A Brief Guide for Choosing your countertops—Quartz and Large-Format Porcelain

Today, I am going to continue the topic on how to choose right counter-tops for your kitchens. I talked about natural stones for countertops last week. If you haven’t read it, you can click here

Quartz

If you are the one who want modern look with less care but still want some natural elements, quartz countertops  are  the kind for you.

Quartz are engineered stone products  consisting of about 95-percent ground natural quartz and other materials with 5-percent binding resins. Here are the main features for quartz countertops:

1.Moh’s scale 6.5—7

2.Engineered from natural materials(Quartz) and added polymers, pigments and resins.

3. Engineered to be heat, scratch, pitch and stain resistant (but not bulletproof)

4. Mild soap and warm water to clean

5. Polished and textured finishes

6. Kitchen and bath applications

7. Not acceptable for outdoor applications.

Not all quartz countertops are created equal. The main players include: Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone.

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Caesarstone Countertop Kitchen
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Cambria Countertop Kitchen
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Siltstone Countertop kitchen

Large-Format Porcelain

Large format porcelain tiles are really hitting the countertop market with their versatile designs now thanks to the advanced digital print technologies. Composed of clays and minerals fired at very higher temperatures, porcelain is a durable surface and is on the rise for use in kitchens and bathrooms.

Slabs of porcelain can come in sizes as large as 10’ x 5’, though they can be custom ordered to be much bigger or smaller. One of the most notable qualities of these slabs that you might discover in person is how thin they are. Measuring just 6-12mm in thickness, they automatically become some of the easiest and most lightweight materials to work with.

Here are some features of porcelain countertops:

  1. Moh’s scale: 7—9

2. Engineered material

3. The hardest, most heat, scratch and stain resistant materials of all materials used for countertops.

4. Mild soap and warm water to clean

5. Polished and textured finishes

6. Kitchen and bath applications

7. Indoor and outdoor application

8. Commercial application.

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Companies such as Neolith and Florim have come out with stunning surfaces, with patterns that look almost identical to marble. Metropolitan has been fabricating full height backsplashes and full height fireplaces with large format porcelain, creating unique and beautiful spaces.

I hope you find the above information helpful

There are some protection kits. cleaning kits and pain kits you may find useful for your quartz countertop.

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com

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A Brief Guide for Choosing your countertops—Natural Stone

There are several big decisions if you are planning  to renovate your kitchen. One of them is how to choose the proper materials for your kitchen countertops.  Two categories of materials are very popular in today’s kitchen remodeling market—natural stones and engineered materials.  Today, I am going to talk about the natural stone countertops.

50% of my clients really love the organic looks and elegant veins of natural stones.The popular natural stones in kitchen & bath applications include granite, marble, quartzite.

Granite

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Granite still stays very strong in the market demand.  Granite has following features:

  1. Moh’s scale 6-7.  Moh’s scale is used to measure the relative hardness of a mineral by its resistance to scratching. From softest to hardest, the ten minerals of the Mohs scale are talc (measuring 1 on the scale), gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, orthoclase, quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamond (measuring 10 on the scale).
  2. Natural materials;
  3. High heat, scratch, etch and stain resistance;
  4. Minimal maintenance, mild soap and warm water to clean;
  5. Polished and textured or honed finishes;
  6. Excellent for kitchen and bath applications;
  7. Outdoor applications. Be careful for the dark-color granite. They can become really hot if  exposed in high heat for a very long time. We usually recommend clients to use covers.

Marble 

Marble countertops, specially Carrara marble,  are extremely popular in the west coast thanks to its natural and elegant veins.

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Marble is a metamorphic stone found in mountainous regions of North America, South America, Asia, and Europe—from Colorado to Brazil and Italy. It’s created by the physical or chemical alteration of sediment into a denser form through heat and/or pressure. The resulting rock has a crystalline nature enabling it to take a polish. It also has veins of mineral deposits that pattern it, no two slabs are exactly alike. Marble has following features:

  1. Moh’s scale 3-4;
  2. natural materials;
  3. Heat resistant.
  4. Less Scratch, etch and stain resistance than Granite, quartzite and engineered quartz;
  5. Mild soap and warm water to clean;
  6. Polished and textured finishes;
  7. Acceptable for kitchen and bath applications. 
  8. Not for out-door application.

Please click here to learn more

Quartzite

quartzite-countertop-crush.jpgQuartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. … Quartzite is ideal for any countertop surface due to its strength and long-lasting composition. some of quartzite features include:

1. Moh’s Scale 7( harder than Granite);

2.Natural material;

3.High heat, scratch, etch and stain resistance;

4Mild soap and warm water to clean;

5. Polished and textured finishes;

6. Excellent for kitchen and bath application;

7.Acceptable for outdoor applications.

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com



Cool Technologies from KBIS2019 Series 1–Sous Vide cooking

It has been 2 weeks since the closing of KBIS 2019.  There are just so much information we got from the show and it does take time to digest everything.  Meanwhile, I read some articles about trends from the KBIS show. Yes, there is a sea of  info out there.  I think that may be a good approach if I just share some cool technologies and ideas  that really blew me away in a series and really go deep on each topic rather than writing kind of general for everything.

So, today , I will share one take-away— Series 1 from KBIS2019Signature Kitchen suite‘s new feature for the residential range cooking—Sous Vide. First of all,  from what I learned, this built-in Sous Vide feature might just be exclusive to Signature Kitchen suite Duo 48″ by now.  And  I am sure that other brands will catch up soon.  Second, if you are just like me, never heard Sous Vide before, don’t worry. We are going to learn this new way of cooking together here.

Ok, well, the words of Sous Vide, not surprisingly is a  French term for “under vacuum”.  Sous Vide  is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times  at an accurately regulated temperature. The temperature is much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55 to 60 °C (131 to 140 °F) for meat, higher for vegetables. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture” —quote from Wikipedia

Simply put,  sous Vide is to cook your vacummed and sealed  food in a water bath with a precisely controlled and lower than regular temperature(the lower temperature can retain nutrients better).  You might already  experience the evenly cooked and juicy steak from one of Michelin-rated restaurants and wander why ? Yes, this is the result of Sous Vide cooking —their secret weapon to guarantee that the food will NEVER be over-cooked. Of course, Sous Vide is not a new concept for commercial cooking and of course they have all sorts of gauges to make it happen.  But now, Signature Kitchen suite just introduced  this cool way of cooking to residential cooking .

So how does Signature Kitchen Suite built-in Sous vide work?

 

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There are 4 steps:

STEP 1

Fill your water bin to the recommended level and set your temperature and time to your desired doneness.

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Step 2:

Season according to the recipe and seal your food in a high-grade bag with the vacuum sealer we’ve provided as a gift-with-purchase with your product registration.

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Step 3:

Place the bag into the water bath and cook according to your desired time and temperature. Don’t worry, it’s nearly impossible to overcook food with sous vide.

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STEP 4

Remove from the bag and finish on both sides with a quick sear on a cast iron skillet on our Ultra-HighTMheat gas burners, or on your gift-with-purchase induction grill plate over the dual-zone induction burners.

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Here is the video that you can learn the importance of Sous vide:

https://www.signaturekitchensuite.com/us/our-story/sous-vide#sous-vide-steak

 

By the way, Signature Kitchen Suite won Best of KBIS – Kitchen Gold for the 48-inch Dual-Fuel Pro Range with Built-in Sous Vide! And here is the big party they hosted on the show:

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A Kitchen Event

When we  just came back KBIS a week ago, we were really blown away by some of the innovations in the show.  After all, the kitchen is the fastest growing sections among the whole home improvement industry.  We always see some of the coolest things in kitchen from pro cooking appliances, range hoods, to refrigerators, faucets, countertop, smart technologies, lightings, etc…   Although  I am still working on the blog of KBIS 2019 (hope soon I can publish it), we were invited   to a  local trade kitchen showroom industry event several days ago, and actually were  able to see  some newer trends and technologies in the showroom that resonate what we saw from KBIS2019.   This kitchen showroom is not that big but quite modern, neat and sleek even with a luxury walk-in closet and some cool technologies.   Ladies, who doesn’t love a stylish, open and airy walk-in closet with a lot of bells and whistles?!!! And last but not the least, we had professional chefs working in the kitchen and making some yummy gourmet foods.  Here are some of our wonderful moments from this beautiful night!

 

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Fresh flowers always make guests feel so welcoming!  I just love these saturated colors! They create a cheerful mood and beautiful moments.  It is always such a good idea to have some fresh plants and flowers in kitchens.  They make everyone happy and enhance the appetites!
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Hospitality! A stylish cheese platter is always a great idea to host a party in kitchens.
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What an eye-candy!
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Floral art

 

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Here comes our pro chef!  One of the things when we cook at home is that  we can always use fresh veggies and other ingredients…

 

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Yummy and beautiful!
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The kitchen is quite modern and sleek. Yet I like how the showroom styled the food with wood trays –very organic, warm and welcoming ..

 

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Pretty and organic!

 

Here are some cool things in the kitchen area:

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Touch-to-open sliding cabinet door! How cool it is! specially when you have a tight space, this type of doors can be a great idea!
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Miele Coffee machine—How neat it is! The coffee station incorporating  a compact coffee machine in the kitchen is quite trendy in 2019.  It’s convenient and very handy.  Who wouldn’t love the coffee aroma in the earlier morning in our own kitchens?
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Here is my espresso just made from Miele coffee machine!

 

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Time for some desserts

 

 

 

 

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Yummy and pretty!

 

Well, after being through all of those  above kitchen experiences, I think everyone just cannot wait to create a pretty live-in kitchen for ourselves or host a family/friends get-tother event soon in the already-pretty kitchens.  After all, it is a life style!

Ok, let’s continue our beautiful evening by walking to the rear of the showroom.  Wow,  here is the large walk-in closet:

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Love the central island and above chandelier and of course the lovely tufted leather bench.
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What a nice touch to be able to see your jewelries on the top island surface.
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Here is the overview walk-through
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Obviously, I don’t have any problem to just chill out here for the whole day!

 

Tile Trends 2019 II

Hello, everyone, here is our part II tile trends in 2019.  If you haven’t red the part I, please click here to learn more 

 

I  recently attended Daltile designer event for the showcase of new tile products.  I feel it is pretty amazing specially I can find the local manufactures who custom-made such fashionable and cool design tiles right here in our backyard.  Here are 2 of trends I observed from the showcase:

  1. Moroccan tile influence : Moroccan tiles are famous for its hand-made quality, its uniqueness,  fun patterns and craftsmanship. People start to bring these vibes to machine-made ceramic tiles with lower cost and much-faster lead time. Here are some samples I found  from the showcase:
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Don’t you just like this  fashionable vintage color pairs : sky-blue and bright yellow in such a playful Moroccan-style geometric pattern.
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Do you notice the chiseled edge? It’s quite boho and organic. I think these tiles can make a very adorable counter backsplash. Again, the pop of yellow make me feel cheerful.
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This tile design is one of my favorites. I love the muted neutral color palette. This pattern can be quite classic and modern at the same time. It truly can make your kitchen stay timeless.

2. Color, color, color : there will be more bold colors for tile design in 2019.  I did a lot of grey tile projects in the past several years and I am open to some fashionable and bold colors.

I found coral and red at the showcase. The colors do make me feel excited:

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This coral tiles will be perfect for a guest bathroom—warm and inviting.
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What do you think of color of red. This red tiles will make a strong statement in a powder room.  I specially like the textured surface.

We will be in KBIS 2019 next week, please follow us on our Instagram story for more trend findings.

5 Ways to Streamline Furniture Customization Process

 

Often time, when we try to furnish the room, we just cannot find that right piece to fit the space, match the current interiors, add piece of personality  and have all of the bells and whistles clients want.  This, then, will be the perfect moment to customize whatever the pieces we need. Sometimes, the process can be really tedious since we have to make prototypes and get approvals from the clients.   And of course, the clients usually have their budgets.  For the following project  we did, the client has dark brown wood cabinets in her kitchen—kind of cookie-cutter style.  .  We had a very hard time to find the right bar chairs for the island. She wants something light, elegant yet very cool.  So we decided to customize the chairs for her.  We have two purposes on our minds before we started the jobs: 1) Light up the dark brown kitchen cabinets 2) Add a touch feminity.  We tackle the issues by focusing on creating the shape of bar chairs and searching the right fabric.  we chose sky-blue performance velvet for the chair fronts and rose embriodery silk for the back.  The clients really like the end result.

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We are creating the bar chair prototype.  The shape of the bar chair is cute and playful, which ease off the seriousness of the dark brown wood cabinets create in the kitchen.   The chair can be rotated and the large  seat area offer extra comfy.
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Whimsical rose emboidery  blue silk adds a touch of  elegance  to the dark kitchen.
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The end result that the client falls in love with.  Yes, we do the floral arrangement too.

 

 

There are 5 take-aways from tones of the projects we did to streamline the whole furniture customization process:

  1. Always keep eye on vendors’ offers and options to simplify the custom-made work.
  2. Understand exactly what clients want and their top priorities.
  3. Develop good relationship with local workrooms and stay with ones who are able to  understand and express your ideas better.
  4. The finishes and fabric of custom-made pieces are always very important.  They will either make or break the jobs.  So the key thing is always to look for and learn the new fabric and finishes out there.
  5.  Be inspired all the time.  the inspired mind can create magical.

 

If you are interested in our interior design service, please contact info@khkdesignsinteriors.com

5 Principles to Re-paint your Kitchen Cabinets

How do you like painted kitchen cabinets?

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In case you just want to have a quick make-over of your kitchen, re-painting your kitchen cabinets might be one of the fastest ways to achieve this goal.  However, there are some principles you can follow to make the result of your painting job  look good. Here are 5 principles in the aspects of prep, tools, kinds of paints, paint finishes, coatings…

You can read more by click here 

5 Under-rated Appliances You Should incorporate into Your Kitchen

If you are thinking how to make your kitchen more efficient, more supportive for healthy eating and more fun for entertaining, here are 5 underrated appliances you definitely should consider to incorporate in your kitchen project: click here for detail

 

 

Trend Altert—eat-in kitchen with built-in banquette

Wouldn’t be nice to have a cozy and intimate eat-in area in your kitchen.   The built-in banquette solution, for sure, help achieve this kitchen goal while often providing neat looking and  extra storage.  Here are some of or favorites.

 

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Better using the corner space while add a touch of chic style in the kitchen.  Love those pillow throws and cute chairs!
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While the kitchen still keeps its traditional vibes, a eat-in area with marble dining table lend a hand of modern flair. 
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A sunny day with a comfy seating.
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Buit-in bench with artwork above creates such a neat, open and clean looking.
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Elegant
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Cozy and intimate

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com

7 Kitchen Remodeling Trends

If you are planning a kitchen  remodeling this year, you probably would like to know what’s in at the current moment.  Who doesn’t want to have the newest and best materials, products and design options for their home remodeling projects.  Plus, to get to know the trends always help you a lot on how to decide to invest your money wisely in terms of the resale values.  Here are 7 most popular trends in kitchen & bath modeling projects:

 

  1.  The most popular feature to upgrade in a renovated kitchen was the countertop, followed by the sink and backsplash, according to the survey. Faucets, wall finishes, lighting fixtures and cabinets were next on the upgrade list. kitchentrends1quartz-stone-kitchen-countertops-worktops-bench-tops-solid-surface-stone-for-kitchen-countertops
  2. The most popular kitchen countertop material is engineered quartz. White and multicolored countertops top the list.
  3. Wood floors are the top choice for kitchen flooring replacement. and wood tone is the most popular color.       kitchentrends2beautiful-white-kitchen-design-ideas-grey-metal-pendant-lighting-stainless-steel-double-door-refrigerator-freezer-brown-wooden-laminate-flooring-tile-ceramic-backsplash
  4. Shaker is the most popular cabinet style by far. The most popular cabinet style among those upgrading their cabinets was Shaker, followed by flat-panel (also known as slab).  kitchentrends3nice-white-shaker-style-cabinet-doors-best-25-white-shaker-kitchen-cabinets-ideas-on-pinterest-shaker.jpg
  5. White cabinets continue to rule kitchen cabinet upgrading followed by wood cabinets.  kitchen24.jpg
  6. The most popular kitchen backsplash is white.
  7. The most popular wall color is gray.

You can read the details by clicking here 

 

Happy Wednesday

 

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.con