Archive for January, 2013

Selecting the Right Tile for Your Kitchen Backsplash (part 1 of 2)

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The kitchen backsplash is a focal point of your kitchen and one you should love to look at!  Yet with so many options to express your style, it can be hard to know where to start.

Here are a few steps to consider as you make your selection:

1. Know Your Options
Your materials may include brick, granite, stacked stone, sheet glass, bead board, copper panels, mirror tile, ceramic tile, marble, glass mosaic, and embossed tin amongst other things.  If you want your backsplash to be something special, be sure to look beyond the basic home improvement stores and to specialty shops and online tile sources (or ask your designer or remodeler for sources).  You might be surprised that you are drawn to something you never expected or knew existed.  Collect photos or samples of everything you can.

2. Consider Your Needs

  • Is décor your primary concern?
  • Do you need your backsplash to be easy to clean?
  • Is budget a priority?
  • Should it be easy to replace if you get bored or decide to move?

Then weigh how important these needs are and make a priority list.  If you fall in love with a decorative tile, are you willing to pay a little bit more for instance?  If you find an eco-friendly or highly textured option, are you willing to jump on it for the natural ambiance it provides verses how quickly it wipes clean?  Decide what materials or designs can be eliminated or moved to the top of the list based on these factors.

3. Decide What Overall Look and Feel You Want
What do you want the backsplash to bring to the kitchen?  Rustic ambiance?  A vintage feel?  Write down a few words that describe the feel of the kitchen you envision.  Which ones still on your list capture this mood or era?  Some materials lend themselves naturally to certain feels, by their texture or by their artistic detailing:

  • Stone gives off a natural, rustic feel (but isn’t always as easy to clean).
  • Bronzed paneling lends historic ambiance.
  • Bead board is more traditional (and easier to change out).
  • Ceramic tile is more common, but can effect the feel of the kitchen based on its size (smaller tiles are more vintage looking, larger ones more contemporary).
  • Glass tiles are trendy and brightening.
  • Painted tiles bring out certain cultures or artistic tastes.
  • Brick provides a gourmet, urban feel.

Look for our follow-up post (part 2) next week as we talk about creating a pattern for your backsplash and avoiding common tile mistakes!

In the meantime, enjoy the inspiration of 20 different kitchen backsplashes here!


Need help installing a kitchen backsplash?  Want to plan a complete kitchen remodel?  Contact us at Sass Construction today!

The Top 10 Hottest Kitchen Remodeling Trends for 2013

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

If 2013 is the year to remodel your kitchen, you’re in for a treat — kitchen trends are fresher, more user-friendly, and as relaxed as ever.  This room that has become our main living space over the past few years has developed into a clean, practical space with gourmet touches that everyone will enjoy being in.

Based on forecasts, trends, and what we see working well over the past couple of years, here are the top 10 hottest kitchen remodeling and design trends for 2013!

  1. Hidden Appliances
    Using appliances that blend in with your cabinetry (like a wood toned stove front or refrigerator with cabinetry panels) is the newest rage.  If your cabinets don’t match your current appliances, you can even purchase blendable fronts for the ones you have.  Tucking other appliances, such as trash compactors or mini fridges, inside the kitchen island is also part of this trend to blend.
  2. Range Hoods with StyleRange Cover by VentAHood
    And why not!  After years of tradition stainless steel trapezoid-shaped hoods, we need a new aspect of the kitchen to add pizzazz.  Decorative range hoods with built-in LED lights make the whole experience of stovetop cooking more ambient all around.
  3. Eco-Friendly Kitchen Appliances
    Now that Green has officially gone mainstream, a realm of stylish and practical eco-friendly products has come with it.  In addition to Green cabinetry, countertops, and flooring (like bamboo), adding eco-friendly appliances may qualify homeowners for special tax refunds or rebates (not to mention  lower utility bills).
  4. Sizable Kitchen Islands
    With the formal dining room becoming a thing of the past, families want to gather around their kitchen island, perched on trendy stools, and enjoy their meal, their homework, or coffee with a friend.  Smaller islands of the past just aren’t cutting it anymore as the kitchen island is becoming the main gathering place in the home.
  5. Digitalized Kitchen Spaces
    Kitchens are taking on the feel of an internet café.  With wi-fi in the room, digital radio and tv technology lingering nearby, families no doubt want to connect to their digital gadgets in the same place where they cook, gather, and connect with each other.
  6. Specific Purpose Cabinetry
    One size fits all is just not cool anymore when it comes to kitchen spaces.  We want more practical and customized storage, resulting in a draw toward cabinetry drawers, specialized racks, and organized pantries.
  7. Modern Style
    Modern doesn’t have to mean geometric shapes and bright colors.  Cabinetry is becoming more sleek and simple, decorating is going more fresh and light, and the overall feel of a kitchen is leaning toward relaxed and low-key.
  8. Glass Backsplashes
    Single-sheet and mosaic-style, high gloss backsplashes are growing in populuarity, with the added benefit of being easy to clean.  With their reflective sheen, the glass backsplash can add a polished touch to any kitchen.
  9. Lighting Galore
    In the space people now spend much of their time in, having good kitchen lighting, as well as ambient lighting for different circumstances, is becoming more important than ever.  Under-cabinet LED lights are now a must-have rather than an option.
  10. Neutral Colors
    Using neutral colors on the walls of the kitchen is on the rise, particularly in shades of grays, earthy naturals, and natural wood tones. Bright colors make great accents to add punchy fun, or crisp white accents can give the room an open, airy look.

As you make plans to remodel your kitchen this year, we encourage you to design around what you love as well as your custom needs, but spend some time researching the trends and making sure your kitchen will serve you and your home for the long run!

Bathroom Remodeling Trends for 2013

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Interested in giving your home a fresh start for the new year?  Why not make some stunning changes to the first room you walk into each morning and the last one you use before going to bed each night – your bathroom!  Starting and ending your day in a room that is serene, organized, refreshing, and just plain beautiful can make a significant change in your outlook each day.

Here are a few bathroom remodel trends we at Sass Construction see sticking around for 2013:

1. Creating your Bathroom around a Custom Vanity:  An organized bathroom can make all the difference in how you feel each morning.  Building a custom vanity that is meant just for your things and your home is a wonderful way of making your morning routine efficient and stress-free.  Decide what storage you need and design the rest of your bathroom around it!

Custom Vanity & Cabinetry

2. Using Distinctive Tile and Stonework:  Tile and stonework can give your bathroom that crisp, spa-like feel that offers the soothing feel of relaxation.  Like a water’s edge running over washed up stones, we feel relaxed when we’re surrounded by things of nature, and earthy and neutral-toned stone is definitely on-trend.  Additionally, using stone and tile in your bathroom is more moisture resistant and can help prevent leaks, mildew, and mold.

Bathroom Tile & Stonework

3. Adding Eco-Friendly Fixtures: Not just finishing touches chosen for practicality or aesthetics, the fixtures in your bathroom, including toilets, faucets, showerheads, and bathtubs, can have a great impact on your water use.  Eco-friendly aspects can help you save money on your water bill in addition to saving the planet.  And since Green products have officially gone mainstream, you can now find everything from modern basics to stunning designs that will bring major impact to your room.

Eco-friendly Shower Fixtures

Ready to add serenity, organization, water efficiency, and a fresh new feel to your home’s bathroom?  Contact us at Sass Construction today to see how we can help you create the dream bathroom you will enjoy stepping into everyday.

Meet Amber – New Team Member at Sass Construction

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Here at Sass Construction we’d like to introduce you to Amber Scoble, who recently joined us as an Administrative Assistant and Sales Associate!  Amber has been with Sass since late October and we’re thrilled to have her on board.

Amber previously worked for Home Advisor in Colorado (also known as Service Magic) as an Executive Consultant, and before that she supervised multiple departments at Home Depot.  Amber grew up in Colorado and is currently finishing her degree in Civil Engineering. Amber of Sass Construction

We checked in with Amber to give you the chance to get to know her.  Here are a few of her thoughts on job variety, ice fishing, and the importance of a good drum beat.

What do you like best about your job?
There’s always something different each day.  As we work through projects for clients, people want different things.  There’s no redundancy with my job, and new challenges every day!

What’s one thing you miss about being a kid?
I miss playing the drums.  I was a drummer from Middle School all the way through High School and I loved playing a good beat in a song.

What activities do you do for fun?
I love seeing movies, working out, and skiing.

What do you like best about living in Minnesota?
There’s always something to do here!  Whether it’s ice fishing in the winter, going to the mall, picking apples, or taking a drive up to Duluth.

If you could plan a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would go to Rome to see the Coliseum and sightsee.

Thanks Amber and welcome to Sass Construction!