Each month, Granite Transformations’ newsletter will feature a recipe from its “My Table” cookbook, a collection of delicious recipes from around the world. A twist to the traditional after-dinner coffee, Deep Chocolate Coffee Brownies, shown above, are delicious and easy to make, perfect for the chef at every skill level. Want to win your very own copy of the My Table cookbook? For the first 5 people who email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide their name and address, they will automatically win a copy of the cookbook, perfect for personal use or as a gift.
Last Updated on December 5, 2011
Vacation homes aren’t just for rest and relaxation; they are also a satisfying, moneymaking venture for many owners. HomeAway, Inc.’s Vacation Rental Marketplace Report states that 81 percent of vacation home owners who rent their homes to travelers are satisfied with the overall experience.
This winter, you can enhance your rental property prior to peak season by remodeling its kitchen and bathrooms using Granite Transformations. Whether your rental property is near the coast or in the mountains, remodeling your home will allow you to increase the price of weekly and weekend rentals, enabling your family to gain additional rental income. With Granite Transformations, installation is complete in days, instead of weeks like a traditional remodel, and with no demolition and mess, the process is headache and hassle free.
Last Updated on December 5, 2011
Last month, Granite Transformations launched its first iPad application, iGRANITE. This free application allows users to upload a snapshot of their very own kitchen or bathroom and with a few simple swipes, transform countertops, walls and/or floors using Granite Transformations’ complete palette of colors and textures. Users can customize their home or office environment based on their personal tastes and easily use the app to share the resulting image with friends and family.
This application is perfect for those individuals in the market for a new kitchen or bath remodel or looking to become a designer in their own right by seeing what various color palettes and products would look like in their existing home. Visit iTunes and download this application today!
Don’t have an iPad? Call your local showroom and ask them for a free in-home consultation utilizing the iGranite app!
Last Updated on December 5, 2011
In 2011, Midwest Living Magazine continued the success of its community-building show home projects by joining forces with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to renovate and redesign the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines, Iowa. This year, Granite Transformations participated in the renovation by providing new countertops and installation for the kitchens and bathrooms in the House. This transformation helped create a refreshed and comforting environment for the Ronald McDonald House guest families.
At Granite Transformations, we are dedicated to supporting community organizations from both a national and local level. Our local showrooms in the United States and Canada have committed time, money and materials to local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Clubs and others. We encourage you to get involved with your local community in 2012 and dedicate time to a local charity that needs your support.
The Ronald McDonald House renovation showcasing Granite Transformations will be featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Midwest Living.
Last Updated on December 5, 2011
Man Caves. They’re becoming more and more prevalent in society, and with good reason. After all, who doesn’t need his very own private place for watching football games, drinking beer (Brandy, if you’re a classy chap), or simply sleeping?
No matter how you slice it the fact still remains: The only people who don’t like Man Caves are people who don’t have Man Caves. Whichever side of the camp you’re on, I’ve got 5 additions that will turn your Man Caveinto a perfected fortress of solitude.
5. SOMETHING MADE OF MAHOGANY
Since the first Mahogany tree got cut down and chopped into pieces, men everywhere have turned to the deep-colored wood to express their prowess. Also known as The Great Mediator (solely by me, but it’ll catch on), Mahogany is the one wood that appeals to both men of brawn and brains. Whether you invest in a wall-length bookshelf, or whether you adorn a corner of the room with a gun cabinet, this masculine wood is the only material you should humor.
4. A POKER TABLE
Another staple in the Realm of Manliness, a well-placed poker table can turn any average Man Cave into a private slice of Monte Carlo. You can find them online, and they come in both standard and Hold ‘Em formations. Whatever your taste in a game of cards, you’re covered.
3. A HOME WET BAR
This should really be a regular fixture in every house, but since that won’t happen I will maintain that no Man Cave is complete without one. Put it somewhere convenient, and stock it with all of the best liquors money can buy. They’re simple enough to make on your own, or you can buy one. Either way, you’d be remiss if your private wet bar didn’t include a top made out of our next item on the list…
2. GRANITE SURFACING
Say it with me now: Granite. The word itself sounds manly, so that’s a good indication that you’ll need to include it in your Man Cave plans. It’s versatile, durable, and handsome – just like us! If you’re using it as a surface for your wet bar, you can slice limes or mix drinks without having to worry about whether or not it gets wet. Me personally? I would recommend using it to adorn our final ingredient to the perfect Man Cave…
1. A FIREPLACE
Men have been dramatically sitting in front of fireplaces since, well, the first fire pit made by our ancestors. Fireplaces give any room an unrivaled ambiance that will enhance any Man Cave 100 fold. Even if you think you’ve got the perfect Man Cave as is, you don’t have squat without a fireplace. Do yourself a favor, though; get a real fireplace, not one of those cheesy electronic ones.
Of course these are just suggestions, and you can take them or leave them if you’d like. However, I know you’ll kick yourself ruthlessly around the block if you look back and think about what could have been had you listened to me. Trust me: I’ve been in many a Man Cave, and the best ones make use of the above ingredients.
What do you think? Did I miss something “essential” when compiling this list? Add your thoughts at the bottom!
Jordan Siron is a freelance writer living in Florida. He excels at screenwriting, short stories, copywriting, and creating sell sheets.
Last Updated on December 4, 2011
When I was a little girl in the 1980s, my parents bought a microwave, big as a Buick. I always liked when handymen came to the house for installations. It gave me something to watch besides television, and someone to talk to other than myself. For a few hours, our split-level ranch would be in mild disarray but reassembled by the time my father got home.
“Sweetie, I left my carpenter’s level by the garage, can you fetch it for me?” the repairman said. I darted off, feeling helpful. But I tripped over a bucket of drill bits and roofing nails in the garage. Three rusty nails impaled my tender heel, piercing the rubber sole of my Chuck Taylors. The repairman had a first-aid kit, and I sat on my mother’s lap while he bandaged my foot, the smell of pipe tobacco redolent on his overalls.
My story illustrates why Ace Hardware recommends making the garage off limits to children, or at least taking care to store any potentially dangerous items out of reach. They suggest removing or keeping tightly closed four- to six-gallon buckets or pails, since a child can fall into a bucket of this size and drown in just a few inches of water. It’s essential, too, to maintain a first-aid kit and be familiar with its contents.
In addition, post the number of the nearest poison control center near your home phone, along with your child’s weight, allergies, and any important medical conditions. In an emergency, you might panic and forget. Also, a babysitter or visiting relative might need the information. Ipecac induces vomiting if a child ingests a poisonous substance.
If putting in a microwave can be dangerous, imagine the potential hazards of an entire kitchen renovation. Children are curious, exploratory beings, and an area with new and dangerous happenings provides an irresistible attraction. “Parents need to assess the safety liabilities on the renovation site, set boundaries, and warn their children,” says Denver personal injury attorney Daniel R. Rosen.
It’s important to talk to your contractor and introduce your children to him and his workers. Ask the contractor to lay down a tarp, and see if he’ll let your children draw a line in chalk across it. Then, instruct the children to stay behind that line, like the home renovation version of an electric fence. When rooms that children use everyday are remodeled — like the kitchen, bathroom, or a living room — it’s particularly challenging.
“Set up a temporary kitchen in a spare room, complete with hot pot and mini fridge,” advises child psychologist Kate Gorman. “It can be a little like playing house. It’s also smart to get children involved in making signs.” If a member of the household suffers from asthma, get children involved in constructing a sign that says, “Danger: Dust Particles. Asthma? Keep Out.”
Christopher Ashe, one of the stars of HGTV’s 24-Hour Design, isn’t just a carpenter. With more than a decade of experience in the building trade under his belt, Ashe knows about the dangers that families can face when remodeling.
“I categorize construction hazards as one of two ways: immediate or long-term,” says Ashe. “Long-term hazards are usually materials that were once commonplace but have since been found to be dangerous.”
If you’re working in a home that was built before lead was removed from paint, the best way to test for lead is to have a qualified lead inspector come out to test the house. Wear approved safety gear when working around lead paint remnants. Ashe recommends that homeowners seal off any HVAC ducts and make sure they vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum twice a day, minimum.
It’s also important to research pressure-treated wood on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://www.cdc.gov/. Some treated wood contains poison. It may be worth it to pay more for eco-friendly options that are safer, particularly for pregnant women.
It wasn’t any fun getting a tetanus shot after stepping on those rusty nails. And, years later, I still recall how my childhood fascination with a modest home renovation project took a dangerous and painful turn. I’m thankful that the damage was minimal. You can be sure that I will take all the necessary precautions with my own two children. By following the advice above, I will do my best to make home renovation a source of excitement and future enjoyment for my young family.
Pari Chang is an attorney, single mother of two, and professional journalist for SixEstate. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, SELF, Glamour, Redbook, and the anthology, Behind The Bedroom Door.
Last Updated on December 14, 2021
For many kitchens, the countertop is the main focal point of the room. It’s the first thing that catches your eye when you walk in, and it’s one of the most used areas of the kitchen. There are tons of options when it comes to countertops, and a host of things to look for when choosing one; aesthetics being one. If cool kitchen and bathroom countertops are what you’re looking for, then cool it is. Here are 10 of the coolest kitchen and bathroom countertops you’ve ever seen.
1. This countertop is one of the coolest countertops made. It’s made from agate, a hard, fine-grained stone. It’s actually a sliced piece of agate that was completely submerged in a resin before being framed in stainless steel. Can you say WOW!
2. If you’ve only got a limited amount of countertop area this glass countertop will definitely give it that cool factor you’re looking for. This cool bathroom glass-top countertop can give any kitchen a facelift like no other.
3. The way this countertop blends together the counter and the table is just plain cool. It’s made of granite and it’s a great design that would look great in a country kitchen or a waterfront kitchen. Granite is more affordable than a lot of people think, too, so don’t let the cost of cool kitchen granite countertops scare you away.
4. Now here’s a countertop concept that stretches the imagination when it comes to glass countertops. How about upping the glass countertop wow factor with one that’s made from recycled glass? Talk about a unique countertop. No two are the same, and you can even choose a color. Nice!
5. Here’s one of the coolest countertops ever designed. It’s made from natural alabaster stone, and it’s partially handmade. But that’s not the coolest part. It’s also got a built-in light which accentuates the alabaster’s natural beauty, and really makes the countertop stand out among everything else in the room.
6. Can you say cool? Doesn’t it look like the faucet and sink are floating in a pool of water? This glass countertop is definitely unusual and certainly deserves a place among the top cool countertops.
7. Whether you’re an avid cook or you just like to mess around in the kitchen now and then, this is a real unique countertop. This cool kitchen countertop is made from concrete, and its multipurpose capability is definitely a cool feature.
8. This striking colored glass countertop is another list-topper. Not only is this one of the coolest contemporary kitchen countertops you’ve ever seen, but you can get one in more than 40 different colors! That’s right…40 different color schemes that can accommodate any décor.
9. This natural granite countertop has that super-sleek look that captures the eye when you enter the room. The double-tiered design adds great character, too. It’s just that design flexibility, paired with reasonable granite countertops cost, that makes granite a double-dipper on this list.
10. Bet you’ve never seen a countertop quite like this one before. That’s because the odd shape makes it a one-of-a-kind work of art, and it rounds out the list of 10 Of The Coolest Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops Available.