Texture is an important design element that can immediately add warmth and visual interest to any project. The surface texture of natural stone comes in many forms such as polished, honed, leathered, and brushed. While polished and honed are the most common surface finishes we see today, leathered and brushed surfaces are growing increasingly popular due to their ability to immediately add a unique flair to an otherwise sleek and polished surface.
Utilizing natural stone with a textured finish is an easy way to incorporate an earthy, multi-dimensional element into a design. Slabs that feature a leathered finish are versatile, and can easily complement a rustic or transitional room or provide a pop of contrast to a sleek, modern aesthetic.
Absolutely! Initially, the quarry decides what type of surface to apply to a bundle of stone, but the stone surface and texture can easily be changed to fit your design aesthetic by a fabricator prior to installation.
Can You See Scratches in a Leathered or Brushed Stone?
Leathered and brushed finishes are less likely to show scratches that come from normal wear-and-tear. A leathered finish is executed by honing stone, and then texturing it by using diamond-tipped brushes that have varying levels of grit to create small ridges in the surface of the stone. By comparison, a brushed finish has fewer ridges than what you would see in a leathered finish. The varying levels of matte and sheen create an overall “leathered” look on the surface of a stone.
Are Textured Stones More Stain-Resistant?
By design, stones with a leathered finish are more stain-resistant than stones with a honed finish. However, leathered stones are less stain-resistant than polished stones. Regardless of what finish you may prefer, a good sealer will help to maintain your natural stones’ resistance to stains.
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.
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.
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. Afterward, 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 1950s, 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.
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 painting 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natural stone fireplace facades remain one of the most trendy styles of design no matter where you roam. Whether these clad 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.
2. Symmetrical Grigio Italia Marble Fireplace
Rich shades of grey and undertones of violet combined with perfect 45-degree movement give 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.
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!
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.
5. Fabulous Fior Di BoscoMarbleFireplace
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.”
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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Tàpies, Antoni. Grey Relief on Black. 1959. Latex paint with marble dust on canvas. MoMA, New York City.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Onyx is a versatile stonematerial 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.
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.