Kitchen Countertop on the 6th Fairway
Updated: Feb 11
(Originally published in the Napa Valley Register)
I could see the fear in my client’s eyes. Display after display begged him to make a decision. Phil wanted to be on the golf course, next to the townhouse we were remodeling, not in a tile store. To his relief, I had already narrowed the field of choices. How? Through observation, conversation, and a caffeine buzz.
I had previously and deviously invited myself to his home for a small breakfast to conduct our first meeting. Not only did I want to see his current kitchen, I wanted to see how it functioned. By the time I’d finished my second cup of coffee, I’d learned that Phil’s purpose in moving to Napa was to play golf and more golf. I’d learned that he wanted to entertain old and new friends. And, I’d learned that his countertops were insufficient and too far from electrical outlets.
Phil’s kitchen was dark. A galley footprint with industry-standard cabinets and white tile countertops. By contrast, the adjacent dining and family rooms had sunny floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass doors opening to the 6th fairway.
My eye was on the wall separating the kitchen from these rooms. I planned to knock it down to counter height, add a bank of cabinets along the bottom and a wide counter on top. The countertop would cantilever into the dining room to accommodate swivel stools thus providing both a casual eating area and extra seating for entertaining.
We’d update the tile to slabs. But what kind of slab? Stone, laminate, stainless steel, butcher block? I based my choice on three factors: 1) I wanted a surface without pattern since the space was small. 2) More cleaning time meant less golf time. 3) Phil’s entertaining would no doubt include red wine.
At the tile store, I directed Phil to quartz solid surfaces. Because quartz is highly heat, scratch, and stain resistant, it would fit his lifestyle to a tee. Quartz can also be sized to order without leftover waste, and its color and pattern are consistent and predictable. There are a few quartz manufacturers on the market, and since they are basically the same, choosing one boils down to color preference. Color? I assured Phil that I already had a scheme in mind.
A natural palette would blend with the lush greenery of his “backyard”. Espresso brown cabinets with soft green countertops mimicked the color of trees. Phil approved of Caesarstone’s “rosemary”, and before making his escape, also approved a green and ivory glass mosaic backsplash. Was the ivory another subconscious nod – to sand traps?!
After seeing the design come together, Phil was almost as anxious to start the remodel as he was to make his tee time.
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