Moss Landing, CA — If you dream it, it will come true.
That’s the message of Mark Lesnick who, along with wife Nan, have owned and operated Mark Concrete since 2003. The two pride themselves not only on manufacturing customized concrete countertops, sinks, tiles and outdoor kitchen elements, but also on collaborating with kitchen and bath design professionals to fulfill any vision.
“Our primary client is the high-end homeowner and their designer, and we specialize in custom looks in the kitchen and bath,” explains Lesnick.
To create one-of-a-kind pieces, Lesnick channels his unique background in precast concrete engineering to fashion “larger and structurally stronger pieces.”
While some requests are small and uncomplicated – such as incorporating shells from a client’s beach vacation into a custom piece – others are more challenging. Some projects have included having horseshoes or bicycle gears embedded into the surfaces – instantly giving these pieces heirloom status, according toLesnick.
“The client must have great faith that the artisans can produce the product they envision,” he remarks about this distinctive relationship. If that faith is there, “the possibilities are endless.”
Set in Stone
Since the firm specializes in custom concrete elements for the home, many of its typical design projects require problem-solving, such as how to make a countertop appear to “float.” Lesnick’s training and considerable experience working with the materials enable him to find solutions to a range of challenges.
“Knowing the capability of the material and having the ability to push its limits with regard to shape is very important,” he says.
One project that pushed the envelope for Mark Concrete was a collaboration with an architect in which the team created a replica of a Korean bath house.
“The client had traveled extensively in Korea and wanted her love for the architecture of the country to be reflected in the project. We did the actual design of the soaking tub and assisted in the design of the vanity,” Lesnick says.
Working with concrete also lends itself to the idea that the company is eco-conscious.
“The focus on sustainability is a large part of what is happening at our company today,” Lesnick says.
In fact, the firm is in partnership with local materials suppliers and landscape design retailers, and is an exclusive producer of IguanaCrete, a 100% concrete product that includes up to 95% recycled local material.
Mark Concrete also maximizes its medium through Universal Design applications. For instance, elements such as wall-hung sinks and floating vanities “can be beautiful and uncluttered today, and allow for wheelchair roll-up later if that becomes a factor,” Lesnick comments. “Designing for eventual changes in age or ability is of great importance in today’s market, and our product suits this need because it’s timeless.”
Spreading the Word
Another unusual asset of the firm is its 500-sq.-ft. showroom. “Our showroom is adjacent to our manufacturing facility, so it’s dusty. We tell designers and clients to dress accordingly,” he reports.
Clients often accompany the designer to the showroom “and after seeing the possibilities with concrete, the project usually expands substantially and their imaginations come alive!” he says.
Lesnick has also had some unique opportunities to market the firm to a wide audience.
“Mark Concrete actively participates in industry associations, and we were aired on a segment of ‘Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe,’” he says.
The firm has also been chosen to participate in three ‘Idea House’ projects with Sunset magazine.