Beneath My Feet

Beneath My Feet – Flooring Design

When I think back on the house that I grew up in, one of the things that stands out most in my mind is the flooring. I am a child of the 70’s, and even though my house was built in the 1920‘s, the owners kept up with the current home trends of the time. The grand staircase and hallways that led to each apartment were the original hardwood from when the house was built. In each of the three apartments contained in the brown-stone like house, there was gold carpeting in the living and bedroom areas, and linoleum flooring in the hallways and kitchens.

When the house was updated in the 80’s, and all the flooring was removed. We discovered beautiful hardwood flooring underneath all that gold and linoleum. However, the new owners chose to replace the linoleum with vinyl sheet flooring and the gold carpeting with plush mauve wall-to-wall carpeting.

Each decade ushers in new trends in home decor. Each owner wants to leave their mark on their home. Today’s flooring trends pull from previous decades. Shag carpeting has made a comeback in the form of Flokati and shag area rugs. Wood flooring has never really gone out of style. There are several options from bamboo and other renewable sources, to reclaimed wood and the traditional plank style. Today’s homeowner has many different choices and styles to choose from, so thankfully, we are not trapped in an era of gold carpeting any longer!

And, just in case you were wondering, the photo shows my best friend and me dancing on that gold carpet. And, yes, we are doing the Hustle!


Maple strip flooring is still a popular choice for today’s homes. This is a reclaimed-wood plank.

Wood flooring comes in all types of finishes so you can get the perfect look for your style home.


Using traditional plank flooring but laying it in an unexpected pattern can be a beautiful option.

Wood flooring even comes in tile form. These Moroccan floor tiles are a beautiful example of the versatility of wood flooring.

And just in case you’re craving that feeling of shag between your toes, here are some current wall-to-wall and area rug options. Today’s shag comes in many different colors and fiber lengths.


By Alicia Paley, Alicia Paley Home Interiors

Placing A Grand Piano

A grand piano in a room immediately adds elegance. Let’s look at different ways to place a grand piano in a room.

It is important to know what kind of care a piano needs. Steinway has posted some clear instructions on their website. Here are some important room conditions to consider before figuring out the placement for the piano:

Controlled temperature and humidity: The most favorable environment for your piano is a relative humidity ranging between 45% and 70% with a constant temperature of approximately 20˚C. Sudden fluctuations in temperature must be avoided as the tuning and regulation might be influenced negatively.
Never in direct sunlight: preferably against the inside wall of a room and not close to windows and outside doors. Sunlight fades and dries out the wood.
Never next to stoves, radiators, fireplaces, or heating outlets: heat will dry out and damage the wood.
Never in front of, on top of, or under air vent!

With a grand piano, some people prefer looking at the keyboard end while others like the side the lid opens to or the ‘tail’ end. Most of the time, we are limited in the ways we can place the piano due to the room layout. The top should always open into the room for the best acoustics.

Here are some photos from HOUZZ as visual aids.

These two photos show the pianos facing different sides to the seating arrangement. It is not preferred to have the piano next to the fireplace, but it is not a problem if the fireplace is not being used.


Some people like having accessories on the piano. But it implies the instrument is not frequently used. A grand piano looks the best with its lid open.


With bookshelves around the piano to hold the music books, it is convenient.

If the area has a high ceiling, add some soft, sound-absorbing surface material to soften the sound.


Theses two photos showing creating an alcove for the piano. This makes the pianist feel important. When not in use, the grand piano is like an art piece being showcased.

Sometimes, the stairway frames out the best location for the piano.

It is important to have 2′ – 3′ for the chair in front of the piano. A pianist may prefer to be facing or have his/her side to the audience. For a solo performer, it is important to engage the audience.


Creating a Decorating File

Create a Decorating File If you’re readying for a design project, it’s a good idea to start gathering together the things that inspire you, the pictures that excite you and perhaps even the ones you want to avoid! If you’re going to be working with an interior designer, this file will help you engage in […] Read more »