He continues: "This project falls right in line with the trend of combining natural materials with manufactured products. The Samsung Staron Aspen Amber countertops combine neutral colors in a granite look that blends well with the other kitchen surroundings and is carried into the large dining room, including a very stately looking slate fireplace."
He adds: "Manufactured products offer features, such as ease of use, that make it a more desired product. Another aspect is the ability to maintain our homes [in] a minimal amount of time."
He concludes, however, that regardless of the trend, there are certain constants for clients.
"The need for simplicity, in both maintenance and visual impact, is of major importance and will continue to be an issue that needs to be addressed in the years ahead."
Fabricator Uses Hard Seams to Seal the Deal
"The customers had a design in mind and they worked directly with our installers on the plans, determining what we could and could not do on the project," he describes.
Working from layouts supplied by the clients, Blume notes that he had the shower base and other pieces done in the company's shop and then transported to the project site.
"Everything had to be hard seamed even the ceiling," he notes, adding that it was crucial that the bathroom be water tight.
To accomplish this, the bathroom was done with Corian Venaro Natural Pearl, taking eighteen 12'-sheets to complete, he relates.
"The vanities, countertops, surround around the whirlpool, flooring and baseboards all fit completely inside the 4'x6' shower stall," he adds.
He notes that the shower stall ceiling, which was designed at an angle, was particularly challenging. "With it being 1/2" material, the ceiling had to be fitted and hard-seamed while holding it in place above the working area. The ceiling sloped up because it was in the corner of the house."
He continues: "On the floor, they used epoxy grout instead of
regular grout so it would adhere to the Corian."
Furthermore, the baseboards and the moldings around the mirrors are made of Corian, with each making a design that was decoratively etched into the Corian.
He notes that using Venaro for this project was tricky, due to its directional pattern, but adds: "Corian can be fabricated to make different designs that give a decorative look to backsplashes and various other options."
He concludes: "We see that people are getting away from the ordinary, mainly because architects and designers are more educated [and] material selection is getting greater."
Kitchen Countertops Complete Neo-Gothic Look
"The design challenge was to create efficient countertop square footage so both clients could cook for children and guests while providing for catering needs," she explains.
Cambria, which is featured on the kitchen island and along the perimeter, is also carried through the mudroom, bathroom vanity, master suite, butler's pantry and the fireplace in the basement, she notes.
"The largest fabrication and installation challenge was the radius countertop templating over the base cabinet separating the kitchen and the breakfast room.There was a gap below the farmhouse sink when the countertops were installed," she explains.
Therefore, Behning selected Corian for the sink, with Corian
also added to the sink edge at the fabricator's shop.
Tumbled limestone counter backsplash tiles with accents of Gothic Revival Deco tiles as well as a custom, faux-finished range hood, antique wrought-iron scrolls at the widened doorway to the breakfast room and an oval, recessed, hand-painted, lit dome over the oval center island, were also added, she says.
"Welshpool Black" Cambria was selected for the peripheral countertops to contrast with the limestone backsplash tiles and highlight the bronze metal accent tiles, with the "Victoria" Cambria chosen for the center island to enhance the limestone backsplash tiles, Behning concludes.
Custom Fabricator Uses Personal Kitchen to Challenge His Design Skills
So, left to his own devices, Borden decided to fabricate the counters in his own home and see just how unique a design he could create.
"The best thing about solid surface is that you can use your imagination and create the impossible," he explains. But, doing the impossible does not come without its challenges, he adds.