Quartz vs Soapstone

Quartz vs. Soapstone countertops As we stated in ‘Quartz Counter’ (Mar 9, 2016), Quartz leads the race in countertop materials. As kitchen designs evolve, brands like Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria, open options to clients seeking their personal imprint.  Alternatively, Soapstone provides an option for natural material. Granite and marble may be receding, but they aren’t dead.  But Quartz and Soapstone have distinct characteristics and advantages that suit our clients’ changing needs. The best fit is determined by what’s most important to them. Quartz and soapstone enhance ease of use The term ‘sealant’ evokes the idea of chemicals. The non-porous surfaces of both Quartz and Soapstone appeal to clients as less work and environmentally friendly. Other advantages to non-porous surfaces are: Stain resistance. Scratch resistance. Heat resistance. Resistant to bacteria. Bacterial resistance can be a huge selling point for clients with kids and grandkids. Capturing the right kitchen design and usage When color is critical, Quartz offers more options to blend or contrast with the neutral paint shades that are currently so popular. Manufactured materials have the added advantage of uniform appearance that allows pieces to butt up to each other to make seams almost invisible. On the other hand, soapstone appeals to those who value the natural look. It can be quarried in the US, but Brazilian soapstone has the same type of veining as marble. Coming from nature limits the color choices and it’s best for those desiring gray to black surfaces. Although not required, rubbing soapstone with mineral oil darkens the color. This is definitely not the choice for a colorful kitchen and requires working with one...

3 Foolproof Wallpaper Ideas for a Bold Bathroom

Houzz is an excellent source of information and ideas. We wanted to share some recent articles with you. “It’s common knowledge that powder rooms are great places to get a little wild with your decor. And a quick and painless way to achieve that is through a bold wallpaper. But with the nearly infinite options out there, how do you choose something that will work with your style? Let these three styles of wallpaper guide your selection.” Read the full article...

Guiding Clients To The Right Hardware For Their Kitchen

  The head-spinning number of decisions needed to model the kitchen makes it the most complex room in the home to design. In “The Kitchen Island“ post, we pose a number of questions to consider before designing what’s often the ‘heart’ of the kitchen. The same goes for choosing hardware. Some may like the look of doors and drawers with no hardware - and think they’re saving money. But over time, especially in active kitchens, oil and dirt from hands can eat away the finish (even when home owners are fastidious about washing their hands!). Narrow down the possibilities by learning how the kitchen will function. When cooking’s a passion, easy-to-grasp hardware that doesn’t snag clothing works best.  This style also applies to older residents and anyone who experiences sore or stiff joints. Knob styles work well in kitchens mostly used as a place to gather or where cooking isn’t a priority. The choices range from minimal design to ‘bling’. Here’s where individual taste really makes a statement. For families with toddlers, drop down handles are a good choice as they’re harder for little ones to operate. Another consideration is how wide drawers are. Hardware that’s too small not only gets lost, but may be inadequate to open the drawer. The accepted rule of thumb is to use two knobs or pulls for drawers 18 inches or wider. The alternative is to use oversized bar pulls. Where To Start Living in a desert doesn’t limit choices to just Southwestern or Contemporary. Different kitchen styles help determine what type and size hardware complement the overall look. But this still leaves a...