With home buying, renovation and new construction heating up, Lowcountry homeowners are displaying a bold creativity and individuality in their home décor.

Where strong industry-wide trends once appeared to dominate the local selections of granite and other stone, today’s homeowners are making diverse and personal choices for kitchens, baths, floors, pool decks and other stone applications.

White kitchens have always been popular, and that trend continues. The challenge in the past has been the hesitancy to use marble in kitchens due to maintenance and durability issues.

One local stone company, Distinctive Granite and Marble, has an excellent choice for owners desiring white marble kitchen counters. Called PolarStone, this new quartz product offers a look that mirrors white Italian marble while offering a high-performance, low-maintenance surface.

PolarStone combines the sought-after translucent quality of marble with a surface that is scratch, chip and heat resistant. It’s the new star in the stone industry.

Along with white kitchens, and equal in popularity here in the Lowcountry, is the use of color and pattern. Granite is now selected like fabric, with buyers viewing the full array of choices available to them in local stone showrooms.

Not surprisingly, a highly popular option is stone in hues of blues and greens that reflect the lush coastal environment. This is especially true in some recent renovations of the area’s older homes, where colorful and exotic stone has been used to great effect to upgrade kitchens and baths. However, new homes also are reflecting the owners’ preferences for color, high impact and sheer fun.

“Playing it safe” is not on the Lowcountry’s radar when it comes to stone selection.

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.