by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Adam Gibson Photography

In the past couple of years, we have all spent substantially more time in our homes than we did pre-pandemic. While some of us relished it, others looked around and thought, “You know what? I’m not a big fan of this kitchen or bathroom. It’s time to make a change!”

Kaelyn Van Camp, Marketing Manager for Stone Mart, has definitely seen a boost in home remodels, and when it comes to the types of materials customers are selecting, warm tones are in.

“Warmer tones are starting to really make a comeback. We are seeing this trend both in natural stone and an increasing variety of quartz styles,” says Van Camp.

Not only do customers appreciate the modern, clean sophistication that naturally warm tones provide, but they like how it changes the feel of the house to be cozier. According to Van Camp, browns, oranges, yellows, creams, and tans became passé for a period of time as homeowners gravitated toward cool whites and grays. In Van Camp’s opinion, however, over time people got bored with the starkness of whites and grays simply because there wasn’t much color differentiation and therefore not a whole lot of depth.

“After a while, it can feel kind of drab – and I’m actually a white and gray fan – but you need the warmth in there to help it feel peaceful and welcoming,” says Van Camp. “After all, when you’re at home, that should be the most comfortable place for you. At least that should be the goal.”

One of the easiest ways to add those naturally warmer tones is by upgrading your countertops. Typically, the number one question the team at Stone Mart fields from customers is, “Which is better? Quartz or granite?” The answer, however, isn’t black or white. Your options aren’t limited to just quartz or granite, and the best material is dependent on your needs and lifestyle.

“If someone comes in looking for durable, heat-resistant kitchen counters, quartzite or granite would be a good option. These natural stones tend to have those warmer veins and undertones,” says Van Camp. “However, if they are looking to create a soft, natural look in their home, though less durable, dolomite or marble offers whiter tones as well as a softer look.”

People who like quartz still often seek an option that has whites and grays, but with earthy natural tones in it – perhaps a white background with gray veins, as well as some warm veins in there, too because that’s what brings that cozy, natural vibe to a kitchen or bathroom.

Stone Mart carries 320 natural stone colors and 70 engineered surfaces, which includes porcelain. Their in-house quartz brand, Optra offers a wide variety of colors and styles, such as white quartz, off white, white with sparkles, grey, grey with sparkles, black, thin and thick veins, warm and cool colored veins, and the list goes on. Whether you are looking to strike a cool modern edge, or a cozier style you will find the right material for your home.

Aside from their gorgeous selection of quality materials, clients appreciate their excellent customer service.

“We often hear, ‘I went to this other place, but you have more material to choose from, and we really enjoyed working with your team,’” says Van Camp. “That’s what stands out in people’s minds – how the experience of picking out their material made them feel.”

Stone Mart’s actual customers are fabricators in that they sell to people who are cutting or installing materials. However, fabricators typically will send their homeowners in to Stone Mart to pick out their materials.

“Here they can actually see the entire full slab versus a 3×3 inch sample,” says Van Camp.

Stone Mart has a section they call “Galleria of Stone Jewels,” which is full of rare and selective materials, including quartzite, marble, granite, and dolomite. They also carry materials that can be backlit such as agate slabs and petrified wood. These stone jewels are perfect for adding the right touch of warmth and style to your design.

“That’s a whole slab that can actually have light shown through it from behind,” says Van Camp, noting that everything has been chosen for its tonality. “We think that’s what the perfect slab of that material is going to look like. It’s gone through an extra step of polishing so it’s even shinier and glistens even more in your kitchen.”

No matter what the outside world holds, we will always look forward to returning to our happy home, our place of refuge. Bringing warmth with natural tones in your countertops is a great way to create that cozy feeling of home.

For your next countertop project, talk to your contractor about visiting the experts at Stone Mart and finding the right stone material to inspire your design.