New Year, New Trends

While granite remains a timeless option, there are some newcomers on the scene that goes from the eco-friendly to the luxurious and will take your kitchen or bath to a whole new level. Predictions for 2020 and the upcoming decade are full of options available as homeowners make their kitchens and bathrooms a design priority.

Quartz – an engineered, highly durable stone, is all the rage in countertops and is believed to not only continue but expand to more modern looks, include overhangs, in the coming year.

Dark Stones – are predicted to return this year and beyond. They not only add contrast, but can create the chic look you long for.

Tile – is no longer reserved for floors or backsplashes, but is back in countertops as well. It is a cheap alternative that can add both the charm and accent needed for a modern or classic look at a fraction of the cost.

Veining – is all about adding eye catching interest to any space. We saw it explode in water fall designs creating the statement piece for open concept designs. 2020 predictions are it will expand to backsplashes and much more.

Marble – is a hot trend that is showing no signs of slowing down. It adds value to a home, coordinates well with virtually every cabinet and flooring, is heat resistant, and ages gracefully acquiring a patina over time.

We think everyone is united with the open concepts popularity continuing making your kitchen truly a vital part of your entertainment space, which deserves the upmost attention. We looked at a few of the 2020 predictions, but welcome the opportunity to explore even more with you!

A Look Back at 2019

While we wait anxiously to see the expert predictions for the coming new year, we thought it would be fun to look back before looking forward to 2020!

 

  • Waterfall Workspace.  It was predicted the popularity of waterfall workspaces would soar in 2019 and if you watched the design shows on TV or looked at the popular design magazines, you would think it was an understatement.  It proved to be the crowning jewel to every kitchen project. This prediction not only proved to be true, but we think should continue!
  • Nature comes indoors.  Nature was predicted to come indoors in every room of your home, to include natural wood, marble, granite, and more.   We certainly saw white cabinets give way to a more natural wood and the use of natural stones reached an all-time high adding value to every project. 
  • Slab Backsplash sores. The predictions stated a single slab backsplash would create a more dramatic look, plus an ease in cleaning which would replace the tile backsplash.  This one proved to be mixed. There may have been an increase to the slab backsplashes, but there is still room to grow with this design trend. 
  • Island workspaces.  The forecast for them to remain a key feature was right on target.  It is difficult today to imagine a large kitchen that does not include a very functional island.
  • Marble and Granite throughout the home.  Have you been furniture shopping lately?  Marble and granite seems to be utilized in every rooms and in every way possible.  It has proven to be timeless, easy to care for, a great solution for many projects, and the perfect way to present that up-scale look.   

 

 

Make Your RV Feel Like Home with Stone Accents

The revival of airstreams have ignited a new love for the freedom of travel provided by RVs. These homes-away-from-home allow for spontaneous road trips, endless adventures, and now, some of the niceties of home. If you’re doing an extended road trip, why not make your home-away-from-home have the same luxuries as your real home? Some of these recent updates include:

-Bathroom granite countertops

-Outdoor kitchens with grills and sinks

-Full bedrooms and additional convertible beds

-Full living rooms with couches and big screen TVs

-Bathroom granite flooring

-Full living rooms with couches and big screen TVs

-Kitchen granite countertops

Have you considered taking on the roads with an RV or camper? Contact us to make your dream a reality.

Best Countertops for Commercial Spaces

Commercial spaces are not used or cared for as residential spaces, meaning durable stones are necessary. However, employees and business owners recognize the need for creating a comfortable space filled with homey features like full kitchens, nicer aesthetics, and comfortable spaces to take breaks. This is why many businesses are turning to kitchens and bathrooms that have the homey luxuries, but the durability necessary for more frequented use.

There are two stones that portray the home-like luxury with strength:

Granite:

Granite is a popular option in the home for good reason: it comes in beautiful hues and is very durable. It’s versatile and modern enough to be used in a variety of office settings. In addition to conveying an upscale look, granite is easy to clean, can handle some heat (though putting hot pots or pans on stone is generally a risky choice), and can stand up against scratches.

Quartz:

Quartz is used in many restaurants and offices for its modern look, durability, and price point.  It comes in a wide variety of colors and can handle any situation.

Not all countertops are the right fit for commercial spaces and offices, though.

Marble:

Marble is beautiful and stunning in many homes, but it lacks the durability to be effective in commercial spaces. It does not hold up well to stains, heat, and can be softer. In an office that has higher foot traffic than your home, it is not a viable option.

Get Your Home Ready for Fall

Fall weather may seem far away, but if your home isn’t ready for the cozy seasons ahead, now is the time to initiate your construction projects to get your home ready. We’ve made a list of a few projects that will do wonders for your home and your enjoyment, whether you’re entertaining or just enjoying a night in.

First up is a fire pit. A stone fire pit with chairs or benches set around it is the best way to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Not to mention, everyone enjoys gathering around a fire pit. It is the perfect way to entertain family and friends for s’more nights, after dinner drinks, or merely a cozy setting for when the weather gets cold.

Another great addition is adding a fireplace, giving your current one a facelift, or even better, adding one outdoors. If you are looking to add a outdoor entertaining space, a great addition would be a fireplace with couches, a TV if it is covered, and dining chairs to eat al fresco even when the weather dips a bit. Indoors, fireplaces aren’t as necessary in Texas, but they can be a focal feature of the home and still be enjoyed during the winter months. A stunning stone front will be a beautiful addition to any room.

During the fall and winter months, entertaining opportunities for family and friends are plentiful, which is why now is a good time to give your kitchen the makeover you’ve been wanting to ensure it is done in time for the holiday season. Simply changing the countertops can do wonders for a space.

Initiate the plans today for a renovations you will love all year long!

 

 

Marble Walls: Beautiful and Useful

Interior Design: Van der Vein

Marble walls are taking over, whether it is for a functional use in your kitchen or bathroom, or merely a fun statement or accent in the rest of your home. Regardless, the result is a beautiful room that is stunning, seamless, and unique.

Marble walls in your bathroom are functional and beautiful. With proper care, marble shower wall panels can be used instead of tile. They don’t require grout and are so impressive looking, you can utilize minimal decor. You can use marble on all bathroom walls, or just in the shower, depending on the look and feel you are going for.

Marble “walls” in the kitchen often take the form of a marble backsplash that can extend to the cabinets, or take over the entire wall. In this case, you can go seamless and match your countertops, or go bold and select a contrasting stone. You can also use stone tiles, but slabs render a uncluttered, opulent look.

Marble walls can also be used in other rooms in your house instead of wallpaper to add an accent wall. Depending on your aesthetic, tile or slabs can be used, or for a dramatic look, use both!

Quartz: How It’s Made, Pros, and Cons

Quartz is becoming all the rage due to its versatility and appearance, but what is it and what are the pros/cons? Natural quartz is mined and then ground into an aggregate that’s fused together with resin binders to form a solid slab. Pigments added during the process add the color to the countertops. Below we breakdown the pros and cons of this popular stone:

PROS

Easily cleaned
Quartz does not need to be sealed and stains can be easily removed with soapy water, however, harsh chemicals should be avoided due to the resin.

Antimicrobial
The resin that binds the aggregated quartz, which makes it nonporous, meaning bacteria and mildew cannot penetrate your quartz surface.

Aesthetics & endless design options
Quartz can come in many colors and due to its flexibility, it can be shaped in ways natural stones cannot. This included served edges, sink shapes, floors, and tiles.

CONS

No extreme heat
Quartz is heat resistant, but it’s always best to use a trivet. Sudden changes in temperatures could lead to the quartz cracking.

No outdoors
Quartz was not meant to be exposed to the elements, including the direct sun, which can cause fading and splitting.

Rooms Worth the Stone Splurge (And Ones Not Worth It!)

Though stone countertops in any room can really elevate the look and add a timeless appeal, there are some rooms more worthy of the splurge than others, especially considering part of stone countertops’ appeal is the durability, strength, and heat resistant factors. Here are some spaces that could forego stone countertops to save $$$ for stone-worthy spaces:
  • While we love the updated laundry room trend (because who wants to do laundry in a dreary space?!), it isn’t of huge importance. Laundry rooms are generally shut off to guests and don’t really need the durability as compared to other spaces.
  • Guest bathrooms that are not frequently used could forego the upgraded countertops in favor of more frequently used spaces.
  • Similarly, powder rooms do not see use more than washing hands and checking makeup, so a more durable, heat resistant stone is not necessary.

And here are the rooms that NEED stone surfaces to ensure a longer countertop life:

  • Children’s’ bathrooms are probably the most surprising to see on the “go for it” list, but in reality, children tend to not understand proper care, so a more durable stone like quartz or cambria can stand strong and lengthen the life of the bathroom. Go with a neutral color and the room can grow with them!
  • Kitchens are the most obvious room where the splurge is worth it. Not only are they the center of the hosue where most of the entertaining takes place, they are also the rooms with the most spills, hot items, and messy spills. Eliminate the worry and go ahead and add stone- not to mention the resale value.
  • Outdoor stones are one of the more durable options that can withstand weather with proper care.

Guarantee a Long Life for Your Stone

Stone is an investment, and therefore, should be treated with care to ensure it has a beautiful, long life in your home. Though all stones have different strengths and weaknesses, there are a few general maintenance tips to ensure you get the longest use out of them, no matter where they exist in your home. The best way to guarantee that is to use proper techniques and products for cleaning.

Preventative:

  • Use coasters on all stone tableware
  • Immediately pick up spills; blot, don’t wipe
  • Use cutting boards, not your stone surface
  • Don’t leave acidic foods (lemons, tomatoes, etc.) on marble
  • Don’t place hot pots or pans directly on marble countertops

Daily Care:

  • Dusting stone is an easy way to prevent build-up
  • After using cleaning products, make sure to dry the area with a cloth or squeegee

Cleaning Products:

  • Always use a soft cloth, like microfiber
  • Never use products that contain acids as they could dull stone
  • Lemon and vinegar products can also speed up the aging process of stone

If you are ever unsure about a product, you can call Synergy Granite to ask about our professional opinions and experience with all stone cleaning products.

Countertop Material Choices

One of the largest decisions with the largest impact for your kitchen is deciding you countertop. Not only do you have to decide what type of material, keeping in mind that the best options are durable and long-lasting, but also deciding on the color and pattern. This review of granite, marble, quartz and silestone will help you decide what type is best for you and highlight the color options found within each category.

 

Granite: Granite is traditionally the most popular countertop choice and comes in a decent variety of colors and patterns. Granite is known for its strength, including heat and chipping resistance. Granite is very heavy and granite does need to be sealed to maintain its stain resistance. Due to granites popularity, it instantly adds value to your home.

 

Marble: Marble is known for its beauty, especially in the white tones with the distinctive veining. It is heat resistant, but is very susceptible to stains, scratches, and chips. However, with the proper care, marble makes a beautiful, timeless addition to any kitchen.

 

Quartz: Quartz countertops recently gained popularity in the market. It is an engineered stone that comes in the largest variety of colors and patterns. Additionally, it is equally as durable as granite against chipping and is heat and stain resistant. It can, however, be more expensive than its counterparts.

 

Silestone: Silestone is primarily made from quartz, but contains small amounts of plastic and similarly is offered in a large selection of colors and patterns. Silestone is also a hard, sturdy material that is resistant to heat, stains, scratches, and cracks, but one of the unique features of silestone is that it has an antimicrobial protection built-in to protect against bacterial growth.