Kitchen & Bath Design News

NOV 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Porcelanosa's XTONE, made out of extra-large and thin slabs of porcelain, can be incorporated into a number of applications. The lightweight material is resistant to water, UV rays, chem- icals, fire, frost and impact, and is available in nine shades. The counter shown is Aged Dark Nature. Circle No. 155 on Product Card The Hartson-Kennedy Cabinet Top Co. Caspian edge profile features a double tight radius edge without the brown line, giving the laminate countertop the look of real or engineered stone. It can be ordered with a Caspian Profile End Cap, which provides an even more natural stone-like appearance, the firm says. Circle No. 156 on Product Card Wood countertops from Grothouse are crafted from a range of wood choices with an array of edge profiles and design options. All items are custom made in the U.S. Shown is a design by Karen Kassen of Kitchens Unlimited, in collaboration with Lee Pruitt from Lee Pruitt Interior Design. Circle No. 157 on Product Card COMPAC, The Surfaces Company, in collaboration with artist and designer Arik Levy, has created the Ice of Gene- sis collection. Inspired by the frozen ice lakes of the Arctic, the quartz surface mimics the feeling of walking on ice. The material provides a sense of depth along with material transparency. Circle No. 158 on Product Card n most kitchens, you can't help but notice the countertops. Surface space is critical to food preparation, which is the primary duty of the kitchen, and it's also one of the largest design elements of the space. That means these countertops are pulling double duty; they have to look great and hold up to constant usage. It's no easy task, but with the variety of options available today, designers can find exactly what they – and their clients – are looking for. With an impressive range of options, current trends expand rather than narrow the design possibilities. "Surface options continue to expand with colors and patterns while they evolve with more textures and finishes," says Gerri Chmiel, residential design lead at Formica North America, based in Cincinnati, OH. Being center stage, the countertop has an important role to play, says Summer Kath, executive v.p. of design and business development at Cambria in Le Sueur, MN. "Designers are always looking for what's new, what's next," she says. "Where we innovate and grow is in the patterns and the depth that we offer to the marketplace. We feel like we are continuing to provide new things that designers can bring to their homeowners." Brooke Mays, product designer for Wilsonart in Temple, TX, says that while countertops are important to design, they are still only one aspect of the room's overall aesthetic. This means they should accen- tuate the design, not overpower it. "Whether the intent for the space is calming or dramatic, countertops are beginning to utilize softer stone structures and warmer colors to help offset and enhance the space as a whole," Mays notes. Open floor plans and larger spaces often mean more counter- tops that have specific purposes – a place to prepare meals, eat and gather with friends and family. As surface area increases, design- ers are creating spaces with visual variety. "As the [kitchen] space grows, so does the area of the countertop, allowing the use of mixed visuals while still maintaining the visual calm," says Michael Talbot, product design manager for Hanwha Surfaces in Atlanta, GA. "This mix of quiet, soft countertops surrounding a large-veined, visually striking island creates an environment that is just as inviting for a gathering of your closest friends as it is while grabbing your morn- ing coffee." In addition to the trend towards visual diversity, top countertop trends include a natural look, a focus on both white and black color palettes, a move toward matte finishes and texture, continued attention to the dura- bility and performance aspects of surfaces and creative use of surfacing materials in other applications. That's according to manufacturers recent- ly surveyed by Kitchen & Bath Design News. Countertops loom large in kitchen design, requiring style, durability and plenty of visual and tactile variety. BY ELIZABETH RICHARDS Stylish Surfaces I Photo: Julie Wage Ross 48 Kitchen & Bath Design News • November 2018 PRODUCT TREND REPORT

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