NEW CONTEST: Win Two Titans Tickets!

Titans tickets to football game on Oct. 25Last week, we finished up our first refer-a-friend give away contest and it was a huge success. So much so, that we’ve decided to host another contest right away!  Starting today, you can enter to win two tickets (valued at $366!) to the Tennessee Titans vs Atlanta Falcons on October 25. Kick-off is at noon Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

The contest is open to all Tennessee residents 13 and older. If you win and you’re under 18, you will need to bring an adult to collect the tickets. It’s easy to participate in this contest: just enter you name and email on the simple sign-up form and you will receive a unique link back to the contest. Then, just share this link with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter (A good technique is to tag your friends in your posts to get more sign ups.) For each person you get to sign up, you earn 1 point. The person with the most points at the end of the contest wins.  Click here to go to the contest.

Our recent winner, Troy Blackwood, from Columbia, had 164 referrals! Here he is with his new YETI® Tundra 45 – a $350 value.

Troy Blackwood, winner of YETI coooler

 

Prestige Marble and Granite is your Middle Tennessee source for stone countertops, custom fabricated from nature’s finest materials, including rare marble and exotic granite. Click here to visit our website.

Prestige Marble and Granite Looks at Kitchen Design Trends

Prestige Marble and Granite kitchen
Calacatta Gold marble from Prestige Marble and Granite tops the island in this beautiful kitchen.

Kitchens renovations are not inexpensive; they’re a long-term investment for most homeowners. While kitchen design trends tend to be slower to change than general interior design, there are always some refreshing new looks that are worth considering. Here’s a look at what’s trending in kitchen design.

Modern Traditional Style
Combining modern and traditional elements in kitchen design is a big look. Many homeowners are shunning ultra-sleek, contemporary kitchens in favor of spaces that are cozy and warm, and reflective of their personal styles.

 

This inviting transitional kitchen by Columbia Interior Designers & Decorators Tbektu Design + Development, LLC incorporates modern and traditional elements for a look that’s both modern and homey.

Universal Design
With more and more baby boomers wanting to age in place, the principles of universal design (designing space with aging users in mind) have really taken off. Drawer appliances such as microwaves, dishwashers and refrigerators are smart design in addition to allowing easy access for those with limited mobility. Faucets with motion sensors and handles on doors (instead of knobs) are also important universal design elements that are trending.

At first glance you might miss the universal design features of this open kitchen! Mid-century Universal Kitchen by Seattle Architects & Building Designers & ROM architecture studio

Natural Walls & Ceilings
Kitchens are embracing natural, raw materials in place of drywall and we’re seeing walls showing up in brick veneer, concrete and reclaimed wood, along with tongue and groove, wood plank and exposed beam ceilings.

This farmhouse kitchen by Harbor Springs Home Builders Cottage Company incorporates a very natural look with tongue-in-groove ceiling and walls, wood floors and granite countertops.

Island Countertops as a Style Statement
The kitchen island is a must-have. This is where people gather, eat, visit and share, and it’s typically the first thing a guest notices when they enter your kitchen. You’ll want to make it something stylish and chic, something to talk about! Still popular, timeless granite-topped islands are high on the list for being beautiful, durable and easy to clean. And marble is definitely having a moment in kitchen design. Whether honed or polished, elegant marble is popping up in kitchens everywhere. (Check out our article here  on what to expect with marble in the kitchen)

This marble waterfall island is a stunning centerpiece in this ccontemporary kitchen by New York Architects & Building Designers Chelsea Atelier Architect, PC

Wood Flooring
With the trend for natural materials strong, wood flooring continues to migrate to the kitchen, and plank preferences are getting wider. Dark wood flooring has remained strong, but medium to light wood flooring, often in off-whites to warm grays, are gaining in popularity for kitchens.

The wide plank wood floors are a show-stopper in this contemporary kitchen by Brooklyn Architects & Building Designers Bonaventura Architect

Warm Metals
While chrome, nickel and stainless steel have been the reigning kitchen metals for some time, warm metals like brass, aged gold, copper and bronze have become the hot metals to have. These modern, warm finishes are showing up everywhere in kitchens: taps, sinks, range hoods, hardware, light fixtures, even bar stools. Mixing metals is also becoming increasingly popular.

Brass panels and pendants add warmth to this contemporary Kitchen by London Interior Designers & Decorators Blakes London


Furniture-Style Design Features
As open kitchen design continues to rule, furniture style cabinetry and other elements have become a popular way to integrate the kitchen to your home’s overall style. The designs available celebrate the different elements of the kitchen as pieces of beautiful furniture, not just workstations.

Gorgeous furniture-style details and elements abound in this Mediterranean kitchen by Giffin & Crane General Contractors, Inc. of Santa Barbara

Open Shelving
Though kitchen cabinets have their place, open shelving is a rapidly growing trend. It’s fashionable to display almost everything – people want to show off their fancy cookery and crockery, and open shelving is the best way to do just that. It’s a great look and makes finding your things much easier, to boot.

Open shelves are an efficient way to store frequently used items and they look fabulous in this contemporary kitchen.

Jewel Tone Cabinets
If you are tired of white, cream or stained cabinetry, this is your time to shine. Designers are dressing up kitchens with custom cabinetry painted in rich jewel tones like sapphire, emerald and ruby, accented with gleaming brass and chrome. For extra drama and light-reflecting sparkle, use a high gloss paint.

The emerald cabinets pair beautifully with glamorous brass accents in this mid-century kitchen by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Caitlin & Caitlin Design Co.
Credits: Click on images to view sources.

For classic, timeless design that reflects your personal style, Prestige Marble and Granite offers a wide array of premium stone countertops, including rare and exotic varieties for making a one-of-a-kind statement. Custom fabricated from nature’s finest materials, a natural stone countertop from Prestige Marble and Granite will give your guests something to talk about!

How to Maintain Your Beautiful Marble or Granite Countertops

Granite, marble and stone surface countertops are an investment that will give you a lifetime of beautiful service. Properly protecting these surfaces will ensure your stone looks beautiful for many years to come. Here are a few simple steps for keeping your stone surface countertops shiny and clean.

  • Immediately blot up spills, before they penetrate or dry onto the surface
  • Clean marble or granite with a specially formulated cleaning spray, or just warm water and gentle dish soap, using a non-abraisive cloth.  Cleaning regularly will prolong the life of your countertops.
  • Avoid alkaline or acidic solutions to clean granite, as they can mar and dull the seal. Use only neutral pH products. Always buff and dry granite after cleaning.
  • Acids can etch or dull stone surfaces. Wipe up acidic or alcoholic beverage spills quickly and use coasters under glasses.
  • Dust and soil may deposit a hazy film onto the surface. To keep the surface clear and shiny, clean the surface and polish regularly with quality stone care product, like GranQuartz Stone Polish.
  • Avoid ammonia-based cleaners like glass cleaner, abrasive powders, soapy detergents and high pH solutions that can dull and damage the surface
  • For an additional layer of protection. consider adding a sealant like GranQuartz Stone Sealer. You will want to reseal when water droplets no longer bead on the surface, about every 6 months to one year, depending on much use the surface gets.
  • Contact your stone care professional if you find cracks, deep stains or signs of erosion.

Prestige Marble and Granite offers an array of designer marble and granite suitable for countertops, as well as a full line of quality stone care products. Our knowledgeable staff is here to guide you in the maintenance of your new countertops. We welcome your questions anytime!

Marble Mania: Calacatta vs Carrara

PMG kitchen with Calacatta
Calacatta Gold Countertops from Prestige Marble & Granite

Carrara or Calacatta? They’re both Italian, they’re both white with grey veining, and to confuse matters even more, much of Calacatta comes from Carrara. There are differences, however, and once you know what to look for, you should be able to distinguish between Carrara and Calacatta like a pro.

Calacatta Marble
Large, dramatic veining is a trademark of Calacatta and one of the most noticeable differences. The patterns tend to be bigger, bolder and more contrasting than Carrara marble. Another defining trait of Calacatta is the whiteness of the background. The whiter the material and the more “uniform” the veining, the more rare, and thus more expensive, the slabs. The look of Calacatta is luxurious and it should be because Calacatta is even rarer than Carrara.

This Calacatta slab with it’s dramatic grey veining makes a stunning fireplace surround.

This kitchen is clad in a variation of Calacatta that has warm gold veins mixed in. Calacatta Gold works well with both cool and warm tones.

Carrara Marble
You’ll notice the veining of Carrara is smaller and finer and the color is grayer over all. While Calacatta can vary in tones, Carrara is classically gray. Although Cararra can have have some large and dramatic veining like Calacatta, it will also has many fine feathery lines.

Carrara marble is the perfect choice for this unfussy, yet sophisticated kitchen.

Although the Carrara in this kitchen has some bold veining, unlike Calacatta, it is grayer and also has many fine lines.

While Calacatta feels more opulent than Carrara, that isn’t good or bad –it just depends on what type of room you’re designing. The subtler look of Cararra marble can still be used to create a very sophisticated look. Carrara is a classic, while Calacatta is a showstopper. They both look fabulous in kitchens and bathrooms, or anywhere you would like to add a touch of sophistication or elegance!

Photo Credits: Click on images to view sources.

Here at Prestige Marble and Granite, we only select the best Calacatta and Carrara slabs, the rarest, the most unique – the one in a thousand. The slabs with the most gorgeous veining and most pleasing patterns are the ones you’ll find in our designer showroom. You can count on us to have the finest stones available for a look that’s unique and characteristic of your personal style. 

 

 

Counter Intelligence: What to Expect with Marble in the Kitchen

Prestige Marble and Granite kitchen

Always a classic, marble is certainly having a moment in interior design. It’s popping up in kitchen renovations everywhere, and for good reason. A beautiful marble countertop or backsplash will add a luxurious feel to a modern kitchen, and can produce an elegant note in a rustic one. The exquisite beauty of marble always makes for a stunning design statement that’s both complementary and bold.

You may have noticed that many stone salespeople and designers recommend granite for kitchens because they’re likely to stay in mint condition, even with sloppy housekeeping, while marble countertops can become scratched, stained, etched or dulled. Yet this hasn’t stopped cooks in Italy from rolling their dough on marble for centuries. And it certainly shouldn’t stop you from installing it in your own kitchen – provided you know what to expect.

Whatever the style of your kitchen, there’s sure to be a gorgeous marble that’s calling your name. If you’re considering taking the marble plunge, here’s what you need to know.

But first, a little history
When you know a bit about the underlying geology, the issues that can plague marble are a little easier to understand. Marble actually started out as limestone, which is basically calcium carbonate (mostly from shells) combined with silt from ocean floors. The buckling and shifting of the earth’s crust resulted in heat and pressure softening the limestone and causing it to recrystallize as a harder, denser material.

Staining
These crystals in marble are impervious to staining but the microscopic spaces between them can absorb watery and oily materials that can results in stains. By applying a penetrating sealer, you can narrow the voids and make them so small that liquids can’t flow through as quickly. The sealers made today gives you maybe 24 hours, versus 30 minutes, to wipe up spills before they lodge too deep for you to wipe them away.

Etching
Etching is physical damage to the marble that leaves a light and dull spot on the marble. It’s a corrosive action that occurs on all calcite-based stones (marble, travertine, limestone) upon contact with acidic substances like coffee, juice, soda, salad dressing, tomato sauce, vinegar, etc. There is no way to reverse this once it has occurred (although it may be technically possible to sand down a dull area and re-polish the marble), and since avoiding contact with acidic substances is nearly impossible in the kitchen, most people just accept there may be the occasional dull spot. You can think of a little etching here and there as “added character,” but to make etching less noticeable, consider buying marble with a honed surface rather than one that is highly polished. While honed marble isn’t quite as “formal” looking, it is exactly what you will find in most Italian kitchens!

Scratches
When it comes to scratch resistance, your best bet is to deal with a company that really knows stone. The Marble Institute of America has a rating system that identifies which marbles are hardest and least porous, but you may find that much of what’s offered for countertops isn’t rated. Asking a knowledgeable and reputable vendor which of the available marbles are most suitable for kitchen countertops is your best defense.

Prestige Marble and Granite offers an array of designer marble and granite suitable for kitchen countertops. Our knowledgeable staff is here to guide you in the selection of the stone best suited to your lifestyle and personal taste. We welcome your visit to our showroom anytime!