Choosing home décor these days involves more than just finding a style or color you love. Sure, that’s the first step, but many other factors come into play when evaluating products for the home – durability, maintenance considerations, even the product’s “green” factor.
Luckily, manufacturers are up to the task and recently have begun to focus on these features -which is good for you, your family, and the planet.
Take paint, for example. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to transform a room. But whatever color you have your heart set on, it pays to buy the best quality latex paint. Top quality paints are tougher and more durable than other paints, they resist staining, and even if they happen to pick up fingerprints and smudges, they are easier to clean with just a little soap and water. That’s something any mother will love.
In addition, today’s latex paints are largely (or entirely) free of VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds – which were common with the oil-based paints of yesteryear. As a result, they leave no lingering “paint smell.” These paints also tend to resist mildew growth and continue to look bright and fresh even when exposed to strong sunlight.
Another home decorating product that’s experienced advances in technology is flooring. Certain types of flooring offer benefits far beyond “your grandmother’s vinyl” both in style and in performance.
Though it varies by manufacturer, vinyl flooring, for example, is printed using ultra-low VOC inks; and some is even made with recycled content. It’s a snap to keep clean, needs no waxing or polishing, and resists scratching, gouging and yellowing. Many brands also carry FloorScore certification, which attests to its good indoor air quality characteristics.
The designs offered in vinyl today are much improved over what you may be familiar with. Using advanced printing and embossing technology, these floors can resemble marble, slate, stone, even hand-scraped wood. The designs look so real, you have to bend down and touch them to be sure. But unlike some of the natural materials they’re made to resemble, vinyl is soft and warm underfoot (your feet and back will thank you), practically waterproof, a cinch to keep clean, and a lot less costly.
It pays to consider all your needs before choosing a product – whether it’s paint for the walls or vinyl for the floors. With a little knowledge, you can find something that’s family friendly, budget-friendly, and Eco-friendly, all in one!
This is a guest post by Betsy Amoroso. Betsy is Director of Corporate Communications at Mannington Mills and has 15 years of experience in the home furnishings and decorating industry.