Tag Archive | "kitchen"

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Federal Brace Teams up with Chief Architect

Posted on 02 April 2018 by Sydne Unnerstall

Federal Brace Chief ArchitectFederal Brace added its complete product catalog to Chief Architect, a software that enables designers and architects to complete drawings, 3-dimensional renderings and 360 degree panoramas of projects, allowing them to perfect their design through modern technology. Federal Brace added its products with the goal of enhancing customer experience.

Chief Architect allows designers to render selected products into design plans for customers, including construction drawings, elevations, and CAD details, professional-quality 3D models including floorplans and framings, and, most recently, 360 degree panoramas that lean into the virtual reality realm. They partner with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) to ensure that wall elevations and dimensions are to standard and even allow designers to take NKBA certification exams on Chief Architect’s downloadable software. Many custom options are available, but name-brand products, such as Federal Brace’s expanding catalog of premier and designer supports, are always in high-demand by designers and consumers alike.

You may also be interested in this article MSI Adds to Carrara White Marble Collection.

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NKBA Announces Winners of Annual Student Design Competition

Posted on 05 December 2017 by Sydne Unnerstall

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) announced its 2017 student design competition winners. The assignment required a remodel of a kitchen and master bathroom with the theme being “Smart Design for Active Seniors”. The homeowners of the project, King and Selina Duncan, recently downsized and moved into a single-story home. While still currently active, the couple requested an “age in place” space for the remodel. The student designers followed the principles of universal design to accommodate current and future needs of the retired couple. The design also needed to echo the surroundings of the Chattanooga, Tenn. home.

Deseray Mann, from Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colo., took top honors for kitchen design, and Joan Marks, from Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo., won first place in the bath competition.

The Winning Kitchen Design:
A chimney-like element over the stovetop that rises to a 15-ft.-ceiling is the focal point of Mann’s kitchen design. Split-face ledger stone, a natural stacked stone that has been broken to expose a rougher surface, is used to complement the color scheme. The dining nook is at one end of the space, which is approximately 21 ft. long. The space is also complemented with white granite countertops and scalloped decorative tile.

The Winning Bath Design:
Marks was inspired by the architectural details of the landmark Veterans Bridge in Chattanooga for the master bath design. The curved ceiling details over the vanity and shower/tub areas mimic the repeating arches on the bridge, and the tile design was inspired by a garden trellis pattern on the bridge handrails. The architectural style of the bridge handrails is reflected in the Gothic mullion transom windows.

The following student designers earned runner-up honors in the 2017 competition:
Kitchen design runner up honors include 2nd Place Sarah Elizabeth Cummins and 3rd Place Jennifer Allen. Honorable Mentions include Megan Gerling and Stephany Taylor Krupke.
Bath design runner up honors include 2nd Place Hailey Kaspick and 3rd Place Brooklyn Gogowich.
Honorable Mentions include Erica Eftodie, Melissa Lamons and Natasha Chayhowski.

You may also be interested in this article Neolith Announces Fourth Annual International Design Competition.

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New Trends in Tile Backsplashes

Posted on 13 June 2017 by CRadmin3

DT_CL75_Fiji DT_CL60_LondonWhen it comes to backsplashes, tile reigns supreme, but the specific patterns, colors and materials used change with the times.Recently, Daltile, one of the leading tile manufacturers in the world, explored the tile backsplash options trending in recent years.

An Assortment of Options

DT_CL64_HollywoodKDT_CL65_StMoritzitchen backsplash tile is available in such a wide assortment of options that it can seem as if there is no end to the configuration, and I’m sure a person could spend the rest of his or her life trying to decide. This is why it is helpful to provide customers a few trending choices that they will be happy with and that will receive praise from family, friends and houseguests.

Four Kitchen Backsplash Recommendations From Daltile

  • Bold and Black – In ultramodern kitchens, a black tile backsplash could be the perfect complement. Try a tile size slightly larger than subway, which can minimize grout lines. If you happen to be working on a farm-style kitchen with natural wood, a black backsplash can add a hint of modernization without going overboard, especially if paired with a shade of gray.
  • Multicolored – Both bold designs needing a match and neutral designs needing a pop of color work well with multicolored tile backsplashes. Do not underestimate how much a brightly colored mosaic can enhance the light and brighten otherwise drab kitchens.
  • Neutral – A neutral-colored backsplash works best when you use accessories and hardware to add a touch of color. Metallic tile is perfect for this design scheme.
  • White, Gray, Green and Yellow – So much can be done with only these four colors. Nothing brightens a kitchen more than a sunny yellow paired with white cabinetry and gray floors. Green also lends a fresh air to neutral kitchens, and there is a wide range of shades from which to choose. It also pairs well with reds and purples.

If you know of any other styles that are trending this year, let us know at info@countertopresource.com.

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Caesarstone Partners with Pratt Institute to Create Future Kitchen

Posted on 24 May 2017 by Sydne Unnerstall

Caesarstone will bring the “Future Kitchen” to life with help from the students of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute. The final design will be produced by Caesarstone and exhibited at WantedDesign Manhattan during NYCXDesign in May. IMG_6846-300w

As the kitchen continues to remain the heart of the home, industrial design students at Pratt Institute seek to understand how it will perform in a global society in the future, and what role the kitchen will play as we find solutions for sustainable food, water and energy supplies, as well as waste management and nutrition.

Under the guidance of New York based architect and designer Marc Thorpe, the students will research aspects of designing the Future Kitchen in relation to issues such as smaller spaces, changes in food consumption, waste disposal, water conservation, new kitchen technology, and the transforming role of the kitchen.

You may also be interested in this video: Kitchen of the Future Displayed by Panasonic.

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2016 Countertop and Kitchen Trends

Posted on 19 February 2016 by cradmin

Although we are less than two months into 2016, this year’s countertop and kitchen trends have already started to become clear, and the Internet is abuzz with all the latest developments. As in past years, our annual countertop and kitchen trend roundup will include all of the relevant information we have sourced from across the Web combined with what we have been hearing from our audience, industry suppliers, countertop fabricators, other industry professionals and consumers.

Kitchens Going From White to Gray

gray tilesSeveral general kitchen trends will play a role in the specific types, shapes and colors homeowners will be choosing for their new countertops this year, and chief among is a softening of colors. A recent article published by Houzz declares that soft color palettes have taken center stage, knocking out glossy whites and bold primary colors.

In another trend report, Daltile claims that white has officially been ousted by gray not only in the kitchen but also in other rooms of the typical American home, including the bathroom, living room and bedrooms. I must’ve been ahead of the curve because we just had our living room repainted in oyster gray and chose a similar gray to accent the white ceramic tiles of our new backsplash.

However, I am certainly not alone, as the Washington Post reports that 61 percent of renovators painted their own walls gray, beige or white within the last year, with green and yellow trailing at 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

“Charcoal, grays and even neutral pastels like pale blue, pale green-gray and tinted whites are the new alternative to the standard white,” said Jane Lockhart, a popular interior designer in Ontario, KitchenAid-Black-StainlessCanada. She also said that new and remodeled kitchens will include light wood tones, such as walnut, white oak and whitewashed wood in place of bolder accents.

In a sharp contrast to white and other lighter colors, all-black kitchens have begun to make an appearance this year, and the color is being contrasted with metallics to create a look of luxury. Decorator’s Wisdom, a DIY decorating blog, reports that Kitchenaid has already gambled on this trend by releasing a new line of kitchen appliances in black stainless steel.

Kitchen Becomes the Heart of Home

This year, the trend to transform the kitchen as a central meeting place and utilitarian common room as expanded beyond belief. With the ability to take in information at will and on the go thanks to smartphones, hanging out in front of the living-room television is largely a thing of the past.

Couples, families, housemates and even single individuals are increasingly forsaking the comfort of the living room and are going straight to the kitchen where freestanding tables are quickly becoming passé. People now want the convenience of upgraded countertops, and with the range of support brackets available for overhangs, it is certainly no wonder. Islands, side counters and nooks are making kitchen tables inefficient, impractical and obsolete.

Countertops: Thin Is In

When it comes to countertops, the word on the street is the thinner the better, and compact sintered surfaces have come in to fill that demand. However, not everyone has the moolah for such extravagance, and granite and quartz remain top competitors. However, before we get to specific surfaces, let’s take a look at colors and styles.

An Angie’s List article on 2016 countertop trends written by Haley Johnston of Moss Building & Design hits the nail on the head when it states that “white marble tops the list of the most popular kitchen countertop colors.” Every brand, no matter the specific material, has come out with a slew of white marble-like designs. Some people with money have sprung for actual marble, but those who know better go for quartz or solid surface, and upscale laminate designs have entered the market and infiltrated the homes of people who could afford much more.

When it comes to style, homeowners have followed the eye-catching, floor-to-surface design that has come to be known as waterfall countertops. This is really just a countertop that extends beyond the horizontal plane to include an integral vertical surface of identical composition and color. Even if consumers decide against waterfall countertops, the trend for 2016 is to choose mitered, yet inconspicuous edging, which is notable for creating a sleek appearance with continuous lines.

A final style guideline for countertops, which has been great news for fabricators, is that they are quickly replacing kitchen tables. Where kitchen tables once stood, countertop islands are being built to match the surrounding countertops. These islands often include overhands and stools, and in addition to kitchen tables, they have largely replaced home-office desks. Home businesses are more popular than ever, and the kitchen has emerged as a central workstation.

Countertop Surfaces for 2016

As far as surfacing materials go, the big winners in 2016 are as expected: quartz and granite. Quartz continues to make the strongest gains, but granite remains the most popular surface after laminate, which once held its position solely on price but has come into its own with the help of modern designers and improved durability.

  • Natural Stone – Beyond laminate, granite remains the leader in countertop materials, and with good reason. It looks fantastic, has durability and is more affordable than ever, not to mention unique. However, it is losing market share quickly as quartz takes center stage in the arena. When it comes to natural stone countertops, though, many of us forget that there are alternatives to granite. Soapstone and slate have garnered loyal followings, and some end users are adamant in their promotion and defense against criticism, which has newly emerged this year. While many prefer natural stone, 2016 has brought out the factions.
  • Engineered Stone – Not too many years back, quartz remained relatively unknown to the masses, but its exceptional properties and range of colors and patterns have quickly brought this surfacing into the mainstream. Many fabricators and designers reckon that quartz will take second place only to laminate in the next decade.
  • Concrete – Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is also edging its way into the market, but it has not been gaining as much strength as it did only a few years in the past. Likely it is held back by its need for sealant and a slower fabrication process. However, those who do it well have found a solid niche for themselves, and the look of masterfully customized GFRC is incomparable to anything else.
  • Sustainables – Eco-friendly surfacing of all types is quickly gaining ground, but perhaps Butcher Blockmore so with commercial and industrial builders than in the residential sector. The odd aspect about the rise of environmentally friendly surfacing is that it is being driven by consumers while largely seen as impractical or too expensive for these same consumers’ homes. On the other hand, hundreds of communities across the nation have successfully promoted sustainable lifestyles, and the trend to do all that is possible for the perceived health of people and the planet has been taken up by both baby boomers and millennials. (Read more about sustainable and eco-sensitive countertop products here, at our sister website www.GreenSurfaceResource.com.)
  • Sintered Compact Surface –Sintered compact surface is, by far, the hottest countertop material available – on an upscale price point. This seems to be the future or next generation of countertop material and new competitors are entering the market to get a share of the spoils.
  • Solid Surface – Still holding onto third place in material popularity, is solid surface material, a close cousin or perhaps parent to the newer quartz surfacing/engineered stone, originally branded by 9203CE_Dusk_Ice_(3)DuPont as Corian. However, fabricators report it is being relegated more to the bathroom, and its real growth seems to be in the commercial sector. Like it’s younger quartz-based relative, in the past, it has been driven by its nearly unlimited designs along with its hygienic properties. However, many predict it will be overtaken in the kitchen by engineered stone, which is growing doubly fast as solid surface. That said, lately, there has been an influx of new companies into the solid surface market and some unique new color options, so perhaps, this will spawn awareness and a return to growth for the product, but that remains to be seen.

Consumer Reports Weighs In

Caesarstone Symphony GreyThis year, Consumer Reports broke out and published an article on the top countertop trends of 2016, and it was very specific. Rather than general trends, this most-respected of consumer-review organizations named names, and the choices were largely based on the new products presented at Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas.

Formica LaminateThe surfaces Consumer Reports is backing as this year’s trends are as follows:

  • Wilsonart Solid Surface – Dusk Ice
  • Formica Laminate – Gray Josef Linen
  • Caesarstone Quartz – Symphony Grey

But for all of the 2016 trends, the real question from most countertop fabricators is how to keep pace with the economic upswing. Both new structures and renovations continue to make a steady comeback, and the ability to read and forecast trends, while inherently risky, often works to increase revenue, no matter how you choose to go about it.

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Ideas for Upselling Granite, Quartz or Other Countertop Materials

Posted on 26 November 2012 by cradmin

When it comes to surfacing, it is all too easy to become complacent and just take countertop orders, rather than really put your sales expertise to use, and this is true of granite (or other natural stone), quartz surfacing, solid surface, or really any other material. Upselling can really be the difference between a decent profit margin and a great one.

We ran across a video that is a good reminder not get lulled into just taking orders, but rather highlighting all of the great possibilities that can turn an ordinary countertop job into a memorable work of countertop art. The video, which was made by Marble.com, is geared toward the homeowner, but is a good reminder to fabricators of different options that can be done. While the video focuses exclusively on granite/natural stone, many, if not most, of these options can also be offered with other materials.

You can view the video here.

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Short, Yet Interesting Article/Slideshow on Countertop Trends

Posted on 15 October 2012 by cradmin

I ran across an interesting article on Kitchen & Bath Business today highlighting some apparent trends in countertops. It also has a photo slideshow to go with it. I’m not sure if I agree 100 percent on all of the points being made here, but there are some insights offered, such as the push for quartz surfacing, the revitalization of solid surface and the price drop in natural stones keeping it a highly viable option.

One other interesting trend pointed out was the “European” look of thinner countertop profiles. I’ve heard this elsewhere and it sounds like it is not isolated. Maybe 2cm will become the standard or the drop-down edges on solid surface will become less popular?

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, like the article points out about safe color choices, not everyone is going to go for the next trend that comes along…

 

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