Travertine is synonymous with luxury, and that comes at a cost. The natural variation in the warm-colored stone is aesthetically appealing, but you may feel a little more cooly toward it once you calculate the cost of using slabs of travertine on your kitchen counters. Formica has developed a solid-surface material that is affordable (compared to the pricey natural stones) and nicely mimics their look and feel. If you’re considering travertine but want to look at a more budget-friendly option, try Formica’s solid surface countertops in Travertine Gold.
A crisp white palette, chrome accents and marble surfaces elevate the design of the contemporary-style kitchen at HGTV Urban Oasis 2012. To maximize space and storage options, the unit's standard kitchen was blown out and cabinetry installed to ceiling height.
One of the most popular countertop surfaces today, engineered quartz is versatile and durable. Its nearly endless range of color options allows you to visually tie an open kitchen to the surrounding living spaces, as designer Lori Dennis did here with dark blue tones in a kitchen by SoCalContractor.
If you’re looking to transform the ceiling of your own living room without major renovation costs, faux bois wallpaper is a great option. It looks and feels like real wood thanks to its textured surface and forgoes the messy installation or pricey labor costs.
To ensure guests have plenty of surface space for drinks and snacks, try adding round-topped occasional tables between pairs of Adirondack chairs. Round is always an excellent option since the lack of corners means no sharp edges for anyone who may bump into the tables as they get in and out of their seats.
Expand your entertainment options and utilize your underdeck as well as your balcony deck like this example which features a screened-in porch of Tigerwood and composite decking for both levels. To maintain the beauty of composite surfaces, never use acetone or other solvents for cleaning. Warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush work best. Tigerwood does not require a sealant unless you want to retain the natural color instead of letting it age naturally.
There’s no getting around it: Lava stone is gorgeous. It’s beautiful, with its amazing color, its luster and its you-can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it magnificence. It’s also literally one of the most expensive options in the world for countertops, sometimes ending up around $300 a square foot. The reality is, nothing will look like lava stone. But Paperstone, a composite countertop made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper and non-petroleum-based resins, might just make you forget about it. It seems like a solid-surface material but is eco-friendly in almost every way you could imagine, and when you drink in its warm Cabernet color, you might just wonder why you ever considered another crazy-expensive option.
A container garden is a wonderful thing for ambiance, but it can wreak havoc on your deck or patio’s surface. Overwatering leads to puddling, which leads to mold and stains caused by mineral buildup as the water evaporates. “Anytime we install a deck, we always use saucers for potted plants, connect the pots to an irrigation system, and install a drain tied into the below-ground drainage system whenever possible,” Kalamian says. “That way no water pools around the bottom or leaks across the deck.” Stains caused by pots often can’t be removed, so prevention is your best option.