves.

As a small business, one of the most important shopping days is Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 24th, the Saturday following Thanksgiving. On this day, we celebrate the importance of small businesses by shopping local and putting money back into our community.

From family-run corner stores to food trucks to online boutiques, small businesses are an important part of our lives and our business. When they succeed, we all do. By supporting one another, we are helping our community and economy grow and flourish.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting small businesses on November 24, and that you’ll remember to Shop Small throughout the holiday season and year-round.

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Incorporating Red Hot Decor in Your Home

A fiery and bold color that will lead us into the upcoming year is red, a color in which a little can go a long way. Red can be used in any room, in small or large amounts, and truly can be used year round. It evokes feelings both of summer and of a cheery holiday season. Follow along for our favorite ways to incorporate this hot color into your home!

The key to not being aggressive with red is to use it as an accent color throughout your room. In your living room, consider a red couch or chair. If that’s a little too much for you, go for red throw pillows or a blanket. It adds just enough red to make an impact without being too overwhelming.

In a dining room, consider artwork that incorporates deep red, dining chairs, or red table linens. Going along the same theme in the kitchen, red can be used on stools, dishware, or storage containers.

Red walls in the bedroom are romantic and powerful, but just make sure to balance the room with neutral colors. If red walls are too bold, but smaller accent pieces aren’t lively enough, add a red accent rug or bedding for the right amount of pizzazz.

How will you add red into your home décor?

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The Popularity of Backsplashes in the Kitchen and Bathrooms

With the kitchen being a main focal point in the home, and the bathroom becoming a place to retreat for a relaxing, spa-like getaway, we are seeing people opt for these rooms to boast more personality, thanks in part to patterned backsplashes. Not just popular in the kitchen, we are seeing more backsplashes being incorporated in bathroom design as well, ranging from the sink to the shower.

A backsplash typically covers the area of the wall between the countertops and cabinets, protecting your walls from water damage resulting from accidental splashes. While its main purpose is functionality, more people are now choosing to add a backsplash solely for the design purpose, with its functionality being an added perk.

No matter what your style preference or color palette of your kitchen or bathrooms, there is sure to be a backsplash that will fit perfectly in your rooms overall design. From subway tiles and geometric shapes, to multi-colored tiles and solid colors, your options are endless.

A backsplash truly is the perfect backdrop for adding both color and texture to your space. If you’re looking to make a statement and add instant visual interest, a backsplash could very well be your best route. Not only that, but a backsplash is a great way to express yourself.

How are you decorating with backsplashes?

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Crown-Molding and Wainscoting in Your Home

Crown-molding and wainscoting are classic décor staples that never go out of style. These design features can be integrated in almost any home, no matter your style. By bringing visual interest to your walls and ceiling, you can add a rich and elegant statement and really pull your space together.

Crown-molding is commonly used to highlight where your walls meet your ceiling, and draws your eye upward, creating the idea of more space, while also adding texture, character, and style. There are a variety of style options available to you, which means that the crown-molding in a traditional home will most likely be different than what you’ll see in a rustic home.

Wainscoting, on the other hand, is a decorative accent used on the lower portion of your walls. Originally used for additional insulation, it is now used as a means to add visual interest to your walls. Again, depending on your style, wainscoting can be as high as you want it to go. Entryways and staircases benefit greatly, as those spaces can sometimes lack fine detail, but you can really incorporate this into any room.

What’s your stance on crown-molding and wainscoting? Yes or no?

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