Bold, organic character from Silestone engineered stone. The bluish tone in the interior of each of its veins gives it a modern touch that, in combination with its avant-garde geometric directionality, makes it one of the most urban and modern designs in the collection. Silestone is now made through a process that is a more sustainable approach using recycled content and water, and renewable energy.
With Wendy Scott, if you start to ask her what’s trending in her upscale closet projects, you won’t get to finish the sentence… “Leather! It’s leather.”
Scott, Master Storage Designer and co-owner of New Jersey’s Boutique Closets and Cabinetry, LLC with Patty Miller, has had the pulse of high-end closets in New Jersey for 15 years, and if she says leather is a thing, then it’s a thing.
“Leather migrated from the handles to the drawer fronts, and now we’re also using it on doors, countertops, and shelves, mostly as feature pieces. You can have it for flooring, too. It’s more durable than you think, and it comes in a bunch of different patterns. Crocodile, in all these great colors, was first, but now we’re getting asked more often for Shagreen. It’s insane!”
Scott gets her leather from Eco Domo, who, among other things, laminates leather and reconstituted leather to a range of doors, drawers, and horizontal surfaces so Scott can give her projects that extra slap of excitement her clients pay her for.
“I’ve got two leather closets being installed over the next two weeks, and both Patty and I are quoting leather right now. I know there are some great vinyl and 3DL materials out there, but for right now people just want leather.”
Unless they want stone, that is, which is Boutique Closets’ second-best selling luxury material.
“So, Wendy, what’s hot right now in silestone?”
“Zebra. Zebra in a natural stone.” Zebra stone is a combination of quartz and basalt occurring in a bold, zebra-type pattern. It is also referred to as zebra agate or zebra jasper. According to Scott, People are really drawn to the funkiness of zebra stone because it’s so natural and unpredictable. The same goes for engineered stone…people like that it now has movement that feels organic, so much more natural than before.
“That’s also what’s going on with thermally fused melamine right now. When they first started putting woodgrains on TFL, they were very linear and manmade looking, not bad, but not very realistic. Then they started lining the woodgrains and the textures up, and now the texture moves with the grain. You look at these surfaces, and you can’t tell if it’s ‘real’ or not.”
Laminate surfaces make up the bones of most closets, and most of those laminates are TFL, Scott says.
“It’s the first choice, it looks great, and it’s also the least expensive option. Lately we’ve been loving Uniboard’s TFL colors, and the newest Tafisa colors have just come out. Those are our two heavy-hitter TFL suppliers, and they’ve really stepped it up with designs and textures that look so natural. Our clients love them.”
A great complement to TFL is 3DL, which is a little thicker and wraps around edge details for a nice, seamless look in woodgrains and stones. In solid colors it’s much more consistent and less expensive than paint, Scott says.
“We’re actually using quite a lot of 3DL on what I fondly call our ‘fatty’ shelves, adjustable robust shelves made out of thermofoil. They have mitered fronts, and they look pretty rich. I really like the soft, matte anti-fingerprint finishes you get in 3DL.”
Most of Scott’s 3DL laminated components come from JB Cutting and Northern Contours. From 3DL, the material range rises to veneers, and then we’re back to stone and leather.
Anything is Doable
Scott and Miller have mastered mixing materials for customers looking for the best.
“Right now, we have some people looking for high gloss, and not just on vertical surfaces, so we’re exploring our options for that, what kind of edge-banding that requires. Combining matte and gloss also makes a statement if done correctly. Everything is doable if you have a broad palette of materials. ’Boutique’ is in our name. We don’t like to say ‘no.’”