Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts

08 March 2022

Why You Might Need a Workstation Sink

The kitchen is arguably the pride of every residential space although some people say that title belongs to the living room. But let’s face it, the kitchen is that part of the home that most people are excited about, especially when house hunting. In fact, you’ll find that how the kitchen looks influences many house purchase decisions, especially if the buyers are a couple.

This part of the home is very important because food is important to us humans. Since cooking can be quite stressful for a lot of people, it is important to have a kitchen that makes cooking a lot more enjoyable. For this reason, we see people pour time and money into having a great cooking space. Visit: to find popular kitchen layouts. 

Now, a lot of things make a great kitchen, including all the built-ins and equipment. But the sink might be the most underrated part of the kitchen and that’s unfortunate because it plays a very vital role in the kitchen experience. There are different types of kitchen sinks, but the workstation sink is perhaps the best of them all.

What is a Workstation Sink?

A workstation sink is unlike regular sinks. In fact, if you’ve ever used one, the thought of returning to a regular one won't sound appealing to you. They are versatile and configurable sinks that can be used for a wide range of kitchen duties including clean ups and food prep. Anyone who has one of these multi-functional sinks can attest to how superior they are to the traditional options in terms of functionality.

If you’re the type that likes to cook, you’d agree that there can never be enough countertop space. Some dishes require a lot of prepping and often a lot of ingredients are used in these meals. Being able to handle all these tasks in one place will most definitely reduce how long you stay in the kitchen and make your experience more enjoyable.

If you appreciate convenience like this, then a workstation sink is just what you need in your cooking space. Now, let’s go over some of the benefits of this sink over the more traditional options.

More Space

No matter how big your kitchen is, having extra space never hurts. This is where the workstation sink shines. It is called a workstation because it is literally built to be a workstation where you can get tons of stuff done. With this option, you can wash and dry dishes, prep food, and temporarily store food all in one place.

This not only frees up valuable countertop space, but also makes for a more efficient use of cooking time. For smaller kitchens, this can be a game changer. Since space is limited, being able to do nearly every kitchen task in one place will in many ways be helpful. In simple terms, workstation sinks are a must if you want to maximize space and functionality. 

Helpful Features 

Termed workstations, these sinks come with many features that just keep you glued to them until you're done in the kitchen. Really high-end ones come with amazing, helpful features like colanders, drying rack, bowl holders, cutting boards, racks for dirty dishes, and so on. 

They are fully customizable and you can have them built to your exact specifications, assuming your specifications are realistic. The ability to configure them to suit your prep and clean up style makes them all the more appealing. 

Makes Cleanup Easy

Lavish dinners are great until it's time to clean up. Quite frankly, this is one part of family dinners most hosts dread. This is because seeing so many dishes and cutting boards scattered across different countertops and sinks just makes one stare in utter confusion. Like, where do I begin? 

But with a workstation sink, you can kiss goodbye to the consequences of lavish family dinners. Since it allows you to keep nearly everything in one place, cleaning up dishes and transferring food waste to the garbage can all be done in a flash and with minimal stress. 

Reduces Cross-Contamination

Cooking a nice, big family dinner often requires prepping different types of food simultaneously to save time. Hurrying to have dinner ready and on the table is great as no one enjoys having an empty stomach. However, by prepping all these different foods together, you risk cross-contamination.

But with a workstation, you can prep several foods together without having to worry about that. Most of them come with up to three different spots that can be utilized simultaneously. So, for example, you could prep meat on one spot, fruits on the other, and vegetables on the third spot. The fact that your faucet is just right there makes it even better. Click here to learn more about cross-contamination. 

Final Thoughts 

Aside from being a highly functional kitchen equipment, these sinks often come in designs that can truly elevate the overall aesthetics of this part of the home. However, we must point out that they are usually more expensive than the regulars but this really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. 

29 March 2021

Ideas for Kitchen Renovations in 2021

Whether you have a large family or live alone, your kitchen is a very busy part of the house. That is where we make our meals and share fun memories with friends and family members. This is why the kitchen design needs some fresh air and a fresh paint coat periodically.

However, a renovation is more than repainting. It seeks to revive the space and ensures that the kitchen design stays updated. If you are wondering about the cost of a kitchen renovation, you can check out this website to know the cost and how to save money, too.

Now that you want to renovate your kitchen, or make little changes, there are various kitchen renovation ideas that you can consider. Even the minutest makeovers will change the appearance of your kitchen. So, let’s get started!

1. Update the Backsplash

Updating the backsplash is a cost-effective way of giving your kitchen a fresh look. As a matter of fact, the renovation is incomplete without changing the backsplash since it receives more abuse. From splashes of hot oil to spilled food, the backsplash bears it all without complaining.

You can consider incorporating some changes to its material or change the entire design. But if you’re short on money and time, consider a fresh paint coat to do the job. This will enable you to incorporate various styles based on the existing material.

Additionally, you can get a stencil, and then create some designs in secondary accent colors, if you are inclined to art. There are various backsplash ideas to check out if you cannot afford a full renovation. 

Also, if you want to add one color, you can choose between various textures such as high-gloss, matte, and satin styles. But if the backsplash requires more colors, ensure you select the materials for the renovation before painting the backsplash. Your budget, personal needs, and preferences will determine the materials you use. 

Furthermore, if you think you can do the renovation yourself, you can watch some videos online. While this will help you save costs, you need previous experience in removing existing designs and replacing them. Otherwise, click on pages like to find professionals that can help you do the job.

DIY is perfect for those who already know the ins and outs of construction work. But it can consume your time. What’s more? If you do not do it properly, you will be left with half-baked work.

2. Open up Space by Adding an Island

Despite the size of the kitchen, an island occupies the focal point. This is why it is usually a focused item in kitchen renovation. You can use materials like marble, granite, or engineered quartz without compromising durability. 

However, do not forget that a big island may look absurd. Consider leaving an estimated space of 36 to 49 inches on each side for people to move around. The nature and size of the island usually dictate its purpose. 

For instance, if you will use the space to serve wine or snacks, there should be enough legroom and top space for everyone. A width of 24 inches may be okay for each guest. You can leave a clearance of 9 to 14 inches between the counter’s base and the knees for the needed legroom.

Additionally, when designing the island, ensure that the height of the counter matches the seat you plan to use. You can customize the island to make it diverse and user-friendly without extra costs. For instance, adding an electrical outlet for charging phones or plugging speakers makes the island function as your workspace, too.

3. Choose New Cabinets

If you want the renovation to focus more on the feel and appearance of new items, then choose new cabinets. Like backsplashes, cabinets also take much abuse daily and often have loose hinges that give them an ignored and dated look.

When you want to choose cabinets, you will be spoilt with choice, even if you’re on a low budget and possess basic tool expertise. There are RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinets that come in flat packages with the hardware for assembly. The advantage of getting this type is that you will save more on labor costs.

There are also MDF (medium density fiberboard) cabinets. They are also called hardboard, substrate, or engineered wood. They are made by using glue to compress wood particles at extremely high temperatures. They are affordable, but their durability may be compromised.

Furthermore, there are cabinets made from solid wood. The dovetail joinery looks good and is durable. It is important to note that cabinets, panel doors, and drawers that have white melamine coatings signify poor quality. Whereas, veneered plywood, doors made with solid wood, and hardwood frames are durable and expensive.

4. Choose a New Flooring

When you want to relay the floor, it will cost both money and time. But things such as new flooring give the kitchen a different look. There are different flooring ideas but the use of hardwood is popular. 

There are lots of differences and variations in hardwood, but the commonest form is thick planks from solid timber. They are good at handling changes in humidity and temperature. 

You can also choose between walnut and oak; they are quite common for good reasons. Oak lasts long and gives a beautiful, natural grain. Hickory, cherry, ash, and maple are also great, so spend some time to decide which is best for you. 

If you want a hardwood floor with a light color, you can choose ash. But if your kitchen gets heavy foot traffic, you can choose hickory. Many companies now offer engineered floors. The design does not allow the floor to move out of alignment during contraction and expansion cycles. 


When embarking on a kitchen renovation project, it is important to work with an experienced designer. However, it is not a guarantee that they have the best renovation ideas. The smart thing to do is to get your own ideas from the inspiration we shared in this article. This will help to lessen the costs of the project.

09 March 2021

Tools and Irrigation Supplies You Absolutely Need as a Gardener

Gardens. They come just like humans: in different forms, sizes, and colors. Some gardens are filled with tomato plants, whereas others are filled with green peas. Some people prefer to plant flowers, and others, believe it or not, have a garden filled with cactuses.

A garden is a very unique way to show your personality. Plants are living beings, just like pets, and in the same way, they need to be taken care of with love and lots of attention. The way a gardener takes care of their garden is a way to tell how disciplined, patient, and careful that person is.

And, believe it or not, gardeners have increased over the last years, because of the whole quarantine situation, and how people have started to look for ways to improve their mental health and share themselves with other living beings.

Surprisingly, taking care of plants and seeing them grow, also counts as a form of contact. In fact, gardening has gained a lot of popularity thanks to quarantine, according to this article. This is also the case for landscaping, just on a smaller scale.

Considering the benefits, it is to no surprise. Scientifically proven by research and studies, gardening can greatly improve someone’s mental health because it aids the body at lowering stress levels, and increases the brain’s production of dopamine and serotonin, two hormones heavily related to happiness.

The Challenges Behind the Peace

Now that we know how gardening and landscaping can help us achieve a certain level of inner peace, we have to consider something too: the challenges we have to surpass in order to achieve said benefits.

Still, most of these challenges are pieces of cake. They just become challenges because of one simple thing: lack of experience. Without the experience of gardening, and of course, without the knowledge required for it, we are pretty much set to fail during our first attempts of growing a plant.

And that is okay, it is part of the process, and failing helps us improve, and understand, the personality of the soil and plants we are trying to work with.

But some people prefer to avoid failure, and that is also a wise decision. To do so, they research and learn about different things, then, prepare themselves for the adventure.

And believe me when I say that, one of the most important parts of gardening is having the right tools. This includes things like shovels, rakes, digging tools, pruners, hoses, wheelbarrows, among many other things. For very detailed information on the matter go here:

The Pre-Gardening Process

The right tools will help you during certain aspects of the process. The first part of the adventure is preparing the soil for planting. This will require you to clean the place from weed, rocks, and any other debris that might complicate the process.

You might also want to set up a pattern that will display the garden itself since it will work as a limitation, and as a mark for people that there’s a garden and they have to be careful around them. 

A type of fence can be helpful if you have small children or animals that might want to “play” around your garden. And we all know how that usually goes.

If you are an indoor type of person, or just someone who doesn’t have the outdoor space to go for a garden, you can pick a certain area of your house to plant an indoor garden. For that, you’ll need gardening pots and soil, then organize everything accordingly.

Choosing Plants and Designing

Some people go as far as designing their gardens even before buying the plants. This can be difficult, but very possible, and can be helpful since it will be a way to distribute the space of your garden much more efficiently.

Now, picking plants comes up next. This is, possibly, the most important part of the process, since you’ll have to pick plants that physically attract you, and also, that can be maintained by your current level of skill.

There are plants that are great for beginners because of their simplicity, and if you are a newcomer, they should be your priority. Afterward, you can try more complicated plants. The main idea of this is to adapt yourself to the activity and improve as time goes on.

The Maintenance and Watering

After you’ve properly set up your plants, now is time for probably the second most important part of the process: maintenance and watering. You see, plants require water and sunlight to nourish themselves and grow healthy and strong.

With that said, too much sunlight can dry some plants, and too much water can drown and rot their roots. That is why, before picking a certain plant, you should accurately research them to understand their properties and water them accordingly.

Depending on the size of your garden, you can depend on a watering can, or go for an irrigation system. The latter option works wonders if you don’t have the time to water your plant at specific times of the day (usually in the early morning or during the night) since they can do the job for you and other irrigation supplies can make the process much easier, like water pumps and hoses.

Depending on the type of garden you have, some irrigations system can go as far as watering the plants based on the amount of water they need, and some can be set up to water different plants with different levels of water, at different times, and even set up timers for you to check out the whole process. These are called smart irrigation systems, but you also have the option of having much simpler systems, based on what you like. 

Take in mind that this option is very common among outside gardeners, since maintenance is probably the most common problem among beginners since they tend to forget to water and maintain the plants at certain specific times. 

08 July 2016

How To Choose The Right Bar Stools For Your Kitchen Counter or Island

A bar stool to a kitchen area is like a fine glass of wine to a Friday night - an addition that can only make things better and inject a vibrant feel to your home. As wonderful and versatile as they are, choosing the right set is only a matter of taste and the style that already prevails your space. The most important factors to consider are material and style.


Nowadays, most wooden bar stools are made of hard rubber-wood due to its durability, but there are other wood materials that are also appealing. There’s also rattan, wicker and teak wood, although they might not be as sturdy. Fortunately, wooden bar stools are generally quite easy to maintain and clean.

Stainless steel is by far one of most strong and resistant materials for kitchen bar stools. If you are one of those people that want to buy a  kitchen bar stools set once and have a piece of mind for a long time, this is the material you are looking for. Make sure that the stools you get feature at least 80% of steel as a part of their construction. If you want something lighter than steel, aluminium could seal the deal by offering similar quality, low maintenance and contemporary design. Metal kitchen bar stools easy to disinfect with a quick wipe down.

These bar stools are the mightiest tool if you want to match your interior just right because they come in an endless array of covers, be it leather, linen, faux suede or vinyl. They can easily become a part of the seamless blend you are aiming to achieve. People also love these due to the comfort they provide with the convenient padding for the back and as an addition, many of these kitchen bar stools feature a footrest as well. One minor disadvantage is the fact that they are not as easy to clean and you will have to be very careful not to spill something on the upholstered surface.

If you’re all about easy maintenance, this material can surely offer that, but with so many amazing choices of material that come with more sturdiness and class, plastic is regarded as probably the last one you should opt for, if you want your interior to speak volumes about your taste, that is.

Recycled materials
If the process of choosing the perfect type of material is to receive an extra pair of wings, that can undoubtedly be achieved with a sustainability factor. If you want to excel at both - helping our planet and decorating your home, this is a great way to do it and you can find all of the aforementioned types in the form of their recycled counterparts, except for upholstered.


Simple, straight, strong, new age – these are the qualities you should look for if you’re after a futuristic feel. The best material choice for this style is by all means steel. Make sure that the chairs you choose are easy to assemble and feature PVC seats. This style simply pours that modern vibe into the area and with minimal effort you'll be able to pull off a very cool futuristic style.

If you can imagine yourself sitting on one of your bar stools, hands wrapped around a warm mug, a quiet jazz song playing in the background, then wooden bar stools from top to bottom might be right up your alley. Just make sure that the rest of your décor can respond to this vintage challenge because you wouldn't want it to look as if you've kidnapped the stools from a retro times and now you are desperately trying to adapt them to your modern design.

Middle Earth
Being unable to choose between traditional and modern is actually a pleasant design symptom. It can allow you to have the best of both worlds in a very unique way. Talk about a style that defies classification. This style can be best achieved by opting for a set of bar stools that feature black metal frame and wood. The wooden part will add to the traditional appeal, whilst the black metal frame will speak of futuristic simplicity, easy maintenance and a keen eye for elegance.

14 November 2014

Five gorgeous celebrity kitchens to make you green with envy

How do you feel about your kitchen at the moment?

The chances are that there is something about it that just doesn't quite hang together; maybe the paint work is fading, the curtains look dated or the flooring is stained and marked. Well prepare to feel a whole lot worse about it, as we take a look at five celebrity kitchens that are quite simply stunning.

The good news? Not all of them are necessarily unattainable either, as many of these fantastic aesthetics have been achieved in kitchens of a relatively average size, so you may even find a bit of design inspiration in the following list. German kitchen specialists BGO Kitchens give us the low-down...

Courtney Cox's Minimalist Utopia

Simon Upton

Created by award-winning interior designer Trip Haenisch, the former Friends star has opted for the sheer white minimalist touch here, with CaeserStone countertops and ovens, while the built-in refrigerator is by Gaggenau. We really love those vintage barstools though!

Breakfast with a Sea View

From the minimalist to the downright ostentatious, this stunning Malibu beach front property with a sea view from the kitchen belongs to none other than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The countertops are stainless steel - great for keeping clean by the way - while all of the appliances are top of the range, not to mention a huge walk-in refrigerator and freezer!

Swank-y Design

Simon Upton

This celebrity kitchen belonging to Oscar-winner Hilary Swank may look small for one belonging to an acting megastar, but it is also undoubtedly perfectly formed.

Designed by Mark Zeff, this kitchen is complete with quartz countertops and Kohler sink fittings. That very cool floor lamp? That's from New York-based home wares firm West Elm. You can take the full tour around her Manhattan apartment on

Homely Hollywood

Miguel Flores-Vianna

This kitchen belongs to Will and Grace actress Megan Mullally and it certainly doesn't look like a typical celebrity space. The Dacor cooker top was chosen by designer Ames Ingham, as well as the oak cabinets and same CaeserStone worktops as you see in Courtney Cox's kitchen.

Taylor Swift's Functional and Stunning Kitchen

Pop superstar Taylor Swift may not live here anymore, but we think you'll agree the decor in the kitchen of her former Nashville home is a fantastic combination of style and functionality.

From the marble backsplashes and stainless steel appliances, through to the butcher-block countertop on the central island and the gorgeous copper range hood - a true focal point for this terrific space.

What elements of these Hollywood kitchens do you think you could incorporate in your own home? Let us know in the comments below.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of BGO Kitchens - a family-run company with years of experience in supplying high quality German kitchens.

27 September 2013

Use Thermador appliances, win valuable prizes

Hey designers, The Thermador Kitchen Design Challenge is back and it's better than ever. Oh and when I say "hey designers" I mean to include all  professional designers, architects, builders, remodelers and kitchen dealers in that blanket term.

The contest this year has been expanded pretty significantly; the cash prizes on the line this year amount to $100,000 and the way to enter is as straightforward as it's ever been. There's no fee to enter and if you've been specifying Thermador you have no excuse not to enter.

Sixteen regional winners will receive a $2,500 cash prize and an expense-paid trip for two to a magnificent gala celebration in the fall of 2014 to compete for national prizes. How it works is this:

Regional Winners

  • 12 regional winners competing within six defined sales territories will receive $2,500 cash for the best overall use of Thermador appliances in any style kitchen design and will compete for national prizes.
  • 4 regional winners will receive $2,500 cash for the best use of Thermador built-in refrigeration in any style kitchen and will compete for a national prize.
  • All regional winners will also receive a trip for two to a magnificent celebration weekend in the fall of 2014.

National Winners: Traditional/Transitional

  • The regional winner with the best use of Thermador in a traditional/transitional kitchen design will receive a grand prize of $15,000 cash. One second place winner will receive $10,000 cash.

National Winners: Contemporary/Modern

  • The regional winner with the best use of Thermador in a contemporary/modern kitchen design will receive a grand prize of $15,000 cash. One second place winner will receive $10,000 cash.

National Winners: Best Use of Built-in Refrigeration

  • The regional winner with the best use of Thermador built-in refrigeration will receive a grand prize of $10,000 cash.

All you have to do is set up a profile, complete the online entry form, write a narrative of no more than 300 words, and upload your photos. March 14, 2014 is the deadline to enter.

The expanded version of the requirements and the general rules are:


  • The 2012-2013 Thermador Kitchen Design Challenge is open to professional designers, architects, builders, remodelers and kitchen dealers.
  • Individual, team and company entries will be accepted.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries that can be submitted by an eligible Entrant as long as each Entry features a unique Kitchen Design. However, each entrant is only eligible for one regional prize and one national prize.

The Kitchen Design:

  • The kitchen design must include at least three Thermador appliances.
  • Kitchen designs may include non-Thermador appliances only if Thermador does not offer a similar product in our lineup. Non-Thermador ventilation will be allowed depending on the application.
  • All design and construction must be fully completed within the contest period of December 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013.

Entries must include all of the following:

  • A headshot of the entrant.
  • A minimum of two high-resolution photographs of the completed kitchen design in .jpg format. Additional photos are welcomed to show various perspectives, details and "before" shots. Blueprints, floor plans, elevations and perspective drawings may be included but will not be accepted as the only means of entry. Files should be no larger than 20 mb.
  • A written narrative of no more than 300 words describing your kitchen design.

You can find Thermador's complete rules by following this link.

In an industry heavy with design competitions and prizes, this one's the most straightforward. If you worked on a Thermador project or two recently, go ahead and enter. If you haven't then start specifying Thermador!

08 November 2012

Architects and designers, wanna go to Spain?

Tile of Spain is running a contest they're calling Passport to Creativity. Four credentialed designers and or architects will be selected to accompany the Tile of Spain team from the US and Spain as well as six journalists on a week-long immersion in all things Spain. The trip will end in Valencia when everyone on the Passport of Creativity tour will attend Cevisama, one of Europe's (and therefor the world's) largest tile and bath trade shows. The four architects and or designers will earn 4 CEUs in addition to winning an all-expense-paid trip to Spain.

Entering takes just a few moments and you can find an entry form here. Hurry though, the deadline's December 3rd, 2012. Be warned, Spain bites deep and you'll come away from a trip like this a different person. I did at any rate.

Nearly two years ago, I boarded a plane in Tampa and I was bound for Madrid. I'd been selected to be a part of the press corps for Tile of Spain's "Reign in Spain" tour. My week in Spain as a guest of the Spanish Ceramics Industry and the Spanish Trade Commission was something I'll never forget. We were treated like royalty and in a country that still has a monarch, that's really saying something.

Though it was a press tour and though I was only there for a week, I came away from that experience with a far deeper understanding of the Spanish people and their culture than I'd had before I arrived. Between factory tours, a massive trade show, and some of the most extravagant meals I've ever eaten, I got to know our hosts from the Spanish embassy. I bonded with my fellow journalists in the press corps and the winners of that year's contest in ways I hadn't expected to. Our shared experiences in Spain more or less cemented us together and I've stayed in touch with most of those folks.

Wandering down the cobblestone streets of Valencia and Zaragoza in the wee hours with new Spanish friends and the conversations we had will stay with me for the rest of my life. The chance to sit and compare notes with people from other countries on their home turf is why I love to travel so much.

Spain's financial woes were just becoming clear while I was there and the truth of the matter was a bit difficult to come by in the US. So I sat in a hotel lobby in Valencia with the Spanish Trade Commissioner and we talked about it until around four in the morning. He explained to me what was really going on and further, he told me the story of modern Spain from the perspective of a man who lived through Spain's transition from Fascism to a Parliamentary Democracy.

Those experiences aren't something you get on a package tour to Barcelona or Málaga.

In that too-short week I saw some incredible sights, gorged myself on Spanish cuisine but more than any of that, I had extended to me Spanish hospitality and kindness.

I hope you enter this contest. Wonders await you on the Iberian Peninsula.

14 June 2012

Architecture Thursday: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Two weeks ago, I was treated to a tour of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. There are few things I appreciate about a city more than an obvious commitment to the arts, and Costa Mesa has that commitment in spades.

The Segerstom Center for the Arts is a campus of buildings dedicated to the best humanity has to offer. The theater and original hall were spectacular of course, but it was the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall that impressed me the most.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

Lord knows I love a curtain wall, but to see a glass curtain wall made from undulating glass was something I never thought was possible.

The concert hall opened on September 15, 2006 and the architect was Cesar Pelli from Pelli, Clark, Pelli and Associates in New Haven, CT.

Once inside, the building continued to amaze. Here are some photos from the lobby and grand staircase.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

Looking up at the lobby ceiling. 
©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

The docents who led the tour kept saying that the acoustics inside the auditorium were spectacular and part of me thought that no building this grand could have as great a concert hall in it as the docents claimed. I was wrong. Here's looking at the main stage.

©RMA Photography Inc. - 714.259.1332

And here's the view from the stage toward the back of the house.

©Doug Gifford Photography

When we were touring the Concert Hall, we were fortunate to stumble upon a children's concert being performed by the Pacific Symphony and yes, the acoustics are every bit as perfect as the docents claimed.

Our small group stood in one of the upper tiers and just let the music wash over us. Nothing affects me the way a symphony orchestra does. Nothing. Standing in a truly grand concert hall while that orchestra's performing is my idea of heaven on earth.

If you live in Orange County, consider yourself to be fortunate indeed. In a time when arts organizations all over the world are facing threats like extinction, it was beyond affirming to see that the opposite is happening in Costa Mesa.

Thank you again goes to Blanco and Bosch, you sure know how to show a guy a good time, especially when my definition of a good time revolves around classical music.

If you live anywhere near Costa Mesa, buy tickets and go see some performances. Here's the link to the Segerstom Center for the Arts website. Go!

11 April 2012

A Coverings preview

Coverings is next week and I can't believe it's here already. It's a show very near and dear to my heart and I've been attending it for years. Every year, my involvement in the show increases and as of last December, I'm on the show's staff. For the last six months I've been running all of Coverings' social marketing initiatives, hence my near absence from this blog since the end of last year.

During the show next week I'll be working five straight 18 hour days so I doubt I'll be filing any dispatches from the show floor, but during the week following either Todd ( my energetic collaborator) or I will post a wrap up of the new stuff that made its debut during the show.

For now though, here's a preview from some of the major manufacturers who'll be exhibiting next week.

Apavisa (Booth 2519) is heading to Coverings with Archconcept, a new collection of patterns in stone, metal and cement finishings that are inspired by the latest manufacturing technology and trends in architecture. This revolutionary range of porcelain is well suited for indoor and outdoor applications.

Azteca (Booth 2211) will awe attendees with Jasper R40, a new ceramic tile series serving up a marble look that will enliven walls with its striking shade variations. It is available in a 23-x-40 cm format and four colorways: Cream, Beige, Grey and Jade.

Azulejos Plaza (Booth 2106) will impress attendees with Ecowood, a porcelain stoneware wall tile comprised of 85% recycled content. It comes in four colors and can be used outdoors.

Baldocer (Booth 1914) is bringing digital front-and-center to its porcelain collection, spotlighting its innovative methods for adding distinctive decorative touches, such as high and low reliefs, colorations, stone and wood lookalikes, and more. The outstanding range of tile formats is available in 43-x-43, 40-x-60 and 57-x-57 cm.

Casalgrande Padana SpA (Booth 4700) is showing Architecture and Bios. The first newcomer is a fully vitrified porcelain stoneware collection that’s a sophisticated, high-performance option for floor and wall covering, indoors and out. The line is available in a range of 12 colors and a finish reminiscent of brushed cement. Bios brings sustainability to the surface with its unique antibacterial properties, achieved by blending the material base with mineral particles. Such tiles have become a requisite for LEED-ID credit eligibility, and have won extensive recognition.

Ceramiche Coem & Ceramica Fioranese (Booth 4714) are sister brands spotlighting interesting introductions. Check out Pietra Valmalenco from Coem and Cottage from Fioranese. Pietra Valmalenco offers a contemporary stone look whereas Cottage features a rustic wood style.

Ceramiche Refin (Booth 4123) has three new products that capitalize on the latest technology. Among them, Cromie is a collection of chromatic ceramic tiles based on the scientific criteria of brightness, saturation and shade.

Cisa Ceramiche (Booth 4806) will unveil Modula, a beautiful series that replicates the look of natural stone, and Royal Marble that recalls the traditional elegance of the real material. Both are available in four colorways and various sizes.

Crossville (Booth 3200) found inspiration in concrete and refined stone to create Structure, a minimalist design that contains at least 20% consumer certified recycled content. The new offering is apt for commercial and residential installations, and is offered in large format and plank-shaped sizes.

Duradek (Booth 3842) is debuting at Coverings with five new products incorporating Tiledek. It’s a PVC waterproof membrane developed specifically for exterior tile applications and featuring an anti-fracture/crack insulation barrier, making it choice for concrete installations.

Emac Complementos (Booth 2114) has collaborated with prestigious Spanish fashion designer Francis Montesinos to create a collection of high-style aluminum profiles named Novopeldaño Art. The installation possibilities are limitless—as a stair nosing, in countertops, worktops and more.

Emilceramica SpA (Booth 4718) is presenting On Square. The new collection exemplifies the elegance and simplicity of balance, bringing together 45 blocks of cement reproduced on the ceramic surface to maintain the richness of the material. The contemporary offering comes in four colors in 80-x-80, 60-x-60 and 30-x-60 cm formats. Additionally, look for inspiring introductions from three of company’s sister brands: Ergon, Provenza and Viva.

Florida Tile (Booth 3223) is touting Gallant HDP and PietraArt Stone Mosaics. Gallant gives marble, onyx and travertine a run for their money thanks to the high definition technology used to mimic the looks. The porcelain floor tile is appropriate for all residential and commercial wall and countertop applications as well as for residential flooring. The Stone Mosaics marvel with a wide range of colors, sizes and textures to complement all tastes and installations.

Granada Tile (Booth 4465) will be calling attention to three new whimsical works of cement tile art—Normandy, Alhambra and Barcelona. All are part of the Echo Tile Collection that is made of durable and recycled content, and are ideal for bathroom and kitchen applications.

Lilywork Ceramic (Booth 2903) is debuting Arabesque, a tessellated field of mosaics that is fully color customizable within the Lilywork palette. It’s a look that would make for a lovely addition to walls, floors or even pool surrounds.

Litokol Spa (Booth 4534) is giving grouting mortar a fresh new look with Litochrom Starlike. It features antibacterial properties and is spot on for gluing and jointing all tiles and mosaics, even those rated R12. Additionally, it has a high-resistance to chemicals and abrasions, and is available in a myriad of colors and combinations.

Metropolitan Ceramics (Booth 2800) will roll out Quarrybasics Abrasive, a product providing excellent silicon carbide coverage that prevents slips and enhances the look and longevity of quarry tile.

Mosaico+ (Booth 4330) has four exciting lines that will liven up interiors and exteriors with intense depth of color, dimension and texture. Among the newcomers is Dialoghi, which is a magical meeting of materials—glass and metal, metal and wood, etc.—that offers a truly compelling look and is available in three sizes.

Oscar & Izzy (Booth 2554) is a newcomer to the international expo and is bringing fun to the show floor with its retro-inspired collections of decorative ceramic tile. All lines boast bold illustrations and bright colors, and are offered in 4-x-4 and 6-x-6 inch and subway sizes.

Sabine Hill (Booth 4175) is showing for the first time at Coverings, spotlighting its collection of eight classic cement tile designs that masterfully meld modern and organic shapes in endless colorways. All of the offerings are meant for wall and floor coverings in both residential and commercial environments.

Settecento (Booth 5012) is showing Lodge, which is a glazed porcelain portraying the essence of rustic, reclaimed wood. This natural beauty is available in four colors, two sizes (9-x-38 and 6-x-38 inches) and two surface finishes.

Solistone (Booth 4270) is stepping into the commercial arena with a new division of products designed specifically for commercial architects and interior designers. Primarily composed of porcelain and ceramic mosaics, the line also uses unconventional materials, like seashells, to create innovative surfaces suitable for interior and exterior walls and floors.

Taulell (Booth 1723) is premiering a variety of new products, one of which is Ónice. Neoclassical in nature, it features the spectacular shine of onyx stone and is available in seven sizes.

Undefasa (Booth 1911) unites classic and contemporary designs in its two new collections, Country and Rajasthan. Both styles’ color palettes are based on the tones of natural stone, and can be used as floor or wall tiles; Rajasthan can be installed outdoors.

Zirconio (Booth 2111) will zoom in on its incorporation of inkjet technology to create Dolomite, a captivating color-body porcelain that seamlessly imitates the look of natural stone.

If you're a design pro in greater Orlando, please be sure to register for the show today by following this link. Remember, it’s all free and as a bonus, I'm giving a talk on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday that's worth AIA, ASID and NKBA CEUs and then again on Friday I'll be presenting a modified version of that same session on the show floor. I hope to see in Orlando!