Friday, February 22, 2013

Quartz Countertops - How It's Made

The daily life of a designer is never typical,  so much to see and do and today was no exception. Hanwha, the makers of HanStone solid surface quartz counter tops invited some designers to tour their plant, truthfully it was a symbiotic opportunity, they got to pick our brains and extract our creative ideas and we got educated....and a very yummy lunch.  Did you know that HanStone was manufactured for all of North America right here in little 'ol London!, we're rock'in the big time.

I'll take you on a little tour too... just an overview...here we go.
Can't not show off the fashion requirements for the day, the vests and steel toed slip-on booties certainly added to the authenticity of the experience but the colour was just not "me"
But safety first, one of the leading mantras of Hanwha, did you know they fitness check their employees?? Healthy = happy. I like that, it gives me another reason to want to buy their products..is that wrong?

The plant and manufacturing process was uber interesting, the experience was like the going to the "how it's Made" show. I'll do my best to fill you in on a little about the process,  truth be told I was too busy being mesmerized by gargantuan machines and shiny things to hear the details.

 First step is developing the colours and patterns. This process was so interesting, each pattern is developed based on inspiration from natural stone and then concocted using silica, colorants and resins. Samples are made and remade again and again until they are exactly what they want. Of course you can't custom colour your own counter, the development of a patter/colour is a lengthy process so they have developed a lineup up of patterns and colours for you to choose from.



The process starts with sand, quartz of course. Different size granules create different looks.


























Each pattern has it's own "recipe". Ingredients are mixed, put into a mold and then go through a process or compression, heating, cooling and polishing.  Keep in mind I'm giving you the "readers digest' version here.  There's a rather lengthy process for each component  to ensure safety and quality.




 As each slab comes off the polishing conveyer belt it's deposited in a room all by itself for a thorough inspection with human eyes. There's virtually no margin of error tolerated so you can feel assured your counter will arrive flawless. Of course there's still the fabrication process, where your counter goes to get a custom fit to your specs, stuff can go wrong there so were not out of the wood yet but off to a super start.

I have to say that there's such confidence when you can propose a product to a client with the understanding of the who, what, where, and why of it. The morning filled in some knowledge gaps for me and gave me a better understanding of how it's best used, fabrication possibilities and warranty guidelines.
 It was a fun day that made me a little smarter and able to better serve my clients.

Have a lovely day,

Karen














Thursday, January 31, 2013

All Time Best DYI’s…worthy of your time!

If you haven't heard of Pinterest by now..humm..you may need to get out more.  Seriously it’s the best invention since Starbucks took on the latte.  For all you DIY’ers out there you’ll be pleased to know it’s the best way to save and organize your DIY project list complete with all your instructions at your fingertips.
Here are a few of my personal fav DIY’s inspired by Pinterest that are worthy of our precious time.     

           Upholstered Ottoman  From Jenny at   The Little Green Notebook  Click on this link for instructions.  I love this idea and plan on making one for my cottage with some great Sunbrella fabric. and one for my home using some Linen fabric from LilyFair Drapery.com.  Seriously check this one out.
tufted ottoman

Here is another upholstery project, a huge money saver.  I really want o try this in a bright chartreuse velvet…humm
Check out the details here via SchueLove
DIY tufted headboard

Here’s a great idea for a kids bedroom or playroom,  who knew it was a  sideboard with the legs cut off!
I’m thinking entryway bench or kitchen banquette too!  Click here for instructions via Better Homes and Gardens


Enough to keep you busy?  Race you to Value Village! And check me out on Pinterest for more great DIY’s
Happy DIY’ing
Karen

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wreaths- Is It Too Soon?

TGIF ..it’s been a busy week and my head is about to explode from all the decisions I’ve had to make this week but more importantly the fact that my dryer is not working and the “part” needed is on order which incidentally is a small felt pad that will cost me $45…seriously.  I have no more to say about this because;
1. I’m dumbfounded.
2. Laundry is piling up..I’m a bit anal about laundry so this is not good.
3. Kitchen cabinets come out tomorrow which adds more chaos to my already chaotic life.(more on this later)
Back to the wreaths.  Grabbed a java and took a lovely quite stroll thru Pinterest this morning  (If only that could count as exercise).  And what to my wondrous eyes die appear but a beautiful wreath and some awesome reindeer..
tumblr_lwhyf0zOeR1r4hp5mo1_500
..which got me thinking..is it too early to put a wreath on my door, I mean I'd at least wait til after Halloween but surly after that would be ok?  I’d just do a green wreath, minus all the sparkles and bobbles, something like this..
46654546109515266_voxg2PJO_c38773246763143396_r7scympP_c
images via Pinterest
It barely says Christmas,  just a faint whisper.   Then as the weeks progress I can start adding bubbles and bows.

wreath
images from marthastewart.com
I love a simple green wreath.  It calms the chaos of the holiday season.  What do you think? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hunt Studio Design Tonight on CityMom



I must admit today I'm a little nervous because it's the day the the episode of CityMom that I am in, is being aired.  You can catch it in all it's glory tonight on Rogers TV more specifically channel 13 here in London.
For those of you who ae not familiar with CityMom blog or CityMom on Rogers I would highly recommend checking it out. The creative force behind CityMom  is Kelly Connor who writes and talks about all things kid and family related here in our fair city and points us in the direction of fun, healthy and needed resources Wish she was around was I was raising up my two!

Like every young family adapting and organizing  the daily needs of kids can be ever-morphing and challenging, there just never seems to be enough space! This was exactly Kelly's problem.  She needed me to help her create a more organized, efficient and pretty front foyer. after all it is the first thing people see when the come over.

She also was in dire need of some private workspace. Trying to work around sweet Sophie, ringing phone,buzzing doors and TV was simply becoming a huge obstacle to productivity. she badly needed a private workspace but the only space available was a closet.  Yes you heard me right but I'll say it again..a closet, because it's truly unbelievable what can be done with small space. You'll have to tune in to see it with your own eyes but if you can't I'll be posting some pics for your viewing pleasure.

In  the meantime check out Kelly's blog for some great giveaways, more specifically the handy dandy "Hang and Level"  I'm telling you you simply cannot live a good life without this little unit.  So go now and check it out!


Friday, September 7, 2012

This Weeks Great Finds

FB

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Top 5 Mistakes of DIY Decorating

Even though its still hot outside, we here in the great white north are getting ready to hunker down to our usual long winters. What does that means for a us?for a lot of us we start to re-nest, in other words decorate ‘cause we know how much time we spend indoors for these several cold blustery months.  Which brings me to the point of this post…the 5 biggest mistakes people make decorating their own homes. So, in Dave Letterman style here they are staring with #5

 

5. Using same style or period of furnishings.

 

   Victorian-living-room-furniture-with-golden-ornaments     Vineyard-4-big

WRONG                                                                                                                       RIGHT

We need to talk..never..I mean never buy  your furniture in suites or sets.  I know that's what your parents did but I also know you more than likely do not like their space. Perhaps there are a few of their pieces are worth inheriting..perfect,  mix the old with the new , the modern with the traditional, the wood with the Lucite. Now we’re talk’in! 

4. Smushing furniture up against the wall

wall-furniture      238901955203311963_mNEezEUh_f

WRONG                                                                                                                       RIGHT

Ever been in someone's living room where the furniture is up against the wall and so far away from other pieces that you have to practically yell to have a conversation, I know you have,  and if that is happening in your space please go rearrange your furniture, you’ll be a much happier person (so will your guests)

3. Too much stuff!

Too-much-furniture-in-a-small-room

On furniture..sometimes less is more. make sure your pieces are there because they are useful not because Auntie Mable gave you that table and if she ever comes over and sees that it’s not proudly displayed she may disinherited you.  Truthfully Aunt Mable probably won’t care, just be honest and pass it along to another member of the fam to enjoy.

 

IMG_3410  1759287324189204_WCIJ24vK_f

WRONG                                                                                                                                                                   RIGHT

On chotchkies….This is an easy trap to fall into, especially as time goes on because what on earth do you do with the clay dinosaur Mikey made you in 1998??, I’ll tell you what to do, take a picture and put that thing away..for heaven sake life goes on and so must you.

2. The wrong scale.

photo  66709638200460638_u4X94pGZ_f

WRONG                                                                                                                                RIGHT

My Mother –in –law has this problem..Nancy if your reading this I'm sorry but the truth is those two blue chairs you’d die for are too small for your gargantuan cathedral ceiling great room., I'm sorry but it’s true. Loving them more won’t make them any bigger.  Once you put that new sofa and coffee table in they are going to look like toys…there you have it, you need new chairs too.

 

1. Lack of flow

090309h  44050902575023530_28ZN47mp_f

A friend once toured me around her quirky but cute little house, so sweet until we approached her pride and joy, her hacienda room, yes you heard me the first time and I'm not repeating myself because it hurts my own ears and the vision might blind me. What on earth can one possibly say?? “interesting “ , “it must have taken a lot of planning”, “did you do it all yourself?”

    86-HaciendaNicholas_Bedroom     3008730_1339492067924

   WRONG                                                                                                                                         RIGHT

If you get the feeling that one room doesn’t fit with the other? or,worse yet, you have themed rooms. its time to address this . When one room doesn't flow to the next the home feels disjointed and out of sync things feel downright uncomfortable

 

 

…..did I say 5 cause i couldn't ignore this one.

6. Relying on overhead lighting

110705j  162833342746883563_skpx1Wb3_f

WRONG                                                                                                                         RIGHT

now I know some of this just isn’t your fault, the builder of your home did not pay any attention to this necessary detail, and they almost never do, and if your home is older or your lighting issue is on the main floor of a 2 story home well your kind of in a spot, a not so good spot.  But fear not, it is possible ( in most cases) to have “canned” or “pot” lights (no, not the kind that grows cannabis) installed. but this doesn’t come cheap, however I can assure you it’s well worth the $$. It may not jack up the price of your home like a new kitchen   but it will severely increase your comfort level…trust me.

With all this in mind go to it and if its all just too much because your busy or you just don’t know how call in a professional

 

 

Sources

Malcolm James Kutner

House Beautiful

Heather Garrett

Mazen Studio

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Top 4 Irresistible Bathroom Trends

tumblr_m3x675pi6L1qhzrhqo1_500

 

Anyone in the design world knows its busy season. Everyone has returned home from summer vacations and are wanting to get started on those home renovation projects they’ve been thinking about.  As usual kitchens and bathroom reno's are in demand so I thought I would pass on a few of the latest trends.

tumblr_lyzu23UMUZ1qhhv8po1_400  96_000011490_d5f1_orh550w550_Bathroom-with-bold-patterned-wallpaper

Banswara wallpaper designed by Henry Wilson for Osbourne and Little    HousetoHome  Neisha Crosland

Wallpaper is still top of mind and right on trend. Don’t be afraid, add little into your life, after all life is short, go for it.

45950858667828076_xlRzlTZK_f

Chrome is back! Why you ask?? ‘cause its sparkly and shiny, classic and yes, LESS expensive that other finishes.

Here’s another reason to consider chrome, Brushed nickel shades and tones vary from manufacturer to manufacturer which means your entire bathroom collection must come from the same company. With chrome it’s all the same so you can mix and match and replace easily. And lets not forget that chrome is timeless and classic.

55e1e56a67b1 32088216064503664_BNrYtalD_f 174021973071141592_kMyp0N3Z_f

Source; Gauthier Stacy,  via VT Interiors, Tim Cuppett Architects via Houzz

Interesting vanities that look more like stand alone furniture.  Unconventional materials and integrated sinks

 

44050902575252925_oniquFkH_f  58757970107923474_9YV0T1GT_f  1759287324812597_CapO2pi7_f

via Houzz                                                             Peter Zimmerman                                              Yanic Simard

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