Dale and Cindy Wurfel’s dream home is glamorous and vibrant to say the least, reflecting an adventurous spirit and a sense of freedom that comes from being empty nesters. Built by Graystone Homes, there’s nothing transitional or traditional about this Vegas-inspired oasis in London, Ontario. The homeowners wanted a space to entertain that could be both formal and fun – with high-end design and interior designer Erika Friesen of Erika Friesen Design helped them bring about their vision. Many talented suppliers, including Progressive Countertop, helped make this home an unforgettable showpiece. Every stone surface and design detail in this home is exquisite and purposeful. Let’s take a look at some of the stone surfaces by Progressive Countertop.
When asked about the design inspiration for the home Erika says, “The color inspiration started with a black and white tile sample that the homeowners loved called ‘Panda’. They said ‘build around this tile’ and that was the jumping off point.” The black and white scheme carries throughout the home and includes the countertop and stone surfaces. “It’s really the client’s personality that brings out our creativity. If you met them [Cindy and Dale], they exude elegance, fun and excitement – they liked the Vegas vibe – very showy, lavish. When you’re doing a project like this, your vision becomes very specific, so we knew what we were after. Part of the drama and the glam had a lot to do with how we lit the space.” explains Erika – which included adding lighting to highlight feature walls clad in stone.
The kitchen typically is the heart of the home but this one is all about the eyes. When you enter the room, you see a beautiful stone backsplash, crafted from a large slab of quartzite – a natural stone called Calacatta Iris, which was precision cut then installed by Progressive Countertop over LED rope lighting. “There aren’t too many stones that allow you to do this. We were going for that glass, book-matched wow factor” says Erika. Bookmatching is when a slab of stone is cut into two pieces which are installed together so that the surfaces mirror each other. “You basically use the front and the backside of the stone to create this look. We worked out these details in the design process with Progressive Countertop. They were very good at showing us the slab and advising where the seam should go. Details like, ‘do you want the veins to face up or down?’ There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work between the supplier and designer to make it this beautiful.”
Progressive also installed the beautiful centerpiece kitchen island featuring a 12-foot slab of white Thasos quartz by Vicostone® with a sleek waterfall edge. The kitchen uses a combination of natural stone (quartzite) on the backlit backsplash and engineered quartz on the island. Quartzite is a hard, metamorphic rock that is naturally porous which is why the light is able to shine through. “I’m a huge fan of natural materials,” says Erika. “I’ve seen trends come and go but I find natural products are timeless. That said, many like white countertops but it is rare to get a white stone from mother nature. The only one I know of is marble but it does not have the durability of quartz. Often the colour dictates what material you want to use.” The white Thasos quartz by Vicostone on the island is both bright and durable making this a perfect combination!
This kitchen has all the bells and whistles – a beverage station, breakfast cabinet and large pantry all featuring Woodcroft™ by Cambria® Quartz on the countertops. Woodcroft’s bold black palette features golden veining throughout, resembling lightning strikes; a simple, yet rich addition to the perimeter countertops, installed by Progressive countertop. Woodcroft perfectly complements the white island centerpiece and eye-catching quartzite backsplash.
The powder room in this home will have you wanting to elevate your own style and goes far beyond being an area to simply “freshen up” in. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a bold floor-to-ceiling granite backsplash called Agatha Leather. This natural stone used as a vertical wall feature has light panels that highlight its beautiful leathered texture and white veining. “That’s probably one of my favourite rooms because it’s so dramatic,” says Erika. “To set yourself apart as a designer you have to be an out-of-the-box thinker. Instinctively, you always want to put up a mirror above the sink but we didn’t in this case; we wanted it to be all about the stone. When a stone is leathered it not only has this beautiful patina texture, but a beautiful stone feel when you touch it.” A visual and tactile experience, the granite feature wall is the focal point in this powder room – a favourite of the owners. To the side is a floor-to-ceiling mirror with gold feet – and once your eye travels up the granite wall, it reaches a stunning gold ceiling!
To complement the stone wall feature, the powder room vanity countertop features Black Rock Quartz by Cambria®. With a black base, there is a subtle tone-on-tone seafoam pattern that gives an exotic look to this quartz vanity. It’s rich, dark and smooth. Black Rock coordinates very well with the leathered granite, showing how combining different textures, as well as matte with high-gloss finishes, adds complexity to the design.
There are many luxurious, yet functional features in this home such as the master closet that resembles a boutique store display and the makeup vanity that invites you to take a seat. Stark and chic, this black and white, high-contrast design is modern and simple – both feature Blackbrook by Cambria® Quartz surfaces. Engineered quartz is easy to clean – simply wipe with mild soap and warm water.
Descending to the lower level of this home you find a combination of quartz and granite countertops all chosen by Erika Friesen with consultation, fabrication and installation by Progressive Countertop. When asked about stone types for all the rooms, Erika says, “You have to consider the clients’ needs when choosing the type of stone. We’re very cognizant of wearability, durability. These client’s [Cindy and Dale] entertain a lot so you want to make sure the product you choose isn’t going to stain after a big party.”
Cindy and Dale love their home – it’s now the place to gather with family and friends. “These homeowners gave us the freedom to do what we do,” says Erika. I always feel like we produce our best work when clients give us direction and then trust us to deliver. One of the biggest compliments is when someone says to me, ‘oh my goodness this is so me!’” This feeling of trust requires the dedication of an entire team of suppliers, including Progressive Countertop.
“I would absolutely recommend Progressive Countertop,” says Erika. “This was a really challenging project because of all the added design details. There was a lot of back and forth correspondence and I can tell you that Progressive Countertop was with us. They soldiered on, accommodated and saw this through to the end. These types of projects are labour-intensive for the supplier but in the end, these are the projects that go into magazines – these are the projects that they talk about for years to come!”