A glass of red can leave a ring-shaped reminder for life, citrus or splashes of spaghetti sauce quickly put paid to that first ideal of a perfect designer kitchen. But there is an option for design-savvy homeowners that offers the best of both worlds, says Valente.
“Essastone takes inspiration from the world of natural materials to create a range of beautiful hard wearing engineered stone decors that will proudly sit in a designer-look space,” she explains.
The luxe look is now more accessible to more people thanks to essastone. Made with up to 95 per cent natural quartz and backed by a 15-year warranty, essastone is engineered to guard against staining, scratching and citrus acid marks.
“A benchtop is much more than just a showpiece,” says Valente. “It’s a place for socialising, cooking, sharing and living.”
Essastone finishes include weathered, contemporary matte, glamorous gloss and granite-like igneous. “We developed our range to capture different textures and finishes, rather than just the standard polished finish,” says Valente.
The large range of surfaces especially complement Laminex cabinetry products to create a complete design solution, with essastone’s colour palette hand selected to match the Laminex collection. Shades range from cool greys, to crisp neutrals and earthier hues. According to Valente, this allows customers to choose between a bright, fresh kitchen or a “warmer, moodier space as the colourways are all represented.”
Those who like the look of natural stone but not the price tag that comes with it can also get this high end look by using high pressure laminates. These are not only long lasting, adds Valente, they come at a lower price point than the natural versions, which leaves more of the renovation budget for complementary details that can make a kitchen, bathroom or laundry look architecturally designed.
Sydney-based interior stylist Steve Cordony agrees: “Faux surfaces have the beauty of marble or limestone but you can use them in high-traffic areas without damage.”
Marble-look surfaces such as Laminex 180fx Carrara Marble or Carrara Bianco are the preferred option for Cordony, who champions the ‘Mineral’ style for Laminex’s Inspired By series. He says the marble look works with materials such as brass, agate and mirror. “I love using a monochromatic scheme but layering it with earthy and metallic elements to create visual interest and depth within the space.”
Valente suggests ranges such as Laminex Innovations as complementary to the mineral style. “They feature metallic, reflective or smoked finishes, which only need to be used minimally, for instance in a kickboard, shadowline detail or rangehood box.”
Once the surfaces are chosen, says Cordony: “You can start to pull the look together with styling elements and accessories to finesse and create the overall theme you’re trying to achieve.”
Most renovators would agree that deciding on those finishing touches, whether a vase of orchids or a colourful wall hanging, marks the moment they can look back and feel a sense of accomplishment, but it would be all the better if they’d had a little help along the way.
Laminex’s Design Hub can assist the process, check out the Laminex ‘Find your style’ quiz and the available design possibilities at www.laminexdesignhub.com.au/find-your-style/.