Zinc Speaks In San Francisco Design
Gracing the catering kitchen of San Francisco’s Decorator’s Showcase home are zinc countertops by Mio Metals. Chosen by designers Allison Bloom and Tinsley Hutson-Wiley, the zinc countertops are a stunning touch to the Butler's Pantry.
Joe Cain, President of Mio Metals, states, “we are happy to participate and show our support for University High School while using the opportunity to do something a little different with our work.” That something different includes polishing the zinc counter top rather than choosing the more common matte finish. “The polishing really makes the metal shine and creates an unique look. In most of our zinc installations, the matte finish creates a look that similar to concrete. Now, there’s no mistaking it as a shiny piece of metal,” Cain continues.
An interesting challenge for this assignment was the requirement that the room be restored to the original state after the showcase. This may be rather straight forward for paint or draperies, but it becomes quite the challenge for items such as countertops that need to work with undermount sinks or drop in cooktops.
Mr. Cain and Ms. Bloom discussed the option of removing the existing granite to install zinc countertops, but decided to leave them in place to eliminate the possibility of cracking the stone. Instead, the zinc sheets are simply resting on top of the homeowner’s granite slabs. After the show concludes, the zinc sheets will return to Mio Metals’ fabrication shop in Sonoma County to find a new use.
This year marks the second time that zinc countertops have been featured in the Decorator’s Showcase in the last few years. In 2009, with designer Jennifer Weiss, Mio Metals made a kitchen full of zinc countertops and a zinc range hood.
Zinc is currently a hot trend in countertop surfaces and the popularity of ZincCountertops.net is proof. The “touch” of the zinc is very unique - cool yet warm - and the patina that forms on each installation is always unique. Another primary feature of zinc as a countertop material is the dramatic edges that can be achieved.
Mr. Cain explains, “we have spent the last few years completely transforming the zinc countertop market. Rather than importing a countertop from France, we have been creating edge details and countertop configurations right here in America that are much more cost effective.” While still not considered an inexpensive item, zinc is being used in more public bars as well as private residences and estates.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the San Francisco Decorator’s Showcase which benefits San Francisco’s University High School’s financial aid program. It is located at 2020 Jackson Street in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood and will be open April 28 to May 28, 2012. For more information, please visit their website at www.DecoratorShowcase.org