Timeless Home Features

Each new year offers new home fashion fads and updates in current home fashion trends. While these features offer modern and exciting methods of adding character to your home, let us not forget about some tried and true home additions that can introduce flavor and style to your living spaces. Check out these timeless features for ideas on adding fashion value to your home.

Subway Tile

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Aside from adding value as a wall protectant, a backsplash offers home owners an exciting and personalized method of accenting their current home fashion. A properly installed backsplash provides homeowners with a durable fashion addition that requires very little maintenance. With endless variations in shapes, colors, and sizes, each backsplash offers homeowners unlimited options to add their own personal touch to their living space.

Pro Tip: Add unique patterns above cooking stations to create an attractive focal point.

Neutral Colors

neutralsNeutral colors offer a timeless interior design strategy which allows for future design flexibility and fashion updating while maintaining a high level of style. These colors allow homeowners to fluctuate between color schemes with ease, provide endless design opportunities, and place desired emphasis on stylish room furnishings.

Pro Tip: Using slightly varying shades of neutral colors can offer color contrast to rooms. Try a slightly darker shade lower on walls and a lighter shade above to create a 3D effect.

Shaker Style Cabinets


Shaker cabinets not only provide homeowners with additional storage and organizational space, but lend a versatile cabinet design able to add a classic look to either modern or traditional kitchen spaces. With an ability to be easily stained or painted to bring out existing color schemes, shaker cabinets are a timeless fashion feature to complete the desired kitchen look.

Pro Tip: Painting shaker cabinets white or gray adds a bright, contemporary feel that works well in modern design kitchens.


Mid-colored Stain

Minwax-stain-samples3Ideal for hardwood flooring, window trim, and door trim, staining provides homeowners with the ability to obtain their desired color scheme throughout the home. Offering an unlimited potential of color options, stain can be utilized in numerous color schemes to add fashion value.

Pro Tip: Light stain offers an airy vibe, while dark stain provides the room with a more formal appearance.


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Providing kitchens with an added organized space for increased storage, pantries are a timeless home feature that remains highly desired. A strategically built pantry allows for a much more efficient and organized kitchen space, offering homeowners a clean look and extended counter space.

Pro Tip: Design more shallow shelving space while creating your pantry to ensure for more convenient visibility and access of your items.

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5 Home Trends That Seriously Date Your Home

Most home trends wax and wane in popularity, but these 5 past trends below are telltale signs your home is outdated.

1. Wallpaper in Large Spaces or Bordering

wallpaperBelieve it or not wallpaper is making a comeback in homes. Selectively using wallpaper as an accent wall or in a small area is fine, but less is more. When used in large open spaces or room wallpaper can make people feel dizzy and overwhelm the senses. It’s important to choose a design that will fit nicely in a space without being too busy.

A wallpaper border in a room also tends to look dated. Accent walls, whether paint or wallpaper, is a better option.

Side note: Wallpaper tends to be a pain to remove, so you want to be pretty sure you’ll like it long term before putting it up.

2. Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn CeilingThis ceiling “trend” was primarily used from 1950-1980. Bumpy and dust-loving, this ceiling style has since become completely outdated. Popcorn ceilings are extremely difficult to paint because of the rough texture. They also requires more maintenance, because you have to work to keep it attractive and put together. It’s actually suggested that you vacuum the ceiling with an attachment to remove dust that collects on it. Luckily getting ride of this outdated feature is fairly simple, soften the ceiling with water and scrape off with a trowel or putty knife.

3. Shiny Brass Fixtures

Door AjarNothing screams the 90′s like these shiny, brass fixtures in a home.   The shininess of this yellow brass is outdated and sticks out like a sore thumb in your home. When everything else in a home is updated the fixtures do not go nicely at all! Oiled bronze and satin/brush nickel are the two fixture trends currently. They are modern and up to date while still affordable in a home. Door handles and lights are easily replaceable so if you still have brass finishes we recommend an upgrade!

4. Too Many Collectibles

tackyCurrent home buyers are looking for homes that offer spacious rooms featuring minimal decor. In the past, it was popular to display a lot of things to fill the space. Now it’s better to have just a few items that help tie your room together. Too many accessories and furnishings can make a room feel smaller and out of date. An accented mirror, throw pillows and a few small decorations are perfect to keep the rooms simple, yet provide some character.

5. Oak Cabinets

Oak CabinetsOak cabinets used to be a very popular home feature, the key word is “used.” Oak has since fallen out of favor. Painted (white or gray) or darker stained maple have become the popular choices in cabinetry.  A fairly simple fix to oak cabinets is paint.  A little paint can give them a fresh look that will quickly make your kitchen feel more updated without breaking the bank.



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February Facebook Poll Results

Twice a week on Facebook, we create poll questions with 3 different options to let people tell us what type of home features they like. Then each month we’re giving you a summary of the winners so you can see our most popular home features! Below are the poll results from February:

Master Bath Vanity Winner – Karalyn

Karalyn nelson master bathFacebook polls for this month started out with a whopping amount of votes! This Karalyn master bathroom vanity won this poll by gathering 77% of votes. 

This master bath has a white color scheme and has many amazing features. Along with this great vanity, a free-standing bath tub and tile shower are also featured in this bathroom. This vanity has plenty of cabinet and drawer space as well as counter space. Double sinks are separated by a large center built-in which is perfect for extra storage.


Catch-all Winner – Amberwood 

Amberwood catch-allThis poll came down to the wire! The winning catch-all from one of our Amberwood homes only ended up winning by 1 vote from the runner up! This winner received 52% of the votes.

This catch-all fits perfectly between two walls and is in the mudroom on the way into the kitchen. It features a large two-door cabinet on the left and three stacked drawers on the right. The counter top provides plenty of space as well. In this photo there are baskets on the wall for storage as well as artwork. These items are great to place above the catch-all but calendars, dry erase boards and photos are great too!

 Past Parade Home Winner – Ridgewood

Untitled design (24)This Ridgewood home was featured in the WHBA Parade of Homes earlier this year and is still for sale. This collage of the home won this poll by a close margin just gaining 45% of the votes.

In this weeks poll we did past parade homes in spirit of the HBAFC Parade of Homes Feb. 11-12 and 16-19. Cypress Homes had two homes featured in this parade. The Ridgewood is one of our larger two-story homes featuring 4 bedrooms and a bonus room, a large kitchen, a 2nd floor hallway that overlooks the great room and more! For more on this property that is still for sale click here.

Kitchen Winner – Tamarack

IMG_1706 2This Tamarack is one of our newest homes completed for a customer in Oshkosh. This kitchen won the poll by taking 88% of the votes and claiming a big victory (even with a few paint cans making an appearance in the photo) .

This spacious kitchen is connected to the great room. It features stainless steel appliances, granite counters and a tile back splash that pops. The dark color of the island is a stand out in this all white kitchen.

 Fireplace With Built-Ins Winner – Carabelle 

IMG_9728This fireplace with built-ins got the most votes ever in a Cypress Homes Facebook Poll Contest! It defeated the other two photos by taking 68% of the polls votes.

A fireplace is a stand out piece in a home and now more than ever, built-ins around the fireplace are popular. Built-ins come in all different shapes, sizes, styles and colors. This color scheme is white from the color of the fireplace to the accent wall above it and the shelves and cabinets surrounding it. Built-ins in this room take up the entire wall around the fireplace. There are cabinets on each side and then different sized shelves above the cabinets. This is perfect for storage of all sorts as well as decorations and every day items.

Tile Shower Winner – Edgewood

IMG_6971The Edgewood tile shower pulled out the W in a close race by edging out the other two photos by receiving 59% of the votes.

This tile shower was featured in our brand new Edgewood model that starred in the HBAFC Parade of Homes this month! This home is still on the market and is absolutely stunning. This corner tile shower features three different tiles, the floor, the walls and the accent tiles. Clear glass doors give this shower a luxurious look. Who needs to go to the spa when you have a shower like this at home! For more on this beautiful home that’s still for sale click here.

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March Space of the Month: Bar Areas

Bar areas come in all shapes and sizes. It may be as simple as a rack for wine bottles or it could be practically a full 2nd kitchen!  Here are a few of the bar areas our past customers have put into their new homes:

Wine Rack

Wine Wed Karalyn home

This Karalyn home features a wine rack in the lower level. The stone surrounding this features makes the bar space stand out and gives it a wine cellar look. Two large wine racks on top of the cabinet unit are perfect to keep wine bottles organized and on display. This feature is perfect for avid wine drinkers.





Built-in Wine Rack in Island

Brookridge shiocton island

Having an area for wine that doesn’t take up extra kitchen space is a great hidden feature. This wine rack utilizes space in the kitchen island that otherwise would have been unused. the kitchen because it is built into the center island. Varying compartment sizes gives the flexibility to store bottles and classes of different sizes.  Whether needing a glass of wine while cooking or grabbing one to relax in the great room, this is a convenient location.

All In One

Wine wed- Sageridge

This awesome bar area was put in the lower level of one of our Sageridge homes.  Great for entertaining, this setup offers space for wine, liquor, beer and more. Complete with a bar sink, you can invite your friends over and tend bar right in your home!




Full Kitchen

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This lower level in one of our custom homes basically features a second kitchen with a full refrigerator, sink, beverage fridge, oven, and dishwasher.  The two-tiered bar counter, beautiful cabinets and woodwork makes this space feel more like an irish pub than a home’s basement.  Bar stools at the counter give guests a place to enjoy cocktails and conversation. This bar area is just part of a great entertainment area in this home’s lower level.

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February Space of the Month: Hearth Rooms

A hearth room gets its named from the fireplace being the central focus in this space. It is a relaxing space where family and friends can gather together or one can curl up by the fireplace.

The Avalon

avalon hearthThis hearth room is from our most popular gallery on Houzz in 2016. The Avalon model was featured as our 2016 Winter Parade Home in the Home Builders Association Fox Cities parade. This photo is also one of our most popular photos on social media, getting many likes on both Facebook and Instagram.

The color scheme in this hearth room is darker colors besides for the accent wall featured behind the fireplace. This hearth room is the perfect space to curl up and read a book during the chilly Wisconsin fall and winter months. This space is also right off the kitchen so you can still see the rest of  your beautiful home. This fireplace has cultured stone and a painted wood mantel.

The Carabelle 


This Carabelle hearth room has both a symmetrical and luxurious feeling. The high cathedral ceiling in this room with the chandelier in the highest point, give this hearth room an open feeling because it is so tall. The evergreen color featured on the walls mixed with the dark stained floor and white framed windows and fireplace give this space a different look. This room is very symmetrical due to the fireplace being in the center and a window on either side that take up most of the wall space. The fireplace has realstone panels and  a white painted mantel above as well as an accent color on the walls.

The Claremont 

claremont on eden hearth

Like the Carabelle above, this hearth room also has a cathedral ceiling with a chandelier at the highest point. The stand out piece in this room is the fireplace that starts at the floor and goes all the way up to the ceiling. This fireplace features cultured stone and a stained wood mantel. The floors in this space are luxury vinyl tile. Sliding glass doors and large windows around the fireplace allow for tons of natural lighting.

Custom Home

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This hearth room, featured in one of our custom homes, has different features from many of the others. This room looks more like a great room due to the carpet flooring and layout of the room. The fireplace is still the main focus of this room. It is made of realstone panels that have a lighter color scheme with a dark stained wood surround and mantel. Behind the fireplace is an accent wall and on the side two long windows.

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The most distinctive feature in this hearth room is the office/study area. There is a small desk with a large side cabinet unit as well as a cabinet unit above. There is cabinet, drawer and shelf space in this unit. Working from home or studying for school in this space is perfect because you not only get a view from the windows but you can also feel the warmth of the fireplace.

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5 of the Oddest Shaped Homes in the World

Cypress Homes has some amazing custom homes at affordable prices. What if you could customize your home to look like a space ship or even a house with a Goose shaped roof? You won’t see homes like these in most subdivisions, but here is a list of some of the oddest shaped homes in the world.

A House shaped like a Seashell

The Sea Shell House is a luxurious vacation rental home in Isla Mujeres in Mexico, with a 180-degree view of the ocean. Designed by famous Mexican artist Octavio Ocampo, this unique house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a private swimming pool. The seashell theme goes throughout the home including the bathtub waterspout made from a shell. To see more pictures click here.

Shoe House

Just like the popular nursery rhyme, this hose looks exactly like a shoe.  The “Haines Shoe House” was built in Pennsylvania in 1948 as an advertising gimmick by Colonel Mahlon N. Haines, the Shoe Wizard of York. To see more photos click here.



Steel House

Artist and architect Robert Bruno has been at work on his steel home since 1974. Bruno has said that he wants the shape of the structure to be somewhere between animal and machine. Bruno points out that the four legs and cantilevered design minimize the structures impact by not disrupting the earth as much as a typical home design would have. Estimated weight of the structure is 110 tons!

Read more: The World’s 18 Strangest Homes: Gallery – Popular Mechanics

Toilet Shaped House

Built by Sim Jae-duck to celebrate the campaign for cleaner public restrooms, this house was built in the shape of a giant toilet. The main reason for this house is the man who now lives in it, was born in a toilet himself.   He has worked his entire life for cleaner bathrooms across the world. This giant toilet house is made from cement and glass, most of the walls are glass with geometric cement shapes. For more photos click here.

The Upside down House

This eye catching and cleverly designed house has attracted attention from visitors around the world. It is the only upside down house built with interior in the same way. Some people have reported feeling dizzy and disoriented when entering! Nobody would inhabit it permanently as it was built purely as an exhibit. To see more upside down houses that have been built click here.

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Top 3 Houzz Galleries of 2016

Cypress Homes was busy on Houzz.com in 2016.  Here’s a highlight of our top 3 home galleries from last year based on the number of people who saved photos to their Ideabooks.

3. Sageridge on Buser Drive

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The reason why this gallery made the top 3 was due to the exterior photos. The Sageridge combines two of our more popular plans, the Sagemore and Ridgewood. There are varying ceiling heights to give the home a larger feel and distinguish each room.

IMG_7610“Nice looking” – Mary_Henry

This exterior photo was the reason for the Sageridge being in our top 3 Houzz galleries in 2016. This photo alone had 53 saves. An exterior of a home is what first draws people in. The different shades of grays and the stone give this home a look Houzz users couldn’t refuse to share. This home is a ranch home with a three-stall garage and has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.


“Shingles, siding and stone.” – Haley Tersigni

The rest of the photos of the Sageridge featured on Houzz all had an even amount of shares which pushed this gallery into the top 3.  This photo had 8 saves and once again showcases the exterior of this home. The covered front porch stands out with the stone pillars. The Sageridge is 1,851 Sq Ft.



“Layout and fireplace.” – Marcus Collison

This great room is another highlight of this home. It had 7 saves. This great room features a cathedral ceiling with a ceiling fan in the middle. The realstone gas fireplace is in the center of this room. With a stained wood mantel and accent wall this feature stands out. Large windows flank the fireplace to provide natural light to the space.

2. Amberwood on Jochmann Drive

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The Amberwood has been our most popular home for nearly five years. This two-story, four bedroom home checks off a lot of boxes for many homebuyers. On Houzz, this gallery had the second most saved photos of 2016 with 250 saves! The photos in this home with the most saves were all from different bathrooms!


“Medicine cabinet in between sinks.” – Kathie H

This master bathroom  photo alone had 100 saves on Houzz. The vanity is a stand out piece with a large center built-in. The color scheme really ties the bathroom together. The toilet and shower are also separate from the vanity for privacy.

IMG_6032“Center storage. Like the frosted glass look and two doors rather than one (with one, it seems that one person always has the door opening the wrong way for him/her). I also like the two little drawers for small stuff.” – Megan Ryan

The center built-in from the master bath was also a photo saved many times on Houzz. This built-in was saved 29 times. It’s great for for storing bathroom essentials and to keep sinks separated, giving each person their own space.


This powder room was saved to Houzz Ideabooks 20 times. A powder room is an important space because this is the bathroom guests will use. You want it to be both functional and well decorated! This powder room has light colors, mostly white, with a shiplap accent wall behind the sink. The sink is a square under-mount in a furniture piece style vanity.





1. Avalon on Summerview Drive

Untitled design (8)This home was our 2016 Winter Parade Home featured in the Home Builders Association Fox Cities’ Parade of Homes. On Houzz, this gallery had the most saved photos for us this year with 389 saves!


“We were in this home. Like the kitchen / living area layout and cabinet base between. This one also had the Hearth room.” – J S

This kitchen photo was the most saved image from the gallery, 47 times. This kitchen is all white and gray with tons of kitchen features including granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a wine bar !




“FP with a frame ceiling and mantle and wall”

Two images of this hearth room received 33 and 29 shares. This hearth room is also one of our most popular images on Facebook and Instagram. The cultured stone fireplace and cozy set up make this room the perfect place to curl up and read a book.


“under-sink drawer split for pipes – genius.” – Summitt

This master bathroom image on the Avalon gallery shows the unique custom drawers that help maximize space. This image was save 29 times. This bathroom splits up the toilet area from the shower and sinks. The custom drawer and vanity are used to make use of space around the double sinks.

To see more of our galleries from 2016 and previous years, go to our Houzz or read our blog about the top 10 photos of 2016!

See more photos of our homes every day by following us on Instagram Pinterest and Facebook.

To learn about our floor plans visit our website and take our quiz to see which home is the best fit for you.

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5 of the Dirtiest Places in Your Home

We all know keeping your home clean is a must in order to keep you and your family healthy, but do you know which places in the home are truly the dirtiest? Here is a list of the five places that are regularly full of germs that may make your family sick.

1. Kitchen Cloths and Sponges

Most of us believe that we keep a pretty clean kitchen and probably the last place you would expect to be full of germs. The truth is people frequently use sponges or cloths to wipe dirt from surfaces in the kitchen. As a result, 70 percent of kitchen sponges in U.S. homes failed the hygiene test by having high levels of bacteria, according to the Hygiene Council. The council recommends running sponges through the dishwasher regularly and washing kitchen cloths on the hot cycle in the washing machine. Unless you are using a disinfectant wipe or spray you are not really killing any kind of harmful germs, you are just spreading them around on the surface with an even dirtier sponge! Best advice is to ditch the sponge and use a new washcloth each time you do dishes.

2. Pet Food Dish

Most pet food dishes stay on the floor and do not get washed regularly. When was the last time you washed your pets bowl? We wash out plates and bowl regularly, be kind to your pet and yourself, wash them more often. Fewer germs will be able to grow and you are less likely to become sick. Always wash your hands after handling pet containers and food bowls.

3. Microwave Touch Screen

This spot is notorious for not getting cleaned. Anytime that you put raw or frozen food into the microwave to be heated you have to use the touch pad. Even though the food comes out cooked, the germs that can make you sick are left on the outside of the microwave for the next person to touch. It is important to wipe down the touch screen regularly, especially after cooking or handling raw meat. This applies to any touch screen including cell phones and tablets, they are all a good host for germs!

4. TV Remote

Imagine yourself watching TV while being absent-minded, chewing your fingernails, snacking on food and flipping through channels. You are continuously adding and exposing yourself to germs via your TV remote. The larger your family the more germs that are likely to be added and spread, thanks to your remote. Make sure to sanitize the remote controls in your home regularly to prevent sickness.

5. Light Switches

Touching the light switch is practically unavoidable, but keeping it clean is not. The bathroom light switch can have as many germs as the trash bin. Disinfect light switches twice a week or every day if a member of your household is sick. Remember it is not only in your home that you are likely to be using light switches, but at work too. You can drastically cut down on your amount of exposure just by keeping your own home clean!

We all know that it is necessary to clean our homes on a regular basis, but it is easy to miss some of the dirtiest places in our homes. Next time you are on a cleaning spree be sure to take extra time and care with these five places in your home in order to enjoy a happy and healthy family!

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What Every Buyer Looks For

When it comes to house hunting, no two buyers are the same. Everyone has different tastes in colors, materials, and layouts. Everyone’s situation is different. Sure, adding granite countertops or hardwood floors might appeal to a large portion of buyers, but not everyone is going to like the granite or hardwood you choose. This can be very frustrating to sellers, but when it comes down to it, there are three things every buyer is looking for…

1. Value For Their Money – Buyers want to get as much out of their money as possible. What this means for you is you must price your home to sell. Pricing a home accurately means looking at its features, location, and others comparable in the area. Often, the best way to do this is by calling in a realtor. Unfortunately, most sellers have a tendency to think their house is worth more than it is. This can lead to overpricing, which will deter a large percentage of potential buyers. Realtors are trained to look at all the comps and features to come up with the best and most competitive price for your home.

2. No Maintenance Issues – Buyers know that not every home is “move-in ready,” but most expect little maintenance issues to be taken care of by the seller. Potential buyers see little issues like a split tile in the floor or a leaky faucet as a doorway to bigger, unseen issues like foundation cracks or water damage. Take the doubt out of the equation before you even put your house on the market. Designate a weekend to go around the house and make sure all the maintenance issues are addressed. Replace burned-out light bulbs, clean the dingy basement, and fix the broken light fixture.

3. The WOW Factor – Every buyer wants to be “wowed” when they walk in the door, so give that to them. If you live in an area that has a lot of the same types of homes, you need to make yours stand out. Stage your home perfectly to show off its great features. Refinish the hardwood floors, spruce up the curb appeal, score a deal on a stainless steal appliance set to replace the old ‘80s appliances. You don’t have to go high-end to have the Wow Factor. If money is tight, look into replacing old materials with new cost-effective ones, like laminate countertops and vinyl flooring. Just having a fresh, clean look will go a long way.

If you’re interested in selling your house, call Cypress Homes today!

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*Related Post: Location, Location, Location… Choosing Where to Live and Why It Matters*

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Hardwood Floor Care

Properly cleaning your hardwood is crucial to maintaining the beautiful look of your floors and here at Cypress Homes we are here to help! Dirt and gravel can be the downfall of your hardwood floor. Follow these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to keep your floor looking like new.


1) Sweep Floor RegularlyUnknown

Sweeping the floor with a broom frequently will keep the floor clean and naturally buff it.

2) Vacuum Floor Weekly

Fine grit and dust accumulate on your floor throughout the week. Vacuuming the floor not only removes surface dirt, but also sucks up grit built up within the cracks of your floor.

Be sure to use an attachment with a brush or felt surface to keep from scratching the wood. Also, refrain from using a vacuum with a “beater bar” designed for carpets, which could damage your wood.

Unknown3) Use cotton rugs in high traffic areas.

Covering high traffic areas with a cotton rug can help reduce the wear and tear of your hardwood. This is especially important during poor weather days when water, mud, snow and salt are brought into the home.  Make sure to move the rugs periodically to avoid discoloration in those areas.


1) DO NOT use household products to clean floorsUnknown

Cleaning products not specifically designed for hardwood can cause permanent damage to your floors. Instead, find products designed for your type of hardwood floor. Avoid products such as: oil soaps, liquid or paste wax, products containing oil (citrus, lemon or tung oil), silicon or ammonia.

images2) DO NOT use water to mop floors

Water can cause serious damage to wood, so it is best to avoid any exposure to it. Water can be soaked into the wood and cause warping or discoloration.

3) DO NOT use rubber and vinyl mats 

Unlike cotton rugs, rubber or vinyl mats trap water under them. This can cause damage and discoloration to the wood. 

Other Useful Tips

  • Keep pets nails trimmed to help reduce scratches
  • Consider installing sheer curtains to cut down on UV light that can discolor your floor
  • Install felt to the bottom of all furniture to helps reduce scratches when furniture moves
  • Don’t over water your plants as runoff can be very harmful to your floor.
  • Use baking soda on a damp sponge to get rid of scuff marks
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