Finding The Right Surface | Countertops | Worktops


Are you designing a new kitchen or bathroom, or creating a new indoor or outdoor space?
Are you remodeling your kitchen or your bathroom, or any other space?
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If your home improvement or renewal project is focused on your kitchen or bathroom, the central element of your project will be your tops, i.e. countertops or worktops. As the traditional center-piece and the face of your space, your choice of countertops will set the tone for all your design and decorating options.

Your choice of surface will ultimately determine the mood, ambience and character of a space. The functionality and practicality of your kitchen or bathroom invariably hinges on your choice of surface. Do not be alarmed if you’re overwhelmed by the myriad choices and options available on the market. We will assist with your choice.

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Countertops, Worktops, Islands, Wall-cladding, Flooring

Should the words quartz, laminate, synthetic, or terms such as Green, Engineered, Manufactured or Fabricated, increase your levels of anxiety, fear not. Our professional insights and advice will quickly restore calm.

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Marble
Quartz
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The kitchen is the heart and the hub of your home. The choice of surfaces for your kitchen ultimately defines the character of your kitchen, and by extension, the rest of your home. An out of kilter kitchen may easily cause aggravation and frustration due to functionality that’s missing, impractical surfaces or dysfunctional design.

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For high quality commercial and residential solutions that enhance your living space with beautiful finishes; making it comfortable, effective and functional, contact Gardner interior Concepts today.

Gardner Interior Concepts has the right solution for all the indoor and outdoor surfaces of your home, to suit your lifestyle. Our end-to-end solutions include countertops, worktops, kitchen islands, back-splashes, bathroom tops and vanities, as well as floors, walls, stairs and every other indoor or outdoor surface your home may need.

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Understanding your choices and optionsOur in-house surface experts will guide you through our wide range of surfaces, colors and designs to help you find a solution that’s perfect for you. All our solutions are covered by a bullet-proof warranty – which includes our after sales support services – and comply with the relevant regulatory and safety guidelines.

The three questions that people often ask are:

1. “What is the best surface for my kitchen tops (worktops or countertops)?”
2. “Are quartz countertops better than granite countertops?”
3. “Are natural stone surfaces better than wooden or synthetic surfaces?”

These questions can only be answered satisfactorily as follows, but with a caveat: Every surface has its own pros and cons which may prove decisive in terms of defining the quality of your final results.

In order to make an informed choice, i.e. selecting the right surface for your intended usage and application needs, the following saying provides an insightful perspective:

A beautiful black stallion may light up our eyes, but choosing “horses for courses” is always smart and wise.

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Gardner Interior Concepts offer solutions that are fit for purpose. After completing an assessment of your needs, we map your preferences to the features of the most suitable surfaces, in line with your objectives.

We factor your preferred look and feel; the characteristics of the surface in terms of liquid (water, wine, etc), chemical (stain) and heat resistance; weight bearing; durability, contact-impact resilience and cost into our final recommendation.

A wide range of surfaces to choose from

Contemporary countertop materials such as quartz, lava, green, porcelain, glass and synthetics – manufactured, engineered or fabricated – expand your range of options way beyond the traditional surfaces such as natural stone, wood, steel, concrete or the once-popular ceramic surfaces.

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You will increase your odds for success dramatically by defining your requirements clearly up front. A well-defined set of requirements is essentially the core of the tick-list that will inform your final choice of surface. It may also illuminate key elements of your choice, which you may have missed or overlooked.

The list below highlights a few pertinent factors to consider when choosing a surface for any space in your home.

  • Your personal preference, style and taste – aesthetics;
  • The needs and requirements of your family;
  • The presence of young children in your home;
  • Your home environment – size and space;
  • The main usage of the surface you are considering;
  • The characteristics of the surface – porosity and resistance to stains and chemicals;
  • The durability of the surface – resistance to cuts, scratches, spills – wear and tear;
  • The resilience of the surface in terms of heat, weight and “heavy traffic”;
  • The cleaning and maintenance requirements;
  • The health aspect, e.g. any areas which allow bacteria to grow;
  • Last but not least, the cost of the surface.
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A one-size-fits-all approach, or a selection process based solely on one or two characteristics of a surface such as “toughness” (durability), “looks” (finish) or price, may affect your results negatively.

The success of your project is determined by how well the characteristics of your preferred surface meets your needs and satisfies your requirements.

Gardner Interior Concepts offers professional advice and full service, end-to-end solutions for the best results for your kitchen, bathroom and every other space in your home. We simplify your choices for a functional, practical and high impact solution.

Natural Stone Wall Cladding

Natural stone introduces a striking variation in texture to any space and makes an impactful statement. Add a magical touch and a stylish accent to any space. Learn more. Contact Gardner Interior Concepts today.

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Every surface is a unique package with its own set of features and characteristics and specific pros and cons.

We’ve listed a few key attributes of wood, stone, synthetic and quartz surfaces below – highlighting their salient features.

Wood Countertops

Wooden countertops – Butchers Block and other wood – bring a warm, homely and inviting ambience to a kitchen or any other space in your home.

Wooden tops are furthermore…

  • Fairly easy to repair;
  • Easily dented by heavy impacts;
  • Irreplaceable as bar counters;
  • Easily damaged by sharp or abrasive objects;
  • Not easily damaged by liquids;
  • Compatible with many decorating options;
  • Generally inexpensive to repair;
  • Comfortable for resting arms and elbows;
  • Safer for active young children;
  • Water-resistant if sealed and treated.

Natural Stone Countertops

Natural stone countertops offer the most striking, sleek and luxurious finishes.

Additionally, natural stone countertops…

  • Are generally cold, despite their stylish look and feel;
  • Tend to dictate and limit your decorating options;
  • May entrench a fixed kitchen style, color theme or palette;
  • Have a low-level of porosity;
  • Are generally liquid resistant;
  • Do not stain easily if sealed and treated;
  • Are not generally child-friendly – harder impacts;
  • May crack if heavy kitchen accessories, pots or pans are dropped on it;
  • May sustain damage or chip rather easily;
  • Are sometimes difficult and expensive to repair.

Synthetic Countertops

Synthetic countertops are man-made solid plastic surfaces and can be comprised of acrylic resins, polyester resins, and pigments, et, al. Synthetic countertops are gaining in popularity due to their modern, compact and clean “look and feel”. Synthetic countertops have a wide range of designs, textures and colors and can be designed to imitate the look of natural stone.

Synthetic countertops demand extra care with usage, because plastic…

  • Is vulnerable to heat damage due to its low heat resistance;
  • Can melt, warp, crack or discolor due to excessive heat;
  • Scratches easily – low scratch resistance;
  • Shows abrasions quickly due to heavy usage and impacts;
  • Can be repaired depending on the extent of the damage and the cost;
  • Is water-resistant (non-porous) but can be damaged or stained by household chemicals;
  • Reacts to exposure to the sun which may affect its integrity by causing warping;
  • Has health benefits – no hiding place for bacteria, mould or mildew – but must be maintained;
  • Can be re-polished to restore the integrity of the surface;
  • Is not as durable as natural stone surfaces.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops represent a stunning co-creation by man and nature. Quartz countertops mimic the look of natural stone, but is manufactured or engineered without the “flaws” – pores and cracks – of natural stone. Quartz countertops contain 90% crushed quartz and 10% resins, polymers and pigments. This nearly perfect countertop surface is challenging granite at the top of the stone pile.

Quartz is known for…

  • Exceptional durability – virtually indestructible;
  • High scratch resistance – not vulnerable to cuts and abrasions from knives or kitchen accessories;
  • Non-porosity – impervious to water and other liquids;
  • High stain resistance – no lasting effects from accidental spills;
  • Low maintenance cost and effort – easy to clean and need not be sealed;
  • Low damage potential – edges and corners may however chip;
  • Health and hygiene benefits – no places or spaces to harbor bacteria, mould or mildew;
  • Vulnerability to extreme heat – the jury is still out on this fiercely debated topic.

Quick Summary: Natural stone vs Synthetics. Which is better? Is there a clear winner?

Natural stone countertops include granite, marble, soapstone, limestone, and other stones. The aforementioned feature-sets indicate that Quartz countertops outperform both their natural stone counterparts and synthetic surfaces in many respects.

Quartz offers resilience and resistance to almost anything that happens or may happen in a kitchen in a normal day. Its toughness, ruggedness and durability is the driving force behind its high rating and growing popularity.

Natural Stone Flooring

Natural stone adds a luxurious, opulent and elegant feel to your floors and walls. Learn more. Contact us today.

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How do you choose the right countertop surface?

Your intended usage of a surface should guide your selection. Granite may come second to marble in the ultimate luxury and exotic finish stakes, but granite has its nose ahead of marble in other respects. Quartz may suit specific uses better than granite, but granite still remains a firm favorite, despite quartz’s growing appeal.

Our highly-skilled team of Interior Designers, Kitchen Designers, Decor specialists and Projects Managers are committed to providing the best solution, and ensuring that your project is successful every step of the way.

We explore all your options and our comparative report translates preferences into feasible options.

We assist with the selection of materials; guide the design, layout and space planning stage, and manage the procurement, manufacturing and installation process. Our full-service, end-to-end service package brings the peace of mind that you deserve.

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Conclusion

Whether your favorite countertop is quartz, granite or marble or if your preference is Laminate, Recycled Glass, Butcher Block or other Wood, or even other options such as Tiles, Steel or the eco-friendly Green variety, Gardner Interior Concepts will assist you with your choice and with your project.

Guaranteed Results and Generous Warranty

Our worktops and countertops reflect our passion: An unwavering commitment to quality, precision and superior craftsmanship. If your preference is stone, we will bring your stone alive, beautifully. If your favorite is wood, we will ensure that your countertops look as good as they should. Whatever your choice in worktops or countertops, we bring it home and make it home.

We can also assist with maintenance and treatment plans to ensure that your solution retains its elegance and magic for many years to come.

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Contact Gardner Interior Concepts today for the best end-to-end solution for your worktops, countertops, islands and any other indoor or outdoor surface.

We guarantee great results, excellent service, high quality workmanship and competitive pricing for your project.

Our iron-clad promise of a superior customer experience is cast in stone. Make the right decision today.

Contact Gardner Interior Concepts today and live the difference – for life.

Finding The Right Surface | Countertops | Worktops

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Remodeling | Renovation | Cupboards

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation Projects

Part 1 – Focus on success and nothing less!

Remodeling and Renovation projects can be successful and breathtaking or disappointing and heartbreaking. Unbridled excitement can blind us to the pitfalls of a project, because we simply don’t know what we don’t know. The first step towards improving our chances for success is accepting that knowledge is power. We have to be in the know.

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So, what do we have know about our project, and why?

Truth is: If you don’t know something, you will fall for anything.

Remodeling and renovating your kitchen is not an overnight exercise or a weekend job. It entails much more than meets the eye. Let’s explore what this is, and why…

Many kitchen projects deliver good results, but lack the “wow” factor. This is mainly because the designer overlooked critical factors or understated the importance of certain critical elements. To understand what these elements are, and how and why things went wrong, our best starting point is a review of the essential characteristics of a successful remodeling or renovation project.

Successful projects encapsulate and integrate important design principles, best practices, the latest trends, artistic flair and practical efficiency. The optimal placement of objects within the layout of a space is guided by the aforementioned elements. The placement of objects can make or break a space in terms of function, mood and personality.

Focal Points

The moment we enter a space, our eyes are automatically drawn to one or other item or object in that space. Quite often, this shift of focus is not merely accidental, but instead engineered. Great designers have the ability to deliberately and consciously grab us by our eyeballs and shift our focus to an object of their choice.

This object is commonly the focal point of the space and the designer is able to shift our focus, grab our attention or draw us in by virtue of the strategic placement of the object, the proximity of the object, the shape and color of the object, but mainly, the layout of the space.

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A focal point is essentially a standout feature of a space – a dynamic object which makes a silent statement with emphatic impact. It captures and captivates our focus.

Designers may use paintings, sculptures, ornamentation, wall-hangings and exotic rugs to serve as focal points – by design. On the other hand, plants or trees, large bay windows with panoramic views and fireplaces form very natural focal points. A space without a focal point is like an actor without a character. Lifeless!

Great designers have the ability to turn a focal point into a delightful treasure trove for the captivated visitor or viewer and creates maximum impact. A well-constructed focal point offers more than simple eye-appeal. It also introduces the rest of the design as our focus shifts from the focal point to the rest of the space.

Rhythm

As we perceive the rest of the space, the rhythm of the design becomes clear, as with a piece of music. The progression and repetition of lines, colors and forms can be either subtle or overt and it impacts us either positively or negatively. Subtle progressions translate into a sustained rhythm, while drastic changes in lines, colors and forms cause a break or change in the continuity of the rhythm.

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Great designers create a work of art in the same way that orchestra conductors create a masterpiece from various instruments. The continuity, repetitions or changes in rhythm can be either progressive or pronounced. This ultimately determines our response to, and our perception of the presentation. The effects of great music and inspired design are
however the same, in that we are deeply touched on many levels, despite their different sensual entry points. Design captivates our eyes as music captivates our ears. We immediately feel the rhythm and choose whether to run or dance.

Furniture

Our selection of furniture items must be guided by the intended usage and functional requirements of the space. Size, scale and proportion should determine the suitability of every furniture item. Maintaining a balanced “size-relationship” within a space is important for creating a harmonious atmosphere and the desired ambiance in the space.

The placement of furniture items must be planned with a well-considered approach. Ensure that each furniture item fits within the overall dimensions of the space. Measure each individual furniture item to ensure that it fits within the allocated area and sustains the visitor’s connection with the focal point of the space.

Importantly, furniture items should not impede access or obstruct the flow of movement in critical areas.

Lighting

Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and character of a space. Selected lighting according to the usage and required functionality of your space. Lighting has a profound effect on the senses and must be suitable and sufficient for the intended purpose. Adjustable lighting (dimmers) offers a wider range of uses and options.

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Energy-efficient lighting is an important component of global energy-saving efforts and drives the shift towards sustainability. Smart choices will ensure the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and efficient energy usage. Natural lighting is fast becoming a prominent feature of all modern-day kitchen designs.

The best lighting solutions combine eye-appeal, functionality and efficiency into a striking and effective package. Install accented lighting in appropriate areas to maximize impact and effectiveness. The use of spots for the floor; motion-sensor lighting; mounted or recessed spotlights, and touch-sensor lighting enhance the ambiance and character of any space. Perfect lighting is mood food, even without music.

Conclusion

Great designers use their “trade secrets”, skill and talent to create masterpieces which are revelations. They uncover hidden gems where others only see challenges. Their delivery amounts to more than just eye-appeal. They realize your vision effectively, efficiently and beautifully by balancing your requirements with the essential design elements for an eye-catching and harmonious solution that works well for you.

Great designers create inspiring visual delights. They don’t make idle promises, or hide behind jargon or catchy soundbites. Their designs guarantee a new kitchen that will be the focal point of your home and your family. Your lighting and furniture will be functional, practical and inspiring – enhancing your space and your property. Their designs have an intrinsic rhythm, creating the right mood and ambiance to keep you dancing for a lifetime.

If you are searching for a kitchen designer who understands the principles and subtle nuances of both interior design and kitchen design, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today, and let’s create a masterpiece, together. We aim for success and nothing less…

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Remodeling | Renovation | Cupboards

The Top 10 Interior Designers and Decorators | Cape Town | South Africa | Part 2

The Rating Rules

A rigorous and foolproof selection methodology must be defined and adopted as the first step in the process of identifying the best Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town.

Comparing or rating the creative efforts of Interior Designers and Decorators based on subjective perspectives, arbitrary factors and emotional views is an exercise in futility because the results will be spurious.

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A methodical approach guarantees a credible result, which trumps the lack authenticity and legitimacy of a willy-nilly approach. Our selection methodology was based on the essential steps listed below. These steps helped us to cut to the chase and avoid the clutter, thereby expediting and facilitating the process of compiling the list of the “Top Ten Interior Designers and Decorators in Cape Town” in an accurate, effective and comprehensive manner.

The Essential Steps:

  1. Define the qualification criteria;
  2. Define the measures and standards;
  3. Quantify the rate or ratio of successes and failures;
  4. Specify a “negative feedback” threshold;
  5. Define clear rules for disqualification and exclusion.