Elle Decor talks to Karen Williams about counter surfaces

Elle Decor magazine in its November “Punch List” feature interviewed Karen Williams and other leading designers including Steven Gambrel, Carl D’Aquino, Amy Lau, James Biber and Laura Kirar for a piece on surfaces. In the article titled “What the pros know,” Karen noted that while white marble is classic, some people are looking for what they feel are more durable options. She suggested three of her other favorite materials, pewter, lavastone and semiprecious stone.

Elle Decor Nov. 2011

Elle Decor Punch List Nov. 2011

She told Elle Decor she likes pewter tops, which are handmade in France, because they develop a soft patina as they age.

Pewter bar top

Karen Williams chose a pewter countertop for this bar, knowing it will develop a beautiful patina as it ages.

Semiprecious stone tops are a go-to for their brilliant colors and striking patterns.

semiprecious stone countertops

For a new home in Florida, Karen Williams selected this petrified wood semiprecious stone for the countertop in the butler's pantry. She loves how it brings color and pattern into the room, which will have French-style cabinetry doors like this one.

And she loves lavastone because it’s heat, stain and scratch resistant, as well as having a subtle crackled texture. Plus she can create a custom color in it.

lavastone kitchen counter detail

Karen Williams specified a custom blue lavastone countertop for a Florida highrise, picking up the color of the ocean outside the kitchen window.

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