Monday, July 28, 2014

Go Au Naturel in the Bath With Beautiful Stone

by Lisa Higgins

Add rocks and pebbles to your bathroom
design for organic texture and practicality too

Using natural materials is all the rage in design. In bathrooms, for example, rocks and stones plucked from the great outdoors are finding their way underfoot and on the walls, and are being fashioned into dramatic tubs and sinks. Using river rocks, polished pebbles or fieldstone is a wonderful way to add texture and earthy color to your bath. And the choice can be practical, too: Pebble tiles can prevent slipping around a freestanding tub and provide a subtle massage to the soles of your feet.

This expansive glass-enclosed shower, complete with views of the Hollywood Hills, boasts a lovely dark-gray Jerusalem stone wall — and a boulder-like lava rock shower bench. The floor is limestone with minimal joint grouting, which makes the modern freestanding tub seem to float in the airy space.

Tennessee fieldstone adorns this rough-hewn shower wall, with its Hastings Ala Waterfall Showerhead. Striated Black Rust slate runs up the other wall and along the floor, adding to the grotto effect. A teak bench is available for those who want to sit while enjoying the spray.

The pebble tile under this tub looks good and provides a slip-resistant surface for someone climbing out of the tub. The tile also extends into the floor of the glassed-in shower.
Worried about cleaning the pebbles in your own bath? Experts recommend applying a penetrating stone sealer after installation and using a mild detergent on a weekly basis.

This rustic backsplash, with its twin mirrored medicine cabinets, adds interest — and texture — to a Phoenix bathroom. It’s made of Stackstone, a mesh-backed quartzite that’s shown here in Golden Gate. The cabinets are alder with a clear finish, and they are topped with a Caesarstone quartz counter.

The showstopper in this spacious Hawaiian bathroom is the Stone Forest Oval Bathtub, carved out of a chunk of blue-gray granite — although the exquisite, storage-packed double vanity is envy inducing as well. Note the architect’s use of straw matting between the ceiling trusses — another nice touch!

Hefty moss rock, readily available in the western and mountain regions of the United States, surrounds this tub and runs up the back wall. The rocks are mortared only on the back, so there are no visible mortar joints, making it look more authentic.

In this very Zen bath, there’s red polished pebble mosaic tile on the floor of the shower (it’s said to have a massaging effect on the feet). It also forms a “rug” on the floor.

Scabos travertine tiles in a split-face finish accent the shower walls, contrasting beautifully with the coppery porcelain tile.

The sinks in this Indonesian bathroom are fashioned from hollowed-out river rocks, so they are not identical, adding to their appeal. Note the spout-like faucets, which the designer custom made from gray and esite stone. The material melds well with the rest of the fixtures, including the warm reclaimed-wood countertop, mirror and very cool sconce.

Although it might be difficult to tear your eyes away from that sculptural wood-framed mirror, the gray pebble wall offers a dramatic backdrop. These pebbles usually come in 6- by 12-inch sheets, which are easily attached with regular thinset. An application of wet-look sealer will enhance the stones’ color. Adding another material to the mix are the bronze vessel sink and faucet (from Rocky Mountain Hardware).

Who needs a vanity when you have a clever designer to create this stonecentric design solution? It’s just a big rock with a sink carved out of the center, which is attached to the wall with steel supports. The plumbing is accessed through a closet behind this powder room.

There’s nothing like a dramatic stone wall in a bathroom — especially if it contains a fireplace. Add in the simple white Porcher soaking tub, reclaimed oak floors and iron pendant from Circa Lighting, and you’ve got an irresistibly romantic spot for whiling away the hours.

Cabinet-S-Top can help you design a bathroom using natural stone.  To start your project, stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, July 21, 2014

No Finish Like Chrome

Article Courtesy of Kitchen & Bath Trends Magazine

There are countless options for finishes when you’re shopping for your bathroom renovations.  Everything from the lighting to the cabinetry hardware comes in a plethora of different finishes and styles, making it overwhelming to choose.  While brass is trendy and oil rubbed bronze is stylish, one full-proof finish will always be chrome.

This classic look tends to be shunted aside by bolder finishes because people look at it as an outdated, overused finish. The truth about this finish is just the opposite.  It’s a timeless piece that will still look beautiful 10, 20 even 30 years from now.  While other finishes may be passing fads, chrome will never go out of style. 

Chrome fixtures add shine and sparkle to any style room with their gorgeous reflective surfaces.  It’s easy to clean, durable and one of the most inexpensive finishes on the market.  The greatest benefit of chrome hardware and fixtures is how easy it is to match.  You can pair chrome faucets, cabinetry and hardware and lighting fixtures with any style and you will have a sleek, sophisticated space.  It’s also extremely easy to find other products that match your chrome finish because most fixtures and hardware comes in chrome.

The room featured above is a phenomenal example of how to design with chrome.  The gray color palette looks stunning with chrome fixtures and using a bunch of different hues creates a playful effect when the colors are reflected around the room.  The natural light from the window bounces off the chrome finish and makes the space airy and open. This space plays into the strengths of chrome, turning a finish into a statement. 

Stop by Cabinet-S-Top's showroom and talk with one of our designers to help you coordinate your bathroom design to get a sleek, sophisticated space.  Cabinet-S-Top is located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~  ~  330.239.3630

Monday, July 14, 2014

What Goes With Granite Counters?

by Laura Gaskill

Coordinate your kitchen finishes beautifully by choosing

colors that complement granite’s natural tones

They are classy and hard wearing and come in a range of shades — is it any wonder granite counters are still so popular? Whether you are planning a new kitchen or want a fresh look that works with your existing granite counters, here are eight ideas to get you started.

1. Whitewashed wood and watery blue. Granite counters with cool, gray tones work well with beach-inspired hues like silvery blue, whitewashed wood and white sand. Try stainless steel appliances, white cabinets, blue-gray glass tiles and whitewashed woodwork.

2. Duck-egg green and warm gray. Because granite is a natural stone, it makes sense that it would work well with other hues from the natural world. Try it with other rock and mineral colors, like duck-egg green and warm stone gray.

In this kitchen the island cabinets are painted duck-egg green, while the rest of the cabinets are left crisp white. The warm gray wall color picks up the gray of the granite, and ties in with the stainless steel sink and appliances.

Counters: Persia Pearl Granite
3. Taupe and cappuccino. Granite counters with a warm tone look beautiful surrounded by other rich, warm hues like taupe and cappuccino. Making some of the cabinetry white keeps the space from feeling too dark and heavy.

Walls: Tony Taupe, Sherwin-Williams

4. Crisp white paint and gray glass tile. For a fresh, modern look, try accenting gray granite counters with all-white cabinets, ceilings and walls. The flooring shown here is a light gray tile; dark wood would add a welcome touch of warmth to a cool gray scheme like this.

5. ‘Greige’ and white. Honed black granite counters like the ones shown here look sleek and stunning when paired with white cabinetry, wood floors and warm greige walls.

Cabinet paint: Pure White satin, Sherwin-Williams

6. Black, gray and white. Another option for black granite counters is to go a bit darker with graphite or charcoal walls and pure white cabinets. A chalkboard wall would also work well in a kitchen like this.

Island counter: Absolute Black honed granite

7. Warm white. Alaska White granite counters look a bit like marble — enhance the richness by painting cabinets and walls the same warm off-white hue. Pristine white ceilings keep the space feeling open, and pendant lights add to the elegant feel.

Cabinet paint: Off White 1873, Behr

8. Sea salt and bottle green. Using two shades of a similar hue is a great way to bring depth and interest to your space. A soft mineral green covers the walls in the space shown here, while a deep bottle green brings the island and range hood into focus. Warm wood floors keep the space feeling welcoming and relaxed.

Island counter: Leathered White Spring granite; perimeter counters: leathered Absolute Black granite; wall paint: Sea Salt, Sherwin Williams; backsplash: mix of Walker Zanger tile and stone

At Cabinet-S-Top, our experienced designers can help you coordinate the best finishes and colors that complement your home beautifully.  To get started, stop by our showroom located at 1977  Medina Rd, Medina, OH 44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, July 7, 2014

Get a Mudroom Floor That’s Strong and Beautiful Too

by Lisa Higgins

No matter how carefully you design your mudroom to hide the clutter of outdoor gear, it’s important to choose the right flooring: one that can handle muddy shoes, dripping umbrellas and sopping outerwear — and still look good.

Appropriate flooring options abound. Among them: slate, brick, ceramic tile, concrete, linoleum and vinyl. As for bad flooring options, you might want to shy away from laminate. According to Katy Gresham, showroom manager at 
Elite Flooring Specialists in Hartford, Connecticut, laminate “can’t hold up to standing water — it gets into the seams, and it swells up. It’s a great floor, but it just doesn’t work well in a mudroom.”

Hardwood is also a tricky choice. “Although it’s generally finished with polyurethane, which cuts down on water damage,” Gresham says, “it’s still not as durable as a ceramic tile or stone. If you still want a wood floor, just be sure to put down a mat or a boot tray to keep the wear and tear to a minimum.”

Here are some high-functioning mudrooms with floors that are worth a look.

Gorgeously reclaimed Chicago brick, set in a herringbone pattern, covers this mudroom floor. If you’d like a similar floor, contact Vintage Brick Salvage, which ships throughout the country.

The storage unit was custom made and painted in Benjamin Moore’s
 Acadia White, while the oversize back door with its mullioned glass is from LePage, a Canadian company.

Two sizes and shades of natural slate make up this handsome mudroom floor. Along the edges are 12-inch-square gray slate tiles, while 3- by 6-inch tiles in a variegated shade fill the middle. The subtle paint shadesWhite Heron and Grant Beige, are from Benjamin Moore.

What’s interesting about the floor in this modern mudroom is the way it was installed. Architect Marina Rubina cut 16-inch-square tiles of natural slate (Brazil Gray from Daltile) into three rectangles (approximately 5 by 16 inches) each. Bamboo (3¾-inch-wide planks) covers the floor in the adjacent room; the same wood is used as an appealing accent on the mudroom’s side wall and ceiling.

This mudroom in a New Hampshire farmhouse features floors of sturdy Tuscan terra-cotta tile from PavĂ© Tile. A salvaged pine bench provides seating and space for shoe storage. The muted color scheme is especially nice — the wainscoting is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Mosaic Tile; the trim, Papaya.

Strong and impervious concrete with a clear seal was used for the floor in this mudroom. A patterned indoor-outdoor runner (Caspian 969W, by Oriental Weavers) adds texture, while the 10-foot-long built-in storage unit includes shoe cubbies, a bench and hooks.

Packed with storage, this handsome mudroom has a ceramic black and white tile floor that has a classic look. (Be forewarned: Black and white checkerboards can be challenging to keep clean.)

The benches are topped with quartersawn white oak, while pale gray paint covers the wall and contrasts with the creamy cabinetry.

Colorful and intricately patterned cement tile makes this narrow hallway mudroom stand out. Old-style details — the pocket door, simple pegged clothes rack and picture-frame wainscoting — add to the charm.

Pale tumbled travertine adds texture to this graphic space. “With a good sealer applied every so often, it should last indefinitely under normal wear and tear,” say the folks at Fieldcrest Builders. The dark-stained bench top and rustic baskets work well with the white 1- by 10-foot MDF planks adorning the walls.

There’s nothing like thick stripes and bright colors to jazz up a mudroom. A multicolored Marmoleum (natural linoleum from Forbo) click-together floor makes a lively statement, and it’s easily cleaned — ideal for households with pets or children.

This small mudroom features 12-inch-squares of commercial-grade vinyl composition tile laid in a diagonal checkerboard pattern. The all-in-one storage unit features a stained walnut-topped bench, storage cubbies and hooks for hanging coats and umbrellas.

At Cabinet-S-Top we can help you create a mudroom that is strong and beautiful.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bathroom Workbook: 8 Elements of Contemporary Style

by Mitchell Parker

Does a sharp, clean and uncluttered bathroom sound good to you? 

If so, a contemporary design could be the key

Knowing your style isn’t always cut and dry. For example, your home’s current style might not be the one you would have given it if you’d had the choice. Perhaps you purchased things that were practical and fit your budget, instead of as part of a larger design scheme.

So when you’re remodeling a space for the first time and tasked with settling on a vision that reflects your personal taste, it’s not uncommon to wonder, “Just what is my style?”

Is your style contemporary, modern, transitional, rustic, industrial? Once something feels and looks right to you, then you can start going through more photos of spaces in that style to help guide you — and your designer — to the bathroom of your dreams.

Here are eight elements of contemporary style. See if it’s right for you.

1. Clean lines. Unbroken horizontal lines feature prominently in contemporary bathrooms. Curvy, undulating planes have little relevance here. Cabinet hardware is kept basic as well. Think rectilinear. 

2. Authentic materials. “Materials should have authenticity to them,” says architect Lisa Little, who designed this bathroom. “If the material is wood, it should be expressed as wood. If it’s concrete, it’s concrete. So you’re not hiding or altering the materiality; instead you’re celebrating it.” 

You won’t find moldings or face frames on cabinets or any other sort of ornamental accents. There are just the essentials here; everything is stripped down to rudimentary forms and materials. Vanities and cabinet doors are single planes and have smooth surfaces. Edges are sharp and clean rather than distressed or beveled. Tile is crisp, and grout is “absolutely flush,” says architect Sally Anne Smith. “Restrain everything.”

“When tile starts to get patterning on the wall or an individual tile becomes ornate or complex, then it’s starting to get away from a cleaner, simpler design,” Little adds

That goes for countertops, too. “People usually stick to the quartz line so there’s not a lot of movement,” says John Klacka, design director at Lars Remodeling and Design.

3. Lack of clutter. Contemporary spaces have a borderline minimalist aesthetic. That’s why Asian themes work well for them, says designer Michelle Moore, who designed this Asian contemporary bathroom. Both styles follow a stripped-down approach. In contemporary bathrooms, lotions, brushes, appliances etc. all have their own space completely tucked out of the way. “Contemporary style doesn’t really lend itself to someone who has stuff all over the place,” Smith says. “It’s for people who like to put everything away so it looks nice and clean all the time.” 

4. Contrast. Instead of ornate details and decor, designers add interest and drama in contemporary spaces with contrast. In this example, smooth concrete mixes with textural bamboo cabinets. There’s also some color contrast going on with white and black. Contemporary spaces tend to stick to colors and hues that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. “It’s more pleasing if you have the wow factor,” Moore says.

5. Simple lighting. Again, basic shapes take precedent over anything showy or ornate. 

6. Open space. Even if it’s the illusion of open space, this is a key element. Floating vanities, expansive floors and an overall feeling of lightness and airiness are hallmarks of the style. 

7. Colors. While some say contemporary leans toward cooler colors, Little disagrees. “Color is so personal you should not feel as a homeowner that you can’t put any whatever color you prefer,” she says. Instead, it’s more about how the color you choose interacts with the material choices.

Klacka likes going lighter to maintain a fresh, clean feeling. “Diamond white with hints of green, blue or gray is very light and crisp,” he says.

8. Chrome. Polished chrome is found frequently in contemporary fixtures, because it’s sleek. And Little says a lot of the faucet and fixture designs that work so well come out of Europe, where chrome is favored because it is long lasting, is easy to clean and stays true to the material. “If [chrome is] the best thing, then you make it out of that and expose the material. You don’t hide it behind an ornate copper element,” Little says

If you need assistance in designing your Contemporary Bathroom, stop by Cabinet-S-Top's showroom located at 1977  Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256  ~  330.239.3630  ~