‘Design’ Category

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!

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

  more »

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

 

more »

Kitchen Transformation Ideas – Black & White Kitchens

Black and White is a trendy new style for urban homes.

A black and white pallet can give your kitchen the modern and fashionable appeal you have been searching for. These two colors create the feeling of large spaces, highlight contrast and bring out the elegance of your kitchen.

1

Black and White Kitchen

  more »

Get to Know the Granite Transformations iGranite App for iPad

Use Granite Transformations’ iPad app, iGranite, to bring the remodel of your dreams to life.

 

At Granite Transformations, we constantly strive to make the remodeling process as simple and convenient as possible. This is why we introduced our highly acclaimed iPad app, iGranite. In fact, the iGranite app, available for free at Apple’s App Store, has been named one of the 30 Top Design Apps for 2013 by Interiors and Sources Magazine. With this app, you are able to visualize the end result of your remodel with a few easy steps.

more »

Commercial Remodeling with Granite Transformations

 Granite Transformations is a great resource for commercial remodeling with its durable and stylish products

 

At Granite Transformations, we like to take the hassle out of the remodeling process, especially when it comes to more detail-oriented commercial remodels. We have a lot of experience with accommodating commercial remodeling now that our products are widely used in hotels, airports, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, spas and other businesses around the world.

Granite Transformations products are perfect for commercial spaces due to their stunning appearances and incredible durability.  In addition, our expert design consultants and installation team provide top-notch customer service. Plus, Granite Transformations products are backed with a 5 year commercial warranty.

The commercial remodeling process with Granite Transformations begins with a free consultation to discuss and outline all project needs. We then help select the best products and colors for your project.

Our granite surface is perfect for a restaurant kitchen or counters, lobby area or doctor’s office due to its low maintenance and durability. Granite Transformations’ gorgeous and functional recycled glass surface is the perfect solution for flooring, which can withstand a high amount of foot traffic. Our mosaic tile is perhaps our most versatile product, being able to adapt to just about any decorative space, including wall murals, sculptures, pools and beyond.

 

To find out more about our commercial remodeling services, contact your nearby Granite Transformations location today.

Small Bedroom Solutions: Make Your Small Bedroom Feel Like a Big Space

When your bedroom is smaller than you would like you’ll want to be creative and make thebest use of your space.  Following a few simple principles will help keep your bedroom a cozy sanctuary instead of a cramped mess.

Beds:

For your bed a metal frame or a divan with a headboard and no footboard both have the clean open lines that make your room look bigger.  Buying a bed with built-in draws underneath is a good option but if you don’t find one you like purchase bed risers which will give you an extra six inches of storage space under your bed and a bed skirt.

Choose simple bed furnishing schemes. Large and crazy patterns make your bed look like a soccer field in concession stand.  Instead try palates of solid colors; on your bed neutral hues will make your room look the largest.

bedroom

Vertical space:

Utilize as much vertical space as possible.  Make effort to get dressers that are taller than normal. The more your personal belongings have their proper place the less cluttered a room appears.  Sometimes entertainment centers or wardrobes add excellent visual interest and give more vertical storage space than dressers.  Don’t forget to consider “lingerie” dressers which are narrow but tall.  They may be just what you need instead of a bed side table because they can hold more and take up the same amount of floor space.

A coffered ceilingwill instantly make your bedroom look much bigger.  Also known as a tray ceiling, it is when the center of the room is raised into the attic above.  If this is at all possible for your bedroom it is worth the effort to install.

bedroom 2

Reflections:

Light colors make a room look bigger.  Use darker colors as accents inyour throw pillows, bed linen, and curtains.

Mirrors make any room look bigger.  Take care not to overuse mirrors in a bedroom.  One or two mirrors, well-placed across from windows to reflect natural light will make the most of the room’s size and emphasize the open spaces.

Use sconces that clip to the headboard of your bed, and small table lamps that sit on your dressers instead of floor lamps to free up extra floor space in your room.  The more sources of light, the bigger the room will appear.

Magic tricks:

Eliminate clutter as much as possible with pretty baskets.  Use a table skirt to create a hidden space for books and magazines.  Keep a box in the bottom of your closet for things that you may want to give away and if they stay in the box for more than six months than commit to letting them go.

What people notice first when they see a bedroom is not the size but the overall style impression.  If your bedroom is small, focus on clean lines and add your personal warmth so that the word that you and your guests first think of when they enter the bedroom is cozy.

Bio- Sunny Popali is the Marketing lead at Mattressnextday. Mattressnextday offer the full range of common mattress sizes including: small mattress, single mattress, double mattresses, king size Mattress, super king Mattresses, and odd size mattresses.

Why You Should Consider Eco-Friendly Floors

For those considering remodeling a home or those considering building a home, there are a wide variety of flooring options. Regardless of the material, color or style that you are looking for, there may be an eco-friendly option that will suit your needs. Eco-friendly flooring is good because it helps reduce indoor pollutant levels. Carpeting in particular can introduce toxic chemicals into the home. In addition, carpeting also holds a variety of allergens that can cause long-term health concerns.

bamboo

In addition to the health benefits that eco-friendly flooring offers, there are many environmental concerns that they address. Eco friendly floors are also generally being made without the use of harsh chemicals, the flooring is created from materials that are easily sustainable and provide long-lasting beauty to all homes.

Types of flooring available

Many people believe that eco-friendly flooring limits their options. However, this is not the case. Eco-friendly flooring options include hardwood, bamboo, cork, tiles and even carpeting. For those who have smaller budgets, there is also an option that is similar to linoleum.

Marmoleum

For those who love the look of linoleum, they may want to consider Marmoleum for their kitchen or bathroom. Marmoleum is the eco-friendly option. Marmoleum contains no toxic volatile organic compounds, commonly called VOCs. Marmoleum is available in a wide variety of colors that are suitable for any home. This option is also easy to clean and is highly durable.

Tile options

tile

Eco-friendly tiling may be created from either glass or ceramic. These are great options for both kitchens and bathrooms. These tiles are made from recycled materials and offer years of long-lasting beauty. They are also available in a wide range of colors guaranteed to suit any home. These tiles resist scratching and are durable and easy to clean. Tiling can be used in playrooms, or any other room in the home.

Eco-friendly carpeting

Typically when we think of new carpeting, we think of the “new carpet smell” that nearly all of us have experienced at one time or another. This new carpet smell is the result of harsh chemicals that the carpeting has been treated with. These chemicals provide stain resistant coatings but also add to the toxicity of the carpeting. In addition to the chemicals in the carpeting, glues and padding also contain toxic chemicals.

Fortunately, there are some carpeting blends that are made from post-consumer recycled products. Some carpeting is also made of wool or jute and have fewer toxic chemicals and also provide long-lasting beauty. These eco-friendly options provide all the luxury of carpeting without the harmful chemicals. Eco-friendly padding and glues for installation are also available.

Wood floor options

Many of us love the look of hardwood floors. When you want the beauty of hardwood flooring but want to get this look with the ability to continue to protect the environment, there are options. Reclaimed wood flooring is created by using flooring that is discarded from homes that were destroyed or renovated. In fact, wine barrels and siding have also been used to create reclaimed wood floors. This wood is carefully processed to remove metal from nails, chemicals and other toxins and is remanufactured into suitable flooring.

FSC-Certified wood is available in oak, maple and cherry and has undergone testing by the Forest Stewardship Council. Suppliers are required to guarantee they are following strict guidelines in preserving the environment. These hardwood floors are not only beautiful, but the material to create them is guaranteed to be replaced through replanting.

Bamboo and cork flooring are also available for those who want the beauty of a hardwood floor without contributing to damaging the environment. Because bamboo grows quickly, it replaces itself very quickly, unlike hardwoods that may require as many as 150 years. In addition, bamboo is extremely durable. Cork flooring offers consumers several colors and textures and can be purchased as either planks or tiles. Cork is stripped from the lower part of plants and therefore does not completely remove them from their natural environment. Some of the best things about cork flooring is it provides an insulating factor in the home, deadens sounds and may help reduce heating costs.

Eco-friendly flooring can add beauty to your home without the addition of harmful chemicals. In addition, these floorings are processed without harming the environment. The options are broad enough that regardless of what type of floor you are interested in, there is an eco-friendly flooring solution that will meet your needs. As we learn more about our ecosystem, each of us has a responsibility to ensure that we are doing everything we can to contribute to keeping our ecosystem strong. Electing eco-friendly flooring may not only help improve the health of our families by keeping harsh chemicals out of our homes but also helps make sure that we are not depleting natural resources.

Bringing the Outdoors Into Your Home

Hiking isn’t just for the outdoors anymore.

The outdoors has been influential in interior design for years. From log cabins to Southwestern flare, all types of natural influences have made their way into our homes. But now more than ever, less “themed” inspiration is taking center stage.

Soil, trees, wood, stone…all of these come to mind when thinking of the outdoors. These elements are perfect additions to any space, allowing a room to look organic, rustic, and welcoming. However, we’re not talking gaudy outdoor à la dark woods, flannel, and deer heads. It’s easy to add outdoor influences in a modern and sophisticated way. Here are three ways to subtly bring the great outdoors into your home.

Organic Flooring

modern outdoor influence - flooring

Flooring is a great way to bring the outdoors into your home. By choosing untraditional flooring like beech you can completely transform a room to look light, airy, and clean.

Natural Vaulted Ceilings

outdoor inspired ceiling

If you have the opportunity to remodel your ceiling, consider adding an architectural statement with beams in raw wood. It can add some rustic flare while simultaneously giving off a streamlined aesthetic.

Stone Accent Wall

modern flooring inspiration for outdoors

Accent walls can bring a room to life and add to dimension. Rather than painting it a different color, why not play with texture and use natural stone? It can look both modern and welcoming when done using a stone with minimal lines and a subtle texture. Or add a bit more texture to give off the impression of a fireplace minus the functionality and upkeep.

modern outdoor interior design on walls

Adria Saracino is a freelancer, blogger, and home décor enthusiast. She writes for 5.11 Tactical, which sells everything from flashlights to its signature 5.11 Tactical polarized sunglasses.

Photo Credits: modern room, interior new loft, ethnic furniture, living room, modern interior room with nice furniture inside, modern room

7 Celebrity Kitchens that Resemble Their Owners

We’re all familiar with the phrase “pets resemble their owners.” We’ve found another resemblance to talk about: celebrities and their kitchens.

Whether decorated by professionals or the celebs themselves, each kitchen we found seems to represent its owner in some unique way.

Some kitchens, like in Elton John’s colorful L.A. digs, correspond with their celebrity owner more than others, but no matter what, we can always seem to find a hint of the superstar’s personality hidden somewhere when we take a look inside their designer homes.

Elton John

elton-john-kitchen

Not only does Elton John dazzle his audience on stage during a show, but photos of his Los Angeles pad have proven that the singer’s funkiness continues on into the privacy of his own home. John’s residence includes a colorful and modern kitchen, complete with a lime green accent wall and edgy, contemporary purple bar stools. Just like Elton, this living space is unique, vibrant and not a far cry away from the international superstar’s signature, wacky glasses.

Diane Keaton

diane-keaton-kitchen-L

Keaton’s more recent performances in flicks such as “Because I Said So” and “Something’s Gotta Give” have exposed the star’s outspoken, flamboyant and witty sense of humor. Keaton’s kitchen in her Los Angeles home reflects her “colorful” personality in every possible way: from the intricate mosaic tile collection that makes up the breakfast bar, to the phrase painted on the archway: “Home Is A Place Where When You Knock On The Door They Have To Let You In.”

Kim Kardashian

kim-kardashian-kitchen

While her rise to notoriety may be untraditional, when it comes to fashion and décor, Kim Kardashian really is as classic as it gets. The reality TV starlet’s kitchen reflects her simple, clean and refreshing style. Kim can typically be found wearing neutral color schemes such as black or white, which she incorporates into her kitchen with all white cabinets and dark hardwood floors throughout.

Jennifer Lopez

jennifer-lopez-kitchen

Although she claims to still be “Jenny from the Block,” most people today can agree that Jennifer Lopez is much more than just your average girl from The Bronx. In addition to dominating the entertainment world, the star has dove head first into multiple business ventures, including a perfume and clothing line. Plenty of natural lighting and open, airy spaces gives Lopez’s kitchen a girly and glamorous flare. The living space reflects the singer’s elegance and sophistication with soft, subtle blue and gray tones throughout her Hidden Hills, Cali. home.

Gerard Butler

gerard-bulter-kitchen

Rugged, masculine and rustic are all adjectives that just so happen to describe Hollywood hottie Gerard Butler and his New York City kitchen. The “300” star is known on the big screen for his muscular physique and unmistakable Scottish accent, but Butler’s old-world themed kitchen in real life seems to resemble the bearded actor quite well. With its rustic and dark wood cabinets, the living space is the perfect balance between gothic and masculine.

Justin Timberlake

justin-timberlake-kitchen

Sleek and smooth like his dance moves, Justin Timberlake’s Tribeca penthouse kitchen resembles the hunky former boy band member’s personality and music, with just the right amount of masculinity and modern flair. The living space features neutral gray tones with a dark hardwood floor, complete with stainless-steel appliances. Timberlake’s kitchen takes us back to his FutureSex/LoveSounds CD, where he posed in a black and white classic suit, similar to the looks of his very own New York pad.

Gwyneth Paltrow

paltrow-kitchen

Gwyneth Paltrow has become one of Hollywood’s most elegant and talented actresses with roles in flicks such as “Contagion” and most recently making appearances in Fox’s popular network show, “Glee.” Away from the big and small screen, Paltrow’s Tribeca penthouse features a kitchen fully decked out in white marble, white cabinets and long, sheer white curtains, resembling the starlet’s porcelain skin and slender frame. The light color scheme and simplicity of the living space makes this kitchen look just as graceful and glamorous as Paltrow herself.

If you want to follow up in these famous footsteps, it’s not exactly an easy undertaking. Redoing and modernizing your kitchen is a task all of its own, so when it comes to making sure it resembles you, it’s another added level into the project. Instead of working with a slew of independent contractors, find a company that specializes in kitchen remodeling, like Granite Transformations.

You also don’t have to pay for everything out of pocket cash. There are loans specifically for home improvement projects that will help you finance your remodeling costs. You can look to some of the big box retailers like Wells Fargo, Lending Tree or QuickenLoans, but a direct mortgage banker like New American Funding can typically get you better rates.

About the Author

Olivia Bubri is a freelance writer for 352 Media Group who has a special interest in interior design.