There are so many choices when it comes to countertops in the marketplace but my preference above all is quartz. Quartz countertops contain crushed quartz mixed with resin.
Read any trend article and you will find that quartz is the hottest choice in countertops. With its reasonable price point and superior look and function, it’s a product that is taking the place of granite, wood, and stainless steel countertops. There are many manufacturers of quartz, but in my opinion Silestone manufactured by Cosentino stands out above the others.
Here are just a few of the many colors they offer:
To see the latest colors click HERE.
Cosentino is a global, family-owned company that produces and distributes high value innovative surfaces for architecture and design. It distributes its products in more than 60 countries from its headquarters in Almeria , Spain. Silestone features:
Wide range of textures
Wide range of colors
Another advantage of Silestone’s quartz surfaces is that they are easy to keep clean and maintain. In most cases they just need to be wiped over with a dry cloth to remove the dirt.
Just recently, Cosentino collaborated with designers from across the country to create new introductions called the Influencer Series. The series was inspired by regional trends from each designer’s market.
Courtney Cachet is a designer and writer accustomed to never ending travel like around the south of France, where her family originated, a recent trip to Italy that broadened her outlook on the world and Miami the place she has made her home and a part of the world she knows very intimately. She has combined some of her favorite places and embellished them with her vital and stylish point of view.
Lusso is a direct reference to the elegance and timeless appeal of marble. With this as her starting point, the designer wanted the color she created to adapt naturally to a wide variety of spaces.
Cachet believes in consumer opinions “The numbers don’t lie” she says and there’s a reason why white is spreading around the world. But she wanted to add a personal flourish, as she says, the golden highlights, which she designed with great sensitivity and precision give Lusso it’s elegance and a sense of glamour, which is her mark of distinction.
Light is everything for Mark Williams, this is the reason he takes it for granted that clients typically ask for light and bright designs featuring white and gray marble.
For this Atlanta based designer, there is an inherent elegance in marble, something that is already there before any designer comes and attempts to give meaning to nature,”I wanted to create something as beautiful as that, with an unexpected sensitivity”. As a result, he designed Nymbus in a soft gray that can be combined with a wide range of more saturated hues.
Williams believes it is important to use colors intentionally, everything has a reason and spaces should be emphasized by placing focal points in specific places through strong colors; An interplay between designer and user, a dialogue between user and visitors to the spaces.
Williams says that whites, grays, and taupes will monopolize the market and together with other more saturated colors, such as coral, navy, jade, and khaki. The aim is to create surroundings with a sense of individuality and adventure.
by Julia Buckingham
The grandeur of certain settings leaves their mark on the people who come to experience them. They have a power to transform and influence and it is for this reason that the creation of interior designer Julia Buckingham is recognizable, defined and unique.
Julia created a cocktail based on several years of inspiration in her design studio, the sophistication and grandeur of such a sublime urban setting that is Chicago, her city of residence, and a part of the mysticism drawn from her experience in the American Southwest, specifically from a place as distinct as the desert of Arizona.
Its special earth tones, the broken lines of its bare mountains, the solitude of raw and empty nature and the purity of its dawn skies were a source of inspiration for Copper Mist.
Mineral and earth, a bond that keeps us on the ground and reaffirms our condition of inhabitants of this planet; Copper as the color of the future, in a new age aesthetic of warmth with a hint of glamour.
Buckingham says that she wants to turn unique spaces into little jewel boxes with Copper Mist. Little boxes that contain stones and precious metals, something precious, singular and with a connection to the place where she lives and grows.
We don’t know how to redefine life and nature, this is probably because nobody can. But, as designer Kim Lewis says, everything is associated with the beauty and inspiration found in the things of nature. In other words, it can’t be redefined but it can be interpreted and more particularly, experienced.
Olivia was created precisely with an eye on nature, with the intention of introducing the exuberance and vitality of the outdoors into the home. Olive green, the inspiration for the name, combines with a wide range of colors to offer great versatility when it comes to imagining and creating.
Lewis believes that there is life beyond white, naturally it is a timeless choice which is always a safe bet, but eschewing the conventional and choosing color is a perfectly valid option with striking impact.
She believes that aesthetic trends are heading towards softer more pallid palettes, but also towards, pink, sky blue and mint green for a bit of fun and vigor. Pairing light colors with dark shades, almost black, creates eclectic combinations, but above all, they add a lot of life.
Kerrie Kelly loves to contemplate the moon and she often draws inspiration from its glow, its textures, and craters from its enchantment and hypnotic appeal.
Her design Albedo is grounded in this inspiration channeled through the journey from her studio in northern California to the Cosentino factory in Spain, as a result the base color for Albedo reflects the hues of the moon’s surface; She has enhanced it with blue veining, which situates her idea somewhere between earth and the moon.
For the designer, navy blue is “A classic that combines well with many other tones and textures, it’s versatile and easy to incorporate, It’s timeless because it is fashion that never goes out of fashion, it’s a winner”. There is no doubt her design will be next season’s big hit.
Needless to say, we can’t wait to use these beauties in upcoming projects. Just this summer we’ve designed 7 new bathrooms! Stay tuned for the before and afters of the transformations.
Have a great week!
all photos via Cosentino
August 31, 2015 No Comments
On Friday of our week in Guatemala, our team spent the day with the orphans at House of Hope orphanage. The orphanage is a labor of love created by my good friends Diane and Justin Herman in honor of their daughter Hope who died of Leukemia in 2008.
Photo courtesy of Larry Renner
House of Hope is the most impressive realization of a dream I have ever witnessed. Complete with schoolhouse, hen house, organic garden, swings and adorable cribs – these children are blessed beyond measure to be in the care of these incredible Christians.
These children have had experiences that are unimaginable and so incredibly sad. However, being at House of Hope was a joyous time filled with love, giggles and a feeling of family.
Here is the story of each child.
Chayo (2) and Amado (4)
Chayo and Amado were abandoned by their mother at the doors of House of Hope. They arrived malnourished and neglected. Chayo was very unruly and violent when she arrived and the team at HOH couldn’t figure out why. Finally it was discovered that she is almost totally deaf. Our team member Rebecca was very taken by Chayo and within 2 weeks of returning home to Atlanta, Rebecca raised over $30,000 for a cochlear implant for Chayo! God is so good! In the meantime, the team is teaching Chayo sign language and Amado is ruling the roost over all the other little boys. He is small and in charge!
Photo by CatMax Photography
Beberlyn (8), Sol (5) and Chino (3)
These sisters and their brother were the first children at House of Hope. Their dad walked out and the children were living with their mom in a single mother’s home. Sadly, one day she just did not come home. The kids were left abandoned so the authorities were called. They were very sad and frightened when they walked up the driveway. Beberlyn, Sol and Chino have flourished at House of Hope. The girls are enrolled in a very good private school and are learning English. They are all very outgoing and have the greatest smiles. Both of the girls were really helpful and patient with Chayo (who can be quite challenging).
Joann brought all the little girls baby dolls and bottles. They were thrilled!
Photo of girls by CatMax Photography
Photo of Chino by Larry Renner
Ivan was raised in a brothel and got caught up in an extortion case. He was severely abused and neglected. His hair was falling out and his skin was yellow when he came to HOH. Through a lot of love and tenderness, he is now coming out of his shell and beginning to speak. His smile will melt your heart!
Photo by CatMax Photography
Walter was living with his mom but she died 3 months ago. His dad was shot while his mother was pregnant with him. He was living in the dump the last few months with his Grandma, but she is homeless and cannot take care of him. When he came to HOH, all 20 of his teeth were rotten to the bone. Diane took Walter to numerous doctors and he had massive surgery on his teeth. We were there the day after the surgery. His mouth was swollen and full of stitches and he could only eat ice cream. Yet there he was pulling the new reg wagon and trying to play with the boys. What a trooper!
Photo by Larry Renner
Leslie was taken away from her mother due to neglect and abuse. She is developmentally delayed but getting stronger every day. Justin has already called dibs on Leslie – they have a very special connection:)
Photo by CatMax Photography
Angel (7 months)
Angel was simply given up by his mother who was unable to care for him. As is the case many times, little else is known about the history of an orphan. What we do know is that he is very sweet and loves to cuddle!
This is Angel with my husband Mike.
Photo by Kelly Kole
Mario Josue (3 months)
Mario was abandoned at birth at the hospital. At a follow up court hearing, no one returned to claim him. He is a lucky boy to have found a home at House of Hope filled with people who love him.
Photo by CatMax Photography
Maritza (3 weeks)
Like Mario, this sweet tiny baby was also left abandoned at the hospital. My friend Kaki tried to put her in her backpack to take her home to the U.S. (I have a photo to prove it) but unfortunately the adoption borders in Guatemala are closed. For this reason, these children could possibly be “lifers” at House of Hope which is perfectly fine with the Hermans who plan to love, educate and nurture these children for a very long time.
Photo by CatMax Photography
Ashley just arrived 2 days ago to House of Hope so I don’t have a photo of her. She is the product of a rape of a (14) year old girl.
School is now in session at the little red schoolhouse at House of Hope. The hens are laying organic eggs for breakfast every morning, the garden is full of vegetables and the new sandbox and swing set are joyful places. House of Hope is a place where miracles are happening.
House of Hope is a partner with Catalyst Resources International who is my sponsor for all of our trips. You can also donate to House of Hope thru CRI and designate funds to House of Hope in the memo.
Follow CRI on Facebook HERE.
I will be returning to Guatemala in December to kiss all of these cherubs on the cheeks. Stay tuned for an update then!
August 11, 2015 2 Comments
Joann and I have just returned from another summer trip changing lives in Guatemala. It never gets old seeing those smiling faces when we arrive to build a home for a deserving family who has never had a home with a non dirt floor, with a door that locks, with a roof that doesn’t leak. This year, I led a team of 7 women, 2 men and 2 teenagers all of whom fell in love with a country that is unbelievably poor, surprisingly wealthy and indescribably beautiful.
With the help of 55 friends, families and colleagues who donated to us thru the mail and thru our gofundme.com account, we worked hand in hand with our sponsor, Catalyst Resources International, to build a very special home!
At the end of our first day building, this round rainbow appeared in the sky. No lie. It was like God was sending kisses from Heaven and saying, “You guys are doing a great job!”.
Watching the family look up at their home being built was a tear jerker.
Normally we build homes inside the village but this home was set on a mountainside amongst corn fields. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
Of course building a house is not the only agenda of the day.
Finding the ice cream man….
Making ramps out of the wood remnants and playing with new cars…..
And being goofy were all part of our days in the village of Cienaga Grande……
Finally the big reveal day arrives….. our hearts were so full …..
This family of 5 has lived in a tiny lean-to about 8’x8′ and always slept side by side on 2 ratty mattresses. Now Carlos and Elvira have their own bed in their own bedroom for the very first time. Can you imagine?
Looking at these pictures makes me want to run back to Guatemala and do it all over again. It is truly a blessing to have the ability to give like this….
Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip and see photos of our day at House of Hope orphanage and touring the ancient city of Antigua.
All photos in this blogpost except for the first one were taken by our uber-talented team member Catrina Maxwell owner of CatMax Photography.
August 2, 2015 2 Comments
At the last Highpoint Furniture Market, Joann and I were fortunate to receive an inside perspective on the small company offering BIG customization – French Heritage. I was so enamored by the Cordoba Parquetry Table at Highpoint, I immediately ordered one for my new house! Now the factory has created a customized bench for me to match it so that I can have a mix of seating options at my table.
The table has a stone inlay in a quatrefoil shape on the top and a “W” trestle base. Yup – this was a must have for me.
I thought I’d ask Gary Edge, VP of Sales and Marketing, what the company has been up to since we spoke at market.
Gary mentioned that “the design business continues to strengthen. We are especially pleased with the fact that designers are using us even more for custom projects….. The fact that we are a heritage company that is small enough to provide the services of a 21st Century Atelier has increased our sales and partner base since the last Market. There is no denying that the general buzz out there, as we all deal with a business that has seen significant changes in the last few years, is customization. We are seeing this not only in custom sizing or finishes, but also in the mix of styles.”
So I had to ask….what customized products have other designers been requesting??
The Payson Farm Table in a white wash finish (that will look so good!)
The Passy Wing Eastern Bed has been ordered not only with the gold leaf finish, but also upholstered in metallic gold leather. WOW!
The Bercy Library System which was introduced at Market has been a hit. It is free standing but has all the presence and quality of custom millwork. (Special side note: French Heritage takes full responsibility for the installation!) One order came in recently for this system to be customized in limed oak with white lacquer (I would LOVE that).
The Chenonceau Bookcase has been ordered with interior lighting and the shelves in glass. I really believe that customization is what separates the good designers from the great designers.
I’m excited to hear that French Heritage is doing so well and working hand in hand with the design trade to create truly beautiful one of a kind pieces.
Look for photos of my gorgeous dining room in a few months!
July 15, 2015 No Comments
Last night we attended the Portman White Party at the AmericasMart. What a blast honoring our designer friends – Kerry Howard, Michel Boyd, Niki Papadopoulos and Brian Patrick Flynn! The party was set among the Portman White Vignette Gallery in celebration of AmericasMart’s Chairman and Founder, famed architect and developer John C. Portman, Jr.. Named in honor of the chairman’s signature Sherwin-Williams paint color, the gallery is a showcase for seven top designers, featuring products found throughout AmericasMart.
Our good friend Kerry Howard knocked it out of the park as usual with his space inspired by the Alhambra, a palace and fortress located in Granada, Spain. (P.S. Those gorgeous apples are from Pottery Pots in Bldg. 2).
The love continues for our friend Michel Boyd who’s breath taking vignette was inspired by Bergdorf’s windows and Dior runway shows.
Niki Papadopoulos always impresses me. Her vignette was in honor of Mr. Portman whose architectural work has inspired her since the 1980’s. (P.S. Those gorgeous leather Bertha chairs are from NOIR and the gold Molecule table is from Worlds Away).
Brian Patrick Flynn used a backdrop of Portman White to celebrate a spectrum of intense colors.
And that’s an (all white) wrap!! Thanks to our colleagues and friends for continuing to inspire us and to AmericasMart for being such a valuable resource.
NOTE: John C. Portman Jr.’s signature paint color, SW-PW240 (a hue often employed in his vast body of work), is available by request at all Sherwin-Williams stores.
July 11, 2015 1 Comment