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Nothing beats a beautiful home that’s stylish and functional, am I right? That’s why this month, I’m breaking down my top picks on the latest technology in kid/pet-friendly materials and durable/low-maintenance finishes. Because as important as color and style trends are for a space, having a home where you can actually kick back and live life is absolutely essential. And the best part about it is that there are plenty of options out there – meaning it is definitely possible to incorporate these for a reasonable price.  Just remember that research is essential, and working with pros who know the ins and outs of each product (and how to apply them to your space) can make or break your experience. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Xo, Laura


Picture this: a gorgeous light-colored sofa or chair that fits perfectly in your living room. It’s the ideal match for your aesthetic and you are practically drooling over it. BUT – what about spills and dirt? As much as we’d all love a high-end piece of furniture in every room, we’ve got to consider the practical side of things. Before, that would have meant opting for a darker sofa purely for functional necessity. But the good news is that now you can have the light-colored sofa of your dreams without that anxiety! Cryton, an amazing new technology product, is easy to clean and moisture/stain/odor-resistent, and Sunbrella fabrics are also a great choice if you’re looking for something to withstand sun, rain/snow, wet swimsuits and food/drink spills for outdoors (to name a few). How magical is that?!


I LOVE a good indoor/outdoor rug. It’s a total necessity – especially in high traffic areas that need a workhorse rug to catch all the dirt, sand, snow, mud, and gunk that ends up on our feet or pets’ paws. These gorgeous rugs made by Dash & Albert are all-around winners in my book. They’re typically made from polyester and are hoseable and scrubbable (yes, you can actually HOSE THEM DOWN!). No more desperate runs to a carpet cleaner to get out a stain, which means you can spend your time with family doing things you love instead. Sign me up!


As simple as sheetrock is visually, it’s tough to keep clean. In your high traffic spaces, your walls are subject to plenty of abuse, and over time they’ll scuff, dent, and show every bit of wear and tear. But if you opt for a wall covering, you’re less likely to see that damage and it’ll be much easier to clean up when it does happen. Shiplap, board and baton, and paneling and bead board can all be painted a fun color or stained to enhance their wood beauty and warm up the space. Or, if you’re open to a pattern, try a wipeable vinyl wallpaper to give the room a splash of personality – it’s a cinch to clean and a total statement piece (there are even peel-and-stick wallpaper options available if you’re nervous about the commitment). All in all, your walls will stay fresher longer, and you’ll be one happy homeowner!


Marble or natural stone countertops are the ultimate fantasy for a kitchen or bathroom, but they’re prone to showing stains, scratches, and etching. So, what’s a good alternative? Quartz! It’s a countertop option that’s still unfamiliar to some, but it’s definitely worth considering. A man-made product consisting of mostly natural quartz combined with pigment and glue to create various colors and patterns, it’s available in a wide variety of prices, so it can definitely be affordable (but I’d caution that you get what you pay for with these – try not to go too low in price).

Laura EngenComment