Quartz Countertops Are Trendy: Are They Better Than Granite?

Quartz Countertops Are Trendy: Are They a Smart Choice For Your Kitchen?

Sitting in a recent meeting with Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. (our parent company), we were intrigued by a comment Peter made about one of this year’s hottest kitchen design trends: quartz kitchen countertops.

“Quartz [as a kitchen countertop material] is definitely in, and a lot of clients ask me whether quartz is a better option than granite,” Peter remarked.

The debate has begun to take over kitchen design, both among kitchen design experts and across the Internet. Should people be choosing quartz countertops for their kitchen design or kitchen remodeling project, or are granite countertops still the smart selection?

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)

Well, as is usually the case, the answer’s not so cut-and-dry.

Here’s what you need to know about quartz countertops, and how they compare to granite surfaces for your kitchen.

1. Quartz countertops are not 100% quartz – but that’s not a bad thing.

Most quartz countertops are around 95% quartz, with the remaining portion of the countertop surface made of polymers, resins and bonding materials. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Granite counters are almost always a 100% stone surface, meaning that they must be sealed to avoid stains and food items from sinking into the natural pores of the granite.

Whereas some high-end granite countertops may state they require a granite-specific cleaner, quartz countertops are virtually all amenable to simple soap and water cleaning. Many experts recommend that granite countertops should be re-sealed once a year; by contrast, a quartz countertop requires no such maintenance.

2. Quartz is harder than granite.

Due to the porous nature of granite, it’s susceptible to staining (and spills are a bit more troubling). Quartz countertops are sealed with polymer resins, so the resulting surface is actually a harder material than granite. Quartz countertop owners don’t have to worry as much about chips, falling items, spills and stains as a result.

The other upside to quartz’s hardness is it serves as a natural detractor to cross-contamination.

 

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
3. Quartz countertops are heavier.

This isn’t an installation job that you’ll be doing yourself. Only homeowners with direct counter installation experience should be handling any countertop installation jobs, to be clear. But the weight of composite quartz countertops requires a bit more care than the average granite counter installation process.

Make sure you consult with a professional kitchen designer and installation expert to ensure that your space is equipped to handle the extra load of a quartz counter.

4. Are quartz countertops really cheaper than granite?

Again, sorry for the vague answer, but the truth is it depends on the individual job specifications. While the most inexpensive quartz counters are generally cheaper than granite, quartz’s price range is wider than that of granite.

As a result, the most expensive quartz countertops can exceed the price of high-end granite by a noticeable margin. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into with your countertop purchase, and don’t assume that quartz is always cheaper than granite – it’s not.

5. It’s all about your personal preference.

Granite vs. quartz is a debate that comes down to your personal taste. If you love the idea of a 100% natural surface in your home and don’t mind a little extra maintenance (and TLC), then granite countertops may be for you. If you want a little more durability, price flexibility (and color flexibility), then you should look into quartz.

Either way, a quality custom kitchen design team will point you in the proper direction and outline all the specifics on price, installation, maintenance and care.

So what’s your take on granite vs. quartz countertops? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 1

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 1

“Luxury” and “affordable” are 2 words that seem like polar opposites. This is especially the case when it comes to high-end home design, specifically custom kitchen design and custom bath design.

The world of luxury home design seems like a far-off fantasy to most people. (The author of this article is definitely guilty of perusing Pinterest for high-end home design photos and letting out a wistful sigh or two.) Whether your taste is gorgeous French ovens and ranges, state-of-the-art bath fixtures, custom tile work or unique accessories, luxury home design – and its price tag – appears to be a bit out of reach.

But luxury home design style can be attainable – and affordable.

Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design, 2017 design trends

World-renowned design firms like the award-winning Peter Salerno Inc. are committing to make design fantasies into realities for a more reasonable cost than ever before.

(Before we dive into the topic further, we should be clear – it takes a respected design firm with years of networking, experience and success to deliver this level of luxury at an achievable price. Without the proper connections and a finely-tuned approach, it’s hard to streamline the design and delivery process of such high-quality materials on a competitive budget.)

The finest custom kitchen and bath design companies in the world are trending towards “affordable luxury” – the idea that high-end design shouldn’t always be reserved for high-end budgets. For Peter Salerno Inc., that idea takes shape in the form of the revamped Transitions™ collection.

Peter Salerno Inc. award winning transitional bath design, 2015. [Photo: Peter Rymwid]

Peter Salerno Inc. is the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm of the last 15 years, with awards from prestigious organizations like the NKBA, KBIS, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Signature Kitchens & Baths. Their tagline, “It’s all about the extraordinary”, now applies to more budgets and households than ever before.

A quote from the official Peter Salerno Inc. website:

For those that appreciate quality, craftsmanship, and design but don’t require a Rolls Royce; Transitions is the only choice. We bring our award-winning design expertise to your space accompanied by quality cabinetry with a wide variety of door styles, finishes, and moldings.

At a price-point 20%-45% less than our Tesoro line, this is the perfect option for builders and homeowners looking to furnish a home with something extraordinary while staying in budget.

The thing we love about the concept of “affordable luxury” is that the term is flexible. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, today’s best design trends are all about personalization, and that includes the design budget. After all, the term “affordable” is relative to each client. For Peter Salerno Inc., “affordable luxury” is as simple (and refreshing) as always providing the highest quality work, craftsmanship, design, materials and delivery for the client’s budget.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about affordable luxury in custom home design, and the best ways for you and your professional design firm to create the luxurious home space of your dreams without breaking the bank. Stay tuned!

Amazon Prime Day July 16, 2018 | What Are This Year’s Deals?

Amazon Prime Day July 16, 2018 | What Are This Year’s Deals?

Expect the unexpected when Amazon Prime Day returns on July 16, 2018… but expect AMAZING deals and savings at the same time!

For those of you who are unaware, Amazon Prime Day is a celebration for Amazon Prime members that’s comparable only to Black Friday in terms of deals, savings and special offers. The 2018 edition of Amazon Prime Day is starting at 3 PM ET July 16 and running all day July 17 – fair warning, it is open to Amazon Prime members ONLY!

(If you want to sign up for Amazon Prime to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day, do so here.)

A custom RangeCraft range hood dazzles in this Moscow kitchen design by Peter Salerno Inc.

Several major brands have already teased Prime Day 2018 deals, like Lulus, CarFAX, and Rugs USA. This is clearly only the tip of the Amazon Prime Day iceberg in 2018, but it’s a clear indicator that the bonanza is swinging for the fences this year.

So what can you anticipate on Amazon Prime Day, beginning July 16, 2018? What are some deals rumored to happen? How can you apply these deals and offers to your home, home design, kitchen and bath? And hey – how can you win a Lexus?

Check out some things we expect to see this year during Amazon Prime Day 2018.

Amazon Prime Day 2018: What to Watch For, Deals to Expect

1. Enter to win $50,000, an Alexa-equipped 2019 Lexus ES, or a smart-home makeover.

The opportunities to simply WIN this year during Prime Day are exceptional. Amazon is, of course, pushing the Alexa brand harder than ever, and the list of companies and products that are equipped with Alexa is growing. From Honeywell to Hisense, Philips to Sonos, Alexa is the most pervasive, popular “smart” device in the world today.

As a celebration of Alexa’s success, Amazon Prime Day is an opportunity to win big and score major prizes. From a gorgeous 2019 Lexus ES with Alexa capabilities, to a full smart-home makeover, to a trip for 2 to Seattle, to $50,000 cash, there are so many ways for Amazon Prime members to get rewarded simply for taking part.

From our perspective, that smart-home makeover looks awfully tempting… but hey, we’re a little biased.

2. Be savvy – shop the “early bird” list of Amazon Prime Day product launches for Kitchen.

Unique plant and fruit displays smartly placed throughout a kitchen give it appeal.

3. Save up to 25% off Stone & Beam furniture and decor.

Designer Showhouse of New Jersey photos 2017

4. Make sure you read the official 2018 Amazon Prime Day primer – get prepared!

We can only point you in the right direction. The best way to truly get prepared for July 16th’s Amazon Prime Day is to brush up courtesy of Amazon itself. Click the link to head over the official Amazon Prime Day primer, and get tips straight from the source!

Get Stylish With Award-Winning Kitchen + Bath Design on Instagram

Get Stylish With Award-Winning Kitchen + Bath Design on Instagram

Are you following the award-winning Peter Salerno Inc. on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on the most award-winning kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century!

Follow Peter Salerno Inc. designs on Instagram.
Follow Peter Salerno Inc. designs on Instagram.

Under the care and guidance of Peter Salerno, CMKBD (Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Design, NKBA), Peter Salerno Inc. has blossomed from a small design firm with audacious goals into one of the most notable firms in the kitchen and bath design industry. Since 2002, Peter Salerno Inc. has won more national design awards than any firm in North America, from such reputable sources as the NKBA, KBIS, Signature Kitchens & Baths, HGTV and more.

The kitchen designs, bathroom designs, wine cellars, man caves and bars that have won these prestigious awards are all located in one place – the Peter Salerno Inc. Instagram.

The 2018 Architectural Digest Design Show - see more on Peter Salerno's Instagram!
The 2018 Architectural Digest Design Show – see more on Peter Salerno’s Instagram!

The thing we love most about following Peter Salerno Inc. on Instagram is the company’s willingness to provide an ‘inside look’ at day-to-day operations, family gatherings, momentous occasions, and VIP design industry events that most of us never get to see. Where else can you find photos from inside a world-class design showroom, exclusive snapshots from conferences like KBIS 2018 and the Architectural Digest Design Show, and around a world-class designer’s Thanksgiving dinner table?

Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
Transitional kitchen design, Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

From the incredible (kitchen designs that have won national awards) to the innovative (forward-thinking transitional designs), the highbrow (black tie design conference events) to the humorous (Peter Salerno building snowmen outside the showroom on wintry days), the broad spectrum of eye-catching photography on Peter Salerno Inc.’s Instagram account makes it a must-follow for design lovers everywhere.

So what are you waiting for? Join the tastemakers, innovators, industry leaders and social influencers that already follow Peter Salerno Inc.’s Instagram account – and get inspired to Design Your Lifestyle!

5 Summer 2018 Home Design Trends To Watch

5 Summer 2018 Home Design Trends To Watch

If you live in many parts of America (especially the northeast), then you know what we’re thinking – what in the world happened to Spring 2018? The season seems to have vanished, and many of us feel like we “jumped straight from winter to summer”, as one of our colleagues put it.

With such a late jump on spring (and a mini heat wave to start May 2018), all of our “Spring Cleaning” projects feel so far behind schedule. Before you know it, Summer 2018 will be right around the corner – and how will we know that our home designs are on trend?

After looking through countless design articles, blogs, websites, magazines and consulting expert sources (like our parent company, the design wizards at Peter Salerno Inc.), we’ve cultivated a scaled-down list of our five favorite Summer 2018 home design trends you should be watching.

Why these 5 Summer 2018 home design trends? Simple – they’re all attainable. You don’t have to change all the decor in your house, or start a massive renovation, or counter your own specific tastes (that’s why we’re giving you multiple flooring trends to explore) – all you need to do is put down a new rug, some new stain, paint a wall or buy some unique plants and fruit/floral arrangements!

It’s rare that we want to do a full-blown home design overhaul – and when we do, that’s when it’s time to consult with a world-renowned, award-winning home design firm. But if you want to take on a one-day design project in your home to update things for Summer 2018, then this is a great list to peruse.

What do you like? What design trends do you question? We want to hear from you in the comments!

Five Summer 2018 Home Design Trends

1. Dark Wood Grains and Dark Wood Flooring

Dark wood grains in surfaces (counters, bars, etc.) and flooring are ‘on trend’ for homes in Summer 2018. This gorgeous bar design from Peter Salerno Inc. benefits from lush, dark-colored curtains to augment the rich grain of the flooring.

Dark wood grain flooring makes this Peter Salerno Inc. bar design 'pop - Summer 2018 design trends
Dark wood grain flooring makes this Peter Salerno Inc. bar design ‘pop – Summer 2018 design trends

2. Pastel Accent Walls That Pop

Pastels were everywhere in the Pantone Spring 2018 color collection – and pastel accent walls are a great way to lighten up the mood and create a lively room design. Try one of the ‘major players’ in the Pantone Spring 2018 pastel collection – Spring Crocus, Pink Lavender or Blooming Dahlia!

3. Decor Plants and Unique Planters

When it comes to floral arrangements and indoor plants for Summer 2018, get unique (and when in doubt, go big!). If you’ve never seen “that particular plant” before at your local greenhouse, that’s the one to pick! Planters, succulent arrangements and plant decor in general are going to be used as statement design pieces for kitchen design and living space design this summer, so be bold and ‘go green’.

Unique plant and fruit displays smartly placed throughout a kitchen give it appeal.
Unique plant and fruit displays smartly placed throughout a kitchen give it appeal.

 

4. Geometric Patterns for Floor and Wall Tiles

Geometric flooring is a major design trend for Summer 2018 homes.
Geometric flooring is a major design trend for Summer 2018 homes.

5. Large Oriental and Statement Rugs

Still love rugs? Oriental and large statement rugs are back in for Summer 2018!
Still love rugs? Oriental and large statement rugs are back in for Summer 2018!

Cinco De Mayo Colors: An Official Pantone Color Guide

Cinco De Mayo Colors: An Official Pantone Color Guide

Cinco De Mayo is more than just a big party – although a great excuse to fiesta is always welcome! For Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and people of Mexican heritage worldwide, Cinco De Mayo is a day of national pride, honor and triumph. This article will help you celebrate Cinco De Mayo in proper style!

Cinco De Mayo literally means “May 5th” in Spanish. It’s a celebration of the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory at the Battle of Puebla over the heavily-favored French Empire in 1862 – of course, the battle took place on May 5th. On that day, the French forces outnumbered Mexicans by double, but the Mexicans prevailed and established a sense of national pride and unity that had been lost in previous conflicts.

While not exactly an “Independence Day”, Cinco De Mayo is a celebration and recognition of Mexican pride, spirit, and bravery in the face of adversity. Outside Mexico, the holiday is used to promote Mexican culture, customs, food and music throughout the world, and is especially popular in the United States, Canada and Japan.

As you might expect, the colors closely associated with Cinco de Mayo are the official colors of the Mexican flag: red, white and green. But what are the official colors of the flag of Mexico?

Leave it to Design Your Lifestyle – color design aficionados that we are – to provide you with the answer!

Pantone, the world’s foremost authority of color design, has designated the official colors of many of the world’s flags, including Mexico’s. Through the use of the Pantone Color Matching System (CMS), there are uniform names and codes for virtually every color imaginable – including the three primary colors in the Mexican flag.

So when you celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, do it properly – and use these three Pantone shades of red, white and green for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta!

Official Pantone Colors of Cinco de Mayo

Red (Pantone 186)

(Hex Value: C8102E)Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone Red

Green (Pantone 3425)

(Hex Value: 006341)

Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone Green

White

(Hex Value: FFFFFF)Cinco de Mayo Official Pantone White

Top Kitchen Design Trends For Spring 2018: Splashy Bright Tones and Botanical Decor

Top Kitchen Design Trends For Spring 2018: Splashy Bright Tones and Botanical Decor

Are you “on trend” with your Spring 2018 kitchen design? While it’s important to create an overall kitchen design aesthetic that’s “built to last”, there are always ways to tweak your kitchen design and spice things up with changing times.

Maybe you don’t have it in your budget for a total kitchen makeover – but that’s not necessary! Changing or updating just one small facet of your current kitchen can make all the difference in the world. The key is choosing the right updates – and utilizing a world-class kitchen designer certainly doesn’t hurt.

From Pantone’s Spring 2018 color collection to neutral and wood tones, there are plenty of wonderful Spring 2018 kitchen trends from which to choose. Whether you’re looking for a new backsplash design, an updated kitchen island, new cabinetry and flooring options, or modernizing some out-of-date appliances, this season’s kitchen design trends offer lasting solutions to your individual needs.

Let’s take a look at several of Spring 2018’s best kitchen design trends, and how you can utilize them to create (or update) the kitchen of your dreams.

Top Spring 2018 Kitchen Design Trends: Update Your Kitchen!

1. Use a splash of Spring 2018 color to update your kitchen island or backsplash.

Spring 2018’s color scheme, according to Pantone, is full of bright tones and pastels that work as well in your kitchen as they do on the runway. From Spring Crocus to Meadowlark, so many of these bright tones can be utilized to add a splash of color to your kitchen design.

New kitchen design installation photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
A gorgeous blue kitchen island in a new Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design.

The kitchen island pictured above (from Peter Salerno Inc.) is a fresh take on Pantone Spring 2018’s Little Boy Blue, set against the backdrop of a neutrally-based color palette. The result is a stunning pop of color that transforms a useful kitchen island feature into a true conversation piece. It’s the perfect example of how to incorporate a splash of Spring 2018 Pantone color into your kitchen design without being overbearing or garish. (Note the knotty faux-wood grain flooring, another major trend in Spring 2018 kitchen design.)

2. Botanicals and fresh, leafy arrangements are a great choice to spruce up your kitchen decor.

Botanicals are back in a big way, with imaginative presentations leading the charge. (We love Decoist’s coverage of Framed Botanicals as a decor option.) From large vases to wall-mounted frames, bold botanical presentations are all the rage in Spring 2018.

We love botanical and floral presentations in your kitchen design for any season because of the air of freshness they exude. Nothing’s more appetizing and refreshing in your kitchen than a beautiful display of plants, flowers or succulents to brighten the room with pops of color and the scent of the outdoors. Plus, you can use your botanical and floral arrangements to accent the color scheme of your kitchen!

Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design, 2017 design trends
Botanical arrangements add a natural ‘pop’ to your Spring 2018 kitchen design, no matter how neutral the colors.

3. Matte appliances are still in style for Spring 2018.

Matte appliances began their ascent back to kitchen design prominence midway through 2017, and the trend still very much applies to Spring 2018 kitchen design. World-renowned appliance makers like Miele, La Cornue, Sub-Zero and Wolf are all on board, letting the state-of-the-art functionality of their machinery do the talking while the finish on the appliances themselves is subtle and understated.

Using matte appliance finishes allows you to let other elements of your kitchen design ‘flash’, and also lets you flow your range, sink, and refrigerator more naturally into brushed, matte handles on your cabinetry.

A closer look at a custom RangeCraft range hood design.
A closer look at a gorgeous custom RangeCraft range hood design.

4. Love traditional colors? Nautical color schemes are “on trend” for Spring 2018.

In addition to the oversized Pantone Spring 2018 collection, Pantone released a sub-set of 4 “Classic Colors” that bring nautical themes back into kitchen design. From Warm Sand to Sailor Blue, Harbor Mist to Coconut Milk, this collection of off-whites, deep blue and neutral beige is a godsend to “yacht party” style enthusiasts and classic color lovers.

The thing we love about the Spring 2018 Classic Colors collection is its versatility. Whether you utilize these colors in your island countertop, cabinetry, flooring, backsplash or kitchen counters, they all work and flow together beautifully to create a traditional color palette that will last for years.