Featured Dealer: Kitchen Designs in Barrington, NJ

Posted on 10/01/2010 at 3:50pm

Karen at Kitchen Designs is a master at turning your kitchen dreams into a reality. Be sure to contact Karen at Kitchen Designs at 856-547-1515 or via email at  You can also see the work for yourself at their showroom:  210 White Horse Pike in Barrington, NJ.

Filed Under: Featured, Info

Which Home Improvements Make Cent$?

Posted on 09/04/2010 at 12:25am

You don’t have to go overboard when making home improvements.  Small upgrades can go a long way in increasing your home value.

  • Complete Kitchen Renovation vs. Countertop Replacement and Cabinet Refacing

Why renovate the entire kitchen, when you can upgrade your countertops, sand your cabinets and replace the fixtures.  You’ll be surprised at the look of your kitchen.

  • Installing a New Pool vs. Adding a Deck

There’s no need to add on a complete patio when the addition of a deck can increase your chances of selling your home… and you might make a few extra bucks too.  Decks are a great way to add value to your home.  Additionally, a nice deck is something that you’ll come to enjoy all summer long.

  • An Extra Bathroom

This is an upgrade that is sure to increase the value of your home.  In fact, it could be the reason a buyer chooses your property over another.  It can also be the reason a buyer walks.  Most buyers today demand at least two full bathrooms.  You can add on an extra bathroom (full or half) with minimal costs, nice upgrades to countertops and flooring, and still make that back upon the sale of your home.

  • Green Upgrades

Green upgrades are relatively new, but common questions involve the cost of electric and water bills.  Potential buyers want a solid estimate of what their monthly expenses will be and that definitely includes utilities.  So, if you can show the energy efficiency of green upgrades, you’ll step up your property’s resale value.

  • Landscaping

Nothing makes a strong first impression like a well-manicured garden.  You may even enjoy gardening, so this upgrade could be the least expensive and most beneficial.  Add perennials or annuals, plant a tree, have fun with it!

This topic is popular, you can check out the Wall Street Journal‘s SmartMoney article on Which Home Improvements Pay Off by clicking here. 

Filed Under: Article, Info

Selecting Your Countertop Style

Posted on 08/23/2010 at 5:22pm

Decorating style is what makes a house a home. It is personal expression. Figuring out your style sounds more difficult than it really is. The simple answer is that your style is the one that suits your life and works for you and your family. You do not have to adhere to a specific look or even the fashion of the moment. Style is really combining color, pattern, shapes and texture with the architecture of the house in a way that is pleasing to you.

Start by looking at your own home. If you were to pretend to visit your home for the first time, how would you describe the decorating style? Think traditional, casual, contemporary, formal, eclectic, country, rustic, southwestern or old world? Pick one that best focuses on your taste. You have some clues in your existing furniture about what defines your style.

Then begin by gathering ideas. You’ll find them in decorating magazines. Clip out the pictures that please you. It could be a color or pattern or texture that grabs your attention. Maybe you like the new countertop in one of the homes of neighbors or friends. Take a photo of that installation. Visit model homes as well for other ideas. These visual clues will help you narrow your choices and will prepare for making a style decision.

Ask yourself about your own personal entertaining style, as this will help you determine what you select. Do you entertain a lot? Does everyone gather in the kitchen? Do you use your kitchen as a buffet? Or are you likely to entertain in the dining room away from the kitchen? Do you and your children cook together? Are their friends often in your kitchen? The answers to these questions will reflect your decorating selections and preferences.

You may want your new kitchen to be casual, not formal. Think of surfaces that are matte in finish, as they will blend with the other colors in the room. Try Wilsonart® HD®, that uses both matte and gloss finish to mimic the variations in nature’s own finishes.

If you want your kitchen to have that old world charm, then a great choice is the elegant marble looks of the Fusion series in deep green, blue and black as well as neutral tones. This is the perfect complement to this style.

Maybe your home is very traditional, but you want a more updated look in the kitchen. Don’t go too high-tech, because the results will be out of balance with the rest of the rooms in your home. Instead, pick a color found on the wall or on fabric used on a nearby dining chair. You can easily find a matching choice in the Wilsonart® Standards. If you want to be a little more adventurous, the Roca series expertly replicates time-worn stone and is a natural fit.

If you like a clean, minimal look, then use the countertop to add a touch of metallic or texture. Take a quick look at Wilsonart® Decorative Metals or Metalaminates, which are great for backsplashes. For countertops with a pearl or metal feel, check out these patterns – Pearl Dust LS, Satin Stainless, Windswept Pewter, Windswept Bronze or Pewter Brush. If you prefer stone looks, glance at stone patterns with the Quarry Premium Finish, which has the beauty of stone without the price.

With hundreds of options for your countertops and kitchen surfaces, it’s best to narrow the scope by deciding on your color scheme and picking the texture that suits you best. Choose what you feel that makes you most comfortable. Order samples from Wilsonart to help you decide. Tape the samples up on the walls or on your existing counter. Examine them both in daylight as well as at nighttime. Lighting can change the way you look at your color choices. And you are on your way to defining your personal decorating style.

Filed Under: Article, Info, Special

3 Steps In Hiring A Contractor

Posted on 08/07/2010 at 4:05am

Every year thousands of Americans are victims of home improvement contractors who perform shoddy work.  Take the steps to protect yourself by following these three simple steps.  It may take a little extra time, but you’ll save yourself a lot of aggravation:

  1. Always have a written contract.
  2. Negotiate permitting, budget, timing, and warranties and include them in the written contract.
  3. Know the elements of a home improvement scam and AVOID them.

Click here to learn more about protecting yourself from unscrupulous contractors.

Filed Under: Article, Info

2010 Kitchen and Bath Trends

Posted on 08/04/2010 at 8:41pm

We love the idea of affordable upgrads and many of them are trends for 2010.  You can make small improvements to your kitchen or bathroom by changing out the faucets, drawer handles, and cabinet facades.  Click here to see the 10 most popular kitchen and bath trends for this year.

According to NKBA, the top 10 trends for 2010 are:

  1. Shaker style kitchen design
  2. Maple and alder cabinetry finishes
  3. Quartz countertops
  4. Pull-down/pull-out kitchen faucets
  5. Polished chrome finishes
  6. Under-counter refrigerator drawers
  7. Dishwasher drawers for small loads
  8. Marble vanity tops
  9. Integrated sink tops, drop-in sinks, vessel sinks and pedestal sinks
  10. Bronze and stainless steel finishes

Of course, we are partial to #3 — the Quartz Countertop trend!

Filed Under: Info

8 Most Overrated Home Projects

Posted on 07/25/2010 at 5:30pm

We love the article Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate published.  We would have to agree that there are certainly a lot of overrated home improvement projects out there.  I meant who really needs an indoor bowling alley, basketball court or home theater?  Preferences that are really specific to your personal styles and tastes are not going to add to the overall value of your home.  However, upgrades to your kitchen and bathroom are always a hit.  There were very positive words for Quartz countertops!  Click here to read the full article on the 8 most overrated home improvement projects.

Filed Under: Article, Info Celebrates Freedom at Party on the Parkway!

Posted on 07/08/2010 at 8:13pm was in Center City to celebrate Independence Day with the GooGoo Dolls, The Roots, 95.7 BEN-FM, and hundreds of thousands Americans!

Cambria Quartz, Meganite Solid Surface, and Wilsonart®HD® at Party on the Parkway July 4th, 2010.

Filed Under: Info

BEN’s Next Countertop Winner!

Posted on 06/28/2010 at 6:41pm

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Aloft Hotel last Thursday as we selected and announced the Grand Prize Winner.   Van Kapeghian of Medford Lakes was the winner of the countertops.  Congrats to Mrs. Prewitt who won the gift basket.  Other attendees won a $100 gift card to Wegmans, movie passes, a gift card to The Spa at Bear Creek and a dinner certificate to Maria’s restaurant.  Thanks again to everyone and please enjoy these photos from the event…

Filed Under: Events, Info

MEGANITE: Big Savings!

Posted on 06/15/2010 at 6:43pm

MEGANITE’S enduring beauty affords you valuable benefits from cost savings to the overall life of the product.

  • Significant cost savings, up to 40%- MEGANITE provides cost savings over other solid surface offerings.
  • Featuring a ten year warranty- MEGANITE performs with a competitive advantage.
  • Enduring beauty, ease of maintenance, and ability to withstand demanding institutional usage- MEGANITE accommodates everyday scratches, dings, and repurposing within dynamic, fast-paced, and active environments like a busy home, kitchen, or cafeteria.
  • Value and performance- MEGANITE is the material of choice over substitutes including:  laminate, granite, and stone options, for countertops, backsplashes (with no caulk), window sills, sinks, shower walls, and transaction counters.  See, there really is so much more than just kitchens and bathrooms when it comes to MEGANITE Solid Surface.
Filed Under: Info, Meganite

Custom Countertop Shapes

Posted on 06/03/2010 at 8:15pm


Cambria Quartz Curve

One of the biggest ways to make a “Splash”(and we’re not talking about a backsplash here) with your remodel project is by customizing your countertop shape.

Custom shapes can make your kitchen or bathroom a real reflection of your distinct style.  Custom shapes are unique, make a bold statement, and add a very personal touch. 

Sink Slopes: Crescent Sink

There is often an additional cost for such a design, but through curves and angles, your project is guaranteed to deliver that WOW factor!The styles pictured within this post make an impact and leave a lasting impression. 

Cambria Quartz, Wilsonart®HD® Laminate, and Meganite Solid Surface can all be customized to maximize the wow factor with curves, slopes, narrow, wide, and custom angles.

Filed Under: Info