Tag Archives: countertops

rd_fm2018_arch_expert_fi

Architecture Expert : The Sum Of Its Parts

Latest News


Architecture Expert : The Sum Of Its Parts

How the many details add style and functionality to your kitchen.

By Samantha Sannella

Renovating your kitchen is a big undertaking. If you want to make sure you get the most out of your investment, consider hiring a designer to plan and supervise the execution. Most kitchen redesigns require new flooring, electrical and plumbing—as well as a focus on making the space more functional and beautiful— so hiring a designer is definitely step one in the process before you begin discussions with a contractor.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

When planning a kitchen, it is important to answer practical questions to direct the design. For example, are you a serious chef? Do you have kids at home? Is cooking a family activity? Do you require low-maintenance finishes? What is the overall budget? How storage-intensive are you? Have you begun to look at appliances? Is there an esthetic goal you have in mind? A good designer will ask 100 questions to understand how you will use the space.

SMALL ITEMS, BIG IMPACT

For kitchens, while the overall look and feel is important, the details can really make the difference. Storage accessories increase the functionality. Countertops add colour and visual texture. Hardware is the ‘jewelry’ of the kitchen and can add a significant amount of pizzazz.

STORAGE

Incorporating trends like, ‘no upper cabinets’ should be considered carefully. While it might look cool, functionality may overrule if your space is small. Magic corners, pullout drawers and trolleys up the ante on convenience and make every inch more accessible. Accessories can increase the budget by thousands of dollars, so it’s worth your time to prioritize where you really need them. Plate holders and cutlery dividers are great to have for drawers, while busy chefs love the magnetic knife holders mounted on the backsplash.

COUNTERTOPS

If you have children, or are a busy chef with little time for maintenance, consider a quartz countertop first. Virtually maintenance-free, these can withstand red wine, hot pots and sharp knives. Colours, patterns and textures are plenty and the marketplace has significantly increased the offering over the last few years. Not to be confused with quartzite, which is a natural stone, quartz is a composite material that is man-made. Also, granite should be considered. The colours and patterns vary greatly amongst granite types, and the beauty of a natural granite countertop is timeless. However, not all granites are appropriate for the kitchen. Stay away from granites that you typically see on building facades, cemetery headstones and institutional floors.

HARDWARE

One idea to weigh carefully is hardware-free, touch-latch cabinets vs. handles and knobs. While modern kitchens look great without visible hardware, busy chefs who lean or bump against cabinets can trigger the touch latches frequently, and this can be easily annoying. On the other hand, certain types of hardware can cause a few pokes and bruises, and depending upon choice, can really increase your budget. The trends that are here to stay include: matte black, gold and brass hardware. Don’t underestimate the beauty of glass and crystal knobs on cabinets where you might want to feature your grandmother’s dish collection.

Samantha Sannella

Photography: Kitchen Photos: By Larry Arnal, Hardware: Designed and Photographed By Shayne Fox

SHARE  

Featured Products


rc_jan12_2018_fi

Kitchen Planner

Latest News


Kitchen Planner

The faucet and sink are the focal point in the hardest working room in any home

The kitchen is the hub of any home, and the sink and faucet are probably the hardest working components in any kitchen. By focusing on those two interrelated components you can generate a lot of business working with clients ranging from budget-conscious, small-space dwellers, to affluent homeowners looking to create the luxurious kitchen of their dreams.

Tight spaces and tight budgets

Many homeowners are looking for a low-budget spruce up, either to refresh a dated but otherwise functional look, or to maximize resale value when putting their home on the market. A new sink and faucet is an affordable upgrade that doesn’t require any structural changes.

rc_jan12_2018_3

The reality for many is that condos have become the de facto “starter home.” Condo-sized kitchens required condo-sized thinking. The Prolific sink was designed with small spaces specifically in mind. The 33” x 17¾” basin comes with five accessories, including a bamboo cutting board and a dishwasher-safe colander, all of which you can store right in the sink basin when not in use.

Expansive upgrades

If space isn’t an issue, clients will appreciate a large double-basin sink that makes washing and rinsing easy. Kohler’s Whitehaven under-mount sink has a classic farmhouse style apron front that overlaps existing cabinetry. The 24”- to 36”-wide sinks have large- and medium-sized basins, separated by a low divider. Each is available in 16 different colours, from white to “Black Black,” and the durable enamelled cast-iron finish will last the lifetime of the kitchen.

rc_jan12_2018_1

Other upgrades clients might want to consider include a counter- or wall-mounted pot-filler faucet by the stove, a filtered-water faucet for drinking, and built-in soap dispensers that match the look of the faucet they’ve chosen.

Regardless of kitchen size, homeowners have a plethora of options to choose from. Sinks are available in enamelled cast-iron, stainless steel, and even composite materials, such as the Cairn, made of Kohler Neoroc. For faucets and other fixtures, the range of options expands to include brushed nickel and bronze.

Logistical planning

Large or small, you’ll want to plan the kitchen to maximize space while minimizing wasted effort. Designers often refer to the “work triangle” layout when planning kitchens, with the refrigerator, cooktop, and sink at the three points of the triangle. There are a few “rules” that come with this concept, including that no object – such as a cabinet – should block movement between the three points, household traffic should not flow through the triangle, and no point should be more than nine feet from any other.

rc_jan12_2018_2

With open-concept designs, owners often picture having their sink – or a secondary one – built into an island. This typically means running additional water and drainage lines. Before committing to a particular design, you’ll want to make sure there’s space to run the lines through the joists, and that you have sufficient slope to the stack to ensure proper drainage.

Visual cues

Even with 3D animations, many clients often find it difficult to visualize how all the components of a project will come together in their renovated space. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but actually being able to see and touch the fixtures before installation can save a lifetime of disappointment with an errant purchase.

Earlier this year, the first Canadian KOHLER Signature Store opened in Vancouver. The 5,000-sq.ft. space features dozens of different kitchen and bath displays and a wall-mounted display of faucets, with many of the fixtures fully functioning. It’s open to the public seven days a week, so you can send your clients to see their options firsthand, at their convenience, prior to making their final decision. (For more information on the KOHLER Signature Store, see the June/July 2017 issue of Renovation Contractor.) Elsewhere, the company has also partnered with dozens of specialty retailers across the country that have Kohler-focussed displays.

If you can’t make it to a Kohler showroom display, contractors and clients alike will appreciate the online Kitchen Planner. Start by perusing one of the many ready made designs, ranging from traditional to eclectic, then create your own custom space by choosing from various sink, faucet, countertop, cabinetry, and wall colour options.

Big budget or small, Kohler’s range of kitchen sinks and fixtures can help you fulfill any client’s needs.

SHARE  

Featured Products


Dekton® by Cosentino

Dekton® by Cosentino

Latest News


Dekton® by Cosentino

Introducing Two New Marble-Inspired Colours, Opera and Natura 

TORONTO, ON. (November 1, 2017) – Cosentino, the global leader in the production and distribution of surfaces for the world of architecture and design, introduces two new striking colours for its ultra-compact surface brand, Dekton®.

The new additions join Dekton®’s existing Natural and XGloss Natural collections, offering a range of unique designs boasting excellent technical properties expected of the revolutionary ultra-compact surface brand. Created from a sophisticated blend of inorganic materials using an innovative ultra-compaction process, Dekton® has a high resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains and thermal shock. These benefits ensure its surfaces are durable and very easy to maintain, offering a wealth of possibilities for both internal and external projects, including flooring, façades, wall cladding and countertops.

OPERA:

Part of the Dekton Natural Collection, Opera is inspired by the current desire for marble interiors, taking inspiration from elegant Italian Carrara marble and boasting the extraordinary new soft touch finish from Dekton®, Velvet Texture. Simple, light grey veining adds depth and interest to the creamy white surface for a classic understated finish.

NATURA:

Part of the XGloss Naturals Collection, Natura replicates the style of marble with soft grey veining accentuating the classic white surface, offering a lustrous polished finish. With all the benefits of Dekton®’s technical characteristics, the colour’s reflective nature is due to the nano-technological treatment and mechanical polishing process it undergoes, resulting in a crystal-like shine.

Combined with the strength and stain resistance of Dekton®, the product provides exceptional performance paired with unique characteristics. This includes water repellent properties, ensuring an impressive resistance to stains. The nano-coating process and mechanical polishing also enhances Dekton®’s colour.

About Dekton® by Cosentino

The Dekton® by Cosentino ultra-compact surface is a new and innovative category of surfaces created with the objective of becoming a global leader in the world of architecture and design both for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Dekton® is a sophisticated mixture of the raw materials that is used to manufacture glass, porcelain materials and quartz surfaces. The Dekton® surface can recreate any type of material with a high level of quality. It is manufactured in large format (up to 126 in x 56 in) and thin thicknesses (0.8 cm, 1.2 cm and 2 cm). It as superior technical characteristics: resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains, thermal shock and very low water absorption.

All of these characteristics unique to Dekton® are present thanks to the technology used in its production, which has been developed exclusively by the Cosentino Group’s R&D department. Dekton® is manufactured with Technology of Sinterized Particles (TSP), an innovative ultra-compaction process. This contributes greatly to the fact that Dekton® is a completely revolutionary product; it is durable, very easy to maintain, and has potential for both indoor and outdoor uses including flooring, façades, wall cladding and countertops.

The prestigious architect and designer Daniel Libeskind used Dekton in the creation of “Beyond The Wall”, his only work in the Iberian Peninsula. Dekton® is sponsor of the “Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar”, where more than 430,000 sq. ft. of the product have been used in different areas such as the façades, flooring and other coverings.

Dekton XGloss has obtained Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016



SHARE  

Featured Products


laminam_video_fi

Video: Laminam On Top

Latest News


Video: Laminam On Top

SHARE  

Featured Products


rd_am2017_design_touch_fi

Designer Touch : Room To Grow

Latest News


Designer Touch : Room To Grow

By Jackie Glass

Photography By Paul Chmielowiec

A bachelor-inspired kitchen design cleverly meets both single- and family-man lifestyles.

A MAN’S PLACE IS ALSO IN THE KITCHEN

No longer the domain of women, single and married men alike are taking ownership of the kitchen and stepping up to the plate to express their confidence in cooking for themselves and their guests. Today’s self-sufficient bachelors are also weighing in on the style, functionality and performance of their kitchen. Not everyone has the space for a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, so ensuring every square inch is both efficient and beautiful is key to making time spent in there enjoyable.

A BACHELOR AND A BUNGALOW

When my friend and former Jackie Glass Inc. partner, Christine McGee and I were given the exciting challenge to design a bachelor’s newly purchased ‘70s-style urban bungalow, we really had to alter our mindset and put ourselves in the shoes of a young professional man who lives alone and loves to cook and entertain at home. Given clear direction, it didn’t take us long to come up with a grand plan for this small home and create a flexible open-floor plan design suitable for the life of a bachelor, from hosting game day for friends to preparing intimate dinners for two. And, as we all know, the life of a bachelor can be short-lived so planning for the future was important to the homeowner in terms of investment and lifestyle. When the time came, the home should be able to transition effortlessly from bachelorhood to family life with a minimal investment of time and money.

FULL-FUNCTIONING KITCHEN FEATURES

While we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating a relaxed yet sophisticated home for this busy single man, the most fun was designing the hub of this newly remodelled home: the kitchen. With a few minor structural changes, mainly the partial removal of the wall between the kitchen and the living room to open up the space, a new modern culinary kitchen, designed for frequent cooking, dining and entertaining took shape. A galley-style kitchen, featuring specific elements tailored to the design esthetic and lifestyle of our bachelor. Spatially, its size and layout is efficient and offers room for two to cook comfortably together, with all the essentials close at hand. It was imperative that his time in the kitchen be enjoyable. For those of us who love to cook and spend time in the kitchen, we know the value of generous work surfaces, good lighting, durable finishes on cabinets, energy-efficient, high-performance appliances, countertops and walls that are easy to clean. When it came to style, a slick, modern look in a masculine colour palette pulled it all together.

THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

Open to the living room, guests are free to mix and mingle with each other as well as with the cook when entertaining. A raised cocktail-cum-breakfast bar on the island is perfect for drinks or casual meals while a small dining area adjacent to the living room, with convenient access to the barbecue on the backyard deck, offers formal dining à deux as well as with friends and family.

ONCE UPON A BACHELOR

The goal to design a modern, stylishly masculine kitchen, which could easily transition from a bachelor pad to a small-family home was achieved. Today, now a former bachelor, our client is a happy father of two, cooking for four and enjoying family life in a home designed for living exactly the way he had envisioned it to be.

SOURCES – APPLIANCES: OVEN: Viking; FRIDGE/FREEZER: KitchenAid; MICROWAVE: Panasonic BACKSPLASH TILE: Olympia Tile COUNTERTOP: Quartz from Silestone

ELEMENTS OF A BACHELOR-STYLE KITCHEN

  • CABINETS: Flat-panel solid walnut doors with simple brushed-nickel handles are easy to clean and offer a sleek modern look. Dark custom cabinets as opposed to white cabinets, when paired with light-coloured countertops and walls, create contrast and a more masculine appeal. Drawer organizers are essential to any busy kitchen and help keep countertops clutter-free.
  • FLOORS: Large-format porcelain floor tiles are super durable, easy to keep clean and petfriendly. Hardwood floors stained to match the walnut cabinets unify the open plan.
  • LIGHTING: Two large windows offer natural light by day while pendants flood the island and bar by night. The range hood illuminates the stovetop.
  • APPLIANCES: Guys love the power and high-performance of a stainless-steel gas range with convection oven. A stainless steel side-byside fridge/freezer with water and ice dispenser is a must in any culinary kitchen. No bachelor kitchen is complete without a microwave. The benefits of an under-cabinet beer fridge goes without saying on game day.
  • WALLS: Cabinets cover the walls and extend from floor to ceiling to maximize storage and keep everyday essentials out of sight and off the countertops. The backsplash, clad in large-format white marble tiles from countertop to ceiling is easy to maintain and offers the height of luxury in this stunning kitchen.
  • COUNTERTOPS: Quartz countertops in a light neutral colour are fitted with two stainless-steel undermounted sinks, a prep sink under the window and a double-bowl sink in the island. This is a great solution when two cooks are in the kitchen at one time. A raised bar on the island is perfect for breakfast and morning coffee or for guests to join the chef for a cocktail. It also hides the prep area and sink when entertaining.

Designer Jackie Glass is principal/owner of Jackie Glass Inc., a full-service interior design firm specializing in residential design, decor and renovation, servicing the GTA and surrounding areas. Glass, whose work is nationally recognized, is a regular design expert on Cityline. For more information, visit jackieglass.ca

 

SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Expert: Senior-Friendly Kitchen Design

Reno Expert: Senior-Friendly Kitchen Design

Latest News


Reno Expert: Senior-Friendly Kitchen Design

by Jim Caruk

Kitchen updates that will prove beneficial into the golden years

There’s been a lot of talk in the renovation business recently about the “aging in place” movement. The idea behind it is a simple one. As people get older, increasingly they’re hoping to continue to live in the house they raised their families in, rather than getting shunted off to a seniors’ home.

In order for us (or our parents) to function on our own, we need to be able to feed ourselves. In this column I look at some of the key features to consider when renovating a kitchen to make it senior-friendly. I also cover exterior projects geared to the aging-in-place movement that will ensure safety for this age group.

LIGHT BRIGHT

I’ve written before about the three different kinds of lighting: ambient, task, and accent. Ambient lighting illuminates the whole room, task lighting focuses on a specific area, and accent lighting is used to highlight a particular feature, such as a piece of art. When designing a kitchen for people who have some degree of impaired vision, ambient and task lighting are extremely important.

Contrasting colours are also an important way to help those with failing eyesight. Those all-white walls may be trendy for the younger folks, but white light switches and electrical outlets stand out against darker colours.


JIM’s PICK

If you don’t have the space on your lot to build a code-compliant entrance ramp, an exterior platform lift is a good alternative.

Photography courtesy of Cambridge Elevating

CambridgeElevating.com


COUNTER MEASURES

Getting access to countertop work surfaces and upper cabinets can often be an issue for the elderly, particularly for those using a wheelchair. If you’ve got the budget for it, there are mechanical systems that raise and lower cabinets and countertops with the push of a button. You can also install the counters at 30″— rather than the standard 36″—for wheelchair access, and leave openings below the counter wide enough for the chair to slide into. Even if you don’t need to use a wheelchair, it’s a good idea to consider having at least one work surface installed at a height you can work from while seated.

Again, keep contrasting colours in mind to help avoid accidents. If the cabinets are white, a dark coloured counter will stand out, and vice versa.

FIXTURE FIXES

Kitchen faucets with dual knobs to control the hot and cold water can be hard to use for people with arthritis. Replace those with lever handles that are much easier to operate. Better yet, many manufacturers now have stylish, reasonably priced motion-sensitive faucets for use in the home.

Rather than installing the faucet at the back of the sink, where it can be hard to reach—and inaccessible for someone in a wheelchair—consider mounting it at the side.

Finally rather than small knobs you have to clasp to open cabinets and drawers, use wide loop-style handles that someone can slip their whole hand into.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


SHARE  

Featured Products


Silestone presents new Eternal Collection in Canada

Silestone presents new Eternal Collection in Canada

Latest News


Silestone presents new Eternal Collection in Canada

Cindy Crawford, supermodel and international fashion icon, is the new global brand ambassador for Silestone.
Cindy Crawford, supermodel and international fashion icon, is the new global brand ambassador for Silestone.

Silestone officially introduced its new Eternal Collection in Canada last month during the Interior Design Show in Toronto. Featured in Cosentino’s award-winning booth designed by internationally acclaimed Canadian design firm, Cecconi Simone, the new collection was brought to life through the exhibit’s contemporary applications including a display wall, cladding and a floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround. The Eternal Collection was well received as an ideal alternative to natural stone.

Made up of seven exotic stone-inspired colours, the collection pays homage to some of the world’s most sought-after stones and marbles and offers exquisite natural aesthetics paired with the great durability of Silestone.

Eternal Calacatta Gold captures the essence of Calacatta marble and features large grey veins with a touch of elegant gold detail atop a pure white base.
Eternal Calacatta Gold captures the essence of Calacatta marble and features large grey veins with a touch of elegant gold detail atop a pure white base.
Similar to the elegance of Eternal Calacatta Gold, Eternal Calacatta Classic mirrors a different pattern of grey veining and subdues the golden glints.
Similar to the elegance of Eternal Calacatta Gold, Eternal Calacatta Classic mirrors a different pattern of grey veining and subdues the golden glints.
Eternal Statuario is inspired by classic Italian Carrara marble with fine, feathered veining that combines white and grey tones.
Eternal Statuario is inspired by classic Italian Carrara marble with fine, feathered veining that combines white and grey tones.
Charcoal Soapstone draws inspiration from the natural beauty of blue-grey Soapstone with its contrast between a deep charcoal foundation and the white veining.
Charcoal Soapstone draws inspiration from the natural beauty of blue-grey Soapstone with its contrast between a deep charcoal foundation and the white veining.
Pearl Jasmine takes the movement and sophistication of White Macaubas marble with linear veining, and captures it in durable quartz.
Pearl Jasmine takes the movement and sophistication of White Macaubas marble with linear veining, and captures it in durable quartz.
The soft, grey tone of Eternal Serena comes from the distinguished beauty of Italian sandstone. The fine, gentle white veins provide just the right amount of contrast to the rock-like surface.
The soft, grey tone of Eternal Serena comes from the distinguished beauty of Italian sandstone. The fine, gentle white veins provide just the right amount of contrast to the rock-like surface.
Inspired by Black Marquina marble, Eternal Marquina is striking with its rich, black background and intense, white details.
Inspired by Black Marquina marble, Eternal Marquina is striking with its rich, black background and intense, white details.

The Eternal Collection is Silestone’s first series to feature Cosentino-patented N-Boost technology. This innovation modifies the surface at the molecular level enhancing colour intensity and adds extraordinary lustre. N-Boost also makes the cleaning and maintenance of Silestone surfaces easier than ever thanks to its enhanced water repellent property. As with all Silestone natural quartz surfaces, the Eternal Collection has a high resistance to impact and scratching, is manufactured in large formats and can be incorporated in various home applications.

To see the full Eternal Collection soon available in Canada, please visit
ca.silestone.com/colours/series/eternal-series/jlohjnopn


SHARE  

Featured Products


web-cosentino_nov4_fi

New Silestone by Cosentino colour additions

Latest News


New Silestone by Cosentino colour additions

Silestone, the world leader in quartz surfacing, introduces two new colours bringing its total colour offerings to over 60 options. Inspired by beautiful natural marble, White Arabesque and Snowy Ibiza are the latest colour additions to join Silestone’s natural quartz Custom Series.

Acknowledging the clean white design aesthetic permeating Canada’s interior design market, these two new colours feature delicate grey veining set amongst subtle elegant white hue backgrounds.

Silestone is committed to continuously designing new colours to meet the needs of Canada’s architecture and interior design community. These new colours can be used for countless design applications including countertops, flooring, or interior wall cladding, with the same maintenance benefits as of any Silestone product.

“Natural stone is a timeless design staple that has been around for centuries. These new colour offerings are a great alternative for anyone looking to achieve the natural marble look with the added benefits that Silestone natural quartz offers,” said Lorenzo Marquez, VP of marketing for Cosentino North America.

Left, Snowy Ibiza; right, White Arabesque.

As with all Silestone products, White Arabesque and Snow Ibiza are naturally non-porous and never need to be sealed. These surfaces are easy to clean and have high scratch, stain and heat resistance. Silestone also offers the assurance of GreenGuard certification for clean air quality, and the National Sanitation Foundation certification (NSF 51) for safe food preparation.

Silestone retails from $43 to $127 per square foot, depending on colour, thickness and finish. It is available at kitchen and bath dealers and home improvement centres nationwide. Silestone offers a 25-year limited transferable manufacturer’s warranty. The Cosentino Group is a family-owned global company that produces and distributes high-value innovative surfaces for architecture and design. Cosentino imagines and anticipates together with its customers and partners design solutions that offer value and inspiration to people’s lives. This goal is made possible by pioneering brands that are leaders in their respective segments such as Silestone, Dekton and Sensa by Cosentino. The Cosentino Group currently distributes its products and brands in more than 80 countries from its headquarters in Almeria, Spain. Cosentino has four centres in the Canadian market, created for exclusive display, distribution, education and service in Quebec, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

http://ca.silestone.com/

SHARE  

Featured Products


The Skinny on Countertops

The Skinny on Countertops

Latest News


The Skinny on Countertops

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then perhaps the counter is the heart of the kitchen

Whether you choose from classic and natural materials such as marble, granite and limestone, or from a wide array of man-made materials and composites, it is the one element which can determine the style, level of luxury and functionality in a kitchen.

We all know that marble and granite are classic choices for a countertop, whether in a kitchen or a bathroom. They are both natural stones which must be quarried, leaving an environmental impact which must be considered when we make our choice. Though granite is virtually indestructible and heat proof, it can be very expensive and have a ‘heavy’ look in the space. With prices beginning at $50 per square foot and up, there are options for various budgets.

Marble provides a very desirable high end look and depending which strain of marble you choose, it has very good heat and waterproof properties, although it can scratch and stain unless it is professionally sealed. When choosing marble, you must be ready to accept that it will age over time and the ‘patina of your life’ will be reflected in the marble.

One of the most abundant minerals in the world, quartz is often considered the alternative to granite and marble. Available in numerous colours and now even in the look of marble and limestone, quartz’s non-porous quality makes it highly resistant to mold, bacterial contamination, stain, heat and all of life’s accidents making it a perfect choice for most residential or commercial applications. Because it is man-made, the availability of consistently sized and coloured slabs is a designer’s dream. Slabs of quartz are normally 55″ x 122″ and they are often available as jumbo sized slabs at 63″ x 132″, which is fantastic for design flexibility and often fewer cut lines. Priced from $80 per square foot, it is not inexpensive, but it is a perfect choice for those who want many customization options.

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed primarily of talc as well as magnesium, mica, quartz, chlorite and iron. It is very durable and has been used for centuries to create everything from fireplaces to sinks. It is coming into vogue these days because of its natural beauty and durability; hot pans, lemon juice and wine will not damage it. The colour ranges from light gray to black with random veining which gives it an ability to look great in rustic or traditional interiors as well as in modern and contemporary spaces. At about $80 to $100 per square foot installed, it is on the pricey side, but will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.

The desire to be eco-friendly makes recycled glass a perfect option for a contemporary space. Available in multiple colours and textures, it is perfect for a bar or as a secondary counter surface because it is easy to clean and resists heat and stains. Cement is often used with glass to create a textural look with various colours. At about $120 per square foot, it is easily customized and comes in multiple colours.

Semi-precious stone including quartz, iron, agate, petrified wood and fossils are high end options which add a luxurious and unique visual expression. Although this is a very costly choice, it will no doubt be the star of any space where it is used.

Solid surface counters can emulate just about any material because they are completely man-made. The ability to mould sinks, drains and creative shapes makes this a designer’s dream while the ease of maintenance makes it a wonderful investment for long term use.

Metal counters such as copper and zinc are not common, but they make a powerful statement. At about $100 per square foot and up, it is a creative choice which will patina over time and be the conversation starter in your kitchen or bar area.

Sustainably harvested wood will bring any serious cook’s kitchen to the next level with its natural beauty and ability to work as a built-in cutting surface. Maintenance of regular sanding and oiling will bring out a beautiful patina and enhance the inherent properties. Even though it is porous, wood has an inherent ability to protect from bacteria build up as long as it is cleaned regularly with mild soap and water. Prices vary from $35 per square foot and up depending on the type of wood and how it is fabricated.

Let’s not discount laminate counters as they are still the best option for budget conscious projects. Improvements in quality, fabrication, colour and textural choices make this a surprisingly good option when installed with no backsplash, simple edges and accented with beautiful tiles. Be creative and expressive in the design of the countertop by combining metal finishes and interesting translucent combinations, high gloss and t extural surfaces. With starting prices at around $8 per square foot, it is an attractive choice when your budget is tight.

Don’t reach for the obvious, consider the counter as a design expression which can complete and enhance the look and style of the space. The list is endless with options, make sure to research and explore the options based on your functionality, style and budget. By combining materials, finishing edges creatively, and considering ‘alternative’ choices, you will make your project stand out.


Recognized for her classic taste and eclectic style, Interior Designer EVELYN ESHUN has been providing innovative, forward thinking and consistently artistic design solutions for her discerning clients for almost 2 decades. A design personality on various television shows, including Take this House and Sell it, Evelyn is a regular contributor to local and national design publications.

For more information, visit evelyneshun.com.


SHARE  

Featured Products