When designing his new 2,500-square-foot home up in the mountains of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, longtime woodworker, Jason Good, wanted to create a space that was both contemporary and functional. Known as one of the foremost craftsman in the local area, Good has been honing his skills in cabinetry design and construction over many years. When designing his home, he said he never intended for the kitchen to become the focal point, but after beginning the design process and all it entailed, that seemed to be where the path led him.
“The kitchen wasn’t intended to become that big,” said Good, owner of Jason Good Custom Cabinets Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia. “But as we were taking the walls out, it just became bigger and bigger. Because we’re in the industry, we also had access to some wood that’s usually used as scrap, which we turned into a pattern that was used to frame the countertop.”
To create the countertop for his kitchen island, Good selected Neolith by TheSize, a sintered compact surface. He used a slab that roughly measured 60 x 126 inches — or 3,200 x 1,500 mm — which is one of the largest-sized slabs available by the manufacturer. The material was supplied by Beyond Surfaces Distribution Inc. in Victoria, British Columbia.
“I think we were the first ones in Victoria to use this size, which is what forced the island to be as big as it is,” said Good. “We also used it in a thin state.”
Good selected Arctic White Neolith, which is pure white in color, in a 12 mm thickness — the largest thickness offered in the material. Neolith, which is renowned for its many technical specifications, is mainly recognized for its scratch resistance, heat resistance and stain resistance. To complement the Neolith, Good relied on his expertise in woodwork to “frame” the countertop with grain-matching wood veneers. The island also features hand-crafted cabinetry that was assembled using ¾-inch pre-finished plywood cases — complete with full extension soft-closing drawers, as all of Good’s high-end residential kitchen projects do.
After the island was constructed, the 368-square-foot kitchen still seemed like it was missing something, which is why Good decided to incorporate some touches of natural Calacatta marble as a full-height backsplash, which was supplied by Stone Age Marble Ltd. in Victoria, British Columbia. “The Calacatta [marble] evolved as the design moved on,” Good explained. “It was a little bit cold, so I was trying to warm it up. With everything I incorporated in the kitchen, I was trying to maximize the view outside. When it came to anywhere in the living area, it was so you could see the many vantage points outside.”
Deciding where to put all of the appliances to not block the views proved to be one of the only design challenges of this job, according to Good, whose overall goal was to showcase any and all views his home had to offer. “We went through many different scenarios to try to build them in, and I think where it ended up was pretty good,” said Good.
The entire renovation of the home took about seven weeks, with the kitchen island installation and stone backsplashes requiring only one full day. The kitchen installation, which was completed by a team of four installers from Stone Age Marble Ltd., presented some interesting challenges for a myriad of reasons.
“The installation was a little tricky in terms of the location of the house,” said Giovanni La Fauci, owner of Stone Age Marble Ltd. and Beyond Surfaces Distribution Inc. “We here in British Columbia have a lot of hills, and the houses are hidden in between things. In this case, the kitchen was upstairs. The challenge was due to the size of the island and the thickness of the slab — since we’re not used to using this thickness [12 mm]. We always work with
1 ¼ inch thickness of granite or quartz, and this was one of the first projects using a
½ inch thickness.”
Although this job presented some unique challenges, the fact that Neolith was used proved to be advantageous. “Because it was Neolith, not granite or quartz, it was much lighter, which made it easier when delivering,” said La Fauci.
Since the project’s completion almost two years ago, Good’s residence has gone on to receive many compliments, as well as recognition from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) as a second place winner for the “Large Kitchen” category in the 2014 NKBA Design Competition. “It’s been incredible — much better than I expected,” said Good. “Sometimes, when you look at samples, it doesn’t always show you what actual impact it can have.
“The Neolith has been such a pleasant surprise,” Good went on to say. “I had no idea of its strength, and the fact that you can put anything hot on it, nothing can scratch it, and nothing penetrates it — is amazing. We left red wine on it overnight, and it just wiped off the next morning. I didn’t expect it to be that strong.”
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Designer: Jason Good Custom Cabinets Inc., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Neolith Manufacturer: TheSize, Almazara, Castellón, Spain
Neolith Supplier: Beyond Surfaces Distribution Inc., Victoria, British Columbia
Stone Supplier: Stone Age Marble Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia (Calacatta marble)
Neolith/Stone Installer: Stone Age Marble Ltd., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada