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Hot Trends Make a Big Splash at KBIS 2014

As many of you know, the Kitchen and Bath masses gathered in Las Vegas February 4-6 for their annual pilgrimage to KBIS, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. This year the event was part of Design & Construction Week, a new concept, merging KBIS with IBS, the International Builder’s Show. As a result, it was bigger and better than ever. Let’s hope that what happened there does NOT stay there ! Read more


Kitchen Case Study: Update and Integrate

This is what we're dealing with, view out the back of the townhouse
This is what we’re dealing with, view out the back of the townhouse



One of the perks (not twerks) of my job is that I get to work in lovely homes on the beach.  If I’m having a “design panic moment” all I have to do is look out the window at the ocean and all is well.  This townhouse project came to me as a referral and is actually a winter home on the ocean in Delray Beach.  This homeowner is a potter with a keen eye for design and finishes.

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Tip #4: Granite or Quartz?


Nautical White Kitchen 1
Sometimes white is right. If your counter top is not your focal point, it should blend seamlessly with the other elements. Here, the story is white. Quartz is definitely the best choice in this case because it won’t stain.

The last few posts we have been exploring the big questions I get from clients who are in the market for a new kitchen.  Today we are up to #4, and it’s a biggie.  What counter top should we get?  Counter tops are a main component of the kitchen.  They have to look right but more importantly they must stand up to daily use.  During the 50s, 60s and 70s , other than the odd wood or tile counter top, most of us had laminate counters.  Formica ruled the roost.  To be fair, laminates have come a long way and are quite popular in Europe.  They are not as indestructible as granite or quartz but the price is right.  Truth be told, back in the day, it was not unheard of to have a laminate top last 30 years or more!

Remember those “Boomerang” Formica counter tops?  If not, then you might find one now in a Mid-Century Modern style kitchen of 2013.

A great example of the natural variations inherent in granite.
A great example of the natural variations inherent in granite.

Today my clients  know about granite but what’s this quartz all about ?  Here’s what I tell them: If you love the uniqueness and natural variations of granite then it’s the top for you.  If you can’t stand that and you prefer consistent color and/or pattern then quartz is for you.  Quartz is man-made and is about 93% quartz with the other 7% being the resins that hold it all together.  Performance wise you can’t do better than quartz.  It is non-pourous, very hard, heat resistant and does not require maintenance.   When it comes to price, at least in Florida, the price is comparable to granite.  Both materials are generally available in 2cm or 3cm material.  2cm is about 3/4″ thick.  You can use it like that if you like the thin look but typically it gets doubled up to give you your 1 1/2″ standard counter top thickness.  If you’re planning a matching backsplash this is a good option since it can be 3/4″.  Yes, the counter edge will have a seam in the middle but if your fabricator is worth his salt, you shouldn’t really notice it.  A 3cm thickness will give you 1 1/4″ thick counter top with no seam but it makes for a very thick back splash which may not leave you enough room for your faucet.  My favorite brands for quartz are Cambria because of the color selection and because all the colors are the same price.  That makes it easy!  Cambria is also made in the USA.  I also love Silestone which can be a little more expensive but is cutting edge when it comes to new textures and technologies.  Silestone is made in Spain and features their trademark Microban which enhances the antibacterial nature of quartz even more.  Granite can come from South America, Mexico, Europe and even India.  If opting for granite you’ll need to make a trip to the yard to select your slabs since they vary so much.  If you need help deciding you know where to find me!
Next up: Tip #5: Glass Doors, Solid Doors or Open Shelves?
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