As a designer we have to constantly challenge ourselves to find new sources and options for our clients. One area that has ‘limited’ options, are countertops. There is a definite trend away from granite and now into other materials, such as marble, quartz and quartzite.
The ‘holy grail’ of countertops is a design option that looks just like marble, preferably Calacatta Gold or Bianco Carrara, without staining and etching. As of today, the look of real marble just can’t be duplicated. But, I will show you a couple of options you might not have thought of.
A recent trip to the Aria Stone Gallery in the Dallas Design Center opened my eyes to some new countertop options that work wonderfully with today’s white and grey color palettes.
Aria approaches countertops more like pieces of art and does a lot of slab matching (the ‘butterfly’ effect look) which is great for shower walls and large areas. Their options are more expensive and aren’t going to be something you find at Home Depot. But, if you are investing in a custom home, the countertop is a major visual factor and worth really thinking about spending more on the right look.
Here are a few countertops they had on display that peaked my interest:
1) Colorado Gold
We actually just specified this countertop for a client’s Spanish Revival style home. They wanted the all white kitchen look, but the usual grey undertones of bianco carrara and calacatta just weren’t working with the warm undertones in the house. This marble is out of Colorado and has minimal gray. It is like calacatta gold, without the grey veining.
2) Valley Gold Veined Marble
This product has a lovely grey and gold mix of veining, but is a bit softer in the veining than some other slabs.
3) White Macaubas Marble
This marble is shown honed, so it looks more matte in the photo. Some people do not care for the random veining in a lot of marble, or the speckles in granite. If you want a more symmetrical look, the lines of this marble may appeal more to your eye.
4) Striato Olympico Marble
Speaking of stripes… I think this look is really cool for a masculine space, like a man’s bar, media room, closet or private bath. But, I could also see it in a kitchen that was really modern and sleek.
5) Calcatta Quartzite
We’ve personally used several Caesarstone & Silestone quartz products (London Gray, Pulsar, etc) that look like marble. Our client’s love them! Here is a quartzite that is called ‘Calacatta‘. Now, being honest, it does have a pinkish undertone and doesn’t look just like Calcutta, but if you prefer a ‘natural’ material but don’t want to commit to marble, this might be the way to go.
Speaking of alternative options. If you are looking for a darker countertop, Soapstone is always a special option. Now, the oiling concept does take some getting used to, but if you are going for a rustic look, I think this product is a fabulous option!
7) Grigio Italia Marble
I mentioned before about Aria’s commitment to book match the slabs. Here is a special example. This product actually looks like it forms a chevron.
Here is a close up. A lot of dark grey, light grey and a bit of white.
8) Pietra Grey Marble
If you are in the market for a darker countertop, here is another lovely option. If you do not want marble, Caesarstone makes a similar option in quartz (Piatra Grey). This marble really makes me think of Italy and its classic buildings. Yes, it will wear over time, but it will look lovely while it does it!
So, 8 new options to consider for countertops that you may not have thought of before. Personally, I don’t think Bianca Carrara or Calacatta Gold will ever go out of style. And our goal is to design with products that are classic, chic and serene. But, if you want to think outside the box, I hope you’ll take a look at these products, some of which might be more on the ‘chic’ angle, and consider them as options for your home!