Many of our customers in recent days are finding their first step in their countertop selection is choosing between quartz or granite countertops. With Nancy and Joseph of Camas WA, this was not a problem. Nancy knew she wanted natural stone, and she wanted it to have character. Nancy also wanted a granite with some soft earth tones, and once she saw “Austral Coffee,” she knew it was perfect. It had the river-like flow they both wanted as well as the soft browns and subtle reds they felt would blend well with the colors in their kitchen. I must say, Nancy did a great job with her selection of choice.
While she went over the details of the kitchen with Susy, Joseph really wanted to see the shop, and I spent some time with him showing him everything. Our facility is very technologically advanced, and Joseph got a kick out of exploring the CNC, waterjet, and vacuum lifting systems as well as learning about our processes. I could tell he was a pretty sharp fellow and gave him an extensive tour. Meanwhile, Nancy had chosen to use two of our “Linea Bellagio” line of stainless steel sinks to use in the new counters.
After all the selections were in order, we scheduled them for both a field measure as well as an installation date. When I arrived at their beautiful home on the west end of Lacamas Lake in Camas Washington just across the river from Portland Oregon, one of the first things that I noticed was that they already had slab granite on their island. In fact, one of my favorite colors; “Antique Labrador,” a warm and soft brown with surprising bursts of blue labradorite. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the design that Nancy and Joseph really didn’t like.
Mainly the overhangs were designed quite short. At drawer front areas, the drip edge was recessed from the drawers themselves (no one wants their drip edges to “drip” into their drawers), and at the posted corners of the cabinet, the edge of the stone was only 1/4″ from the posts themselves. In addition, the perimeter counter-tops were a dull grey Corian-type product and needed updating. The overhangs on the perimeter counters were also short and irregular, many not even running parallel to the respective cabinets.
I digitally measured the cabinets, and we began the new design. They also weren’t fond of the outdated 45 degree cropped corners on the island, so we drew up some soft radius’s for the cantilevered corners. In addition, to give the island some “pop,” Nancy chose to have the island fabricated with an “ogee” edge, an ornate detail that would really lend well to the overall design of the home. Once all the CAD design was complete, we discussed the new granite itself and what areas they wanted to highlight. They both loved the movement in the Austral Coffee and wanted to highlight those areas. Nancy’s only concern was if the grey areas were too grey. Considering the amount of dull grey that the solid surface of the old counters lent to the room, I could understand her concern. Together, we laid out the counters highlighting the more spectacular areas of the slabs for the most visible areas of the kitchen. Using our own exclusive “picture layout” process made this part of the design both easy for me to achieve as well as easy for Nancy and Joseph to see and understand the process.
Once all of the decisions had been made, we got to work. We paid additional attention to “book-match” the backsplash to further accent the unique movement of the stone. Nancy and Joseph’s choice of colors were perfect and really played well with the other colors in the house. The grey area’s within the Austral Coffee were not overwhelming and tied in nicely with the grain of the cabinetry while the rich earth tones blended beautifully with both the overall tone of the cabinets as well as the paint and floor.
All of the overhang issues were corrected to Nancy and Joseph’s liking, making for not only a beautiful kitchen but a more functional one as well.
And of course, the new island is a piece worth showcasing in their majestic home.
Don’t you just love it when a well thought out plan comes together? Thanks, Nancy and Joseph. All of us at AMG hope you love your new kitchen.