Granite Vs Quartz: Which Is The Best Option For My Kitchen Countertop?

Many home owners would like to upgrade the countertops in their kitchen, but may not be sure which will work best for their needs. They may be interested in trying out granite or quartz, but aren’t sure which one may be right for their custom home needs.

There are actually subtle differences in both the style and functionality of these different materials. They also carry certain aesthetical qualities, which may be appealing to a set of consumers out there. If you haven’t purchased these types of materials before, you should carefully weigh some of the different pros and cons that you can expect to get from each of them.

#1: Consider Your Budget

It will first be important for many home owners to simply price these two different options, since they will often be operating within a budget. The price for quartz and granite may vary depending on your location, since producers may be far away from your home.

Cost of shipping is typically factored in to the overall price tag that you see in the store. You will see these materials priced by the square foot, so be sure to plan ahead of time to make the right purchase decision. Quartz is typically slightly more expensive than granite, so be sure to plan for this differential.

#2: Consider What Works for Your Needs & Lifestyle 

You should also plan carefully to make sure that you pick the right material for how you use your kitchen. There are some people that will be using their kitchen extensively to cook for their family, so they will tend to generate more stains.

Quartz Countertops

quartz3Quartz is naturally stain resistant, which means that you can trust that it will block out sauces and red wine spills. Granite is more porous, so it is also more susceptible to being stained by these spills. Think about which of these options might be more suitable, given how you plan to use your kitchen countertops in the future.

Some home owners may need to think about whether they will be able to provide proper maintenance for custom home countertop materials. Quartz will typically not need to be sealed, since it is naturally stain resistant. It also won’t need to be resealed, which will help to reduce the maintenance costs imposed on the owner.

Granite Countertops

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGranite does need an initial seal set on it when it is first installed in a kitchen.

Depending on the quality of the seal, it may need to have additional layers applied to it every few years thereafter.

This makes the material a little more difficult to maintain over time, which can be somewhat difficult for people.

In Summary

In all, there are a lot of benefits to own either of these types of materials for kitchen countertop space.

Some people tend to prefer the natural look of granite, since it tends to contain many imperfections that are retained once it has been set.

Quartz will usually have its flaws buffered out during its production process. This may be appealing to owners that want to generate a more streamlined appearance for their kitchens.

Ultimately, the right choice may come down to your personal preferences and the resources that you may have available in your budget.


+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one. You can drop him a line at the Custom Home Group website.

Minimalist Designs For A Relaxing Garden

small-gardenMinimalism is perhaps the most definitive design style and philosophy of the last 25 years. The fact that it has endured so long is remarkable considering the extraordinary pace with which fashions, styles and trends have come and gone in the same period.

There is something about minimalism that is profoundly beautiful and captivating; in your garden, a minimalist design can make a very strong statement and leave a lasting impression.

So, I’ll just plant one tree then

No. Well, yes… sort of. Not one tree, one theme. A good design conveys serenity and arranging your garden so that things everywhere aren’t jumping out at you, competing for your attention.

If, for example you have a row along a fence line, try to imagine just one species of bush repeated in a geometrical pattern (zig-zag, diamond, etc.) along the entire line. Each bush or hedge should be spaced so that it has its own empty space around it, promoting contemplation and appreciation of each single plant for what it is. Each plant should, of course, be similarly sized and shaped to its neighbour.

A central relaxation area

There’s no point in creating an environment if you can’t enjoy it. A central deck on a low wooden or stone base is the obvious choice for arranging suitably simple, monotone outdoor furniture. Nothing wrought or elaborate, just simple comfortable furniture arranged around a low rectangular wood or stone table where you can imagine yourself lazing away on a sunny afternoon.

If you’re building a path from the deck to your home, use the same material that you used for the deck and refrain from adding fancy linings and whatnot. Your path does not have to be dull, however; you could add interest by adding square or rectangular ponds beside or under the path along the route to your home.

Other plants and trees

Large, rectangular areas of tall, swaying grass species are very good additions to a simple, harmonious garden style. They will occupy your line of sight when lying or sitting on your sun lounger, and there’s that soft rustling sound that emanates in the wind that is music to the busy, embattled city soul. Grasses are not necessarily spectacular in themselves, but they do provide sweeping areas of uniform colours that evolve with the seasons and when they flower, so the overall effect is by no means static.

Low, deciduous trees that are not overbearing can provide that touch of contrast and irregularity of nature in your otherwise neatly tamed garden. Perhaps a dogwood species with lovely red and golden autumn leaves repeated two or three times around your garden can give you that one final dimension that you can add in order to bestow it with instant appeal and lasting charm.

There’s really no need for little more beyond these simple ideas and techniques to create an ambience that is decidedly unique, and thoroughly refined and enjoyable. There are other takes on the minimalist style, naturally, but the underlying principles are always the same: monotones, regular geometry, repetition and harmony.

Dave Bower is an avid gardener and his love of plants is only matched by his love of writing about his passion and helping people pursue their love of gardening. Whether he’s building a fire pit or buying new swing seat cushions he’s always in his element.

Planning a Huge Once-in-a-Lifetime Party for That Special Occasion

Coloured air balloons

A wedding? A graduation? A big birthday? Every life has its big moments for celebration, and if you are planning a party or celebration for one of life’s momentous occasions, you want to make the event itself a true reflection of the importance of the moment. You can do so by:


#1: Keeping everything in one place.

As you plan, get a planner or a special notebook with all the guest list information, venue details, and other information you will need – including contact details for your event rentals company, event planner, and anyone else you need to contact in order to plan the big day. Keeping everything in one place will make it easier to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

#2: Choosing a memorable idea.

The number one way to make sure that your big party is memorable is to choose an idea that is not typical. Every birthday, for example, has birthday cake and presents. Very few have a giant movie screen for guests to play video games on or diving tank. Of course, you’ll need to stay in budget, but by turning to corporate event rentals and party rentals, you’ll be able to find unique items that transform your party and allow you to stick to a specific theme.

#3: Getting great decorations

Decoration should be more than a few limp streamers and a few balloons. Look at furniture rentals and chair rentals to create wonderful sit-down areas and look to party rentals services to find decorations that look terrific and make the night feel really special.

#4: Getting a great venue

Look beyond the local hall for unique venues. Do you want an outdoor event or an indoor venue? Look for venues that are aesthetically appealing and will hold everyone on your guest list with comfort. When considering venues, make sure that it has a kitchen area, if you need one, as well as an area for any service or entertainment you need. For example, if you want to have a live band, look for a venue with a stage, an area for the band to set up, and the capacity to handle the noise. If you do decide on an outdoor venue, consider a venue that also allows you an indoor space, so that guests can retreat indoors in case of bad weather. An indoor area is also great if you want to keep you wedding decor, party decor, or wedding backdrops dry in the case of rain.

#5: Making sure that you have fun

One thing that’s easy to forget in all the hustle and bustle of planning a big event is that it is supposed to be fun. Make sure that you enjoy the process of choosing the right decor, furniture rentals, and other items. Make sure that you set aside enough time to really plan the event well and give yourself a chance to have fun at the actual event.

That’s all it really takes to transform that special event into a big night (or afternoon) that will have everyone talking for months to come!

The article is published based on the material collected from

Bedroom Ideas for Globetrotters

Do you love to travel? Whether you love to see the world from your armchair or whether you are actually out there, blazing new trails, you can use your passion to create a unique and beautiful bedroom. There are several things you can do to bring a little global mystique home:

Maps and antique maps.

You can find these easily at any bookstore, used bookstore, or estate sale. Even antique maps are sometimes quite affordable and look great in frames. Best of all, they give you a few great decorating options:

  • Cover an entire wall with maps of places you have been or places where you would like to travel
  • Use inexpensive maps as wallpaper or to cover furniture (a dresser covered in maps and varnished looks amazing, especially if you distress the finished piece to make it look antique)
  • Put a huge world map on your wall and use decorative pushpins to indicate where you have traveled
  • Frame antique or vintage maps and put them all over your walls
  • Place maps under glass on tabletops



Huge or tiny, globes look great and they are very inexpensive. They look terrific clustered together or you can use one large globe on the floor for a more dramatic look. If you can get your hands on a bunch of inexpensive globes, they are also great for DIY décor projects. You can cut them in half to make cute bowls or cover them in paint to create customized art. To get some more ideas, check out this Babble post.

Souvenirs and treasures.

If you travel, what do you do with all the items you bring back with you? A great option is to display them. Group postcards and other treasures on walls, on a dresser, or on a side table. There’s no need to hide them away or let them gather dust.



Most of us tuck suitcases away in closets or under the bed, but suitcases can be a great way to decorate and even add a little storage space to your bedroom. Look for vintage suitcases or suitcases you really like and stack them high, from largest to smallest. They look terrific and can store quite a bit. You can also create a stack of suitcases to serve as a nightstand by the bed.


Furniture with a global feel.

If you want to create an exotic look, check out bamboo furniture or wicker pieces. For a Far East look, add a few statues, a water fountain and plenty of throw pillows and rugs in jewel tones. Or, put a huge canopy bed in your room (or even a hammock) and top it all off with a huge mosquito net for a very Isak Dinesen Out of Africa Look. You can see more about how to pull the look off at this blog. If European is more your style, local antique stores will usually have some older European pieces that can help you recreate the look of that Spanish hotel where you stayed last year or the Italian café you visited. The main thing with furniture is to stick with one theme and one look rather than mixing and matching styles too much. To get some more ideas for your room, check out this blog and this post.


A well-traveled style looks amazing and is quite easy to incorporate in the bedroom. If you want to be dreaming of globetrotting adventures, a few tweaks can have you looking forward to your next vacation even more.

Decorating Your Home in Vintage: How to Make it Work

Vintage home décor is very popular right now, but it can be a tricky look to pull off. For one thing, it can be hard to find true vintage pieces or even vintage-inspired pieces for every room in your home. Too much vintage in the wrong combinations can also just make it appear that your home hasn’t been updated since the 1950s – not exactly the chic look you’re trying to achieve. Here’s how to get it right:

Stay within one style

It can seem like a cute idea to have a 1950s room, a 1970s room and a 1960s kitchen, but going overboard can just make a space look overwhelming and overdone. To find out what style suits you best, check out what vintage pieces you already have – what era do they represent? Do you have a collection from a specific era? That can be a great place to start.


Don’t get too attached to just vintage – mix and match with modern pieces

Decorating entirely with vintage items can easily look overdone. You sometimes do see someone so dedicated to a particular style and they manage to get it right, but it’s a huge undertaking, and these people usually end up on reality TV – probably not your ambition for your house or apartment. Look for simple, modern furnishings in neutral colors to showcase your vintage finds. They will actually highlight them and make them stand out.


Stick with modern lines and aesthetics

One of the downsides of vintage style (and one reason why we’re not still decorating with wall-to-wall shag rugs and orange carpets) is because they can be heavy and just too much. When you pick your vintage style, be sure to check out some not-so-attractive examples of that aesthetic so that you can see where it can all go wrong. A 1950s room, for example, can easily start to look like a dollhouse with too many soft colors and lines. A 1970s home can look too heavy and dark.


To avoid these problems, it’s best to stick with modern ideas. Look for ways to keep your home uncluttered, bright, and unfussy as a modern home. If you’re embracing a 1980s look, for example, try some bright colors and pop art but stick with a few pieces rather than too much bubblegum culture. If you love a 1970s look, try a shaggy throw rug in a soft fabric and muted color rather than a full carpet. Soften the colors a bit and keep the lighting brighter to keep things from feeling too heavy.

Invest in vintage technology and gadgets

One of the coolest things about decorating in a vintage style is that you can play around with items that are no longer being sold in your local store. An LP player, vinyl records, or fridge with an old-fashioned handle are all great throwbacks that add style to your home and give your space that vintage vibe. Look for pieces that actually work, so you don’t have something taking up space without earning its keep.


Pay attention to color

In addition to sticking with one general style, try to stick with one color scheme, too. You can try the softer pastels popular in the 1950s or the earth tones of the 1970s or the bright punchy colors of the 1960s, but mix them all together at your own peril.


One of the biggest delights about vintage décor is that you can play around with colors that just aren’t used anymore. Whether that’s the deep win reds and midnight blues of the 1940s or the bright pop colors of the 1960s, it can be fun to play with a palette that’s a little more unique than what you find in most homes.

Don’t just buy anything from your specific style

Learn to be choosy. One of the problems with declaring your love for anything in the 1960s, for example, is that friends and family will start showing up with cast-offs from that era that they dug up in Aunt Edna’s attic. And you might find yourself picking up that cute white (but broken) princess phone just because “it’s very 1980s.”



When choosing items for your new look, make sure you ask yourself:

  • Will I actually use this or do I love it so much that I can’t live without it?
  • Is it in good shape?
  • Is it safe (keep in mind that older items may not meet current electrical standards or may be too worn to be safe)?
  • If it needs repairs, will I complete the repairs right away or do I already have a bunch of things in my home that need work?
  • Does it really fit with my color and style palette?
  • Does it have a specific space in my home where I can imagine it? (if not, put it back)

If you’re not a little picky, your home may end up looking more like an attic or garage sale rather than a stylish space, so really think before bringing something into your home.


Look for pieces outside the Box

It’s easy to find upcycled vintage furniture and décor pieces in trend boutiques, but for a really unique look (and one that’s much easier on the budget) it makes sense to check out estate sales, classified ads, flea markets and other places for items you can restore, repaint, and repurpose. Check out this blog post to see some ideas for refurbishing vintage items and making them look great.


Experiment just a little bit

Keep in mind that you don’t have to redo your entire home. You can start with a cluster of vinyl on the walls or a few appliances and go from there. You don’t have to embrace all vintage. A modern house with a collection or two of vintage treasures can be a great solution.


Whether you want to go 60s, 70s, 40s, or something in between, vintage style can give your home a unique twist that you can’t pick out of a catalog. For inspiration, check out this blog post or this blog post; both are full of great ideas.