Inexpensive Way to Update your Kitchen…

Over the years of working with customers, I have found that not everyone has an unlimited budget. So here’s a few tips on how you can make a few changes in your kitchen to give it a refreshed look and update its style. First of all you need to have your cabinets evaluated by a professional. Once you know that your existing cabinets are of good quality you can then think of in expensive ways to bring more life into the hub of your home.

The first thing is to remember a fresh coat of paint doesn’t hurt and it’s an easy fix. Then take a look at your existing hardware on your cabinetry. If your hardware is out dated or just blends in then it’s time for a change. Take a look around your home and always keep in mind that you want something that’s going to complement not only your style but your home’s style. For instance, look at the handles on your appliances you may want keep the same style as that in the kitchen. Years ago you only had brass knobs or handles. But in today’s market there are so many different styles and colors. For instance, did you know that the sky’s the limit when it comes to finishes for hardware? So let’s visit what’s available: Brushed Nickel, Polished Nickel, Satin Nickel, Black Nickel, Brushed Black Nickel, Rustic Black Nickel, Weathered Nickel, Vintage Nickel, Tin, Brushed Tin, Rustic Tin, Antique Pewter, Brushed Antique Pewter, Rustic Iron, Rustic Nickel, Weathered Iron, Polished Chrome, Brushed/Satin Chrome, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Polished Brass, Satin Brass, Brushed Antique Brass, Dull Antique Brass, Dull Bronze, Rustic Brushed Brass, Dull Rust, Rustic Copper, Weathered, Brushed Antique Copper, Modern Brushed Gold, Brushed Bronze, Verona Bronze, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Weathered Verona Bronze, Slate, Rubbed Bronze and Matte Black.

So Let’s find you style:

Transitional Classic Comfort is an casual and refined. It’s transitional design that’s flexible, marrying soft traditional style with crisp chic of contemporary. This style takes a clean minimalist approach, yet maintains warmth. The profile is curves combine with straight lines in transitional design. Ornamentation is used sparingly, keeping the focus on the simplicity and sophistication of the design. Emphasize contrast by mixing dark cabinetry with polished or brushed nickel pulls. For lighter cabinetry, accent with dark finishes like oil rubbed bronze and verona bronze to add depth.

Contemporary – Uptown Appeal is sleek and modern. The contemporary designs evident in its clean lines and simple, uncluttered approach. Sleek hardware complements flat, flush cabinetry, where color choices can be fresh and bold. The profile is smooth, clean lines shine through in contemporary hardware. Pulls are often used to create a long lean look. Polished surfaces such as chrome are popular in this design style. Other finishes range from neutrals such as stainless steel and brushed nickel to bolder colors such as matte black.

Artisan Inspired is a detailed craftsman. This design emphasizes quality craftsmanship and beautiful elements that show attention to detail. Evidence of artistry is clear in cabinets, decorative hardware and beautiful tile work. The profile shapes are detailed and unique to provide a more hand crafted look. The hardware is often oversized and bold which adds to the rustic appeal. Distressed and matte finishes are the most common in this design style. Warm, earthy tones such as copper and wrought iron give a historic essence.

Traditional timeless charm is formal and balanced. Traditional spaces are warm and welcoming, featuring decorative fine woodwork, carved moldings and graceful lines. the design is defined by details like turned legs, flutes and columns, embellishments at every opportunity. The profile is detailed accents and patterns are most common in this design style. Shapes are soft with smooth edges that blend together seamlessly. The finishes for the traditional design features warm tones that create a relaxed and welcoming look. Rich finishes such as verona bronze and oil rubbed bronze are complimentary to painted and glazed cabinets.

Here’s my last tip on hardware… before purchasing new hardware make sure to measure your handles from the center of the screws to get the correct size of your replacement.
In today’s market you have so many different counter tops to choose from. For instance, formica, granite, quartz and corian. So let’s touch base on the differences.

Formica Group is a leading provider of branded, designed surfacing solutions for commercial and residential customers worldwide. As the world’s largest manufacturer of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), our international network of design, manufacturing, distribution and sales operations maintains the recognition of Formica® as a global brand.

The heritage and brand reputation of the Formica Group of companies has been founded on quality, service and innovative product lines. We have developed an unrivaled expertise that ensures products meet the needs of their applications — as well as market demands.

Working closely with architects, designers and developers, the company is strategically positioned to offer new products and surfacing solutions that complement current design trends. Our ongoing product design and development process underscores our commitment to innovation.

In addition, they provide our homeowner customers with the surfacing materials they need, whether it’s laminate countertops for a kitchen renovation, a vanity top for a bathroom remodel, DIY cabinet refacing, or countless other projects. In 2019, Formica Group was acquired by Broadview Holding, a Netherlands-based industrial holding with a significant presence.

8 Things You Don’t Know About Quartz Countertops

Quartz Countertops Aren’t Solid Quartz

Sure, in most quartz countertops there is some quartz in there, but saying that quartz countertops are all quartz is like saying that all cars in an average parking lot are Chevrolets.

Fully 10 percent of the volume in a quartz countertop isn’t stone at all, but rather a polymeric or cement-based binder. And the other 90 percent? Crushed up waste granite, marble, and natural stone or recycled industrial wastes such as ceramic, silica, glass, mirrors, etc. And yes, maybe some actual quartz—sometimes maybe a lot of it. All this rock material mixed together and held together with binders is what gives a so-called quartz countertop the look and feel of stone.

More accurately, a quartz countertop should probably be called engineered stone or compound stone—terms that more accurately describe the way these products are created.
Bottom line: quartz countertops may include greater or lesser quantities of actual quartz, but they include no solid quartz and likely have lots of other materials in them, as well.

All Quartz Countertops Come From One Source

In 1963, the technology of creating engineered stone was developed by the Breton company in northeast Italy, who licensed the process under the trademark Bretonstone®. Over 50 years later, Breton is still alive and kicking. The process consists of blending pulverized natural stone aggregate with a mix of polymers, removing the air, then heating and shaping the material into slabs that have the hardness and appearance of natural stone.

Bretonstone technology has been licensed to more than 50 companies around the world, including such famous names as Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone. While these manufacturers absolutely do add their own flair and nuances to their engineered stone countertops, they are still working off of that original brevetto, or patent, from Breton. Some forms of quartz countertops now include fragments of mirrors and other glass, brass metal filings, and various mixtures of granite and marble. Considerable effort goes into creating mixtures that produce unique looks.

The Cheese Connection

Cambria quartz countertops—perhaps you’ve heard of them? Cambria represents a huge chunk of the U.S. market for quartz countertops, yet few people know one bit of interesting trivia about this American-owned company: the company also makes cheese.

The Davis family business, now based in Eden Prairie, began in the 1930s as a dairy business that gradually expanded into an association of several companies, St. Peter Creamery, Le Sueur Cheese Company, and Nicollet Food Products. It was not until 2000 that the Davis family began its entry into the engineered stone business by purchasing quartz processing equipment.
Even today, the Davis family businesses supply about one-third of a billion pounds of cheese each year to Kraft Foods.

The Term Bretonstone Is Not Derived from French

The trade name Bretonstone is not related to the word Breton, a term referring to the people of the Brittany region of France. Bretonstone was actually developed more than miles away from Brittany, in Castello di Godego, itself located about 20 miles from Venice, Italy.

The Breton in the word Bretonstone is a portmanteau—a blended word comprised of bre (for brevetti, roughly meaning “patents”) and ton (for the surname of founder Marcello Toncelli).

Quartz Countertops Are Green

Fiberboard is much maligned, but you can say this about it: no tree was ever cut down for the express purpose of making fiberboard. The same holds true of engineered stone countertops. The 90 percent of stone-like materials that form the base of quartz countertops are all waste by-products of other quarrying or manufacturing processes. No natural stone is quarried solely for use in quartz countertops.

Even the resins that comprise the remaining 10 percent of a quartz countertop have become more natural and less synthetic. Breton’s trademarked word for this ingredient is Biolenic Resins, referring to a combination of artificial and organic resins, the latter derived from non-food vegetable oils.

You Often Walk on Quartz

Homeowners think of quartz in terms of kitchen or bathroom counters. But the majority of quartz is slabbed out in massive sizes for things like shopping malls, airports, and Prada floors. No doubt you have walked on quartz countertop material and not even known it.

Quartz has come full circle because the very first material that inventor Marcello Toncelli developed were hand-poured mini slabs of about 12×20 inches, cut down and used for floor tiles. Countertop applications did not come until years later. Indeed, even in the mid-1970s, slabs only measured about 50 inches long—hardly a size one could call countertop-worthy.

Quartz No Longer Competes With Granite

For years, quartz tried to play the natural stone game. It sought to develop a reputation as a more durable, less porous, and more easily fabricated version of slab granite.

While granite-look quartz materials still ply the market in huge numbers, quartz that looks like nothing else is an increasingly popular segment. One example is Caesarstone. As if modern wasn’t a current-enough style category for consumers, Caesarstone now has an ultra-modern category with offerings such as Apple Martini, Blizzard, and Crocodile.

More Quartz Means Lower Granite Prices

According to a report from the Freedonia Group, quartz countertops are continuing to take over granite’s market share. Homeowners who in years past might have chosen slab granite are increasingly choosing quartz.

But this has one fortunate side-effect for anyone who wants to install granite: lower prices due to lesser demand. Freedonia notes that “granite prices declined over the last decade, making the material more widely available.”

Why Granite….

With its heat-resistant qualities, granite doesn’t blister; it’s also unlikely to scratch or chip. When used for kitchen countertops, it’s far superior to marble, synthetic and laminate. It’s also better-looking and has a luminous, dimensional quality when polished.

Granite is made up of interlocking mineral crystals, the most common being feldspar and quartz. But an array of other minerals can be included, and these make each piece of granite unique. Feldspar is the white mineral you see in granite; the light gray veins are quartz; and the black is typically mica [source: Keidel].

Granite is drilled, chiseled and blasted out of quarries in large blocks, and special milling machines then cut it into workable slabs. Typically, a slab of granite is around 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) wide and between 7 to 9 feet (2.1 to 2.7 meters) long. Other machines polish the material into a uniform thickness, usually about three-quarters of an inch to 1 1/4 inches (2 to 3 centimeters) [source: Walton].

Turning raw granite into countertops requires special tools. Granite can be custom-made and professionally installed, but it’s also available in precut and edged countertops. The kitchen’s design, the shapes and sizes of the available precut material and the location of the seams will help determine if you can use precut and edged granite or if you need a custom installation.


With Corian®, you get the ultimate freedom of expression in kitchen design, combining enduring beauty with valuable functionality.

Effortless Beauty

Corian® is easy to clean, and is NSF/ANSI 51 Certified for food contact. Because Corian® is nonporous, stains do not penetrate the surface. With proper cleaning, Corian® also resists the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Seamless Appearance

High-performing Corian® products, such as sinks and backsplashes, can be perfectly integrated to create the sleek appearance of a single counter surface. With a coved backsplash, there are no traps to collect dirt and moisture. Corian® also works brilliantly together with such materials as stainless steel, wood, and glass.

Reputation for Excellence

Corian® comes with the protection of a 10-year transferable residential limited warranty and has been leading the surfacing and design industry for 50 years. Our network of distributors and fabricators are a select group who have demonstrated exceptional skills, knowledge, and superior customer service levels to meet our highest standards of premium quality.

In closing, today’s market is whatever the customer wants when you do an update no matter how large or small the project or how much you have to spend I can always find something to fit your budget within reason!

Happy Holidays!
Annette McDonald
Orsini’s Kitchen Designer & Manager

Author: Brian

Share This Post On