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!

Dazzling Butler’s Pantry Design Photos | Peter Salerno Inc.

Dazzling Butler’s Pantry Design Photos | Peter Salerno Inc.

A few weeks ago, we brought you exclusive photos from a stunning new kitchen design from Peter Salerno Inc. A modern kitchen that delicately balances 2018 trends with classic design elements, Peter Salerno and his team created a masterpiece that ranks with the finest new kitchen designs of the year.

But the kitchen design doesn’t come alone! It’s accompanied by a dazzling butler’s pantry and augmented by hallway cabinetry that elevate a luxurious kitchen design into a complete transformation of a home.

Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Much like our previous article about this design, we’re going to keep the words to a minimum and let the photos do the talking! A few things we do want to point out:
  • We love the unique backsplash tile in the butler’s pantry, a glass mosaic tile from Stratta, the Tile Boutique;
  • The white Miele coffee maker in the butler’s pantry, which flows so seamlessly with the cabinetry and appliances;
  • The simple yet elegant brown leather pulls on the hallway cabinet, from Richelieu.
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Here are some of the overarching design stats, specs and points of information about supplies and sub-contractors!
Butler’s Pantry:
– White Miele Coffee Maker
– Crystal Knobs from Hardware Resources and Pulls from Richelieu
– Backsplash, glass mosaic from Stratta
Hallway Cabinet:
– Benjamin Moore Color Match to Blue Danube
– Brown Leather Pulls from Richelieu
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.

Reminder: For a look at the full kitchen design, along with beautiful photography and design specifications, click here!

Stunning New Kitchen Design Photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

Stunning New Kitchen Design Photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

Sometimes, a good article is all about the photos. In the case of this dazzling new kitchen design from Peter Salerno Inc., we don’t feel the need to talk too much.

Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

It’s a modern kitchen that delicately balances 2018 trends with classic design elements to create a clean, sleek kitchen design that will be “in” for decades. From the fresh, trendy subway tile backsplash (courtesy of Stratta, the Tile Boutique) to the custom RangeCraft range hood, the statement wall of the kitchen lives up to its billing.

Small details separate this kitchen from others like it. The bamboo work in the island sink from The Galley creates an appealing, unique accent. Brian Greer’s recessed tin ceiling work is dazzling in effect yet subtle in its artistic touches. And with suppliers like Sub-Zero and Miele,  you can be sure the appliances in this kitchen design are world class.

In a future article, we’ll feature the hallway closet and gorgeous butler’s pantry that tie in with this kitchen design.

As you scroll through the remainder of these kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc., take a look at the official kitchen specs – range hood, kitchen island, counters, appliances and more!

Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Kitchen Design Specifications (courtesy of Peter Salerno Inc.):
– RangeCraft Hood – Miami Style
– Richelieu Hardware on all cabinets – Polished Nickel
– Island sink – The Galley Sink in Bamboo – we love this sink; it comes with tons of pieces for entertaining and cooking! 
– Countertops in the kitchen are Quartz
– Tin over the island is from – Brian Greer Tin Ceilings
– All appliances are Sub-Zero & Miele
– Backsplash was all done by Stratta
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc. (Tin ceiling: Brian Greer)
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc. (Bamboo galley sink)

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!

5 Year Anniversary: NKBA Best Overall Kitchen of 2012 Design Photos

5 Year Anniversary: NKBA Best Overall Kitchen of 2012 Design Photos

As part of our “Design Your Lifestyle” 5th Anniversary Series, we’re re-visiting some of our most popular and well-read articles of the last half-decade. Statistically, our most popular award-winning NKBA design article of the last 5 years is this one – about Peter Salerno Inc.’s NKBA Best Overall Kitchen 2012 winner. It’s a stunning kitchen designed for two professional chefs occupying one tremendous kitchen space. This piece combines some new content with a look at many of the features from that article. Enjoy!

Peter Salerno's NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012. (Credit Peter Rymwid)
Peter Salerno’s NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

On April 24, 2012, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) revealed its winners for the 2012 NKBA Design Competition. It was an especially wonderful day for Peter Salerno and the team at Peter Salerno Inc., as they won the coveted NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012 award.

According to a press release sent out by the National Kitchen & Bath Association through its Manager of Media Relations, Annette Gray:

Sponsored by Jenn-Air, Silestone by Cosentino, This Old House, Waypoint Living Spaces, The Home Depot, Delta, 20-20 Technologies and HGTVRemodels.com, the 2012 competition honored 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in six room categories, in addition to Specialty Awards, from the nearly 500 entries submitted by NKBA members from across the U.S. and Canada. Winning designs and designers were announced today at the Design Competition Awards event, held at Chicago’s Mc Cormick Place during the 2012 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS).

“Each year, the NKBA is proud to celebrate excellence in the industry, represented by the NKBA membership,” said 2012 NKBA President and Certified Kitchen Designer, Alan W. Zielinski, CKD. “This year’s winners, some of the country’s top designers, turned out cutting edge designs and we’re excited to announce them to the public and the industry.”

The award-winning large kitchen was designed for a family with two passionate cooks who love to spend hours in the kitchen preparing gourmet meals. Peter Salerno and his design team were charged with creating a kitchen which addressed all of their culinary needs.

The central aspect of the kitchen is a beautiful, 11-foot stainless steel island with four distinct work stations. The island features two ovens, eight burners, a grill, a salamander, sink and pot filler. The design philosophy was to create a balance between the clients’ cooking needs and a beautiful centerpiece for the kitchen. Therefore, the stainless steel and work stations were balanced with painted maple cabinets as well as the warmth of a walnut island and quarter-sawn oak flooring.

The island was placed parallel to the large windows in the breakfast area to maximize the room’s natural light. Three seating areas were created to meet the needs of the family and its guests – the kitchen table, island seating and a separate dining booth.

Peter and his team were able to incorporate some one-of-a-kind aspects into this NKBA Best Kitchen of 2012. A custom four-sided stainless steel exhaust hood with built-in halogen lighting illuminates the entire cooking and preparation area. A stainless tile backsplash was used to compliment the island, which has a 3″ thick cherry butcher block made with 1 3/4″ x 1 3/4″ end grain cherry. Rich natural walnut cabinetry was chosen to contrast and soften the stainless steel refrigerator and freezer.

The entire room was considered, as evidenced by the coffered ceiling, which was designed specifically to accentuate the stainless hood and wall cabinets. By incorporating ten mullion doors and ten single-glass doors over the freeze, china cabinet and refrigerator, the kitchen achieved the proper display space needed for the clients’ fabulous dish and glass collection. Finally, three appliance garages were implemented int he design for easy access to large, oversized blenders and mixers.

It is with pride, honor and family joy that Peter Salerno and the entire team at Peter Salerno Inc. share this prestigious recognition with you. We thank the NKBA, our tireless design and production team, and of course the clients, whose unique family needs and wonderful cooking tradition inspired this design.

For more information about this and other award-winning designs, please visit Peter Salerno Inc.’s website.

Pantone Spring 2018 Colors | The Bright Tones

Pantone Spring 2018 Colors | The Bright Tones

Color design lovers, prepare for an explosion of color in Spring 2018! Pantone has released its Spring 2018 color palette that offers 12 bold color choices, as well as a “Classic color palette” that presents another 4 selections.

It’s a huge leap forward for Pantone, the world’s foremost authority on color design and color matching. In recent years, Pantone has released seasonal collections of 10 colors, offering plenty of selection and inspiration for color design enthusiasts.

Pantone’s Spring 2018 color palette delivers a knockout punch of bright colors, floral blooms, and vibrant tones. It’s interesting to note that the neutral tones selected for the Spring 2018 collection are a departure from grays and off-blacks of past seasons. Instead, Pantone focuses its neutral tones on woodsy, earthy browns and gentle off-whites.

In this article, we’ll focus in on the 3 brightest colors in the Pantone Spring 2018 color palette, and what makes them valuable to your design palette this season. From a knockout green to a bright red-orange to a versatile yellow, these 3 Pantone colors will liven up your Spring 2018 designs in a big way!

Lime Punch (Pantone 13-0550)

There might not be a more aptly named color in the Pantone palette than Lime Punch. An absolutely knockout neon shade of green, Lime Punch is the most in-your-face, unapologetic color in the Spring 2018 collection… and we love it.

Pantone Spring 2018 color Lime Punch

Many people will look at Lime Punch and instantly dismiss it as a “fashion design color only”. While that may be the case in a lot of circumstances, Lime Punch certainly has utility in home design as well. A splash of this hot green into a living space, beach home, or even a bath design can jazz up a design in no time.

Cherry Tomato (Pantone 17-1563)

Pantone’s Cherry Tomato is the color of… well, a cherry tomato. Much like Lime Punch, it’s a perfectly labeled shade, a bright red hue bordering ever-so-slightly on orange. It’s a zesty shade, and a definite departure from more conservative red shades in past Pantone seasonal palettes.

Pantone Spring 2018 color Cherry Tomato

Cherry Tomato is naturally a dominating color in any design, so use it sparingly and wisely. More of a complementary shade than a primary design element, Cherry Tomato (when used properly) can be a fantastic way to spice up a kitchen design or living area redecoration.

Meadowlark (Pantone 13-0646)

We’re not sure if the name of this yellow is a tip of the cap to Meadowlark Lemon, renowned member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Perhaps it’s just reflective of the bright yellow breast of the Meadowlark itself. Either way, this sun-lit shade of yellow certainly captures the essence of lemon in its tone, and officially leads the charge of bright colors in the Pantone Spring 2018 color palette.

Pantone Spring 2018 color Meadowlark

Meadowlark is a versatile yellow – just bold enough to grab your attention, and just subtle enough to pair well with a variety of colors in your home design. A natural winner in kitchen design, bath design and any outdoor space, Meadowlark is a great way to bring some “pop” into the color of your home design without being overbearing.