Big change in the counter top department

At the last site meeting I attended, it was time to pull the trigger on the kitchen counter top. Months ago, Josh and I took a field trip out to Eco Home Improvement in Berkeley and discovered a product we liked instantly: Eco by Cosentino. This is the same Spanish company that makes Silestone – both are engineered stone (opposed to natural stone like granite and marble), with the Eco line being the “greener” of the two. In addition to being environmentally friendly, most of the colors contain tiny specks of recycled mirror, which provide just the right little twinkle in what could otherwise be a dull, flat surface (like Paperstone – yuck).

So – you may recall that way back when we chose our kitchen cabinet colors. Based on these decisions and the desire for a lighter counter top (as darker ones tend to show more food bits) we originally went with Crystal Ash:

Nice, eh? Mostly gray with small flecks of gray and brown, and just a hint of sparkle. This looks amazing with the cabinet color, but we were never wowed by how it looks against the chestnut bamboo of the island and accent cabinet. Hm. This uncertainty was confirmed the first time I showed all of the samples to Shawn and he went, “Are you sure about this with the bamboo?” But like any good homeowner, we put thinking about this aside for a good number of months.

Fast forward to two weeks ago and for-real decision time. Once again, we placed all of the color samples together on the table and all of us (contractors included), went, “Meh,” when it came to the island. Luckily, Steve just happened to have a book of Eco samples with him, so we moved the pieces around and found the perfect alternative: Iron Ore.

While both of these images make the material look darker than they are in reality, this should give you a sense of the new direction. This is a very pretty material, containing more brown/red tones than the Crystal Ash. Plus it still sparkles. When we put this against the light gray of the wall cabinets and the bamboo of the island, there was a unanimous, “That’s it!” That kind of universal enthusiasm doesn’t happen every day, so when it does its best to run with it.

So, there you have it ladies and gents: our kitchen counter top. Ta da! Here’s a photo from their web site, showing a sample installation – see how much lighter it looks here?

It’s going to be stunning.

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