Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2017

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Photos: Jason Miller, Pixelate LTD on one of the islands. Polished nickel also frames several cab- inets along the cooking wall and makes a repeat appearance on the oversized ventilation hood that is set against a brick patterned mosaic blend of stone and glass. But there's no denying that the main island, topped with Palomino quartzite (which may be referenced as other names in other parts of the country) steals the show. Its swirls of brassy golden hues draw attention to the show-stopping island while a 5" band of Bianco Canvas quartz frames the statement piece. To add further interest, Palmieri 'poured' the materials over each end in a cascade of dramatic color and pattern. "We wanted the countertop to look picture framed in," says the designer. Because countertop surfaces are such an important part of the kitchen and serve as its main work surface, choosing the right materials is critical for ensuring optimum functionality. That selection process is epitomized in this kitchen where, ini- tially, Palmieri wanted to use onyx as the focal point. "Onyx has such a beautiful pattern, but it just wouldn't have fared well in the kitchen," she explains. "Quartzite is a more stable material and is a good solution for combining the pattern of onyx with durability. This particular piece provides exceptional pattern and contrast of color, offering depth and texture for the kitchen." Combining the quartzite with white quartz – which was used on the perimeter as well as on the secondary island – complements the white cabinetry and promotes the modern look her clients desired. Both quartzite and quartz are currently trending materials for many of the designer's clients. "The biggest trend in the last couple of years has been quartzite," she notes. "It's such a beautiful material that allows the introduction of pattern and color into a space." Quartz is also in high demand, in part because of its dura- bility and its ability to imitate natural stone, especially marble, she adds. "Quartz is the most popular surface material right now," she says. "Many people still like the look of marble, but there are sacrifices so quartz that emulates marble offers the look of the natural stone with greater durability." Palmieri likes to incorporate butcher block as well, which offers practicality in addition to warmth and texture. Walnut and maple are particularly popular thanks to their tight grain. The designer also often mixes countertop surfaces, using a variety of colors, patterns and solids. "The island may have a pattern while the surrounding countertops are solid," she says. "It's nice to mix it up, especially in a larger kitchen. All of the surfaces don't need to be the same." Regardless of material, edge details are another way Palmieri can creatively enhance a particular design style. "There are countless options!" she concludes. Libby Palmieri framed Palomino quartzite with a band of Bianco Canvas quartz to create a show- stopping island in this modern, 'edgy' kitchen. The quartzite's swirls of brassy hues add pattern and color to the space. August 2017 • 81 COUNTERTOP INSPIRATIONS

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