What do you think about your sink?

call button small croppedMaybe you haven’t thought much about it because it works so well. Or, maybe it’s something that bothers you every day. The renovation process includes hundreds of small decisions that have to be made so that the whole project comes together into your dream home. Most people don’t realize how important their sink selection is but a sink is a vital, working element of your home. Beyond the kitchen sink, sinks in bathrooms, laundry rooms, mudrooms, entertainment spaces and even garages make life easier, cleaner and more efficient. Consider function, design, maintenance and cost when selecting a sink for each area of your home. Below is some information and sample photographs to help you make smart choices:

Composite Sinks

  • Composite sinks are made from granite or quartz that is blended with resins. They are highly durable and the granite-based composite makes the most durable sink. There are both top or under mount varieties. They are so durable that they can withstand heavy use.
  • These sinks look stylish and upscale and they stay looking great for decades. Composite sinks come in a variety of colors and configurations to meet your design and function needs for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry or other household or commercial places. You will be able to order a sink to accommodate water filters and any type of faucets or sprayers you choose.
  • Composite sinks clean well with a general household product and warm water. However, if the finish becomes dull, or some event makes it extremely dirty, you can revitalize it with an inexpensive, specialized cleaning product purchased at your local home improvement store. This is a cream cleaner that is rubbed on the surface, rinsed off and then buffed dry to a shine using a paper towel. This is only needed about once per month in a heavily used kitchen sink.

Stainless Steel Sinks

  • This is a popular type of sink that works well for low to moderate use. Heavy, cast iron pans have the potential of denting this product but it stands up well to normal, household use. These sinks come in such a variety that you should be able to find quality products that function well in whatever price range you have budgeted. Keep in mind that as you look at more specialized features the price will increase.
  • Many people love the look of these sinks, especially with the way they complement stainless appliances. Stainless steel sinks come in every imaginable shape, size and configuration so if you are looking for a specialized function then you’re likely to find what you need in stainless steel. This product can be purchased with options from commercial-sized down to tiny wet-bar; apron-front, triple-bowl, and even with a seamless drain board connected. They work for under-mount or top-mount designs and give you many options for creating just the right look. Another bonus is that these sinks look great with many styles of faucet’s and because there is such a variety you can easily find configurations to house all the gadget’s, sprayer’s and soap dispenser’s your heart desires.
  • Stainless steel sinks are relatively easy to care for. Keep them wiped and dry when not in use. Do not use steel wool pads as these can scratch the sink and cause rust. Instead, use a gentle cleanser designed for stainless steel and clean with a sponge or cloth. After cleaning, rinse well and then dry with a paper towel (because leaving it to dry can cause water spots). If your sink becomes dull looking and needs some extra cleaning and shine, use baking soda to scrub it and then rinse and towel dry.

Solid Surface Sinks

  • This type of sink is created with molded acrylic and polyester. High heat can damage the surface and replacing the entire, solid piece can be expensive but your manufacturer can repair most types of damage that could occur with normal use.
  • The seamless look of having the counter-top and sink as one, solid piece is appealing to the eye and makes cleaning easy. Solid surface sinks come in an unimaginable variety of colors and can mimic the look of stone and other natural materials so it is a material that is easy to incorporate into whatever style you choose for your kitchen design.
  • There aren’t any lips, seams or caulking so these sinks can easily be wiped down without food or dirt getting caught where the counter-top and sink meet. They are durable, nonporous and can easily be cleaned with a scrub pad and household cleaner. Because liquid cannot penetrate the surface, bacteria doesn’t grow as easily as with other sinks or counter-tops.

Cast Iron Sinks

  • Cast iron sinks have been the normal, go-to sinks for many decades. They are made of cast iron with a porcelain enamel. They are very durable for normal use, taking heat and not denting or staining, but they can chip and then rust if hit hard with a heavy object.
  • People love the glossy look of these sinks. Cast iron sinks come in every color so they look beautiful with whatever decor you choose. They are usually top mounted because of how heavy the sinks are but they can be under-mounted if proper supports are utilized.
  • These sinks clean well with a mild detergent and even scratches can be removed this way. In fact, they are one of the easiest sink types to maintain as long as you avoid using steel wool or anything that could be a catalyst for rust.

Stone Sinks

  • Stone sinks are extraordinarily beautiful because they are made from natural materials like granite, marble, limestone and onyx. If taken care of properly, they will last a lifetime but they are more expensive than other types of sinks.
  • Their classic appeal is timeless. They are heavily polished so they shine. They are seamless and can be shaped to fit whatever design you choose.
  • The polished surface is easy to wipe and keep clean. However, because they are porous, these sinks require daily upkeep and a sealant is required. Check the sealant every few months to make sure your stone is protected from moisture. If water is allowed to compromise the stone then it becomes susceptible to cracking.
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Deep tub, stainless steel sink.

These are just a few of the options you have in selecting the perfect sink for your project. A professional designer can help you strike a balance between function, beauty, shape, material and budget to find what works best for you. Selecting a sink is just one decision of many in the renovation process but professional help with selections is always included with your remodel when you hire Perry Newman Design. Give us a call at 801.971.0868  or fill out our contact form online and we’ll walk you through the process, starting with a complementary, in-home consultation.


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Five situations when hardwood floors won’t work and what to do instead.

call button small croppedHardwood floors are beautiful and very appealing because people are drawn to natural products. Things from nature, like wood, offer rejuvenation, stress relief and relax our consciousness. Wood also falls into the criteria we have addressed in previous blogs about the importance of timeless design. However, as much as people love wooden floors, there are instances when it’s not the right choice to put into your home. If you love wood, here are five situations where an alternative flooring, maybe one that gives the look of wood, might be a better choice:

  • High traffic areas where wood could be damaged; Beautiful hardwood floors will not stay looking their best or make a homeowner happy if they are installed into very high traffic areas where they can be damaged. Think of a mountain cabin where ski poles, sleds, boots, rocks, hiking equipment, mud, snow and dirt will be dragged across an entryway floor. Especially in a space where the homeowner comes to relax and get away, constant worry about a floor would defeat the purpose of your get-away place. This may also be true in certain parts of your primary residence so think about how your home will be utilized and avoid putting hardwood where there is a potential for damage. If high-traffic and risk of damage make you shy away from wood, consider concrete, rubber or vinyl as wood imposters that will look great but give you nearly indestructible alternatives. You’ll end up having the look you want without the worry.
  • Areas where moisture is a concern; Places like bathrooms may not be the best rooms to install hardwood floors. Usually, when a floor has buckled or had other water damage, it happens near showers, refrigerators or where there is plumbing for sinks or appliances. Water and wood don’t mix well and when they do it causes big headaches and expensive repairs for the homeowner. If you want the wooden look without the worry about moisture damage, consider installing tile that is designed to imitate hardwood flooring. There are many beautiful options to choose from that look just like wood. Besides the moisture protection, another benefit of the tile floor is that you have the option of adding a radiant heating system into the floor. This luxury isn’t an option if you choose hardwoods.
  • The cost of the wood you want is beyond your budget; Staying under budget is always a consideration that has to be managed and you can’t always find high-end materials at low-end prices. However, there are many low-cost options for wood alternatives that can give you the hardwood look you desire. Your designer will have many products for you to consider but some solutions may be linoleum, vinyl, rubber or laminates. Take time to shop these commodities and you will be amazed at how realistic the look and feel mimic hardwood floors while keeping your wallet and bottom line happy.
  • Maintaining hardwood floors takes time, energy and money; You don’t want to compromise the integrity of your beautiful floors so putting in hardwood is like signing a contract to refinish them about every five years. This is a lot of work or an expense and inconvenience that is just part of owning wood. Any of the wood alternatives that are mentioned in this blog are easier to maintain than hardwood flooring. The best way to get the wooden plank look with the least amount of work is to try vinyl. It’s not the vinyl of decades gone by. Newer types that have the wood plank look even come in snap-together planks to better mimic hardwoods.
  • Wooden flooring is not conducive to the design of your home; There are some styles where, as much as you love hardwood floors, they just don’t fit the design. There are literally thousands of choices for flooring available in every texture, color and material you can imagine. If you are struggling to come up with a flooring idea because you are stuck on the idea of wood then sit down and make a list of what you like about hardwood floors, then work with your designer to find an alternative that checks the boxes of those attributes that are most important to you.

Choosing the right flooring is a very important decision homeowners need to make and then live with for years. If you love hardwood, use it where you can but if some of the above five considerations affect your flooring choices then know there are a variety of options and solutions to fit every situation. The professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you navigate the selection process and choose the flooring that is best suited for each area of your home. This service is included in your Perry Newman Design experience. Your designer will be there from conception, through construction, to completion.

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Four things to consider before interviewing remodeling companies

call button small croppedSo, you’ve decided it’s time to renovate! Here are four, basic, things to consider as you prepare to interview remodeling companies:

1)      Needs—Make a list of improvements starting with your needs and prioritize them, with the most important needs at the top of your list. For example, you may be remodeling because you need a bigger kitchen with more preparation space and double ovens. Those three things should be at the top of your list.

2)      Wants—Continue your list, stating your wants one-by-one, from most important to least important. For example, in your bigger kitchen preparation space and double ovens may be needs but you might want a custom, tiled backsplash. Another want could be designer lighting or a certain style of cabinetry.

Couple planning a renovation3)      Budget—Everything has a price and you need to realistic about what you can afford. You may end up with the kitchen of your dreams but, if paying for it becomes a problem then the remodel becomes a burden and, you won’t enjoy it no matter how amazing it is. Decide what you can afford to spend. Then, be realistic by understanding that what you may think is a lot of money may not buy you as much as you hoped. You might want to do some research to understand remodeling costs (but make sure you are looking at prices in your area). Your construction professional will be able to give you some guidance but it’s smart to be informed about the finances before you start the process.

4)      Time—There are different aspects of your project that will be affected by time. Perhaps you have a deadline you consider one of your needs. For example, if you have an event planned on a certain day then one of your needs should be to have the project completed before then. Another way time can affect your project is if you decide to do some of the work yourself. That will, probably, take longer so plan for it in your schedule and expectations.

Meeting during remodelIf you make a list, prioritizing wants and needs, then consider your budget and time requirements you will be informed and prepared when you start to interview renovation professionals. Going forward, it becomes a challenge of balancing those four things to end up with a beautiful home you are pleased with. You may need to give up some of your wants to meet the budget. Or, to get more of your wants you might need to do the project in phases (which takes more time). Or, you may decide to increase your budget so you can have all your wants and needs. Maybe, to meet your time requirements, you will choose to use materials that your designer has on hand instead of special ordering. Whatever you do, find a balance between these four things and let your experienced professional help you figure out the combination that will give you a home you’ll love to live in.

As always, Perry Newman Design is here to help you find that balance and consider all the important elements that will take your project from conception, through construction, to completion. www.perrynewmandesign.com

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What is the key to having an amazing renovation experience?

call button small croppedWe’ve all heard nightmare stories about home remodels gone awry. The workmen that don’t show up on time, the contractor who gets paid and then never finishes the project, or the tool that hits the wrong pipe and floods the whole house are just a few ghastly possibilities that torment owners of fixer uppers.

The one sure thing is that something unexpected will happen. However, there is a key that can help make your renovation experience as smooth and horror-free as possible. That key is: organization.

Put aside thoughts of flooring and insulation and drywall for a minute. Although those things are important, what is even more important to a successful renovation is planning, organization and project management.  Lucky for you, these are all included as part of the Perry Newman Design experience. Read on to understand the process and what should happen when a remodel goes right:

  • silo houseThe process begins when you make a call to schedule your in-home, design consultation. A designer will come to your home and spend about an hour with you; looking at your house and listening to your expectations for the project. You, as the owner, should state your budget and any schedule requirements. Together, you start to create the concept that will be the inspiration for your project.
  • You, as the owner, should ask for a list of references and take time to contact previous clients to hear about their experience. You should look at the company website and do some research so you feel comfortable about who you are hiring and who will be coming into your home.
  • perry_logo-round-fullThe next step is to pay your design fee. For Perry Newman Design customer’s, this is a small fee that pays for the design and planning of your project. The fee will be applied toward your renovation if you complete your project with Perry Newman Design. To plan and manage something of the scope of a home remodel takes a significant amount of time, planning and creativity. The fee pays for the time it takes to draw up mock ups, make selections, get bids from all the sub-contractors and work with the owner to create a plan and schedule that will allow the renovation to run as smoothly as possible.
  • talkingYou work with your designer to shop and make selections (flooring, paint, cabinetry, hardware, etc.). You meet the sub contractor’s that will work on your project. Organizing all of these people and elements brings clarity to the plan and everyone agrees to the schedule.
  • When all of your selections are made and your plan is ready, your designer will propose you move forward with the renovation. You take one more look at each of the elements, the budget and the schedule so everything is in place. If you decide to move forward, your design fee is credited back to the project.
  • silo construction03According to the agreed upon schedule, your project begins. Usually, the first step is demolition. Perry Newman Design customers have the benefit of hiring their designer and then he acts as project manager (hiring and overseeing everyone through the construction phase). This reduces stress on the homeowner because they only have to deal with one person and then that person runs the project and takes care of all the details. This is where the reward comes from all that organization and planning because, before the first hammer begins to drive nails, the owner, designer and workers all have an understanding of what will happen. Open and meticulous communication and agreements help avoid the typical messes and mistakes that can plague remodels and make the project take longer than expected.
  • Your renovation is complete and your dream home becomes your reality!

Organization is the key to a great experience. When you have a designer/project manager and make all your selections before the demolition even begins, you are better able to anticipate problems and deal with the unexpected. Having a plan and the backing of experienced renovation professionals who will guide you is enough to keep the remodel nightmares at bay. We will take you from conception, through construction, to completion. Perry Newman Design clients sleep soundly knowing that organization is the key to a great renovation experience.

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Answer 7 quick questions to figure out which cooktop is right for you.

Your kitchen is more than a living space, it’s a tool! Selecting equipment that meets all of your needs and fits your decor is an essential part of a kitchen renovation. If you purchase a cooktop or range that is reliable, beautiful and fits your style of cooking then you will enjoy working and playing chef in your new kitchen for years to come. Here are seven questions to ask yourself that will help you figure out which appliance is right for you:

  • Which statement best applies to your needs for cleaning your cooktop?
    1. I need to be able to quickly wipe down the cooktop immediately after cooking.
    2. I can clean my cooktop elements as part of my normal household routine.
    3. I don’t have to scrub the cooktop immediately but having a smooth surface is important to me.
  • Which statement best describes the look you want a cooktop to have?
    1. I like a cooktop that is sleek and almost not there.
    2. I like a cooktop that looks professional and makes a statement.
    3. I like a cooktop that is smooth but shows where the units are located.
  • Which statement best describes your need for heat, control and speed?
    1. I want instant heat and water to boil as fast as possible. When I lower or increase the heat, I want to see the results of the change happen immediately.
    2. I want water to boil in a reasonable amount of time and I want to be able to control the level of heat and see the changes happen quickly.
    3. I want water to boil in a reasonable amount of time and I don’t mind if it takes a little while to see a change in temperature when I make an adjustment.
  • Which statement best describes your feelings about cookware?
    1. I do not mind buying new cookware if it will help my cooktop perform its best.
    2. I want to use the cookware I have and I am not worried about open flame touching my cookware. I also like to use a wok or griddle on my cooktop.
    3. I want to use the cookware I have and it has good, flat bottoms that will conduct heat well.
  • Which statement best describes your feelings about the price of your cooktop?
    1. I do not mind paying more to get an appliance I will love.
    2. I want to have a variety of price levels to choose from that offer my cooktop technology.
    3. Price is the most important factor for me.
  • Which statement best describes your feelings about cooktop safety?
    1. I do not want my cooktop to heat up. I am concerned about people touching a hot surface. I don’t like to have flames where I am cooking.
    2. I am not worried about cooking with flames or having heat involved in my cooking.
    3. I am not worried about the surface of my cooktop being hot but I am concerned about possible effects from creating a magnetic field.
  • Which statement best describes how you want to power your cooktop?
    1. It does not bother me if my cooktop will not work when the power is out.
    2. I need a cooktop that will work, even when the power is out.
    3. It does not bother me if my cooktop will not work when the power is out.

Count up your answers (1, 2 and 3) and read the information below to help you figure out which cooktop is right for you. Remember that the professionals at Perry Newman Design are always happy to help clients select appliances that fit their life, cooking style and budget. Assisting with selections is just part of the Perry Newman Design experience.

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  1. Induction: Since the heat is generated by magnets, when you turn off the unit is quickly cool to the touch and the smooth surface makes it easy to clean immediately. Food does not get cooked onto the surface of the appliance because it is not heated. Induction cooktops come as cooktops or as part of a range unit with an oven. They come in a variety of sizes and with different options. They can be mounted flush so they blend into your countertop flawlessly or they can be mounted on top with a nice transition piece. The heat for this type of appliance comes from creating a magnetic field so the heat is instant and changes happen rapidly as you adjust the settings. You will, probably, need to purchase new cookware if you choose an induction appliance. There are pots and pans that are designed to conduct and work best with this technology. Induction ranges have been in use for decades but, while popular in other parts of the world, have recently made a resurgence in the United States. You will pay more to purchase an induction appliance than a gas or ceramic-topped unit (even though both the induction and ceramic/glass appliances are electric). The top of this cooktop doesn’t really heat up. You can put a paper towel between the unit and the pan you are using, then boil water or cook in it and it will not burn the paper towel. You can also touch the top of the appliance right after you turn it off. Parents of young children find this feature very enticing because this kind of cooktop has the least chance of causing burns. Some people have expressed concern that there is a health risk posed by the electromagnetic field created for cooking but studies have not found that to pose a threat. This is an electric appliance so it will not work if the power is out.cooktop gas03
  2. Gas: It isn’t hard to keep a gas cooktop clean but there are elements of the cooktop that protrude and need to be taken apart so keeping it clean takes longer than with a smooth surface. You also need to wait until the appliance is no longer hot to be able to clean it. Gas appliances come in many sizes and shapes and can be a cooktop or part of a range unit. Depending on the brand, the knobs and lights on the unit can make a design statement. Since the elements have multiple component’s, these stovetops stand out and some people buy particular brands of gas cooktops because they look like appliances professional chef’s use. The heat on this appliance is created by flame so it takes a little while for the heat to boil water but you can see the flame adjust as you use the controls and, once the cookware is heated, the adjustments quickly affect what you are cooking. You can use specialty cookware like a wok or cast iron griddle on a gas range. Gas cooking appliances come in a wide variety of types and prices. You have many options with this very popular type of device. Please consider that this kind of unit runs on gas so you will be paying for gas instead of power to run your appliance. A gas appliance means that you are cooking with flames and that can pose a risk of burns. It also means that the unit will function normally even if the power is out.cooktop ceramic02
  3. Ceramic/glass, smooth top: The heat units on this type of appliance stay hot for a little while after cooking, but once it cools, it is easy to wipe clean because the surface is smooth. Food is more likely to burn onto the surface of this type of appliance than the induction because heat is generated. Ceramic or glass stovetops look smooth and are easy to use. They come in many different sizes and with different options. This type of appliance heats well and gives you good control of temperature but changes take a little bit longer than with the other types of cooktops because heat from the flat surface has to transfer to the pan. Once your cookware is heated, you have good control over adjustments. This type of electric appliance is the most cost effective. The surface of this type of cooktop heats up and stays hot for a little while after you are finished cooking. This is an electric appliance so it will not work if the power is out.
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Utilizing Timeless Design is the Smart Way to Renovate

Bedroom Retreat

Bedroom Retreat by Perry Newman Design

We are happy to remake the structure of your house as often as you would like, but doesn’t it make more sense to renovate once and select materials in styles and colors that were meant to last? If you keep your background neutral, by utilizing classic design elements, your look can be easily updated or changed just by swapping out the accents and accessories. You can have a fresh, new look without the remodeling price tag.

If you want to achieve this kind of timeless design, steer clear of fads and trends. Make selections that have staying power. You don’t have to be bland or boring; choose things that are understated and sophisticated, then incorporate clean lines to make your home a canvas you dress up. Natural materials like stone, wood, brick, glass, cotton and other natural fibers bring texture, depth and classic elegance to your home. Use these to create a neutral background, then dress it up with complementary colors. These shades can be dark or dynamic and you can add interest and style by incorporating bold patterns like stripes, plaids, or checks.

Achieving timeless style is about balance and function. Stay true to the architecture of your home and highlight it when possible. Order and cleanliness are key so don’t clutter up your room with unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks or things that don’t have a purpose. Make sure the furniture you select is the right scale for the area. It’s fine to combine quality antique and contemporary pieces because they will help achieve that timeless appeal.

The professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you achieve a look that will make your home spectacular for many years to come. If you really want your design to be timeless, the key is to create a room you love. Let us help you find your style and create a designer home that will serve your family for the long term. We pride ourselves on taking your renovation from conception, through construction, to completion in less time than you think.

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Four things to consider when selecting granite

call button small croppedThe selection of granite should be your first priority if you are planning to use it in your project. The reason this selection is so important is because your choice of granite will determine your palette for the renovation. Here are some things to consider when choosing the slab that is right for you:

(1) Color—The color and pattern of each granite slab is unique so look for something that speaks to you. This element will be a feature in your project so you want it to be something you find appealing and beautiful. Think about where the granite will be and whether a lighter or darker color will make the best statement. Granite comes in a seemingly endless variety of shades and styles so look at as many slabs as possible and then start eliminating them to help you figure out which is your favorite.

(2) Finish—The finish you choose will determine the look of your granite and also may require different types of maintenance to keep up its appearance and have it function at its best. The most popular finish for granite is polished. This finish gives the granite a look that is smooth, shiny, reflective and glossy. Polished granite wears well and helps repel moisture.

A honed finish is smooth, natural and matte looking. It is not shiny or very reflective. There are different types of honed finishes but they are all smooth, without scratch marks. Honed granite is less slippery than the polished finish.

Another granite finish is referred to as leathered or brushed. This finishing technique has become more requested in the past few years as consumers look to give their granite a more unusual and sophisticated style. This type of finish leaves a texture on the granite while it retains the natural color of the stone. Some people like this finish because of the interesting character and the fact that it hides water spots and fingerprints better than a polished finish. Leathered granite requires more maintenance to keep it looking new but it is beautiful. Other types of finishes include satin, silk, riverwashed or caressed.

(3) Thickness—The depth of your granite is important because the functionality of your stone depends on the thickness and strength of your selection. For example, if you are planning to mount appliances in your granite or have a large piece hanging over without direct support you need to purchase a slab that will be strong enough to resist breakage and be cut to accommodate your appliances. You might think choosing something thinner will save you money but there may be additional handling fees for someone to work with thinner material because extra care must be taken when shaping the granite. Whether you choose thicker or thinner stone, ask about installation methods and make sure the professionals who handle your granite know the best way to work with the thickness you selected.

(4) Price—Price is a consideration for every remodeling project. In fact, Perry Newman has said, “I have yet to find a project where the client has said ‘Go ahead and spend whatever you want.’” Hopefully, price is not the only consideration when you go shopping for your granite. It is important that you purchase something you like because granite is meant to last and you will be living with it for a long time. There are so many different options with granite that if you really look you should be able to find something that pleases and is in a reasonable price range. Having a professional to guide you will help keep you on budget and choose something that will provide a beautiful palette for your project. Spending too much or settling for something you don’t really like can both bring regret into a process that should be enjoyable. Find a balance and make the choice that’s right for you.

Consider these four elements to the granite selection process and be informed before you start shopping. To make the process even easier, call Perry Newman Design 801.971.0868 or contact us through our website perrynewmandesign.com. Professional help in making great selections is included as part of our service. We’ll quickly take you all the way from conception through construction to completion.

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