Top 5 Reasons To Select Quartz For Your Next Project

Quartz Comes out on Top in Comparative Studies

When comparing several different types of countertop and surface materials, quartz comes out on top as best in style, strength and usability. Also known as engineered stone, this unique material is composed of about 90% quartz and 10% mixture of acrylic, epoxy binder and/or other (often recycled) materials. The main differences between engineered stone and traditional solid surfacing materials are that engineered stone is much harder and has a depth, radiance and uniqueness not found in other solid surfaces. Many popular products have notable pros and cons to aid in the process of selecting countertops for kitchen and bathroom projects

Pros: Quartz has the same advantages as solid surfacing with regard to maintenance. As an engineered product, it's available in a far greater range of colors and patterns and is much stronger than natural stone.

Cons: This material doesn't have the same natural variegation of granite, so it may have the appearance of an engineered product. Based on the manufacturer, this can be a purposeful negotiation in design to re-introduce more of a random appearance. It might be on the higher end price wise, but its durability can make it a worthwhile investment.

However, when conducting comparative studies, quartz is the clear standout.

  1. Quartz was the superior product above all others compared when it came to low maintenance and its resistance to mold and mildew.
  2. Quartz was also superior in flexural strength which means it is not prone to cracking, splitting or scratching. It also beat out marble and granite when it came to compressive strength as well as impact testing results.
  3. Quartz, marble and granite all three ranked highest in their immunity to freezing temperatures.
  4. Since quartz often uses manufactured (often recycled) material, uniformity in striation patterns and ability to hand craft distinctive coloration lends to a truly unique result matching just about any kind of project.
  5. The most impressive feature of quartz is its .02% water absorption rate, which is far below any of the other products tested. This equates to virtually no warping, staining or discoloration.

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What is Industrial Interior Design?

Industrial interior design has been making a huge comeback. As more people have moved back into inner cities, they have sought to highlight the history of reclaimed warehouse and industrial space into their bars, restaurants and homes. With its raw edgy style, this trend has no indication it is slowing down any time soon.

 

Here are a few elements of Industrial Interior design to help you get your creative juices flowing.

 

Open Space

Industrial Design got its rebirth in converting huge open spaces (factories, warehouses, etc.). It only makes sense to keep your floorplan open and expansive.

Let the form and function of your furniture define your spaces, not walls and artificial barriers. Most importantly, keep two words in mind. Minimalist and utilitarian. Allow some well-placed furniture to break up the space without constraining it.

Allow natural lighting, floor lamps and some well-placed hanging lamps to illuminate your interior. If privacy is a concern on your windows, maybe add a slight frosted touch.

 

Exposed Pipes, beams and ducts

This is one of the signature elements of industrial interior design. Instead of covering up all the piping, air ducts and ceiling beams. Highlight and incorporate these elements into your overall design. Don’t hide them behind plaster and drywall.

Keep your walls as unfinished as possible. If you are lucky enough to have authentic brickwork, expose it.

 

Basic Flooring

The resurrection of Industrial design is one of the biggest reasons behind the resurgence in concrete floors. They can be honed or polished. Choose a flat, neutral color that blends the other elements in your space together.

Alternatively you can choose wood, but keep it distressed and showing its natural age.

 

Metal, Metal and More Metal

By definition industrial design highlights the power and creativity of industry. That means metal and lots of it. Choose furniture and architectural elements that bring this material into your space. Metal barstools and chairs, if they are appropriately designed can be comfortable as well as stylish. You may choose to soften the feel of the home with a selective use of cushions but these should be used as an accent to the metal and not a covering.

You can achieve a great interplay of textures by incorporating wood in with the metal elements, but keep plastics to a minimum.

Hopefully this gave you enough ideas to get started redesigning your space to take advantage of this smart design style.

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How to Choose Your Flooring Color

While choosing a hardwood floor may seem like a no-brainer, selecting the right one may actually be much more difficult than you think.

From the color, wood type, layout, and colors of the rest of the room, there are a wide range of factors to account for when selecting the right one for you.

Whether you are designing your own home or making the design decisions for your next project, here are some helpful tips and tricks so you can choose the perfect setup.

Wood Type

One of the first and more difficult decisions you will have to make in the flooring process is what type of wood you use. Much of this depends on the kind of atmosphere and overall feel you are looking to create, which will all depend on the type of wood used as different options yields different colors and finishes.

For those looking to create a warmer vibe in their space that can match up with darker fixtures and accents, a light wood floor is a perfect option. One of the best possible wood choices for this style is a natural white oak. While different stains and finishes, or lack thereof, will create a different look, the overall style and feel of white oak creates a very light and warm feeling to any room you put it in.

Do you have a kitchen with dark cabinets or a staircase that feature black or dark brown handrails? A white oak option for the flooring and steps are a great way to contrast these dark features.
 

Stains

One of the biggest topics of discussion when it comes to hardwood flooring is the type of stains you use on the floor. While floors like white oak will easily create a warm and inviting feel, placing stains on the floors can create a cooler mood that can work well for those who maybe have lighter features in their kitchens or living rooms.
Opting for the unstained look is another great way to create a natural feel for your home and really creates a calming effect for any space. When used in your kitchen, consider using a butcher block countertop with the same wood and finish for a great complimenting effect that is sure to add great style and elegance.

Flooring Layout

One of the most important things to take into account when installing hardwood flooring in your home is the overall layout it has. Do you want it laid the length of the room or the width? Do you like wide plank flooring or the new and innovative herringbone or chevron layout?

Each one of these layouts will create a completely different feel to whatever room you are installing it in and it is important to make sure you select the right one for you.

To make a room feel slightly larger than it is, laying it the length of the room can easily create this effect. For a more unique and upscale look, a herringbone pattern is an outstanding option for any room.

Follow these easy steps and be sure to check out our incredible furniture sourcing service for all your design needs.

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Written by Abdullah Al-Amin — September 07, 2015

Top Interior Design Experts Reveal The Best Way to Display Art In Your Home

A world where there are no rules for creatively displaying your artwork on the wall – This article will make you learn the most amazing secrets, tricks, tips and trends for displaying your artwork by leading experts from the industry. What, when, where and how, these experienced experts have all the answers to your challenging wall display questions.

Get creative today and make your walls more interesting with personal photographs, paintings, art and canvas prints. Apply these proven techniques to them and make your interior design more personal, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing.

View more from top inter designers here

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Written by Kevin Painchaud — September 22, 2015

Top 5 Beautiful Bar Height Tables

Whether you are decorating your den, setting up a small spot in your kitchen, or designing your back patio spot, having a quality bar table is a great accent piece that can bring some great style and design to any room in your home.

If you are in the market for a quality bar table to finish designing your home, here are a few outstanding options for you to choose from at yourbarstoolstore.com.

Modrest Twirl - White Contemporary LED Gloss Bar Table

For the home owner or designer looking to get a great modern look for their bar table, this Modrest Twirl model from yourbarstoolstore.com is the ideal piece.

This top of the line, tall bar table features a white high gloss finish so it can match whatever colorway you have going on in your space. For an added feature, this table also features top of the line built-in LED lights around the base of the table to bring a fun and exciting feel to your room.

Made with a high quality fiberglass base, this is the perfect bar table for any modern look.

Dreux Glossy White and Elm Wood Steel Top Bar Table

For the designer looking to add some classy touches of wood and metal to a space, this bar table is the perfect option to create a modern effect. This outstanding model features a classic French bistro design with the Tolix design and is available in a clear gunmetal or white, or rustic matte finish that is completed with an elm wood table top.

Measuring 42 inches tall, this table is the perfect option for any den or extra room you are designing.

Lumisource Bistro Bar Table

The perfect bar table for multiple uses, this one of a kind aluminum table is arguably one of the most versatile of its kind available on the market today.

With a hydraulic level that gives you the ability to raise it from 26 inches tall up to 41 inches, you can utilize this for both a kitchen table or a great breakfast bar.

Dreux Clear Gunmetal Steel Bar Table

A classic bar table that also features the Tolix design found all over French bistros, this fantastic looking steel table is the perfect addition to any den, office, parlor and more.

Measuring 42 inches tall, this is a true bar table that goes great with matching steel barstools to create a classy and sophisticated look.

Complete in a clear gunmetal finish, this table with match any design theme you throw it into.

Compamia Riva Werzalit Top Round Bar Height Table

For the bar table for just two or three people, this white round bar table is the perfect addition to any room in your home. Measuring a fantastic 42.5 inches tall, this outstanding contemporary table can match with any decor theme you have a d can fit in small spaces no problem.

For all your design needs, be sure to check out our one of a kind furniture sourcing service.

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Written by Kevin Painchaud — September 07, 2015

Current Event: Casual Market Chicago

Calling all interior designers. Your dream trade show has finally arrived as the Casual Chicago Market is just around the corner.

Taking place at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Illinois from September 12-23, you will have nearly two weeks of outstanding exhibits are products to look at as you prepare to take on 2016 in style.

From one of a kind showrooms throughout the area to top of the line exhibitors, you won't be disappointed with this outstanding market this year.

The Merchandise Mart

Covering over 4 million square feet on two city blocks, this 25-story high-rise is the perfect place to host one of the biggest interior design gatherings all year.

Highlighting some of the world's best and brightest designers as well as all the newest trends and themes, the Casual Chicago Market is a must-see event for any designer or furniture store owner.

Showrooms and Exhibitors

The 2015 Casual Chicago Market is sure to be one of the most extensive and impressive in recent years. Boasting over 200 incredible showrooms and exhibitors spanning over 350,000 square feet of space, you are sure to find something that meets your exact taste and style at this year's market.

From wood furnishings, outdoor lighting, fire pits, barbecues and more, the selections are endless for what you can find at Casual Market Chicago.

Must-See Areas

This year's market highlights some of the best features the furniture world has to offer as hundreds of manufacturers come together in one place.

For those getting ready to prep for the outdoors, be sure to swing by the Garden Accessories Courtyard. This one of a kind area features 10,000 feet of dedicated space to highlight all the best in garden accessories and more for your perfect outdoor look.

You can't go wrong with new items, and this year's New Exhibitor Showcase and New Product Gallery are here to provide you with a plethora of different items to check out that are sure to set your interior design themes apart in the new year. From furniture design, fabric trends, color themes and more, you have to take a look at these new galleries this year.

Keynote Presentations

For designers looking for a new take on design trends for the upcoming year, be sure to stop by the many keynote presentations at the 2015 Casual Market Chicago as you can hear from the minds of the best and brightest in the industry.

From the founder of Urban Bonfire Inc., Ryan Bloom, to representatives from Kemble Interiors like Celene Kemble, these special event speakers will give you an insight on where you should take your designs in the coming year and what trends to really be on the lookout for.

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The Ultimate Debate: Wood vs. Laminate Floors

One of the hottest topics of debate among designers and home buyers alike has been the choice between hardwood and laminate as the flooring material.

There are many benefits and downsides to each of these options, and knowing the differences between the two is key before making your final decision for any space in your home.

Laminate vs. Hardwood

Laminate has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its affordability and easy maintenance. This synthetic flooring material can give off the look of natural hardwood, but is comprised of a resin and fiber board material.

One of the most classic and most popular options for flooring is natural hardwood. This luxurious and elegant option is perfect for many rooms in your home but is typically designated to kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms.

Pricing

Whether or not you can actually afford hardwood may end up being a final deciding factor as the pricing is typically much higher than laminate, sometimes twice as much in fact.

Laminate, on the other hand, is ideal for those who want the hardwood look but can't afford the hardwood price. Many premium laminates today have a great hardwood-replicated design to where you can't even tell the difference between it and actual hardwood. Cheaper models, however, can have unnatural grain designs that can instantly throw it off and bring down the value of your home.

Durability

When it comes to standing up to natural wear-and-tear, laminate flooring is going to be able to handle a lot more traffic in the long run than hardwood. For example, you could drag your kitchen table or refrigerator all over your laminate floor and not make a scratch.

Hardwood on the other hand, does show many scratches and dents much sooner than laminate will, and requires refinishing on a more frequent basis as it is more susceptible to moisture, sunlight, and other wear-and-tear effects.

Repair and Upkeep

When it comes to the necessary repair and maintenance of these floors, there are big differences to each and much of it stems from how they were initially installed into your home.

Traditionally, laminate floors are usually more difficult to repair than an engineered or solid hardwood floor would be. Unlike hardwood floors, laminate cannot be refinished if there is significant surface damage.

If you want replace something on laminate, you will have to have the plank completely removed and replaced, which can cause aesthetic issues if there has been significant sunlight on the area causing it to become discolored over time.

When hardwood needs to be repaired in certain areas, a simple sanding and refinishing can return it to its former glory, making it an ideal choice for a long term flooring option.

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Create an Interior Design Board to Impress

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression, and for an interior designer, your first impression may be the deciding factor between you getting hired for a job or not.

Just like it's important for every professional to have a quality, updated LinkedIn profile with their skills and accomplishments listed, the interior designer's version of a killer LinkedIn account is to have a high-quality sample board.

If you have never put together a sample board of your work to show your clients, we have a few tips on what should be in this portfolio.

Layout

Above all, the layout is arguably the most important part of putting together your board. This should show how organized you can be and can even show off a few your design trends and preferences.

Spacing out you different elements throughout the board is key in making it properly balanced and not too overwhelming. By keeping everything spaced evenly throughout the board, you can create a piece that shows plenty going on but doesn't seem like too much for the client to be looking at all at once. A thick poster board or presentation board should be perfect for getting the job done.

How to Show Off Your Design Elements

Now that you know how the board should be laid out and conceptualized, it is time to focus on the elements that you need to be highlighting throughout the board so the client can get an idea of what your design will look like.

Image cards are a great way to segment different elements throughout the board so things can stay segmented and avoid blending together. These small cards can be glued on to the board to designate the different sections you will be highlighting.

What Design Elements You Should Highlight

Color is arguably the most important feature in any room in the home, so properly displaying your different paint options is a great way to show your theme. With a few brushes of different colors on your image cards, you can create some easy paint sample cards to show.

Fabric is arguably the toughest thing to showcase on a sample board, but it is crucial when trying to sell a client on your design. When trying to highlight things such as couches or pillows, you can wrap these pieces around a card with some padding to create a fuller look rather than a flat surface.

As far as carpeting and other flooring samples are concerned, taking small square and rectangular shaped samples of these elements can put mounted to the board with either a strong glue or with high-end velcro tape.

When looking for the furniture to furnish your space, the furniture sourcing service from Your Barstool Store is the only place to go for all your needs.

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Commercial Design: Flooring Options

When working on the interior design of a home, one of the biggest decisions you have to make as a designer is the type of flooring material you use in each space.

Different rooms may call for different materials, so deciphering between different quality commercial materials is essential to your design success.

If you are not sure which floors are commercial standard and which ones you should be deciding between for your next design project, here are a few of the more common ones you will come across.

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Vinyl tile flooring has always been one of the more popular flooring options for designers and contractors and new developments have increased its use throughout homes all around the world.

A new take on this material recently has been luxury vinyl tile (LVT). This material comes via new technology in 3D printing which can create an entirely new effect that was never seen on vinyl before. With LVT options, you can create a much more elegant and realistic look to standard tile at the vinyl price.



Bio-Based Tile

Bio-based tile (BBT) is a new and unique kind of material that entirely composed of limestone and recycled content. Containing zero vinyl in it whatsoever, this material is much more environmentally friendly, making it a very popular option for many contractors and designers alike.

With the ability to withstand more force and natural wear and tear, this is an ideal product for commercial flooring.



Vinyl Composition Tile

One of the more popular commercial flooring options has always been vinyl composition tile (VCT). Whenever you have walked into a commercial building or a hospital, this is likely the floor that you have walked on.

Created from colored PVC chips, this pieces are then fused together to create varying sizes of flooring tiles cut into large squares and rectangles. If you are looking for a floor that is highly resilient, durable, and cost effective, there is no better option than vinyl composition tile.



Commercial Laminate

From homes to office buildings, laminate has been a popular option for its low cost, high durability, and versatile design options. With low maintenance and attractive designs, this is the perfect option if you are designing an office space or some kind of showroom.

There are many different grades of laminate flooring; but for a commercial setting, grades AC-4 or AC-5 are the ideal options.



Commercial Hardwood

Hardwood has long been a popular option for many flooring settings due to its attractiveness and high quality.

When it comes to the commercial setting, there are three different kinds to be aware of in your selection process: solid hardwood, engineered hardwood, and prefinished or unfinished hardwood.

Solid hardwoods are 100 percent natural and are typically seen in hickory wood, cherry, birch and more.

Engineered hardwood is an excellent option and usually the most common for commercial use as it is simple to install and won't expand or shrink with moisture like natural hardwood will.

As for unfinished and prefinished hardwoods, prefinished is typically the go-to option in the commercial setting with its simpler installation and maintenance while unfinished is better for those looking for a more custom design.



When you are ready to furnish your commercial setting, look no further than Your Barstool Store's one-of-a-kind furniture sourcing service to meet all your needs.

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5 New York Restaurants You'll Want to Visit

All around the world, different and exciting restaurant themes provide a place for diners to escape to and have an experience that is much more than just a meal.

Whether it is the world famous Rainforest Cafe at Disneyland, or some of the hot spots that are opened up by the most respected chefs in the business, these restaurants provide guests with unique dining experiences.

For New Yorkers and tourists alike, there are a handful of establishments that are a little more unique than others and are sure to leave a lasting memory in your mind.

What Happens When

In New York, shows on Broadway are constantly changing for a new bill. Have you however, heard of a restaurant that also changed entirely throughout the year?

At What Happens When, you will get a one of a kind feel if you frequent it on a regular basis.

Completely changing its setting every nine months out of the year, What Happens When is by far one of the most unique restaurants around as guests are immersed in a new setting more often than not.

(Source: urbonyc.com)


Urbo

For those looking for a more street-themed, urban feel, Urbo delivers on just that as the Russian restaurant king Eugene Kadomskiy brings one of the coolest looking settings we've seen to date.

Located in Times Square, this massive three-story, 26,000 square foot space features everything from a bar, coffee shop, and 600 seats for meal dining.

For an unforgettable evening, this spot is an absolute must-see.


(Source: thenomadhotel.com)


The NoMad

A new take on old world elegance and royalty, this one of a kind restaurant combines a modern feel with the classical elements that it still possesses, such as the 200-year old fireplace and an original mahogany bar.

Enjoy your drink with a good book as you visit the incredibly unique library room that you could imagine the world's greatest authors sitting in. With top of the line American food, you cant go wrong with a visit to the NoMad.

Atera

This comfortable modern-designed restaurant is ideal for any occasion you may be going out for. With a high end blend of greenery, as well as new age touch with dark wood, subway tiled walls, and stainless steel countered bar area, this is a great place to enjoy a good drink and unique dishes.

Be sure to get to this spot early though, as seating is very limited with just 18 spots in the main dining room by the bar.

(Source: blenheimhill.com)

Blenheim Restaurant

For the New York diner wanting to get away from the city and experience more of the country, the Blenheim restaurant is the ideal getaway.

Located in the Catskills, Zagat named Blenheim one of the 10 sexiest restaurants.

With authentic food that comes straight from the 150-acre Blenheim farm diners can take in a unique and classic meal in a vintage and rustic space that has a newer modern take on it.

If you are looking to open up your own exciting new restaurant, be sure to check out our outstanding furniture sourcing service for all your needs.

 

 

 

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Written by Abdullah ODesk — August 18, 2015

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