Visually, kitchens are composed mostly of cabinets. Cabinets these days are composed mostly of white or off-white colors. To bring some contrast to the kitchen, you need a centerpiece that balances out the surrounding cabinets and drawers.
Any wood countertop can bring that much-needed warmth and contrast to your space. For those with a taste for the dramatic, however, a dark wood countertop can be the perfect combination of rustic and modern.
Though it takes a step away from the “all-natural” feeling of unstained wood, a dark stain is a simple way to flair up your kitchen, no matter the style. Bright cabinets obviously benefit from the contrast of a dark wood counter. On the flip side, dark cabinets require a more subtle balance.
There is no “one size fits all” stain for your counter, though. As with most details, it depends on your personal taste. All we can tell you is a dark stained wood countertop will fit most stylistic needs, and there is a huge range of tones to choose from. A butcher block island especially serves as a great centerpiece for hosting guests, prepping food, or just looking at and thinking, “Yup, I’m glad we went with that.”
The front porch is easily the most important aspect of your home’s appearance and the impression it has on the onlooker. At Ourso Designs, being natives of the south, we LOVE our front porches! There are just a few elements that make up a great front porch.
Like every interior space, exterior spaces also need a layer of lighting. General lighting is important; after all, you want to be able to see on the porch. Next, a couple sconces or a center lantern are great for accenting. Finally, task lighting is essential for highlighting important areas of the landscape, like plant arrangements, trees, or lawn fixtures.
The secondary purpose of the front porch (aside from it’s utility purpose to provide shelter) is to be inviting. Seating affirms that inviting impression. Another advantage is it gives you (and any guests) an opportunity to relax in an area of your home that lends a different view.
Also like most interior spaces, exterior spaces benefit from the addition of plants. Potted plants can act much like accessories. Like layering fabrics and patterns, its important to have plants of different shapes, sizes and textures on your porch.This will create a pleasing overall aesthetic.
Finally, color! Many add a pop of color by painting the front door an eye-catching color. Not a fan? That’s okay! There are other ways to incorporate color: in your plants’ pots, the plants themselves, and seating and seating accessories (pillows/cushions), just to start. Another option is to incorporate an outdoor rug. “Color” doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be bright; producing contrast among existing materials is just as effective as having a bright red door.
Honed and Leathered finishes for Granite and Marble counter tops are being chosen more often than the once popular polished finish.
What is Polished? A polished surface finish is smooth, shiny, and reflective. The full color, depth, and crystal structure is visible.
What is Honed?
A honed surface finish is a smooth surface without reflection. It varies from a matte like appearance to a very low sheen.
What is Leathered? A leathered surface finish starts with a honed finish, with a matte like appearance to low sheen, and adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores (compared to honing) and retains the color better than honing.
Some benefits when choosing honed or leathered finishes with marble or granite include:
little to no reflection
“soft” and “natural” look
marble and granite with honed or leathered finishes are good alternatives to slate or soapstone when compared to pricing and durability