Creating More Counter Space In A Small Kitchen

082716_SmallSpaceOrganizing_5Photo: One Kings Lane

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home. It’s where family and friends gather, where memories are made. It’s where food is prepared, and often consumed. The kitchen is imperative to the operation and running of the household. While huge spaces are great, a small kitchen can easily meet the needs of a busy family. One way to help achieve this is to create as much counter space as possible. There are several different ways to go about doing this.

Make Your Backsplash Do Double Duty

The backsplash in your small kitchen can be utilized in a number of ways to help free up extra counter space.

You don’t have to sacrifice style with your backsplash to create storage. This kitchen beautifully utilizes a single shelf at a level that doesn’t impede use of the counter underneath it. It also incorporates under cabinet lighting that makes reading labels easy and helps highlight a beautiful spice collection.spicesPhoto: Oceanic Realty
A pegboard can be used to create storage in multiple ways. You can hang your most used utensils on hooks. Shelves are easily put in and moved around. One of the bonuses of pegboard is how easy it is to move or change the way you use it. It also creates a really interesting design element in any size space.pegboard.jpgPhoto: HGTV
Get Creative With Your Cutting Board

A cutting board is a must in any kitchen to ensure the protection and long life of your counter tops. But keeping them on the counter top at all times takes up valuable space in your small kitchen. There are several different ways to get around this.

Custom stovetop covers that double as cutting boards is an easy and beautiful way to keep your cutting board off the counter. This idea also creates additional workspace in a small kitchen. You can go to The Kitchn to learn how to build the one shown below.
d4f17789b32792a9dc5aab9caf54dc863d081588Photo: Corelyn Coates & Jenni Palluzzi
An under counter pull-out cutting board is a great way to declutter your counter tops.a617d18e679179dfccd96a23e49867f8.jpgPhoto: Pinterest
Utilize Corners and Gaps

Placement of kitchen appliances can create some awkward spaces in smaller kitchens. And corners are generally ignored in a lot of kitchen designs. But there are ways to use these spaces to either provide additional counter space or as a place to store what you’d usually keep on the counter.

This small apartment kitchen perfectly takes advantage of what could be completely wasted space by mounting butcher block in a previously ignored corner. Bonus points for creating the perfect spot to hide the kitchen garbage or a bar stool.e7258ad75d31f31ee952724ed420ed6fddbdb0b5.jpgPhoto: Door Sixteen
This tiny kitchen uses the large corners surrounding the sink to store and display a wide array of objects. Mounting your paper towel holder under cabinets or a shelf is another easy way to keep a necessary kitchen item off your counters. small-kitchen-with-corner-shelves.jpgPhoto: Decoist
You don’t need deep corners, as shown above, to install corner shelves. Regardless of their size, corner shelves are perfect for helping keep your counters clear.
kitchen-corner-shelves-ikeaPhoto: Decorations Blog

Regardless of the size of your kitchen,  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!

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Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen

outdooPhoto: Imagine Backyard

The first kitchen was really just a fire outside. And ever since cooking was brought indoors, people have been finding numerous reasons to take it back outside. The summer heat has always been a big factor in wanting outdoor kitchen space, especially here in the South. Before air conditioning, summer kitchens made the hottest, most humid months slightly more bearable for southerners everywhere. Keeping away smoke and lingering food smells have also always been popular reasons for wanting to cook outside. Today, the desire to entertain and create a fun space for your family and friends has pushed the outdoor kitchen to the next level.

American actress Jane Wyman with her portable bbq in press photos in the early 1950s.janewymanPhoto: Tumblr

Outdoor kitchens today are so much more than a grill and some patio furniture. Today’s outdoor kitchens extend the living space of your home and are considered a great investment in your property.  The average outdoor kitchen costs between 12,000 and 15,000 dollars. While you definitely don’t have to spend that much, you can easily spend way more. The options are almost limitless. Understandably, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But no worries, we’ve got a few tips to help out, regardless of your budget.

kitchen-in-backyard-e1503366589243.jpgPhoto: Slodive
Determine How You want to Use Your Kitchen

Be honest with yourself. How much space do you have? Are you going to use this outdoor kitchen for serious entertaining or will you be grilling outside occasionally? Will your kitchen be covered, even partially? These questions are important as the list of  possible amenities is long. And when designing your outdoor space you should keep in mind that certain appliances require greater levels of protection from the elements than others. And depending on your budget and plans for usage, it’s important to prioritize what appliances you choose. Some of the most popular outdoor kitchen appliances include grills/smokers, refrigerators/freezers, ice makers, and sinks.

A pergola is a great option for a smaller outdoor kitchen.  It helps define the space and allows for maximum airflow while still providing shade and protection from the harshness of the elements. If you have a green thumb a pergola is a great place to both grow and hang plants on.pergPhoto: Backyard Unlimited
Heaters, a fireplace, curtains and fans make this huge outdoor kitchen space an amazing year-round entertaining space.Beautiful-modern-porch-has-it-allPhoto: Decoist
Layout & Design

When choosing the site for your outdoor kitchen you need to think about how you’re going to hook up the utilities. You will probably want to run electricity and/or gas, and even water out to your space. Designing an outdoor kitchen isn’t that different from designing an indoor kitchen.

You’ll notice that the designs that incorporate the sink and refrigerator all do so in a way that creates the ubiquitous “kitchen triangle”. This is a design principle that says the most efficient kitchen layout is one where the cooktop, sink, and refrigerator form a triangle shape, with no leg of the triangle being longer than 10 feet.
layoutsPhoto: Pinterest

A functional outdoor kitchen should consist of four key areas or zones. First, the hot zone, where you’ll put your grill, smoker, pizza oven, etc. Conversely, the cold zone, where your refrigerator, freezer, beverage centers, etc. will be. Ideally, these zones won’t be right next to each other. Having hot and cold elements next to each other will force those appliances to work harder to function properly, wasting energy and potentially shortening their lifespans. The wet zone is where the sinks, ice-makers, kegerators, dishwashers, etc. are in the space. This is the area that really upgrades an outdoor entertaining area into a fully functioning kitchen. Lastly, you will want prep space. Prep space is not only the counters where you prepare food, but also cabinets and storage options.

This kitchen clearly lays out the four different zones. You can see that the separation between hot, cold, and wet zones naturally creates the “kitchen triangle.”ou.jpgPhoto: Pinterest
Choosing the Proper Materials

There are certainly a few different factors to consider when deciding what materials to use for your outdoor kitchen. Durability has to be considered equally to the style that matches your home and design aesthetic. Natural stone is a great choice for your outdoor kitchen countertops. While not really an issue here in Tennessee, it’s important to note that some stones don’t hold up to the possible expansion that can come with freezing/thawing as well as others. If you live somewhere with more extreme conditions you should always check with your fabricator that the stone you choose will work outside.

This design seamlessly incorporates granite, wood, brick, and stainless steel.presoutPhoto: Prestige M & G

There are other factors to consider when choosing which stone to use. Granite is an extremely popular choice thanks to its overall durability. Granite easily stands up to both regular use and weather. It doesn’t stain, nor does it absorb odors. With granite it’s recommended that you choose mid-range to lighter colors, as darker stones will hold heat and can become hot to the touch under sun.

This granite is absolutely beautiful outside. It blends wonderfully with the landscaping, nearby pool/fountain, and stainless steel appliances. It’s light color ensures it won’t absorb too much heat, nor will it fade in the sun.granite-countertop-outdoor-1Photo: MGSI

Soapstone is another durable option. Although your color options are limited to shades of gray and black, soapstone is stain, heat, and bacteria resistant. Soapstone does scratch more easily than other types of stone, those scratches are fairly easy to repair though.

If you want a darker countertop, soapstone is a great option. It doesn’t hold heat the same way granite does and is still polished and durable.soapstonePhoto: Urban Kitchen Design

Marble is always a beautiful option but is considerably softer than other stones. While it will last a long time, weather will eventually cause noticeable wear. For this reason it isn’t recommended that you use polished marble outside. There are other stone options you can discuss with your fabricator. Concrete and tile are also sometimes used as outdoor countertops.

While planning for hot and cold zones is important, in some smaller spaces your options might be limited. Here, a two-drawer, outdoor refrigerator maximizes space for cold food and drink storage. The brick used in this design is a great insulator between the cold refrigerator and hot grill. The large soapstone countertops are a great choice for a rooftop kitchen with minimal protection from the elements.
small.jpgPhoto: Kalamazoo Gourmet

Whatever outdoor kitchen you can dream up,  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!

Tips for Choosing the Right Fabricator

fAll photos Prestige M & G

Countertop choice is a huge part of any home design or renovation process. Homeowners spend a lot of time deciding exactly which slab makes the perfect statement for their space.  Equally, if not even more important than choosing the right slab, is choosing the right fabricator. How is this possible?

The right fabricator will be able to help you choose the right material and slab for your needs. They will be able to explain proper maintenance to insure your counters stay beautiful. While this seems like an obvious part of the job, many fabricators simply don’t take the time or have the knowledge. Founded by Aaron Cook, Prestige Marble & Granite has over 15 years experience in fabricating the highest quality natural stone countertops, earning the company a fabulous reputation as the premier marble and granite business in the region.

aaron

There are several different things to consider when choosing your fabricator, some more obvious than others. Here are some important questions to ask to ensure you are completely happy with your final choice, and ultimately your countertops!

What kind of Certifications does the fabricator have?

An established and professional fabricator will be certified. It’s as simple as that. Fabrication and installation certification programs establish industry-wide standards for training and provide measurable proof of knowledge about both the process and products. Prestige Marble & Granite is a member of the Marble Institute of America, which is an instrumental force in setting the standards of quality for stone fabrication and installation. Prestige is also a member of the Home Builder’s Association of Middle Tennessee and the Stone Fabricators Alliance.

 

What options do they offer?

Countertops today are made from a wide range of different materials. Are you looking for something that will need to stand up to daily use or are you more interested in creating a specific look? An ideal fabricator will be able to help you choose the best option for your usage, budget, and aesthetic desire.  They will be experienced with multiple materials and offers a wide array of choices: granite, marble, quartz, etc. Also, it’s important to be aware of the fact that no two pieces of stone are exactly the same. For that reason its important to find out if you will be able to choose your actual slab, or have to make your decision based on a small sample.

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What kind of equipment do they use? And do they have in-house installation teams?

Top professional fabricators throughout the U.S. use the latest in digital stone cutting technology. This is important when simple mistakes can be costly, cause delays, and negatively affect the final look of your beautiful counters. At Prestige we use state-of-the-art CNC stone cutting machines, routers, and digital templating for quality fabrication and on-time delivery. With digital templating, we can account for the undulation of your wall and ensure the counters match up perfectly.  From your vision to computerized CAD drawing to installation of your countertop, your project will receive state-of-the-art craftsmanship and the attention to detail it deserves. We also never use subcontractors and invite you to come see how we operate anytime!

This is our CNC saw, the GMM Intra. The Intra allows us to either program on the floor or import a CAD drawing. The Intra can cut parallel, perpendicular and diagonal arcs and circumferences. This machine allows Prestige to cut a wide range of materials quickly and with absolute precision.
cnc-saw.jpg
The Luna 740S is an automatic edge polisher which has been specifically designed to produce straight, slanted , bullnose, and a variety of other edges. This machine is capable of profiling  granite, marble, and engineered stones quickly and efficiently.
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The fact that we at Prestige are completely involved in the entire process, from design to fabrication to installation, helps ensure your counter tops turn out exactly as you imagine.

 

Do they provide references? Can you see examples of their finished projects?

A reputable fabricator will be able to provide references of recent projects. If you can visit one of their job sites and/or showroom, that’s also highly recommended. This allows you to ensure the quality of their finished work meets your standards. This requires a bit of extra research and work on your part, but will absolutely help provide peace of mind about such a big investment into your home.

Do they provide a warranty on their work?

When making any kind of large purchase it’s nice to know the company you are working with will stand behind their work. At Prestige we offer a lifetime warranty on all stone and sinks. We are passionate about making your installation a success and are dedicated to the level of customer service required to ensure your happiness for the lifetime of your counters. Prestige’s commitment to customer satisfaction has earned us an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

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Whatever project you can dream up,  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, fabrication, and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom and bring their ideas and questions with them anytime!

 

The New Rustic: Tips for Creating a Modern Country Kitchen

Enveloped-modern-country-kitchenPhoto: HomeEdit

Few design themes create the cozy warmth associated with the country kitchen. The very idea evokes the memories of baking cookies with grandma or enjoying large Sunday dinners with the entire family. It’s a classic aesthetic that will never go out of style, especially here in the South. One of the fun aspects of country design is how many different ways it can be achieved. Whether you want to go all-out country, or just want to flirt with a few rustic touches, we’ve got some great tips on how you can achieve your dream modern country kitchen.

Texture

Your kitchen is the room in your home where your senses most come alive. Adding visual and tactile sensory experiences to the smells and tastes that naturally occur in your kitchen really help make it the heart of your home. Texture adds depth and different levels of interest to any space. An easy way to add impact to your country kitchen is through the use and mixing of different textures. Elements like wood and stone are obvious choices when trying to create a rustic feel, but there really are so many different options. You can go as simple or as big as you want with texture, it’s really all about the juxtaposition.

The rough, simple wooden shelving is a stark contrast to the polish of the clean white marble with gray veining. The copper and wood accents create additional textural elements in this kitchen.bethkirby.jpgPhoto: Beth Kirby
The abundance of textural features really makes a huge impact in this updated take on the classic country kitchen. A painted pine ceiling, exposed brick fireplace with wooden mantle, polished marble, white subway tiles, copper accents, and timeworn, rough soda shop stools all play with texture in a bold way. Additionally, the use of matte black paint really allows the textural elements to pop.
countrylivingPhoto: Country Living

Color

While you can never go wrong with white in the kitchen, color is a fun way to lend a country feeling to your space. If you are going to use whites for your rustic kitchen, you definitely want to go with the creamy, warmer tones that will help create the feeling of coziness reminiscent of the style. Softer, muted versions of almost any color are appropriate when creating a country feel for your home. The boldness of the colors you use will help determine how modern your space feels, with lighter, warm tones creating a more rustic feeling and bright, intense colors lending a more modern air to the room.

Red and yellow are a classic country color combination. They make an an even bigger impact when paired with the neutral wall color, backsplash, light wood floors and marble counter tops. The large, brightly colored chicken tile really pulls all the different colors together and creates a fun focal point.betterhomesPhoto: Better Homes & Gardens
The calming effects of lighter shades of blue make them the perfect choice for a country kitchen. This painted kitchen island really adds a touch of lightness to a space that is otherwise dominated by wood. Glamorous Rustic Country Kitchen Paint Colors Blue Island Inside Country Kitchen Color Ideas On HomePhoto: SHDECOR

The Farmhouse Sink

Little evokes the image of the classic country kitchen like the farmhouse sink. It harkens back to a time when there was no indoor plumbing. When water had to be physically hauled in to the home and sinks had to be drained manually. Today they are popular because their combination of form and function makes them the ultimate utilitarian kitchen focal point.

This sink’s double basins are a unique feature. Traditionally the farmhouse sink has just one extra large basin.627f13586026ff3c8ac41d0650c444be1c445cd2Photo: Apartment Therapy

A Dutch Door

Dutch Doors are divided horizontally, so that the bottom half can be left closed while the top half is open. This design originated from a need to keep farm animals out of the home while keeping small children in. Additionally, it allows for extra light and air flow throughout the space. Dutch doors are also extremely versatile, their multi-door design allows for a plethora of window, screen, and decorative options.

While not practical for every space, a dutch door is a really charming way to add a decidedly country flair to your kitchen.mycountryliving  Photo: My Country Living

 Cotton Boll Bouquets

Nothing says classic southern country decor like an arrangement of cotton boll stems. It’s a small detail that can’t help but feel both stark and lush at the same time, not an easy look to achieve. Bringing the outdoors in is a huge part of designing the country kitchen, and this is such a whimsical way to do it.

A tall cylinder glass vase modernizes the look. A bouquet like this is a standout on its own and also a perfect complement to any rustic collection.
paintedfoxhomePhoto: Painted Fox Home

Galvanized metal accessories

Using repurposed antique farm implements as wall storage is both functional and decorative.
restorationfarmhousePhoto: Restoration Farmhouse
A three tier metal caddy is a great way to organize and display your smaller kitchen essentials.industrial-hardware-spinner-displayPhoto: Kelly Elko
We hope you have enjoyed these ideas for creating your perfect modern country kitchen. For more kitchen design inspiration, check us out on Pinterest.
You can always 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 knowledgeable staff anytime. Designers, builders, and homeowners are all welcome!

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!

Colorful Kitchens

You know your kitchen doesn’t have to be all white, right?  While there is no denying white is still one of the most popular kitchen colors, a new color scheme can change your kitchen in a major way. Finessing the right hues can turn the room from drab to sophisticated, add pizzaz to a classic, bring a little drama to a laid-back space, or ground a large room with a robust foundation color  Steal some decorating inspiration with these colorful kitchen design ideas.

Kitchens

The deep glossy blue on the lower cabinets adds unexpected polish and pop, while still feeling classy and classic.

Williams

An earthy red is always appetizing. This orangey-red backsplash provides a dramatic focus in the kitchen.

 

Hart

Aqua tones are perfect for those wanting (and perhaps even needing) the relaxing, transporting blue-green of tropical seas.

 

Bryant Residence
This green is wonderfully retro but surprisingly fresh.
Farmsworth Residence
Pops of white prevent the dark espresso colored cabinetry from overpowering the kitchen.
Surrey House IV
Blue up your grays for a look that’s subtly elegant, yet soothing and inviting.
Kitchen Renovations
Deep gray is very grounding in this spacious traditional kitchen.
Vallejo Street Highrise
Black on black is dramatic and sophisticated.
Kitchen
Navy and white is nautical, crisp, and timeless.
We hope you have enjoyed this look at colorful kitchens. For more kitchen design inspiration of the colorful kind, head over to 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!

Seven Ways to Make Your Outdated Kitchen Feel Fresh & New

Is your kitchen beginning to feel like a blast from the past? Not only does an outdated kitchen feel dull and uninviting, it can make your entire home feel tired and worn. It can also lead to can lead to inefficient meal prep, high energy bills, and challenges selling your house.

But whether you are trying to sell your home, or you plan on staying in your space for decades to come, there are a number of  things you can do to bring your kitchen into the present. Here are some ways to make your outdated kitchen feel new and inviting.

Paint the Cabinets

If new kitchen cabinetry is not a viable option, painting your existing cabinetry can make a huge a difference. Whether you choose a vibrant hue, a modern dark finish, or stick with relatively subdued colors like white or gray, covering up outdated wood and dingy colored cabinets of yesterday will make a world of difference.

Heights Kitchen Remodel

Lose the Upper Cabinets

Walls filled with upper cabinets, especially in a small kitchen, can consume the eye and make the kitchen feel crowded. Consider removing some (or all) of them and adding open shelving to make the kitchen feel larger and more open.

Contemporary kitchen

Update Your Countertops

Countertops typically take up a large portion of real estate in most kitchens, so outdated surfaces (think tile-and-grout or cheap laminate) can really drag down the look of the entire space. Natural stone countertops are enduringly beautiful and will always stand the test of time. From marble to granite, to all the stones in between, such as limestone, soapstone, quartzite, there is something for everyone, and every budget.
Prestige Marble & Granite marble in kitchen
Prestige Marble & Granite marble in kitchen

 Add Kitchen Seating

For most homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of the home and tends to be the gathering place for busy families with children or when entertaining friends while cooking. From bar stools to banquets to tables and chairs, seating has become essential in today’s modern kitchen.

Cary Bernstein Architect Potrero House

Tear Down Walls

Many outdated kitchens feel boxed in and compartmentalized. Consider knocking out a non load-bearing wall (or two, or three!) to open up your kitchen to an adjacent dining room or living space.

Open Concept Kitchen

Go Green

Lessen your carbon footprint and save money, too, by replacing your outdated appliances withe energy-efficient models. Look for appliances and plumbing fixtures with Energy Star  and WaterSense labels. Saving water and energy are  good for the earth– and for your utility bills.

Don’t Forget the Lighting!

Oftentimes, kitchen lighting is an afterthought, but getting it right is an important part of a modern kitchen. An effective way to modernize your lighting is to illuminate in layers with ambient, task, and accent lighting. (Click here to learn more about the best lighting to enhance your stone countertops.)

Sea Cliff Hideaway

These are just a few of the cost-effective ways to change the look and feel of an outdated kitchen. We’d love to hear about some of your ideas in the comments!

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!