So many countertops. So little time.

I’m an interior designer, not a realtor but, if you ask me, the three areas to invest in a home to improve resale value are kitchens, bathroom and countertops.  The surfaces for countertops of granite, concrete and tile have given people a certain expectation of delight when they walk into a kitchen, bathroom or home bar.  But there are plenty more countertop surfaces to delight.  We’re just getting started.  Last week, I went to a great seminar at Brooks Custom in Mt Kisco, hosted by Richard Brooks. The talk was about the different countertops available and the pros and cons. The one that rocked my world was Verdicrete Engineered Concrete.  Richard pulled out an arsenal of countertop enemies like acetone, olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard, wine, red marker, you get where I’m going, and then set a pot of boiling water on the slurry mess and let it sit for over an hour. There were no stains.   Hard to believe, but true.  This concrete countertop feels warm and velvety and most importantly, comes in any of the Benjamim Moore colors.  Accent materials can be added to the mold, such as sea shells, glass, fossils, sticks and stones.  It weighs 1/3 less than stone, so it works well for hanging on the wall or as a fireplace surround.  The cost is about the same as mid to high range granite. It can be any size that will fit through a door. The design options are limitless, since the shape, texture and color of the concrete is bound only by the imagination. Wood countertops are treated with a baked on Marine Oil Finish, so any species of wood can be safely used around the sink. The metal countertops include Zinc, Copper, Pewter, Bronze and Stainless Steel. The joinery seam where the sheet metals are attached are virtually invisible. The counter top, drain board and sink appear to be from one piece of metal. The 3/4″ glass counter tops can be etched with a design or painted on the back with any of the Benjamin Moore colors. A concealed LED light strip can be used to back light the counter top. It would be possible to etch a monogram on the back of the glass and paint the back with Honeysuckle. Which one do you like best?  Ohhhhh, so many options, so little...
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How honeysuckle is the new black

  According to Pantone, the color of the year for 2011 is Honeysuckle. We’ve all heard the expression about how the “color of the moment” is the new black.  Did you ever wonder how this is decided?  Who decides it and what is the reason for the selection?  In this blogpost, I’m going to tell you how it happens and why it matters. It begins at the D & D Building (Decorator and Design), in New York City on 58th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, The D & D Building is home to over 120 showrooms and 3,000 manufacturers who represent the very best in residential design. People compete for valuable window display space here.  It is through this showcasing of the very best from the very best that the very best colors of the year rise to the top of design trends and lists. For interior and residential designers, this matters  because it helps us create the impression we want for the rooms we design.  For example, we look to warmer colors to make the walls of a room come to life.  Lighter colors make you notice the trim and sharper colors the accents. This applies to walls, fabrics, surfaces, fixtures, furniture, lamps and other objects.  So you can see why we need to stay on top of trends and the hot, new colors. Even though 2011 has just begun, the competition for 2012 is already starting to heat up?  Last week, I was at a seminar at Ring’s End in Fairfield County CT and Benjamin Moore talked about some of their new colors.  What were some of their picks.  Twilight Magenta.  Mysterious Charcoal.  And Purple Lotus.  Take a look below. Any guesses on which one will be the new black next year? I’ve spent a lot of time at the D & D building.  If you’d ever like to hear thoughts on colors that work for a particular room and why, I’ll always have a few...
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