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Behind the Stone: Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Marble

Much like any grand discovery, the unearthing of the rare and elegant Calacatta Macchia Vecchia did not occur overnight. Perfecting this beautiful Italian marble meant overcoming many trials, struggles and technological setbacks of the time period. Nonetheless, this unique stone comes with a backstory full of culture, perseverance and in the end, incredible success.

The Macchia Vecchia Marble Quarry. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

When Was Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Discovered?

The Calacatta Macchia Vecchia quarry is located among the “Marble Mountains” of Italy, within very close proximity of the town Torano. Although the exact time period is unknown, we do know that the discovery of what we now call Calacatta Macchia Vecchia was made between the end of the 17th Century and the beginning of the 18th Century.

The Macchia Vecchia Marble Quarry. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Excavating Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Marble

At the time of discovery, the excavation of marble blocks was very limited, as quarry crews did not have access to suitable machinery or tools. They utilized wedges and ice-axes, and were therefore only able to extract very small, misshapen blocks that required squaring by hand. Afterwards, the marble blocks were loaded in wagons or carts dragged by oxen. This process was extremely complicated and physically demanding, and the quarry ceased production after years of struggling.

In the 1950’s, the Macchia Vecchia quarry reopened when the helicoidal cable, a primitive version of the wire saw, was discovered. The first official owner of the quarry, Mr. Serri, worked tirelessly for many years to excavate pristine blocks of Macchia Vecchia without successful results. The low quality of marble produced combined with lack of technology eventually forced Mr. Serri to shut down the quarry and retire.

After 40+ years of extensive research and technology development, new owners Mr. Ribolini and Mr. Santi re-purchased the quarry and spent the first 5 years not excavating, but cleaning. They understood that in order to start fresh and produce the best possible quality of marble, they had to keep the levels clean and safe for their crews. They were finally provided with essentially a clean slate, and conditions in which they could extract large, blocks of white marble with luxurious flowing veins of gold and grey.

Aria Stone Gallery’s 3cm Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Marble A77. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Production and Use Today

As production increased and technology continued to develop, the brand-new, “Calacatta Macchia Vecchia” marble took off and people from all over the world longed to use it and experience its grandeur. Today, Mr. Santi and Mr. Ribolini remain active owners of the Calacatta Macchia Vecchia marble quarry and extract between 2,500 and 2,800 tons per year. To prevent extensive damage to the surrounding landscape and ecosystem, they limit production in this specific area of the Marble Mountains, making Calacatta Macchia Vecchia a luxury and privilege to witness.

Calacatta Macchia Vecchia marble has dramatically increased in popularity within the design world, as it resembles an elegant impressionist paining and flows well with all aesthetics. Its clean white canvas and golden undertones make a very attractive option for kitchens, bathrooms and bookmatched feature walls. Since Calacatta Macchia Vecchia is a marble, we do recommend sealing this stone if you plan to use it in an area of the home that gets a lot of traffic. This will protect it from scratching and etching, and keep it looking beautiful for years to come.

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Marble Pantry
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Macchia Vecchia Marble Pantry. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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VIEW MORE:
How to Turn Your Remnants into Accessories & Gifts
Adventures in the Carrara Valley: Exploring Calacatta Borghini Marble
Designing with Personality Using Colorful Marble & Quartzite

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Unique Ways to Use Natural Stone in Small Applications

When it comes to designing with natural stone, sometimes it’s fun to start small. Not everyone visualizes their entire home cladded in marble from floor to ceiling – and that’s perfectly okay! There are countless ways to incorporate natural stone into your space, through the utilization of small spaces and accessories. So whether you have remnant materials that you want to find a creative use for, or if you’d like to use smaller amounts of slab throughout the home, the use of stone in small applications can definitely pack a punch.

Art Objects

If anyone knows how to squeeze natural stone into tiny applications, it’s Anna and Roza of A Space Studio in Brooklyn, New York. These talented artists create collaborative pieces that attempt to bring in the timeless beauty of nature to contemporary lifestyle, whether it’s functional furniture or a decorative object. One of their newest pieces, titled: MOUNTAINSCAPES #4, is a gorgeous example of using natural stone as an art object. Not only is this piece decorative, but it also doubles as a small container – making a unique and functional accent.

Shower Niches

Another fantastic way to incorporate natural stone in small doses is through the common shower niche. (However, a shower niche does not have to be so common.) It is always a treat to see beautiful stone inside of a tiny shower niche, and this method of design is an easy way to set your bathroom apart from anyone else’s – even if you don’t want to clad the entire thing. Elizabeth Roberts Architecture really took the stone shower niche to another level, using purple Calacatta Namibia marble inside!

Image Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts Architecture.

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Shelving and Drains

The Aria Stone Gallery team is always blown away by the beautiful detail fabrication of our friends at Il Granito Belgium. From cabinetry facing, integrated sinks, to entire rooms covered in stone, this company has an avid attention to detail and the raw talent to carve your wildest dreams in stone. (No pun intended) Some of their most inspirational projects stem from the use of natural stone in small doses, such as sink drains and shelving. These are both astonishing ways to use remnants pieces and really push the boundaries of decor, demonstrating shapes and sizes we never thought possible in stone.

Image Courtesy of Il Granito Belgium.
Image Courtesy of Il Granito Belgium.
Image Courtesy of Il Granito Belgium.

Mini Bars/Wet Bars

Mini bars and wet bars cladded in natural stone have grown increasingly popular over the years, and I think we can all agree that when it comes to a good bar, small can definitely be mighty. Obumex Interiors Belgium have mini bars down to a science, squeezing the most beautiful and impactful stones into compact spaces. This technique is an amazing way to make a small space pop, and really shows appreciation for the little details.

Image Courtesy of Obumex Interiors Belgium.

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Microscopic Stone Details

A phenomena that few of us pay attention to on a daily basis is the existence of tiny, yet vital, functioning mechanisms that make our homes, well, work! Think: door hinges, wall sockets, shower jambs, partitions – just the small details that often go unnoticed. The smallest of all however, might be the fixing bracket. We know them as the tiny metal nubs that hold our glass shower doors upright. But SJB in Australia showed us that these ‘nubs’ have the potential to be so much more. So, if it’s possible to incorporate natural stone into a space THIS small, anything is possible, right?

Image Courtesy of SJB.

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4 Earthy Kitchens using Natural Stone and Wood

The comforting and thoughtful pairing of wood and natural stone never fails to create a tailored, cohesive and rustic atmosphere. Whether the application is a high-rise city loft or a country farmhouse, the iconic wood and stone trend is always in momentum and remains one of the most coveted design duos today. Read on to experience a few of our projects that feature the classic combination of wood and stone, and how you can achieve this style!

Pair Lights with Lights

The key to a soft, warming look like the kitchen below is to pair creamy wood cabinets, furniture etc. that has similar colors to the lighter veining in your stone. This will create a subtle, yet distinguished color palette that is expressed by tones we often think of as “color-neutral”. Bright, clean and neutral spaces can exude cheerful energy, and therefore, filling your home with these positive tones will attract visitors back for years to come.

Cremo Calacatta Marble Kitchen
Aria Stone Gallery’s Cremo Calacatta Marble Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Go Rugged and Rustic

Don’t be afraid to throw some elements of nature into your space! Natural stone (such as our Fusion quartzite) actually pairs quite well with river rock wall mosaics and distressed wood finishing. The smooth, organic surfaces of these materials create a rustic yet luxurious look. Pebbles and indoor plants also make wonderful accent pieces, and help to bring out subtle colors in your natural stone.

Fusion Quartzite Kitchen
Aria Stone Gallery’s Fusion Quartzite Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Utilize Modern Techniques

A home grounded on the combination of wood and natural stone does not always have to be traditional or rustic! Choosing a vibrant stone that brings a pop of color into the mix, as well as incorporating design techniques like streamlined waterfall edges and minimal cabinet detail will spark modernism within your space.

Bianco Everest Kitchen
Aria Stone Gallery’s Bianco Everest Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Visualize A Cozy Workspace

This homey, ranch-house style kitchen is overflowing with color and ample natural light. The center island features Aria’s Fusion Leathered Quartzite – pairing perfectly with warm brick, bronzed hardware and hard wood floors. We especially love the way the distressed wooden ceiling rafters bring focus back to the dark veining throughout the countertops. Taking advantage of wooden accents that radiate rich, dark tones can be very helpful when deciding on a natural stone with a lot of color and busy veining.

Fusion Quartzite Leathered Kitchen
Aria Stone Gallery’s Fusion Quartzite Leathered Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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5 Showstopping Fireplaces Using Natural Stone

Aria Stone Gallery Fior De Bosco Marble Fireplace

Natural stone fireplace facades remain one of the most trendy styles of design no matter where you roam. Whether these cladded fireplaces stem from the utilization of leftover stone material, or the grand idea of a massive quadmatched feature wall, we can promise a cozy fireplace will never fail to pull together your home. So grab a coffee, cozy up to your fireplace and read on to experience 5 of the most extravagant and unique natural stone fireplaces Aria Stone Gallery has ever seen.

1. Quadmatched Silver Wave Fireplace

The only way we can describe this fireplace is graphic, dramatic and all around breathtaking. Four gigantic slabs of Aria’s Silver Wave crafted into a quadmatch creates a head-turning and mind-blowing art form inside an already gorgeous living room. Truly a mantle fit for a king.

Aria Stone Gallery's Silver Wave Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Silver Wave Fireplace. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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2. Symmetrical Grigio Italia Marble Fireplace

Rich shades of grey and undertones of violet combined with perfect 45-­degree movement gives Aria’s Grigio Italia bookmatched fireplace a classy appeal. The intricate patterns and veining throughout this sleek marble add depth and dimension, and you really can’t go wrong with black and white.

Aria Stone Gallery's Grigio Italia Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Grigio Italia Marble Fireplace. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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3. Viridescent Verde Aurora Diamondmatch Fireplace

This stunning Verde Aurora marble feature fireplace sports a rich, green diamondmatch, flawlessly cladding the entire wall. An epitome of sophisticated elegance, this earthy treasure is the centerpiece of the home and a beautiful example of using pop color in interior design. We are positively green with envy!

Aria Stone Gallery's Verde Aurora Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Verde Aurora Marble Fireplace. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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4. Classic Calacatta Extra Marble Fireplace

This bookmatched Calacatta Extra fireplace might seem small, but it definitely packs a punch. Located directly across from a mirrored bookmatch feature wall and bar, this elongated mantle ties together all major focal points in the home and is a creative use of leftover material. A classic and simple, yet detail-oriented design to say the least.

Aria Stone Gallery's Calacatta Extra Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra Marble Fireplace. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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5. Fabulous Fior Di Bosco Marble Fireplace

A luxurious marble tower of grays and browns, Aria’s Fior Di Bosco fireplace is nothing short of dazzling. Residing in a living room brimming with sparkling chandeliers and traditional furniture, we absolutely love how this fireplace adds a touch of warmth and ties the space together.

Aria Stone Gallery's Fior Di Bosco Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Fior Di Bosco Marble Fireplace. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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VIEW MORE:
How to Turn your Remnants into Furniture and Accessories.
View Our Verde Aurora Feature Fireplace.
What Does Bookmatching and Quadmatching Mean?
What’s the Difference Between Calacatta and Carrara Marble?

What Is Onyx? How to Use Onyx Slabs for Your Next Project

Onyx is a unique natural stone that originates from dripstone deposits of limestone caves. When water drips from stalactites and stalagmites within these caves and evaporates a compound called calcium carbonate is left behind. This causes the stone’s colorful veins, swirls, and patterns that are unique to onyx. Therefore, onyx is classified a chemical sedimentary stone and can at times contain fossils and shells. Prehistoric animal skeletons have even been found preserved inside onyx!

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A limestone cave. Photo courtesy of Manal Sabbagh

What Does Onyx Look Like?

Onyx is crystalline stone, and often translucent – which means it allows for light to pass through. The degree of translucency varies among onyx slabs and is dependent on the color, thickness and surface finish. A unique feat, onyx will recrystallize in time, often enhancing translucency as a result. Onyx typically comes in a wide array of yellow hues due to the presence of iron deposits, but other common colors are green, white, orange, gold, pink and brown.

Aria Stone Gallery Onyx White Extra Bathroom
Aria Stone Gallery’s Onyx White Extra Bathroom. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Aria Stone Gallery Backlit Onyx Caramello Bar
Aria Stone Gallery’s Backlit Onyx Caramello Bar. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Should I Use Onyx in My Next Project?

We believe that if you love this stone, a skilled fabricator will be able to make your onyx project a reality. Like most natural stones, onyx has the potential to etch and stain; however, a sealer can be used in addition to prevent wear and tear over time. Feature walls, countertops, art pieces and fireplaces are all especially great examples of ways to incorporate onyx into your home. Most onyx applications can be backlit to enhance the stone’s natural translucency.

Aria Houston Showroom
Backlit Onyx Artwork Inside Aria Stone Gallery’s Houston Showroom. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.
Aria Stone Gallery Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Bar and Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Bar and Feature Wall. Image Courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Backlighting Onyx Q&A
Backlit Onyx Caramello Bar and Lounge at The Grove Kitchen & Gardens
How to Turn Your Remnants into Furniture and Accessories

Milan Design Week 2018: A Preview on Italian Design Trends

parisian floors milan design week 2018

The world renowned Milan Design Week is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about this incredible and inspiring event. Taking place from April 17th to the 22nd, designers, artists, architects and innovators alike will gather in Milan to exhibit their latest collections in Italy’s shimmering city of design.

In a country where natural stone (primarily marble) has long been at the heart of design, it is inspiring to see plentiful use of stone in furniture, art and architecture in new and modern designs. Here is a sneak-peak into some of the exhibits from world renowned design studios and the new and unexpected ways they use natural stone.

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Marble Bent Stools. Photo courtesy of objects of common interest.

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Modern Designs with Colorful Natural Stone

Over the past year, there has been a large shift with many designers and homeowners searching for colorful stones that highlight unique personality to their designs. The desire for color is increasingly prevalent among furniture design, as seen in the design studio, objects of common interest. This New York/Greece based design studio focuses on creating furniture pieces and still life objects that inspire materiality, process and concept. During their exhibition in Milan Design Week, the studio will be collaborating with Matter Made on a new series from its “Relativity of Color” collection, and also with Bloc Studios, which debuts three new marble collections.

objects of common interest milan design week 2018
Marble Parallel Bench. Photo courtesy of objects of common interest.

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Raw, Unfinished, Earthy Natural Stone

A Lot Of Brasil is a revolutionary and high-end furniture design studio based in São Paulo, Brazil. This studio focuses mostly on technology and design innovation, frequenting the use of raw materials to create eco-friendly furniture pieces that are both functional and beautiful. They will be featuring a wide array of new marble, metal and wood products, designed by the company’s talented collaborators at Milan Design Week 2018.

a lot of brasil milan design week 2018
Mesa Capim Dourado (Golden Grass Table). Photo courtesy of A Lot Of Brasil.

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Intricate, Geometric Marble Floors

Aria was so inspired by this highlight on the Milan Design Week website, featuring marble, porcelain and stone floor tiles, that we had to share! Photographer Sebastian Erras, has traveled around the world to capture the most beautiful floors on camera, and change the perspective of how we look at them. Italy and many areas of Europe are famed for hand-crafted tiles arranged into extravagant patterns on floors everywhere. Since flooring can oftentimes be overlooked, we encourage you to look down and admire the stone beneath you during Milan Design Week!

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Grey marble floor tiles. Photo courtesy of Sebastian Erras.
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White marble floor tiles. Photo courtesy of Sebastian Erras.

Eye Catching Marble with Artisan Woodwork

Peg Woodworking, based in Brooklyn, NY, is a one-woman-run studio created by designer and woodworker Kate Casey. Inspired by Peruvian and American Indian weaving and a focus on form, function, color and pattern, Casey’s intricate and beautiful pieces combine geometric clean lines with the natural beauty of Earth-found elements – such as marble and wood. Aria Stone Gallery has collaborated with Peg Woodworking on a few stone projects, such as the White Beauty Satet Coffee Table and Portoro Gold Totem Table, and we are so thrilled to see this amazing artist and her newest collections featured at Milan Design Week.

peg woodworking milan design week 2018
Satet Coffee Table using Aria Stone Gallery’s White Beauty marble. Photo courtesy of Peg Woodworking.

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peg woodworking milan design week 2018
Totem Table featuring Aria Stone Gallery’s Portoro Gold marble. Photo courtesy of Peg Woodworking.

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VIEW MORE:
How to Turn Your Remnants into Accessories & Gifts
Adventures in the Carrara Valley: Exploring Calacatta Borghini Marble
Designing with Personality Using Colorful Marble & Quartzite

Celebrating Modernism Week with Marble Cladded Inspiration from Palm Springs

Modernism Week Marble Bathroom Inspiration

Modernism Week in Palm Springs is the ultimate celebration for designers and architects who appreciate mid-century architecture and design, as well as contemporary thinking in these fields. Mid-century enthusiasts from around the world flock to Palm Springs to learn and be inspired by the breathtaking modern architecture and marvelous views of the surrounding Coachella Valley Desert. Here is some inspiration from Palm Springs to celebrate Modernism Week and the architects and designers who created this paradise in the desert.

The Parker Mini Bar

The Parker Mini Bar is quintessential Palm Springs. The mini bar was designed to look like a jewelry box and the mirrored walls reflect the ambient lighting and the emerald, marble cladded bar and walls similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Verde Aurora marble. The jewel toned color palette is perfect for an intimate gathering after a day of sitting poolside.

parker palm springs marble mini bar
Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Verde Aurora marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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The details aren’t lost in the Parker Mini Bar as even the ceiling is tiled and and trimmed with matching green marble to match.

the parker palm springs marble mini bar
Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Verde Aurora marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Hugh Kaptur’s Macchia Vecchia Bookmatch Feature Shower

Designed by Architect, Hugh Kaptur, this marble bookmatch shower creates a stunning focal point for this mid-century modern Palm Springs bathroom. The earthy, golden veins are a perfect compliment to the desert landscape and surroundings that this area is known for.

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Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Macchia Vecchia marble. Image courtesy of Dwell.

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Donald Wexler’s Steel House #4

This stunning home was originally designed by one of the original masters of Palm Springs, Donald Wexler. Wexler created many notable homes and buildings in Palm Springs in the Desert Modern style. This style joins the indoors and outdoors in a very minimalistic way.

While even Wexler noted that his homes are mostly glass, the “Steel House #4” uses marble and wood to its full advantage. This kitchen was restored in the spirit of Wexler, keeping in mind natural materials such as dark wood and white as well as plenty of marble, reflecting the mountainous views that surround.

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Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Italian marble. Image courtesy of David Salinger.

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Outdoor Lounge with Feature Marble Fireplace

This stunning Calacatta Vagli marble bookmatch feature wall and fireplace backdrop make this modern outdoor lounge welcoming and cozy. The bookmatch subtly centers your eye on the warm atmosphere and creates a perfect ambiance for gathering with friends and family.

feature marble fireplace
Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Italian marble. Image courtesy of Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners.

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What is Mid-Century Modern Design?
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An Artist’s View into #STONEISART

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Last May in SoHo, New York City, Aria Stone Gallery opened an exhibit to the public to celebrate the launch of our new online storefront. The exhibit was named after our mantra, #STONEISART. Since Aria has long believed that natural stone is art in its own right, we wanted to celebrate artists and designers who also see the beauty in natural stone and incorporate it frequently into their designs. After speaking with the artists and designers both one-on-one and through a conversational open panel discussion, we have learned more about the process in which each artist develops their work and why they chose stone as their preferred medium.
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Peg Woodworking: Finding Inspiration through Material Exploration

Kate Casey is a Brooklyn based designer and owner of Peg Woodworking. With a strong background in sculpting and fabrication, Kate designs each piece of furniture with an eye for detail and the utmost attention to form and function. Paying tribute to the clean lines and intricate weaving found in Shaker and Scandinavian design, Peg Woodworking provides a contemporary take on the traditional.

While the root of what Kate designs is primarily based in carpentry and woodworking, she often incorporates different textures and materials in her projects to create a well balanced collection. Working with and exploring new materials is Kate’s lifeblood and inspiration. Kate, expands on her formal training by learning from educational outlets such as YouTube, where she self-taught herself how to expertly craft Peruvian and American-Indian style weaving. After the success of these items, Kate began a new chapter: natural stone. Kate instantly connected to the natural, unique colors and patterns of marble and is drawn to the fact that no two pieces are alike.

As for her latest endeavor, The Bastet Collection, the side tables are constructed with white oak or blackened ash using a barreling technique, similar to the ancient craft of wine barrel creation. The tops of the tables are adorned with slabs of White Beauty or Silver Wave.

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Photo Courtesy of Peg Woodworking, Bastet Collection.

April Hannah: Transforming Materials through Form

April Hannah is a sculptural-based designer, whose inherent interest is transforming material through form. April examines the creative process across media and through multiple generations. One afternoon, April found herself intrigued by the smart way a particular toy of her son’s interlocked and transformed. This pattern gave way to April’s creation of her Totem collection. April’s process begins by using her drawings and paintings to create a “DNA blueprint” for each individual sculpture. The single shape of the template is then reproduced onto multiple pieces of wood using charcoal, each shape interlocking with the other to create a seamless and sculptural form.

The totems are all three-dimensional objects that are an exercise which, “strives to transcend the banal and create an unpredictable universe of meditative energy and childlike wonder.” April’s newest expansion upon her totem collection comes in the form of the Lotus Cocktail Table. The elegant table is designed and created using the same process as the totems, using Nero Marquita or Statuary marble, and fashioned with a glass top.

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Photo Courtesy of April Hannah Studio, Lotus Cocktail Table.

A Space Studio: Connecting Nature and Modernity through Natural Stone

Anna Aristova and Roza Gazarian of A Space Studio are the perfect duo to create modern, natural works of art that are as beautiful as they are unique. The pair finds their inspiration “in a constant balance of opposites,” by pairing raw, heavy natural stone with delicate steel or a romantic gold leaf. Bringing earthy elements into the home in a thoughtful and beautiful way can be a challenge, especially in today’s growing urban landscape. Through knowledge and intuition, the team has found a way to “create a vast and open space” to escape through their natural collections.

In the recent FOUND collection, the stone is sourced and left unpolished directly from the quarries in the mountains of Turkey. These raw, organic stones are then fashioned and manipulated in ways that create a modern piece of art.

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Photo Courtesy of A Space Studio, Found Console Table.

Robin Antar: Using Stone for Healing and Preservation

Robin Antar is a sculptor who primarily uses natural stone to create her works of art. During our artist panel discussion, Robin recounted how she carefully selects natural stone based on the vision of her design. Robin’s art ranges from abstract to impressionistic, and how she selects her natural stone varies based on the design and the story that she is trying to tell.

For example, Boxing Gloves, is made entirely of Carrara Marble, and the veining gives a soft, natural component for a powerful object. Robin’s “passion is to create virtual records of cultural and personal events” that have impacted the artist greatly. The permanence of stone is the perfect platform for the artist to transform her emotions and create “lasting expressions of art for others to appreciate.”

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Conversation 2.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Boxing Gloves.

Erickson Aesthetics: Studying Art and Fine Furniture with Stone

Furniture designer, Ben Erickson, is known for his ability to create modern designs using unexpected geometric patterns that “draws on the line of fine art furniture and tongue-in-cheek intentionality.”  In his latest collection, Pyramids, Ben uses marble and brass to create a highly inspirational side table composed of two marble pyramids to create an hourglass figure, held together by a brass pole. True to Ben’s fashion, the pole also allows for the side table to swivel, giving the exquisite table a playful touch.

All of Ben’s furniture is carried out with the highest quality of craftsmanship and materials. And notably, many pieces that Ben designs all feature a certain element of surprise that make the pieces of art relatable and draw the viewer in to create an emotional connection.

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Photo Courtesy of Erickson Aesthetics, Pyramids Side Table.

VIEW MORE:
Learn more about the launch of our e-commerce platform
Join Vinny on his next trip to Carrara, Italy to hand-select your own materials
View our current selection of hand-selected natural stones

Designing with Personality Using Colorful Marble & Quartzite

Your home is one of the best ways that you can show off your style and personality. There is no better way to show off your personality than incorporating your favorite colors to make a statement in your home and we predict that we will see even more color as 2018 progresses.

As interior designer Lucinda Loya said, “make it your own and it will be timeless.” And according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it seems that more than ever homeowners are stepping away from the traditional white kitchen and selecting bold appliances, cabinets, and countertops for their new designs.

This incredible galley kitchen features floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry in robin’s egg blue for abundant, stylish storage. This bold cabinetry is complimented by the amalgamation of chocolate, cream, and rust hues that are found in the Quasar Quartzite countertops and backsplash, sourced by Aria Stone Gallery.

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Aria Stone Gallery’s Quasar quartzite. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Strive for a balance between neutral and colorful to achieve a unique design without going overboard. This kitchen in the Christopher Peacock showroom shows how to harmoniously achieve the right balance. The colorful marble pattern incorporates lavender and cream that compliments the blue walls, while the custom white cabinetry and silver accents create a balanced color palette.

fior di pesco apuano colorful marble kitchen
Aria Stone Gallery’s Fior Di Pesco Apuano marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Another thing to keep in mind is to design with natural light in mind. The amount of natural light a room receives will vary from room to room. Keep in mind that colors will appear differently in rooms with more or less natural light. While this butler’s pantry is not in direct line of a window, the colors are cohesive and are not at all overwhelming for the small space.

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Aria Stone Gallery’s Macchia Vecchia marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Living metals and natural materials that have the ability to show visible wear with age makes a space more personal, showing a uniqueness that will never fully be replicated. This colorful wet bar mixes Aria Stone Gallery’s colorful Bianco Neve Honed Marble and stunning brass accents.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Bianco Neve Honed marble. Image courtesy of Jenkins Interiors.

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VIEW MORE:
Behind the Stone: Red Louis Quartzite
It’s All in the Details: Seamless Stone Applications
Designing with Textured Surfaces

10 Monochrome Interiors Using Natural Stone

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Kitchen

Diane Von Furstenberg writes that, “the little black dress is the truest friend…she travels with you…is patient and constant…you go to her when you don’t know where else to go and she is ALWAYS reliable and timeless.”

Like the little black dress, nothing has a more elegant touch than a black and white color palette. Photography, fashion, and design can all instantly exude class when a monochromatic color scheme is used. In addition to the predominate trends toward the pure white stones, natural stones that exude a black and white patterns are also highly coveted.

1. Dalmata Marble Statement Shower

This Dalmata marble bookmatch feature shower wall is the modern day ink blot test. The fierce black and white veining swirl together to create an incredible display of nature’s artistic abilities. The open plan shower with a single glass pane will ensure that this beautiful marble will never be hidden.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Dalmata Marble bookmatched in an open plan shower. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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2. Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble Kitchen

The Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra marble is one of the rarest and most exclusive marbles on earth. This romantic kitchen features black lacquered walls that make the extra white marble stand out, while also making the space feel large and open.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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3. Floor to Ceiling Grey Goose Marble Bathroom

From the tub surround to the walls, support beams, and ceiling, everything is covered in grey goose marble. The silky smooth texture of this honed finish feels luxurious and soft – perfect for a day of pampering.

grey-goose-marble-bath
Aria Stone Gallery’s Grey Goose marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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4. Silver Wave Waterfall Breakfast Bar

Silver Wave has one of those rare striated designs that always looks stunning in bookmatch. This small space makes the most use of the Silver Wave by using a mitered edge to create a waterfall where the veining matches perfectly. Additionally, a small bookmatch is displayed behind the stove tying the look together.

silver-wave-marble
Aria Stone Gallery’s Silver Wave Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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5. Modern Agata Granite Kitchen

Black and white with a pop of pink peonies. This modern kitchen with pendant light fixtures and flat facing cabinetry is clean, bright, and full of life. The monochrome color scheme of the Agata granite waterfall island will always be seen as modern, no matter the year.

Aria Stone Gallery Agata Granite Kitchen Island
Aria Stone Gallery’s Agata Granite. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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6. Grigio Carnico Marble Bar

Monochrome color schemes are timeless. This Grigio Carnico marble is black with white veining that creates subtle movement in this small, yet incredibly chic wet bar.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Grigio Carnico marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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7. Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Cladded Walls

It is incredibly rare to find a marble with the combination of black, white, and gold, as found in this floor-to-ceiling marble cladded bathroom. Using Aria Stone Gallery’s Zebrino Black and Gold marble, the horizontal linear veining wraps around the bathroom, making the space appear wider and larger to the eye.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Zebrino Black and Gold Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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8. Grigio Carnico Marble Vanity

Add depth and dimension to your monochrome color palette by choosing materials that have texture and movement. This Grigio Carnico marble with rich shades of grey combined with flowing white veining is perfectly paired with the textured stainless sink with matching hardware.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Grigio Carnio. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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9. Agata Granite Wet Bar

Create a high contrast in monochrome designs by using a strong black and white color palette. This classic combination is always chic and will never go out of style. The bold white veining across the black canvas of the Agata granite is a showstopper that cannot be missed.

 

 

Aria Stone Gallery’s Agata Granite. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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10. Dalmata Marble Feature Wall

An artistic monochrome natural stone bookmatch is a perfect piece of art to add to any design. The right dramatic stone in a monochrome color palette is neutral, allowing you to add colorful accessories over the years to personalize the space.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Dalmata Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Holiday Entertainment Guide: How to Incorporate Natural Stone

The holiday season is finally here, and this means many there are many opportunities for family and friends to gather together and create memories that will last a lifetime. From intimate family gatherings in the dining room, cocktail parties with passed hors d’oeuvres, to elegant sit down dinners, there are a number of things that you can do to make this holiday season a memorable one.

Gathering Around the Dining Table

Personalize your dining table and turn it into a work of art using a natural stone that reflects the personality of you and your family.

This Calacatta Cielo marble table has a custom petrified wood edge detail, giving the shape of this table an organic and natural feel. The linear pattern in the Calacatta Cielo is reminiscent of the natural striations that occur in wood, tying the two different materials together in a romantic way.

Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Round dining tables are perfect for creating a more intimate, cozy gathering as everyone is able to see everyone else, which allows for a better flow of conversation. This table, designed by April Hannah, was designed using Aria Stone Gallery’s Agata granite and is the newest addition to April Hannah’s Totem Collection, wherein each stone shape interlocks with the other to create a seamless and sculptural form.

Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery, featuring April Hannah’s Lotus Dining Table.

Tablescapes

When setting the table, take notes from blogger, Carrie Colbert, and incorporate pops of color within a monochrome stone setting to set the stage for a bright and cheerful appearance. Customize accent colors based upon your personal tastes and unique creative style to make your setting relatable and bursting with life.

Images from this photo shoot are courtesy of Carrie Colbert, taken in Aria Stone Gallery’s Houston Showroom. Featuring Agata granite Tabletop and Statuario marble bookmatch feature wall.

Accessories and Hostess Gifts

When it is time for you to be the guest at a holiday soiree, don’t forget to bring your host or hostess a gift to show them how much you appreciate their hospitality. Bring a small token of your appreciation such as a marble candle to warm up a cozy space or a personalized custom marble tray from Aria Stone Gallery.

Above photos are courtesy of Aria Stone gallery. The image on the left features Aria Stone Gallery’s custom marble trays using: Colorado Gold Marble, White Beauty Marble, Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble (from top to bottom). The image on the right shows Aria Stone Gallery’s custom marble candle. Price upon request at www.ariastonegallery.com.

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How to Turn Your Remnants into Accessories and Gifts

How to Turn Your Stone Remnants into Accessories & Gifts

With natural stone slabs coming in all shapes and sizes, it is very often the case that the slab you have fallen in love with may be slightly larger than what you need for your kitchen or bathroom project. Instead of changing your plan and settling for another, slightly smaller stone, think instead how you can incorporate the stone you adore in a unique way. After all, once you connect with your perfect stone, why not enjoy it further throughout your home? Read along to see a few of our favorite ways that you can give your beautiful new remnants life in another form.

Custom Side Tables

If you find yourself with plenty of stone to spare, take a note from Brooklyn-based designer, Peg Woodworking, with the Bastet end table collection, which is available in either a colorful White Beauty or a monochrome black marble, similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Port Black. The earthy combination of wood and stone is a classic mix, refreshed by confident geometric design. By creating custom accent furniture, you will be able to transition your unique color scheme across different rooms.

Images courtesy of Kate Casey, Peg Woodworking.

Shelving

Why not incorporate the extra marble from your kitchen countertops as additional storage? Shelving is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your remnants. Once the marble is cut to the appropriate size, it is easy to personalize and install.

Or, if you happened to use more than one type of natural stone throughout your house and find yourself with different remnants of all colors, incorporate them into a custom bookshelf in the likes of this one from Muller Van Severen. This tall bookshelf is not only stunning, but it will neatly tie in all of your projects from all over the house.

Cutting Boards & Trays

Turn the smaller pieces of remnants into cutting boards or elegant serving platters in your kitchen. These trays can be created using your remnants or purchased on their own at Aria Stone Gallery. For more information, contact the Aria Stone Gallery showroom in either Houston or Dallas for pricing and customization options.

Photo courtesy of Aria Stone gallery. Aria Stone Gallery’s custom marble trays using: Colorado Gold Marble, White Beauty Marble, Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble (from top to bottom).

Work Space

If you have plenty of stone left over from your project, fashion a stand-alone piece of furniture and create a work space. This blue bahia granite desk is comprised of only granite from the base to the table top.

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It’s All in the Details: Seamless Stone Applications

Ask any perfectionist and they will tell you that it is all in the details. And oftentimes, it is the thing that you least expect that makes the longest lasting impression. Fully cladded marble rooms are a beautiful and opulent design that will not disappoint. Here is inspiration from designers that have gone above and beyond the traditional marble countertops and made a statement with details and design techniques big and small to create seamless application of natural stone.

Inspirational photo courtesy of Il Granito, Belgium.

These cabinets designed and fabricated by Il Granito, allow for a seamless transition of veining from one door to the next. The closets doors, composed entirely of marble were kept in their bookmatch design to transform this storage space into a focal point and a stunning work of art. Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Vagli Honed Marble.

Inspirational photo courtesy of Il Granito. Designed by Elena Gimenez Colomar, Fabricated by Il Granito, Belgium.

Natural stone is stunning and we do not want to lose a square inch more than we don’t have to. Allow the material to stand out by blending in with its surroundings. For example, in your shower, rather than cutting out a hole to insert another ubiquitous metal drain, repurpose the cutout stone into the hardware. Not only is the result stunning, but it also cuts down on wasted material. For this effect, speak to your fabricator about using a water jet tool, which can cut precise and small details with great accuracy.

Inspirational image courtesy of Il Granito, Belgium.

We like to think that the places in your home that you visit most often should be the most enjoyable. For city dwellers in a modern townhouse, make every step count by cladding each step entirely in natural stone.

Inspirational image courtesy of Il Granito, Belgium.

Design with the veining and texture of your natural stone. Instead of stopping at the countertops and backsplash, align the pattern in the stone to flow as you use the stone for the facade of the drawers and cabinets for the perfect, seamless transformation.

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Entertaining Essentials: Home Bars for Every Occasion

The home wet bar is essential for any homeowner who loves to entertain. Set the backdrop of your soiree using natural stone and creative design to make your at home bar the life of the party. Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination to become the perfectly prepared host in any situation.

Sleek & Modern

Bright and symmetrical with clean lines and colorful details. The specks of quartz throughout the luxurious hanoi pure white marble shine as they reflect light to create a chic, modern feel. The matching, floating shelves are perfect for quick access when entertaining as well as providing a neat display. The wide isle of this bar makes this versatile and functional, and would be suitable for many different catering and bartending scenarios.

hanoi pure white marble bar
Above: Hanoi pure white marble sourced was from Aria Stone Gallery; bar designed by Cho Interiors. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Masculine Man Cave

For game day or an evening soiree, this masculine retreat was made to entertain. The bar was fashioned using Onyx Nuvolato sourced from Aria Stone Gallery and backlit with an LED panel to cast a warm, calming glow throughout the entire space. The layout of this bar is perfectly suitable for 1-2 bartenders to ensure all of your guests are well taken care of.

onyx nuvolato wet bar
Above: Onyx Nuvolato sourced by Aria Stone Gallery; wet bar designed by M2 Designs. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Creative & Colorful

Make a bold statement with an incredible book match backsplash that reaches from the countertops to the ceiling, such as this Azul Imperiale Quartzite. This pop of color will create a beautiful, artistic statement and liven up any design, particularly if your wet bar is in an open concept home where it can be viewed from many angles (like this one).

Azul Imperiale quartzite wet bar
Above: Azul imperiale quartzite sourced by Aria Stone Gallery; wet bar designed by Deborah Walker. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery

Sommelier’s Paradise

A cellar is a must have for the wine connoisseur. For the expert, a collection of vintage wines is always growing and expanding. The perfect, climate-controlled wine cellar emphasizes organization and display for an easy, visual catalog. The library ladder on a track ensures that all vertical storage is properly put to use. The Stone Wood marble wet bar compliments the dark wood paneling and cabinetry that line the cellar, creating texture and dimension to this design.

stone wood marble wine cellar
Above: Stone Wood Marble sourced by Aria Stone Gallery; wine cellar designed by Hatfield Builders. Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Bright, Light, & Traditional

The key to perfecting a spectacularly white space is texture and lighting. This monochrome bar displays traditional elements such as the glass window panes on the eggshell cabinets and to the soft light that shines through the linen blinds. But above all, it is the White Macaubas with a honed finish ties the look together with the perfect amount of texture. 

white-macaubas-honed-wet-bar
White Macaubas honed quartzite sourced by Aria Stone Gallery; bar designed by Jenkins Interiors. Photo courtesy of Jenkins Interiors.

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Inside the Oculus, New York City

From the architecture of the Romans to Washington D.C., the classic, permanent nature of marble has long been used throughout history as a way to preserve legacy and tell a story of power.

Today in New York City, a modern manifestation of this concept can be seen on your daily commute to work. Designed by the internationally acclaimed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the World Trade Center transportation hub is the third largest transportation center in New York City. At the heart of the hub lies the “Oculus”. This magnificent piece of architecture is symbolic and stunning both below and above ground.

From below, walking into the Oculus after traveling to the transportation hub by train is a breath of fresh air. The Oculus is a wide-open space filled with grey and white marble floors, white walls, and the white structures and skylight floods the building with natural light. The massive skylight runs the length of the Oculus’ spine and plays a symbolic role in the remembrance of the victims from September 11th. The mixture of white marble and natural light evokes the feeling of peace, remembrance, and importance.

“In all weather conditions, the public will experience a subtle sense of man’s vulnerability, while maintaining a link to a higher order,” Mr. Calatrava said. “The memory of the victims will be honored and explicitly expressed through the most symbolic and significant element of the project,” he continued, “allowing people to spontaneously gather with a sense of transcendence and elevation.”

Above ground, the structure was designed to resemble a dove taking flight. Calatrava wanted the structure to evoke the image of a bird being released from a child’s hands.

Image courtesy of Hufton + Crow

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Tour This Artful & Sophisticated Modern Townhouse

Aria Stone Gallery Sea Pearl Quartzite Kitchen

Designed by a fashion and art buff, this townhouse is stylish with impeccable attention to detail with plenty of show-stopping natural stone design. Each room is styled using cool, neutral tones and plenty of natural light.On the main floor, the spacious living room opens up to the island and breakfast bar, featuring Aria Stone Gallery’s Sea Pearl quartzite. The mitered, waterfall edge on the island has complimentary hues to the artwork found in the living room. The modern, white kitchen cabinets offer an abundance of storage in this vertical layout.Off to the side of the kitchen is a powder room. The silver walls and simple, modern sconces set the stage for the floating Arabescato Orobico sink.

Moving on to our favorite room of the house, the upstairs closet. The second bedroom was converted into this fantastic walk in closet and a clever office space. The closet features a glowing, illuminated shoe wall and plenty of cubbies for accessory storage. A large painting was hung on a track that conceals seasonal items and suitcases. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to get ready for their day around all of this beauty.

The Master bathroom is a pure-white haven, clean and simple. The homeowner chose a Bianco Extra Marble countertop with his-and-hers sinks with simple modern finishings.

To wrap up this stunning perfection is the guest bathroom. This space may be small, but it is certainly not short on style. The Arabescato Orobico vanity is complete with a waterfall edge, which pairs nicely to the grey glass subway tile shower.

Arabescato Orobico Marble Vanity with Waterfall Edge

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Designer Spotlight, Chicago Edition: Aimee Wertepny of PROjECT Interiors

Authentic, high-drama, and unexpected, Chicago’s PROjECT Interiors founder, Aimee Wertepny, is leading the charge for her high-end take on grit and glam design. In this special Chicago edition of our Designer Spotlight series, we sat down and had a one-on-one conversation with Aimee to learn what inspires her and how to achieve her signature look.

Photo Credit: Green Cherry Photography

Q. Architecture is very prevalent in Chicago, how does the architecture influence your interior design choices for commercial projects? 

I’m incredibly lucky to have a company that is headquartered in a world class city like Chicago, known for its incredible skyline and architecture- steel and glass is a no-brainer here! I’m inspired every day just leaving my apartment, which is in the historic neighborhood of Wicker Park. There are art deco period buildings, greystone walk-ups, turn of the century churches, as well as public art works, graffiti installations and classic A-frames, punctuated with recently developed modern style dwellings. I pull that influence into my interior schemes- grit with glam, modern, edgy and rustic all melded into one scheme. I appreciate classic details for sure, but the mid century modern architecture that Chicago is known for is my personal favorite- those Mies Van Der Rohe buildings are timeless, and I’d like to think my work is as well. Modern architecture is all about clean lines, beauty in simplicity and an unfussy lifestyle, which is a part of my design ethos. “Interior revival” is what I call it- as it states on the back of my business card in a scribble I can barely read 🙂

Photo Credit: Tony Soluri

Q. Natural stone has long been a part of art and design in Chicago. What is it about natural stone that captivates you? What type of stones do you and your clients in Chicago gravitate towards? 

Nothing compares to the impact a quality natural stone has on a space. It immediately exudes a sense of calm, because, as a natural product, it reflects the beauty of nature. I think Calacatta marble is timeless, and I use it all the time for hard surface specifications- especially in the leather finish. I’ve been especially drawn to the bold and textured slabs recently, such as Panda and Pietra Grey– I can’t get enough of that elephant skin looking slab!

Photo Credit: Cynthia Lynn Kim

Q. All of your designs are incredibly personal with a refined and modern aesthetic that is true to the client’s personality and desires. What are some of the unique design directions that we will be seeing in your future 2017 Chicago projects as they are completed?

I’m really digging street art, dream catchers and macramé these days. Bold color and patterns- but only the “weird” stuff. Tribal and deconstructed influences will still run steady through our work- and architecturally there will be blackened steel, brass reveals, black lacquer, stone and porcelain slabs, matte black and rose gold hardware, angular facets and tunnels, portal entries- we love a portal.  There’s a drastic mix of transitional suburban to glass box and steel structures that make us want to take more risks in materials and details in all of the above. We’re always searching for the unexpected which certainly pairs nicely with the client who is willing to go there- which we are seeing more and more. *heel clicks*

I love to travel, and this year is all about Latin- Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, which is destined to influence my work and train of thought- I’ve even enrolled in Spanish lessons! So maybe some bright colors (um, did I say that?) with splashes of mezcal + rum for sure. Vamonos!

   __________________________________________________

AIMEE WERTEPNY

Matchmaker to gutsy and glamorous,
a chic co-consipirator with smoldering
curiosity and an earth driven heartbeat,
she’s a Chicago girl that prefers not to
waste time on the dress rehearsal.

PROjECT founder Aimee Wertepny
established the studio nearly 10 years ago— all indie rock, now-or-never sweat and stamina—after realizing the solo gig wasn’t for her.

On her watch, PROjECT is an organic-glam-mashup a curated, layered, collected trip. Luxury cut with a little grit, surfaces that purr— her seductive rip-shred aesthetic atones for the laconic sins of beige and invites an intriguing totem.

Travel and charity fill her spirit, but as the all for one ethos of the studio, she’s the irrepressible 90s girl who takes the side entrance instead of waiting in line.

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What to Watch: 2017 Fall Trends

Fall is right around the corner and we have carefully taken note of the best trends and styles that you will want to include in your next project.

One way to enjoy color and create a cohesive look is to start with a neutral palette and add splashes of color. The Breccia Capraia Marble is an incredible marble, known for vivid mixture of white and dark grey veining. This marble also has simple, jewel colored hues that add bursts of color to create a polished look. By adding neutral, earthy elements such as wood and your favorite colorful fall flower arrangement and you will have a lovely, sophisticated design.

The old “you can’t wear white after Labor Day” rule definitely does not apply to this modern, white wonderland. The trick for creating the perfect, crisp, clean, look without making your space feel too clinical is texture, texture, texture. Aria Stone Gallery’s Hanoi Pure White marble has flecks of sparkling quartz throughout, which adds dimension and texture to any project. Finish this project with textiles in cool, complimenting colors that are warm to the touch.

Get swept away in a colorful sea of blue. Aria Stone Gallery’s Azul Imperiale Extra Quartzite is everything you need to make a colorful statement wall that will command attention. Perfect for a bookmatch design, the veining moves over the canvas as waves on the beach, instantly transporting you back to your summer vacation during these upcoming chilly months.

Classic and forever stylish, high contrasting black and white statements are staples for interior designers, such as Lucinda Loya, who ensures that “all of her projects include contrast, but all have color.” Marbles such as Dalmata and Panda are perfect for achieving this powerful look.

Add a feminine touch to your design with pink materials and textures. With colors like Millenial Pink being at the forefront for 2017 trends, we are also seeing designers and homeowners becoming more comfortable using pink in fun and unexpected designs. One way to create a lively, unexpected design is to use a material such as Onyx Kilimanjaro, which has the ability to be backlit with an LED panel. This natural stone has pink and red hues in the sunlight and emits a warm, rich amber glow when backlit.

Stripes and lines are a favorite amongst designers for creating movement and playing optical tricks making spaces feel longer and taller.  The White Macaubas Quartzite is an elegant natural stone that has a linear pattern of dark grey, creamy white, and sandy brown that will tie in your design and create that  grand space you have been searching for.

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Colorful Quartzite Condominium

Aria Stone Gallery Quasar Quartzite Kitchen

This condominium, designed by Salem and Associates, packs in large amounts of color, style, and functionality to create an elegant abode in a relatively small space. Floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry in robin’s egg blue ensures abundant, stylish storage. This bold cabinetry is complimented by the amalgamation of chocolate, cream, and rust hues that are found in the Quasar Quartzite countertops and backsplash, sourced by Aria Stone Gallery.

The galley kitchen layout with a large isle ensures maximum efficiency when cooking and prep space for everything to Sunday dinners to cocktail parties. The Quasar Quartzite is a full backsplash that extends from the countertops to the ceiling, giving the space a continuous feeling of movement, texture, and artistry. 

The master bathroom ties in the style throughout the condominium with walls painted in the same family as the robin’s egg blue cabinetry seen in the kitchen. Here, classic wood paneled custom cabinetry and crystal sconces make this room feel elegant and timeless, while the white and creamy hues of the Casablanca Quartzite countertops sourced from Aria Stone Gallery ensure that the space is well-balanced and bright. 

 

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Smart Design: Offices That Impress

Aria Stone Gallery Mercury White Marble Feature Wall

These designs are guaranteed to brighten up every day at the office with earthy and eye-catching natural stone showstoppers. Whether you are trying to make a grand first impression or set the tone for an important conference, these offices will make a statement.

This stunning feature wall of Mercury White marble makes for a grand entrance that you will not forget. Not only are clients greeted on the way in with a stunning natural work of art, but they are also able to enjoy the stone on the interior of the conference room.

EXTERIOR: Aria Stone Gallery’s Mercury White Marble was used in this feature wall designed by Keaton Interiors.
INTERIOR: Aria Stone Gallery’s Mercury White Marble was used in this feature wall designed by Keaton Interiors.

Set the tone in the executive offices with a sophisticated boardroom, such as this one at Grande Cheese. The Architects at Gensler fashioned a slab of Calacatta Retro marble into a sleek conference table that means business.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Retro Marble Boardroom Desk at Grande Cheese. Credits: Ryan Gobuty Photography, Gensler Architecture Company

Pairing clean lines and a symmetrical bookmatched design is welcoming and evokes a sense of serenity. The floating marble design mixed with the dark wood paneling creates an eye catching focal point on this stunning natural work of art.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble Reception Desk designed by PDR Corp

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Designing with Textured Surfaces Using Natural Stone

Texture is an important design element that will immediately add warmth and visual interest to any room. The physical feel and texture of your room can transform a simple palette into a space with depth and interest. The surface of natural stone may come in many forms, such as polished, honed, leathered, and brushed. While polished and honed are the most common surface finishes for quarries; leathered and brushed surfaces are growing increasingly popular for their ability to immediately add unique texture.

Using a natural stone with a textured finish is an easy way to incorporate an earthy, multi-dimensional element into your design. Slabs that features a leathered finish can compliment a rustic or transitional design or provide contrast and warmth to a monochromatic, mid-century modern aesthetic.

Can I change the surface texture of my stone?

Initially, the quarry decides what type of surface to put on the stone, but the stone surface and texture can easily be changed to fit your design aesthetic.

How does a leathered finish compare to a honed or polished finish?

The functionality of leathered finishes are also important to note. Much like a honed finish, leathered finishes are less likely to show scratches and etches that come from normal use. A leathered finish is a honed finish, that is then textured by diamond tipped brushes that have varying levels of grit to create small ridges within the stone. By comparison, a brushed finish has less ridges than you would find in a leathered finish. The varying levels of matte and sheen create an overall “leathered” look on the surface of a stone. By design, leathered is more stain resistant than honed and less stain resistant than polished. However, a good sealer will help to maintain your natural stone’s resistance to stains.

This Casablanca Leathered Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery was brilliantly fashioned into a vanity designed by Jessica Wilson, which compliments the refined color scheme of the powder room.

Nero Fusion is inherently a textured stone with varying level of rigidness. Adding a leathered finish to this stone only increases the depth perception and warmth to this beautiful island designed by DeLeo & Fletcher. Stone sourced from Aria Stone Gallery.

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Slow Art Movement

As Aria has taken a great step forward with the recent announcement of an e-commerce platform, it is important to take a moment and remember where this great journey began. The origins of Aria are deep-seeded in an appreciation for art, design, and natural beauty through the Slow Art Movement.

 

 

 

Pictures Herbarium, 2011, Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg (b 1955), shown at the Slow Art Exhibit in Stockholm 2012. Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg picked and shredded flowers, dried the petals and combined into patterns into new, two-dimensional version of nature. No two petals are exactly alike, not even two petals from the same blossom. The process is experimental. The lessons learned must be remembered for the following year’s harvest. Photo Credit: Nationalmuseum at Stockholm, Sweden
Necklace, 2003, Janna Syvänoja (b 1960), Paper, steel wire, Height 4 cm, diameter 27 cm, nmk 23/2005 Gift from The Friends of the Nationalmuseum, Bengt Julin Fund, The material is slips of paper cut from an encyclopedia and a steel wire to hold the pieces together. Like pearls, Janna Syvänoja tenderly threads slip after slip onto the wire. The time aspect is central, this is a slow and monotonous procedure. Each slip is positioned with a minute shift in relation to the previous one. In design, it resembles turned wood, the original substance of paper. With time, the paper will go yellow, altering the appearance of the necklace. The process illustrates a modesty found in Syvänoja’s oeuvre, where the works are as transient as nature itself. Photo Credit: Nationalmuseum at Stockholm, Sweden

It all began in 2012, when owner, Vinny Tavares, visited the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm and came across the Slow Art Exhibit. In this exhibit, art was on display that took months and years to create, often from tedious and repetitive actions. The focus is on the art of creation and errs on the side of quality over quantity. Slow art is in opposition to the direct-to-consumerism approach that so many companies and artists align with as to increase profits and growth in the short-term. Cilla Robach further describes the movement, “the objects that are presented here as Slow Art were hand-crafted in slow, often intricate processes. The considerable time required to make these works has not always been a cause of frustration for artists or craftspersons. On the contrary, they have valued time and regarded slowness as a central element in their artistic process. Many practitioners have put special emphasis on shaping certain details, without having to fear the mental boredom or physical pain of repetition. Instead, the viewer suspects that they have found tranquility in the monotonous and slow work stages that were required to create a specific piece. Our need to slow down and create room for re-election was summed up by Honoré in an overall concept he called the Slow Movement. Perspectives that focus on doing things well instead of quickly, on valuing quality instead of quantity. On handling materials, i.e. our common natural resources, with care, and showing consideration for future generations. On seeing a value in slowness. On allowing time to be a significant factor in the artistic process.”

Dress Broken Shadow, 2008, Helena Hörstedt (b 1977), Raw silk, leather, Height 110 cm, width 50 cm, nmk 110/2009, Gift from The Friends of the Nationalmuseum, Bengt Julin Fund Hundreds of leather pieces of exactly the same shape are combined into cones of exactly the same dimensions to achieve the desired effect. In her artistic process the garments are distinctly set apart from the often ephemeral fashion scene. Slowly, they find their form. Photo Credit: Nationalmuseum at Stockholm, Sweden

Beyond the Slow Art Movement, the concept is also found in several other contemporary categories, such as Slow Food (as opposed to Fast Food), Slow Travel, Slow Craft, Slow Design, Slow Fashion, Slow Media, Slow Consumption, Slow Education and Slow Parenting.

 

Collar Egypten [Egypt], 1983, Helena Edman (b 1952), Titanium, gold 18k, silk, Height 0.5 cm, diameter 24 cm, nmk 27/2006, Gift from The Friends of the Nationalmuseum, Bengt Julin Fund With inspiration from ancient Egyptian collars, the goldsmith Helena Edman made this collar as her graduation piece at the Guldsmedehøjskolen in Copenhagen. The titanium tubes were coloured through electrolyte, where different nuances are achieved by changing the amperage. The titanium has to be clinically clean before the process can start, so Helena Edman has meticulously polished off the oxidised surface before turning on the electricity. When the tubes have gained the desired colour, they are sawn into the final length, a task that uses up countless saw blades. Finally, Edman threads them onto silk. The collar weighs 335 grams and consists of some 1 730 parts. This work took four months to complete, from sketch to finished collar. Photo Credit: Nationalmuseum at Stockholm, Sweden
Sculpture Sub Rosa, 2004, Renata Francescon (b 1962), Porcelain, Height 30 cm, diameter 48.5 cm, nmk 7/2005, Gift from The Friends of the Nationalmuseum, Bengt Julin Fund The art of repetition has a peculiar fascination for Renata Francescon. With her bare hands, she thumbs out thin, individually shaped porcelain rose petals. The process is repetitive; one petal after another is made. Combined into roses and stacked on each other, they form a spatiality where the contrast between the thin, fragile petals and the actual weight of the porcelain sculpture creates a tension. Her method is significant. Francesco’s fingers leave their imprint on the clay, a physical trace of her presence. Photo Credit: Nationalmuseum at Stockholm, Sweden

Vinny, a stone aficionado and industry expert, was intrigued by this concept and could instantly see the many parallels to the stone industry. Beautiful natural stone takes hundreds if not thousands of years to come to fruition through geologic formation. And the extraction process in quarries such as those in Carrara, Italy is an art form passed from generation to generation. But the journey does not end there. The next step of this long and thoughtful process is Vinny, personally hand-selecting each stone at the quarry based on rarity, beauty, and quality, much like an art appraiser inspecting a work of art at Sotheby’s.

As Vinny had long viewed stone as art, he realized that it should be treated and displayed as such. Therefore, the obvious next step was to celebrate stone by showcasing slabs in a gallery-like format, encouraging the viewers to dive in deeper into stone education, and most importantly, by creating an environment that allows the viewer to not feel rushed so they can develop an emotional connection, similar to the overwhelming feelings you experience when viewing art in a museum.

In 2013, the Aria Stone Gallery showroom in Dallas was born, and was quickly followed by a Houston showroom, as designers, architects, and homeowners alike, all appreciated Aria’s transparent and educational approach to showcasing stone as art. The experience of celebrating stone in a peaceful environment allows the viewer to appreciate and gaze upon the stone in awe, rather than grazing slab yards in hopes to find a buried treasure.

The goal of Aria’s e-commerce platform is to share this artistic approach and appreciation for stone as a natural work of art with more and more people, nationwide. And as Aria continuously evolves over the course of the next few years, at the core will remain art appreciation and stone education, #stoneisart.

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Architectural Digest Show 2017 – Natural Stone for Every Room

Every year, an ensemble of leading designers and architects gather from around the globe to showcase their extraordinary innovations at the prominent Architectural Digest Show in New York City. From independent, up-and-coming designers, to well-established and iconic craftsman, today’s brightest talents are put on display. While there are thousands of carefully curated products shown throughout the weekend, one evident theme was the use of natural stone in unique and creative ways.

Master Bathroom

While it is not uncommon to see natural stone in the bathroom, it is clear from I Maestri’s booth that traditional objects, such as the bathtub, are becoming sculptural works of art. Neutra’s Duo Collection, available through I Maestri uses marble and wood to draw inspiration from the “purity of water, the energy of stones, and the warmth of wood.” Designed by Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, the sculptural bathtubs are carved from a single block of Carrara marble, making them a piece of art in their own right.

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Neutra, Duo Collection. Image courtesy of www.imaestri.com
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Neutra, Duo Collection. Image courtesy of www.imaestri.com

Dining Room

The important concepts of contrast and proportion are prevalent in the modern DeMarco Dining Table by KGBL NYC. The round, two-toned, all-marble dining table features a solid statuary marble top and a nero marquina base that is both simple and elegant. This monochromatic color palette is a timeless design that will last for years to come.

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DeMarco Dining Table, image courtesy of www.kgblnyc.com.

Living Room

Brooklyn-based newcomer, Peg Woodworking, stole the show with the Bastet end table collection, which is available in either white beauty or a black marble, similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Port Black. The earthy combination of wood and stone is a classic mix, refreshed by confident geometric design.

Anna Aristova and Roza Gazarian of A Space Studio, also combined wood and marble to create a stunning console table. The dark St. Laurant Marble is elevated by its asymmetrical raw edge and rich color combination.

Lighting

Always crossing the boundaries of art and design, Dimore Studio’s Lampada 060, is the perfect accent. The Calacatta marble base is bound together by eye-catching gold hardware, which is nicely balanced by the traditional, cream colored drum lampshade. The artistic table lamp will instantly elevate any room in the home.dimore-studio-lamp

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Designer Spotlight: Lucinda Loya Interiors

Passionate and personal, Lucinda Loya, of Lucinda Loya Interiors has built a name for herself as one of the nation’s premiere interior designers. Lucinda’s enthusiastic and sensible approach to design, along with her keen eye for detail, has led to much success in the world of interiors. Lucinda is a master at incorporating her client’s passions with her invigorating artistic spirit. Read below to see what Lucinda and her team have been up to and what she sees in the coming seasons for 2017.

“My philosophy is make it your own, and it will be timeless.”

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Image courtesy of Lucinda Loya. Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra marble.

Q. What are some of the top trends that you are most excited about for kitchen and bathroom design in 2017 and what is on the way out?

A. Heavy kitchen design is not just on the way out, it’s gone. These days, we are more interested in simplifying our lifestyle with interiors as a way of balancing our hectic lives. To achieve this, keep things light, bright, timeless, and classic by using clean lines. In a traditional home, you could take this approach by using a wild marble installation, preferably bookmatched or a large, bold patterned tile to make a statement. Stay away from browns. I always choose a large scaled tile selection over the typical 12×12, and slabs of natural stone is always preferred. Take a chance by going extra large on floor tile, and it will appear to be cut from slabs!

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Image courtesy of Lucinda Loya Interiors. Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra marble.

Q. How do you think new technology will have an effect on new designs in 2017?

A. Technology in general is broadening horizons and informing the general public and experts, alike. Now that the vast majority of people have access to social media, information has the ability to travel quickly and spread further than ever through design related social platforms. We are happy to know that the average consumer is being educated on interior design, whether they are interested or not.

“When two colors are combined in a clever way, the overall design is more interesting and original.”

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Image courtesy of Lucinda Loya Interiors. Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Taj Mahal Quartzite.

Q. What type of color palette do you see for the future?

A. I believe that right now and for a long time – whether in fashion or interiors – anything goes! That said, I don’t like to think there is a color trend we are headed toward and I would like to see it stay that way. With fewer limitations we gain creative ability. My philosophy is make it your own, and it will be timeless.

In all of our projects, CONTRAST is key, and not all have color. For high contrast, black and white is the obvious choice, always being my go-to. When a project does call for color we use it in many different ways. I especially like to pair the un-expected. Mixing citrus and cranberry would be a great example. When two colors are combined in a clever way, the overall design is more interesting and original. The space becomes personalized, therefore, no trend to recognize.

 “In all of our projects, CONTRAST is key, and not all have color.”

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Image courtesy of Lucinda Loya Interiors. Get the look with Aria Stone Gallery’s Port Black marble.

Q. What are some of the unique design directions we will be seeing in your future 2017 projects as they are completed?

A. One might guess that we lean toward a modern aesthetic, but we work in the entire spectrum of interior design. We have just been given the opportunity to work on three beautiful ranch style homes, and all three will look separate from one another. Whether our clients are looking for a Traditional, Mediterranean, Eclectic, even say a Western flare, our design principles of clean lines and authentic character are evident.  We take comfort in knowing our projects remain TIMELESS!

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Image courtesy of Lucinda Loya.

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Paris Fashion Week 2017

Paris Fashion Week is romance, style, and couture all rolled into one. Design enthusiasts frequently look to fashion to find inspiration from the textures, colors, materials, and moods of the collections, as well as to determine the next up-and-coming styles. Throughout fashion week, we witnessed fascinating use of colors, silhouettes, and metallics to bring to life a stunning wardrobe. Below you will find out how you can incorporate and enjoy these ideas in your home through a colorful assortment of natural stone.

3cm Emerald Green
2cm Emerald Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many designers incorporated emerald and golden hues into their Spring/Summer lines. From Manish Arora’s African tribal-inspired line to Andrew Gn’s Elizabethan Couture, these rich, eye-catching colors were seen on many catwalks. Aria Stone Gallery’s Emerald Green and Emerald Sea quartzite slabs also incorporate the soft, flowing emerald hues as seen during Fashion Week. Much like the flowing color palette of Tuomas Merikoski’s incredible prêt–à–porter collection, the soft color and ease of pattern in this Emerald Green stone creates a distinguished design, while the subtle veining enhances the wonderful texture.

3cm Grigio Carnico
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2cm New Belgium Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One concept that the French have perfected is the art of the silhouette. The precise attention to the form of design is placed at the utmost importance. From fashion to interiors, balance is always key. Minimizing color and amplifying texture allows you to experiment with unique and creative forms more freely without the risk of over-designing. To achieve a similar aesthetic in interiors, view Aria Stone Gallery’s Grigio Carnico in a bookmatch layout.

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3cm Lemurian
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3cm Matrix 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrifying metallics have been a prominent theme across fashion week, beginning in Milan and continuing all the way to Paris. Pascal Millet’s incredible showcase debuted a multitude of metallics with a blue-grey sheen, while John Galliano’s pink metallic jumpsuit plays with a whimsical child-like spirit. Similar to these fabrics, Aria Stone Gallery’s Lemurian Granite takes on a new life when light reflects from the material. Due to its metallic properties, Labradorite, which is found in Lemurian, is often used for jewelry. Lemurian would work as a beautiful large scale wall application near interesting lighting.

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Natural Stone in Retail Design

Fashion and interior design are both expressions of art that often influence one another. For fashion, retail stores are an important way to introduce new customers and engage loyal customers through an experience that encapsulates the brand. Around the world, many fashion brands and department stores such as Barney’s, Dolce and Gabbana, and Bulgari look to natural stone as a way to keep a space elegant, luxurious, and timeless.

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Proenza Shouler. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

The Proenza Shouler boutique in SoHo features a quiltwork combination of Silver Wave and Calacatta Marble from floor-to-ceiling with a dark grout. The dark industrial metal clothing rods are suspended from the ceiling, and mirrors the geometric rectangular composition of the marble slabs.

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Barney’s New York. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

The prestigious Barney’s New York Chelsea Flagship store designed by Steven Harris Architects and Rees Roberts + Partners achieved its sophisticated look by experimenting with curved forms in both the architectural composition of the store as well as in the display cases and furnishings. Small leather goods are placed on asymmetrical granite and marble tabletops with reflective brass bases.

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Barney’s New York. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

Cantilevered marble consoles with a hidden anchored steel base display fine jewelry throughout the department store. Smoked glass mirrors are used to reflect the bold, intriguing shapes, while adding a dramatic flair to the space. 

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Dolce and Gabbana Aoyama. Image courtesy of www.dolcegabbana.com.

Luxury fashion house Dolce and Gabbana in Ayoama, Tokyo designed by Curiosity, shows how the entrance and signage of a retail store plays a key role in introducing the brand to the public. The vertical wall application of the strategically matched four story Arabescato Corchia Marble is contrasted against black lacquer panels and used inside the storefront window displays. A large Grigio Carnico Marble sign above the entryway with matching diamond bookmatch on the sidewalk, invite customers to experience the store.

Bulgari London. Images courtesy of www.petermarinoarchitect.com.

Inspired by Elizabeth Taylor and her affection for Bulgari jewelry during the filming of Cleopatra, the Bulgari London boutique designed by Peter Marino mixes the grandeur of classical Roman architecture with the glamour of Old Hollywood. Carrara Marble is used throughout the store to create dramatic entryways and a striking staircase.

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Tour the Transitional High-Rise Designed by Award Winning Hayslip Design Associates

Perfect for both entertaining and everyday use, this expansive transitional kitchen designed by Sherry Hayslip of Hayslip Design Associates, is located in a stunning high-rise in Texas. Sherry and her team are known for creating innovative design with a sophisticated style that have led them to winning multiple awards in this category. The quartzite kitchen mixes elegant design styles and elements of spontaneity that perfectly encapsulate Sherry’s mastery of design.

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Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

The custom flat panel cabinetry is exquisitely contrasted with the silvery hues of Aria Stone Gallery’s bianco quartzite countertops. Over the sink and stove, the quartzite slabs extend continuously to the ceiling, visually breaking the line of cabinetry and creating a focal point with the quartzite’s gossamer­-like veining. The texture and interest of bianco quartzite is poised to create a lasting statement as a work of art.

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Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

Storage and functionality go hand-in-hand, as seen in the abundance of open shelving and closed upper and lower cabinetry. The many closed cabinets and deep drawers provide a home for small appliances, additional place settings, and seasonal cookware. Over the prep sink you will find open shelving for easy access to glassware and bar items, making this ideal for entertaining and everyday use. Additionally, the glass panel cabinets are each fashioned with individual lighting to provide a wonderful way to display fine china.

bianco-quartzite-kitchen
Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

Stainless steel appliances are integrated seamlessly into the floor plan and add to the overall polished theme. To add interest and texture, hunter green square porcelain tiles are used underneath the cabinetry as a backsplash, adding warmth and color to the space.

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Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

The same color scheme is continued into the 3/4 bathroom, where rectangular hunter green tiles line the shower. The sink sits on top of white flat panel vanity with luxurious Colorado Gold marble. The Colorado Gold marble has subtle, delicate veining throughout the white field that is both whimsical and elegant.

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Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom

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Lessons from Stockholm Design Week 2017

Stockholm Design Week takes place once a year every February to bring design lovers together to connect and showcase their best and favorite upcoming works. This year we have picked up a few lessons from the Furniture and Lighting Fair on how to create and execute innovative spaces.

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Photo courtesy of Gustav Kaiser.

One exhibit that sets the stage and best encompasses the theme of the Furniture and Lighting Fair each year is the “Trend Exhibit.” This year, Swedish Interior Stylist, Lotta Agaton, curated an exhibit which showcased contrasting materials and colors set in unexpected ways, entitled “Contrast.” Agaton primarily used pieces that were her “old favorites in new settings,” and showed how recovering old products with new textiles or adding a statement wall color can change the personality of objects and make them new again. The lesson from this exhibit is not 0nly the products on display; but rather, how to execute contrast between objects, textiles, and furniture.

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Images courtesy of Lotta Agaton @lottaagaton

The theme of “contrast” carried throughout the entire fair. Most notably, Tom Dixon is one of the many examples of designers using contrasting textures and colors to create an overall cohesive theme that is perfectly on trend. During the furniture and lighting fair, Tom Dixon unveiled his new office furniture line that was inspired by the archetypical Victorian school desk. Below, we see the “Offcut Stool 650mm in Natural” set against the deeply rich background of a dark marble similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Gris de Savoie.

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Tom Dixon’s “Offcut Stool 650mm in Natural.” Image courtesy of www.tomdixon.net.

Dixon’s “Slab Desk” is constructed of solid oak and features smooth, rounded edges. The desk demonstrates contemporary craftsmanship through a simplistic design that is beautiful in its own right. And when the oak desk is placed in front of the vitoria regia quartzite statement wall with mechanical accent lamps, the contrast in textures makes the entire space feel well balanced and multi-dimensional.

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Tom Dixon’s “Slab Desk.” Image courtesy of www.tomdixon.net.

Contrast in color is also important when it comes to creating well planned design. Furniture designer and interior architect, Gam Fratesi, worked with Gubi to create custom furnishings for Paris’ House of Denmark, which was launched as a collection at Stockholm Design Week. The collection is refined and classic with nods to Mid-Century Danish design combined with elements of traditional Parisian aesthetic. In the bar of the restaurant, the designers chose to pair a strong, dark natural stone with a light oak bar and linen “Beetle” barstools. The white and dark green marble floors further annunciate the contrasting colors through its chevron pattern.

Contrasting colors can be executed on a smaller scale when it comes to furniture. For example, Fratesi’s “TS Table” with a black steel base and white marble surface can easily be incorporated into any small breakfast area with ease.

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Stone is Art: A Look into Antoni Tàpies, Artist and Sculptor

Antoni Tàpies was a self-taught painter and sculptor from the Catalonia region in Spain, who is best known for his abstract works in the 1950s. Tàpies would create a thick base layer and incorporate unconventional materials into his works, such as marble dust, chalk, and sand. The combination of earthy materials and along with finishing the paintings with etchings and lacerations, resulted in a mixture of texture and grit. The paintings, otherwise known as the “matter paintings” were a symbolic gesture of “the emptiness and fullness which reveals the meaning of nature.”

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Tàpies, Antoni. Grey and Green Painting. 1957. Oil paint, epoxy resin and marble dust on canvas. Tate Modern, London.

According the the Tate Modern Museum in London, Tàpies “was fascinated by the contrast of different materials.” In his works, Tàpies created impressions of actual items. Art historian Manuel Borja-Villel explains that by using unexpected materials and rich textures, the artist implies that, “it is no longer a question of representing ideas in a neutral medium but rather that from now on the observer should first perceive a medium expressing an idea.”

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Tàpies, Antoni. Space. 1956. Latex paint with marble dust on canvas. MoMA, New York City.

The surreal and somber paintings are influenced by the artist’s upbringing in Spain where he saw the destruction form Civil War and oppression under General Franco. Tàpies wrote in one of his essays that, “the artist is like the mystic: each one acts in his own way but their common purpose is to achieve the inner illumination that enables them to perceive the depths of reality.”

antoini-tapies

Tàpies, Antoni. Grey Relief on Black. 1959. Latex paint with marble dust on canvas. MoMA, New York City.

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Backlit Onyx Caramello Bar and Lounge at The Grove Kitchen & Gardens

Nestled in a grove of trees, The Grove Kitchen and Gardens in Tyler, Texas provides ample amounts of entertainment and inspiration from outdoor games to live music and impeccable design throughout. It’s aesthetic features fun retro elements mixed with pops of color while keeping a sophisticated theme; creating a destination to escape to from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

One of the most unique areas of The Grove is the bar and lounge. With design assistance from Bella Remodeling Inc and installation from Berry Clay Construction, The Grove has created a warm and comforting atmosphere that is well suited for the handcrafted cocktails and curated list of wines that the establishment provides.

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

Featuring Aria’s Onyx Caramello, this expansive back-lit bar instantly becomes the focal point in the room. Onyx is a naturally translucent type of marble that is often used in designs with a backlighting feature in mind. Though Onyx can be sourced from around the globe, this particular onyx with its honey hues originally hails from Turkey.

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

A large antiqued mirror overlooks the glowing onyx bar, which casts a cozy, den vibe. This bar and lounge warms the heart from the minute you enter.

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

The use of glowing light is not limited to the bar, the lighting of the room is also seen in the details. For example, the built-in bookshelf near the entryway has individual lighting on each shelf. The fireplace, chandeliers, and wall sconces each cast soft lighting to accent and replicate the same enchanting feeling of the bar.

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

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Transitional Calacatta Rhino Marble Kitchen

This transitional kitchen was designed by the homeowner. With a focus on quality above all, the homeowner chose a Calacatta Rhino marble with a honed finish for the island and countertops. If ever anything looked like a snowy mountain top, it would be Calacatta Rhino. With its soft sparkle, pure white and soft waves of very light grey and taupe, it feels as if you are in the Alps.

calacatta-kitchen

Honed marble countertops are a wonderful option if you are worried about reflections and scratches that occur in high traffic areas. Rather than a glossy, polished marble, honed marble has more of a smooth matte finish. Because of this matte finish, scratches are far less likely to be noticed, making honed marble a wonderful option for a busy and family-friendly kitchen.

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In order to add one more dimension of visual interest, the homeowner used a diamond pattern tile backsplash from Artistic Tile. This classic pattern neatly ties together the white shaker cabinets with the marble countertops.

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One way transition the look from one room to the next is to find a creative way to incorporate the natural stone or tile remnants in another room of the house. In this case, the owner used the Calacatta Rhino marble remnants from the kitchen for the countertops of a spare bathroom.

honed-marble-kitchen

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Industrial Rustic Crossfit Gym

D-Town Crossfit’s new location in Dallas is the absolute place to reach your peak physical condition while enjoying incredibly stylish surroundings. The company originally opened in Denver, where designers Robert Trown & Associates brought a rustic and industrial vibe to the crossfit gym. Exposed brick, piping, bicycle wall art, topped with an antler chandelier give this place an upscale urban feel.

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Grigio Italia Marble Front Desk

The front desk greets the fitness enthusiasts with a dark grey custom Grigio Italia marble surround from Aria Stone Gallery. The desk is designed with an asymmetrical jagged edge that matches the industrial-chic surroundings. A large glass garage door provides a wall of natural light and can be opened in the warmer months. And when night falls and the natural light fades, there is always the antler chandelier to light up the space.

The beauty of the natural stone extends to the ladies locker room, where an L-shape row of white vessel sinks sit on top of the beautiful horizontal veining of the Striato Olympic marble. This spacious area has plenty of room for washing up after a session of weight training.

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Striato Olimpico Marble Women’s Locker Room

 

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Striato Olimpico Marble Women’s Locker Room

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

Stirr Restaurant designed by Coeval Studio is a fabulous mixture of contemporary and modern design that wonderfully compliments the industrial-rustic vibe of the Deep Ellum neighborhood located near Downtown Dallas. The neighborhood is known largely for its arts and entertainment venues, and Stirr’s contemporary-meets-industrial aesthetic aligns perfectly.

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

The large first floor consists of wood tables with plush arm chairs, creating a comfortable and chic dining experience. Floor to ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light and people watching. An exposed brick wall in the center of the restaurant blends the contemporary LED track lighting to the industrial feel of the neighborhood.

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

The most incredible aspect of the restaurant by far is the expansive L-shaped Zebrino black and gold marble bar. The marble, sourced by Aria Stone Gallery, makes for a stunning centerpiece in the busy Deep Ellum neighborhood restaurant and bar. A black field with white and gold veining make this a unique and exotic piece of stone, which originates from the middle east. Geometric black and white tiles complete the base of the bar, which are the perfect compliment to the stone.

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Midcentury Modern Kitchen and Master Bath

Wood, marble, metal and glass are harmoniously used throughout this spectacular mid-century modern space to create dynamic textures and an airy, flowing floorpan. From the sleek surfaced kitchen to the luxurious natural stone cladded master bath, this home incorporates a combination of natural materials that is the perfect mixture of Scandinavian and mid-century styles. The stone in this stunning kitchen was sourced by Aria Stone Gallery.

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Statuario Marble Kitchen

In the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors allow for an abundance of natural light, which is reflected through the shiny, polished surfaces of the marble and metal island as well as the lacquered backsplash and cabinetry.

Statuario Marble Kitchen

The large kitchen island features a bookmatched Statuario Marble countertop that is not only a piece of art with its magnificent veining, but also a practical workspace and dining area for the whole family. The wooden base with metallic accents add for the perfect contrast to the mainly white kitchen and give you a brief preview into the look and feel of the entire home.

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Statuario Marble Kitchen

The master bathroom upholds the modern tradition of the home by incorporating the custom wood cabinetry with white, polished marble. Here, Aria Stone Gallery’s Bianco Extra marble is used for the countertops and fully cladded backsplash that extends to the ceiling.

Bianco Extra Marble Countertops with Grey Goose Marble Feature Wall and Shower

 

Bianco Extra Marble Countertops with Grey Goose Marble Feature Wall and Shower

Adjacent to the vanity is a Grey Goose marble wall and shower. By creating a custom curbless shower, the stone is able to be carried from floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall to create a stunning accent wall that is the perfect compliment to the sleek surfaces of the cabinetry and countertops.

Bianco Extra Marble Countertops with Grey Goose Marble Feature Wall and Shower

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Transitional Onyx and Marble Home

Sophisticated and prime for entertaining, this Dallas home designed by M2 Designs is the epitome of elegance. The expansive and transitional home features a  kitchen fit for a chef, a backlit onyx bar, and a classic white and bright his-and-hers bathroom that will instantly transport you into a relaxing spa mentality.

This masculine and modern Onyx Nuvolato marble bar and feature wall is perfect for hosting everything from game-day events to large cocktail parties. The onyx countertops and feature wall are backlit with LED lights to create a warm glow throughout the room. The remnants from this project were fashioned to create a matching backlit fireplace. Open shelving provides storage and display, while a built in tap provides quick access and easy storage for larger bulk items.

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Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Bar

The expansive two-island kitchen incorporates subtle textures and creamy colors to achieve an elegant, upscale kitchen that is perfect for entertaining and family gatherings. Both islands feature dark wood shaker cabinets, topped with the exquisite patterning and a classic horizontal light and dark grey veining of Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Vagli, which is also used on the countertops.

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Calacatta Vagli Marble Kitchen

Natural light fills the bright and airy guest bathroom. Beige walls with simple eggshell shades create a calming atmosphere to allow the incredible Hanoi Pure White marble countertops and mosaic backsplash to shine. The vanity features white shaker cabinets and his-and-hers undermount sinks to complete the refined bathroom.

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Hanoi Pure White Marble Bathroom

The Hanoi Pure White marble was used in this magnificent all white powder bath, this time featuring a drop in sink and a waterfall edge. The combination of the white marble, mosaic tiles, and ample lighting creates space and texture in this small powder bath.

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Hanoi Pure White Marble Bathroom

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Luxurious Celebrity Bathrooms

From the penthouses of New York City to expansive estates in Beverly Hills, see how celebrities unwind in their luxurious marble cladded master bathrooms.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s Manhattan penthouse is lined with floor-to-ceiling marble. The floors, countertops, built-in-shelves, and tub surround are all cladded in a luxurious white and grey marble similar to Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Bettogli Extra.

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Image Courtesy of Evan Johnson Images

The dignified master bath of Courtney Cox features a cool palate with rich textiles. A long, trough sink is fashioned with Onyx Black Cloud stone that continues into the shower.

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Image Courtesy of Elle Decor

When Nina Garcia completely renovated her New York apartment, she decided to go with a timeless and elegant white marble. The many use of mirrors breathes light and life into every nook of this detail oriented bathroom.

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Image Courtesy of Architectural Digest

Jennifer Aniston converted a large his and hers bath into a spa like retreat in her Los Angeles home. Backlit onyx sets the tone for a relaxing escape to the spa bath, soaking tub, and meditation room.

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Photo Courtesy of Architectural Digest

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jason Statham’s calacatta marble cladded master bath takes advantage of the natural light and greenery available at their Beverly Hills estate. Complete with a stand alone tub and steam shower and plenty of storage.

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Photographer unknown

Designed by Kelly Wearstler, the guest bathroom Cameron Diaz’s Asian inspired feminine Greenwich Village apartment in Manhattan is cladded in pink onyx from the walls to the custom countertops. The brass sink was custom made by Bates and Bates with fittings by waterworks. For a similar look and hue, try Aria Stone Gallery’s Onyx Avorio.

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Image Courtesy of Architectural Digest

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Wood & Stone

Elegant Calacatta Supremo Marble Master Bath and Closet

Elegant, refined, and traditional this marble-cladded home is the epitome of elegance. Designed by the homeowner, this master bathroom features Aria Stone Gallery’s incredible Calacatta Supremo marble countertops throughout. Traditionally, Calacatta is widely known for its rare and beautiful veining. This particular Calacatta Supremo has incredible stand out blue-grey veining and warm grey undertones that make it one-of-a-kind.

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In the master bathroom, large windows with plantation shutters allow for the expansive master bathroom to be flooded with natural light. Marble is the dominant feature as seen in the floors, countertops, and curbless spa shower. A contrasting green accent wall lines the shower and his-and-hers vanity, topped with crystal sconces.

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A white free standing tub from Tyrell and Laning International, Inc sits in front of the large bay windows, perfect for relaxation as well as acting as a brilliant piece of art.

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Adjacent to the master bathroom is an entrance path to the master closet. A small wet bar complete with a mini-refrigerator is strategically located in the walkway for easy convenience. The closet was planned in a way that makes it easy to categorize clothing and maximize space. Dedicated cubicles with hanging rods make it easy to group clothing, while drawers and cabinets are best used for organizing smaller essentials. An island topped with the Calacatta Supremo is placed in the middle of the closet for extra storage.

master-closet

The same Calacatta Supremo marble was also used in the remaining guest bathrooms. A contrasting dark tiled shower, complements the blue grey veins of the countertops.

calacatta-marble-bathroom

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Unique Applications for Natural Stone in Bathroom Design

With a little inspiration from the brilliant designers and architects around the world, you can transform your everyday bathroom sink and countertop into a beautiful statement piece and work of art. From wall-mounted, pedestal, or integrated sinks, here are a few design ideas using natural stone in incredibly unique applications unlike the rest.

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Designer unknown

Innovative Milan architect Victor Vasilev uses straight lines, geometric shapes, and even optical illusion for his line washbasin line, “The Kub.” The floating and pedestal sinks use Carrara Marble, glass, and metal to create a simple, yet fascinating design. A simple stand alone metal faucet pours water into the glass cube basin, which then discretely drains into the Carrara marble cube that is mounted to the wall. Individual matching cubes with can be purchased for additional storage and counter space.

Images courtesy of victorvasilev.com

Italian based company, Altamarea has perfected their seamless, integrated marble sinks and countertops in their Opera line. Inspired by Scandinavian cabinets in the 50s and 60s the floating vanity has pull open cabinets, brass water features, and incorporates integrated marble countertops transforming your standard sink into a satisfying work of art.

Images courtesy of www.altamareabath.it

Teuco, Italian based company has updated the traditional pedestal sink with a “monolithic pedestal topped by a horizontal plane”. Made out of entirely carrara or pietra grey marble this pedestal sink is the epitome of sleek, Italian design.

teuco-sinks
Image courtesy of www.teuco.com

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Feature Fireplaces by Leading Designers

The weather is getting cooler and we are cozying up to these phenomenal statement fireplaces cladded in marble, quartzite and onyx. Add warmth, texture and variation to your room by creating a stand out focal point with your fireplace.

Calacatta Extra marble is one of the most exclusive marbles in the world. The deep grey veining scattered with feathery taupe adds to its simple, classic beauty. This marble ribbon fireplace designed by SHM Architects creates a pleasing combination of textures, instantly creating a classic focal point.

Calacatta Extra Marble Fireplace
Calacatta Extra Marble Fireplace

We found inspiration in this Pietra Grey Leathered fireplace by interior designer, Kelly Wearstler. The dark contemporary marble is nicely complimented by a perfect balance of geometric forms.

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Image courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

For a colorful and bold feature, try a bookmatch or quadmatch design using a colorful marble or quartzite. This Verde Aurora quadmatch utilizes four slabs of marble to create one outstanding focal point.

Verde Aurora Quadmatch Fireplace
Verde Aurora Quadmatch Fireplace

To maximize impact for a more traditional fireplace, backlight an onyx fireplace surround to create a glow that you can enjoy year round. Designed by M2 Design Group in Dallas, TX.

Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Fireplace
Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Fireplace

This stand-alone Statuario Cremo Marble fireplace and room divider by Charleston designer Angie Hranowsky is both show-stopping and functional. Create a strong, neutral statement that can grab your attention among colorful design.

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Image courtesy of www.angiehranowsky.com

Eyes are automatically drawn to the Zebrino White marble fireplace designed by Karyn Dismore Interiors. While the natural horizontal striation of the marble makes the room appear wider, the floor to ceiling design moves the eye upward, creating a dramatic effect.

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Zebrino White Fireplace, image courtesy of Buddy Coronado Photography.

 

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Architecture & Stone of Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. was established in 1790 when an act of Congress authorized a federal district along the Potomac River. The area of land measured 100 square miles in which to build a federal center that would facilitate the new government. George Washington enlisted Pierre Charles L’Enfant, a well established French engineer and architect to draw the plans for a grand capitol.

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L’Enfant was given the great opportunity to imagine a capitol from scratch as the land proclaimed as Washington D.C. was mainly cow pastures and marsh land. We can still see many of L’Enfant’s envisions today, from the grid streets named after each state, wide avenues, and many public squares. In fact, one of L’Enfant’s main ideas was to create to the “public walk” in as the centerpiece of the town where all citizens could gather to express and exchange ideas with the nations leaders. Today, this is known as the two mile long National Mall, which stretches from Capitol Hill to the Potomac River and is topped with the historic Washington Monument.

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The beauty of Washington D.C. is the expression of leadership, historical influence, and democratic values through its architecture. The neoclassical principles of simplicity and symmetry are seen from the White House to the Capitol Building, where you can see inspiration drawn from Greek and Roman civilizations. The tall marble columns move the eye upward, while the intricate details of the facade add visual interest.

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Sandstone was primarily used during the initial construction in 1790 as the infrastructure and technology to transport marble was not yet available. However, by 1816 marble was being quarried and transported across country by railroad and even shipped across the Atlantic Ocean from the Carrara Region in Italy. The floor-to-ceiling marble design of the capitol building was achieved with the help of nearly one dozen states.

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Marble is often favored among sculptors to create works of art as it is composed of fine grain that make it easier to sculpt details. Marble is easy to care for and can be used indoors or outdoors and grows more durable as it ages. The Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider are two of the most recognizable sculptures in Washington D.C., both with marble provided by the Yule Marble Quarry in Colorado.

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Hanoi Pure White Open Concept Kitchen and Bathroom

Aria Stone Gallery Hanoi Pure White Marble Kitchen

Refreshing, bright and polished, this transitional open concept kitchen is perfectly poised for modern families and gourmet chefs, alike. The crisp, traditional white kitchen effortlessly combines multiple textures, while taking advantage of the abundance of natural light to create an overall ethereal feeling. Together, the creative minds of designer, Deborah Walker, and architect David Stocker, were able to achieve a sophisticated floor plan with the perfect combination of texture and luxury.

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Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Walker, acknowledged that “the client didn’t want to go stark. He wanted the warmth of the wood, yet he still likes bright and light.” The mosaic tile wall adds texture to the airy space, while the contrasting dark wood base of the kitchen island adds warmth and sets the stage for the luxurious Hanoi Pure White marble countertops. Using the classic color combination of blue and white, the heavy cerulean barstools add a hint of color to create an inviting space for family and guests to gather.

hanoi-pure-white-marble-kitchen
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

The bright, earthy motif is carried through to the master bathroom, where the same eye-catching marble features can be further enjoyed. The clean and simple white shaker cabinetry is seen again as a vanity, this time exquisitely layered by the same elegant pure white Hanoi marble.

hanoi-pure-white-marble-bathroom
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Oversized mirrors and windows are ideal for this timeless, monochromatic bathroom in order for the natural light to reflect and shine throughout the marble and mosaic tile floor. The dark wooden beams seen overhead nicely hint to the warm kitchen island as the geometric stainless steel light fixture adds for an interesting art piece.

hanoi-pure-white-marble-vanity
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery
hanoi-pure-white-marble-shower
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

 

hanoi-pure-white-marble-master-bath
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery

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Inspiration from Milan

Italian design has long been the industry leader in combining form, function, and fashion in an innovative and exciting way. Home to a large portion of the world’s finest natural stone, it is no surprise that incorporating earthy tones with luxurious, sleek design is synonymous with the Italian designer. Many flock to the famed Milan Design District to gain inspiration and learn what the industry leaders have in store.

Milan Treetop View by Aria Stone Gallery
Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Seamless, pure form is seen in this bathroom vignette in the heart of Milan’s Design District. The natural stone is incorporated throughout all aspects of this design from the countertop and backsplash, to details in the basin of the sink, executing a seamless finish.

Italians have long mastered the art of manipulating natural stone into geometric spheres and pairing it with minimalist, utilitarian hardware. Here, modern hardware artfully casts simplistic shadows upon the stone. The vertical lines of the floating shelves and the cascading faucet creates a sleek and stylish impression as it draws the eye upward, while at the same time preserving its efficiency and function.

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Onyx is a versatile stone material to use as it has translucent, layered cryptocrystalline calcite, which makes it ideal for incorporating in lighting installations. This onyx gives new life to its surroundings in a multi-level chandelier, casting a warm glow and illuminating the surrounding textured wall art.

Onyx pendant lighting casts a warm glow on the artwork.

See below for additional pictures and inspiration from Aria Stone Gallery’s Milan Design District experience during the New World-Class Hand Selection Program.

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Milan Design District

 

Aria Stone Gallery Trip to Milan: Geometric Shapes on Floating Shelf

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Pastels Around the World

From the Paris runway to the streets of Milan, muted color schemes are not only taking the design world by storm as of late (view more here), but pastels are forever engrained in European history.  With its culturally rich capitals and colorful coastal towns, Europe is and always will be epicenter for pastels.  Aside from the charming Old-World streets, pastels are prominent within interior design, art, and architecture.

Recently, the Aria team had the pleasure of visiting Milan and the Tuscan regions of Italy and we are here to share our colorful collection of discoveries.

Stay tuned as we share additional stories and illustrations from our trip.

Pastels_in_Europe_12Pastels_in_Europe_14   Pastels_in_Europe_15Pastels-in-Europe-1   Pastels-in-Europe-3Pastels-in-Europe-2Pastels_in_Europe_16   Pastels_in_Europe_17Pastels_in_Europe_20Pastels_in_Europe_18   _DSC0320Pastels-in-Europe-4Pastels-in-Europe-6   Pastels-in-Europe-5   italy-tuscany-greenery-countryside-villatuscany-italy-pool-greenerytuscan_villa_italy-1   tuscan_villa_italy-2tuscan_villa_italy-4   Italy_boat_lake_tuscan_milanItaly_boat_lake_tuscan_milan-2marble-stone-italy-tripPastels-in-Europe-7Pastels-in-Europe-8    Pastels-in-Europe-11        florence-italy-design-art-stone    Pastels-in-Europe-10

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Spa-Like Bathroom Oasis

Simplicity makes a bold statement in this relaxing bathroom. This inspiring vignette is meant for some quality R&R time with a refreshing, organic, and neutral aesthetic that evokes a sense of serenity. The Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra quad-match marble shower sets the scene while the floating Onyx Black Cloud backdrop provides a natural contrast against the pure white marble trough sink; creating a true bathroom spa-like oasis wrapped in modern luxury.

In addition to the striking diamond-match shower, matching Calacatta marble tables were custom made to complement the space while adding additional interest and storage.

Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble Quadmatch Shower

Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble Quadmatch Shower and Matching Tables

Black cloud onyx feature wall with a custom marble trough sink

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Black cloud onyx feature wall with a custom marble trough sink