Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2017

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ANNIE O'CARROLL Annie O'Carroll Interior Design, Santa Fe, NM What element or material will be the star? It's a question de- signers often face with any new project. "Inspiration can come from a number of different places…from a backsplash, a beau- tiful cabinet or floor…or a countertop," says Annie O'Carroll. In the case of this kitchen, it came from the countertops when the designer's clients fell in love with the Fusion Fire granite they chose for the island and perimeter countertops, and Red Agate that became the countertop and backlit back- splash for their adjacent scotch bar, which is visible from the kitchen. "In this project, the countertops were the feature, the driv- er…for everything," she states. The granite features a leathered finish, which adds depth and dimension, while a unique waterfall edge on the island further highlights the multi-colored stone, showcasing its dra- matic veining on a vertical plane. "The granite is so beautiful that we wanted to be able to see it so we gave it some vertical- ity, as opposed to just being on the horizontal surface," she says, noting that Tierra Concepts served as the contractor for the project. The designer also gave the island a distinctive footprint, curving it to flow with the scotch bar, sink and cooktop. "It works with the lines of the kitchen," she adds. O'Carroll balanced the relatively 'loud' natural stones with 'quiet' materials throughout the rest of the space, such as cherry cabinetry and zinc accents. "We wanted to calm everything else down so the granite and agate could be the stars," she explains. The designer utilized zinc as the raised counter on the island, which highlights an embossed apron and is set off with metal standoffs. She repeated the zinc for the dramatic backsplash crafted by Santa Fe Metal Design. Its custom embossed design adds texture, movement and flow to the space while the seamless design eliminates grout lines, which was important to her client. The opportunity to select countertop materials from an ever-growing array of choices is a boon for creativity as well as practicality, notes O'Carroll. "A countertop is the workhorse of the kitchen," she maintains. "It is usually vast real estate that needs to be durable and stain resistant. Fortunately, there are so many amazing materials." Popular selections for O'Carroll's clients currently focus on manmade solid surfaces, such as sintered stone from compa- nies such as Neolith, and quartz products from manufacturers such as Caesarstone. "Neolith is interesting because it can be colored, and it can look like wood or textiles," she says, noting that clients tend to be looking for solid color surfaces and those without a lot of movement. When natural materials are preferred, O'Carroll sees leather and honed finishes becoming more frequently requested. "These finishes make the materials more interesting," she concludes. Photos: Wendy McEahern Annie O'Carroll's clients fell in love with the Fusion Fire granite and Red Agate used for the kitchen's island and perimeter countertops and bar top and backsplash, respectively. The granite's leathered finish adds depth and dimension, while its waterfall edge highlights its dramatic veining on a vertical plane. Because the Fusion Fire granite is relatively 'loud,' O'Carroll balanced it with a 'quiet' zinc raised bar counter and custom embossed backsplash. 84 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2017 COUNTERTOP INSPIRATIONS

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