Last Updated on January 21, 2020

Shipping container houses are on the rise as consumers are thinking outside the box and building these eco-friendly steel homes on locations such as beachfronts, mountainsides and open ranges, to name just a few. Also known as “ISO container homes,” they are created from shipping containers that are typically used for transporting goods across the world.

It’s been reported that approximately 17-20 million ISO containers are scattered across the world – with as many as one million of them simply taking up space. Innovative firms and eco-conscious consumers have stepped up and begun purposing these containers into attractive, economic housing. Shipping container houses have several benefits and advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar homes.

Some of the benefits of shipping container housing include:

  • Thousands of unused containers around the globe are being re-purposed.
  • Economical. Empty shipping containers cost approximately $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Made from galvanized steel, these shipping containers are durable and stronger than wooden frames.
  • The modular design lends to an easy, open design plan and allows the capability of placing containers either side-by-side or up to 12 empty containers on top of each other.
  • Assembly can be completed on these reinforced, pre-built homes in as few as three days.
  • The steel makes them resistant to mold, fire and termites.
  • Containers can be converted into homes at a convenient location, and then easily transported to and assembled at their final destination.
  • Materials age well and require very little maintenance.
  • Can be modified later on to include new modules.

As with anything else, there are some drawbacks to shipping container homes. A few disadvantages include:

  • The boxy design is typically long and narrow (typically about 20 to 40 feet long but only eight feet wide and eight feet high) after insulation and interior walls are added.
  • Used containers may contain traces of pesticides and other chemicals that were used to protect cargo during transportation. For this reason, the container floors must be removed to ensure the space is habitable.
  • Since its original use was not intended for habitation, solvents may have been used in container construction and could be harmful.
  • Stripping and refinishing of the interior may be necessary if any cargo spills occurred in the container.
  • Steel construction will trap heat and require a larger amount of insulation (compared to traditional homes), in order to keep the house cool.
  • Building permits may be difficult to acquire, or may not be allowed in certain areas or municipalities.

There are more than 50 different types of shipping containers – each with different characteristics and cost, and not all are suitable for the foundation of a home. Here is a list of the most common types of containers you may encounter when considering a shipping container home:

  • Open-Top Containers
  • Dry-Freight Containers
  • Insulated or Thermal Containers
  • Refrigeration Containers
  • Tank Containers

Regardless of their initial purpose or characteristics, all shipping containers have dimensions regulated by the ISO. They are:

  • Height: Standard containers are 8 feet, 6 inches in height; however, there are some other containers that can range from 4 feet to more than 9 feet, 6 inches.
  • Width: Most containers are 8 feet wide; however, some may be wider.
  • Length: The common lengths are either 20 or 40 feet; however, some can get up to 56 feet long.

If you are intrigued about shipping container homes and considering building one, the first step is to locate a builder that offers prefabricated container homes. You can find information on shipping container homes online. Another option is to go with container home plans or kits that you can use to customize your own plans tailored to your specific needs.

It is important to note that doing your homework and researching their expertise is invaluable when considering a builder or architect. Be sure to check references and find other customers who have built container homes to get their feedback. Many capable builders are known to low-ball a bid just to get the job and then increase the cost with add-ons after the contract has been signed. Reputable builders may be able to help you with the permit and approval process.

Cost will vary depending on the size of the house and how architecturally intricate you want to go. You will also have to consider the cost of the land and installation of electricity, plumbing and other necessities.

Granite Transformations is your source for up-to-date news and trends in the remodeling industry. Visit to learn more about our products and services.




Last Updated on January 22, 2020

As home design trends continue to evolve, designers have discovered fresh ways to enhance traditional styles and tweak modern spaces to adapt to our ever-changing lifestyles through their design work.

Some of the top designers recently reflected on their biggest projects of 2015, and have compiled a list of learnings that we’d like to share with you, so that you can apply them to your future renovation projects.

Here are ten design trends for 2016 to inspire you to transform your kitchen and bathroom spaces.

Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets: When you’re torn about sticking to one color scheme for your kitchen, try mixing it up by using one color (or material) on your upper cabinets and another color on the lower ones. Here are a few examples that design experts recommend to bring new life to your kitchen while tapping into your creativity.

  • Wood on White: Blending two traditional kitchen schemes is a fresh way to put a new spin on two favorites. White upper cabinets reflect freshness and openness, while wood on the lower cabinets convey warmth and old-world charm. It’s a great way to have the best of a modern and traditional look while keeping it sleek and chic.
  • Neutral on Neutral: Combining varying shades of white cabinets with light beige colored walls is a unique way to add depth to your kitchen while keeping it elegant and eye-catching.
  • Wood on Glossy: This unconventional color combination brings an eclectic look to your kitchen. By reversing the traditional scheme, designers are opting to use wood on the upper cabinets and glossy on the lower cabinets. By choosing a wood with a subtle texture grain (instead of a bold stripe), you are allowing the natural warmth to come through without making the room look smaller.
  • Color on Neutral: This is a great way to punch up your kitchen with a hint of color without overdoing it. Adding a bold color accent on the lower cabinets is a perfect compromise to keeping your kitchen looking fun and relaxed. Experts say that the color red is a great choice for kitchens since it stimulates appetite and can be found on door knobs and appliances. Don’t feel you’re limited to just the lower cabinets; finding the right color at eye-level can also be captivating and welcoming.
  • Navy on Wood: Experts say navy and blue-green hues are excellent choices for adding color since they effortlessly mix with other shades. Blue cabinets, for example, blend beautifully with orange-colored cabinets as each color complements the other. Another great combination is navy, wood, white or even gray. White upper cabinets and dark lower cabinets with a full wall of wood create a dynamic and stunning look.

Deep Kitchen Drawers: Homeowners today say storage remains their top priority when designing a new kitchen. Swapping out deep drawers for lower kitchen cabinets is becoming more popular as it reduces costs and allows for a more personalized space. Dividers and inserts allow for better organization of different sized plates, pans and utensils. And, clever corner drawers can also be installed under sinks and range tops.

Black Stainless Steel Appliances: Black stainless steel appliances are creating a buzz for those who are looking for an alternative to their shiny counterparts. If you’re not ready to plunge into the darkness, Whirlpool offers appliances in their Sunset Bronze finish, which offers homeowners another choice to change up their kitchen design.

Workhorse Islands: These multi-tasking islands take center stage in your kitchen and provide additional workspace with deep storage, prep sinks and additional seating. They also act as the perfect space for entertaining, as homeowners enjoy using the space for buffet-style serving or setting up a bar.

Workhorse island

Open-Air Kitchens: With the quest for open spaces, homeowners are knocking down walls and raising ceilings. Some are doing away with upper cabinets and opting for open shelving to create an open and airy feeling, which allows for increased space for additional windows. The downside is the reduction in storage space. Kitchen designers are coming up with creative ways to find clever storage spaces, such as deep lower cabinets, larger pantries and large storage areas in islands.

Open-Air Kitchen

Unique Backsplash and Countertop Combinations: Playing it safe with traditional backsplash and countertop combinations (like white subway tile and granite) are acceptable design choices, but interior designers are tempting homeowners to think outside the box with some unique combinations. Pairing a unique color mosaic tile backsplash with a standout recycled glass countertop is one example of how to make your kitchen stand out.

Unique Countertop Backsplash Combinations

Special Kitchen Features: Adding one unique element to your kitchen can transform the space from a functional one to a vital one. Using a dining room table on wheels with slide-out benches is a new way to add additional seating for casual meals or a large gathering.

Tech-Free Family Rooms for Family Time: As today’s world keeps us glued to our screens (whether it be on our phones, computers or tablets), the new trend is to keep either the family or living room just that – a place for family time or everyday living. Homeowners are embracing these tech-free zones for quiet retreats for reading and catching up with their families.

Tech-Free Room

Statement Mirrors in Bathrooms: Most homeowners would agree the time of the medicine cabinet has come and gone. Today’s savvy home decorators are opting for beautifully framed mirrors to add class and elegance to their bathrooms. (They are also placing storage areas underneath the sink or in other bathroom shelving or storage areas.)

Statement Mirror in Bathroom

Bathrooms that Feel More like a Living Space: Adorning bathroom walls with graphic wallpaper or paintings, or hanging ornate chandeliers and installing furniture-like cabinetry in a bathroom, can turn this once ordinary place into a chic living space that you’ll be excited to go into every day.

Bathrooms that feel like a living space

Granite Transformations offers gorgeous quartz, granite and recycled glass countertops, mosaic tile backsplashes, and cabinet refacing. Check out our products and services, and if you like what you see, schedule a free in-home design consultation, where you will receive a free estimate from one of our expert design consultants.

Last Updated on January 22, 2020

As we embrace a new year, some homeowners are already thinking of new ways to improve their kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchen remodeling is one of the top home renovation projects on the minds of today’s consumer, and cabinets are usually one of the biggest, costliest parts of the project. Selecting the perfect kitchen cabinets can be daunting when looking at all of the styles and colors available, but you’ll be able to narrow your choice down if you know some of these top cabinet design trends that experts say will carry through 2016.

Here are some of the top cabinet trends for 2016 to inspire your kitchen renovation:

Clean Lines

A more simple, clean and subtle look is becoming a new trend in cabinet door styles. Modern design styles continue to remain popular for homeowners for who are looking to upgrade their kitchen cabinets.

Cabinets with clean lines

Shaker Style Cabinets

This nostalgic cabinet style has been around since the 1800s and has been reinvented into more attractive versions in recent years. It remains a classic, clean style for those looking for a more traditional, timeless look.

Shaker style cabinets

Neutral Colors

Although white kitchen cabinets remain popular, their neutral counterparts (like gray) and more refined earthy tones are taking center stage for the warmth they add to your kitchen, along with their adaptability to blend with bold color accents and accessories.

Neutral Kitchen Palette

Cabinets that Extend to the Ceiling

What’s the point of having dead space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling? Homeowners now realize that extending cabinets to the ceiling provides more storage space and creates an opportunity for beautiful crown molding.

Ceiling height cabinets


Of course we want our new cabinets to look great but the inclusion of clever cabinet additions – like hidden drawers, built-in shelving and sliding garbage containers – can make our kitchens more organized, function more smoothly and accommodate any additional storage needs.

Functional cabinet organization

Horizontal Cabinetry

Traditional square and vertical cabinets remain the preferred kitchen cabinet design with an increasing demand for horizontal cabinetry. Horizontal cabinets are wider and eliminate the need to stack cabinets (providing you have enough storage space). They allow for easier access and give your kitchen a more refined look.

Horizontal cabinetry

High-Tech Options

Today’s kitchen designers are staying ahead of the technology curve by creating kitchen cabinets that have built-in charging stations, hands-free functionality and cabinet tablet mounts. In a world where we are constantly connected, these high-tech options allow us to function easier in our kitchens while providing 24/7 access to information.

Kitchen cabinet tablet mount

Granite Transformations offers cabinet refacing, which can save you nearly half of what you’d spend to replace them. We offer a variety of wood styles, colors and finishes to suit your any need or want. Check out our selection today and schedule your free in-home design consultation where you can see the samples take shape in your very own kitchen.


Last Updated on January 7, 2020

The Pantone Color Institute has named Rose Quartz and Serenity as their two colors of the year for 2016, making this the first time the industry experts have given two colors the top spot. Pantone spans the world to discover how color influences various aspects of our lives – from home décor and fashion to sports and entertainment. This year, their choices reflect how Rose Quartz and Serenity express every consumer’s quest for mindfulness and a reflection of our culture’s increasing acceptance of gender equality.

Incorporating the two pastels into your home décor will depend on your individual style. Experts agree that whether you go all out or use just a splash of color throughout your home, the result will have a beautiful and calming effect on you and those you bring into your home. The experts also agree that although the two colors are beautiful when paired together, they can stand alone quite beautifully. Although each makes a perfect choice for a bedroom, both colors can lend a peaceful, serene, and comforting quality, just like a summer sunset.

Rose Quartz and Serenity occur together naturally

Industry experts have weighed in on how these two pretty pastels can be incorporated into any home. Rose Quartz can be beautifully paired with colors such as khaki, navy, chocolate, moss, lime and gray. West Hollywood interior designer, Natasha Baradaran, believes that pink is becoming the new neutral when it is paired with other colors since it doesn’t fight the combination and allows for color and warmth to take over. Annie Sloan, paint and color expert, says she would pair Rose Quartz and Serenity with a strong color (like a bright orange) to create a 1960’s modern-retro look. For a traditional home, interior designer Kirill Istomin suggests that Serenity would work best with a palette of ivory, pale gray and coral. Contrary to past opinion, these two pastel beauties work for both a masculine and feminine décor. With a few design tweaks, it’s easy to find a balance using these colors and still enjoy the calming effects they bring.

Here are a few suggestions for how to use Rose Quartz and Serenity in different rooms in your home:

Kitchen: Experts say these pastels will work beautifully in a white or gray kitchen. Whether you chose to paint an accent wall or use rose-colored accessories on your countertops, Rose Quartz and Serenity will add a sense of warmth to your bustling kitchen.

Bathroom or Powder Room: Rose Quartz is the perfect choice to use on powder room walls or anywhere women apply their makeup because the color is flattering to skin tones and offers a luminous glow to your skin. If you’re not ready to paint the entire room, try a mosaic tile accent wall around your mirror, as shown in the picture below which has a Serenity colored base with a light sheen of Rose Quartz visible from certain angles. You can also start by accessorizing with luxurious soft pink towels and beautiful rose-colored accessories which create a soft, soothing feeling, well-suited for a bathroom.

Blue Trend Mosaic Includes Hues of Serenity and Rose Quartz

Bedrooms: Both Rose Quartz and Serenity make the perfect choice for bedroom colors, whether used together or separately. They offer a sense of tranquility and serenity which is the ultimate goal when enjoying time in your bedroom. One of the easiest ways to test the colors in your bedroom is to accessorize with a duvet cover or accent pillows. This will allow you to live with the colors first – without spending time and money on a more permanent change (like painting walls). Our Trend standard mosaic mix collections are made of gorgeous recycled glass – Happyness, Sweet and Celestial are examples pictured below which are perfect bedroom options.

Trend Mosaic Celestial
Trend Mosaic Celestial
Trend Mosaic Sweet
Trend Mosaic Sweet
Trend Mosaic Happyness
Trend Mosaic Happyness








Dining Room: Upholstering dining room chairs is a chic way of adding a splash of color to your dining area. Don’t be afraid of using patterns like paisley or plaid to incorporate the colors. Creating a mosaic tile accent wall in a deeper shade of Rose Quartz or Serenity can add depth to the room while bringing a sense of warmth and glamour to the area. Trend Group’s mosaic wallpaper collections, Ethnic B and Murano 4, are perfect examples of how you can use patterns of deeper and lighter shades of blue and pink to create a soothing, natural, warm feel for your dining room space.

Wallpapers that incorporate hues of Serenity and Rose Quartz










Living Room/Family Room: Accessorizing is the easiest way to add a splash of color to your living room or family room areas. By swapping out items like lamps and rugs, you can instantly transform the room and add another level of sophistication without breaking your budget. And, don’t forget the pillows. Pillows are a fun and easy way to liven up a room and can be swapped out to maintain your seasonal décor.

Granite Transformations is a leading home remodeling company in North America, with the goal of providing you, the consumer, with the most up-to-date design and home renovation industry news, information and trends. Keep our blog in your “favorites” so you can check back for new posts!