Dear Mr. Salem,I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude and appreciation for the great staff you have at your Oxnard office. My husband and I recently took on the daunting task of re-modeling all three of our bathrooms, which was overwhelming in itself. From our initial visit to your showroom in Oxnard and our interactions with Nick Rodriguez and Robyn Perez, we knew we were in good hands.Nick was knowledgeable about the products we were considering and very insightful in guiding us to the right choices. He was diligent about answering our questions, phone calls and took care of any concerns we had regarding the project. We had an incredible team of installers, which included Carlos and Mario, who were great. I can not say enough about the amazing job they did and in record time.Robyn Perez was also great from the beginning. During my selection process I spent 5 hours one Saturday in your showroom and she along with Nick were incredible. Answered my questions and helped me with the final selection. Robyn was great whenever I had a question or concern.I really can not say enough about them and how easy they made the project for us. I am sure you hear about the things that go wrong on projects, so I thought it would be nice to hear about one that was great. You truly have an amazing staff and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them.Thank You for your time.M. H. – Ventura, Calif.
Many granite and marble slabs have large-scale movement that look best when the pattern is matched at the seams. Large counter top areas in kitchens and bathrooms often require multiple pieces. On small projects where the surfaces can be cut out of the same slab it is easier to continue the pattern at the seams. When a project is so large that is requires multiple slabs extra planning is necessary to match the pattern. It is important when installing granite and marble counter tops to be aware of the natural movement in the slabs.
There are certain limitations when designing with stone slabs. Natural stone is quarried into manageable sizes that are approximately nine feet high by five feet wide. The slabs are sliced like bread and numbered in sequential order. Keeping the slabs in order is important for matching the pattern of the vein movement from one slab to the next. This enables the fabricator to customize a job according to the natural patterning in the stone. Special attention is given when planning where each piece of stone will end up on the counter top or shower wall taking into account the natural movement. Since stone slabs are limited in size, matching the veining can elevate the value of a project based on the craftsmanship it requires.
When the movement in the stone continues from one piece to the next in the same direction it is called “pattern matching”. A more skilled and complicated form of matching is called “book-matching” where the movement is mirrored between two or more pieces. This method can be applied to a flat surface such as a counter top or vertical wall feature creating a bold statement. Book-matching looks even more impressive when a horizontal surface meets a vertical surface such as a backsplash or tub deck. For example, when the veining on the face of a tub mirrors the top surface veining, the tub deck appears to have been cut out of a solid block of stone. The preparation and extra planning is tremendous. Sometimes a large project such as a master bathroom that includes book-matching a shower, counter tops, and tub deck may require special ordering where it can take up to six slabs with some needing to be flipped over with the back side polished. With the popularity of book-matching, many fabricators have equipped themselves with the necessary tools to be able to polish the back side of a slab in the shop. Granite and marble slabs can also be cut down to large tiles for book-matching floor patterns. This can be done on a small project such as a kitchen or large commercial project such as a hotel lobby. Since book-matching stone takes such careful planning and fabrication it is known to be one of the most elegant and sophisticated ways to install granite and marble slabs.
It’s something to think about if you haven’t already done so. Hiring an interior decorator is a smart decision if you’ve invested a good bit of money into your home and want to be able to showcase it to look its best. Decorators truly serve a purpose for everyone. Whether you have no idea where or how to begin to decorate your home, or whether you have an idea but need help tying pieces together, or you simply haven’t the time to execute your style and desires due to your busy day to day schedule.
I recently asked Michelle Cortizo of Cortizo Interiors in Boston, Massachusetts, to explain why hiring an Interior Decorator is a wise and sensible choice. Toss aside the idea that interior decorators are only for the rich and famous or those with so much money that they don’t know what to do with it all. In reality they save you a great deal of time and money and headache medicine!
1. Save Money.
It might sound strange that hiring someone to decorate your home would save you money since you have the additional fee of the designer, however Cortizo makes a compelling point. “Hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your home.” Especially when selling your home – interior design is essential when listing your home. It can help boost buyer appeal and set your home above the competition.
2. Professional Assessment.
“A designer can give you a professional assessment of your situation, that will will lead to a solid plan of action. The order of things in a design plan is key in determining what can be repurposed or should be edited. This will not only effect the budget but help you to spend it more efficiently.” A designer offers an extra set of eyes, but these eyes are trained to see and notice things that you may not.
3. Budgeting and Planning.
A designer can keep you on budget and save you time and effort. A designer knows where to go for resources for everything related to your home. This will save you endless amounts of time researching products, brands and prices. A designer will have all this readily on hand, and should he or she not, will spend the time researching so that you don’t have to.
A designer will be able to build “a stronger bridge between you and your architect or contractor early on and can head off design misses in your overall plan. This is crucial in managing time and money explains Cortizo. Also designers are trained to think about things we may overlook. “It’s so important that the lighting and furnishing needs are addressed before construction. If your living room sofa is floating in a the middle of the room you want to make sure you have the proper placement for floor outlets.”
5. Wide availability of resources.
There are things available to designers that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources and general merchandise. By culminating these resources designers can help to make your space look more collected, unique and pulled together.
Cortizo states that : “In addition to vendor resources, designers have many home improvement industry contacts. They can save homeowners time and headaches trying to identify reliable, contractors, plumbers and electricians for their projects.”
7. Wow Factor.
Designers can help to give you the “wow” factor you’ve been looking for. They are trained to think differently, spatially and to see an overall picture that clients often cannot. Cortizo adds that “Thinking outside of the box is what designers do all day long.”
A decorator can potentially add a great deal to the aesthetic of your home, which in turn can increase showings and sales. This increased appeal can exponentially speed up the amount of time your home sits on the market before it is sold. The benefit here is two-fold, a faster turn-around time and more money in your pocket.
9. A trained eye.
“A designer is a professional with a trained eye that can automatically tell you if there is something wrong or right with a space. Having that immediate consult is a major advantage when making aesthetic decisions. It is the result of years of experience.” says Cortizo. Often times homeowners try to do it all themselves and get frustrated. Look at these 10 most common interior design mistakes and how to solve them.
10. Visual story-teller
Cortizo concludes with the fact that : “Interior design is a skill and an art that will only enhance the space and the quality of your life in the space. Hiring a pro raises the level of that experience and makes your house a home. A designer can help you tell your visual story. I can’t think of a better reason than that!”
Given all this information will you consider hiring an interior designer the next time you remodel, buy a home or move?
We are proud to support our local communities by investing in a range of local non-profits who work to improve the lives of our children and our neighbors and we work to encourage other businesses to do the same. Each month we will highlight one of these non-profits and encourage you to join us in supporting their tireless efforts to improve the quality of lives for the people in our community who need a helping hand.
We are also open to taking your suggestions for which charity we should consider helping next month. Please submit your ideas and an explanations to Ksilvers@surfacesusa.com to be considered.
Solid surface countertops, such as natural stone have an enormous impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. There are numerous choices available. Aside from the pure aesthetics value, countertops options offer varying cost, durability and upkeep.
1) The first step in choosing an appropriate countertop material is to determine a budget for your top. Whether you’re buying counters for one room or every one in the house, give yourself a maximum price.
2) Second step is to get out there and shop, explore solid surface material options. Some of the most popular countertops are granite, marble, limestone and engineered stone; they range in price and function. If you’re new to refurbishing or replacing counters, you might want to looks at material costs before determining a budget.
3) Third step is to balance out the three factors of cost, aesthetics and durability and make your decision. Keep in mind that one factor will always weigh out another. After evaluating the benefits of each material (pros and cons often overlap from one material to the next), you can then decide what’s right for you.
Please leave any questions or comments below.