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Choosing a Kitchen Countertop – My Helpful Tips!

It can be tempting to pick a countertop on its looks alone. I know when I first started the journey of finding a new kitchen countertop I was enamored by certain ones and drawn in by low prices. However, I learned quickly enough that you have to be careful as to which countertop you go with. In fact, my sister had a horrible incident where she ordered a countertop and it came cracked! This made me extra nervous and I decided to really do my homework before making a final decision. We ended up going with granite countertops from All of this homework led me to writing this blog post for you! Here are my tips for picking the perfect countertop for your new kitchen.

1. Find one that fits your kitchen style.

This is hard to do unless you have a mockup of what your new kitchen will look like with the counters. Fortunately for us, we were able to get a 3D mockup from our contractors – score! When you are searching for your own kitchen contractor, make sure they have the ability to show you what your kitchen countertop will look like in your kitchen (even if it’s a rough mockup). This will help you understand which style goes best with the style kitchen you have. A friend of mine ordered their kitchen countertops without properly matching them up to their kitchen style and was severely disappointed with how it looked. In fact, she decided to scrap the whole project when the contractor was only 75% done!

2. Check out granite countertops.

Granite is, by far, my favorite countertop choice. It’s versatile, beautiful, and comes in different styles. However, it can be expensive. Prices for granite range quite a bit because it can be mined from all over the world. If you order granite that’s simple to get and ship, it’ll be cheap. If you order granite that comes from halfway across the world, it’ll be much more expensive.

Granite comes in two finishes: polished, which is shiny and a matte finish, which is the opposite. As for colors, you can get granite in a wide variety.

My favorite part about granite is that it’s just so durable. We accidentally dropped a hammer on it when putting up a mirror in our kitchen and I immediately started to cry thinking I chipped my new countertops. But I was wrong! The granite we bought is so strong it deflected a hammer falling from ten feet above.

3. Wood is only for traditional homes.

I’ve looked at hundreds (maybe thousands) of kitchen related magazines, websites, and Pinterest boards. The one thing I’ve realized is that wood countertops only look good in traditional style kitchens. This is my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. Check out these resources for yourself and make a better informed decision…

See? For some reason modern kitchens that use wood countertops come off like they are trying too hard.

4. Pick the right contractor.

If I had a dime for every time someone mentioned that they could install my kitchen countertops, I’d be rich. I come from a big family of “handy men”, maybe that’s why. Nonetheless, I didn’t take any of them up on their offers. Why? When we first had our kitchen floors put in I had an old family friend do it. They are a “jack of all trades” and said they’d install them for cheap. Cheaper doesn’t equal better. I learned the hard way. The cabinets ended up being put in too far apart and left big gaps in the walls making them look incredibly off-putting. Once we realized it, it was too late. Hiring a professional to fix this mistake cost us nearly three times more. Avoid making mistakes by finding a trustworthy contractor that has a lot of experience installing kitchen countertops.

My Custom Wedding Day Shoes

Every girl dreams about her wedding day, especially what each little unique element of the day will be. Really, if you think about it, it’s a totally custom experience, which are very rare in this life. From the beginning of one day to the end, you get to control every aspect of what people will see, do, and experience.

I took this custom idea to an entirely new level, particularly when thinking about what I was going to wear on the big day. Like many brides, I went to The Knot to explore different options for the big day. So many had come before me, and so many creative minds had pushed themselves to make incredible things to wear and buy for the big day.

I ended up going with Modern Vice wedding shoes which I was able to customize. This included going through and choosing heel height, color, general style, and adornments. I ended up choosing a nice white chain around the back because I’m that fabulous.

The great part about Modern Vice was that I got to actually visit the shoe factory and work with the designer on location in NYC. It was one of my favorite experiences of my wedding, one that I wish I could replicate for every aspect of the ensemble! I even snuck into the studio to take some glamour shots before heading home.

Planning my wedding was such a wonderful (and stressful) experience, but really my favorite part was seeking out the small touches that made the whole event unique to me.

How To Choose The Right Fence For Your Home

Todays post is from a family friend of ours, William Halls. He is the owner and operator of Halls Fence Company in New Jersey. I have spent some time teaching him how to blog and he wanted to share this article with my readers… Enjoy!

Adding a fence to your property can provide privacy and security that is often much-needed for those with pets and children. Even if you don’t have pets or children you likely still want the semblance of privacy and security that a fence affords. If you are considering putting a fence on your property there are some things that need to be considered. (more…)

Redoing Our Living Room – What Do You Think?

Today we decided to pull the trigger and redecorate our living room – what a chore!

I cannot believe it has been three years since my husband and I moved into our home with our little guy :). When we first moved in, our house was seriously a piece of garbage. We didn’t have much money at the time and needed to settle down to raise our newborn. Luckily enough my family has a lot of connections with contractors in NJ. But when we couldn’t pull favors, Ryan and I were on our hands and knees working hard to renovate our new home. It took over six months but we saw a huge difference.

So, back to today, Ryan and I decided to stop by my absolute favorite store in the world – Restoration Hardware. I feel like a child on Christmas Eve when I walk in – so giddy!

Below are some of the styles we are thinking about, I would love to get your input. What do you think?

Contemporary Living Room by Jupiter Interior Designers & Decorators JMA INTERIOR DECORATION
Traditional Living Room by Tampa Design-Build Firms Ramos Design Build Corporation – Tampa
Contemporary Spaces by Secaucus Carpet & Flooring Creative Touch
Eclectic Living Room by Salem Photographers Tess Fine
Traditional Dining Room by Dallas Media & Bloggers Sarah Greenman