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5 Apps to Help Your Remodel Go Smoother

Starting a home remodel can feel like a daunting process, even for those who have a few home improvement projects already under their belt. Aside from having the proper tooling and know-how to get the job done, it’s equally important to have a sound remodeling plan that will help get you there.

Thankfully, with the advent of technology, there are some new ways for the home improvement amateur, or professional, to get started in putting together the home of their dreams. And it can all begin by spending a few minutes browsing for an app on your smart phone or tablet.

 

The Applications of My Eye

 

ColorSchemer is an app that allows you to work from a large color palette so you can finally hone in on some of the inspiration you’ve gathered from magazines, other homes or elsewhere. With this app you can quickly explore your favorite colors and what shades will also compliment them. It also includes a large community where you can get ideas from other COLOURlovers that have submitted their own samples to the app.

 

ColorSchemer Touch Screenshots

 

Houzz Interior Design Ideas has been touted as the “Wikipedia of interior design” and houses a large database of over one million high-resolution photos for ideas on what kind of project you want to begin. There is also a community where you can share successes you’ve had during a remodel or gather ideas on how to simplify your plans.

 

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

 

Planese is a must-have app for anyone who’s just beginning to build the idea around what kind of remodeling work to do around the home. It features ways to create budgets, schedules and designs that help you plan out your project from start to finish. The app also features homeowners and experts who are there to give you tips and tricks on the best approaches to a task.

 

Planese Interior Design and Planning App

 

Room Design is one of the more technical, yet thorough, apps available for a home remodel. You start by creating a space with their software and laying it out with a few simple drags of your finger, setting the room area, textures and type. Instead of visualizing what a dramatic change in features or structure would look like, this app lets you see it in real-time. You can also save and email a 3D-rendered image for those who want to share their ideas with their contractor or friends.

 

Room Design App Screenshot

 

My Measures Pro maps out your project’s measurements just by taking a photo of the area and adding a few angles and arrows to the picture. This lets you figure out what items you’ll need in order to start and finish your remodel – cleanly organizing the measurements for you or your contractor. You’re also able to add notes to your photos so there won’t be a need to hunt down your pen and pad of paper.

 

My Measures and Dimensions Pro App Screenshot

 

Using apps during the design, planning and even in the midst of the remodeling process finally bridges the gap between swinging a hammer and swiping your finger across your smart phone. And with tools to enable collaboration from others who have had experience in changing a home’s features, it can save money and extra trips to the store.

Things to Avoid in Creating a Kitchen Design You’ll Love for Years

Today’s trends can soon be tomorrow’s faux pas, so doing your homework when it comes to making the right design choices in your kitchen remodel is critical to creating a timeless, classic look. The last thing you want is to spend your money on improvements that will be considered yesterday’s news and outdated within a year or two.
Here are some of the top trending tips to avoid, thus ensuring that your remodel will look beautiful and contemporary for years to come:
Colorful Appliances – Opt for stainless steel appliances. The latest trend with appliance manufacturers is to sell the notion that white, arctic or ice is the new stainless. Some may argue the point, but the truth is, stainless remains the go-to finish for its versatility in accessorizing any décor, whether it be contemporary or traditional.
On-the-Counter Microwaves and Over-the-Stove Microwaves – Today’s state-of-the-art kitchens are featuring under-the-counter microwaves. Not only do they fit in seamlessly with your cabinets, but they save on precious counter space and make busy family schedules more efficient by installing them at an accessible height for children. (There’s no need to worry because they are equipped with safety locks for homes with toddlers.) And let’s not forget that this will reduce the risk of those unforeseen burns from spills when removing food from over-the-stove microwaves. Ouch!
Large Custom Built Range Hoods and Hanging Pot Racks – Although they were popular a few years back, large range hoods and hanging pot racks tend to create a cluttered feel. Today’s homeowners are opting for a more open kitchen concept and prefer storing their cookware in deep roll-out drawers for easy accessibility.
Appliance Garages – As funny as it may sound to house your small appliances behind closed doors, these small garages were a popular trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s, taking up precious counter space. Today’s homeowners mostly choose to keep their most often-used appliances proudly displayed on the counter, or they opt for pull-out drawers as the places to keep their mixers or blenders.
Farmhouse Sinks – From 2011-2012, farmhouse apron-front kitchen sinks were all the rage. Today, they are quickly becoming outdated. Stainless steel and granite sinks remain the timeless choice for durability and style.
Built-in Desk Areas – Let’s face it, having a desk in the kitchen is like having a treadmill in the den. The initial intention was there, but we soon found ourselves using these desks for the wrong reasons (such as using it as a place to drop our keys and mail or throw our coats over after a long day). Free up that precious kitchen real estate and create a space that’s functional and fun (perhaps a small wet bar for entertaining).
With so many decisions and choices to make, one thing is clear…creating a kitchen space that is classic and functional will not only bring you years of enjoyment, but will save you money in the long run by avoiding a do-over only a few years later.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas for a Spring Makeover

Spring. We wait for it all year. It’s a time to brush off the winter blues and start planning a ‘rejuvenation vacation.’ As you may have heard, homeowners across the country are opting for ‘staycations,’ as families find the joy of family time in the comfort of their own homes. Most of us would agree that our kitchens are the ‘heart’ of our homes. It is a place where our families gather and memories are made. Now is the perfect time to treat your kitchen to a spring makeover with new granite countertops. Or, consider giving your cabinets a facelift with a beautiful new look – all in a time frame that will fit even your busiest schedule.

Take a look at how fun and easy it is to create a beautiful new space in as little as one day with Granite Transformations.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas from Granite Transformations

Remember, your house is a reflection of your personality, so get those creative juices flowing. Here are a few friendly suggestions to get you going:

  • Color – Is it time to rethink the walls? It’s been known that color sets the mood for almost every situation. What is the color-theme in your house? Are you one for a peaceful and serene atmosphere, or do you love a more bold and funky look? Whichever suits your style, remember to choose a color that not only reflects your personality but also showcases the ambiance and furnishings of your home and kitchen.
  • Style – Are you more of a traditionalist or do you like a more cutting-edge décor? Choosing the right countertop will surely enhance whichever theme suits you and will add another layer of elegance to your kitchen.
  • Functionality – As we have already agreed, the kitchen is the heart of the home and one of the busiest rooms in the house. Making sure the room flows and functions well is the key to a stress-free zone. A kitchen island can serve several purposes, such as extra storage, food preparation, a place to eat, and for homework. There should also be plenty of counter space, and cabinets and appliances should be placed where they can be accessed easily and the doors don’t block traffic flow when opened. Storage space should allow for everything to be reached easily and be placed where the items contained are going to be used most. Instead of cabinets, wide drawers can be easier to access larger kitchen tools. Functionality is a major consideration when redesigning your kitchen.
  • Make It Happen – It all starts with a click of your mouse or a quick call to your local dealer to schedule a free in-home design consultation that will turn your dream kitchen into a reality. Granite Transformations makes it easy and we take the guess work out of the entire process. Your new kitchen can be only one day away…

 

 

Recipe of the Month | Easter Cake

With spring upon us and the Easter Bunny right on our tails, the time has come for coloring eggs, digging out the Easter baskets and planning our holiday menus. Granite Transformations® offers a fun dessert idea to share with you that is sure to bring smiles to your table.

Easter Lamb Cake Recipe from Granite Transformations


Check out this fun Easter dessert recipe that your kids will love!

The easiest way to make this adorable lamb cake is to bake it in a two-piece aluminum mold and use your favorite pound cake recipe or one right out of the box!

This cute Easter Lamb Cake recipe is a fun dessert to prepare for the coming Easter Holiday—feel free to share this recipe with your friends!

Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook time:45 minutes
Yield: 1 cake

Easter Lamb Cake Recipe Ingredients:
- 2-piece aluminum lamb mold
- Your favorite pound cake recipe or one box of white or yellow flavored cake mix (follow directions on box)
- Your favorite buttercream frosting recipe or one can of your favorite white frosting
- 1 12oz bag of sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 bag of jelly beans
- 1 bag of colored Easter eggs
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Toothpick

Cooking and Prepration Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Separate the two-piece lamb mold and generously spray the inside of both pieces with non-stick baking spray. *Note: There will be a vent hole in one side of the lamb mold, be sure to fill the opposite side with batter.
3. Pour batter into one side of the lamb mold that does have the vent hole.
4. Place the opposite side of the mold on top of the batter, make sure it is secure.
5. Carefully place the lamb mold in preheated oven with vent hole facing up.
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into vent hole comes out clean.
7. Let the cake cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before removing the top. It is best to wait until the cake is completely cooled before carefully removing from the pan— take extra care with the head and ears.
8. Transfer cooled lamb cake to a platter and carefully frost your cake, taking extra care around the head and ears. Cover entire cake with flaked coconut and use jelly beans to make two eyes, a nose and mouth.
9. Surround your lamb with colored Easter grass and decorate with colored Easter eggs, jelly beans or any fun colored candy.

Enjoy! Happy Easter from Granite Transformations!

New Year, New Kitchen

It’s a new year and a new beginning for your home. As we’ve discussed previously, your kitchen is one of the easiest rooms to renovate—and most likely to give you more bang for your buck. Start the year right by planning your own kitchen overhaul, and consider these four ideas to make the space stand out.

 

1. Change the Aesthetic

Starting out, ask yourself what kind of feeling does your kitchen currently gives you and your guests? Maybe you’ve created a warm, friendly room that encourages relaxation and socializing. Or you could have a kitchen with a more modern edge, featuring sleek, metal appliances. You may even be housing a kitchen that lends a more classical approach to cooking and dining. Regardless of your current design, changing the appearance, and ultimately the ambiance, of your kitchen is easier than you might think.

 

Modern

Clean lines, a cool color scheme, and plenty of space are all hallmarks of the modern look. Depending on your appliances, complimenting them with a light grey or pale blue paint job will make them really pop. You’ll want to open up those windows and let all the light in you can in order to make the space feel larger and more inviting. Aside from brightening your kitchen space, you’ll also use less electricity, keeping your electric bills down.

 

Some frosted glass cabinets. more »

Surprise Your Sweetie with These Home Improvement Gifts

If you’re like most people, finding a unique and heartfelt gift for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day can cause a little anxiety. So, set aside the flowers, box of candy and don’t make those reservations just yet, because we’ve got some great tips on how to ensure this year’s gift will be remembered for years to come.

 

Being with the person you love is no different than being in a home you love. And there are few things more exciting to a relationship, or a home, than taking something that’s already good and making it even better. Granite Transformations can take your living space to the next level, creating an ambiance that reignites your passion for your living space, and is guaranteed to make your significant other smile.

 

Kissing the Cook

Every room in your home gets its fair share of traffic and activity, but none more than the kitchen, which is often the heart of every household. It doesn’t matter if you’re living in an older Victorian-style or a newly-built modern home, changing the layout, or just improving the overall feel of a kitchen, can improve more than the aesthetic.

 

Woman admiring her newly remodeled kitchen more »

5 Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Style

If you’re thinking about redecorating but you don’t know where to start, it’s helpful to find your personal style. Your home says a lot about who you are—from the way you arrange furniture to the color of your walls, every piece is a personal choice. Figuring out which designs suit you is the best place to start, and by aligning your aesthetic and your personality, you’re more likely to enjoy your home.

 

1. Browse Magazines

We’ve all flipped through home decorating magazines and been impressed with the designs. But when you see a finished room, it’s difficult to figure out where they started. Purchase a variety of home magazines and flip through them, cutting out each page that appeals to you. When you’re finished, look though what you’ve selected and search for a common theme. It could be as obvious as a color palette or as subtle as how the furniture is arranged. Once you find those common themes, you’re on your way to understanding what appeals to you, and discovering your own personal style.

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Home Ideas from Our Favorite Hotels

Inspiration for your home can be found anywhere. Whether it’s a show on TV, a spread in a magazine, or a hotel keep an eye out for ideas to implement into your designs. Here are a few rooms that stood out to us from our favorite hotels across the world.

 

Harbour Rocks Hotel

This gorgeous hotel in Sydney, Australia is a perfect example of how to blend two styles while creating your own distinct look. With rooms ranging from modern to classic, the two aesthetics blend together in the lobby, creating a comfortable yet minimalist space. Every room here is immaculately designed, but it’s the kitchen that stands out to us.

Painted in warm colors and mixing stone, tile, and granite, this room is surprising to the eye. The white granite countertop offsets the darker colors beautifully, and the shelf space is minimally designed and elegant. If you have a lot of space to work with, consider a modern look like this. Bonus points for big bay windows, letting in lots of natural light.

 

harbour_rocks_hotel_granite_transformations

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Keep Warm This Winter with These Gorgeous Fireplaces

Nothing announces the holiday season like a roaring fireplace. Whether or not there’s snow outside, warming up with a fire and a cup of hot chocolate makes a perfect evening. Check out the list below for some of our own dream fireplaces, and imagine cozying up with friends and family in front of your favorite design.


The Elegant Quartz Fireplace

For sleek design and sheer beauty, nothing beats quartz. More durable than granite, quartz also requires no polishing or reconditioning, making clean up a breeze. This beautiful white quartz fireplace offsets the wood overlay and black flooring for a stylish, modern look.     

quartz_fireplace_granite_transformations

 

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Increasing the Value of Your Home – Kitchen and Bath

If you’re thinking about remodeling, the kitchen and bathroom are two major areas that can increase the value of your home. Consider upgrading the following key points during your next renovation project.

Kitchen

1. Lighting

In an older home, a great place to start is your lighting. While visiting a local hardware or home improvement store, you may see that you have out-of-date fluorescent boxes or fixtures adorning your kitchen. A contractor can remove the old lighting and replace it with contemporary and subtle recessed lighting, or install pendants over islands, tables and sinks for a bolder, modern feel. There are many budget-friendly options that will make a big difference in your kitchen’s look and the value of your home.

kitchen_lighting

Kitchen Lighting via House of Fifty

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