This morning, we had an appointment we made through the Miami Home Design Show with a company called Granite Transformations. Although we've seen their commercials before, and had wanted to inquire about their product, we just weren't ready for the project of the "dreaded kitchen makeover". Although the market is soft (especially down here in South Florida), we've been wanting to modernize our builder-install washed out white kitchen, and this seemed like a duable means to manage.
Throughout the years we've been living in our town-home, it's been "ok", but the sandy colored mica counter-tops have seen better days (especially with my coffee and Jeff's red wine). At the home show, we set-up the consultation with Granite Transformations. Their product profile reads as:
"A fusion of granites provides a countertop that fits on top of your existing without having to remove or dispose of your existing countertop. Our stone is heat, stain, and scratch resistant, and unlike ordinary stone, never needs to be sealed. A maintenance free surface to last a lifetime!"
Advertising had led me to believe their product was more like bath fitters, but this is not the case. I also thought they were only local to South Florida... again: not the case. This company is a sub-company of a global establishment, designing for locations such as for Versace in Italy, to homes in Australia & Canada, to even retailers like Diesel, and tile installations from artful mosaics in bathrooms, and even the exterior of a condo building right here in Miami Beach. But more on their work at another posting...
For our kitchen transformation, we wanted to work with our existing cabinets, but still tie into all the dark (black, grey, brown) decor in our home... while keeping resale value in mind. I don't care for the business of granite, nor does my husband... and although I wanted a dark counter, I didn't want black (and Jeff agreed) because it would look too contrasting with the more traditional styled door front of our cabinets. They did have a more off-black-charcoal gray that fulfilled our request - but with two finishes: a more matt and sold or one with a dusting of sparkle.
At first, I was so sure I didn't want any sparkle, but it actually did add dimension and compliment the silver and mirror accents in our home. Our consultant, Eric Jaramillo, than pulled out another sample with larger actual flecks. Thinking it might be too much for all that counter surface, it would compliment the breakfast bar area by making look more special, and add a transitional focal point to the kitchen / living area.
Since we set the appointment through the home show, we were also offered a special discount for a full height back splash. We were both reluctant at first to even consider their backsplash selection (because we didn't care for what we saw at the show). We thought we might have gotten a better deal doing the backsplash ourselves, and also find a better selection to choose from on our own. But then Eric mentioned how many more samples they had choose from, brought in a suitcase full of sample books, and let the showing begin...
I've always liked the look of the glass mosaic tile, but it seems many others are catching on to the trend. The other style backsplash I've really been drawn to is a style Candice Olson features in her kitchen makeovers: subway tile. He pulled out a sample book and when he opened it and I was IN LOVE. It's a smokey grey petite subway-styled tile. Since our kitchen walls are already a cinderblock grey (from RL Paints) it would work with our color flow, but add depth from its' shimmer & shine.
This was without a doubt THE 'one'. And I thought, "oh no... I probably selected the highest priced one." Jeff and I were both pleased to discover, it was the same price as the basic looking tile we had seen at the show. It's going to create a subtle banding effect, without looking too busy, overpowering, graphic, or trendy... which are the elements you do not want to install when thinking of adding resale value.
This mini-makeover is just the little update this eight-year-old kitchen needs, without breaking the bank or outdoing the Jones's. Our new neighbor just installed new 18"x18" tile throughout downstairs, but still has the builder white kitchen. I asked Eric what the trend in sales has been - are more people transforming their kitchens with this product to sell? or to stay and live in their homes? He said a little more than half are modernizing their mica counters to live in now, to be updated when the market turns around, and all at minimal expense and time to install.
Although some of the tile is imported from Italy, their North American Corporate Headquarters is located here in Miramar, Florida and they manufacture all of their Trend Stone and Trend Glass products in Sebring, Florida. They are just checking the availability of stock for the back splash (called KARMA). Then another partner will come out to measure again and make a template of our existing countertops. After they prefabricate our counter AND backsplash templates, they'll come back and complete the install in ONE DAY. We also got a transferable ten-year-warranty for additional value added at the time of resale, along with an included under-mount 60/40 artisan sink as a part of the design show promo. And as an extra added bonus to us, we were given an additional 5% discount as a courtesy because of a mishap that happened with a prior schedule date.
Pleasant, professional, and knowledgeable customer service from Territory Sales Manager Eric Jaramillo, merged with affordability, durability, and a stylish global product from Granite Transformations (who also features an entire line of recycled product, which Carter Oosterhouse installed and featured on HGTV's Red Hot & Green show) makes this a true value add to our home.
Eric said he's excited about this particular project because the selections made, he hasn't seen together before. He's looking forward to coming back to see the end result, and take photos to include as client examples to show other potential clients... speaking of which, since he had complimented our home of the furnishings, colors, and photography, I gave him a few contact cards to pass out to his clients if anyone is in need of a redesign consultation.
Stay tuned for this kitchen transformation... and in the meantime... I'm now headed out to do some hunting and gathering for the best redesign client in the world: my mother. Around this time last year, I had redesigned my mother's Florida townhome from being stuck in the 80's to come into the millennium. This year, she's ready to renew her tired covered patio. So this years transformation for mom project is a Spring patio spruce up!
lynda's mom & dad
Have you ever used this product before?
What do you think of it?