Design Details: Perfect Farmhouse Kitchen

Elegant but not fussy, airy yet down-to-earth, the farmhouse kitchen is easily one of the most popular styles for the modern family kitchen. Today we're sharing 4 special elements which can help bring your ultimate farmhouse kitchen dreams into reality. 

1. Rustic Accents

Part of the casual elegance of the farmhouse kitchen is the rustic undertone. Even in highly elevated farmhouse inspired spaces, part of what makes them so appealing is the contrast of beauty and warm, worn textures. This kitchen knocks rustic elements out of the park by including a whole wall of stunningly beautiful barnboard. This feature serves as the anchor for the rest of the design, but also lets the rest of the kitchen be smooth, clean and uncluttered without feeling too cold.

*These white and grey countertops are gorgeous - and if you're interested in a similar look but with the enhanced performance, durability, warranty and maintenance-free properties of Cambria, we suggest you take a look at our beautiful Ella design.

2. Exceptional Lighting

Light fixtures are the jewelry of any room. In the kitchen, many types of lighting are required. Bright, clear lighting for food prep and soft, moodier lighting for dining are both equally essential to a successful kitchen design. This kitchen includes an incredible light fixture featuring many bulbs over the primary work surface - giving both the option of full light or softer light through a dimmer. Additional lighting is provided by both pot lights and sconces to give the homeowners plenty of lighting options.

*Creamy white countertops of interest? Check out Cambria's Fairbourne and Kirkstead designs!

3. Thoughtful Storage

Integrated and intentional storage is a hallmark of the modern farmhouse kitchen. Well placed storage can serve both to have important or frequently used items on hand and also to display some of your favourite kitchen items. A cohesive collection of items is both useful and beautiful, and can bring personality and interest to a super functional room. We especially love these warm wood floating shelves in the kitchen above, as they tie in the warm wood of the floor yet are clean and modern enough not to detract from the backsplash and cabinetry.

*Want a gorgeous striated countertop like this one, but interested in maintenance-free durability? We suggest Cambria's Oakmoor design.

4. The Farmhouse Sink

Of course, no farmhouse kitchen is complete without a beautiful farmhouse sink. These spectacular beauties are available in a wide variety of finishes and colours. Everything from shiny porcelain to copper and concrete are being used in today's designs. We love the idea of a contrasting sink that pops against the cabinets! 

*Love that countertop? We suggest gorgeous Cambria design Brittanicca Gold to incorporate stunning copper and warm white tones into your design. 

Spring Refresh: Kitchen Accents

Since we're still stuck in cooler temperatures here in Southern Ontario, we feel strongly that creating a fresh, spring atmosphere indoors is the best bet to lift our spirits. Winter can't last forever, and with these beautiful kitchen accents hopefully we can muscle through the tail end of cold& snowy days.

We wanted to share a few less traditional ways of easily adding a spring vibe to your kitchen, without requiring a full floral centerpiece. Though beautiful, floral centerpieces are costly and need sprucing up every few days to remain fresh. The kitchen above has sidestepped this issue nicely with a simple display of leafy branches in a beautiful oversized vase. Though finding leafy branches in your yard is unlikely or impossible right now, we think this idea would translate easily with any foliage - from filler greens from a florist to leaves plucked from houseplants. The plus side is that these leaves last much longer than traditional cut flowers, and bring a minimalist, modern vibe to your kitchen. 

*Love that countertop? We suggest beautiful Cambria design Brittanicca Warm to complement a similar kitchen. All the beauty of quarry cut stone, but with the durability, warranty and easy-care properties of Cambria.

We love this simple kitchen vignette for the same reasons as above - while this neutral kitchen is beautiful and fresh in its own right, we love the vibrant pops of green thanks to the glass bottles and crisp limes. Adding bright spring colours can definitely be as simple as a gorgeous glass cake platter topped with some beautiful fresh fruit and minimal coordinating accessories.

*Interested in a dramatic white and grey countertop like this one? We recommend Cambria's beautiful Brittanicca design. Zero maintenance, endless durability and jaw dropping beauty will elevate your space.

This kitchen gives a subtle nod to the classic spring pastel pallette. A pale pink tea towel, light blue soap dispenser and hint-of-pink cut lilies are all it takes to have us feeling the spring vibes from this kitchen! We love the idea of an undersized vase with lilies, since they are so often a flower used in over-the-top arrangements. This trio of blooms is simple and sweet, just like this lovely space.

*Love a plain white countertop? We've got you covered. We recommend you check out Cambria's White Cliff or Whitehall designs. The best part of your white Cambria countertop: absolutely no staining. Wine, juice, coffee have nothing on Cambria. 

If you have the space for an arrangement like the one above, we fully encourage this elegant combination. These beautiful faux apple blossom branches would be a great option to use year after year. Paired with live alstroemeria, they look incredibly fresh and vibrant. A simple vignette of china vases flushes this arrangement out to perfection. 

*If you love soft, organic movement like in the countertop above, we suggest you check out Cambria's Delgatie or Ironsbridge designs. Incredible movement and unbeatable performance and value make these two designs a perfect fit.

Hopefully some (or all) of these ideas for freshening your kitchen resonate with you! 

 

 

Selecting Your Countertop

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We all know that the countertop has a tough job. Arguably the most used (and abused!) product in your kitchen or bathroom, the countertop has a lot to contend with. Food, makeup, wine, vinegar, cleaning products, school bags, keys and more will be slid across this surface daily, so investing in a surface that can stand up to this use is certainly worth considering.

Since we know there are a few key areas of performance and lifestyle considerations, we've put together a handy chart to help you visualize the areas of performance for three top countertop materials.

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Let's explore each of the categories above in a little more detail, so you know what we mean by 'Durable' 'Low Maintenance' 'Non Porous' and 'Hygienic'

Durability in countertops is of course a top consideration. When we compare durability in these three surfacing options, we're talking about ability to resist scratches, chips, cracks and heat resistance. While all stone is sensitive to rapid changes in heat and can be damaged by use without a trivet, scratch resistance and chips are another story. Granite is durable and can stand up to most wear and tear, but will certainly chip or crack if hit with a pot or pan. Marble is much softer and less durable, and can also chip. Cambria is 93% pure white quartz, which is one of the hardest minerals on earth. Due to the extremely high quality and quantity of quartz in Cambria, it is also extremely durable. And, if a chip should ever occur, Cambria includes a complementary Field Services Technician to address the issue in-home & free of charge. No other manufacturer of quartz, granite or marble offers this service.

Low Maintenance refers to how much time, money and energy your countertop will require from you to maintain its look and performance. Both granite and marble need to be sealed frequently to maintain their look and minimize the look of stains. Cambria is virtually maintenance free, just wash with soap and water. It never needs to be sealed or polished.

Non-Porous, refers to the presence of holes both within and on the surface of the countertop. These holes allow for liquid and air and bacteria to be absorbed into the countertop. Because of the porous nature of both granite and marble, food and liquids can stain and damage the surface.  Wine and food will not stain Cambria.

Hygienic refers to whether the surface will absorb and hold bacteria. If not sealed properly or sealant wears off, both granite and marble will harbor bacteria. Cambria will not harbour bacteria and is a safe and healthy choice for your home.

Hint of Mint: Beachy Designs for Spring

The sun has been shining and we are starting to feel like winter is losing the battle. Since the days are getting longer and spring weather is within reach, we're definitely feeling more excited about bright, fun designs! We're sharing 3 beautiful Cambria designs which each feature fresh aqua tones, to celebrate spring!

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link Kelvingrove

The stunning project above is what inspired this post! It is hard not to have your breath taken away by this gorgeous space. Anything would look incredible next to that amazing ocean view, but we love how the homeowners here really embraced their surrounding with their interior design choices! 

Kelvingrove features both warm and nurturing Earth tones of taupe, white, and robin’s egg blue-green. It looks absolutely beautiful paired with aqua cabinets and soft whitewashed floor boards.

  link  Featured Design: Montgomery 

link Featured Design: Montgomery 

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link Montgomery

Next up is beautiful Montgomery. Creamy white, taupe and softest mint pair in this design for a subtle beachy look. In the gorgeous kitchen above they used a perfect combination of Cambria's Montgomery countertops with aqua glass tile backsplash. 

  link  Featured Design: Praa Sands 

link Featured Design: Praa Sands 

Lastly, no roundup of ocean-inspired designs would be complete without mentioning Praa Sands. From the Waterstone Collection, Praa Sands is the moodiest of the three designs we're featuring today. Meant to mimic the beautiful rocky outcroppings of the southern coast of wales, Praa Sands is a combination of charcoal, taupe and deep blue-green. 

Paired with smoky brown cabinets and a robsin's egg blue feature wall, Praa Sands is a grounding element in this lovely family kitchen. 

Cambria Quartz: Asked & Answered

In last week's blog, we outlined some of the questions which we feel are important for the consumer to consider when selecting which quartz product to specify for their renovation. We thought that this week we'd share the answers to those questions, to help put all of this information in one place for anyone trying to understand more about beautiful Cambria quartz.

1. What percent quartz is this product? Cambria Quartz is 93% pure white quartz, which creates an incredibly strong and safe surface.  

2. Is this product made from responsibly sourced quartz? Yes. Cambria is created from the highest quality of pure natural quartz. Unlike other manufacturers, Cambria is mined ethically and responsibly in North America. In addition, 100% of the water used to polish the surfaces is recycled, saving an estimated 1.6 billion gallons of water per year.

3. What type, purity & quality of quartz does this product contain? 93% pure, white quartz of the highest quality available.

4. Where is this product manufactured? North America? Overseas? Cambria is manufactured in North America. Slabs are created only in Le Sueur, Minnesota, ensuring incredible quality control. The countertops are then fabricated in Bolton, Ontario.

5. Is this product NSF 51 Certified Food Safe? Yes. All Cambria designs have been certified by NSF International as safe for use as a food preparation surface.  Cambria is nonporous; therefore, food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface – the main source of growth for harmful bacteria. 

6. Does it have Greenguard certification? Yes, Cambria quartz surfaces has been GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) under the GREENGUARD Standard for Low Emitting Products. This certification allows Cambria to be a point contributor in any LEED-certified project in the category of Indoor Environmental Quality.

7. Will it stain? No. Cambria's nonporous and nonabsorbent surface is resistant to staining and eliminates the need for any sealing. Its nonporous surface also greatly reduces the potential for bacterial growth from food absorbing into your countertop.

8. Will it etch? No. Cambria will not react to food acids in the same way other stone can. Lemon juice, tomato sauce and vinegar will not damage the surface. 

9. Will it scratch? Cambria is durable and more resistant to surface damage than other stone. However, all stone can be damaged by force and no stone is chip-proof. Objects hitting edges, particularly at sinks or dishwashers, may cause chips. Though a minor knife slip will dull the knife and not harm Cambria, no stone surface is scratch-proof. Surface markings are more visible on monotone designs than multi-colored surfaces.

10. What manufacturing warranties does this product have? All Cambria surfaces are accompanied by a Lifetime Limited Warranty, which covers the product for the duration of your ownership. 

11. What does the warranty cover? How long does it run? Cambria offers a Lifetime Limited Warranty against manufacturing defects. Feel the confidence and freedom of living with your Cambria, knowing we stand firmly behind every product we make and every customer we earn. In the rare case that your Cambria has been damaged, our Customer Care professionals will help make everything right.

12. Does this manufacturer offer a Field Service Technician to quickly address issues? Yes. You can reach a Cambria Customer Care professional at 1-866-CAMBRIA to request a Field Service Technician dispatched to your home, free of charge. Cambria is the only quartz manufacturer that offers this service.

13. Does the veining run through the product? Or is it only on the surface? Yes, Cambria's natural quartz and rich colors go all the way through the material.

14. Are installers certified? Yes. Cambria® only supplies and manufactures quartz countertops to companies who have been educated at Cambria® University in Minnesota.

15. Does the manufacturer colour/design match? Yes. While exact vein matching, colour matching and design matching are never guaranteed due to the unique natural beauty of each slab, every attempt is made to ensure the best colour & design match. 

We hope this helps answer some of the questions you may have about Cambria! If you have any additional questions you can always reach one of our helpful staff members who will be happy to help. Inquiries can be made to 905-967-0949. 

Is All Quartz Created Equal?

 link Featured Design: White Cliff

link Featured Design: White Cliff

Quartz is the #1 surfacing product on the market right now, and is steadily climbing in popularity. The reasons why are easy to see, performance, durability, beauty and maintenance-free living are all appealing options for busy homeowners. As a result of the high demand for this product, the market is flooded with tons of different brands & manufacturers of quartz products, all with different performance, warranty and price. 

While we of course believe in the quality and value of Cambria, the exclusive quartz product we offer, we think it is important for all consumers to conduct their own research and arrive at the best product for their lifestyle. 

Picking the products for your kitchen can be overwhelming, and the countertop is just one product in a long list of decisions to be made. However; not everyone is an expert on countertops! So we thought we'd share a handy list of a few questions which might help you establish which product is the right fit for your home. 

1. What percent quartz is this product?

2. Is this product made from responsibly sourced quartz?

3. What type, purity & quality of quartz does this product contain?

4. Where is this product manufactured? North America? Overseas?

5. Is this product NSF 51 Certified Food Safe?

6. Does it have Greenguard certification?

7. Will it stain?

8. Will it etch?

9. Will it scratch?

10. What manufacturing warranties does this product have? 

11. What does the warranty cover? How long does it run?

12. Does this manufacturer offer a Field Service Technician to quickly address issues?

13. Does the veining run through the product? Or is it only on the surface?

14. Are installers certified?

15. Does the manufacturer colour/design match?

These are some of the things you want to know about your countertop as you make this investment in your home.We hope this list gives you a starting point as you explore the world of quartz! 

 

Healthy Spaces: Cambria in High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas in the home are something we are all familiar with. The kitchen, bathroom, mudroom and laundry room are some of the hardest working areas in any house. Places which are exposed to a variety of elements are always excellent places to invest in your home - if an area will see water, dirt, grocery bags, laundry baskets, keys, toys, dirty clothes (and clean clothes!) etc., it is clearly important to have a surface that will both stand the test of time and be easy to maintain and get truly clean.

Today we're sharing three spaces which illustrate the durability and cleanliness of Cambria quartz. All three spaces are public areas - outside of a residence - and all three spaces have selected Cambria as their surface of choice because of the outstanding durability, beauty and hygienic nature of this product.

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First up, this gorgeous yoga studio has chosen Cambria as its reception area surface. A yoga studio is essentially a place to get sweaty, and we all know that sweat breeds bacteria quicker than you can say 'Downward dog'. Add in the number of people a public space like this sees on the daily, and you can imagine how important it is to be comfortable that the surfaces clients are touching are truly clean, not harboring bacteria, or even common germs like the cold and flu virus. We love the thoughtful choice of Cambria in this area because it is nonporous, easy to maintain, scratch resistant and looks absolutely beautiful. 

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Similarly, this use of Cambria is definitely not one the average homeowner would think of -  a medical facility. However; just because our private residences aren't subject to the (rightfully) stringent guidelines of a medical facility doesn't mean it isn't an excellent idea to include a product that allows you to control the level of sterility in your home. We all love the look of quarry cut stone like granite and marble. They are beautiful products! However; it is possible to achieve the same natural beauty in your home with a product that is both maintenance free and hygienic.

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Lastly, this stunning bar features a gorgeous top of Cambria's Ella design. A public bar or restaurant is an excellent place to use Cambria because of its strength and durability. Consider the vast array of beverages that will likely be spilled across this beautiful white surface during its lifespan. Wine, vinegar, chocolate syrup, maraschino cherry juice, lemon & lime juice, the list goes on. Not to mention the thousands of glasses slid across the surface, coat button and zippers, handbags and car keys that this countertop will see. The beauty of Cambria is in its ability to withstand nearly anything life throws at it! In high traffic areas it is easy to see why the investment in a surface with the strength, durability, stain resistance, scratch resistance and beauty of Cambria is a natural choice.

Not Just Countertops: Cambria Wall Cladding

The incredible performance, durability and beauty of Cambria make it an ideal choice for not just countertops, but also a variety of other uses. Because of the incredible innovation and precision of the Cambria FabShop, we've seen incredible projects come to life. One of the most common applications for Cambria is a vertical one - wall cladding.

The most common places where we see Cambria being used vertically are in the bathroom, on a fireplace and  as backsplash. We're sharing 4 different ways Cambria can be used vertically today, but for a fun twist we're sharing projects which all use the same gorgeous design - Brittanicca.

Because Cambria is completely non-porous and will not harbour any harmful bacteria, it is an ideal choice for use in wet places, such as a shower or tub. Using Cambria in the shower can create incredibly dramatic movement, as shown above. However; if you prefer subdued elegance, because of the 140+ designs available, we know there's a design perfect for your project.

Above, this double-height room is taken to soaring new levels of design with double slabs of Brittanicca stacked floor to ceiling on the fireplace. Using Cambria on a fireplace is an incredibly luxurious addition to your design. Make sure when planning your fireplace cladding you speak with one of our highly trained staff members to learn about any potential restrictions on material size and placement. 

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This amazing bathroom features floor to ceiling Brittanicca in different sizes to emphasize the natural beauty of this stone. We love the bold pattern mixed with bright gold hardware and distressed wood floor! 

Lastly, we can't leave without talking about the most common way of using Cambria vertically - full height backsplash. Whether you choose a contrasting design, or go for a matching look (as above), we love the idea of Cambria as full height backsplash. Not only does Cambria not have traditional grout lines, making it easy to maintain, but it is also a perfect place for a non-porous material. Your kitchen's splash zone could easily have food splashed on it, and as a result is a great place for the worry-free properties of Cambria. Spaghetti sauce, soups, frying bacon and more are all super common culprits for splashing on your walls. Cambria will not stain or oil spot, and cleans up with just soap and water, making it the perfect choice for this high-use area of your home.

 

Kitchen Fundamentals: Custom Cabinetry

Designing a kitchen involves hundreds of decisions. Finishes, hardware, colour, texture, performance, durability & warranty are just some of the things that are considered in a kitchen renovation – and they are considered for each and every material, product and supplier throughout the whole process. It can be overwhelming!

While only you (and your designer, K&B boutique or architect) can decide what is the right choice for your family and budget, custom cabinets should definitely be on your list of considerations when planning a renovation.

Custom cabinetry is a more expensive choice than buying pre-fabricated cabinets from a large retailer, but we’ve got a few thoughts to share on why they might be the right choice, and worth the investment.

Number one, of course, is the key word in custom cabinet – they are custom! You can pick every aspect of your cabinet, from the height you need your countertops to be, the special width for your heirloom pasta maker, and the number and type of cabinets for the way you and your family live your life, custom cabinetry allows you to include everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

Number two, is performance and durability. Your kitchen is the most used room in your house. It has to face kids, pets, rushing adults, packed social gatherings, and more frequent cleaning than your other living spaces. Cabinets are a fundamental aspect of the kitchen, and if you consider your cabinet as foundation furniture for this highly used room, you will definitely want something built to last and with your unique needs in mind.

Number three: supporting local craftsmen and control over the source of materials. If you are concerned with how the materials in your home have been grown, harvested or produced, custom cabinets are certainly something you should consider. You will most likely be able to obtain much more information about the origin of the wood that is used, and be able to select a wood that you feel good about using in your home. Selecting a local cabinet maker ensures that you are investing in your local economy, reducing the carbon footprint of your home and have the flexibility to truly create a kitchen as unique as you are.

Custom cabinetry and a Cambria countertop go together like peas in a pod. Cambria is a North American made product created from ethically & Canadian-mined quartz and fabricated in Bolton, Ontario. Quartz Craft is a local, family owned business, and we’re proud to say that every single project we work on is customized to fit our customers’ exact requirements. If you’re looking for custom solutions for your design project, we think that the combination of custom cabinets & a Cambria countertop is a perfect match.

Kitchen Design: The Modern Classic

Our homes should be a reflection of our lives. How we live, who we are and what is important to us. Being comfortable and happy with your space is essential, and the easiest way to ensure success in your design is to understand what it is about a room that either appeals to you, or doesn't.

Great design will always stand the test of time, regardless of trends. We've seen super modern kitchens installed over 15 years ago that are still relevant to today's design. But if modern design doesn't speak to you or your family's lifestyle, then even the most beautiful modern kitchen is certainly not the choice for you. 

Today's images are all examples of stunningly beautiful 'classic' kitchens. We often find people shy away from the terms 'traditional' or 'classic', because they can conjure images of outdated kitchens without the glamour and beauty of modern kitchens. However; we're sharing these kitchens because while they are totally accessible, livable spaces they are also phenomenally beautiful and current. The best thing about a well designed classic kitchen is it will always be relevant. 

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So what makes a modern classic kitchen, well, classic? We're sharing 5 spaces that have entirely different finishes, details and layouts, but they somehow achieve similar aesthetics - bright, welcoming & approachable. 

Using a tight colour palette is always an easy way to add a timeless quality to your kitchen. These kitchens stick to neutral colours for the big ticket items. Grey, white, warm wood, deep black and soft cream are all utilized in these spaces. A neutral colour palette for cabinets, walls and floors allows your design to take more risks with texture, colour and scale of accessories. 

Each of these spaces also pays careful consideration to balance, proportion and contrast. Part of what makes a space feel well designed is that every element has a corresponding opposite. Dark and light, warm and cool tones, hard and soft surfaces. Creating a variety of sensory experiences all within the same palette is an excellent way to ensure your space feels intentional. For example, though the kitchen above features a strong wall of cool & shiny grey subway tiles, the floor is rough textured warm wood. This combination ensures that neither the floor nor the backsplash is overpowering the rest of the elements in the room.  

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Of course, traditional details on cabinets, doors and windows (such as raised or flat panels, dovetailed joints and mullions) add instant charm. Pairing traditional cabinetry with a Matte finish countertop (above: Featured Cambria Design: Weybourne Matte) from our stunning Marble collection is an easy way to achieve an old-world look with the strength and durability of Cambria. Since Cambria never needs sealing or polishing it will stand the test of time, just like the look of your modern classic kitchen.

Industrial Elements: Concrete Countertops

There's no doubt about it - industrial inspired kitchens are everywhere. This gorgeous aesthetic is simultaneously sophisticated and casual, a very difficult combination to pull off. We love industrial inspired spaces because it is easy to imagine actually living with and using these kitchens. Elements such as exposed beams & brick, dark metal hardware and simple cabinetry with open shelving are all hallmarks of this aesthetic, along with concrete countertops. 

While we absolutely adore the look of concrete countertops, living with them is sometimes not all its cracked up to be. While the  industrial and chic aesthetic of concrete countertops is fabulous, they also have some pretty serious issues. Concrete countertops are prone staining and scratching Concrete is porous and can harbor dirt and bacteria. Concrete countertops can crack if not supported throughout with significant re-bar, wire mesh and fiber reinforcements. They are expensive and time consuming (concrete takes 28 days to cure entirely) to install properly and require maintenance and upkeep for the lifetime of the countertop.

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Luckily, Cambria quartz provides a alternatives with exceptional beauty and incredible durability to give you the industrial inspired look of concrete with the performance and warranty of Cambria. Last year's Cambria Matte finish brought to life the option of having a low-sheen countertop with the performance of Cambria quartz. This incredible finish took over 10 years to perfect, and the resulting finish is silky soft to the touch with a chic low-sheen appearance. 

   link   Featured Cambria Design: Fieldstone

 link  Featured Cambria Design: Fieldstone

There are several designs which look incredible with an industrial kitchen design, ranging from lightest gray to deep charcoal. Lets explore a few of the options for your kitchen. 

Dunmore

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Dunmore is elegant and simple - a neutral gray which provides a grounding accent to any space.

Greystone

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Greystone is a true grey. This design has no movement, which makes it a perfect backdrop for more dramatic design elements elsewhere in you kitchen. 

Carrick

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Carrick is inspired by stony grey walls - and it features a soft organic movement which looks incredible paired with industrial accents. 

Devon

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Devon is a peaceful and neutral design which features extremely subtle movement. It is absolutely stunning in the Matte finish - it looks incredibly similar to poured concrete!

Fieldstone

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Fieldstone is a striking slate gray which we absolutely love. It looks incredible paired with every cabinetry imaginable!

 

 

K&B Innovation: Best New Tech

One trend which is universally on the rise is the use of smart technology in every aspect of our daily lives. Kitchens and bathrooms are no exception- appliances and products alike are moving toward and integrated approach to consumer use. Being able to connect appliances with smartphones and tablets is only the beginning- and we've got 3 new products we think worth considering including in your upcoming kitchen or bath project.

Alexa Kitchen

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Amazon's Alexa is already a staple in many homes, but there are even more reasons to use it on the horizon. Amazon has announced that it is now planning to add cooking capabilities to this already multi-functional technology. This mean that soon you will be able to use Alexa to instruct your appliances. No more searching for the proper button on your microwave or dishwasher- you will be able to simply ask for the setting you desire.  This technology must be used in conjunction with equipped appliances,  so major appliance companies such as Whirlpool, LG, Samsung and GE are all working towards launching Alexa integrated products.

Kohler Konnect Smart Bathroom Mirror

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Kohler has just launched its new range of Kohler Konnect smart products, all aimed at integrating voice control into your kitchen and bathrooms. This mirror in particular has all sorts of neat settings- including brightness, mirror angle & magnification, microphones and speakers for starting your morning the way you like. One of the neatest aspects of this new product is that not only is it voice controlled, but it also recognizes individual voices and their associated preferences. So when you ask for "Start my morning", your favourite lighting and song will start up, while what your partner or child prefers will be activated by their individual voices. 

Hiku

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Hiku is a smart device which addresses the age old problem of the grocery list. This smart tech is a fridge magnet which can scan barcodes and take voice commands, which then automatically uploads items to an app on your smartphone. This means you will always have your grocery list at your fingertips, whether you've had time to check the fridge or not. 

Instagram Roundup: Fabulous Projects We Love

We appreciate the beauty of every project we see - from simple countertop replacements to full-scale renovations. We see plenty of stunning designs and love witnessing the creativity of the trend setters in our field. Every year we see the kitchen and bath industry innovate in exciting ways that keep getting better. Today we're sharing 5 of our favourite projects from 2017. Each of these incredible spaces feature breathtaking design features and unexpected touches. 

This mudroom makes us smile every time we see it. We absolutely love the crisp blue and white colour palette! Of course, the design feature which takes this room to another level is that stunning wallpaper. Gorgeous mural wallpaper has become a trend which we love to see in unexpected rooms! An unconventional choice for a laundry room, but it takes a traditionally utilitarian space and makes is a pleasure to spend time in. This space also features the added durability of Cambria- those countertops are the beautiful Ella design!

What makes this modern farmhouse kitchen so unique from our perspective is the unapologetic combination of warm and cool tones. Honey blonde wood prevails in this space- making the choice of cool grey Cambria Clareanne design completely unexpected! Paired with gunmetal bar stools and black hardware, we think this space makes a strong argument to mix-and-match warm and cool tones fearlessly!

This kitchen is absolutely spectacular. A jaw-dropping 2-story wall of Cambria's classic Brittanicca design is only the beginning. Floor to ceiling windows, exposed beams and bleached wood floors complement the glamorous white & gold palette of this modern kitchen. Unique pendant lights and a play of modern and traditional shapes keeps this space fun and inviting!

This kitchen proves dramatic elements aren't a requirement for stunning beauty. This space makes our list because of its quiet elegance - no one piece of this space fights for attention, yet all elements work to make this space much greater than the sum of its parts. Soft, serene and soothing, this kitchen is thoughtfully designed and it shows. Cambria's White Cliff design is the perfect choice for this kitchen's work surfaces because its durability means it will remain a snowy field of crisp white year after year.

This last space makes our list partly out of sheer craftsmanship. We love the gorgeous grain of this custom wood cabinetry, and could love that gleaming barn door more! Flying in the face of the 'all white everything' trend, this basement bar area works with what its got. We love that instead of attempting to make a naturally dark area bright, the designer doubled down into a moody rustic vibe which evokes images of cozy winter nights with friends. The exposed brick cellar and dramatic Cambria Langdon countertops add sophisticated texture to this incredible space. 

Top Trends of 2018

Happy New Year! 

As we welcome in a snowy and cold new year, we're bundled up inside more often than not. Although the temperatures have plummeted, we're not too upset because it is giving us lots of oppirtunity to look ahead at 2018. We're sharing our top 5 design trends for the year ahead, so read on if you're excited about all the fresh ideas we can expect to see this year!

1. Patterned Tile

This year tile is taking a front seat in design. While the classic patterns and textures of subway & glass tiles are by no mean a wrong choice, the bold new trend in tile will be both tiles that feature a strong pattern and tiles laid to create a custom bold pattern. Above, high contrast tile with a beautiful traditional pattern is paired with an ultra-modern shower enclosure and vintage inspired tub for a juxtaposition of old and new. We love this playful use of materials, because it allows this room to showcase modern design & functionality while paying tribute to traditional materials and shapes.

 

2. Coloured Kitchens

The all-white kitchen trend is slowing down this year, to be replaced with coloured kitchens in classic tones. While there is nothing more classic than a neutral kitchen, we're loving this trend towards a lighthearded and youthful approach to design. Above, this kitchen's modern slab cabinet doors are showcased in a vintage Robin's egg blue. This colour is soft, fresh and soothing, so while it is certainly a statement it is also unlikely to lose its appeal anytime soon. Paired with mismatched brass hardware and chrome faucet, we think this kitchen has all it's design bases covered!

3. Chrome Hardware

While gold, champagne and brass accents were everywhere for 2017, we predict this year we will see a return of high-polish chrome accents in design. Because pattern, texture and colour are so big for this year, we think many designers will choose chrome hardware to help balance their designs and add a classic element to their work. Above, this kitchen features dove gray cabinets, highly textured backsplash and mirrored elements which makes chrome hardware a perfect fit. The hardware complements the design instead of competing, and allows this space to feel cohesive and intentional.

4. Natural Sinks

Perhaps our most controversial choice for this year's trend- we predict a move away from porcelain and stainless steel sinks. We think this year many people will choose sinks in a natural material such as copper, concrete, or quartz. These custom options are certainly pricey, but the incredible beauty and luxurious clout they bring to a design is impossible to replicate. Above, this classic 1920's inspired kitchen features an absolutely gorgeous hammered copper sink. These sinks are so full of character, it's no wonder it steals the show in this photo!

5. Warm Whites

Our last pick for this year's design trends is warm whites. We love the crisp feeling of cool neutrals and pure whites that have ruled the design world for the last 5 years, but we think the next big thing is a move toward softer & warmer whites. Warm whites bring a welcoming vibe which is ultimately how most people want their homes to feel! Warm whites of course complement every colour palette. Their versatility is another reason we see these tones being big this year- there is no need to worry about 'matching whites', as layered whites & neutrals look incredible in any space. Above, this kitchen features incredible Cambria Quartz in their new Brittanicca Warm design. We love how this design brings in creamy white, greige and grey to this beautiful white & brass kitchen.

2017: Thank You

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As we wind down the last few working days of 2017, we wanted to extend a sincere 'Thank You!' to all of our partners. We value each and every one of our customers, and we know that it is your designs, cabinets and vision which bring our countertops to life. We appreciate the opportunity to earn your business with every project we complete, and we want you to know how deeply we care about your satisfaction. We look forward to continuing to build our relationships and we look forward to working together in 2018!

Winter Whites: The All-White Kitchen

We know that the all-white kitchen isn't necessarily the edgiest option in kitchen design. However; with the popularity of Scandinavian design on the rise, and design blogs & Instagram filled with beautiful images of white kitchens, it is safe to say this is a trend that is here to stay. Although (obviously) white kitchens have certain aesthetic components in common, we believe they are also endlessly customizable, and can truly reflect the individuality of the people who live with them.

This classic kitchen has tons of interest, even though nearly every surface and item in it is white. Ceiling-height subway tile backsplash creates a strong texture in the space, while a combination of floating shelves and upper cabinetry allow for display items and everyday kitchen essentials to be stored beautfiully and conveniently. 

Glamorous gold accents warm up this all white space, while traditional accents keep it feeling approachable and homey. With so much natural light, this space is a dream for a white-on-white palette, as it emphasizes how airy spacious this room truly is.

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For someone who loves to switch up their decor, a white kitchen is an excellent choice. A neutral backdrop means that seasonal decor will always pop- and never clash!

This modern kitchen features larges high gloss doors, herringbone flooring and gold accents. The full-height stone backsplash looks incredibly luxurious, and mimics the single-plane quality of the doors, while adding texture and subtle pattern. 

Instagram Roundup: #CambriaQuartz Holiday Homes

One of the great things about social media is the ability to share ideas and inspiration with eachother. We've been seeing a ton of gorgeous images from all across the world as people begin to decorate their homes for the holidays, and we wanted to share some of our favourites here, too!

The #MyCambria tag lets homeowners (real people with real kitchens!) share how they style and use their Cambria throughout the year, and it is so much fun for us as installers to get to see kitchens after they are completed! It is also a great way for anyone trying to decide which Cambria design is right for them to see many of the designs in actual kitchens, not just beauty shots. Of course, with a Cambria countertop though, every shot is a beauty shot! 

WIthout further ado, here's some of the gorgeous seasonal kitchens we're loving this December!

  link , featured design: Ella

link, featured design: Ella

  link  featured design: Brittanicca

link featured design: Brittanicca

  link  featured design: Torquay

link featured design: Torquay

  link  featured design: Torquay

link featured design: Torquay

 link featured design: Ella

link featured design: Ella

2018 Pantone Colour of the Year: Ultra Violet

Pantone's Colourof the Year is a much-anticipated announcement for the design world. In many ways, the colour of the year sets the tone for designs to come- and while often the decision is a bold & unexpected choice, we've seen the trickle down effect of their decision in many projects. This year is no different, as we welcome 2018 with Pantone shade 18-3838 Ultra Violet.

One of the most fascinating things about the Pantone Colour of the Year is the rationale behind the choice. Never flippant, Pantone makes a statement with its' selection every year. We'll let them explain how sumptious Ultra Violet fits into the current global climate for the year ahead: 

"Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets."

We're excited about Ultra Violet, as we love being a part of an incredibly creative and personal industry. We aim to help our customers achieve their vision and ingenuity with every project we complete, so as far as we're concerned, bring on bold design in 2018!

As a final introduction to this seemingly unconventional choice, we'r sharing two kitchens which prove purple absolutely has a place in the kitchen. 

Above, this ultra-modern kitchen gets a heavy dose of Ultra Violet! High gloss cabinetry in a shockingly rich shade of purple is an attention grabbing statement. Pared back & minimal accessories and a subdued secondary palette of white & chrome keep the focus of this space where it should be: those gorgeous cabinets!

Above, this second kitchen is a far more subdued shade of purple, yet still makes a statement. The gorgeous silvery-purple tone of the cabinets lets them shine without overwhelming, for an elegant and charming look. We love the pairing of these velvety cabinets with the champagne gold faucet and hardware- the neutral toned gold elevates the space while adding warmth and glamour.

Merry & Bright: Stellar Christmas Trees

We know for those who celebrate Christmas, the Christmas tree is likely the main component of your seasonal decor. It is undoubtedly the largest decor investment most people make seasonally- from the tree itself to the costly ornaments, these beautiful creations are certainly a commitment! 

Because the tree is such a centerpiece not only of decor but also the scene of many happy family moments, we love the idea of a tree which reflects your personal style, and reflects your family's taste. We've gathered these trees as inspiration for you, which hopefully you can take away into your own homes.

Above, both these trees shine brightly, in part because of their tight colour palettes. Keeping the tree to one or two central colours makes the theme apparent and cohesive. Both of the trees above also feature a strong design feature- they are flocked. Flocked trees are a beautiful alternative to either an all green or a modern all white tree- they give the impression of a gently snow-covered tree, while allowing your ornaments to pop against a light background.

This tree approaches a tight colour palette in a different way- organizing their ornaments according to colour saturation, all in the same tone. 

We love the luxurious feel of this tree- the all white & silver colour scheme look incredible in this sumptuous room. Using plenty of texture is an excellent way to keep a monochromatic tree from falling flat- this one uses faux fur, branches and natural elements to add depth and interest.

This last tree just goes to show that truly there are no rules when it comes to personal style. This rainbow-hued tree looks incredible- friendly and inviting! We love the idea of this tree for any household where fun is paramount!

Real Relaxations: Dreamy Bathrooms

From understated to dramatic, one of the lovely things about Cambria Quartz is the incredible stable of designs to choose from. With over 140 individual designs, there is absolutely something for every taste and for every space. We're sharing a few absolutely show stopping bathrooms featuring Cambria today, because we love this durable and beautiful product for one of the most hard working rooms in the house. Non porous, scratch resistant and beautiful, Cambria stands up to the wear and tear of daily use like no other product.

Above, Oakmoor is a gorgeous choice in this black, white and gold bathroom. The dramatic veining of this design is an incredible juxtaposition with the softness of its creamy tones. One of the most incredible features of this bathroom is the tub surround is made entirely of Cambria! Completely waterproof, Cambria is an excellent choice for both tub surrounds and shower walls. It also adds an undeniably luxurious look and feel to the room. 

Beautiful Cambria Brittanicca is used on the wall, counter and shelving of this incredible custom bathroom. We love the unconventional use of smaller sheets of Cambria to create intentional breaks in the design- it is modern and unexpected!

This bathroom is not afraid to bring the drama! Sheets of Cambria's Roxwell design flow seamlessly from the walls to the floor, creating an epic impression of monolithic movement.

In this stunning bathroom, dove grey cabinets and paired perfectly with Cambria's Ella design. We love the addition of a built-in makeup vanity next to the sink! The beauty of a completely custom product like Cambria is it gives every customer the control to create a space that works for how they use their space, to create a home as unique as they are!