What’s new in Granite?

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by Otto Nicli

The classic stone’s resurgence, with unexpected colors, textures, and usage

Granite has found a permanent place in homes around the world, and for good reason. Its natural beauty is unmatched in creating functional centerpieces in kitchens and bathrooms, evoking an opulent feel in any space. While granite is ever a classic and popular choice in area homes, local stone firms are seeing intriguing new trends emerge when it comes to how the material is used.

“Granite is making a very big impact on design,” says Lorraine Piñon, interior designer at 77 Stone in El Paso. “Different textures, different colors, different designs. You’re going to see granite all over the house.”

Once used almost exclusively for countertops, granite is appearing everywhere from accent walls to tables, desks, and fireplace surrounds. Homeowners are even pushing for slabs in the shower—with just one large piece of granite, a shower floor needs little to
no grout.

Granite may elicit a mental image of a glossy, speckled stone, but newer, distinct colors and textures are quickly overtaking traditional choices. “Clients tend to look for those same 20 colors that everyone’s been using for years,” says Piñon. However, she notes, an increasing number of customers are gearing toward
different textures of granite, such as a leather finish that’s created by using abrasive brushes. Whites and grays, with clean lines, are also usurping the darker, more traditionally common color options.

According to Gabriel Dominguez, countertop manager at Sher-Wood Cabinetry in Las Cruces, the newest trends in granite lean toward the modern while skewing away from the industrial look. The Southwest and Tuscan aesthetics still reign supreme, at least in the El Paso-Las Cruces area.

Since it’s a natural stone, granite can be used outdoors, making it a suitable option for outdoor kitchens. “Granite countertops can easily last a lifetime when properly maintained,” says Dominguez. Because of its adaptability, granite can also be used for fireplaces, shower seats, window surrounds, full backsplashes, and so much more.

Granite may elicit a mental image of a glossy, speckled stone, but newer, more distinct colors and textures are quickly taking over traditional choices.

The next level of granite is more about how to use the stone than about the way it looks, says Philip Arellano, owner of ACE Granite in Las Cruces. An emerging trend involves using the stone to create functional pieces for the home or office. Using a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) router, ACE Granite is able to give granite countertops a built-in dish drain and granite desks the power to wirelessly charge cell phones, making the surface as useful as it is beautiful.

“It’s a great option because you’re able to put your phone down, do some work on the computer, and [your phone is] charging the whole time,” says Arellano.

Granite still maintains a strong foothold in the kitchens and bathrooms of homes across the Southwest region. These new ways of using the classic material add a spark of excitement and originality to any space. Waterfall edges in granite kitchen islands, for instance, are formed by joining the side panels and the countertop, giving the impression that the island is standing alone. This option, once more commonly seen in commercial applications, has spilled over to the residential side, according to Dominguez. 

There’s an incomparable beauty to natural stone. Granite’s ageless allure, as well as its ability to adjust to modern trends, makes it a functional option for homes of any style.



77 Stone

Sher-Wood Cabinetry

ACE Granite