Within the last couple of years,quartz has become one of the most desired materials in the U.S. On the West Coast, builders have been utilizing the material for more modern designs. In the prestigious community of Gig Harbor, WA, a variety of Caesarstone quartz, accented by woods and concrete, was recently utilized to create a retro contemporary home, which incorporates modern elements and rustic touches.

The 4,711-square-foot water view home, coined “Collected Composition,” was South Sound Magazine’s 2013 Northwest Idea Home. The home features expansive mountain and water views, unparalleled privacy, and was designed to blend into the up-and-coming neighborhood of Gig Harbor. The home was designed by Greg Zetterberg of Zetterberg Gregory Design in Lake Tapps, WA; built by his brother, Jeff Zetterberg, of Zetterberg Custom Homes and Remodeling LLC in Tacoma, WA; with kitchen design by Leslie Jensen of Signature Design and Cabinetry in Tacoma, WA.

“In areas like Seattle and Bellevue, the modern look has been on the trend for a while and is just now starting to trickle down South to places like Gig Harbor,” said Jeff Zetterberg. “We wanted to blend the modern with our signature craftsman style. We aimed for a transitional shift to bring in key elements of modern design and still incorporated many elements of a traditional craftsman style home so as to not isolate the prospective buyer. More than 3,000 people have toured the home and whether or not their style was more for modern or traditional craftsman, many have stated that the two blended so well together they could envision making this their dream home.

“The key was in not making this home feel too cold like many modern designs can do,” Zetterberg went on to say. “We added a lot of texture and wood to help offset some of the cold feel that stone and the color gray can tend to give. One of the biggest elements to blending the modern and craftsman styles in this home was the hardwood we chose. We used the Kentwood Couture line — an engineered oak product with a natural European oil finish to it. This really set the precedent for every other product we selected throughout the home as this wide-planked hardwood had the character we were looking for to flow naturally with the elements of both designs we wanted to blend in the home.”

Four different colors of 3 cm-thick, straight polished Caesarstone quartz were employed throughout six different rooms in the house. London Grey was utilized for the perimeter kitchen and guest bathroom countertops, Piatra Grey was utilized for the kitchen island and media/game room countertop, Shitake was used for the mudroom/laundry room and hall bathroom countertops, and Pure White was used for the master bathroom countertops.

“All but two of the countertops in the home are Caesarstone,” said Zetterberg. “We chose Caesarstone to be our ‘go-to’ countertops and wanted to use their newest colors available. Our approach when looking for those key elements, such as hard surfaces, was that it had to complement the design. It had to work. We didn’t just want to do the same old thing. We wanted to partner with companies who were not only willing to work with us on the home, but who also had the best product to represent our home — Caesarstone was the answer. Quartz is becoming more and more popular with our clientele and we just knew this was the best choice and the right fit.”

When designing the specific living spaces, Zetterberg, his wife Amber, brother Greg, and Jensen worked together to create the perfect harmony between quartz, wood, stone and tile. Each room features different materials and textures to add visual interest to each space. “We wanted a timeless look with this home,” said Zetterberg. “We wanted to lean toward modern and certain aspects of what is currently trending, but not to the point of looking back and saying, ‘Oh, you can tell that was built in 2013.’ This home needs to withstand the years of design ahead and we think we have achieved that.”

Jensen, who was mainly responsible for the kitchen and cabinetry design, said she chose each color and material to blend in with the atmosphere of each room. “In the kitchen, the reason we went with Piatra Grey on the island was to make it look more furniture-like,” she said. “It’s lighter on the perimeter, but with the waterfall edged island, because it’s right in the middle of the house, that piece needed to feel more like a piece of furniture. The master bath is Pure White Caesarstone. In there, we did a really dark bamboo cabinet, so we were looking for contrast with the countertops. It’s a very simple style, so the white just worked great for that space.”

Though Jensen wasn’t onsite for any of the quartz installation, Zetterberg was onsite regularly, and said there weren’t any problems with the installation. However, another aspect of the project presented a challenge. “We have a great fabricator,” he said. “But, the island was one of the most complicated pieces that we’ve ever done. [It required a] 45-degree angle where the seam had to be at the top as well as the waterfall edge. It had to be perfect, and it just turned out perfect.”

Northwest Idea Home

Gig Harbor, WA

Builder: Zetterberg Custom Homes and Remodeling LLC, Tacoma, WA

Designer: Zetterberg Custom Homes and Remodeling LLC, Tacoma, WA; Signature Design and Cabinetry, Tacoma, WA

Quartz Manufacturer: Caesarstone, Van Nuys, CA

Tile Supplier: United Tile, Seattle, WA

Jensen and Zetterberg both agreed that quartz has been increasing in popularity in the design world over the years, as they’re seeing more and more people use it. “I think there’s a trend with clients to select quartz over granite right now,” said Jensen. “They like the simple pattern in it — it’s not as busy as [some] granite. People also like the low maintenance aspect of quartz. People are using it a lot more now — probably 75% of our work is quartz. The Pacific Northwest likes the ‘northwest contemporary’ look — clean lines, not too modern, not too busy — and quartz just fits that style very nicely.”

“We use quartz a lot,” said Zetterberg. “Right now, we prefer it over other materials. There are still going to be people that want and love granite. There is always going to be new beautiful granite coming out, but even personally, as builders, our minds are changing about quartz because it just has a simpler, cleaner look and is not as busy as granite. Quartz is a lot more uniformed, and what we’re finding out with our clientele is that granite used to be the countertop of choice, but quartz is now becoming the new ‘in’ thing — especially with clients who have had granite previously and the fact that some of the Caesarstone looks like actual marble. Many people who have toured our home have never heard of Caesarstone and could not believe the quality and the look of the quartz. Even homes we’re doing on a speculative level, we are choosing to use more quartz.”

The Northwest Idea Home only took a total of nine months to complete, from the time Zetterberg broke ground in January of 2013 to the grand opening of the property on Oct. 17, 2013. Since its opening, both Jensen and Zetterberg said the reviews have been wonderful.

“The reaction is overwhelmingly positive about the feel and look of everything — people definitely like the quartz,” said Jensen.

“We’ve received great feedback. It’s been great exposure as builders, especially in the high-end market,” said Zetterberg. “In the city of Gig Harbor, it’s been very positive. We have other lots around this home — three more sales and working on a fourth — and without this product and the partnership with the magazine, it wouldn’t have pushed us as a builder to stay on our ‘A’ game throughout the process — in every detail of the home. [There is] much more design work in spec work than we would’ve done. We haven’t sold the home yet, but I’ve been able to use it as a great model home to showcase as I’m making other sales.”