A sleek kitchen renovation in Boca Raton
DESIGNER: Karen Press, Panache Design Consultants
Each era brings its own obsession to kitchen design. For more than three decades, that obsession has been granite, with the material topping homebuyers’ lists as a must-have for countertops. But, designers and homeowners alike are now turning to alternative materials that support busier lifestyles with timeless designs and completely worry-free care.
”I can certainly appreciate the beauty of granite and foresee that it will continue to be a staple in homes, especially for those seeking exotic variations,” said Karen Press, homeowner and owner of Panache Design Consultants in Boca Raton, Florida. ”However, what many people don’t realize is that granite, and other natural stones, need to be sealed quite often, amounting to hundreds of dollars with each professional visit. Furthermore, each slab varies in color and it is virtually impossible to have a seamless look. It’s like a puzzle to match each slab, and this was not what I had envisioned for my home – I wanted each slab to match perfectly and effortlessly.”
When renovating her own kitchen, Mrs. Press was looking to replace the existing dark and outdated granite with something more timeless and that requires less maintenance. Because her home also serves as a client showroom, she wanted to be sure that the space was a true reflection of her work, while designing with colors and materials that her own family would not grow tired from in just a few short years.
Mrs. Press had her heart set on Carrara marble in a polished finish, but after testing the sample with wine, vinegar and a knife, the material proved to be too brittle. Her builder recommended some alternative materials, but none of the options had the glossy finish.
An optimist who refused to settle until she found exactly what she was looking for, Mrs. Press went to local distributor Omicron, where she was introduced to Neolith, a high performance sintered compact surface. From her first introduction, she fell in love.
“My clients look to me for great transformations of their space, so when it came to my own home, it was challenging to create the perfect design,” said Mrs. Press. “I knew I needed to show clients what new materials are available on the market and get them to think beyond granite. Neolith is exactly what I was looking for. I fell in love with the veining, the thick lines, the polished finish and the movement of the slabs; it just added to the organic beauty.”
Neolith surfacing is made to resemble the authentic beauty of marble and other natural stones, but in a more resilient material that never needs to be sealed and stands up to spills and any household cleaner. The surfacing is made from 100 percent natural raw materials, manufactured by a process that simulates the development of natural marble in just a few short hours. A proprietary design technology then imprints colors and veining to mimic the look of natural stone with impressive accuracy and precision.
With Neolith, Mrs. Press knew she finally found the perfect material. To accomplish the backsplash and countertop redesign of her kitchen, she purchased seven of Neolith’s Classtone slabs in the Estatuario design with a Polished finish.
For her statement piece, the backsplash, she used Estatuario book-matched. “Book-matched is an art; with natural marble, the colors will never match perfectly. Symmetry and color was important to me – the backsplash is the first thing people see when they walk into the house and I really wanted it to be the anchor; the statement piece of the kitchen.”
When decorating or remodeling, Mrs. Press advises her clients “to fully think through the functionality and the design of a space.” And that is exactly what she did.
“I am not changing my kitchen again for the foreseeable future, which is why I was very selective with every detail and took my time to find the ultimate material,” said Mrs. Press. “As the designer and the homeowner, this was my hardest project to date because I agonized over every decision; everything had to be perfect, this is my showroom. The whole process was worth it in the end as I love what I see when I walk into my home every day, even more so, my clients also love it”.
With more than 50 designs to choose from and limitless application potential, Neolith gives designers and other industry professionals the ability to have the timeless look in a durable alternative.