The right tile adds value and beauty to your home

Not everything that people do to update their homes ends up bringing value to the property but tile is something that adds beauty and can increase the price of a home. It’s a great way to update or even upscale the look of a house. Tile gives homeowners a chance to be whimsical, express their individuality or make a bold statement. The options in style, shape and color are virtually limitless and homeowners can find smart ways to utilize tile throughout their property. From floors and backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms to wainscoting (where a wall needs protection or a splash of pizazz), tile can make it happen, beautifully.  Here are five types of tile to consider:

Aqua artisan tile

Unique, handmade artisan tiles make your home one-of-a-kind and come in an amazing array of styles and colors.

Artisan Tile

Sometimes referred to as “handcrafted tile”, artisan tile is a beautiful choice that can be made in whatever colors, patterns or shapes fit the project. This type of tile is unique because it is custom designed and can even be one-of-a-kind. Often eco-friendly, these tiles can be made of recycled materials or natural materials. Because they are handcrafted (and glaze is brushed on by hand) when these tiles are fired in the kiln different hues and unique attributes come out of the material. From old-world, painted tiles to glossy, shaped tiles artisan tile could be the perfect touch for making a home spectacular.

Ceramic tiled bathroom

Ceramic tiled bathroom

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is made of thin layers of clay that are hardened by firing and glazed. They are easily mass-produced and readily available. They are easy to clean and don’t harbor germs (so they are a great choice to use in the interior of a home). They come in an unending variety of styles, colors, shapes and sizes and are usually a more economical choice than porcelain. In fact, they are the least expensive type of tile. Perhaps that is why this type of tile continues to be so popular in home renovations and remodeling projects.

Porcelain tile flooring

Porcelain tile flooring in living room.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are made of finer and denser clay than ceramic tiles which makes them more durable. They can be used for flooring and are more waterproof than ceramic tiles. The strength of these tiles (and the fact that they are very easy to clean) make them a popular choice. As an added bonus, they are not expensive to repair and maintain. They also come in colors, shapes and styles to fit almost every project. As is illustrated in the photo, combining different tiles (or the same tile in different colors) can create a stunning and dramatic look. Tiles can also be more subdued and elegant, combined and arranged to express whatever style pleases the homeowner.

Glass tile

Glass tile shower niche and wall.

Glass Tile

Glass tile is non-porous and can be used on the interior or exterior of the home. They are also great for swimming pools. Glass tiles are gaining in popularity because of their beauty and the fact they can be used in mosaics. They come in many different finishes like polished, frosted, etched, cracked and reflective and they come in thousands of colors, shapes and sizes.

Metal Tile

Metal Tile Backsplash

Metal tile backsplash.

For something different (or to add sparkle and richness) some homeowners are looking to metal tile. Traditionally, this type of tile was used for accents but more and more people are trying them where they used to utilize other types of tile. These tiles may be solid metal or may have a metallic glaze. Copper, bronze, silver, titanium, pewter and stainless steel are just a few of the options available in metal tiles. Depending on what type of metal tile is utilized (and where the tile is located) there may be specialized maintenance or cleaning required to keep the tile looking like new.

call button small croppedBecause of the limitless possibilities available in all types of tile, you may want to consult with a designer to help you find the perfect tile for your project. Tile selection is one of the services offered to Perry Newman Design clients and is just one, small piece of the process that takes homeowners from conception, through construction, to the completion of their unique home remodel. Click to call Perry now and get started!

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What’s cooking? The microwave decision

Microwave in custom cabinetSince the 70’s, the microwave oven has been an American household staple and for many people it is the primary way that they cook, defrost and reheat food. However, microwaves are not especially attractive so careful planning and placement of this go-to, time saver are key when creating the kitchen of your dreams.

Different types of microwaves are available to complement a variety of kitchen styles so your designer will help you select the placement and walk you through the decision-making process to choose the right unit. What you decide about placement will also affect the type of appliance you choose but, generally, your choices are between setting the microwave on the countertop, mounting it over the range, setting it into cabinetry or having one built-in.

Microwave drawer sampleTo enhance the beauty of the kitchen, many re-modelers are choosing to put the microwave into the island by designing the cabinetry to hold a traditional microwave underneath the countertop or installing a microwave drawer. Although this might be a new concept (and test your sense of tradition) there isn’t a lot of bending involved in using a microwave in the island. Controls for a microwave drawer are easily accessible and, for safety, it makes sense to lift food up a few inches onto your countertop instead of reaching up into a microwave to bring hot foods down toward you before carrying them to a safe landing zone.

If a traditional microwave isn’t for you (but you still want to be able to cook and reheat foods quickly), you have some choices that might work better for your kitchen.

Microwave convection combo ovenConvection/microwave combo ovens are a mix of microwave technology and heat energy, so they can brown, roast and grill. They also have a heating element in addition to a fan that aides in the circulation of hot air. This means that you get the quick, internal heating of microwave technology combined with heat that keeps the outside crispy (or whatever consistency the food should have). A microwave-only unit sometimes makes food soggy or rubbery so you can tell it has been heated that way.

Steam ovenAnother option is to select a steam oven. These can be used to steam, reheat, bake, defrost or to cook so they are extremely versatile. You can even cook rice in them. They take a little longer than a microwave but the condition of the food when it is finished is incredible. If you are reheating leftovers it will be hard to tell that they are leftovers after being heated in a steam oven. Also, because of the many features this appliance offers, you can set the oven and walk away from foods that would traditionally take more effort to create. A steam oven is a wonderful tool and a viable choice for replacing or adding as a companion to a traditional microwave oven. If you are remodeling your kitchen it is worth taking the time to look into the benefits of this type of oven.

call button small croppedWhen planning your kitchen don’t forget to ponder the importance of selecting the right quick-cooking appliance and think about choosing to place it in a convenient location that doesn’t distract from the look of your new kitchen. Perry Newman Design clients get educated on their microwave options and all their appliance selections. Plus, they get someone to walk them through every step of the planning, selection and construction process. Perry Newman Design guides you through your home renovation project from conception, through construction, to completion in less time than you imagine. Call 801.971.0868 today and experience the peace of mind that comes from letting someone else take care of getting all the little details right.

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“Wood” you know how to pick the best cabinetry?

Custom cabinetry in UtahCabinetry design and selection is a very important element of a home renovation. While people generally think of cabinetry as being for kitchen’s and bathroom’s, cabinets can enhance many areas of your home. Consider how cabinetry can customize a craft room, create the perfect designer closet, make an appealing feature that hides entertainment components, display art or organize your laundry room. Besides being important for design and function, cabinetry will be one of the biggest expenses in a renovation so shop smart and make sure you balance price, quality and function to find the perfect cabinets for your home.

Thicker materials make better cabinetry. Your cabinetry boxes should be at least three-quarters of an inch thick. Some cabinet makers will try to cut costs by using material that is five-eighths of an inch for their boxes instead. If your cabinetry is made well and of quality materials it will stay sturdy and not shift or warp. There are many things that happen in a kitchen or bathroom that cause moisture to interact with your cabinetry so you need quality materials that can stand up to the test of cooking and bathing so they’ll stay looking beautiful and work properly over time. Melamine interiors are a great choice for cabinets and drawers. In fact, Perry Newman believes having melamine for the interior of drawers is better than wood.Kitchen cabinetry in Utah home “Just be careful,” he warns, “to check the quality of the melamine. There is some coming in from China that is low quality and if you put a hot glass (right out of the dishwasher) on it, it will bubble up and warp. That can also happen with wood in the bottom of drawers so quality melamine is better.”

Doors are the most expensive item of a cabinetry purchase. Take time to educate yourself and know what the doors are made of before you order. So much of your cost and the success of the design rides on this decision because cabinetry is big and expensive and can’t easily be switched out like other things in the home. The cost of cabinetry varies so drastically that you really need to think about how much you want to spend and get the highest quality and function for that price. Perry Newman suggests you decide on your goal for the cabinets and work to achieve the best balance in what you purchase.

Utah custom kitchenHardware is something people seldom ask for details about but you can spend a little or a whole lot on pulls and handles. Better quality hardware is made in the United States or Germany. If you order online or through a box store without direction from your cabinet maker or designer you might end up with lower quality pulls and drawers that don’t work or don’t last like they would have if more care had been taken in the hardware selection. “There is nothing more frustrating than a drawer that doesn’t work.” Perry Newman explains, “I’ve had people want to renovate a whole kitchen over that.”

Custom kitchen and curio display in UtahCheck for gaps, untreated wood, splinters and chipped edges. A well-made cabinet will not have these evidences of poor craftsmanship. Another key indicator is to look for 100 percent, perfect right angles on each joint and corner of the cabinetry. Perry Newman says people should take time to understand how their cabinetry is built. Ask questions, a good cabinet maker knows how to explain the process and can tell you in detail how your pieces will come together.

Custom cabinetry in UtahChecking the drawers can give you clues about the quality of the product. Drawers that have steel ball bearings in the roller mechanisms and metal fittings are better quality than those with plastic and nylon. Ask about the load rating for how much weight the drawers can hold. The higher the number, the better. If the drawer is built to hold more weight, it needs to be built better. Features like soft close and full-extension guides (that allow you to access even the very back of the drawer) can also be indicators that your cabinetry is of higher quality. Also, ask about options like custom pegs and dividers (see below). Quality cabinet builders will offer those types of customization.

Look at the shelving inside the cabinets. Better quality cabinetry generally has more adjustable shelving and less fixed shelves. While you are in there, look at the hardware holding the shelves in place. You want to find a cabinet builder that uses metal hardware, not plastic, because the shelves will hold more weight, stay in place better and last well over time.

Custom drawer in UtahUse the cabinets before you decide. Open doors, slam drawers, see how the cabinetry feels in the showroom or in projects that builder has completed before you order it for your home. There shouldn’t be any wobbling and the doors and drawers should feel smooth when you use them. Think about how you utilize your cabinetry and make sure that the way the cabinets you are considering function will meet your needs. One tip that has become quite a work-saving trend is to plan to store your dishes in drawers instead of upper cabinets. It’s so much easier to move dishes from the dishwasher into deep, lower drawers that it is to lift heavy plates up into high cabinetry. Another tip is those drawer dividers and custom pegs mentioned earlier help organize your kitchen, maximizing efficiency and making a place for every kitchen gadget and tool.

call button small croppedIf all this talk about testing and quality and finding balance kind of makes your head spin, consider getting the help of a professional designer to lead you through all your selections. The Perry Newman Design team specializes in finding the best choices and guiding you through the selection process to find the highest quality materials while keeping you on schedule and in budget. A designer will also have experience with different products and suggestions about ways to utilize all the latest advancements in cabinetry and the other elements of your renovation. The process starts with a free, in-home consultation so call and schedule today 801.971.0868 or fill out the contact form on perrynewmandesign.com.

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Three ways to elevate your design by utilizing texture

Sample room with wood, stone and other textured elements.

Sample room with wood, stone, fabric, metal and other textured elements.

Texture is an important element to elevating design. To achieve a designer finish, Perry Newman advises “stay within your palette and use lots of textures for interest.” Utilizing different textures can help create the perception of a feeling, balance the room by weight or contrast and add interest while highlighting a focal point. Proper, careful placement and use of a variety of textures can lead the eye through a room and create the desired ambiance. Here are three suggestions to making the best use of texture:

 

  • Sample room with brick, wood, glass and metal textures.

    Sample room with brick, wood, glass, plant and metal textures.

    Texture adds dimension and different moods can be achieved through selecting the right combination (even while staying within the colors in your palette). For example, rough textures feel warm because they do not reflect as much light as a smooth surface. They also have a rustic vibe, while smooth textures seem more modern and feel cooler because they reflect more light. A bold texture creates depth and enhances the feeling of warmth. Movement and tranquility can be achieved by repeating shapes and patterns (the way being near water and seeing the ripples on a pond can soothe and mellow a person’s emotions). Unity and integrity can be conveyed by matching borders on different elements in the room. Playing with textures can strike any mood between creating drama or giving the impression of a relaxing, faraway place.

 

  • Texture on shower wall

    Adding texture to accent a plain white wall gives an upscale, luxury feel without adding any color at all.

    Different finishes (smooth, matte, course, fine, etc.) can add interest and depth to a neutral room, keeping it timeless but making it homey and livable. When placing objects in the design consider whether the texture offers a visual or tactile experience or both. The more bold or rough a texture is, the heavier the piece will appear. Smoother or shiny textures look lighter and can be used for contrast. Utilizing texture to make features in the room appear heavy or lighter provides an opportunity to balance the room or create imbalance and angst, depending on the look a designer is striving to achieve.

 

  • Finally, consider placement and selection of textured objects to combine into an appealing overall concept. Things like tree branches, wood, textiles, draperies, art or brick can be altered to stand out as a focal point or blend in to conform. For example, a brick wall left as it is may be a feature in the room but painted a neutral color it fades away, offering the interest of the brick texture, but not detracting from the carefully placed focal point. Natural elements that are incorporated into the design add an appealing, earthy feel. Things like plants, sisal, wood, etc. are elements to consider incorporating for added interest.

 

 

texture sample room with horse art

Sample room displays texture of glass, brick, sisal rug, fabrics, stone, metal, plants and wood.

Perry Newman says an easy way to bring texture into a design is carefully selecting fabrics on the furniture but a less expensive alternative is to choose different fabrics on throw pillows. Remember that adding a variety of trims and fringes adds interest. The same is true for draperies and art. Just stick to your palette plus white, black and grey. If you would like a designer eye to help make your texture choices, the professionals at Perry Newman Design can help you take your home renovation project from conception, through construction, to completion. Call Perry today at 801.971.0868 or fill in the contact form at perrynewmandesign.com.

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Four renovation tips to customize your home

Grand Kitchen

Sample of timeless design: Grand kitchen with custom cabinetry, wooden floors and under-cabinet lighting.

A renovation is an opportunity to take your home from ordinary to extraordinary by customizing your residence to work for you. Perry Newman says one of the biggest mistakes people make is focusing on a particular color or item (because it ends up dictating the whole design). Seeking timeless design for expensive, permanent elements (like tile, cabinetry and fixtures) is a smarter choice because if you choose those things based on a certain color, or a painting, or even a counter-top then you are modifying all your selections around something unimportant. Instead, seek to makeover your home in a pallet that will allow you to pull in patterns, textures and natural elements to give you a designer look. Then, hang that painting and add pops of your favorite color with furnishings and accent pieces. That way, when you tire of the color or the painting doesn’t appeal to you anymore, you simply change the furnishings and have a whole new look to your home. (Click here for more information about achieving timeless design.) The options for customizing your home are endless, from installing light switches in areas that work for you to changing the height of doorknobs, however, here are a few favorites to consider:

 

  • Custom bathroom with shower room

    Sample of custom bathroom with innovative features.

    Bathrooms—Remodeling a bathroom gives you an amazing opportunity for customization. Your bathroom can become your retreat, a place to unwind and rejuvenate yourself. Some clients prefer to create a spa-like setting and others are interested in simplifying and making things efficient. A professional designer can help you think out-of-the-box and let you know about the latest trends in luxury, form and function. Many times, the traditional way of arranging a room is not the most efficient and expense in furnishings, maintenance costs and time cleaning can be reduced with smart design choices and thoughtful selections. For example, niches in the shower can eliminate racks and soap dishes or an oversized shower with a bench can give a luxury spa experience now while providing a solution for the future (when someone is elderly and needs a wheelchair).

 

  • Custom kitchen with lighting

    Sample of kitchen with custom lighting.

    Lighting—In design, “it’s all about the light.” Perry Newman says, “You get the right lighting and you are 75% of the way to great design.” Lighting sets the mood for your residence and customization allows you to adjust that mood to your needs at different times of day or different times of life. The type of lighting you choose affects paint color and how people see and perceive their surroundings. Fixtures should be carefully selected so they fade away and are invisible when appropriate and stand out as an accent or point of interest when that element is a feature of the design. Dimmer switches can give you control and help your house work well for different functions. For example, under-counter lighting in a kitchen can help brighten the room and make your kitchen more functional by giving direct light above the counter-top where you are cooking. It can also be used for safety, as a night light, or can be used for ambiance to help set the mood by dimming the lights in the evening.

 

  • Custom muti shower heads

    Sample of custom shower with multiple shower heads and a bench.

    Plumbing Fixtures—A great place to customize and make your home work for you is in your plumbing selections. There are so many features and options that it can be overwhelming but one tip is to not spend a lot on your sink. Choose something functional and then dress it up with gadgets like racks in the bottom, soap dispensers and a faucet with features that make you say, “Wow!” Because there are so many possibilities, you don’t have to spend a lot of your budget to get flexibility in function and a style you find appealing. Extra shower-heads in the bathroom, pot fillers and industrial sprayers in the kitchen, or even a retro, copper-colored faucet that looks just like the one your grandma had in her laundry room can all be yours with careful planning and smart selections.

 

  • Custom laundry room

    Sample of custom cabinetry and professionally designed laundry room in Utah.

    Cabinetry—The best tip to cabinetry selection and customization is to trust the pros. Meaning, you may have an idea about how you want your kitchen, laundry or bathroom laid out but keep an open mind and listen to the person representing your cabinet company. They have seen it all! They have experience with what works and what doesn’t. They are in and out of kitchen’s every day so they know about the trends and what great ideas people are coming up with to make houses work better. At least set aside your preconceived notions and really hear what they are recommending for finishes and designing your room for the best functionality. Trust them to create the layout. For example, tradition has taught people to put plates in upper cabinetry (because that is what they have always done) however, a smarter solution is to put heavy plates in a drawer that is as close to your dishwasher as possible. It’s easier to put things away down low, instead of lifting them, and these days upper cabinets may not be deep enough to accommodate your large plates anyway. Clients hesitate at making these changes and then, after using their kitchen’s for a while, come back to tell us how wonderful and easy it makes things. They wonder how they did it the old way for so long. Since your cabinetry will probably be one of your biggest expenses, it’s worth taking time to listen and get it right. If it’s done correctly, you’ll be happy living with your choices for a very long time. Another opportunity that comes when you replace cabinetry is the chance to change the height to meet your needs. For someone very short or tall it is a luxury to have the counter-top at a height that makes it comfortable.

 

When a remodel is in your future, remember it is a great time to plan and think about how to customize your residence. Make sure that the changes you choose for expensive items are ones that can last over time and you can be happy with for the long haul. Feel free to play with color and accent your rooms with favorite items but don’t design a room around something temporary. Think about the little things and how they affect the way you live in and move around your house. Brainstorm creative ways to improve the function and features of your home. You’ll be surprised how much getting the little things right can improve your mood and enjoyment of your rooms. As always, the professionals at Perry Newman Design are here to help you through the process of making the best choices and taking you from your home to the home of your dreams. Give us a call at 801.971.0868 or fill out the contact form at perrynewmandesign.com to get started.

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Three steps to purchasing the best appliances

 

call button small croppedAppliances are tools to make life more pleasurable and give people time to do the things that are most important to them. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for which appliance package is best but by doing some research, a little leg work and being savvy during negotiations appliance shoppers should be able to find the right fit.

  1. Sample of Wolf appliances

    Sample appliances made by Wolf.

    Research

  • A great way to start figuring out which appliances will be best for your situation is to figure out your personal preferences. Go online and do a search for appliances so you can see different options. Start a list of things that impress you. Consider the look and finish, consider features that would improve your lifestyle and make your everyday chores easier. Jot down brands that have impressed you or worked well for you in the past. Be sure to look at the project page at perrynewmandesign.com to see what has worked for recent clients.
  • Once you have a list of things you like, consider subscribing to a service like consumerreports.org (which will give you reviews of products and let you compare to choose the appliances that are right for you). The cost is less than seven dollars for one month and that gives you time to research and know which options perform the best.
  • Choose the three top options you find and print out information about each of them.

2. Legwork

Sample of Aga appliances

Sample of Aga brand range.

  • It’s time to go window shopping! Do an online search to find local stores that sell the brands you are leaning toward. Try to think beyond big, box stores and consider smaller dealers as well.
  • Go see the appliances in person and thoroughly examine the machines, see how they look and feel and function. Ask about different handles, upgrades and other options. During this process, you will start to know what you like and will work best for you.
  • Ask about pricing and make notes on your printed information.

3. Negotiation

Sample Miele appliances

Sample of Miele brand appliances.

  • When you feel confident you have narrowed down the options to what will work for you, it’s time to find the best price and negotiate. Check online, check what the big, box stores advertise and talk to your local dealer so you are confident you know what a good price for your selection will be.
  • Look for sales and ask if there are rebates, package bonuses or other incentives. Use that information to find where you can get the best price and most value on the appliances you have selected.
  • Make sure you are aware of warranties and how the appliances should be serviced.
  • Once you have done all of this, purchase your appliances and decide that you will love your choices.
Sample Wolf appliances

Sample of Wolf brand appliances.

By following these steps appliance shoppers will make educated and informed selections, acquiring appliances that will meet their needs for many years. Since there is such variety in types of appliances and needs of consumers, it helps to have an experienced professional lead you through your selections. Appliance selection is part of the Perry Newman Design renovation experience and we are happy to lead you through these steps to the best possible outcome for your project. Simply give us a call at 801.971.0868 or fill out the form on our contact page to get started with a complementary, in-home consultation.

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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.
Deep stainless steel sink

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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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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