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ThinkGlass Countertop photographed by John Stillman
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Marble Countertop – Where The Kitchen Starts

Granite and Marble Countertop in the Kitchen.

In a well-designed kitchen, prep space is key. The countertop often stands out simply because it covers so much space, especially as the kitchen becomes a primary living area, and islands become the norm.

“We know the countertop and island are playing a much more prominent role in kitchen design. And now everything starts with the stone or marble countertop,”. Says Nick Harris, v.p. of marketing at Caesarstone U.S. in Northridge, CA.

“Designers are working with homeowners to make sure the workspace is visually appealing. But also utilized to its fullest potential. Simply put, the goal for today’s kitchen is form and function, with sleek, orderly and multi-purpose living spaces,” says Mar Esteve, director of marketing for Neolith by TheSize, headquartered in Almazora, Spain.

Because surfaces are so prominent, there is great demand for variety, and the field has never been wider. Manufacturers are creating new colours, patterns and even new materials that allow homeowners to personalize their space with surfaces that perfectly suit their desired style.

Aesthetically, neutral tones are on top. The look of natural materials – stone or wood – is often a top priority. Finishes are trending toward a textured, matte appearance rather than high-gloss, shiny surfaces. At the same time, designers are getting creative with mixing and matching materials to give the space a unique flair. Creative edging choices, such as waterfall edges that reach from stone or marble countertop to floor, are also on the rise.

NATURAL AND NEUTRAL

The kitchen’s large and growing expanse of countertop space has many designers and homeowners looking to blend these surfaces seamlessly into the overall design rather than drawing too much attention to themselves. This creates a trend toward neutral tones and lends itself well to the earthy colours of natural stone or wood.

WATERFALL EFFECT

A pull toward the natural world is not only prompting designers to lean toward materials that have the appearance of natural stone or wood, but also to mimic the way that elements flow in nature. The waterfall edge on a kitchen island presents surfacing material in a clean, continuous line from the top of the counter to the floor, much like water cascading off a mountainside.

“Waterfall islands are a big trend in the design industry,” says Massimo Ballucchi, marketing director at Stafford, TX-based Cosentino North America.The increase of square footage in kitchens has allowed for these spaces to include islands and additional surface space.

Becker says, “Kitchens are increasingly becoming the showpiece of the house. And we’ve seen an uptick of islands becoming the central point of the design. Designers are using this as an opportunity to experiment with waterfall edges, extra-large seamless surfaces and using different materials. Including colours and textures, in the same space.”


LESS SHINE, MORE TEXTURE

Regardless of material choice, matte finishes and increased texture are increasingly being chosen for surface finish. “Textures are becoming more popular in both engineered and natural materials. Ranging from a matte or honed finish to a textured or leathered finish,” Congress states.

Becker agrees: “Leather- and matte-type finishes have become increasingly popular throughout the last year. And will continue to grow in 2018.”

This trend is consistent across a range of materials. “Texture is slowly moving from ‘look at me’ glossy on stones to matte with subtle textures for stones” adds Chmiel. “Honed or slate looks for stone remain popular,” she adds.

MARBLE COUNTERTOP? GRANITE? QUARTZ?

There are many factors to consider when choosing which material to use in a countertop. Design and colour are the first considerations, says Mays. Then homeowners are looking at durability and how easy the surface is to clean and sanitize.

“When you consider all of these needs, it’s clear why quartz and laminate are the materials that are leading the market,” she states.

Quartz has that natural stone look and feel, as well as the easy cleanup and scratch and stain resistance, so it has been a big draw for homeowners.

But we’re also seeing laminate as an in-demand material. Homeowners are drawn to laminate because of its lower price point, and with advanced printing technology, today’s designs can also provide that natural, neutral style that’s been trending.” 

Kath sees quartz continuing to grow more and more among those who can really afford it. With consumers able to research and easily learn what options exist, and what’s best for their lifestyle, they tend to choose quartz because of its beautiful appearance without the worry.

Read the full article at www.kitchenbathdesign.com and have a browse at our online catalogue for your new granite or marble countertop!

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Photo of Dajaman Contemporary Kitchen by Christine Hill
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Kitchen Benchtop Renovations – How To and Why

The Kitchen: It’s Important

The kitchen can be a make-or-break room for potential buyers, so if yours is looking a little worse for wear and you plan to sell in the near future, a renovation might be a smart move. But which upgrades will make you a profit? Benchtop? Cabinets? We’ve asked a panel of four experts to reveal all.

Kitchen Benchtop

Photo by Proper Photography

“There are two simple rules when renovating a kitchen,”

says architect Steffen Welsch of Melbourne firm Steffen Welsch Architects. “Don’t half do it and don’t do it on the cheap. A kitchen is an important space – it needs to be cohesive and everyone appreciates quality.”

Jenefer Macleod, the principal designer at eat.bathe.live, concurs, adding: “Potential buyers are pretty savvy and will notice if the kitchen is poorly planned and bad quality”.

The Benchtop

The benchtop is one of the first things buyers see when they walk into a kitchen, so it’s well worth splashing out on. “Replacing a cheap laminate benchtop with another laminate benchtop is not a value add,” says Daniel Briffa, director and principal building designer at Adan Creative Designs. “Even if the old benchtop was in poor condition, at the end of the day the kitchen still has a laminate benchtop.”

“Upgrading to a better-quality material will add instant appeal to your kitchen, and natural stone is a great choice,” says Azmi.

“Splashing out on a decent benchtop and adding in an appealing splashback means you could then potentially choose more cost-efficient cupboards and still achieve a very appealing look,” adds Welsch.”

“Any stone bench more than 20 millimetres thick is going to look luxurious, and will add real value to your kitchen,” says Azmi. Welsch concurs, adding; “I prefer a honed finish for natural stone over a glossy one. It feels softer and won’t mark as much.”

Read the full article here.

Images sourced from
dalldesignerhomes.com.auproperphotography.com.au.