Design Trends: Modern Takes on Timeless Black + White Tile

Design Trends: Modern Takes on Timeless Black + White Tile

‘Timeless’ doesn’t have to mean ‘vintage’. A truly timeless design motif can be updated consistently and with dramatic effect. Like the “little black dress”, a truly iconic look can always be reinterpreted for modern times.

Recently, the official Peter Salerno Inc. Instagram account took a look at modern takes on another timeless design theme – black and white tile. We’d say black & white tile design is making a comeback in 2019, but it never really went anywhere.

Still, with every new design season comes a plethora of updated takes on one of the most classic motifs in custom kitchen and bath design. From trusted advisors like Houzz and House Beautiful to HGTV and Elle Decor, black and white tile ideas are everywhere. But as always, the first place we turn is the most award-winning custom kitchen and bath design firm of the 21st century.

Why does black and white tile design work? As Jessica Gordon Ryan, founder of Gimlet Marketing, wrote quite eloquently:

For those who struggle with color, this takes the guesswork out of the equation, without being colorless. For those who embrace color, it can always be added in with accessories. With black and white anything goes – it’s like the little black dress for the home!

The color pairing of black & white in home design is timeless, so what are today’s designers doing to make a classic idea become contemporary?

Like a science experiment, every classic design motif needs a “control” element. Here, the control is two-fold: the color (black and white) and the medium (tile).

From there, everything else is in play. Construction, shape, material, and artistic interpretation are what makes this season’s black and white tile options particularly memorable. 

Mixed media appears to be popular in this season’s black and white tile designs; we’re seeing stone and glass elements make their way into tile construction and overall design concepts. Geometric and mosaic patterns in tile design are very popular and provide a “retro” element to the design space. And single-color metallic additions (like bronze, silver and gold) add an element of heightened class and ‘dazzle’.

How do you feel about black and white tile in contemporary design? Let’s have a conversation; leave a comment below!

Unique Stone Kitchen Design Photography on Instagram

Unique Stone Kitchen Design Photography on Instagram

Let it be known: neutral and natural kitchen design does not mean ‘boring’.

Peter Salerno Inc.‘s recent Instagram posts prove that point to dramatic effect. These kitchen design photos feature what can be done with a home’s second kitchen to make a neutrally-based design pop with dramatic design elements and intriguing materials.

The defining feature of this kitchen design is the arched ceiling, with intricate exposed brick blending beautifully into the large stone backsplash on the kitchen’s feature wall. The simple neutral color of the brick and stone surfaces allow other areas of the kitchen to stand out; the gorgeous arc of the ceiling is dramatic enough by itself. The exposed brick extends down the side wall of the kitchen down to the countertops.

The simple, transitional angles on the custom range hood complement the ceiling’s arc nicely. The accompanying stainless steel kitchen appliances echo the finish of the custom range hood and add a touch of modernity to the brick and stone around them.

The countertops seem simple at first; upon closer inspection, they are finely crafted concrete wood form tops. The finished countertops provide both the rustic feel of weathered wood and the durability of concrete.

The neutral grays and whites of the brick, stone and concrete surfaces allow the simplicity of beautiful butternut cabinetry to shine in this kitchen design. The glass fronts of the warm cabinetry provide a look inside for easy access, as well as copious reflective surfaces for the ambient light coming from the large picture window on the refrigerator wall.

Peter Salerno mentions in the above post that a second kitchen should provide “only the necessities you need”. There are no opulent features, no exorbitant appliances, and generally no frills in this kitchen design. As stated above, this kitchen design is proof that luxury is not always defined by “bells and whistles”. A straightforward approach with an eye on form, function and intriguing design materials can create an understated, beautiful result.

Do you like this kitchen design from Peter Salerno Inc.? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below!

5 Ways to Make Neutral Tone Kitchen + Bath Designs POP

5 Ways to Make Neutral Tone Kitchen + Bath Designs POP

How do you stay ‘on trend’ with neutral tone transitional design without leaving your kitchen or bath looking bland and boring?

It’s a question that gets asked at the beginning of virtually every transitional design project. There’s nothing more appealing in 2019 kitchen and bath design than fresh, neutral colors – but how do you turn white, gray and tan into a design space that dazzles?

Done properly, there are plenty of answers. As usual, we turned to the official Instagram account of Peter Salerno Inc. for some inspiration.

We selected 5 options that will provide an instant ‘pop’ for your neutral kitchen or bath design. They generally fall into two categories: 

  1. Eye-catching design materials and accessories; and
  2. Large lighting and/or reflective features.

Of course, nothing replaces the expertise and value of hiring a world-class kitchen and bath design firm. But every design starts in the same place: with a spark of inspiration. So before you undertake your next transitional kitchen or transitional bath design project (or before you call that design firm), we’d love to give you a few ‘starter ideas’ to base your initial design ideas around.

Are you in love with oversized mirrors? Do you love huge, statement pendant lights? Will you experiment with reclaimed tin or earthy stone surfaces?

Here are a few design ideas to get you started!

5 Ways to ‘Pop’ Your Neutral Tone Kitchen or Bath Design

1. Reclaimed Tin + Mirror Design Elements

2. Unique Stone Elements and Archways

3. Oversized Mirrors, Glass Elements + Ambient Light Sources

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Her Master Bath | Sophisticated | Elegant | Clean |

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4. Large Statement Pendant Lights and Island Lighting

5. Stark Contrast Between Wall Color + Furniture

For more design inspiration from the most award-winning North American kitchen + bath design firm of the 21st century, check out the official Peter Salerno Inc. Instagram.

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!