Before you select a stylish granite countertop for your kitchen, you may want to visit GraniteGrannies to see their stunning array of countertop designs.
Founder, owner and lead designer Lori Hethmon shares her ideas and thoughts on the latest trends in stone and what consumers need to know before they invest in a high-end countertop.
Welcome Lori. Let’s start off with what is trending in high-end or exotic stones these days?
LH: In terms of high-end Quartzites, I think natural stone is a keeper or any Marblesque looking stone, which are typically harder than marble. Red stone colors are also starting to trend.
We haven’t seen Red in a while so it’s exciting. I am always ready for the next trend. It’s all about passion and Red is so strong and bold.
I love stone, so for me, granite has to be the showiest piece in any kitchen. Red in granite is different than paint. It’s not solid, it has variation in the pattern so you can use it everywhere. You don’t have to just make it a focal point.
What does the designer or consumer need to look for when picking granite for their kitchen?
LH: Look for something you love. It’s so simple but it sums it all up.
So often, homeowners talk themselves out of a beautiful stone because they are trying to match everything. If you love it – then it will look beautiful no matter what.
What are some difficult stones that make for great spaces?
There’s a huge variety in how stones react to the polishing process. Some are hard, some are brittle. Stone varies quite a bit. It’s the biggest thing that we help customers to understand – how we form or shape different stones. Different fabricators can do different levels of stone. Exotics are complex. The most important thing you need to consider is a fabricator that understands how the stone will be used. We always ask what the use is. We guide the customer to the right stone – for how it looks, functionality, etc.
While working with the design-minded consumer and designer, can you give some fabricator tips for adding value?
LH: We do add a lot of value – but it’s up to the fabricator how to cut the stone based on its pattern. That’s where real design work comes in. If there’s a particular swirl or veining – you want to pick what goes where to have a pleasing flow of stone. We strategically take advantage of the parts the customer loved most about the stone – placing those parts in a visible and prominent position is very important.
Also, using the same stone throughout the entire house, if laid out differently, gives it a visually appealing and effective look.
How involved are you in client decision making?
LH: We are hands-on with our clients. We talk about their home, who lives there, needs, budget, how long they will live there, etc. We just don’t put basic stones there. If you want to get off the beaten path – without spending too much – visit someone who knows a wide variety of stone. There are thousands of stones on the market. It’s incredible. Very few realize the variety available to them. We expose people to the real world of stone.
Also, customers do not realize there’s a lot more mark up on the lower end. I could make more money but I would hate my job. You may not have to spend more to get something really unique and interesting for your home.
To learn more about Granite Grannies, visit www.granitegrannies.com.
To download our free app which helps you to match countertops to sinks, click here.