On the remodeling project shown here, the clients wanted to create a gathering spot that would connect their kitchen to the adjacent dining and living areas. They came up with the idea of a dry bar in the corner, with a surface that would complement the stone counter in the kitchen. They found a maker of concrete and wood counters on the Web (J. Aaron, jaaroncaststone.com) and, after seeing a photo of a top made of distressed black walnut, declared, “This is it!”

We drew up a preliminary design and forwarded it to the company to get pricing. Once we had the owners’ go-ahead, we finalized the drawings, refining the edge radius and requesting some handwork with rasps and files to give the piece a natural feel.

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