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White Quartz Nappiness

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Pure white Silestone Blanco Zeus is the ultimate matte white quartz worktop material
OOOH baby! Silestone are no dummies at white quartz worktops – their Blanco Zeus Extreme is simply one of the best engineered stones available. Endlessly bright and imbued with special bug-busting Bacteriostatic silver technology, this white quartz also colour codes seamlessly with the Spanish market leader’s range of coloured quartz Integrity sinks. So cool that WorktopEnvy gets, um, worktop envy every time we supply some to a deserving UK home. Now, there are other brands of white quartz worktop on the market and to the untutored eye it’s difficult to spot the difference. Certainly all the white quartz materials we supply factory-direct – even the most affordable quartz – perform every bit as well as Silestone. But for the purists out there, Silestone’s Blanco Zeus Extreme is just that little bit, well, whiter than the rest. Rather than a high-gloss polish, it enjoys a chalkier mid-matte finish that complements all kinds of kitchen cabinet magnificently, whether it’s bold monochrome contrasts or handle-less clinical white harmony you’re after. And because of its high-density vibro-compressed production (that means it’s been shaken up and squidged back together in a vacuum under huge pressure) Silestone Blanco Zeus Extreme is scientifically stain-resistant. Add to that Silestone’s reassuring 10-year warranty against material defects and our own free 12-month workmanship guarantee on installations, and you’ll be wishing your white quartz worktops many nappy returns for years to come. Here at WorktopEnvy we take pride in offering a web-leading range of white quartz worktops to suit every pocket. So why not see how we supply the UK factory-direct at fab prices; inform your worktop ideas with our Inspiration pages – and even pick up kitchen design tips from the pros. Or you can simply check out more great photography of this product hereHappy browsing!

Granite – What’s Trending?

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Gorgeous brown and graphite grey granite with matte antiqued finish installed for Hothe Fine Kitchens by WorktopEnvy.comWHITE quartz worktops and their black granite cousins are Britain’s best-loved kitchen stone work-surfacing – amassing more than 8,000 UK Google searches every month. But for all the beauty and durability of natural granite like Absolute Black or quartz brands like Silestone and Cimstone, there are myriad lesser-known alternatives. And here is one of WorktopEnvy’s top picks for something that little bit different – matte-honed Antique Brown granite. Of the hundreds of stones we supply, this is an incredibly tactile granite worktop that’s almost satiny to touch. Up close and personal, its understated yet vivid graphite-like patterning shimmers gunmetal-grey and silver. Here, this gorgeous Italian material looks timeless on cream Shaker units built bespoke by our friends at Hothe Fine Kitchens, who supply their superior hand-made products to the North West of England and North Wales. Director Sam Hothe said: “We wanted contrast between our units and granite worktops in this kitchen but were keen to avoid anything too stark. When we supply a kitchen we’re always thinking about adding textures for interest, so the Antique Brown was a natural choice. It fulfils the role of black granite but with a more gentle overall finish. We specified softened corners around the ceramic Butler sink and we’re really pleased with the results. It goes without saying that we have high expectations of our quartz and granite suppliers and the guys at WorktopEnvy meet those expectations.” WorktopEnvy’s aim is to provide a web-leading selection of natural and engineered stone for customers across the country to enjoy. In the past month we’ve installed quartz and granite worktops in London, Surrey, Essex, Kent, Merseyside, Northamptonshire, Manchester, Birmingham and Dorset – with our commercial work also nominated for a prestigious Restaurant and Bar Design Awards gong. Add to that our website’s extensive Inspiration and independent style guide and it’s easy to see why WorktopEnvy.com is truly Britain’s granite and quartz worktop specialist. We make our worktops with love – and sell factory-direct. To learn more about our ordering processes or to get a quote click here – or Request a Call Back for a chat.

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Silestone Chrome grey sparkly quartz

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Silestone-Chrome-grey-sparkly-quartz-worktopSILESTONE Chrome is the ultimate sparkly grey quartz worktop material – beflecked with zinc chips to add bling to your kitchen or bathroom. The Spanish market leaders use special Bacteriostatic silver technology (along with loads of lovely sparkle) to make their quartz worktops hygienic by design, inhibiting the growth of bugs and giving added peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Because this engineered stone is vibro-compressed into high density slabs it is scientifically stain-proof, guaranteeing spectacular looks and performance. Silestone Chrome quartz captures the modern kitchen industrial-chic look perfectly and, when installed by trusted Approved Fabricators like WorktopEnvy, will provide years of hassle-free use in your home. And as with all Silestone products, Chrome quartz comes with its own 10-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects in the material. Not that you’re in any way limited to one brand with our web-leading range of quartz worktop materials. We’ve built-in filtering functions to our Products pages to help you get an easy and informed view on more than 200 striking styles, types and colours – all carefully sourced across a wide range of affordability. You can also check out more pictures of Silestone Chrome here, learn how to get a factory-direct price, or scroll through our other Inspiration posts for more awesome ideas to help you achieve your dream kitchen worktop look. Or you can pick up tips from our independent interior design expert Mhairi Coyle about the hottest kitchen looks for 2013 – and learn how to add timeless elements to any kitchen scheme. The best way to get an accurate price is to email us a drawing of your kitchen plan to info@worktopenvy.com so feel free to drop us a line. Alternatively you can Request a Call Back to discuss your kitchen worktop needs with one of our experts over here >>>

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The Silestone quartz angle

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concept kitchen in SilestoneSILESTONE always has the angle on innovating in quartz – and this kitchen proves the point. The inverted tetrahedron of the dining space is a vision of gravity-defying stone worktop design. Crafted from mitred black 12mmTao slabs, it intersects cleverly with the glacier-white Blanco Zeus Extreme workstation; itself ‘floating’ on a rebated surface and floor-length wraparound legs. The colour-coded Integrity sink, cast in a single solid piece of quartz, completes a high-end ensemble straight out of Miami Vice. As a trusted approved fabricator for SilestoneWorktopEnvy loves this type of challenging project – check our Indie Designer Blog and Inspiration pages for more classy kitchen ideas.

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The Secret Designer

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The kitchen’s the beating heart of your home – a place for living and laughing. So it pays to plan it well. Here in a brand new column our interiors expert the Secret Designer gives the dos and don’ts of kitchen design. They reveal the latest trends and how to get the look on a budget; explain how to balance personality with practicality – and give the inside track on the top styles and materials.

I LOVE inner space. Furniture making and interior design runs in my family, so you could say it’s in my DNA. As a kid I was lucky to be well travelled. Whether it was Bahrain or India, there were always new ideas to absorb, new textures and materials to see; new ways to influence the built world around us. These experiences still inform my work. For me, design in the home should tell the narrative of a life well lived. I can’t bear the generic and impersonal. We are all unique and if there is one room in the house to really express that, it’s the kitchen.

Salvage yards and character kitchens

Put your stamp on a kitchen by mixing old with new. If you’re lucky enough to own a period home with original features, include them in your designs wherever possible – there is no substitute for genuine character. If not, architectural salvage yards are a useful place to find some special features. There’s a load out there, and one of my favourites is the Architectural Forum in London’s Islington. Salvage yards are Aladdin’s Caves of interesting and unusual pieces, from Edwardian wood panelling to gorgeous reclaimed cast iron radiators. Recently, I fell for some Parisian doors found nestling in a dusty back room and just had to use them in a design project.

Shabby Shaker kitchen chic – the 2014 look

In 2013 we’re seeing more of the Chelsea-look Shaker kitchen in pastel tones. The Chelsea look takes the rural simplicity of the Shaker but really focuses on highly detailed jointing and unfussy but luxurious fittings. I love the range at Chalon Kitchens, whose shabby-chic hand-painted cabinetry is beautifully atmospheric. Of course such close attention to detail comes at a price (Chalon’s start at £25,000), but there are simple ways to add your own Chelsea touches to an off-the-peg Shaker. As far as budget will allow, look for ranges with quality details like dovetailed drawer construction, well-proportioned door panels and good chunky legs on free-standing units. And remember, a decent local tradesman can often help you achieve the look at a fraction of a showroom price. Nor does it take much more technical than oils, sandpaper and elbow grease to distress a painted finish yourself, while woven wicker baskets accessorise open storage areas beautifully. Antiques shops, bric-a-brac markets and eBay are great places to find unusual door knobs.

High gloss style

For something strikingly modern, nothing rivals the high gloss of Parapan® for doors and more. It’s a smart thermoformed (heat moulded) acrylic that can be used in sweeping curves for flowing cabinetry or in sheets as an alternative to glass or stone splashbacks (of which more in my next column). On the surface, Parapan® resembles regular gloss kitchen units (vinyl-finished MDF), but that’s where the similarity ends. As a completely solid product Parapan® (seen above in a handle-less kitchen by 202 Design) maintains a lustrous finish, and really shows its value after some wear and tear as it won’t chip when knocked and scratches can be repaired. The colour range is fabulous too – with their bold Dark Cyan a vogue choice.

Feel high-end with granite or quartz

To make off-the-shelf look and feel high-end it helps to commit as much budget as you can to work-surfacing. It’s the first and last thing people notice and sets the mood of your kitchen. Worktops need to be practical – non-scratch, durable and able to handle common stains. Good wood will stay attractive for a long time though requires regular oiling to maintain and will harbour bacteria in scuffs and scratches. It also works effectively as a textural contrast alongside granite or quartz. These materials are beautiful and durable and offer exceptional performance. Quartz worktops are particularly good in kitchens that see plenty of stainy foods – I love Indian cooking and my bête noir is Turmeric. As it’s made in high-density slabs, quartz is all but stain-proof and brands like Silestone, Compac, Cimstone or Unistone offer a full spectrum of colours, finishes and prices. It does pay to beware very cheap internet deals for these products as you’ll have to live with any mistakes. Dependent on material, full-service bespoke costs should range from £1,500+ for small kitchens to around £3,000+ for family size and more for larger projects.

Natural stone contrasts

A kitchen needn’t be for life, but it helps if it doesn’t date too quickly. That’s why I’ll generally tend toward softer shades of colour and rarely recommend stark black-and-white contrasts (80s but not in a good way). So for the floor, instead of white ceramic tiles, think about natural stone; a pale Venito Luna limestone can be bought for around £60 per square metre and will balance a very clean modern kitchen with an organic nod to the more traditional. Look at charcoal or gunmetal granite or quartz as an effective alternative to pure black stone. Indian Steel Grey granite or Honed Nero Assoluto are good value; Unistone’s grey Grigio quartz is also affordable and comes both polished or in a stippled matte finish that’s great set against high-gloss doors and drawers.

In my next column I’ll be talking about kitchen planning for dummies; splashbacks and feature walls, tiles and integrated sinks, and the joys of that old classic, marble. Feel free to leave your comments:

* The Secret Designer is an independent interior designer from London. They read Interior Architecture at UAL Chelsea and have practiced for private clients, architects and design-and-build companies of distinction for more than 10 years. 

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©WorktopEnvy.com 2013

 

Choc Lime Quartz Worktops

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Chocolate Limes in SilestoneTHIS smart piece of quartz worktops design in Silestone has WorktopEnvy dreaming of chocolate-lime boiled candy. Skilled stonecraft went into the low-impact mitred jointing for the box step – a simple and brilliantly effective way to separate work spaces. And there’s something tropical about the flamboyant colour combo. All told, we think jaunty pea-green cabinets go just sweet with the rich-cocoa Gedatsu quartz worktops go with the sleek lines of this sexy undermounted sink just sweet. Not that this quartz kitchen worktop solution is merely an aesthetic triumph – engineered stone is vibro-compressed into high-density slabs designed specifically to minimise the risk of staining, even when exposed to the strongest of pigments. Check out our kitchen blog posts for more Inspiration on granite worktops and quartz worktops – or view this product here. To see how to buy quartz worktops UK-wide, click here. Learn about the hottest kitchen worktop looks from the Secret Designer here, or just Request a Call Back to discuss your needs. Wherever you are in the country, we can help: we have showrooms in South London covering London, Surrey and South East UK and in North Wales covering Chester, Cheshire, Liverpool, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Shropshire.

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