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Dekton Countertop: Brutal torture tests

Ok, I love a good torture test, and here are the folks at Dekton showing just how durable their new countertop material can be. Based on my experience with their other product Silestone, I believe them when they do these tests:

Gessi: Stellar build quality & so much more...

I’m no stranger to high end faucets. I was a stranger to Italy. No more though thanks to the folks at Modenus and Gessi Faucets.

Upon leaving Venice for Milan, the group of us headed over to Eurocucina to visit the booth of Gessi Faucets. I’d heard of them before, and even spec’d them on some jobs. All I knew is that they were quite high end.

Their booth was packed. Approaching it I knew this was going to be an experience...

The booth was a very tastefully done mixture of art and nature.

Now on to the hardware:






Aside from being just great looking faucets, they are built very well. The best looking faucet can be ruined for me if operating it feels like you’re pushing around a stick in a lumpy bucket of mud. These faucets are just the opposite. They feel like you’re operating a precision machined Leica camera. Every action is met with satisfying metallic click.

Like this post, our tour of the booth at Eurocucina was just a taste of what Gessi can do. Later on in the week I’ll take you on the tour of their own showroom in Milan’s art district. It’s a combination of a Bond Villain's lair and the greatest spa experience I’ve ever seen. I thought Gessi just made fantastic hardware, boy was I wrong, they make so much more...


Dekton Countertops: Amazingly durable & sexy

As a kitchen designer, countertops are a big part of any kitchen. While cabinets may be physically larger, the countertop dominates the space. It’s also one of the most used and abused surfaces in the kitchen.


There are many types of countertops, I’ll walk you through a few of them before we get to the grand finale called Dekton that I saw in Italy on BlogTour with Modenus…

Laminate: This is often the most inexpensive way that you can do a countertop. Laminate is a printed veneer that is glued over a plywood or particle board substrate. These types of countertops typically have a drop in sink although there are a few undermount ones that you can get. Laminate while good can deteriorate over time as water enters the wood substrate underneath.

Solid Surface: This is a manufactured plastic countertop. They are solid plastic or other polymer all the way through. They can be worked with regular woodworking tools. They are adhered together with a special glue that bonds separate pieces together so they become one. You often see these types of countertop in kitchens with white (or off white) one piece sinks and in bathrooms that have one piece tops. These tops can be prone to scratching as the material is softer plastic.

Granite: This is pretty self explanatory… A massive chunk of rock that is typically milled down to 1 ¼” thick and dropped on your countertop. Granite is the one of the only ways to get the most natural look. It can be a bit unpredictable in terms of durability from one color to the next. It also needs to be resealed at regular intervals or it can stain.

Quartz: If you’ve heard of Silestone, you’ve heard of quartz. Very simply, Silestone is the process of taking chunks of granite and other rock, grinding them up, mixing them with some glue, then mashing them down into sheets that are about the same size as granite. The end result is a surface that is almost always mistaken for granite. It also requires no maintenance. This is one of the most durable surfaces you can get… or so I thought..

The trend in the US has been thick and chunky countertops for years. You typically see 1 ¼” to 1 ½” thick countertops. In Europe their countertops are typically much thinner. ½” to ¾” of an inch is very common place over there. Since European design is very quickly coming to this side of the pond, one company, Cosentino decided to step up and create something special for us here.

They call it Dekton. This is what it looks like:


It’s thinner than traditional countertops. It also has a nice texture to it as well. Now I know what you’re thinking: That they took Silestone and just made it thinner. That’s not the case here. Instead of just remixing something they already made, they decided to make something entirely new.

I’m no scientist so I’m not going to nerd out on how the process works, but near as I can tell this material is made similar to diamonds. Diamonds are created by certain types of rock under immense pressure. Dekton is made a similar way. They use very specific materials, rocks included and compress them MUCH harder than Silestone.

The end result is a material that is thinner and trendier. It’s also extremely durable. They even say that you can clad buildings with it. They walk the talk to, as it’s been used to clad the entire outside of several buildings. If it can stand up to that, it can stand up to your everyday abuse in the kitchen.


I got a chance to see the range of colors and textures they offer in Italy. Suffice it to say, the colors are fantastic. I would definitely spec this material if you’re looking for a fashion forward, durable material from a company that knows how to make great countertops.








Wine, Cobblestones, Steel & Mussels #InStyleTour

If you thought this was the title to my new Italian mobster flick that I'm directing, you'd be wrong.  It actually were some keywords from a fantastic day I got to spend  in Boston's North End on Tuesday. Social media is all the rage today, and if you ever thought it kept people from "real" interaction, you'll see that this event is far from that.

Giovanni Decunto and Blanco teamed up to bring a local group of designers who are active on social media together for a great night of networking.

We started out at dinner, at Ristorante Villa Francesca for some fantastic wine, mussels and dinner.

After dinner, Christy Emens from Blanco told us about some great new faucets and sinks from Blanco.  In addition, we learned about Blanco history.  Blanco is a very old German company that has a history of designing and manufacturing it's products in Germany.  They take great pride in the quality of their products.  As a kitchen designer, I've always regarded Blanco's quality a lot higher than most, but I never realized that they had the great manufacturing pedigree that they do!

Next it was over to the artist gallery of Giovanni Decunto.  His paintings were described to be before we got there, and I'd share that description with you, but it would really do it no justice.  These paintings were layered in a way that I'd never seen.  Some of the paintings, by my guess had 1/4" of paint on them! This gave them a really amazing texture and depth that just doesn't translate to pictures.

This picture of Steve Jobs was about 8 foot square, and featured glow-in-the-dark paint.  I would have bought it, something seemed wrong about carting a painting that was worth twice as much as the car it was riding in...

It wasn't just the food, wine, steel and art that made this a great evening, it was meeting all these like minded folks who have been brought together by social media.  Had it not been for Twitter and Facebook, I never would have met these people.  Because of social media we were all able to not only expand our connections, but our knowledge.

This night wouldn't have been possible without the hard work and support from Blanco, Chirsty Emens, Andie Day, Todd Venditouli, & Giovanno Decunto, and for that I like to thank them!  These events are hard to put together, and even harder to make successful.  I've been to a fair amount of these types of gatherings, and my experienced opinion says it was quite the success!

If you'd like to follow more about this event, search for #InStyleTour on Twitter!