Academy Blog

Starting a Kitchen Renovation: How to Find Your Kitchen Style

Are you modern, traditional or farmhouse?

Interior of updated kitchenStarting a kitchen renovation is a lot of fun, but with so much inspiration out there (hello, Pinterest!), things can get overwhelming fast. You probably feel that there’s just too much to choose from – how are you supposed to land on just one backsplash? And don’t even start with the countertops – it took you 2 weeks to narrow it down to 5 options!

To choose your materials, it helps to take a step backward and first define your kitchen style. Are you modern? farmhouse? Maybe you prefer a more traditional look? Once you figure out your style, you’ll find that choosing actual surface, hardware, and finishing touches are much easier.

Exactly how do you define your kitchen style?

We’ve complied four questions below that will help you find your style. Be sure to keep your answer to each question with you as you continue, so you can put them all together at the end!


5 Kitchen Countertop and Cabinet Combinations that You Can’t Go Wrong With

Classic white kitchen countertops and cabinetsIf you’re starting a kitchen renovation, you probably have in mind an idea of what you want. With inspiration resources like Pinterest and Houzz, it’s impossible NOT to have a giant collection of ideas and photos from which you can create your dream kitchen. Maybe there’s a certain kitchen countertop stone you want or perhaps you’re set on a specific cabinet color, but therein lies the difficult decision of which combination works best for your design aesthetic, lifestyle and budget.

To help make your decision a little bit easier, below are 5 timeless combinations of cabinet colors and countertops that, rest assured, will provide you with a winning end result you can enjoy for many years to come.


7 Things Your Designer Should Ask Before Choosing Marble or Granite Countertops

No matter how beautiful or well executed the overall design, the wrong countertop can ruin a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Most designers have an incredible, innate sense of how to create beautiful kitchens. However, there are things they should ask you before selecting a marble, granite or stone countertop for your home, says stone fabricator Sinan Sepkin, founder, and owner of Academy Marble.

How high-tech is the fabricator?

Is the fabricator you’re considering “old-school,” or “digital”? If you want a less expensive, more accurate countertop, ask. Your fabricator should be using the latest technology to cut and route the edges of your countertop. … MORE

Which Type of Stone Countertop is Best for Your Bathroom Vanity?

Bathroom stone selection - candles in modern settingChoosing a stone for your bathroom remodel is exciting but can also be challenging. There’s a lot to consider! You might have an idea of the type of look you want, but it’s important to think about which will work for best for you and your family.

Though stone can be installed in many places in the bathroom – vanities, showers, floors, backsplashes, and more – today we’re talking about the most common place for stone. Vanities!

If it’s in the budget, most people opt to choose their own stone rather than buying a one-piece vanity with stone already included. Going in this direction allows you to choose the type and look you want, as well ensure a high-quality, long-lasting stone is being installed. … MORE

Edge Profile For Your New Stone Countertop

When purchasing a new stone countertop, you’ll not only need to decide on the stone type, color, and layout, you’ll also be asked to choose the type of edge profile.  There are several different stone edges to choose from.  Like anything, there are pros and cons to each.  The most common types of edges are called:

  • eased or pencil edge
  • half bullnose
  • full bullnose
  • beveled
  • ogee

Your stone fabricator can provide you with information that will assist your decision on the type of edge profile that matches the look and feel that you want with your project, as well as an edge that will fit in your budget. … MORE

Stone Quality & Pricing

A lot of factors comprise the price of stone, and the following article will briefly describe some of the components that differentiate quality from price when selecting natural stone for your home.  Stone color, stone type, grade, and origin are some of the aspects of natural stone that cause differences in price and quality.

Mineral Composition

The mineral composition of natural stone primarily consists of quartz, feldspar, and mica, but secondary mineral deposits can exist that make beautiful multi-colored stone with waves and veins that run through a block of stone, and ultimately the slab.  Typically stone with waves and movement are considered exotic colors, which may have blue, purple, red, black, or green movements through a slab.  These colors are rare in stone, and because of the limited supply of exotic colors, the prices are higher for multi-colored slabs of stone.  In general, stone that is very homogenous in color and has no movement or veining in the slab is much more abundant and thus less expensive.  In short, the laws of supply and demand are the dominant reason for price differences in the color of natural stone, and though the stone colors that are of abundant supply are considered lower quality, they can also beautify a home. … MORE

Design Trends – Modern Bathroom Ideas for 2018

Spring has sprung and immediately thoughts of remodeling leap to mind. We’re not sure what the connection is; the cold may have us dreaming about amazing summer parties and wowing our guests. After a winter stuck inside with nothing to do but snuggle up with cocoa, Elle Décor, and our iPads to research interior trends on Pinterest, I guess something has to be upgraded, or all that time and study will be a waste.

Everyone is in the bathroom

Designer’s that is. Bathrooms seem to be the “it” room for innovative design this year. There are many new ideas to consider. Here are some of our favorites. … MORE

Quartz vs Granite

What’s different between the two?

A kitchen counter sees a lot of action in its lifetime. Plates, knives, cups, spills, food, spices, water and much more. Its no wonder homeowners take the time to research what stone will stand the test of time. Quartz and Granite are both major players when it comes to the durability game. When quality and low-maintenance is needed by many homeowners, both have lots to offer. Let’s dig a little deeper into each stone with find which works best for your lifestyle.


Modern Countertop Design Paired with Restoration Hardware’s Reclaimed Russian Oak Furniture

Fantasy Brown Marble with Restoration Hardware New CollectionIf you’re like us, time stands still when the new Restoration Hardware Sourcebook arrives.  All sources of noise and other distractions must stop – we need to read our favorite “book” in peace, and then decide which of our custom countertops will look smashing with the new looks.

The most recent Sourcebook does not disappoint. It appears Restoration Hardware has successfully solved an age-old question, “How do you keep a modern-style dining room and kitchen area from looking cold and sterile?” Their answer: Reclaimed Russian Oak furniture.

Reclaimed Oak furniture has a taupe finish which looks more beige, or grayer depending on the source of light, or the time of day. It has a bit of warmth without being too warm for modern decors, as a warm wood like cherry or mahogany would be. It also shows off the wood’s grain and has a sight surface texture. The combination of warmth, pattern, and texture adds just the right note of contrast to otherwise clean and neutral interiors.

So if you eyeing Restoration Hardware’s new reclaimed-oak Stacked or Plank Dining-room table collections and you’ve already decided on a palette of gray or white for your walls and cabinets, which Academy Marble & Granite countertops would we recommend?


Marble, Granite or Quartz Countertop? Which One to Choose

Finding the stone countertop that speaks to your lifestyle

Every stone used in home surfaces has different features & benefits that allow it to shine in its own unique way. Finding what you value most in stone is half of the battle. Consider the three ideas below before making your design decision.

Marble Countertops: The Fashion Forward Stone

Marble is having a major “moment” in the design world. Some would call it trending, but it has truly been on “trend” for centuries. The stark natural feel, specifically of Calacatta and Carrara are highly desired. These marble patterns have even left their mark on social media. The bright white backdrop has gained popularity on the platform Instagram, in which “lay flat” photos are showcased on top of the stone.

The stone provides focus and adds a ton of reflective light. Beautiful veining across the stone is unpredictable and more of a work of art, rather than a kitchen countertop. Color combinations such as: gray and white as well as golds and pinks allow us to deem marble the high-fashion stone. Although caring for your stone can seem daunting, sealing the stone helps in preventing stains on the natural stone.