Tips for Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island

islandPhoto: MGS by Design

Whether building a new house or remodeling an existing space, a kitchen island is a must-have design feature that can transform how you use and enjoy the busiest room in your home.  At the very least an island adds storage and counter space, creating a centering point between the different appliances and areas in your kitchen.  Beyond that, a great island creates a gathering spot where families can congregate and create amazing memories.

Start with Size

How big do you want your kitchen island to be? This depends on a lot of variables. How much space do you have to work with? And what is going to be the main purpose of your island? Will you use it as additional cooking and prep space, or will it function primarily as seating? Equally important to the size of your island is the amount of space around it. You always want to make sure there is enough room around the island so as not to impede the flow of traffic through your home or limit the ability of the cook to move around easily and efficiently.

An island this size can fit easily into a smaller kitchen.
smallislandhgtvPhoto: HGTV
A bigger island can really help define the space in a large open kitchen.14032810_321469251530534_1325135376_nPhoto: Caitlin Creer Interiors

Seating

Having seating at your kitchen island is a huge way to increase the functionality of your kitchen island. There are multiple ways to design your island to maximize seating capability. You can use a multi level island which will separate the seating area and work/prep space. You can use your island as a base for a banquette seating area. A table space can easily be incorporated into one end of an island or you can leave a counter overhang with enough room to move push chairs under when not in use.

This island creates a ton of seating for family and friends.fec91a7001fbPhoto: Kelly Deck Design
 A classic example of a multi level island.RS_heather-guss-rustic-neutral-kitchen_4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960Photo: Heather Guss
Banquette seating is a wonderful option if your space allows it.03-kitchen-island-with-a-built-in-seating-areaPhoto: DigsDigs.com
Integrating a table space is a great way to utilize one end of a large island.tableincorporated            Photo: Kelly Deck Designs

Storage

Options are almost limitless for storage in your kitchen island. Any combination of drawers, cabinets and shelves give you the ability to really customize the island to your specific storage needs. With that in mind, its a good idea to think about what you want to store in your island. Everyday items need to be easily accessible. Small appliances and larger pots may require extra depth or height.

Drawers and cabinets with pull out shelving maximize storage potential in a medium-sized island.
10-classic-kitchen-island-with-tableware-storagedigsdigsPhoto: Digsdigs.com
Your kitchen island is the perfect place to store and display cookbooks.decorative-cookbook-holder-home-interior-design-transitional-kitchen-london-718x538.jpgPhoto: decorology
A mix of open and closed storage is the perfect way to showcase collectibles while concealing more utilitarian items.Kitchen-island-pots-storagePhoto: Homedit

When it comes to your kitchen island,  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

A Look at Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year in Interior Design

This year’s Pantone Color of the Year, Greenery, is a cheerful yellow-green that’s a bright and refreshing change from last year’s soft pastel duo, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Greenery was already showing up on the runways last spring, and by the time it was announced as the 2017 Color of the Year in December, brands like KitchenAid, Keurig, and Mercedes were already promoting their latest offerings in the vibrant new hue. While it’s still early in the new year, decorators across the land have embraced the color, and it’s showing up everywhere in interiors, from accents to backdrops and focal points. Here’s a look at how designers are incorporating Greenery into their projects.

Los Gatos Townhouse
The back-to-nature hue brings zest to this modern kitchen, while still managing to work with warm wood tones.
Annalisa at Mediterra
This white and airy bedroom gets an interesting pop of color with Greenery as an accent wall.
Study
A basic white office comes to life with pops of Greenery from the bay window bench, curtains, bookshelves, and area rug that contrast with a big blue armchair for a cheerful,  yet restful effect.
Portfolio
Just one piece of Greenery used a s a focal point makes a bold statement in this black and white dining room.
Kitchen
A heavy dose of Greenery in this small kitchen is balanced by lots of contrasting white marble and frosted glass doors on the upper cabinets.
My Houzz: An Antique Cape Cod House Explodes With Color
Proof of Greenery’s versatility – a country home office is right at home in this vibrant hue.
Cortland
Greenery is a perfect backdrop for the modern white furnishings in this contemporary dining room.
Inverness Circle
Greenery makes an elegant, yet light-hearted and cheerful statement in this formal living room.
To see more inspiring decorating ideas using Greenery, check out our Pinterest board!
You can count on Prestige Marble & Granite when it comes to selecting natural stone countertops that will integrate with the latest in design and color trends. Stop by our showroom and speak with our knowledgable staff anytime. Designers, builders, and homeowners are all welcome!

Benjamin Moore’s 2017 Color of the Year is a Master of Ambiance

Benjamin Moore 2017 Color of the Year Shadow

Substantially more dramatic than last year’s Simply White, Benjamin Moore’s just-announced 2017 Color of the year is a rich, deep royal amethyst that’s “allusive and enigmatic.”  Shadow is a “master of ambiance,” according to Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director.

It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past’, yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement.

 

The dark and moody hue is part of a bolder “Color Trends” palette that Benjamin Moore says reflects consumers’ newfound level of confidence in using deeper, saturated colors.

Benjamin Moore 2017 Color Trends Palette
Benjamin’s Moore Color Trends 2017 palette features 23 rich and sophisticated hues ranging from muted pales to saturated deeps

Shadow is sophisticated and seductive, a versatile hue that can be many things, according to O’Neill in an Architectural Digest Q&A:

It is a little bit rock and roll. It’s the color of the galaxy but also the color of a beautiful fig. It’s passion, it’s bravery, but it’s also silence. It can be electrified or softened.

 

Are you ready to incorporate this smoky purple in your interiors?

Wherever your color choices take you, Prestige Marble & Granite has the natural stone countertops to complement and enhance your design. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

“Poised Taupe” is Sherwin Williams’ 2017 Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams' Color of the Year: Poised Taupe

The color Sherwin Williams anticipates defining 2017 is Poised Taupe, and here’s why: “This timeless neutral is modern, classic and a beautiful balance of warm and cool.”

Cool gray has been the reigning neutral in the design world the past few years, and it remains strong, but is now beginning to feel a little too cold and industrial for some. Poised Taupe has what people love about cool gray, but it also brings in the warmth of brown.

“It’s like gray and brown had a baby, and it became taupe.”

That’s how Sue Wadden, the director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, described the color on the Today Show. That’s a good description because taupe is not hot or cold, gray or brown, dark or light. It lives somewhere in the lukewarm middle between brown and gray.

According to Sherwin Williams:

“Poised Taupe creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.”

This feeling of coziness is what the Danes call hygge (pronounced hue-gah), a feeling that comes from creating the right atmosphere. Poised Taupe is just the color to conjure up hygge, according to Sherwin Williams.

Are you ready for some hygge in your home? Get inspired with this look at some beautiful spaces that utilize Poised Taupe:

There’s no doubt this cozy bedroom in Poised Taupe exudes welcoming warmth.

2010 Southern Living Showcase Home
Poised Taupe is a great choice for this monochromatic kitchen. And its a fabulous complement to the natural stone countertops!
Thermador
This dining room is sleek and modern, but the Poised Taupe on the ceiling adds warmth that might otherwise be lacking.
Tanglewood Residence
This contemporary living room shows that poised Taupe is definitely versatile, pairing well with the blue and yellow accents.
The Carlyle
When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Decorating is Sheer Fun: A Look at Dorothy Draper and Her Five Principles of Design

“Decorating is just sheer fun: a delight in color, an awareness of balance, a feeling for lighting, a sense of style, a zest for life, and an amused enjoyment of the smart accessories of the moment.” ~ Dorothy Draper

Dorothy_Draper_1942
Dorothy Draper, 1942

In 1925, design icon Dorothy Draper opened America’s first professional decorating firm, the Architectural Clearing House, setting the standards that transformed interior decorating from a hobby or avocational service into a full-fledged profession. Draper revolutionized the concept of design by breaking away from the dark color schemes used throughout the Victorian style and introducing bold, bright color palettes in vibrant hues.  Extremely confident and driven purely by her own idiosyncratic taste, Dorothy Draper was famous for the dictum “if it looks right, it is right.”

Benjamin Moore Draper color palette
Benjamin Moore issued a Dorothy Draper Color Collection of 15 signature shades.

Draper’s style was very anti-minimalist, encompassing exuberant colors, big florals, bold stripes, impressive mirrors, and ornate details such as rococo scrollwork and baroque plaster work. The looks Draper created with combinations of flamboyant colors, big, bold patterns, and interesting textures are referred to as the “the Draper touch,” and the classically modern style she created is known as “Modern Baroque.”

Decorating is Fun coverDraper’s 1939 book, Decorating Is Fun!: How to Be Your Own Decorator, is a timeless how-to full of practical dos and don’ts in decorating. In the introductory chapter, “How to Get Started,” Draper explains the book is about how to have a good time decorating: “If you want to be grim and serious about it, don’t read another word, for what I have to say is not for you.”

Draper was firm in her belief that nothing is as satisfying and friendly as a house that “seems graciously filled with the definite aura of its owner’s personality,” and promises that a home that is “just what we really want” is within reach for everyone. Draper firmly believed there was nothing “deep and mysterious” about interior decorating, but she acknowledged we need to understand some fundamental design principles. These principles are “our five most powerful friends to guide us” – and they are as on-target today as they were in 1939.

1. Courage
“You need courage to experiment, courage to seek out your own taste and express it, courage to disregard stereotyped ideas and try out your own. But courage doesn’t mean recklessness. Before you become your decorator, you must first become a critic. Before you make any decisions, look the field over carefully. Take inventory of what the market has to offer, and above all, explore your own taste.”
2. Color
“The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently, people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered ‘safe.’ Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness.”
3. Balance or Size
“The proportions of your room, the balance of your arrangements, and the size of your furniture and accessories all are most desperately important. Many people have sensitive eyes when it comes to color, but so many are unawake when it comes to line.”
4. Smart Accessories and Details
“It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress. It will always be these details of a room that will give it distinction.”
5. Comfort
“No room can be called perfect unless it has real comfort. It must be livable for you. It must meet graciously every requirement you make of it. Plan your room for the people who live in it. Think of their habits as you rearrange your furniture. There are a few hard-and-fast rules about this arrangement, which should be obeyed for the sake of balance. But they are very few, and otherwise you are free to experiment.”

Dorothy-Draper
“In the Pink” by Carleton Varney captures Dorothy Draper’s iconic style, indomitable spirit, and original inventive designs which have become an enduring legend.

Draper revolutionized the way we look at interior design by trying new things and pushing people to think outside the beige box. Though she died in 1969, the exuberance and confidence that permeates her work still inspires designers today, and Dorothy Draper & Company is still going strong with accomplished designer and author Carleton Varney at the helm.

Check out our Pinterest Board to enter vibrantly colored world of Dorothy Draper!

When it comes to countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you think outside the beige box with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time! 

 

It’s Only Natural: Organic Materials Are Always Interior Design Winners

Organic design elements are made of materials which come from nature. The addition of natural, organic elements in our interiors can make us feel calm, at peace, and above all, welcomed. It is now known that using organic interior design elements to connect humans to nature nurtures health and well-being. Natural materials are also a healthier choice for interiors as they are non-toxic with little to no VOCs, thus ensuring better indoor quality. The use of organic elements in interior spaces is always a win-win. Here’s a look at some ways to bring organic elements into your interiors.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is one of the most popular, and enduring, organic elements used in home design. It lends a beautiful, organic vibe to any interior design style, and it is also inherently earth-friendly due to its recyclability, durability, enduring life-cycle, and ease of care and maintenance.

Calacatta Gold marble countertops in the kitchen produce an elegant look, but lend a warm, welcoming vibe as well.

Kitchen with Calacatta Gold marble
Photo by Prestige Marble & Granite

A dramatic all-white Carrara marble fireplace is the focal point of this quintessential modern living room.

Living Room

 Woven Materials

Woven elements offer a handmade quality with terrific texture. They can look rustic or modern and simultaneously graphic and natural.

These colorful woven baskets make a spectacular wall grouping, while adding a cheerful organic vibe.

Moroccan Modern
Woven rope furniture adds richness, texture and warmth to this living room.
Balnarring Beach House
Woven furniture and lighting combined with and natural-fiber rugs soften the crisp nautical scheme of this coastal style living room.
Kate Marker Interiors

 Wooden Elements

Nothing says organic like natural wood. From flooring to ceiling, to walls, furnishings, and accessories, wooden elements always lend welcoming warmth to any design style.

Lots of wood, natural stone, plus some woven elements combine with glass walls to bring the outside in to this rustic-yet-elegant space.
Christensen
How about a tree in the house for some organic style?
Santa Cruz Straw Bale House
Or, how about a cluster of artful tree trunk coffee tables? These one-of-a-kind accent tables really soften the hard angles of this contemporary space.
Hydeaway House

 Brick Features

What could be more organic than mud, clay and water?  The appeal of brick in modern design is unmatched.

Peeling back the layers to expose this brick wall reveals the past while complementing the present. The uniformity in pattern makes a gorgeous backdrop for this modern space as well as adding texture and color.

Photography
Less brick is exposed here, but the design cleverly enlists a mirror to help the brick repeat visually, giving the illusion that it is more present in the full space.
Vanity/Mirror/sink
Already a big trend for gardens, herringbone brick floors can create a French rustic look.
San Clemente Remodel

Natural Sunlight

Bringing  in natural sunlight as a design element is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to incorporate one of nature’s most beautiful elements. Natural daylighting can make any room come alive.

Expansive glass walls will certainly allow plenty of natural light, but the light can be unbearable at times. This house makes a statement with folded perforated sheets that jut from glass walls to filter the sunlight entering the house.

Venice House
Skylights are an effective means of bringing additional natural light.
Cole Valley Hillside - John Maniscalco Architecture
Simple-technology solar tubes channel light to where it’s needed using highly reflective, flexible tubes. Here, borrowed light from solar tubes extend from the roof to brighten a dark dark bathroom.
Chatsworth
There are so many ways you can bring the outdoor in with the use of organic elements in your decor. Head over to our Pinterest board for more inspiration!
Let Prestige Marble & Granite help you select the most beautiful and enduring organic countertops for your home. Our highly skilled fabricators use the latest in technology to ensure precise cutting, fitting, and installation of your natural stone, for a beautiful look that will stand the test of time.

Cultivating a Coastal Vibe in Your Home

Coastal design schemes are perennially popular for good reason – a trip to the beach for most of us is a time of tranquility and enjoyment, having left our work and day-to-day stressors far behind. It’s no surprise that so many of us would love to recreate that feeling at home. Even if you are land-locked, it’s possible to capture a relaxed coastal vibe with a well-executed design scheme.

The key for creating a successful coastal decor, however, is found in the phrase “well-executed.” It takes a good plan and a refined sensibility to capture a kitsch-free authentic beach style. Here are a few key design ideas and tips to help you cultivate a coastal look that’s smart and sophisticated.

While this contemporary kitchen has a strong nautical theme with cobalt tiles paired with a yacht-like wood floor, white Shaker cabinets, and steel and wood hardware, the look is sleek and sophisticated – far from kitschy.

 Shabby-chic Style Spaces by Sydney Media & Bloggers A Beach Cottage
Keep interiors light and bright. Coastal-style interiors should evoke a relaxed, casual and effortless feel, so keep the interiors pale, breezy and mix up your neutrals.

The combination of neutral creams, browns and soft blues in this space really channel the essence of seashore colors, while the plantation shutters add a casually elegant touch.
The key to not going overboard in coastal decorating is to use lightweight fabrics like linen and use natural materials like raffia and other materials with a woven look and texture.
Nothing says coastal like a crisp blue and white color scheme!
A collection of framed vintage bathing suits is an unexpected and fun (if a little quirky!) way to give your space a beach vibe.
For an instant and unexpected beach vibe, take something very simple, like this deck chair, and bring it into your home. Hurricane lanterns will also add instant “beachiness.”
Pale aqua accents and painted floor paired with lots of sandy neutrals make for a light and airy master bedroom that’s high on seaside charm.
One of the keys to a relaxed coastal style is a lack of clutter, so coastal style spaces should be relatively simple. This unembellished bedroom is light, airy and tranquil–letting the views from the window serve as the focal points. Crisp white accents and white billowy curtains against the chalky blue walls create a soft yet, opulent feel.
Crisp white cabinetry paired with a blue beadboard ceiling lend a coastal feel, while the marble countertops add a touch of elegance.
The kitchen perfectly captures the relaxed beach house vibe. The soft lines of the country-style accessories enhance the Shaker style cabinetry, while the neutral palette peppered with soft blues references coastal surroundings.
The bathroom with gray-washed wood plank floors, walls and ceilings might just be the epitome of coastal cottage style. The monochrome gray tones, marble cabinet tops and plantation shutters lend the space a sense of understated elegance.

For more beachy decorating ideas, check out our “Go Coastal” Pinterest Board.

Prestige Marble and Granite can help you bring your coastal decor to life with the organic, earthen beauty of natural stone. We offer an exciting selection of designer natural stones, as well as a large variety of core colors, to complement any design project and any budget. Stop by our indoor showroom anytime; we’re here to help you every step of they way – from selection and layout through fabrication and installation.