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By 7024801001 25 Sep, 2017
Going back to my late 90's kitchen design origins, quartz was not a oft-chosen countertop material. Although the process of engineering quartz surfaces was invented in the 1960s, the sale of such material for the use of kitchens and baths truly skyrocketed in the early 2000s.

Upon entering the design business again, I had a lot to learn about this new (to me) material. Was it natural or man-made? What differentiated it from granite? Did it have advantages to other countertop material? How does it compare in terms of cost?

So let me take you on my journey of discovery...

Is it natural or manmade?
Well...both! Quartz is a 93-95% natural material - one of the hardest minerals on earth. This, combined with polyester resins, creates a non-porous, scratch-resistant surface ideal for high-traffic use.

How is it different from granite?
Granite, being completely natural, is porous and subject to the forces that created it which gives slabs their unique striations and movement. Quartz, on the other hand, is ground and combined with the resins and pigments, allowing for greater color consistency and pattern throughout the slab.

Does it have advantages to other countertop material?
Quartz is the most durable countertop material one can choose for their kitchen. It does not require sealing and does not stain, should something inevitably spill. Additionally, this non-porous material is easy to keep relatively bacteria-free. That said, quartz can be damaged by excessive heat. It is always recommended that a trivet or potholder be used with hot pans.
Quartz is also more environmentally friendly, as it does not require quarrying or significant transportation costs, if regionally manufactured and fabricated. It's a breeze to clean, requiring only mild soap and water - no sealing or harsh chemicals needed!
Lastly, quartz generally comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

But what does it cost?
With such strong and long-lasting attributes, quartz typically comes at a slightly higher price point than most other solid-surface options. But with its consistency and quality, this versatile material is a worthy investment. 

Check out the following brands that we carry:
https://www.cambriausa.com/
Whether it's a kitchen counter, vanity top, fireplace surround, shower or tub feature, desktop, wet bar, or window sill, quartz will create a stylish, yet durable, focal point. The value it adds to any home will be felt for decades to come!

https://www.emeraldcityllc.com/quartz


By 7024801001 08 Sep, 2017
For the owners of Emerald City, it's not just about design and installation. Utilizing their business skills and passion for community, John and Shayna are involved with various non-profits and volunteer opportunities.

Last year, Shayna had the pleasure of sitting on the United Way's Housing Committee and was honored to be able to see the work started on Cape Cod due to the funds allocated to Habitat for Humanity. These homes were being built in a community for local families in need.

At the job site visit, she had the opportunity to meet a young woman who was there working on what would be the future home for her and her three children. Shayna recalls the smile and pride the woman had while talking about the opportunity the Habitat for Humanity had given to her family. She was actively involved in viewing and helping through the process.

Although it was a time-consuming process, Shayna learned so much about reading grants and the incredible local non-profits that require funding each year to continue their amazing work. She is grateful to have been able to be part of an amazing team and witness firsthand how much the grants make a difference to those in need.




By 7024801001 06 Sep, 2017


Are you going to be completely stressed out and irritable for months? Are you going to spend a lot of money and gain weight because you’ll have to go out to eat and order take-out? Will you ever feel organized again?

Here are a few tips on how you can survive your remodel, without getting too anxious. These tips will help you to have a better understanding of what to expect so you don’t feel overwhelmed and confused throughout the entire process.


1.   Time to clear clutter and get organized

Use this time to really clean out your home. You’re hopefully going to have new cabinets that will help keep you organized but in the meantime, create four bins in your home: one for trash, one for recycle, one for donate and one for keep. You can start in the kitchen or bathroom and then move into other rooms if you’d like. Once you have your new space and less clutter, you are going to feel like a new person! You’ll be able to enjoy your home more than you did before.


2. Plan stress-free activities

Sometimes sitting in the house amongst the chaos and mess can cause extra stress. If you can get out of the house and plan something fun and stress-free, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Try to go to the movies, take your dog for a walk, plan game-night at a friend’s house, try a new exercise class, book a massage, or even go to a cooking class so you can eat too!


3.   Be patient and breathe

Understand that with any renovation, there may be some unexpected challenges that occur. Obviously a good company wants the process to go smoothly, especially without added expenses and a longer time-frame for their customers. However, there may be additional work that needs to be done or extra materials purchased that was originally unforeseen. If you go into the remodel understanding this as well as remembering to breathe and be patient, you will be less stressed and keep your blood pressure regulated. Try to enjoy the process of getting your upgraded space!

Hint: Start the design in advance of when you would like to begin, because selections, ordering and construction may take longer than you think.



4.   Be grateful

You’re going to have a new kitchen or bathroom! When you wake up in the morning, write down 3 things that you are grateful for that day. This will give you a new perspective on your remodel. Many people aren’t able to remodel these days so take time to be thankful that you will have a beautiful new kitchen to enjoy with your family and friends and/or bathroom to relax in.


5. What to buy and cook

If you are remodeling your kitchen, I’m sure you don’t want to keep going out to eat or getting take-out. It’s not only expensive, but will cause you to eat more than you normally would, which can lead to weight gain and low energy. Since you most likely won’t have appliances to store fresh food and cook with, you want to keep a simple grocery list. Focus on getting food that doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator. For example, stock up on bananas, apples, avocados, tomatoes, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, cranberries, raisins, almonds, cashews, walnuts, dark chocolate, crackers,  granola, chicken broth, peanut butter, beans, rice, quinoa, onions, garlic, etc.


Take this time to use a crockpot and cook chili, soup, beef and vegetable recipes.


Crockpot Turkey Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1-16 ounce can of pinto beans, drained, rinsed

  • 1/2 cup salsa

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

-Add broth, turkey, onion, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and cumin in the crockpot.

-Mix ingredients together.

-Cover and cook on the low setting for 5 to 6 hours, until turkey is browned.

-Serve with salsa, sour cream and/or shredded cheese.

-Enjoy!

Shayna Mahoney and her husband, John, own Emerald City, a kitchen and bath showroom in Plymouth, MA. Additionally, Shayna is a holistic life coach who gives women hope to reduce anxiety naturally. Download her from Anxious to Calm 5-minute meditation at www.shaynamahoney.com


By 7024801001 21 Aug, 2017

“Unwittingly then had I discovered an Invisible Empire of the Air, intangible, yet solid as granite, whose structure shall persist while man inhabits the planet.” ~Lee De Forest


As I begin my kitchen design blog adventure, granite seemed like a logical place to start.


Let me tell you a little about myself: My name is Katie and kitchen design had never figured into my life plans of law enforcement and the Navy (neither of which happened), nor my eventual degree in accounting. But 16 years ago, I was asked to work for a kitchen designer and jumped at the unique opportunity. After a few years, I left the business to start a family. Three children and 2 moves later, I find myself back in the kitchen business! Life surely has funny and fascinating circles…


But why start with granite, you might ask? The simple answer is that Emerald City started out in the granite business. Long before cabinet lines and flooring options, John and Shayna were all about granite. From selection to fabrication and installation, they did it all!


The most surprising difference I’ve seen, as I return to this business after more than a decade, is the prevalence of granite as a standard part of a kitchen makeover. During my first kitchen design stint, granite was considered a luxury item, only appearing in high-end homes. To see how accessible it has become is compelling. Laminate, that go-to material of yore, is hardly seen anymore, especially as the price points for both material are nearly balanced.


Naturally, the taste in granite has evolved over the years. Just as we are no longer wearing mood rings and jelly shoes, we do not often see the jewel-like tones of Uba Tuba, Butterfly Green, and Sapphire Blue as much as I did back then.


The colors we have most commonly filling our A-frames these days are Fantasy Brown, Absolute Black, and New Venetian Gold.


When picking granite, it is most important to see and select the slabs in person. Color, pattern, and movement can vary wildly, even among slabs with the same name.

Preference is key. But that is the beauty of natural stone - it’s unique and delightfully individualistic - ensuring that most will be able to find something that works in their own space. Rounding out granite’s characteristics: it is resistant to heat, easy to maintain, and durable for years to come.


Whether it is the space-expanding properties of Ice White, the endless design possibilities of New Venetian Gold, the warm, cozy feeling of Baltic Brown, or the sleek sophistication of Black Pearl, granite is a great way to add value and richness to your kitchen, bathroom vanity, or fireplace surround. It’s not just a luxury anymore!



Emerald City LLC Blog

By 7024801001 25 Sep, 2017
Going back to my late 90's kitchen design origins, quartz was not a oft-chosen countertop material. Although the process of engineering quartz surfaces was invented in the 1960s, the sale of such material for the use of kitchens and baths truly skyrocketed in the early 2000s.

Upon entering the design business again, I had a lot to learn about this new (to me) material. Was it natural or man-made? What differentiated it from granite? Did it have advantages to other countertop material? How does it compare in terms of cost?

So let me take you on my journey of discovery...

Is it natural or manmade?
Well...both! Quartz is a 93-95% natural material - one of the hardest minerals on earth. This, combined with polyester resins, creates a non-porous, scratch-resistant surface ideal for high-traffic use.

How is it different from granite?
Granite, being completely natural, is porous and subject to the forces that created it which gives slabs their unique striations and movement. Quartz, on the other hand, is ground and combined with the resins and pigments, allowing for greater color consistency and pattern throughout the slab.

Does it have advantages to other countertop material?
Quartz is the most durable countertop material one can choose for their kitchen. It does not require sealing and does not stain, should something inevitably spill. Additionally, this non-porous material is easy to keep relatively bacteria-free. That said, quartz can be damaged by excessive heat. It is always recommended that a trivet or potholder be used with hot pans.
Quartz is also more environmentally friendly, as it does not require quarrying or significant transportation costs, if regionally manufactured and fabricated. It's a breeze to clean, requiring only mild soap and water - no sealing or harsh chemicals needed!
Lastly, quartz generally comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

But what does it cost?
With such strong and long-lasting attributes, quartz typically comes at a slightly higher price point than most other solid-surface options. But with its consistency and quality, this versatile material is a worthy investment. 

Check out the following brands that we carry:
https://www.cambriausa.com/
Whether it's a kitchen counter, vanity top, fireplace surround, shower or tub feature, desktop, wet bar, or window sill, quartz will create a stylish, yet durable, focal point. The value it adds to any home will be felt for decades to come!

https://www.emeraldcityllc.com/quartz


By 7024801001 08 Sep, 2017
For the owners of Emerald City, it's not just about design and installation. Utilizing their business skills and passion for community, John and Shayna are involved with various non-profits and volunteer opportunities.

Last year, Shayna had the pleasure of sitting on the United Way's Housing Committee and was honored to be able to see the work started on Cape Cod due to the funds allocated to Habitat for Humanity. These homes were being built in a community for local families in need.

At the job site visit, she had the opportunity to meet a young woman who was there working on what would be the future home for her and her three children. Shayna recalls the smile and pride the woman had while talking about the opportunity the Habitat for Humanity had given to her family. She was actively involved in viewing and helping through the process.

Although it was a time-consuming process, Shayna learned so much about reading grants and the incredible local non-profits that require funding each year to continue their amazing work. She is grateful to have been able to be part of an amazing team and witness firsthand how much the grants make a difference to those in need.




By 7024801001 06 Sep, 2017


Are you going to be completely stressed out and irritable for months? Are you going to spend a lot of money and gain weight because you’ll have to go out to eat and order take-out? Will you ever feel organized again?

Here are a few tips on how you can survive your remodel, without getting too anxious. These tips will help you to have a better understanding of what to expect so you don’t feel overwhelmed and confused throughout the entire process.


1.   Time to clear clutter and get organized

Use this time to really clean out your home. You’re hopefully going to have new cabinets that will help keep you organized but in the meantime, create four bins in your home: one for trash, one for recycle, one for donate and one for keep. You can start in the kitchen or bathroom and then move into other rooms if you’d like. Once you have your new space and less clutter, you are going to feel like a new person! You’ll be able to enjoy your home more than you did before.


2. Plan stress-free activities

Sometimes sitting in the house amongst the chaos and mess can cause extra stress. If you can get out of the house and plan something fun and stress-free, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Try to go to the movies, take your dog for a walk, plan game-night at a friend’s house, try a new exercise class, book a massage, or even go to a cooking class so you can eat too!


3.   Be patient and breathe

Understand that with any renovation, there may be some unexpected challenges that occur. Obviously a good company wants the process to go smoothly, especially without added expenses and a longer time-frame for their customers. However, there may be additional work that needs to be done or extra materials purchased that was originally unforeseen. If you go into the remodel understanding this as well as remembering to breathe and be patient, you will be less stressed and keep your blood pressure regulated. Try to enjoy the process of getting your upgraded space!

Hint: Start the design in advance of when you would like to begin, because selections, ordering and construction may take longer than you think.



4.   Be grateful

You’re going to have a new kitchen or bathroom! When you wake up in the morning, write down 3 things that you are grateful for that day. This will give you a new perspective on your remodel. Many people aren’t able to remodel these days so take time to be thankful that you will have a beautiful new kitchen to enjoy with your family and friends and/or bathroom to relax in.


5. What to buy and cook

If you are remodeling your kitchen, I’m sure you don’t want to keep going out to eat or getting take-out. It’s not only expensive, but will cause you to eat more than you normally would, which can lead to weight gain and low energy. Since you most likely won’t have appliances to store fresh food and cook with, you want to keep a simple grocery list. Focus on getting food that doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator. For example, stock up on bananas, apples, avocados, tomatoes, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, cranberries, raisins, almonds, cashews, walnuts, dark chocolate, crackers,  granola, chicken broth, peanut butter, beans, rice, quinoa, onions, garlic, etc.


Take this time to use a crockpot and cook chili, soup, beef and vegetable recipes.


Crockpot Turkey Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion

  • 2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1-16 ounce can of pinto beans, drained, rinsed

  • 1/2 cup salsa

  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

-Add broth, turkey, onion, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and cumin in the crockpot.

-Mix ingredients together.

-Cover and cook on the low setting for 5 to 6 hours, until turkey is browned.

-Serve with salsa, sour cream and/or shredded cheese.

-Enjoy!

Shayna Mahoney and her husband, John, own Emerald City, a kitchen and bath showroom in Plymouth, MA. Additionally, Shayna is a holistic life coach who gives women hope to reduce anxiety naturally. Download her from Anxious to Calm 5-minute meditation at www.shaynamahoney.com


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