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When Boca Raton, Fla.-based designer Karen Press remodeled her dated, dark kitchen, expanding and opening up the space was a key goal. But just as important was creating jaw-dropping visuals that would inspire both herself and her clients for years to come.

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“I wanted that Carrara marble look—that beautiful, thick graining,” Press says. “I like things that are timeless. If I’m going to spend money on the kitchen, I don’t want to grow tired of it; the marble look is not something I will ever grow tired of.”

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Press, owner of Panache Design Consultants, achieved her goals with dramatic expanses of Neolith surfacing, a sintered stone that mimics the look of marble.

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Neolith sintered stone is manufactured with a combination of quartz and feldspar, minerals from glass and silica, and natural oxides. The mix is then subjected to high pressures and temperatures to replicate the process by which stones are naturally created over a period of thousands of years, the company says.

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The designer considered natural marble, but after conducting tests was concerned about staining and durability. Neolith, which also undergoes a process that imprints realistic colors and veining, offered the visual she desired along with durability and resistance to high temperatures, staining, scratches, and chemical cleaners.

Press specified Neolith’s Classtone slab in the Estatuario design and a polished finish for the countertops and the island, a vast, L-shaped centerpiece with seating for six. For added drama, the look continues up the wall behind the range. “When people walk in, their eye immediately goes to the range hood and backsplash,” she says.

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“I think it’s a phenomenal product,” adds Press, who is also using the material for a client’s hair salon, confident it can stand up to high-end dyes. “Every day I walk into my home and I have to smile. And I love it when my clients walk in and their jaws drop.

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This story originally appeared in the Mar/Apr 2017 issue of PRODUCTS magazine. See the print version here.

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