Granite countertops are one of the hottest trends today in kitchen and bathroom remodeling. Why are they so popular? Granite counters are uniquely beautiful, incredibly resilient, and germ-resistant hygienic. They can also do wonders for your home's property value. Unfortunately for home owners, all of these great attributes typically come at a high cost. Here are four tips to more affordably get those beautiful granite countertops you've always wanted:
1. Buy online
Purchasing your granite countertops online online can help you source the absolute best price for that custom look you want in your kitchen. Online sellers are forced to align their prices to meet the many online competitors in the market, which give you tremendous bang for your buck. The one drawback to buying online is that photographs don't always do justice to the look, feel and color of the granite. Look for online sellers close to your hometown if you'd like to see the material in person before buying.
2. Choose a less popular color
The granite color you choose will greatly impact the design of your kitchen, and it will also impact the price. Tan, black and white granite all go for top dollar because neutrals are the most sought after. If you can make a less popular color work in your kitchen, you may benefit from a great deal on a more unique looking slab.
3. Avoid big box chain stores
If you go to one of the home improvement giants then prepare to pay the big bucks. Even if a slab is labeled as “on sale” it may still be priced well above what it can be found for at a wholesale warehouse and you'll be missing out on a much larger selection since big box retailers typically only carry 10 to 20 different color configurations if you’re lucky.
4. Buy pre-fabricated granite
Here's a little secret that most granite installers don’t want you know about: it's called pre-fabricated granite and it is taking the kitchen world by storm. Pre-fab granite can provide the same quality Italian stone, a perfect fit for your kitchen, and the exact same durability for nearly half the cost. How, you ask? When you buy a traditional unfinished granite slab the installer not only has to cut the granite into the proper pieces to fit your kitchen but he also has to finish the edges. This labor costs you big bucks—the labor to install and finish can sometimes cost twice as much as the granite slab itself! Pre-fabricated Italian granite is typically shipped to China to be manufactured, so a huge percentage of the labor you would normally require for is absorbed into the cost of the pre-fabricated granite you purchase. All your installer has to do is pick up the granite from the supplier, take it to your home and do some basic dimension cuts. With the edges already neat and finished, the installation can be done in one day which saves you a TON of money. Even if you are working with strange dimensions in your kitchen or bathroom, there are now multiple widths and lengths of pre-fab granite up to 11ft long.
Take a look over this high school and it seems to be as large as a small college campus. That’s because the more than 50 acres it covers is, in fact, as big as some small college campus’. Their standard of excellence is now reflected in the new facilities including athletic fields, Student Union (cafeteria), main office and Library Media Center, among others.
Students have the opportunity to select from a variety of classes and to challenge themselves in Honors and Advanced Placement classes with teachers who have engaging and stimulating lessons and an impressive AP pass rate. In 2012, there was an 83% pass rate with 677 students taking 1371 AP Exams.
Despite being around for 100 years, Redondo looks to the future in offering new classes like AP Chinese and Expository Reading and Writing, and programs such as STEM, which includes Biomedical Science, Engineering, and Environmental Pathways. They provide students with many opportunities to take part in whatever sparks their interest, and to provide guidance in these programs so students can gain confidence and learn the skills that they will use in life after high school. The journalism and yearbook program, for example, have Adobe software that is used by premier newspaper and design organizations.
Additional Programs & Honors:
When shopping for home décor ideas or essentials, it’s not always easy to know where to look. Sometimes, finding exactly what you need for your home – even if you don’t know you need it – can take just a little bit of help.
Luckily, the South Bay has some locally-owned home décor and furniture stores that can fill just about every niche. Whether you’re looking to decorate, add furniture or just some inspiration, here are five local hot spots:
This locally-owned story offers an array of unique items and is known for their friendly service. You will find small furniture, vintage items, home décor and many unique items that also can make great gifts.
128 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
A sophisticated, elegant offering of beds, bedding, lighting, tables and more with a design team to help you out. If you’re creatively challenged, you’re likely to find some décor and interior design ideas here.
138 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Arte Finest Furniture
In business for more than 20 years, this family-owned shop specializes in custom furniture and will build custom pieces to order for your style as well. You will find hand-crafted dressers, tables, consoles, book cases and more.
1997 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Tabula Rasa Essentials
This independently-owned boutique shop in the heart of Manhattan Beach is dedicated to lifestyle trends from around the world. An excellent selection of gift wares, lighting and home décor accessories like table top items, trays, candles and more.
919 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Beach N Creations
This Redondo Beach gift shop specializes in beach-themed gifts and home décor. You will find a large variety of coastal-themed kitchenware, wall art, bathroom accessories, lighting and much more in this unique shop.
1305 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
These low-maintenance, no-dirt plants make wonderful house guests! Tillandsia air plants grow naturally in South and Central America and southern parts of the United States. They are in the Bromeliad family, and are sometimes referred to as "air plants." In the wild, hundreds of different varieties grow on trees, rocks, cliffs, and various types of cacti. All water and nutrients are taken through the leaves. Their roots are used as wire-like anchors.
Landscape architect Josh Rosen has created the AirplantFrame to display these beauties. Available in matte black, matte white or glossy orange, AirplantFrames come in two different sizes and provide a grid for you to create your own living painting! Get your frame and check out Airplantman's online shop
A passion for design, attention to detail, and genuine obsession for all things airplant are just a few attributes that have gained Josh Rosen his title ‘Airplantman’. Rosen is a seasoned landscape architect, airplant expert, and founder of Airplantman Designs. Featured in private residences, commercial spaces, fine restaurants, and luxury hotels, Airplantman Design’s products are also available at select retail locations.
Airplantman Designs offers hand-crafted quality and local production 100% made in California. Learn more about airplants by following Airplantman on Facebook.
The ability to truly relax can be a difficult skill to acquire. But taking the time and effort to create a personal space designed to do just that in your home is a great first step that will only help get the relaxation process get started.
There are many ideas, design tips and common themes for home relaxation areas, but know that no two roadmaps are the same. It doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor, or even require a complete room makeover. Knowing your personal tastes and what helps you relax is the best place to begin.
With that, here a few helpful guidelines to keep in mind:
It's all about you
This space is about focusing on yourself. Avoid technology (no smartphones) and items that stimulate your mind. Stick to creative items and hobbies – whether it revolves around music, instruments, art, books, plants or nature – that take your mind off daily stresses. Personal items, keepsakes and photos of loved ones are often soothing and put you in a comfortable frame of mind.
Think about color
The right colors make a big difference. Choose cool, restful colors such as blues, greens and earth tones for the walls, furniture and accessories. Designers suggest no more than two or three colors.
Comfort, comfort, comfort
It should be as simple as being comfortable. That can mean an old recliner, soft blankets, or lots of pillows if that's your style. When you're comfortable, your mind will be at ease. Use natural or soft lighting, candles and favorite fragrances. Think soft surfaces and find your comfort zone.
Keep out the clutter
Keep it simple and keep out the clutter to avoid distractions. Relaxation is about slowing down your mind as well as your body. Simplify with fewer items that mean more to you.
Try the bathroom
The bathroom doesn't have to be limited to the place you rush through in the morning. Create a personal spa sanctuary by combining all of these elements with a hot bath for a new use of an old space.