Talking Real Estate

Stone Countertop Confidential | Ways to Show Love to Your Home | Pantone’s “Illuminating” May Bring Back Yellow

Stone Countertop Confidential

There are pros and cons to all types of stone countertops. How do you choose which ones are best for your home?  Knowing the properties of each type of stone will help you make the right decision.

Granite – According to, there are over 3,000 types of granite. Despite its strength, granite is porous, which means it can absorb stains unless it’s sealed. It can crack if not properly fabricated and installed. Yet, granite’s beauty and variety make it the most popular choice for countertops.

Soapstone - Soapstone is a “magnesium-rich metamorphic rock” containing up to 80% talc, making it ideal for carving. However, there is a stronger strain called architectural soapstone that is impervious to staining and scorching. Damage can be sanded out. It requires no sealant, but mineral oil helps develop its patina, which darkens with age. 

Marble – Marble is one of the most beautiful stones and is frequently used as in small amounts such as a bathroom countertop. It stains and scratches easily and requires sealant, making it less popular for kitchens. Like granite, it adds value to the home.

Quartz – Engineered stone is man-made of approximately 93% quartz and the remainder in resins. Developed as an alternative to granite, it’s nearly as expensive, but performs much better. While granite, soapstone and marble feature artistic veining and natural “flaws,” quartz is manufactured to have uniform patterns and colors. The advantage is a surface that requires no sealant that’s more durable and scratch resistant than natural stone.

Ways to Show Love to Your Home

When you love something you want to protect it, improve it, and enjoy it. Your home responds to love, too. Here are a few ways to show your home love that will love you back.  

Refresh caulking – Discolored shriveled caulk has stopped doing the job of protecting your bathroom and kitchen from dirt, mildew and mold. According to, you should completely dig out old grout, apply an anti-mold treatment, then regrout with a %100 silicone-based grout that resists shrinking over time. Your tiled areas, including floors, will be watertight and look fresher, cleaner, and more attractive.

Update smoke-carbon monoxide detectors. explains that newer smoke detectors can be interconnected so that when one detects smoke or carbon monoxide, all the detectors in the house will alert. Fires burn differently, so install a variety of detectors. Ionization detectors are best for identifying fast, flaming fires, while photoelectric detectors are preferable to alert to smoky, smoldering fires. Carbon monoxide detectors may need to be purchased separately.

Polish floors. To get a long-lasting shine on your hard-surface floors, you can rent or buy a floor polisher. The advantage, says, is that polishers are more efficient and less labor-intensive than manual cleaning methods, and don’t require in-depth knowledge of apply wax or polish to the floor. Afterward, you’ll find cleaning much easier and it will add to the lifespan of your floors.

These easy do-it-yourself projects will help you finish out the cold winter months and welcome spring to your home.

Pantone’s “Illuminating” May Bring Back Yellow

Decorating colors come and go, but few have retreated from the mainstream for as long as yellow. The Pantone Color Institute's selection of “Illuminating,” a cheerful light yellow, paired with the calming “Ultimate Gray” for its 2021 Color(s) of the Year, may make yellow popular again.  

Pantone describes Illuminating and Ultimate Gray as “two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another.” The pairing conjures strength and positivity that things will get better. Grays have been popular in home décor for some time, supplanting beige as the go-to neutral, but the exuberance and optimism of yellow is a welcome breath of fresh air. explains that yellow is the brightest color the human eye can see. Yellow is believed to enhance creativity and to stimulate the brain to think and learn. It’s stimulating and energizing, with happy connotations like daffodils, lemonade, bananas, and children’s colorful drawings of big yellow smiling suns. says that people with yellow personalities are fun-loving, enthusiastic, optimistic, charismatic, spontaneous, and sociable.

Whether you believe color psychology is a real science or pseudo-science, it’s certainly true that yellow can add a lively, attention-getting touch to decorating. But, like red, orange, neon, or acidic colors, a little yellow goes a long way and is best utilized for smaller accessories and furniture, or to complement a focal point like a piece of art that may include a little yellow. Consider yellow for throw pillows, flowers, or occasional chairs to brighten your home.