Visit our website @

Thanks for visitng the ABD Blog

Although sometimes sporatic I do my best you up to speed on the ever-changing world of design! Come back often to see new products, suggestions, and completed client projects.

Friday, October 16, 2009

FLOR Tiles

FLOR ( is a product that has been available for a few years but is now gaining popularity in residential settings. The FLOR product is a 19.7" square modular flooring tile with a non-skid backing. This product can be used to create an area rug or it can be used in wall-t0-wall scenarios. The sample shown above is: needlepoint stripe, color: ginger.

The FLOR website is very user friendly; you can look at different styles and order samples (3 samples for $5.00). The website also features a rug designer feature and a handy calculator to help you figure the quantity of tiles you need for a given application.

What makes FLOR so great? Well, first, it's really inexpensive! If you are looking for a heavy-duty rug for your mud room or maybe just a temporary area rug these tiles are incredibly affordable. A 5 x 7 rug will average $150. The beauty of this product is the durability factor. FLOR tiles are designed, mainly, for commercial spaces with high-traffic so the tiles really hold up in a residential setting. If something does happen and one of the tiles is stained you can simply lift that tile and replace it with a new one. It's really that simple!

This is a great product to consider for play spaces, 3-season porches, mud rooms, basements, kids' rooms, bathrooms, and utility spaces. It can also be used in just about any room you desire but the finished look will be casual.

From October 15th - November 15th we will offer 10% off any FLOR products purchased through Annie Ballantine Designs. We will also provide you with free samples. This discount cannot be used on clearance items; sorry! Happy shopping!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Be Bold

Several weeks ago I was making rounds to some of my favorite odd shops for great finds. I went into a shop in Highland Park and found a great painting that I instantly loved. It's shown above and as you can probably see, is a very colorful and slightly convoluted clown.

I've shown this, excitedly, to many people and have had a variety of reactions: dislike, disdain, fondness, and adoration.

At this exact moment the painting sits in the ABD inventory, awaiting it's new home. I know the perfect setting will come along for this lonely clown.

Where do I plan to use it? Certainly not in a child's bedroom or nursery. I think it would be fabulous in a powder room or a hallway -- a place where the viewer has a fleeting experience with the painting.

As I have had this sitting in my office for several days I have noticed that sometimes the clown is smirking, sometimes he's mournful, and occasionally I look at him and he appears sly, as though he's plotting something. Regardless of what I might see in this piece each day, it is interesting that each time I look at the painting I see something new; a different expression, a sense of feeling, or a wayward brushstroke. It continues to engage me in a thought process; something I feel art should do.

As you put finishing touches in your home, try to do something unexpected and bold. Do something that will catch people off guard. Put a clown in the powder room.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Long Awaited After Photos!

I have resigned myself to the fact that a good space is never done. Spaces should evolve and change just as the people who use the space do. There is always something to be added, edited, updated, or rearranged in any space. This is my glorified excuse for not posting my master bathroom "After" photos until now. =)
In the photos the wall material looks like it could simply be paint so I've included an image of the Valtekz fabric that we used on the walls. It has a leather texture to it that is very subtle and doesn't read at a great distance.
Work was completed on this bathroom during the summer months but it has taken some time to find some of the finishing touches for the space. It isn't done, but rather, it is a work in process; always.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Hot New Textile!

In a recent fabric showing I fell in love with Bart Halpern's pleated upholstery fabric. This fabric is a tough blend of Polyurethan, Polyester, and Viscose with an abrasion rating of 201,000 double rubs. As a point of reference, a normal residential fabric should fall in the 15,000-45,000 double rub category. The double rub (Wyzenbeek) method for testing fabric durability involves rubbing a surface against the fabric to see how many strokes (up and down equals one double rub) the fabric can withstand before it starts to show normal wear. At 201,000 double rubs it would practically take explosives to destroy this fabric!

This fabric is so versatile! It can be used in upholstery, window treatments, as a wall covering, or as bedding. The fabric is available in 33 colors and it can be ordered with or without backing. The production time is only 3-4 weeks and there is a 6 yard minimum order.

Please inquire about pricing by calling our office: 612-746-5519.