Forget basic granite. Today’s homeowners are opting for glamour kitchens that feature countertops in exotic materials, bold hues and rich textures.

Popular right now in the Lowcountry is a fabulous blue granite from Brazil, called Blue Bahia. This stone is possibly the bluest granite on the market and is in high demand.

When viewed from afar, the main color of this stone is a stunning blue. As you get closer to the stone, you see the varying shades of blue, patches of white, and colors from sky blue to dark navy. This multi-tone effect is quite stunning.

Up to 90 percent of the stone’s mass will be beautiful blue minerals set against a brilliant white bedrock. It’s all about the concentration of the blue minerals and how they swirl and move to create a unique multi-tone effect that is simply gorgeous.

Demand for Blue Bahia has made it one of the higher priced stones, but buyers can also choose to use it in powder rooms, on islands or in other areas that require smaller pieces.

Of course, no discussion of glamour kitchens is complete without talking about marble. It is timeless, elegant and, for many, the only stone to be considered.

Homeowners choosing marble in their kitchens must be open to embracing the patina and character that will emerge in their stone over time.

For the look of marble combined with easy maintenance and affordability, quartz is making a strong statement in contemporary homes as new products become available in the marketplace.

PolarStone in particular has established itself as a revolutionary new product that combines the timeless beauty of marble patterns with quartz surface technology.

The stone offers three-dimensional marble veins that change in shape, color and size throughout each slab, while achieving the natural translucency of marble.

Today, the desire for the look of classic marble can be satisfied without reservation. PolarStone marries the aesthetics of marble to the surface performance of quartz.

Glamour made easy – and affordable. What a wonderful idea!

Andrea Antunes McGilton is project manager at Distinctive Granite and Marble, with showrooms in Okatie; Lady’s Island; Pooler, Ga., and on Hilton Head Island.