Thursday, June 4, 2009

Going Green & Loving It!

I have fallen in love with a new "green" product. Vetrazzo countertops made from recycled glass. I pride myself on being a fairly sophisticated designer but have always had a little bit of hippie in me as well. Come on I was born in the 70s and my parents went to Woodstock, how can you blame me! So this new product is the perfect fit for me. I just love the use of recycled glass to create such an upscale and chic surface material. Nowadays, with being "green" at the top of everyone's agenda, there are so many new materials on the market. It used to be that going green mean reusing styrofoam cups to create a chandelier or creating furniture from corrogated cardboard but it's a whole different ballgame these days. There are more and more companies realizing that being environmentally conscience doesn't mean having to forgo style and sophistication.

I specified Vetrazzo in a custom built home in Saratoga for the kitchen. My first thought was to use the material in one of the bathrooms but I knew it would have more impact and interest in the kitchen, the focal point of the home. The client wanted something unique, no more granite, and eye catching without being too distracting. I had been dying to find a project where I could specify Vetrazzo for at least a year so I was thrilled when my client saw the sample and shared my enthusiasm. In the photo, which doesn't do the product justice, we have it paired with a slate & aluminum mosaic backsplash.

Vetrazzo comes in slab form but some suppliers will offer it in half or even quarter slabs, you just have to ask. You can fabricate it with any edge detail you want but I always think that a straight edge fits the modern, sleek style of the material best.

And this is one of the coolest things about Vetrazzo. Most of the glass comes from your everyday curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from windows, stemware, windshields, stained glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, traffic lights and other unusual sources. Every Vetrazzo surface has its own history. After you purchase a slab, you can request a Certificate of Transformation that tells you where the glass in your Vetrazzo came from. Now that would make for some great cocktail party conversation!

Check it out at But be forewarned, once you see this product, you are going to want it in your house as well. Contact me if you are interested in specifying this product in your next project.

1 comment:

  1. Two years ago, we installed a Vetrazzo countertop in our $200+K kitchen remodel. After the first 6 months the little glass pieces started chipping out of the filler especially around the edges. Now the top is stained in two places and the Vetrazzo website says this just adds to the beauty.... wrong… it just looks stained. The surface, in many places is rough where the filler is breaking down. The original company was located in California, but it has since been sold to a company in Georgia. We went back to the manufacturer and got nothing but nasty emails telling us it was our fault for not maintaining the surface properly. This is NOT the case, everything in our kitchen is BEAUTIFUL... the Vetrazzo countertop will have to be replaced. It's definitely NOT sustainable!