BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home


Innovative Surfaces for Kitchens and Baths

It’s so easy to get swept away by shimmering, scene-setting surfaces — especially when notice-me looks merge with modern convenience. Burn rings from hot pans, evidence of red wine spills, and scratches from sharp utensils are all worries of the past thanks to today’s innovative surfacing materials. Along with a few other journalists, I recently had the opportunity to visit Cosentino’s global headquarters in Almeria, Spain to learn about its leading brands, Silestone and Dekton, and see how they partner time-honored materials with forward-thinking design.

Silestone is a scratch-resistant, non-porous quartz product. Many colors in the Silestone line also feature bacteriostatic protection, making the material a pretty and practical surface option for kitchens, bathrooms, and work surfaces. No germs, no scuffs, no fuss.

Silestone is available in a variety of texture options, from perfectly smooth to a matte finish. Polished Silestone in Lyra on the floor, vanity, and walls takes center stage in this sleek, streamlined setting.

Dekton, Cosentino’s ultra-compact surfacing material, is created by manipulating a blend of minerals and raw materials via an accelerated metamorphic process. High temperatures and pressures mimic the aging process of natural stone over thousands of years to quickly render a remarkably versatile material. Available in a wide range of colors and patterns, its beauty is deserving of the spotlight in a kitchen or bath, yet durable for use on high-traffic floors or staircases. Dekton’s resistance to compression and UV-rays also makes it suitable for driveways, terrace flooring, and exterior cladding.

Dekton’s manufacturing process allows great control over each slab’s pigment and design, making it easy to produce large pieces without showing seams. Aura, pictured on the left, resembles the classic appearance of marble without any of the upkeep.

And finally, take a look at Cosentino’s Prexury line. Constructed from beautiful semiprecious stones and natural materials, Prexury takes its design cues from traditional jewelry-making materials such as agate and amethyst. This luxe material would be an eye-catching addition to a kitchen island, makeup vanity, or dining table, don’t you think?

Hi BHG readers!  My name is Lauren Liess and I’m a decorator from Northern Virginia with a blog called Pure Style HomeI couldn’t have been more thrilled when the BHG team called and asked me if I’d like to decorate the 2015 BHG Innovation Home!  (The big reveal will be shared in this October’s issue of the magazine.)  My firm began the decorating plans this past Winter and I’m so excited to walk you through our thought process, step-by-step, as we get closer to the big reveal in October!


When I began the decorating plans for the BHG Innovation Home, I decided to start with an overall palette for the house that could be carried throughout.  Developing a general palette for a home aids in creating flow and consistency so that walking from one room to the next makes sense and feels authentic.  To keep things interesting, I like to vary up accent colors, rather than shocking visitors with a new palette in every room.


We know that BHG readers love color, and I, myself, am nature-obsessed, so I was hoping to relate the color palette of the home to the breathtaking Wisconsin land just outside its door- the big wide open blue skies and fields of green and gold.  A favorite chintz pillow of mine had just the right combination of colors- blues, greens, gold/mustard and earth tones – so I used it as a launching point for the palette and then added in some purer blues and fresh accents to cheer it up a little.

{My starting point chintz for the color palette…  The fabric isn’t actually used anywhere in the house.}


Texture also played a key role in establishing our palette as I wanted to make sure that there was a sense of nature woven throughout the home.  We included a mix of natural textures and materials- woven grasses, textural wallcoverings, nubby linens, and various wood tones that are both warm and coo- and these earthier elements help ground the color scheme, giving it depth and keeping it from feeling too “sweet.”


Once I’d established a palette, we moved onto determining the style and vibe of the house, which I’ll share next time.  I hope you enjoyed this peek into the design process!


{A look at some of the color, textiles & textures we’re incorporating throughout the home}





Building a Dream House: Kitchen Inspiration (and walls!)

Hi! I’m Melissa. I write about food, family, and farm life at Lulu the Baker. My family and I are hopefully about to fulfill one of those good, old-fashioned life-long dreams: we’re building our Dream House.

November has been such a busy month at the Dream House! Actual construction-type things have been happening–finally–and we’re over the moon with excitement! We’ve had lots of fun checking on the progress several times a week; we’re at a stage where the changes are very obvious and easy to spot. The main thing that’s been happening this month is construction of the exterior walls of the basement. We decided to do ICF construction on the basement and ground floor of the house, something totally new to us until a few months ago. ICF stands for insulated concrete forms, which are basically hollow styrofoam blocks that snap together, have a meshwork of rebar running through them, and get filled with concrete. They are incredibly thick and sturdy, and we’re ridiculously excited to see how toasty our house will be in the winter and how delightfully cool it will be in the summer. The construction crew had the ICF stacked and ready to go for the basement walls last week, with windows and doors framed in, and they poured the concrete into them today! After the Thanksgiving holiday, they’ll keep stacking, reinforcing, and pouring until they get the ground floor walls done too. The foundation has been dug out, the conduit for plumbing and electrical has been laid, and the foundation filled back in with gravel, so the concrete for the foundation will be poured soon as well. And then we’ll have our actual basement floor!

November hasn’t just been a month of watching; we’ve done lots of research and decision-making too! Since we spend so much time in the kitchen, we’ve been making the kitchen the focus of our efforts lately. My husband and I took a trip up to Portland at the beginning of the month and spent an entire day visiting showrooms filled with granite, quartz, slate, tile, paint, appliances, and more. We looked at lots of really beautiful materials, changed our minds about some of the things we had our eye on back in October, took lots of pictures, and compared prices. We think (fingers-crossed) that we’ve made up our minds about all but a few kitchen details. I put together a fun little kitchen style board to see how lovely everything we picked out will look together, and I think I’m in love! Without further ado…the kitchen!

A little bit about the things we’ve chosen…

  • We spotted the rustic glass pendants in the Pottery Barn catalog this past Spring and used a killer coupon code to buy them at a discount. They’re actually sitting in their boxes down in my in-laws’ barn just biding their time.
  • After agonizing over what to do about a range hood, we’ve decided to go with metal. We really like the ones with rivets!
  • We love white kitchens! The one pictured above doesn’t have all of the same features we want, but we love the large center island, and white, glass-fronted cabinets.
  • We’ve got a pocket door or two on our house plans. They weren’t something we specifically asked for, but I’m really excited about them!
  • While we’re still finalizing the layout of the kitchen, we’ve made adjustments to allow space for some open shelving. We plan to use some lovely reclaimed wood and dark iron wall brackets to match the hardware throughout the rest of the house.
  • I know white subway tile is the kitchen backsplash du jour, but I love it. So we’re going with it anyway.
  • We aren’t 100% committed to our counters yet, but we really love this neutral granite. It’s called Terra Brasilis, but don’t Google that, because the samples that pop up look nothing like the slab we saw! Granite is so confusing sometimes!
  • We really love the look of natural slate tile, but it has some challenges with installation and maintenance. We found a porcelain tile that looks just like real slate for a really good price, and are excited to have such a focal point in the kitchen decided!

I can’t tell you how happy we are to have work on the Dream House progressing! Over the next month, we should see another story of exterior wall poured along with the foundation, and we have the exciting task of figuring out where to place wall sockets, electrical outlets, and light fixtures. It’s party central over here, folks! You can follow along on our adventure through Instagram and Pinterest, and I’d love to know what room you want to see a style board for next!

Photo credits: pendant photo from Pottery Barn | dark grey tile photo from Oregon Tile & Marble | open wood shelves photo from Country Living Magazine | granite photo from Lulu the Baker | all other photos from Better Homes & Gardens

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