From the most central elements to the smallest details, tapping into nature was key for the designers behind the 2020 Whole Home Concept Home, an annual House Beautiful project that showcases the latest and greatest in creating a healthy home.
“Overall, we really wanted to bring the outdoors in and grasp that Colorado lifestyle,” says Andrea Schumacher of Andrea Schumacher Interiors, who designed the dining room. Also referred to as the “treehouse room” because of it’s ultra-tall, sloping ceilings and playful addition of a swing. Schumacher worked to emphasize the green hues from the surrounding area throughout the space and make it feel like “living in a forest.”
The Whole Home Concept Home’s dining room, designed by Andrea Schumacher.
Caesarstone 5111 Statuario Nuvo
“We didn’t want it to be stuffy like a formal dining room,” she recalls. “We wanted it to be a place where you could sit and hang out for a long time to have drinks with friends and chit-chat. We tried to envelop the space with the lighting and make it feel a little bit cozier.” Further drawing on the stunning Colorado landscape for inspiration, as well as materials that reflected it, Schumacher came up with an imaginative use for quartz in her design scheme. By repurposing a vintage dresser and installing a thick slab of Caesarstone’s 5111 Statuario Nuvo quartz in a honed finish over it, she created a built-in countertop look that completely shifted the feel of the original furniture and created a useful showpiece for the space.
“By using the rosewood credenza and tree-covered wallpaper, it gave the area a natural look,” Schumacher explains. “Adding the quartz on top of the dresser was a really functional solution because it’s such a hardy material for a busy space.”
Schumacher used Caesarstone to create a built-in countertop look in the dining room.
Caesarstone is an engineered stone made up of approximately 90 percent quartz pieces (“chips”) or quartz dust and 10 percent resin binding. Thanks to this construction, it is durable and resistant to burns, scratches, dents, and scuffs—the perfect material for kitchen counters and islands. (Not to mention a place like the dining room, where its resistance to etching and staining from acids like wine comes in handy when uncorking and pouring a bottle.)
Bathrooms also see their fair share of quartz countertops and vanities because it’s a non-porous material, meaning that splashing at the sink isn’t an issue. Because of how it’s made, quartz’s neutral-toned colors, patterns and finishes are versatile (pigment is added during the manufacturing process) and add a sleek touch to your space with a nod to the great outdoors.
Two built-ins—a wine fridge and shelves with serving ware—frame the vintage dresser and quartz countertop.
Schumacher’s quartz-topped installation made the dining room feel cohesive and functional while using outside-the-box thinking. She began by designing the surrounding built-ins—which include a wine fridge on one side and shelves filled with servingware on the other—and then slid the vintage dresser into its designated space in the middle, creating a unified, built-in look for all three components. The template for the quartz surface itself was then measured and securely attached to the top of the dresser, creating a countertop with both durability (thanks to the quartz) and plenty of personality (thanks to the dresser).
Schumacher said to think of this kind of quartz installation as almost identical to how kitchen countertops are installed. “Once the cabinets are set in your kitchen, the [fabricator] creates a template for the countertops. They go and cut the stone, then come back and attach it.”
How To Get The Look At Home
“Adding the quartz on top of the dresser was a really functional solution because it’s such a hardy material for a busy space,” Schumacher says.
Sounds easy enough to recreate at home, right? Indeed, Schumacher says it is. “If you have a dresser that you’re not using, you could definitely paint it and then repurpose it, using quartz on top.” And this is particularly true if you anchor it between two matching cabinets or bookcases to recreate the faux built-in quality. Quartz is cut-to-size and installed by a professional, who will have the correct tools to do it properly.
Another plus of going with a quartz surface in settings where people congregate is that guests can set cups and glasses down on it without worrying about staining, unlike wood or other softer materials. “I don’t like anything that’s unusable in a house,” Schumacher says. “Materials that you can use in an everyday situation, like quartz, are the best idea.”
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