The Color of Stone
by Walt Burns
As the sun sets over the Wasatch (or rises, depending on your location) the sky often explodes in a collage of pink, purple, blue, and yellow. When autumn comes to the valley, the hillsides light up with golden aspens. Day in and day out, the mountain sky seems to find an ever deeper blue than the one before. This place is alive with color.
Surrounded by such a strong palette, you would expect Park City homes to reflect this as well. “To this point, we’ve mostly been stuck in neutral – greys and whites,” explains Nick Vargas. Vargas is the General Manager at Cosentino/Salt Lake City so we’re talking about stone countertops. At least initially. We’re also learning that the neutral phase may be behind us.
Two new collections by Cosentino essentially serve as the infusion of color Park City has been waiting for – Sunlit Days and the Ethereal Collection. There couldn’t be a better time. “Coming out of covid, I think we could all use a little color in our lives,” Vargas continues.
Inspired by the hues of the Mediterranean, the Sunlight Collection is already catching the eye of local designers. Many are finding that their clients desire a more European look – something that has not necessarily been a dominant design theme in the Mountain West up to this point. “I spoke with a Scandinavian designer in Park City and she talked about how much she loved these colors and how well they fit into her designs. These are just the kinds of colors they use there,” Vargas explains. It would seem that the appeal of these colors stretches far beyond the azure shores of the Mediterranean.
“Sunlit Days is the first collection to ever receive a Carbon Neutral certificate. It’s a huge step not just for Cosentino, but for the entire industry.”
–Nick Vargas: General Manager, Cosentino, Salt Lake City
Meanwhile, the Ethereal Collection raises the bar on detail patterns within the stone.
In fact, both collections offer more than simple doses of color. Intricate patterns of grain and veining bring them to life and the level of sophistication Cosentino that has been able to deliver to these stone pieces is remarkable.
With such a high level of pattern and detail, it’s no surprise that designers and homeowners alike have sought to find as many ways to use materials as they can. “We can cut it as thin as necessary for applications on walls, flooring, backsplashes. Its only limit is the creativity of the designer,” explains Vargas. But fixed applications are by no means the only application. “We are having some designers locally specializing in using it for furniture,” he adds. End tables. Coffee tables. Dining room tables are particularly interesting as you can tie the dining area to the kitchen in unique fashion.
But beauty, we’ve been told, is only skin deep. Although that message apparently never made it to the folks at Cosentino. Their commitment to making a product that is as beautiful in its production as it is in final appearance has always been a focus. These two new collections advance the sustainability part of the equation as much as the aesthetics. Branded as HybriQ® technology by Silestone®, this is a new production process that brings to fruition the next level of Cosentino’s commitment to the environment, the circular economy and sustainable management. It involves some remarkable numbers: 99% reused water from other production processes. 100% renewable electric energy. A minimum of 20% recycled raw materials. If their sustainability story ended there it would still be impressive, but there’s more. HybriQ+® technology also significantly reduces the amount of crystalline silica used.
“Sunlit Days is the first collection to ever receive a Carbon Neutral certificate. It’s a huge step not just for Cosentino, but for the entire industry,” says Vargas. And a huge step it is indeed. But for anyone who has been watching Cosentino, it comes as no surprise. “We’ve been developing eco products since I joined the company 12 years ago and had an eco product in the marketplace then,” adds Vargas.
“The factory is powered by solar. There’s also been extensive work in quarry restoration. Instead of tearing down the landscape, Cosentino has been active in preserving and restoring it.” For those of us who live in these mountains it is hard to overstate the importance of companies guided by this kind of ethos.
It would also be difficult to overstate the significance of having all this right here at our fingertips – literally. “We have a 30,000-square-foot location right here in Salt Lake City. You can come down and handle the slabs. On any given day we have about 3,500 slabs on hand,” explains Vargas. “The process can be overwhelming, which is why the level of selection we have right here and our ability to help walk you through the decision-making process is so vital.”
By many sources, Cosentino’s showroom is regarded as the best in the area and it is a vital part of the equation. After all, there is something about this stone that extends far beyond its appearance. There is a tactile element as well and that can never be appreciated or understood by selecting something from a picture alone.
Thanks to these two new collections from Cosentino, the new age of color is not far off. In fact, you only need to go as far as Salt Lake City to find it.