Why a Modern Kitchen Design Might be Right for You
It is no wonder that many home owners today are choosing a modern kitchen design, with clean lines, pure functionality, and utter simplicity – it almost seems like a no-brainer to home designers. However, many home owners often find the choice between going the modern route, and designing a traditional kitchen a difficult decision. Here are a few reasons why a contemporary kitchen is an amazing option.
More Connected Living Space
In most households, the kitchen is one of the most heavily used areas. Traditional kitchens are typically more closed off and can leave the family chef feeling excluded from household events. The open-space that generally accompanies a modern kitchen creates a more inclusive household, and as a bonus – it is great for hosting large gatherings of friends and family!
Bright Natural Lighting
Most contemporary designers build simplistic and beautiful kitchens around natural, bright-lighting. Not only is natural lighting beautiful – it is good for you and creates a more positive atmosphere within your home!
Modern home design coupled with minimalism creates so much open space. This helps eliminate any feeling of being uncomfortable or crowded as you move through your kitchen.
Flexible Décor Options
Sleek lines, open spaces, and simple colors all add up to one beautiful thing – options! If you value progression and change in your life, the simplicity afforded to you by a modern design plan leaves you open to the possibility of changing your décor, furniture, or style at any point in time without creating too much extra work for yourself.
You are going to get more than flexibility, and breathing room when you decide on a modern kitchen design - you also are going to get the chance to accurately display your personality for all of your house guests to see. You can easily build your kitchen around a single piece of art, or furniture that reflects your personal sense of style.
The reality is, there is no wrong way to design your own home, if you are on the fence about a modern or traditional looking kitchen, these are just a few of the many great points to consider!
Tips for Buying New Cabinets
One detail that is often overlooked in new homes designs, or remodels, is the cabinetry. Many homeowners view cabinetry as a necessity instead of a design statement that can impact the overall aesthetic of your home, as well as the value of your property. Her are a few things to consider when looking at new cabinetry for your home.
Consider Your Budget
When remodeling your home, the first thing you should consider is your budget. Set a desired budget and then set a maximum budget that will give you some room for necessary upgrades, or unexpected emergencies. Cabinetry pricing can vary greatly. At Southern Stone, our cabinets are all-wood, and manufactured to fit all price points.
Consider Your Cabinet Style
Do you desire framed cabinets, or do you prefer a sleek frameless look? Will natural wood colors match the appearance of your home, or would it be better to have white or grey panels? When choosing your cabinet style you should consider the important focal points in your kitchen or bathroom. Do you want your countertops to stand out, or perhaps a unique backsplash? If so, traditional cabinets may be the best option for you.
Consider the Hardware
Although some modern designers prefer to ignore the accessories to maintain a very simple aesthetic, you should know that the right accessories can, and will improve cabinet functionality. They also can be a pretty serious investment. The majority of your time shopping will likely be spent searching for the right handles and accessories. Don’t forget there are more than just handles that need to be taken into consideration though – you also may want to consider mounted lighting fixtures to have installed on your upper cabinets! For best results, you should make sure your cabinet fixtures match your sink and/or faucet - this is an important and often overlooked detail!
If you are interested in designing a dream kitchen at a price you can afford, contact us at Southern Stone, Inc. today to schedule your free in-home countertop and cabinet estimate!
Preparing Your Home for Holiday Guests
Unfortunately, this time of year causes anxiety levels to rise in many home owners as they begin to recognize how under-prepared they are to create a warm, cozy atmosphere for friends and family coming to stay for the holidays. If you can relate to being overwhelmed and under-prepared, this list should help put you on track for a happy holiday season!
30 Days Before Guests Arrive
Depending on where your guests are travelling from, you likely will know a month ahead of time what their plans for the holidays are. This is the time to take inventory of large home projects that you would like to see completed before your guests arrive. 30 days is more than enough time for most local businesses to evaluate and execute your project without having to worry about any unusual surprises. At Southern Stone, we do our best to get your new countertops and cabinets from our showroom, into your home within 14 days. If you have a granite or quartz project on the horizon, give us a call immediately so we can schedule your free estimate and installation before your guests even pull into the driveway!
20 Days Before Guests Arrive
Create a shopping list and make time to purchase items that will make your guests feel more at home. Consider the things that make you more comfortable when travelling. Additional pillows for guest bedrooms, heavier blankets to keep the chill away, and nightlights to help your guests avoid stumbling through a dark hallway are all really great places to start. Lastly, consider possible child-proofing needs if your guest has little ones. More trips to the emergency room occur between November and December than the entire rest of the year combined, so it is important to consider the safety of children, or elderly houseguests that may be more susceptible to preventable injuries.
2 Weeks Before Guests Arrive
Clean linens and guest bedrooms. If you do not frequently use your guest bedrooms, the bedding and curtains might be collecting dust and harboring other airborne bacteria. Two weeks in advance is plenty of time to dust, vacuum, polish the appropriate furniture, and launder all bed linens so your guest can feel perfectly comfortable in your home.
You should also begin creating a meal plan, and finalize any scheduled activities you and your house guests are looking forward to. This will help you avoid unexpected delays or disappointments in your schedule so you can make the most of time with your friends and family.
1 Week Before Guests Arrive
If you have followed the above steps, you should be feeling rather confident in your ability to receive guests into your home, so now it is simply time to begin with the finishing touches that make being home for the holidays so much fun. Take the meal plan you created last week, and make a quick trip to the grocery store to purchase everything that you need now, so you won’t have to worry about any trips to the store for ingredients while your guests are with you. This week is also a good opportunity to pull out your final holiday decorations, and candles to create an inviting feel for yourself and your guests!
Now that you have a game-plan in place, you shouldn’t have to worry about being unprepared, or whether or not your guests will be completely comfortable. All that’s left to do, is pour yourself a glass of eggnog, and curl up by the fireplace!
There are many materials available for kitchen and bathroom counters; however, marble countertops are often viewed as the most elegant option. Boasting more than just a pretty face, marble countertops can be excellent performers and, in many cases, and if properly cared for they may be the last counters you will ever need to install. Understanding the benefits and the drawbacks of this natural stone is, of course, an important element in making your home design decision. Here are a few points that may help you decide whether marble counter installation is right for your home.
Marble Kitchen Counters
While the popularity of, granite, cannot be denied, marble kitchen counters are still regarded as the go-to luxury countertop. When it comes to performance, both granite and marble kitchen counters are at the top of the list; the real difference between the two lies in appearance. Both stones can vary dramatically in looks depending on where they are taken from, and it is generally personal taste that decides which one is a better fit for a particular situation. Each stone is somewhat porous, and must be sealed to prevent stains; this is particularly important in kitchen spaces, as the likelihood of spilling a staining liquid like juice or wine is high. It should be noted, that while they are each similar in care requirements, marble is more porous naturally and due to this, it is highly prone to staining. Marble kitchen counters are also very expensive, so installing marble over every inch of your kitchen counter space is almost always at an extremely high cost. Some homeowners save money by using this product on accent pieces within the home: install it on top of an island, a wet bar, or inset so that you can have all the benefits of the material without all the cost.
Marble Bathroom Counters
Though they won’t be quite the statement piece that marble kitchen counters are, marble bathroom counters are still beautiful. Since bathrooms are a fraction of the size most kitchens are, marble bathroom counters general should be slightly less cost-prohibitive; additionally, the type of spills you’ll see in a bathroom (water, soap, etc.) are much less likely to result in permanent stains, especially when the stone is properly sealed.
Cultured Marble Counter Installation
Cultured marble countertops are formed of marble dust and plastic, and since they are less “pure” and partially manmade they are not as expensive as true marble counter. Installation is a little easier because cultured marble is lighter, and since they’re somewhat synthetic, they’re also more durable against damage and cracking. The only real drawback to installing cultured marble counters is the fact that they are not real marble; though the look is very convincing, the material will not carry the same weight (literally and figuratively) in your home.
Marble Counter Maintenance
Though marble counters are extremely heavy and they may seem tough, they aren’t indestructible. The reality is, marble countertops take quite a lot of extra care if you are concerned about maintaining your investment. It takes a lot of protection, preservation, and prevention to have and keep beautiful countertops. Clean up spills as soon as possible, particularly when the spilled liquid has a deep color or is very acidic. Always use hot pads or pans on the surface of your marble countertops. At installation, it is always a good idea to speak to your installers about routine care and maintenance such as sealing, which will keep your marble countertops beautiful for many years to come!
Visit our showroom at: 2044 Valleydale Terrace Birmingham, AL 35244
or call us at: 205-989-5699 to schedule your free in-home estimate today!
Southern Stone is where your dream kitchen and bathroom can come to life at an affordable price without compromising the integrity of our work. We offer a beautiful selection of solid wood cabinets, along with quartz, and granite counter tops for your kitchen and bathroom.