Academy Blog

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.


Shopping for Granite: What to Know Before You Go

Protect Your Granite Investment

So you want a Granite countertop for your kitchen or bathroom, now what? Granite has been a popular natural stone for decades. Homeowners and designers alike rave about its durability, ease of maintenance and striking appearance. But how does one embark on a journey of purchasing Granite? The shopping experience can be overwhelming when dealing with cracks, veins and seams for the first time. Protect your investment by learning how Granite is classified, who grades it and how this relates to price.

Level Up

Two things ultimately determine dreamy Granite from the average are the level and grade. Level has everything to do with COLOR. The generic evenly-speckled beige, brown, black and gray granite you see in every condo building built in the late 90’s already has mass appeal and is considered low grade quality. Granite rich in gray and white stone basically telling a story through vibrantly detailed veins scrolling over unique pink and gold colored specks will classify on the higher end of the spectrum.


Pros & Cons of Quartzite Countertops

Discovering Quartzite Countertops and Surrounds

Before discussing the pros and cons of quartzite it is very important to understand that quartzite and quartz are not the same material. Many people confuse these two when, in fact, they are totally different in origin and physical nature. Quartzite is a natural stone material. It begins life as sandstone which is transformed over eons by heat and pressure deep within the Earth’s crust. Quartzite is quarried, cut into slabs, and used for countertops, fireplace surrounds, wall coverings, stairs, etc.  On the other hand, quartz, not to be mistaken with the natural crystal, is a man-made building material. Quartz is manufactured from a mixture of crushed stone, sand, color additives, and polymer resins.

Quartzite Pros