Can Natural Stone Be Used Safely in the Kitchen?

Natural stone makes a beautiful addition to any room and many different types of natural stone are very popular for use in kitchens.  There are many different countertop material options for kitchens and there is a wide range of both price points and durability.  And, while natural stone is undoubtedly aesthetically pleasing – is it really a practical choice for use in kitchens where spills an stains can be abundant?  There are ways to safely and effectively use natural stone in a kitchen to enhance aesthetics and beauty without risking damaging your investment.

Natural stone countertops are certainly an excellent investment in your home’s beauty and value.  The key to safely using natural stone in your kitchen is to both protect it and maintain it.  Protection begins with installation when your natural stone installer assists you in properly sealing it.  When you apply a seal it helps reduce the risk of spills permeating the pores of the natural stone and causing permanent stains or damage.  Anything that has dye, a deep concentration of color, is acidic or has certain other features can instantly damage your natural stone so a seal is very important.  But, a seal only lasts so long.  It is important to have your natural stone countertops routinely sealed by a professional to ensure that they stand the test of time without incurring permanent damage.

Every kitchen is going to see some level of use and abuse and if you cook or prepare food in your kitchen every day, your countertops will be at risk of scratches, chips, stains, and more.  To prevent unnecessary damage it is important to protect your workspace by using a cutting board – do not cut directly on your countertop.  Fortunately, if your countertops have been professionally sealed and you forget this rule, many times a seal can be buffed or reapplied and the scratch will no longer be visible.  And, while many countertops can handle the heat of a hot pan being placed on directly on the surface, it could potentially damage the stone.  With such a luxurious investment, why tempt fate?  If at all possible, do not risk it!

Finally, proper maintenance is key.  Only used approved cleaning solutions or natural cleaning solutions so that staining or damage to your seal does not occur.  Use a soft cloth or sponge and use a simple mixture of vinegar and water or other stone supplier-approved cleaning solution to keep your natural stone countertops looking their best.

Carved Stone Outdoor Kitchen

You are not taking full advantage of your outdoor living space if you have not yet installed an outdoor kitchen.  There are many different ways to incorporate an outdoor kitchen into your landscape.  And, an outdoor kitchen can be achieved with whatever space you have available, whatever budget you have, and whatever your style preferences are.  Architectural stone is a great way to enhance architectural elements on your home’s exterior and throughout your landscape and your outdoor kitchen area is no exception.  Whether you just want a barbecue or a fully functional outdoor kitchen complete with refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, pizza oven, or anything else you can think of – architectural stone will not only be a durable but stylish addition to your yard.

When you install a beautiful carved stone outdoor kitchen it will naturally become a place that people gravitate towards and in which they want to spend time.  It is wonderful for just enjoying a private dinner with your family or entertaining guests.  One of the most distinct advantages of having an outdoor kitchen is that you do not have to sacrifice time spent outside while preparing a meal.  You will never miss a moment of the party stuck in a kitchen because you will be at the center of the outdoor event, enjoying every moment while preparing food.

Natural stone can be incorporated as a facade around your barbecue, as countertops, as pillars, or as other accents.  Because it is natural stone it seamlessly integrates into a landscape design because it comes from the outdoor elements.  But, once it has been elegantly carved to whatever style or design you choose, it elevates the overall outdoor oasis experience.  A natural stone outdoor kitchen can use the same type and color stone that you have used elsewhere in your home’s interior and exterior design.  The flow will be seamless and you will dramatically enhance your home’s livable space by creating a functional and beautiful outdoor space to enjoy.  Choose from durable and lovely outdoor carved stone options including veneers, pavers, molding, range hoods, countertops, columns, accents, that includes Cantera, travertine, limestone, and marble.  In a place like Arizona where the weather is gorgeous for such a large portion of the year, an investment in a carved stone outdoor kitchen is one that is sure to more than pay off.

3 Trends in Kitchen Cabinetry

If you are considering installing new custom kitchen cabinetry you are probably trying to determine just what type of material and finish will look best in your home.  There are so many types of wood from which to choose and then you must decide if you want to stain it or paint it.  And, what colors and tones do you want your kitchen cabinetry to have?  There are many choices to make and while some trends come and go, some styles are simply timeless and make a wise investment for any homeowner.  Investing in custom kitchen cabinets is always a great idea because kitchen renovations have time after time proven to be a home renovation with a good return on investment.  And, when you choose to install custom cabinetry, you know it will add value and unique beauty to your home that stock cabinetry would not be able to.  When making a decision about custom cabinetry you should consider current trends, your home’s style and how to make a timeless investment in your home.  Below are 3 trends in kitchen cabinetry that will help inspire your new custom kitchen cabinets.

3 Trends in Kitchen Cabinetry

  1. Shaker Style
    • Though flat panel doors are still quite popular, no one can deny that shaker style cabinets are all the rage right now. But, the best part of this trend is that shaker style cabinets have been around for a long time and their style is timeless and very transitional.  Shaker style cabinets are simple in style with minimal adornments and recessed panels in the center of the door.  Because they are transitional in nature, they can be used in a variety of home design styles and they will look great decade after decade.
  2. Color Makes a Comeback
    • White has undoubtedly been the hot kitchen cabinet trend for a few years but color is making a comeback when it comes to kitchen cabinets. Not only will light shades of gray be a huge color trend in kitchen cabinetry in the coming years but other colors as well.  Darker cabinets are coming back, mixing two different colors or finishes with cabinetry is very popular, and even bold, unique colors like jewel tones are very popular right now.
  3. Functional Cabinetry
    • When homeowners invest in custom cabinetry it is a great time to make their kitchen cabinetry really function well for their unique needs. Because homeowners have the choice of what functional features their cabinetry will have, they have a great opportunity to incorporate interesting features such as built-in charging stations for technology, a place to hold/display technology like iPads.  Additionally, better and smarter storage for the types of things you most frequently use in your kitchen can help you maximize your storage space.

3 Applications for Marble in Home Design

There is no doubt about it; marble is having a moment in the sun.  While marble may be the hot trend in home design right now, it is far from a fast-fading trend. Marble has been used in architectural design for centuries.  In fact, use of marble in architectural applications dates back to ancient Roman times.  Marble is beautiful and versatile; it can be used as flooring, as countertops, in bathroom and shower applications, and more!  And, when you use marble, it is sure to elevate the aesthetic appeal of your home, proving itself as a great investment in your home.   Below are 3 applications in which you can use marble in your home to add value and beauty in a way that no other stone can.

  • Flooring
    • If you have ever walked into a home marble flooring you know just how a stunning a statement marble flooring can make. Marble is a metamorphic rock that has unique veining that runs through it which makes it unique.  Marble is also a very durable stone which makes it ideal for flooring because it can stand up to even heavy traffic.  People can walk all over it, year after year, decade after decade, and if it has been properly cared for, it will still look great. But, it is absorbent so it is imperative that it is properly sealed to protect its natural color.
  • Countertops
    • Marble is such a versatile, high-end stone that it integrates seamlessly with any home design. It can be used in modern homes, rustic homes, and traditional homes as a countertop material.  It works great for bathroom countertops, desks, or kitchen countertops. Though marble does require some upkeep such as sealing to protect it from staining or damage.  When properly cared for, marble countertops are so durable that they could last decade after decade looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.
  • Shower
    • When marble is used in shower design, it adds a simple yet breathtakingly elegant design element. Nothing will create the peaceful, spa-like retreat that you want quite like a marble shower.  You can choose to use marble just as the surround of your shower if you want to avoid some of the staining/sealing issues that can sometimes be associated with marble.  Or, you can choose to use it on the floor as well and simply seal the flooring on a routine basis to ensure that your investment is protected.

Benefits of Stone Range Hoods and Backsplashes

Every kitchen can benefit from the advantages that range hoods have to offer.  A range hood helps extract smoke, grease, steam and more, dramatically improving air quality in the kitchen and nearby areas.  This is important because it helps remove odor that will linger and settle and also removes carbon monoxide that would otherwise be breathed in by all of the home’s inhabitants.  There are many different kinds of range hoods, made from a variety of materials, available in a variety of price ranges to suit a variety of needs.  But, not all range hoods are created equal.  While some may do an acceptable job, they might not look right for the space.    While some do an adequate job it is important to remember that a range hood is not just an important appliance but also an element of decor.

When you have carefully designed your kitchen to coordinate with your home’s architectural style and decor aesthetic, and have invested in the beauty of your home, your range hood should not be an afterthought.  Much like putting together the perfect outfit or restoring a vintage car, if you leave out one important detail then it will be obvious and detract from the overall appearance.  A carved stone range hood will help you filter all of those unwanted elements such as heat and smoke out of your kitchen during cooking but it will also enhance the overall look of the kitchen.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and families often congregate in the kitchen on a daily basis, as do guests.  A carved stone range hood, similar to a fireplace, will serve as the focal point of the room, catching anyone’s eye who enters and wowing them with the beauty of its design  and elegance.  Stone is a classic architectural element, used for centuries, and it is that timeless quality that a stone range hood will bring to any kitchen.  A carved stone range hood communicates luxury effortlessly and, while it will coordinate wonderfully with any design aesthetic, if you have used stone throughout your kitchen it will be the crowning jewel.  A stone range hood, paired with stone backsplash is sure to make your kitchen a true show-stopper.  Whatever size or style range hood you need is easily available and, because the hood is made of carved stone, it can be completely customized to meet your unique needs should you so desire.  There are also a variety of materials to choose from to suit your personal preference and decor aesthetic including limestone and travertine.  Elevate the look of your kitchen in an instant by adding a beautiful, unique carved stone range hood.