For the last few years I have been honored to be a member of the Blanco Design Council. This means I’m on the main line when it comes to inside information about their products. BLANCO, of course, is the German manufacturer of finely crafted sinks and faucets. Their SILGRANIT II sinks are a particular favorite of mine and you should definitely know about them if you’re considering a kitchen remodel. If you don’t know about SILGRANIT II, see my previous post here. As a kick off to KBIS2013, I got to see the newest BLANCO happenings in New Orleans with a Cajun-styled experience called The Kitchen Unmasked. This joint venture featuring Blanco, Poggenpohl and Silestone was held at the beautiful Nordic Kitchens showroom and was one of our stops on the Modenus Blog Tour.
The latest SILGRANIT II color, Cinder, is all the rage. It’s a stormy striking combo of dark gray with some black and rich brown thrown into the mix. I think it’s the perfect color to go with all the new luscious shades of gray we’re seeing. It’s on trend yet neutral at the same time. The new SILGRANIT II series of sinks also includes HYGIENIC+PLUS™ a patented formula that acts as a shield against dirt and bacteria. Independent laboratory tests confirm that the unique built-in hygiene protection reduces bacterial growth by an average of 98%.
My favorite addition to the SILGRANIT II collection is the Modex sink (at top). The next kitchen I design for myself (hoping) will have this sink. I love it. It adds a bit of architecture to the kitchen! Modex features a unique 3” profile that sits on the counter and includes a large integrated cutting board. It’s not just a sink, but a workstation.
Speaking of work, did you know your faucet is the most abused item in your kitchen? BLANCO’s well known German engineering ensures that you have a product that will stand up to the test. BLANCO also launched a new line of water saving faucets including Grace II, Alta, Highland and Napa.
“Our latest collection of faucets offer livable style,” stated Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing for BLANCO. “When we say livable style, we are referencing style that leads trends while integrating into any kitchen design. At the same time, we are talking about the faucets’ functionality. We engineer BLANCO faucets to last, to use less water, to provide unmatched cleaning and to be as easy to use as they are to maintain.”
I’ve had a blast telling you about all the products I learned about on the Modenus Blog Tour. A big thank you to Veronika Miller and her team at Modenus as well as all the fabulous sponsors including Blanco, Poggenpohl, Cosentino, National Kitchen & Bath Association, Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2013, Mr. Steam, TOTO and Du Verre Hardware. It truly was a most memorable and enjoyable experience to see New Orleans in this way. To me, the best part of all was the people, both meeting the sweet good- natured, perservering locals as well as enjoying the community of those who I’m honored to call my peers. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along and have learned a thing or two in the process that will help you know what to look for when shopping for kitchen and bath products. Click here to see ALL my photos and commentary from Blog Tour NOLA!
If the kitchen is the “heart of the home” then certainly the sink is the heart of the kitchen. Think of how many things happen in and around your kitchen sink. We wash dishes, we clean and prep veggies, we wash hands and even tiny babies in our sinks. One of the best kept secrets in the “sink world” is the Silgranit sink by Blanco. The use of granite as a sink material is not a new one and was used hundreds of years ago. Silgranit, however, is a new breed and is a mixture of 20% acrylic (yes just like the fake finger nail material) and 80% ground up granite.
On my recent trip to Toronto I had the pleasure of visiting the only plant in North America manufacturing granite composite sinks. Blanco, a privately owned firm based in Germany is the leader in this technology possessing 6 of 7 patents on the process. Our gracious hosts at Blanco walked us through the process from mixing the acrylic with granite sand, forming and heat setting the mixture on nickel sink molds. The result is a Silgranit sink that is indestructable. I kid you not.
We were taken into a quality control lab where they had a WHITE Silgrant sink stained with tea, ketchup, mustard, red juice and red wine, all the worst offenders, right? One wipe of the sponge (no soap) and rinse with water and the sink was once again pristine! The sink could not be scratched either. A couple of us went at it rather vigorously with a fork. The metal shavings of the fork were left on the surface and were easily wiped off with a sponge. How about dents, you ask? No dents either, a steel ball dropped into the sink had no effect. Hot pots won’t burn the surface either. These sinks also come in 7 different colors. Anthracite black is the most popular followed by my favorite, Cafe Brown. Blanco unveiled their newest color offering, Truffle, at the Interior Design Show 2011.
It’s a taupe-grey color and they made sure we wouldn’t forget that by supplying us with a matching EYE SHADOW! How cool is that? Are there any downsides to this Silgranit stuff? My research tells me that grout and maybe hard water could create a film, just as on any surface. There are solutions ranging from vinegar and baking soda to the handy dandy Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I can hear you thinking “so how much is this magical space age sink gonna set me back?” Most models are available in the $500-$1,000 range from plumbing retailers such as Next Plumbing (See listing on LOCAL RESOURCES page) in West Palm Beach. FaucetDirect.com has them available in the $300-$400 range.
Don’t forget to enter your chance to win a free Orgaline drawer organizer by leaving a comment on any post between now and February 15th! Click here to read January 14th post for details
The white is growing on me. I can’t stop staring at the snow drifts. I know by now this is getting tedious for my northern readers so I will refrain from any more comments about “the white”. For some reason 30F in Toronto feels like 50F in Florida. Today the group met up and we were taken by limo to Via Allegro Ristorante, world famous for their amazing wine cellar known as “the womb”. The priciest bottle in this room, kept at a constant 57F, goes for $65,000!
Our gracious host, Blanco Canada President Flavio Bergamin, presided over a four course lunch in the true Italian custom including a not-to-be-missed Napa cabernet/shiraz blend by the name of Duel. Kudos to restaurant manager Joseph for his great service and enthusiasm. After lunch it was on to the Blanco Silgranit Plant.
Silgranit is a composite sink made of 80% granite and 20% acrylic resins. Believe me when I tell you it is indestructible. We witnessed two-day-old stains of tea, wine, mustard, ketchup and juice wipe right off a light colored sink with just a sponge and water. After trying diligently none of us were able to scratch or dent the surface either. Blanco is currently the only company manufacturing granite composite sinks in the US and they own 6 of 7 patents on the product. If you are tired of stainless, which can scratch, this is a great option. The most popular color is Anthracite Black followed by my favorite Café Brown. The seven colors offered coordinate with quartz countertops as well as granite.
One of the perks of an adventure like this is you get to cross paths with all kinds of interesting people in the world of kitchen design. Today I had the pleasure of meeting a group of people ranging from design bloggers and writers to radio and TV personalities. Here’s the line up:
Joseph Freenor writes about cabinet & furniture trends and information CFT411.com
Paul Anater is someone you probably already know. He writes about design and anything else along the way. Kitchenandresidentialdesign.com
Cindy Dole is host of KFWB radio talk show Home Wizards
Vicki Payne CEO of Cutters Productions CuttersTV.com
Susan Palmer is the Decorating Diva SusanPalmerDesigns.com
Last but not least our hosts Flavio and Marc Presidents of Blanco Canada and Blanco America.
Tonight is the opening reception for the Interior Design Show! More pix to come. The concierge is digging in the basement through thousands of left-behind cords to find one that will fit my camera. Did I mention how nice Canadians are?
Yes, it’s true. I’m off again on another great adventure this time courtesy of Blanco. As you’ll remember, last September I had the pleasure of attending design week as a guest of the uber edgy Brizo Faucets. Click here. Now I will be able to give you the low down the on Blanco sinks you can pair with the amazing products at Brizo.
This Blanco press release says it best.
“Morning, noon, and night, the sink is the most frequently used area in the kitchen. From early morning, through a hectic day, an evening meal, and the solitude of late night, the sink serves as both hard working companion and fashionable focal point.
For more than 80 years, BLANCO has been a world leader in quality, innovative design and unsurpassed attention to detail. The company pioneered the use of stainless steel for kitchen sinks and was the first company to introduce hard composite materials such as Silgranit®.
Today, BLANCO has the most extensive line of premium quality kitchen sinks offered in North America, continuing to lead the evolution of the kitchen sink area with functional concepts, striking good looks, and innovative solutions, sure to personalize the most frequently used area of the kitchen.”
…And that’s not all. I will also have the pleasure of touring IDS11, Canada’s largest contemporary design fair. My press release will take me who knows where and you can join me here at Kitchens for Living. The fun starts January 26th. The countdown begins now!
Don’t forget to enter your chance to win a free Orgaline drawer organizer by leaving a comment between now and February 15th! Click here to read January 14th post for details.