• Types of Kitchen Sinks And Their Use

    custom sinks by DTK Stone Works in Chicago When it comes to shapes, material and use, kitchen sinks come in great variety. Some of them are listed below with a little bit of explanation.

    The most common sink shape is the one-and-a-half bowl, which has one bigger one and a smaller partner that’s useful for draining when the main bowl is filled. A large bowl is handy for scrubbing pans that won’t fit in the dishwasher, and you can also buy corner or round sinks to fit where space is limited. If you have an island or you like to cook with a companion, a small prep sink will take the pressure off the main sink – you can add a boiling-water tap here to create a handy drinks station.

    Sinks now come packed with plenty of extras, too, from chopping boards that fit snugly over the sink to built-in colanders and draining baskets that move effortlessly from hob to sink. It’s important to get the accessories right because they can transform a simple sink into a practical, multifunctional area for washing up, prep work, rinsing and draining.


    There are three basic styles for the main sink; undermounted , inset and sit-on. Undermounted are rimless and fit beneath the worktop with a silicone watertight seal. They are best suited to solid stone or wood surfaces, as drainers need to be routed out. Inset sinks are easier to install, slotting into a hole in the worktop, usually with a drainer built-in, while sit on sinks – the most common being butler designs – are fitted on top of a short cabinet with the worktops overlapping either side. If you’ve opted for composite surfaces, some offer the option of an integrated sink . It’s made of the same material but joined seamlessly so sink and worktop appear as one.



    This is low-maintenance, stain and rust resistant, plus scratches fade in time. Budget sinks are made from a single sheet of steel and have curved bowls, while top-end versions feature separate sheets welded together and polished for defined corners and extra-deep bowls. Steel thickness ranges from 18-23 gauge – low numbers are thicker.


    Still largely handmade, these sinks are a solid option with a glossy white glaze. Most frequently used for butler designs, they also come in modern shapes and have a non-porous construction. The surface is surprisingly robust but be careful with cast-iron pans.

    C) GRANITE (also called composite quartz)

    Made from a high percentage of quartz combined with resin and pigment, granite sinks are rock solid. Color options are wide, and the addition of pearlescent particles provides extra sparkle. All have an antibacterial surface that repels stains, with top names including Silestone©, Eclipse© and other.

    D) COMPOSITE ACRYLIC (also called synthetic or solid surface)

    Acrylic affords flexibility when it comes to creating interesting curves and shapes. It’s mixed with powdered stone and pigment for strength and color, but seamlessness is the biggest selling point – it can be heated and jointed with color-matching glue to invisibly integrate with the worktop. Durable, hygienic and non-porous, stains or minor scratches can easily be polished out.

  • From The Quarry To The Kitchen -Where Exotic Granite And Marble Come From – Part 2

    custom granite and marble kitchen countertop in chicago We are continuing our story about how the exotic granite, marble and quartzite travel from quarry to your kitchen.

    The first thing to do is to get accurate measurements in your home by creating a template so your countertop will fit perfectly. This process takes into account everything from sink location to imperfections in the walls. Some templates are created by documenting measurements manually or by using thin wood or plastic strips that are glued together to produce a perfect replica of the area to be covered by the stone.

    In the fabrication facility the measurements are either entered into computer or the templates are placed on the selected piece of natural stone and adjusted to get the desired results prior to cutting. With advancements in technology, many stone contractors are now producing templates digitally with increased efficiency and accuracy. The digital template is created by electronically mapping strategic points on the countertop surface. This precise information is then downloaded into a laptop or tablet to create an electronic template. Using a computer back at the fabrication facility, the digital information is made into an actual photograph of the selected stone slab for the job.

    Whether a manual or electronic template system is used, the end result is an ideal match of the material and the measurements of the countertop in your home. The stone is then cut with an automated sawing system which ensures that the cut outs for stove tops, sinks, faucets and other kitchen appliances are correct. The pieces of natural stone are then edged either with automated equipment or by hand. There are several common edge profiles available. Consult with DTK Stone Works friendly staff to choose the right edge for your project. Decorative edges are put only on the visible edge not on the join edge. Most edging is done with powerful diamond routers using specific bits to profile the desired edges.

    The final step is finishing the edge. When all of the pieces are cut, edged and finished to specification, the granite countertop has made its final trip to your home. DTK Stone Works skilful craftsmen install the countertop and other components making sure that all elements of your kitchen or bathroom are fitted perfectly. In the field, installers glue pieces of natural stone together using polyester resin in the joints. When finished, the resin has a polished look similar to the polish of natural stone .

    Sealing is a common step taken on some stone as an extra precaution against staining. In fact, sealing products used in the stone industry are impregnators which don’t actually seal the stone but act as a repellant. Sealing doesn’t make the stone stain proof; rather it makes the stone more stain resistant. When consulting with DTK Stone Works you may find that many stones don’t require sealing. However, applying an impregnating sealer is a common practice.

    From the quarry, to slabbing, templating, cutting, edging, finishing and finally to installation, DTK Stone Works strives for enhancing the beauty of granite, marble and quartzite through craftsmanship, perfection and precision and achieving your ultimate satisfaction.

  • White or off-white kitchens with matched white or dark granite countertops are coming back to fashion

    custom granite kitchens countertop in chicago White and off-white kitchens with matched white or dark granite countertops are crisp, timeless and suit all styles of decor not to mention bringing a sunny feel to the room even on a winter’s day.

    It’s no coincidence that when you walk into a kitchen showroom you will almost certainly find your eyes drawn to a white or creamy kitchen . People like white kitchens because they give a fresh feeling, are neutral and don’t really date. Pure white all over certainly looks stunning in a kitchen showroom or the pages of a magazine, but in real life can you have too much of a good thing? To avoid the kitchen looking sterile, cold or dazzling, the interior as a whole must be given consideration throughout the kitchen design process.

    As long as the white kitchen is flanked by texture and colors on walls, as well as floors and furnishings, then it won’t be dazzling. Alternatively, mixing different tones and hues of whites and creams and different textures can achieve a layering effect. What we do with a lot of our kitchens is to use a selection of whites from the same palette but with different degrees of intensity.

    So it’s lovely to have the lighter tone of white on the walls and a tone darker from the same palette on the furniture. It keeps it very fresh but gives it a bit of interest.

    White glosses and mates can be the exclusive same color but they read differently because of how they react to lighting. A gloss white kitchen reflects what is around it, so it’s never completely white. Silk lacquer is popular but it still has a light reflective sheen.

    When using a limited or restricted color palette such as only black and white include lots of different textures to give an added dimension. Go for contrast, mix rough with smooth, matt with shine and soft textures with hard one. A totally matte surface tones that down another notch so you can control how the light and color behave.

    Good design makes all the difference. People love the look of glossy handleless kitchens, but handles are there for a reason without them you can’t help but get sticky fingers on the doors, and there are very few appliances that will integrate without handles.

    The glossier the lacquer, the more likely it is to eventually lose some of its reflective qualities in patches that are constantly handled. Hand painted or spray painted wooden finishes can create a gloss, silk or matte look and can be extremely hard wearing, depending on the paint finish that is chosen and the number of layers that are used.

    At the very top end of the market, glass is impervious to staining and hard to scratch but could chip or crack if you dropped your casserole on it, while solid surface materials vary in their resilience.

    The toughest of all surfaces, according to many designers are solid surface material such as Arcobaleno , White Ice , Calcatta , Silver Sparkle . White Ice is particularly bomb proof as it is nonporous and therefore nonabsorbent, any stubborn marks will effortlessly disappear with some diluted cleaner, and in the event of someone taking a hammer to an edge, it can be seamlessly repaired.

    We, at DTK Stone Works carry a wide variety of tough surfaces that will satisfy your design needs. Whether you set your eyes on white or off white color, we will make sure that we have achieved your ultimate satisfaction.

    Call us and schedule your visit to our showroom for great ideas, huge selection and always ready to help team of professionals.

  • From The Quarry To The Kitchen – Where Exotic Granite And Marble Come From – Part 1

    where exotic granite and marble come from for kitchen countertops in chicago Today we start a series of publications explaining almost everything about the exotic granite and marble – how they are quarried, cut, fabricated, installed and maintained. Make sure to bookmarks us so that you don’t miss anything that will expand your view about the countertop in your kitchen and make you realize how many people are involved before that beautiful piece of art work landed in your home.

    From thousands of years ago when man first started building things they use of natural stone has been a constant. Cultures from ancient to contemporary have used natural stone to build structures to worship their gods, celebrate their beliefs, memorialize their dead, entertained their people and house their institutions of government. Today thanks to new technology the use of natural stone has expanded broadly beyond its traditional use of interiors and exteriors of major buildings.

    Today natural stone is becoming a staple in homes of every size. Consumers have discovered the beauty, luxury and sustainability of this unique all natural material for countertops, floors, and other applications. They like it because it’s the real thing – it cannot be duplicated in a factory or laboratory it’s nature zone. It comes literally in thousands of colors and no two pieces are exactly the same. Nothing approaches the uniqueness, durability, serviceability of natural stone countertops in kitchens, bathrooms and other locations in the home.

    There has always been a special allure to naturals stone. But what makes it particularly appealing now is the drastic reduction of prices over the last two decades. The result of quantum advances in quarry and fabricating technologies. The journey from the quarry to the kitchen can begin right here in North America or in quarries around the world. There is an enormous supply of natural stone and more is being discovered every day. This combination of supply and technological advancements makes natural stone very competitive with man made materials. From quarries, giant blocks of natural stone are carved out of the earth with diamond cutting systems which have drastically reduced the effort previously required to achieve this task.

    The newest technology is the diamond segment multi wire saw which can slice a block of granite into slabs at a rate of 12” to 15” per hour or complete block in about 6 hours. This compares to the ¾” per hour cuts made by older gang saw technology in which a block is slabbed in 40 to 50 hours. The slabs are then polished on high speed lines that feature multiple heads. Some of the stone may be cut into tiles or other cut to size pieces. Once completed, the stone is then shipped to distributors and fabricators like DTK Stone Works. Many stone contractors as well as design professionals travel the world to hand select material in block or slab form. The same way you select the stone for your home. Because every block or slab is unique it can be a very daunting task.

    Once you’ve selected the material that’s perfect for your home, DTK Stone Works will do the rest, of course with your input. Make sure you read and watch us next time. For more information do not hesitate to call us and schedule your visit to our showroom.

  • Why You Should Get Granite Countertop in Your Kitchen From DTK Stone Works

    There is no doubt that a kitchen granite countertop is such a sight to behold. It makes the seemingly boring kitchen suddenly come alive and bring endless inspiration and enthusiasm to someone who is responsible for providing succulent fares on the table for the family. It exudes elegance and timeless beauty and anyone who sees it will definitely love it and might not even want to part from it.

    Like most things in this world, there are advantages and disadvantages in having a granite countertop . It is prudent to know them first to avoid any regrets later.

    Granite is amazingly durable that even if you place hot items on it or even cut something on your granite countertop . You don’t need to worry about anything because nothing will leave their mark on your granite – they can’t even if they want to. Granite is tough on scratches and any unsightly marks.

    It adds beauty to your kitchen. Add a granite countertop and see your kitchen turn into something else right before your eyes. It exudes a certain charm and appeal that no one can deny.

    Once it has been sealed, it is already stain resistant. It is also non-porous that’s why you can be certain that when you clean your granite countertop , it is totally clean.

    It only requires low maintenance and cleaning is a breeze. You don’t need to spend so much time brushing it because a simple wipe in one passing can clean all the dirt.

    No two kitchen granite countertops are the same and that is an assurance that you will never see the same granite countertop in someone else’s home. They might look similar but they are definitely not the same.

    The color of granite never fades with time; it stays the same the first time it arrived in your home especially if you properly maintain it.

    The granite countertops add value to a home. If unfavorable circumstances made you decide to sell the house, you can be certain to get higher value for your property because of the granite countertop .

    We at DTK Stone Works carry a great variety of granites . We have colors, patterns, thickness and edges that will satisfy any taste and every designer’s whim. On top of that our professional installation will leave completely satisfied and happy with your new kitchen countertop . We’ll show up on time, take precise measuring of the kitchen and the island, give you a free estimate and when you are ready, we fabricate the countertop and install it at a convenient time for you without any hassle. And at the end, you will thank us for the great job we have done. That’s a promise!

  • Lapidus – DTK Stone Works’ most sensual texture for kitchen countertops

    kitchen stone projects in chicago DTK Stone Works , the Chicago regional leader in the development, production and distribution of granite, marble, quartzite and other natural stone surfaces, has launched Lapidus , a new finish with a matte texture for its countertop surface range, into the Chicagoland market.

    To be available in several colors, DTK Stone Work’s Lapidus finish delivers a unique texture, beauty and elegance. From the celestial, cool tones of Lady’s Dream to the earthy hue of Revelation , Lapidus delivers an ideal finish for any fashion-conscious home owner. With tones that blend seamlessly together, DTK Stone Work’s Lapidus helps create a kaleidoscope of color for any kitchen, making for an aesthetically balanced room.

    The initial color selection for Northern Illinois consumers consists of Giallo Venezia, Silver Sparkle, Crystal Gold, Zeus, Jerusalem Bone,Red Damascus and Rainforest Brown with the other colors to be rolled out over the coming months. Smooth and soft, Lapidus is the most advanced matte texture in the world of quartz surfaces , and offers the benefits of bacteriostatic properties found in all DTK Stone Works ‘ products. Providing maximum hygiene protection and resistance against scratches, knocks and stains, these bacteriostatic properties enable DTK Stone Works surfaces to last longer, keeping a high level of durability and providing effortless beauty. The consistency of its texture and color allows Lapidus to transform any kitchen countertop into a place of natural elegance and beauty, making it the optimal choice for a glamorous, hygiene-conscious kitchen.

  • Great looking kitchen countertop and kitchen island

    Here are some pictures of another successful project we have recently completed. The kitchen perimeter countertop is made of Orion Granite , 3cm in thickness with beautiful ogee edge. The kitchen island and the furniture ornament are made of Cristallo Quartzite 3cm with leather finish and ogee edge as well.

    DTK Stone Works kitchen island countertop Cristallo Quartzite

    DTK Stone Works – kitchen island countertop Cristallo Quartzite 3cm

    DTK Stone Woks kitchen countertop Orion Granite, with kitchen island Cristallo Quartzite

    DTK Stone Woks – kitchen countertop Orion Granite, 3cm with kitchen island Cristallo Quartzite 3cm

    DTK Stone Works furniture piece Cristallo Quartzite with leather finish and ogee edge

    DTK Stone Works – beautiful furniture piece Cristallo Quartzite 3cm with leather finish and ogee edge

    DTK Stone Works Cristallo Quartzite with leather finish and ogee edge

    DTK Stone Works – Cristallo Quartzite 3cm with leather finish and ogee edge

  • Whether you prefer contemporary or classic – and you want a roomy family bathroom or an intimate en suite, it’s easy to plan a scheme that will suit

    custom bathroom stone project in chicago Whether you prefer contemporary or classic – and you want a roomy family bathroom or an intimate en suite, it’s easy to plan a scheme that will suit. As the nights draw in, so does the appeal of curling up in the tub. However, if one of your bathrooms is more serviceable than sumptuous, it may be time to give it an overhaul. Start by drawing up a list of everything you wish was different about your bathroom – and what you’d like it to contain, as well as what you plan to do in there – is it a family bathroom, en suite or a secondary room to a main scheme?

    Think about who is going to be using the space and whether you want it to be simply functional or somewhere you want to spend a lot of time, says bathroom designer. Consider what sort of style of bathroom you’d like – classic, contemporary or traditional. The most cohesive designs start with a focal point that the rest of the room is then shaped around. If you fall in love with a bath in bright blue – marvelous!. Branch out and use blue highlights through cabinet handles and lighting. This is also a good idea if you’re not sure about picking a brightly colored feature. Simply choose a classic white scheme and accessorize. A white bathroom will always seem bright and timeless. You can then change around coloured accessories as you like, continues Rita. Another idea is to mimic inspirational layouts you ve seen to recreate a designer feel. Think about favorite hotels you have stayed in and what exactly they used to create a luxury space. A double vanity unit, roll top bath or large mirrors will all add a higher level of glamour to your bathroom at home. If a hotel-style bathroom appeals, you’re in good company. Spa bathrooms are right on trend, creating a calm and inspiring place where you can relax in luxury. Allow yourself space to breathe – avoid clutter and be as generous as you can with the sizes of baths and showers. Include some comfortable seating to relax into and keep colors neutral and natural. If you have the space, investigate the world of steam or sauna to complete the wellbeing experience.

    Although you’ll need to consider the water pressure into your property if a spa-style bathroom appeals, as high flow rate shower options such as body jets or large shower heads usually require 2 bar or above to operate. Once you’ve decided on a style, the next thing to consider is if you want a fitted or mainly freestanding design. A fitted, sleek bathroom will have clean lines and can provide acres of storage around basins and in cupboards. Fitted furniture is often designed to be installed along one wall in a bathroom, so that you achieve a complete run of units, often incorporating lots of storage and concealed extras such as laundry baskets. There are options for smaller, more standard bathroom layouts – but they usually end up with small or even unusable cupboards, or even blank fascias to cover awkward spaces. They provide a cohesive look and can give a clean feel to a small bathroom – but you can end up having access for maintenance to the bath or WC blocked by a fitted unit. Freestanding units can be moved around to achieve a better layout or taken with you to another house. They still provide great storage and if you pick a neutral finish such as white gloss, you can mix and match them. In terms of sanitary ware, a freestanding bath can be more versatile as to where it fits into the space and will create more visible floor area, making the room appear larger, plus you can add color by having it painted in anything from on trend French grey to rich jewel shades. Metallic baths are also a beautiful option for introducing warmth, providing organic color, particularly if you choose copper or brass finishes.

    Plan your layout

    Bathrooms can be trickier to design than kitchens because so much is connected to height and space. There are lots of different elements to the design process, so start with a detailed survey of the room, which allows you to accurately budget for the changes you plan to make. Something as simple as moving pipes needs to be considered and coasted. For example, if a WC is part of the room, and not located elsewhere, the easiest thing is to leave it in its present location. Soil pipes can be moved but there can be restrictions on positioning and it will extend your renovation time line. However, if it’s in your immediate field of vision when you walk into a room, it is a good idea to try and relocate it. One of the worse things is to walk into a bathroom and set eyes on the toilet. Tucked around a corner, behind the door or with a bath or basin obstructing the view are all good options, as is opting to have it wall-hung to reveal more floor space and make it easier to clean around. Building a stud wall behind it will help to hide pipework, too.

    The classic sort of bathroom layout is the bath on one wall, the shower in next corner, the toilet in the other corner and the basin in the fourth corner. Using clever design and thought you can create a beautiful space where some of the most attractive elements are on show so that when you walk into the room you get that wow factor of a stunning bath ahead of you and a toilet and the shower behind a stud wall, sectioning off the zones of the room. Baths make great statement features so don’t be afraid to have yours in a prominent position. For full-on wow factor, choose freestanding pieces as focal points. Classic cast-iron baths or sumptuous showers are big important features that can transform a bathroom into pure theater. Taps that complement your bath will also need to be considered. Many freestanding models have telephone style taps in the center of the bath with pipework extending from the floor but they can also sit at one end of the bath. For true seamless appeal though, and if the bath is close to a wall, the taps can be routed into it, leaving the bath completely free from brass ware and creating a waterfall-style effect when it’s being filled. Remember to include some storage nearby, too. A freestanding bath won’t usually have ledges to put soaps, shampoos, sponges etc. on so if it’s going to be near a wall, accessible, low-level shelving would be useful.

    Alternatively, a bath tidy that fits across the bath will keep everything – including a relaxing glass of wine – within easy reach. If you’d like to have a separate shower, consider if you’d like it as a showpiece or a subtler element of your scheme. In recent years there has been a growing trend for minimalist shower enclosures with impressive glass panels and slim, invisible framing. This trend encourages light into the bathroom, offering an illusion of extra space.

    Include some storage

    In all the pleasure of choosing sanitary ware and a gorgeous bath, storage can sometimes be forgotten but it’s a must. Towels and toiletries should always have a place, whether they are hidden away or displayed proudly in a lit alcove. If you’re choosing fitted furniture allow for storage solutions below built-in basins and behind mirrored units, preferably with some lighting incorporated, too. Storage space is really important in a bathroom; I cannot stress that more highly. It is really useful to have electric shaver and toothbrush chargers hidden from sight inside a mirrored cabinet or underneath a vanity unit. You can also add some shelving on the walls or in corners, which are especially useful in smaller rooms where cupboards could make it feel, closed in. If space isn’t an issue, consider installing some slim bench-style seating that can conceal hidden lift-up storage. The latest bathrooms also have hi-tech audio systems tucked away. Sound systems with built-in speakers are becoming favorites among high-end bathroom designers – where you can connect your iPod or iPad and listen to your favorite tunes while in the bath or shower. Built-in radios in mirror cabinets are also now available.

    Consider surfaces

    While they’re still a classic choice, ceramic or porcelain tiles aren’t your only option for walls and floors in a bathroom. Natural stone, composites or even waterproof wallpaper can all be used in different areas to create impact. In smaller spaces, larger-format tiles can make the room look bigger. Mosaics, for example, make your room appear smaller and look much better from a distance, so if you haven’t got a huge bathroom, limit the use of them to one wall or just a strip. Similarly, larger tiles can also make the room look longer, depending on how you place them, plus they have fewer grout lines and look less busy. Using the same tiles for floor and wall will increase seamless appearance and opens up the space. Flow-maintenance life, you may also want to consider surfaces with texture or specks to minimize watermarks and dirt. Flat colors and gloss tile will show every single grain of dust on the floor. To keep your bathroom cozy and comfortable during the cooler months, it’s also advisable to opt for under floor heating. Radiators are great for drying and warming towels but often don t having enough BTU values to warm through walls and floors of stone from a cold state. Wet (i.e. water-pipes) under floor heating will be more efficient to run but is often best installed as part of a larger renovation as it can raise the level of the floor. Dr (i.e. electric mats) UFH can be laid practically anywhere but can be expensive to run constantly

    Brighten with lighting

    Lighting is a crucial part of any bathroom scheme for relaxing ambiance and practical day-to-day use. Gare the days of a single ceiling light, now the emphasis on layering illumination and fulfilling a variety needs. The types of light are roughly divided into categories. The three layers of light include ambient accent and feature lighting and allow us to create different scenes and compositions within any bathroom space. Ambient lighting, such as functional mirror lighting and down light illuminates the overall space, while accent lighting focuses on specific room details. Strategic use of downlights can add sparkle to taps and porcelain, but be careful not to overuse as this can make the space feel overwhelming. Lastly, feature lighting can be used to highlight areas such as shelves and recesses for visual interest. It’s also good to include some form of night light, either under a counter or via a wall light, to provide low-level diffuse lighting that won’t strain your eyes in the middle of the night. For ease of use, add remote sensors, so your bathroom lights up as you step into it. Pendant lighting is another way of enhancing design. You will need to consider the IP (Ingress Protection, which rates how sealed products are to prevent dust and water getting inside) ratings of a lighting/electrical appliance. If you want a great statement chandelier over the bath, it would need to be specially designed for a bathroom. Last but not least, don’t forget to personalize your bathroom space with layers of luxuries. Accessories, such as fluffy towels, scented candle and colored glass bottles for bubble bath, will all help to make your bathroom feel more inviting and a place in which everyone will love to linger.

  • Essentials of urban kitchens

    custom kitchen stone projects in chicago Modern kitchens of course look just right in contemporary urban settings; that much is taken for granted. However, some of the most on-trend designs are so pared down that there is an element of ‘where is the kitchen’ involved; therefore it becomes even more important that the details, accessories and appliances work hard to create an exciting and visually impactful kitchen environment.

    Materials used for the cabinetry can include the ubiquitous and beautiful matt and glossy lacquers, and exotic wood (or wood-look) veneers. Textures are important – where surface details, such as panels, moldings, handles and so on, are minimal and colour and texture take on a bigger role. Work surfaces also play a huge part in the overall look of the kitchen, adding texture (in the case of stone and concrete options) and colour and ultimately influencing the whole scheme.

    Use of Space

    The urban kitchen seems to swing between a vast open-plan family/living space, which may accommodate a large kitchen arena with centerpiece island or it may be a single row of cabinets and work surface along one wall, in an open-plan apartment. The variations between the two mean that in many cases the kitchen has to blend with living room-style furniture and upholstery, and perhaps audio-visual cabinetry. The result is that the space can become almost office-like in its simplicity and approach, with much of its functionality hidden from view. In fact, with some cases it seems rather a shame that the beautiful (and it has to be said, costly) appliances that make up a considerable part of any kitchen budget, are all too often completely hidden from view, with an increase in popularity of the concept of the ‘hidden’ kitchen. If a sophisticated urban kitchen is on the menu, then it’s perfectly possible to only have the hob and sink on view. Remember that kitchen cupboards don’t just have to house the groceries and gadgets, where there is ample storage space, such as in a new extension. Allocate some cabinets to be used for the ‘home office’ or the homework station or for AV equipment and so on.

    Down Below

    The design of many contemporary urban kitchens involves stairs, glass and basement positioning. The surge of the below-ground design concept is becoming a viable option when space is at a premium and the family has expanded but the rest of the house is still perfect. A basement development can transform an existing, small, shaft cellar into a whole new floor, often with additional space for laundry, utility, shower room, wine cave, etc. Of course, such a project is a considerable investment, and there has recently been discussion about limiting the scope of basement development, but it’s an approach worth investigating, as it does suit the concept of the urban kitchen literally, down to the ground.

    Under Glass

    Many urban kitchens involve large expanses of glass – whether it’s used for the roof, in a conservatory-style extension, or simply for floor-to-ceiling folding/sliding glazed doors. Either way it has an effect on various aspects of the design process (apart from the obvious involvement of various other professionals apart from the kitchen designer). The use of lots of glass changes the acoustics in the room, and as a result it’s often a good approach to include upholstery and perhaps one or two large, soft, textural rugs to help absorb clatter and noise. Lighting is also hugely important in a glass environment – there’s little shortage of it during the day, but nighttime brings the problems of endless reflections and a wall of blackness where the garden used to be. It’s a worthwhile project to install decorative outdoor lighting at the same time as the door/terrace construction work is going on, so that the garden can be viewed from the kitchen space.

    Practical Points

    While much of the practicality of the urban kitchen may be hidden, there are perfect opportunities for display space as well – pocket, folding and sliding cabinet doors can be opened when the kitchen is ‘in use’, revealing sleek shelves that can hold neatly stacked china and glassware. The larder cupboard concept need not be restricted to country or classic kitchens, it works just as well in a contemporary urban space, so think about including one – it can work as neatly with sleek wenge or lacquered cabinetry as with traditional oak or painted designs. Wall hung cabinetry is also a strong trend at the moment – with the illusion of ‘floating’ islands so the look is less blocky and overwhelming. The idea also runs through to open-sided islands, and even table-style islands, with a far more slender profile than we’re used to seeing – the furniture is still totally practical and user-friendly, but with a much lighter and more airy look.

  • How to pick out granite countertop for your kitchen

    granite kitchen custom countertops in chicago It would be helpful if you decide beforehand whether you like granite “with movement” or the granite that is a more static pattern or even a solid color like Absolute Black.

    It’s a matter of personal taste, but it is likely you will be overwhelmed with the selection at the granite yard, and if you could narrow it down a bit even before you get started, it will help you.

    Also keep in mind that some granite yards talk about “Grade A” , “Grade B”, etc. granite. Typically they are not discussing the quality of the granite, but the rarity. The more rare, the more expensive. The yard may have dozens of slabs of one granite, and only two of another, and that will affect the price. But the rarity has nothing to do with the quality of the granite, or whether it will or will not stain or etch, etc.

    Also, be prepared to take samples home, for two reasons. One, is that the granite will look different in your house than at the granite yard, so you need to see the ones you like at your house in order to choose one. Another reason is that it is often helpful to have a sample to “experiment” with. I.e., spill wine on it, or oil, and see what happens. Although keep in mind that the granite will behave differently once it is sealed, it is still helpful to see what happens when you spill stuff on it.