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This or That (& When to Use It)

One of my favorite things about interior design is that it's not "one size fits all". What you may love someone else might hate or what works for you might not work for me. This is what keeps our day-to-day at Lawless interesting and truly what stretches us to think beyond our likes/dislikes. Having to capture a client's needs and wants in their home design means we get to reinvent ourselves every time.

Today I thought I'd make a few comparisons on different materials for you to learn when to use each. Nothing is "good" or "bad", it just depends on the context so have a read and make the judgment for yourself.

Wool vs Down Duvet

Wool draws perspiration away from your body and desorbs it into the atmosphere creating a dry, comfortable sleeping environment. Down is designed to trap in heat. This is great for cold sleepers, but warm sleepers may find it difficult to drop off.

Eggshell vs Satin Finish

Eggshell is close to a matt or flat finish. It is reminiscent of the shell of an egg — hence its name. Satin has a glossier finish than eggshell and reflects more light, so is more likely to show up any imperfections. Eggshell finish is commonly used for walls in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, offices etc. Satin is commonly used in kitchens and bathrooms (and kids' rooms) because it's more durable and easier to clean.

Bathtub vs Shower

This is self explanatory but if you're building a new home or remodeling an existing one I'd say the main question to ask yourself is "what's the purpose of this home?". What I mean by that is, if you're remodeling a space as a rental or an investment, bathtub is the way to go. It broadens your audience to those who have small children (and those who like baths). If you're building your forever home and you hate baths, you'd have a shower in your primary bathroom instead. Both can look gorgeous but the answer depends on your end goal.

Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile

The major difference between porcelain and ceramic tile is how it's made. Both tiles are made from a clay mixture that's fired in a kiln, but porcelain tile is made from more refined clay and it's fired at higher temperatures. This makes it denser and more durable than ceramic tile.

Porcelain bathroom tiles have greater water resistance. They will work well in rooms subject to a lot of moisture. However, ceramic and porcelain tiles are frequently used in bathrooms and showers so I'd recommend having a balance of both. So we can use ceramic shower tiles for walls and porcelain shower tiles for the flooring.

Now, if you're deciding between ceramic vs. porcelain tile for flooring consider these facts. Porcelain is harder and denser. It's useful in high-traffic areas such as kitchens, mudrooms, hallways and living areas.

But ceramic floor tiles tend to have a softer surface. They are more comfortable to walk on than porcelain. Their tendency to stay cooler than porcelain makes them popular in homes in warmer climates.

Underfloor Heating vs Radiators

The heating system you choose determines the way heat is distributed. Underfloor heating produces radiant heat which makes you feel warm and is literally tucked away under the floor. Radiators work by heating the air surrounding them using convection.

For comfort, it's important to note that radiant heat heats objects directly and it maintains the natural humidity in a room, whereas convection of warm air tends to reduce humidity, which can make the heated area feel stuffy. From a design standpoint, underfloor heating is a dream because it does not take up any floor space and as the heat source is within the floor. Radiator systems are often bulky and need to be inside the room, which means that wall space must be allocated. This area also needs to keep this area free of furniture to allow air circulation.

Any other "This or That" you want to know about? Leave a comment and I can do a part 2.