The History of Quartz Countertops

In 1963 Marcello Toncelli founded a company known as Brevetti Toncelli, which roughly means Toncelli Patents. A few years later that name was shortened to Breton, he took the Bre from Brevetti and the Ton from Toncelli to create a new brand. Afterwards he developed a patent for his process of solidifying quartz and resin slabs to be used in countertop surfaces. The Italian inventor created the Bretonstone technology used for producing engineered stone, also known as vibrocompression under vacuum. As a result he was able create an extremely durable surface that would one day be used around the world for all sorts of surfaces, particularly countertops. This method has been picked up by other companies around the world such as Dupont, Cambria, or Cosentino in order to create their own specific mixture. Zodiaq for example, is Dupont’s version of a quartz countertop.

It’s not just popular around Italy, according Wikipedia it’s the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s crust. Not only is it abundant, but nearly every ancient culture revered quartz for different reasons. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Australian Aboriginals, and Romans all used quartz crystals as talismans. The Romans used rose quartz as a seal to signify ownership, and the Egyptians believed the stone could prevent aging.

It’s often found in passage tomb cemeteries around Europe, such as Newgrange or Carrowmore in Ireland. The Irish word for quartz is grianchloch, which means “Sunstone.” This has resulted in a number video games referring to it as a Sunstone. Quartz was also used in Prehistoric Ireland, and many other countries, to make stone tools; both vein quartz and rock crystal were knapped as part of the lithic technology of prehistoric people.

Made from one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz countertops are one of the most durable options for kitchens. However, unlike natural-stone slabs, which are mined, these slabs are engineered in a factory. They are made of a little over 90% ground quartz and the other 10 percent is made up of Polyester resins and pigments.

Until recently people would refrain from using quartz as a countertop because it lacked the beautiful patterns and color variations you can get with natural stones such as marble and granite. But thanks to plenty of technological advancements that is no longer the case, we now have the ability to make quartz slabs that have a variety of flakes and swirls to generate random patterns that can make quartz slabs absolutely stunning. Finally able to rival the natural beauty of marble and granite.

The Beauty of Large Wall Clocks

It seems like every time I walk into a really nice home I am sooner or later confronted by one of the hot new trends in  interior   design : large wall clocks. They are everywhere! And there’s a good reason why: they add a real magnificence to any home in which they appear. I am seriously becoming a big fan of this take on the typical smaller or medium-sized version. Go big, that’s what I say.

The first thing you need to consider if you want to emulate this design trend is if you even have the room to do it. You really only need one thing: a big empty space on a wall. That is all you will need. (And a little cash.) If you are very stylistically inclined then you might be able to kind of wedge a large wall clock in next to some other things on the wall such as photographs or paintings, or even light switches and TV’s. But most people will probably prefer to play it a bit safer and have some space on either side of the clock.

Most people agree that large wall clocks should be classified as being at least two feet wide. This alone is quite big, approximately a third the height of a human. But you may even want a larger one than this. If so, I applaud you. Just make sure you have the wall space and do your measurements before you make the purchase. A lot of us aren’t exactly intuitive when it comes to making visual approximations on measurements. (By the way, two feet equals about 0.60 meters.)

No one can really deny the magnificence of these items. They are a great way to really do something with a big wall. Rare is the person who can make an empty wall look good without doing anything to it. You really ought to make use of this space to show something off. Large wall clocks are a new and modern way to do this. Also, no one will ever forget what time it is! It sort of has the effect of diminishing the consciousness of time in a paradoxical way. It parodies time and our obsession with it. But beyond this it tells everyone who walks into your home that you do things in a big way and you are not afraid to take chances. This is an impression that I think most of us would like to make on our guests and visitors. (It also tells people you are a bit wealthy.)

So that is my little spiel about large wall clocks and how I have become a big fan of them. I suppose not everyone will echo my thoughts, but I just think they are great. The other side of things is that if you take this plunge you will probably want to (at least over time) re-emphasize everything else that is within vision of the clock. It would be a mistake to have your house be overshadowed by one single item.

Home Decor – Family With Dogs

We were finally ready for a dog in our home. We researched different breeds to match our lifestyle. We both wanted a big dog with a gentle disposition, and, as we looked through the pictures of the different breeds, one caught our attention. Bernese Mountain Dogs are beautiful, big and sweet-natured. This was what our new “baby” was to be! After meeting with the breeder, and a bit of a wait, we brought home our little fella, Dante.

We were very happy to have a vinyl kitchen floor during potty training. Although he was quick to learn, he was after all a puppy. Vinyl floors are durable and very easy to keep clean. This was also a blessing because Dante had no idea how to wipe his feet during the rainy summer days.

We also learned that baby gates were not just for human babies. Because the rest of the house had mostly carpeting, we felt a gate was just what was needed. This saved on a lot of extra carpet cleaning, which is not my favorite chore.

For the first several months I wondered why everyone talked so much about this breed shedding so much. I hadn’t noticed much at all. Well, as our cute little fluff ball grew, and he gained about ten pounds a month, I began to notice a little change in that situation. Little by little there began to be little fluffy tumbleweeds in the corners of his domain. Soon the little fluffy fur balls were requiring daily broom attention. Eventually it became obvious that a vacuum was the only way to keep those floating clouds of fur from outrunning my broom. First I tried a little cleaning upright vacuum. Just charge it up and go! Only I found that I could empty the canister several times before I was done and the charge was gone before the fur was.

Well, if that little upright was not working out for me, I decided to move on to my old faithful canister vacuum that had disposable bags and an electric cord. It was great! There was no recharging mid-job, the bag could hold all the fur that puppy of ours could shed. I still had to make use of it daily, but it worked like a charm. Dante didn’t mind the noise, and didn’t chew the cord. He didn’t even seem to wonder where his fur was going. I didn’t mind his shedding since I had figured out an effective remedy for the flying fur. Somewhere in the back of my mind I may have thought “What was it they said about going through a vacuum every year or two?”