Show Stopper

Submitted by Annette M. Callari, A.S.I.D.; CMG

logoOctober 14, 2009 marked the date for the American Society of Interior Designers annual tradeshow here in Southern California.  Attending that show as a professional designer is always reenergizing–discovering innovative products that can (and do) stop you in your tracks!  The show is open only to ASID designers and student chapter members, but I can certainly share some of the highlights with you.  

When you think of quartz countertop materials, you most likely envision something quietly elegant, with the Silestone®, Cambria®, Caesarstone® or Zodiaq® name on it.  All of these are well-known brands that create surfaces from quartz aggregates and polyester binders.  They are beautiful, functional, and timeless. Did you know that natural quartz happens to be one of the hardest, most abundant minerals found in nature?  Only diamonds, sapphires, and topaz are harder!  This accounts for quartz products being highly scratch resistant, but still, be sure to use cutting boards when slicing on quartz surfaces.  Another strongpoint of quartz counters would be the consistency of color.  Manufacturers offer a well-rounded palette of colors that showcase the light-reflective brilliance of natural quartz.  And–these surfaces are non-porous and resist staining, so no sealing is required.

So what can I possibly tell you that would be news in the world of quartz?  I can tell you that one manufacturer featured at this tradeshow—Compac® Quartz USA— has teamed up with a world-renowned artist, Karim Rashid, to create a signature line of quartz countertop products that are—without exaggeration– a work of art.  Karim Rashid is well known for his creative product designs, as well as his designs in fashion, furniture and contributions to the world of art.  He has designed for Shiseido, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Carolina Herrera, and now Compac!  So, what sets his collection apart?  COLOR!  Expect the unexpected.  Rashid’s brilliant contemporary color line features a stunning fuscia red, a glitterati silver (sparkling with shards of quartz); two refreshing water-toned blues; Lila–a deep violet; Musaka–a port wine color; Absolute Blanc—a creamy neutral, and (hold on to your hats) flamingo pink and lime green!  Not exactly what you would expect for countertop choices, and all the more reason designers were captivated. Strong, bold, breathtaking and unexpected–all of those adjectives readily apply to this artisan-inspired collection.  If your personality matches that description, here’s the countertop for you.  Find out more about these focal point quartz products at  Click on Quartz Compac/Color Palette/Karim to view the color line.

(Note of interest—most of these new colors are reflective of the 2010 home interiors color trends forecast published at Designer’s Corner” 8/18/09. Be sure to check it out.)