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Milling Stone: Downsizing a 3cm Slab to a 2cm Slab

Aria Stone Gallery Silver Wave Fireplace

Typically quarries will cut and ship stone slabs in measurements of 2cm or 3cm. In some cases, harder stones such as granite or quartzite will even be available in 1cm. But what should you do if you find your perfect stone in 3cm and your project calls for 2cm? Luckily, there is a way for your fabricator to downsize your stone to fit your design needs: milling. Milling is the process of slowly grinding the thickness of a material down using a mill saw.

Aria Stone Gallery Colosseo Marble Bookmatch Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Colosseo Marble Bookmatch Feature Wall. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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How Does a Fabricator Mill a 3cm Slab into a 2cm Slab?

Most fabricators will have the ability to transform your 3cm slab into a 2cm slab using a mill saw. To begin the process, a foam board is first placed on top of the work table for support and to absorb the pressure that the saw places on the stone. This will avoid creating cracks or fissures in the material. The mill saw then moves across the surface, slowly grinding the stone down to 2cm. There are many different types of milling machines, and they are categorized by orientation to their workpiece and by type of motion.

Aria Stone Gallery Silver Wave Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Silver Wave Fireplace. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Can I Use a 3cm Material for a Backsplash?

Backsplash applications in kitchens or bathrooms are prime examples of when slabs may need to be milled from 3cm to 2cm. In some cases, a 3cm slab is too thick and may get in the way of faucets, sinks or cabinetry.

Aria Stone Gallery Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom
Aria Stone Gallery’s Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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How Can I Make My 2cm Slab Appear Thicker?

On the opposite note, if you are wanting your 2cm countertop or island to appear thicker, there is a way for your fabricator to miter the edges, giving you endless possibilities when creating your edge profile. No need to search for a 3cm slab, you can make a 2cm material appear to be 3cm, 4cm, 5cm or thicker using this technique.

mitered edge
Don’t be fooled; This countertop edge is not 4cm, but simply a 2cm slab with a mitered edge! Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

What Stone Thickness Should I Use for Wall Applications?

It is not recommended to use 3cm materials for wall applications since a typical household wall is not built to support such an immense amount of weight. When applied to a wall, the slenderness of a 2cm slab may be more visually appealing and easier to work with, especially when installing electrical sockets or finishing the sides of the stone.

Aria Stone Gallery Zebrino White Marble Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Zebrino White Marble Fireplace. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Does Milling Effect the Strength of Stone?

Every countertop is just as good as the support beneath it. As a rule of thumb, 2cm is an appropriate strength for marble, quartzite and granite.

Creating a slab smaller than 2cm (especially with marble) is not recommended unless it is for a smaller project such as a small vanity, threshold, or backsplash. If needed, quartzite and granite can be milled to about 1/2 an inch. For marble, it is not recommended to go below 3/4 of an inch in order to keep the integrity of the stone in tact.

Aria Stone Gallery Arabescato Gris Marble Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Arabescato Gris Marble Feature Wall. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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VIEW MORE:
Can you Change the Finish of a Slab?
Everything you Need to Know About Quartzite
On the Edge: Mitered Edge & Waterfall Edge Countertops

The Difference Between Honed and Polished Stone Finishes

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Lincoln Marble Kitchen

When deciding between honed or polished finishes, neither one is better than the other, just different. Neither a honed or polished finish impacts the true nature and durability of the stone slab. And some stones are naturally more durable than others (looking at you granite and quartzite). But for some “softer materials” that are more prone to wear, your stone’s finish may actually add an extra layer of security against stains or camouflage pesky scratches and etches.

Before you make your decision, it is important to ask yourself a few questions and become familiar with all options before deciding which finish is best for you and your family.

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Aria Stone Gallery’s Dolce Vita countertops, backsplash and waterfall island in a polished finish. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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What do honed and polished finishes look like?

According to the Marble Institute of America, a polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and veins of the stone. When a stone is polished, the details, colors, hues, and vein structure show more prominently, putting more of an emphasis on these natural characteristics of the stone. A high polish finish will bring the stone’s natural color to its fullest because it will ultimately reflect the light and appear more saturated.

A honed finish is a satin, smooth surface with relatively little reflection of light. A honed finish is more flat and will almost always appear lighter in color. When a polished stone is honed, the depth, hues, and veins that were once very prevalent may be reduced. The degree of honing depends on the stone, but may vary from light to heavy.

Does your lifestyle match your application?

Are you the type of person that feels most at ease in a bright, pristine space? Or do you find history, comfort or character in patina? Do you prefer the look of a brand new leather jacket or your trusty broken in leather jacket? Neither scenario is wrong, it just comes down to what you prefer!

Those who highly disapprove of scratches and etches may find that honed surfaces are well suited for high traffic and heavily used areas, such as countertops and workspaces. Also, the matte, smooth surface is less slippery when wet, making it a safer choice for bathroom flooring and staircases.

But don’t be discouraged if you fall in love with the look of a polished stone but are horrified by the thought of scratching and etching. There are plenty of preventative measures you can take. Similarly, if you find a stone that is polished and wish it were honed, a skilled fabricator should be able to change the finish for you.

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Aria Stone Gallery’s Hanoi Pure White Marble as shower walls, seat, and vanity countertops with waterfall edge. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Honed and Polished Finishes: Scratch & Etch Resistance

If you are in love with the look of marble, but are not keen on seeing the inherent characteristics associated with the use of marble over time (such as scratches and etches) then consider a honed finish. On a polished finish, a scratch or etch may leave behind a dull, matte mark creating a contrast. Because honed finishes are already matte, the dull marks from scratches and etches are more likely to be camouflaged and go unnoticed.

Having a sealer does not mean that liquids, especially acidic ones like soda or tomato sauce, should be left on countertops overnight, but it does mean that there will be more time to clean up the spills before a permanent mark is made.

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Lincoln Marble Kitchen Amber Venz
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Lincoln Extra Honed Marble in the home of fashion blogger, entrepreneur and LIKEtoKNOW.It.’s founder Amber Venz. Image courtesy of Amber Venz.

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Honed and Polished Finishes: Stain Resistance

When properly sealed, both honed and polished finishes are stain resistant. There is no such thing as a stain proof sealer. If stains are high on your list of concerns, there are a few things to be considered.

A polished finish on a stone is essentially an added layer of security to protect from stains. The process in which a stone is polished helps to close natural pores and create a protective barrier. On the other hand, the pores in a smoothed, honed stone are more receptive to liquid. Side by side, a polished stone surface will have more protection from stains than a honed surface; however, a proper sealer will help to close in open pores and provide stain resistance against most household items.

calacatta gold borghini extra polished marble
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble in a polished finish with contrasting black, glossy, lacquered walls. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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What’s the Difference Between Calacatta and Carrara Marble?

Calacatta-vs-Carrara

What is so special about the most famous and desirable marble on earth? Maybe it’s the Italian origin, and the historical allure that it was Michelangelo’s favorite stone to carve out his sculptures. Maybe it is the fact that Calacatta adorns so many cathedrals, churches and castles all over the globe. Maybe it is the unique mix of white, grey and hues of gold flowing through the dramatic veining – or maybe it’s all of the above. The truth is that Calacatta marble is the most sought after material in the natural stone universe. But anyone who has shopped for Calacatta marble knows that there are so many different types and price ranges out there. So how do you know if you are buying the real thing or a cheap knock off version?

As a rule of thumb, Carrara tends to be muddy in color and not pure white. Carrara is also less expensive and more common to find in your everyday marketplace or cut into tiles. Calacatta on the other hand has very bold veining with a crisp white background. While each natural stone slab is unique, Calacatta marble is much more rare than your typical Carrara.

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Left: Carrara Marble | Right: Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Where does Calacatta marble come from?

Calacatta marble comes from quarries found in the Apuan Mountains in Carrara, Italy. Owner of Aria Stone Gallery, Vinny Tavares, has been going to the Carrara area of Tuscany in Italy – the land of Calacatta marble – for the past 10 years. Tavares explains, “what most people don’t realize is that Calacatta marble doesn’t come from one specific mountain or quarry. There is a vast mountain range in the Carrara region in Italy, with each quarry producing a variety of white marbles such as: Bianco Carrara, Goiai, Venatino, Statuario and finally, Calacatta marble. All of these materials are white marble with more or less the same geological formation.”

Some quarries produce better Calacatta marble than others. For example, the Borghini Quarry is one of the oldest operating quarries in the Carrara region and some of the quarry’s cuts can be traced to Roman Times.

calacatta borghini quarry
The prestigious Borghini quarry in Carrara, Italy. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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What does the perfect Calacatta marble slab look like?

In order to understand Calacatta, you need to know what is not Calacatta. Just because someone calls a Statuario marble, “Calacatta” – does not mean it is a true Calacatta. But what truly differentiates all of the white marbles in the Calacatta Region – as the Italians have discovered hundreds of years ago – is the stone’s veining and how white the background is. The whiter the material, the more expensive the slabs. The more “uniform” the veining in the stone, the pricier it gets.

At Aria we only go for the best Calacatta slabs, the one in a thousand. The one with the most unique veining and most clear and consistent pattern. The end result is crystal clear, even for those who can’t pinpoint Carrara on the map!

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Extra Marble Kitchen
Bold veining with a clear, white background is the essence of Calacatta Extra Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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Shop Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Marble

See our wide selection of Italian Calacatta marble, ranging from traditional grey and white to creamy, golden veining.

Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra | Full Slab View
Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble
calacatta vagli honed marble
Calacatta Vagli Honed Marble
Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Gold Honed Marble | Full Slab View
Calacatta Gold Honed Marble
Aria Stone Gallery Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra | Full Slab View
Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can you change the finish of your natural stone slab?
Everything You Need to Know About Quartzite
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An Artist’s View into #STONEISART

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

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

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

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

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Photo Courtesy of Peg Woodworking, Bastet Collection.

April Hannah: Transforming Materials through Form

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

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

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Photo Courtesy of April Hannah Studio, Lotus Cocktail Table.

A Space Studio: Connecting Nature and Modernity through Natural Stone

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

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

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Photo Courtesy of A Space Studio, Found Console Table.

Robin Antar: Using Stone for Healing and Preservation

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

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

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Conversation 2.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Robin Antar, Boxing Gloves.

Erickson Aesthetics: Studying Art and Fine Furniture with Stone

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

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

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Photo Courtesy of Erickson Aesthetics, Pyramids Side Table.

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Join Vinny on his next trip to Carrara, Italy to hand-select your own materials
View our current selection of hand-selected natural stones

Adventures in the Carrara Valley: Exploring Calacatta Borghini Marble

The Borghini quarry is one of the oldest operating quarries in the Carrara Region in Italy. The Borghini family has owned the quarry for many years and produces the most sought after Italian marble in the world – Calacatta Gold Borghini marble. From Architects in Beijing to New York, everyone is eager to see what the Borghini quarry will extract next.

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The Borghini Quarry in the Carrara Region in Italy. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

The History of Calacatta Borghini Marble

The Borghini quarry is located in the heart of the Apuan Mountains, known as the Carrara Region in Italy. This Italian marble was the primary source of stone for Roman Architecture as well as Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo. This region is known for producing snowy white marble, unlike anything else seen in the world. According to the New York Times, the Calacatta Borghini quarry is one of the oldest quarries in the Carrara region and some of the quarry’s cuts can be traced to Roman Times.

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The ceiling of the incredible Calacatta Borghini Quarry in Carrara, Italy. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

What does Calacatta Borghini marble look like?

Calacatta stone has an very white background with pronounced, yet delicate grey veining that sweeps consistently across the canvas. Calacatta noted with “Extra” on the end of its title means that the canvas is whiter than most. On occasion, the Borghini quarry will extract Calacatta with gold veining or gold hues, which is very rare and makes for an incredible statement slab. While Calacatta Borghini is remarkable, a large, consistent slab of Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra is an exceptionally rare find.

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Aria Stone Gallery’s 2cm Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble, noted as an “absolute perfect slab” by Graziani of the Borghini Quarry

Where does Calacatta Borghini Marble come from?

The Calacatta Borghini marble quarry is located in the opulent Apuan Alps, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in Italy. The quarry consists of two main areas: the side of the mountain and the interior of the mountain. The side of the mountain is the more common extraction area, and the inside of the mountain is home to the most rare and prestigious Borghini Gold marble.

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Outside looking in. The side of the Calacatta Borghini Quarry in the Carrara Mountains. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Calacatta Borghini Marble Production

Today, production of Borghini marble in the Apuan Mountains is very limited, which makes the stone rare and very sought-after. For example, in quarries across the world, stone is typically sold per cubic meter; however, the Borghini blocks are sold by the ton. This makes each pound of the beautiful white marble, with its famous soft golden background, highly valued in the marketplace.

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The busy Borghini Quarry is one of the most exclusive and prestigious producers of marble in the world. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Where can I find Calacatta Borghini in the United States?

Due to the rarity of Calacatta Borghini marble, there are few retailers in the world – let alone the United States – that have access to sell this majestic marble because Calacatta Borghini is so rare. Exotic stone suppliers, such as Aria Stone Gallery, will have the opportunity to sell Borghini only a few times a year. Aria Stone Gallery also offers the opportunity to visit the Calacatta Borghini quarry in Italy to personally hand-select your stone from the very same mountains that Michelangelo admired so dearly.

Watch to learn more about Aria Stone Gallery’s best Calacatta Gold Borghini Extra Marble Yet

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How to Turn Your Stone Remnants into Accessories & Gifts

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

Custom Side Tables

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

Images courtesy of Kate Casey, Peg Woodworking.

Shelving

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

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

Cutting Boards & Trays

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

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

Work Space

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

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DHome Online September 2017

The Manifesto For Natural Stone: Vinny Tavares of Aria Stone Gallery shares what he thinks makes natural stone an irreplaceable art form.

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Use Natural Stone Online September 2017

The Manifesto For Natural Stone: Vinny Tavares of Aria Stone Gallery shares what he thinks makes natural stone an irreplaceable art form.

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Read Our Journal, “What to Watch: 2017 Fall Trends”

Designer Spotlight, Chicago Edition: Aimee Wertepny of PROjECT Interiors

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

Photo Credit: Green Cherry Photography

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

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

Photo Credit: Tony Soluri

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

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

Photo Credit: Cynthia Lynn Kim

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

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

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

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AIMEE WERTEPNY

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

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

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

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

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PaperCity Dallas September 2017

Aria Stone Gallery’s Port Black and Sahara Noir marble add a touch of masculinity and flair to this once-empty, white boxy house.

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D Home September/October 2017

A colorful assortment of Aria Stone Gallery’s natural stone slabs grace the Christopher Peacock showroom this Fall for their grand opening.

 

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What to Watch: 2017 Fall Trends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Makes an Aria Quality Slab?

Here at Aria Stone Gallery, we talk about how we have the most unique and beautiful slabs; but what does that mean? How are Aria’s slabs different from the rest? Aria’s owner, Vinny Tavares, travels around the world, from the Carrara Region in Italy, to the quarries of Brazil, to hand select every slab that is brought to Aria. What is it exactly that Vinny is looking for when he purchases Aria’s slabs?

Quality over Quantity

In the natural stone industry, many stone suppliers will carry stock colors and commercial-grade materials that they always have on hand. Aria Stone Gallery focuses on quality over quantity and does not carry stock materials. If we sell out of a material and find that the quarry isn’t currently producing a slab that meets our standards for that same type of material, we won’t bring it in. Instead, we will wait until the quarry finds another incredible and rare bundle.

Aria Stone Gallery’s Standards and Criteria for Purchasing Stone from the Quarry

When our owner Vinny goes to a quarry, he uses a set of standards, where he grades every slab of stone from 1 to 10. The quality and uniqueness of slabs are graded based upon the 5 factors: richness of color, structure (i.e., whether the slab is sturdy or has core holes), size, vein composition, and natural quality. Vinny only purchases slabs that are considered a nine or ten.

  • Grade 1-2: Should not be mined from the quarry.
  • Grade 3-6: Lacking in 2 or more of our quality standard test.
  • Grade 7-8: Okay material, but lacking in one of the standards.
  • Grade 9: Nearly perfect in color, composition, structure, size, veining, quality.
  • Grade 10: Perfect in color, structure, size, veining, quality.

How does Aria mitigate between beauty and natural fissures?

Sometimes when a stone is more exotic, it is more delicate. The reason many stone suppliers don’t carry exotic material is that it is a risk to transport internationally. The stone supplier really has to know how to move the material safely. Sometimes things are so beautiful, they are worth the risk.

Has Aria ever sent material back because it arrived in a lesser condition than you bought it?

Yes. Once Aria’s material arrives in the states, our staff inspects each slab, and if the slab is not up to our standards, it will never make it to either Aria’s showroom or online. For example, not too long ago we received a bundle of Lemurian. When the quarry polished the surface, they did not allow enough time for the drying process before the slab was loaded into the crate. So, when the slab was unloaded in the States, the slab had cracked and had huge divots everywhere. In this case, we would send the material back to the quarry rather than selling the stone at a discounted price.

How are Aria Stone Gallery’s standards different from other stone suppliers?

We are providing to a niche. Aria stone Gallery’s product is just a fraction of what is out there. As mentioned before, we do not carry stock products, staple colors, or low-to-mid grade exotics. In the off chance that we do have a middle grade exotic, it will be the most beautiful middle grade exotic that the quarry has every produced. Typical stone suppliers tend to carry five to ten percent of the quality that is stocked at Aria.

Unlike buying a man-made product, which can be done on demand, purchasing stone is a much more subjective exercise. Quarries go through bad phases, yielding undesirable blocks, and they often face regulatory issues, all of which restricts the fine buying or what Aria calls the “pursuit of the perfect stone.”

Many stone distributors are primarily focused on filling purchase orders – and that may be okay settling for an ordinary slab. At Aria Stone Gallery, we don’t sell ordinary slabs – we don’t have a standard list of “stone we carry”. The good thing about natural stone is that new quarries are always being discovered, new blocks are constantly being processed and you never know when the most dramatic slab is about to be cut. It’s a bit like baseball – the trick is not to fall for the temptation of swinging at every pitch. At Aria Stone Gallery we would rather be out of a popular stone color than have a mediocre slab in stock.

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Colorful Quartzite Condominium

Aria Stone Gallery Quasar Quartzite Kitchen

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

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

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

 

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Whimsical White Macaubas Kitchen
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Mid-Century Modern Calacatta Extra Kitchen and Living Room

aria stone gallery calacatta extra feature wall

This open concept home features Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra marble in a beautiful bookmatch, centered around a mid-century modern aesthetic with natural elements that add warmth to the overall space. The kitchen features a breakfast bar and island with a mitered, waterfall edge for an elegant yet dramatic look.

Calacatta Extra Marble Kitchen and Feature Wall
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

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The delicate veins in this Calacatta Extra align for a dramatic artwork presentation that is the center of attention in this open plan dining and living space. The versatility of Calacatta marbles make for one-of-a-kind patterning that is exclusive to each block of stone. This home was designed by SHM Architects and beautifully fabricated by Il Granito.

Calacatta Extra Marble Kitchen and Feature Wall
Prestigious Italian Calacatta marble in an incredible bookmatch design. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

SHOP ITALIAN MARBLE

The remnant portions of the fireplace make for a unique continuation of the design, creating a space that effortlessly flows from one area to the next. The juxtaposition of the rustic elements mixed with the refined, classic look of marble beautifully marry in this artistic and visually inspiring space.

Calacatta Extra Marble Waterfall Island and Feature Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

SHOP CALACATTA MARBLE

Calacatta Extra Marble Feature Fireplace
Aria Stone Gallery’s Calacatta Extra Marble. Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

SHOP CALACATTA MARBLE

 

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Hilary Kennedy July 2017

Social media and blogging sensation, Hilary Kennedy, talks about the newest addition to her home- a gorgeous marble tray sourced by Aria Stone Gallery.

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How Hard is Your Stone? What You Need to Know About the Mohs Hardness Scale

Why is it that marble scratches easier than quartzite? Is quartzite harder than granite? To first begin to answer these questions, quarries and stone suppliers begin with the Mohs Hardness Scale to help classify a natural stone.

Mohs Hardness Scale - Aria Stone Gallery

What is the Mohs Hardness Scale?

The Mohs Hardness Scale was developed in 1812 by a German geologist and mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs to determine the relative hardness of a mineral as a comparison to another mineral. For example, the scale begins with the softest material, talc. All materials above talc have the ability to scratch talc. The second material is gypsum, and since talc is below gypsum, talc is softer and thus not able to scratch gypsum. As you move up the scale the minerals become harder and harder, ending with the strongest mineral: diamond.

What else should I consider when determining my stone’s strength?

Understanding the strength of a slab is not black and white. While the Mohs Hardness Scale is certainly a worthwhile resource to provide a general guideline, it does not provide all of the information for a natural stone slab. The Mohs Hardness Scale only takes into consideration the strength of a single mass element – or the purest form of each mineral. This is like asking, “what is the flavor of Neapolitan ice cream?” And while, in general, your quartzite is harder than your granite, or your granite is harder than your marble, keep in mind that natural stone is a product of mother nature. Meaning, no two slabs are alike and each has its own similar, yet unique composition. This composition, much like human DNA, is what makes each stone a beautiful, unique work of art.

How does a quarry classify stone?

When a stone is purchased from the quarry, the quarry will provide a report with the geologic makeup of the stone. If the majority of the minerals in the large block of stone is quartzite, than the quarry will classify the slab as a quartzite.

Use the Mohs Hardness Scale when you are evaluating which stone is right for you to get a general idea of where to begin. As with all natural stones, there is never a guarantee of hardness or “scratch proof” material. In order to prevent scratches and maintain the lifetime of your natural stone, we always recommend researching and finding the best sealer that will meet your needs.

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Smart Design: Offices That Impress

Aria Stone Gallery Mercury White Marble Feature Wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nini Style July 2017

Nini Nguyen shares with us her “Bee Mindfulness Latte” recipe, along with the newest addition to her home, a beautiful marble tray sourced by Aria.

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The Zoe Report May 2017

Marble is arguably one of the most luxe finishes you can add to a home—and it has the hefty price tag to go along with. But if you can afford to spend on it, might we suggest one of these completely unexpected and totally beautiful ideas? The Zoe Report sat down with expert April Graves, Vice President of Aria Stone Gallery who clued us into the fact that marble can be used for so much more than just countertops.

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To Learn More About Designing With Textured Surfaces, Click Here.
Downsizing a 3cm Slab to a 2cm Slab.
How to Turn your Remnants into Furniture and Accessories.

Dallas Innovates | Aria Stone Gallery Launches 1st E-Commerce Site for Stone

Dallas Innovates interviews owner and founder of Aria Stone Gallery, Vinny Tavares, and speaks about the recent launch of the innovative stone boutique’s e-commerce website. The first of its kind, the company and of course, the website, is dedicated to showing that natural stone is much more than what meets the eye – it is an art form. VIEW MORE:
To View More Midcentury Modern Kitchen and Master Bath Designs, Click Here.
To Learn More About How To Clean Natural Stone Countertops, Click Here.

Memorial Villages May/June 2017

Memorial Villages features Aria Stone Galley’s chic and modern Arabescato Gris marble bathroom in their “Top Remodeling Ideas For Summer” article. What better way to welcome the summer heat than a cool, bold bathroom revamp? Aria’s “no two stones are the same” persona lends itself to achieving a truly one-of-a-kind look no matter the application. 

VIEW MORE:
View Our Verde Aurora Feature Wall.
To View Luxury Celebrity Bathrooms, Click Here.
See The Zoe Report Article Featuring Aria Stone Gallery: 6 Unexpected (And Stunning) Ways To Decorate With Marble.

Intown May/June 2017

Intown features Aria Stone Galley’s chic and modern Arabescato Gris marble bathroom in their “Top Remodeling Ideas For Summer” article. What better way to welcome the summer heat than a cool, bold bathroom revamp? Aria’s “no two stones are the same” persona lends itself to achieving a truly one-of-a-kind look no matter the application. 

VIEW MORE:
View Our Verde Aurora Feature Wall.
To View Luxury Celebrity Bathrooms, Click Here.
See The Zoe Report Article Featuring Aria Stone Gallery: 6 Unexpected (And Stunning) Ways To Decorate With Marble.

Go Design Go April 2017

Aria Stone Gallery is so excited to announce our feature with designer Lucinda Loya in Go Design Go April 2017. In this special issue, Lucinda explores the beauty and artistry behind natural stone as an interior design choice, and how using stone can enhance your home. Read more below!

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Everything You Need to Know about Quartzite

White Macaubas Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery

Quartzite is one of nature’s most precious natural stones and has become increasingly popular due to its extremely durable surface, unique patterning, and diverse colors. Whether you are using quartzite for your countertops in a high-traffic kitchen or a statement wall application, here are all of your questions answered about this incredible and highly sought after stone.

Where does quartzite come from?

Quartzite evolves from sand grains, which is why it is found in areas with beaches, desert dunes, or riverbeds. As sand grains are buried and compressed, they fuse together to form sandstone. As the sandstone continues to be buried deeper and deeper, more heat and pressure cause the sandstone to compress. In this state, the sand grains lose their original shape and transform into quartzite.

Because quartzite evolves from sand grains, it is no surprise that much of quartzite, such as Taj Mahal, is lighter in color. On the other hand, in parts of the world such as Brazil, minerals are carried through the sand grains by groundwater, creating some of the most unique and colorful quartzite. Fusion Wow, Emerald Green, and Red Louis are all great examples of this geologic phenomenon.

Taj Mahal Leathered Quartzite
Taj Mahal
Fusion Wow Quartzite
Fusion Wow
Emerald Green Quartzite
Emerald Green

 

 

 

 

 

2cm-fusion-quartzite
Fusion
Emerald Sea
2cm Red Louis Quartzite
Red Louis

 

 

 

 

Does quartzite scratch or etch?

The long and tedious process of sand compression and heating leads to an incredibly dense and durable stone. To put this in perspective, the Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness classifies quartzite at a 7, higher than its neighbor granite, which on the same scale measures between 6-6.5. To further illustrate, a kitchen knife and glass are measure at 5 on the Moh’s hardness scale. Therefore, scratches should not be an issue when using quartzite in your home, even in high traffic areas and highly used spaces, such as the kitchen.

If you cook frequently and want to make sure that your countertops are safe from etching, then you might want to also consider quartzite. Quartzite will not etch from acids found in household items such as vinegar and lemon juice. However, both quartzite and granite react to hydrofluoric acid, which is found in some rust removers. Thankfully, hydrofluoric acid is not a common ingredient in household products.

White Macaubas Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery
White Macaubas Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery, designed by homeowner.

Does quartzite stain?

All quartzite is different in terms of porosity and stain resistance as it depends on how tightly the minerals bonded together during the mineral metamorphic process. In general, quartzite such as Sea Pearl and Taj Mahal have highly bonded minerals, while Macaubas may have been exposed to less pressure, making it more porous and prone to staining. Use a sealer to avoid stains from common household items. Seal your quartzite about once a year with a home application sealer to maintain this coverage.

Azul Imperiale Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery.

What is soft quartzite, calcitic quartzite, or dolomitic quartzite?

According to the Marble Institute of America, there are many products on the market that are labeled as “soft quartzite,” “calcitic quartzite,” and “dolomitic quartzite”. Note that these products share only some of the same properties as quartzite. With marble, calcite, and dolomite all rated around a 3 on the Moh’s hardness scale and quartzite rated at 7, these varying labels are typically trying to convey that they fall somewhere between a 3 and a 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. Meaning, they are harder than a marble, calcite, or dolomite, but softer than a quartzite.
It is important to be aware of the difference as marble, calcite, and dolomite are softer and therefore more susceptible to scratching, etching, and staining than a true quartzite. Of course, these effects can be lessened by using a sealer, but it is helpful to know beforehand to avoid any misunderstandings.

Sea Pearl Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery.

How do I test to see if I have a true quartzite?

Household kitchen acids such as lemon juice and vinegar will not etch quartzite. One way to test if you have a true quartzite is to put lemon juice or vinegar on your stone and let it sit. Wait for 15 minutes and then wipe up your test area and look for an etch. Depending on the coloring of the stone, etching may look more dark, light, or dull than before. If any etching occurs then it is not a true quartzite. For this test, sometimes it helps to take before and after pictures to best compare the results.

Sea Pearl Quartzite Kitchen
Sea Pearl Quartzite from Aria Stone Gallery.

SHOP-ARIA-QUARTZITE-BUTTON

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Turn your Next Project into an Adventure of a Lifetime

World travel, inspiration, adventure, and first-class service is just the beginning of Aria Stone Gallery’s custom “World-Class Hand Selection” program. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime excursion that gives the clients a chance to experience the behind-the-scenes process of hand-selecting stone for their special project. The journey begins with first-class flight and hotel accommodations to the Carrara region of Italy to visit the famous marble mountains. Here, alongside Aria Stone Gallery’s owner, Vinny Tavares,  the clients will learn first-hand what makes a slab of marble so unique, rare, and exotic. This hands-on approach is unique to Aria and gives the clients the ability to experience all stages of stone sourcing, from mining and processing, to the selection of that perfect piece

This total immersion in the culture, led by locals and stone professionals, allows the travelers to explore the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the region from which the stone is sourced. Gaze in awe over the breathtaking views of the Carrara mountains during the day, while experiencing fine dining prepared by world-class chefs in the evening.

The memories of this trip are sure to stay with our clients forever, as they will be reminded of their amazing experience every time they gaze upon their completed project. Not many people in the world will be able to tell tales of the exact origin of their stone, and even less will be able to say they got to experience hand selecting their chosen slab(s) at the physical quarry. Aria spares no expense to ensure our customers are treated like royalty.

At the end of this adventure, you will know first-hand what it means to refer to an “Aria quality” stone and why we treat each slab as a piece of art. Come along with Aria on this one-of-a-kind journey and gain the unique insight, knowledge, and education from an industry insider and Aria founder, Vinny Tavares.

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817 Home | Stone Age

817 Home Spring 2017 features a sneak peek of the star of Aria’s Dallas Showroom: a stunning bookmatched Fusion quartzite feature wall/bedroom vignette. This incredible article highlights the beauty of natural stone and how it can enhance any interior- from bathrooms to kitchens, even fireplaces. The options for designing with stone are truly endless, see more inspiration here.

 

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Paris Fashion Week 2017

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

3cm Emerald Green
2cm Emerald Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

3cm Grigio Carnico
new-belgium-black
2cm New Belgium Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

lemurian-granite
3cm Lemurian
matrix-3d-schist
3cm Matrix 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Natural Stone in Retail Design

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

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

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

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

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

barneys-new-york-stone
Barney’s New York. Image courtesy of Interior Design Magazine. Photography by Scott Frances/Otto.

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

dolce-and-gabbana
Dolce and Gabbana Aoyama. Image courtesy of www.dolcegabbana.com.

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

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

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

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

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

bianco-quartzite-kitchen
Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

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

bianco-quartzite-kitchen
Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

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

bianco-quartzite-kitchen
Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

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

bianco-quartzite-kitchen
Bianco Quartzite Kitchen

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

colorado-gold-marble-bathroom
Colorado Gold Marble Bathroom

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Lessons from Stockholm Design Week 2017

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

stockholm-design-week
Photo courtesy of Gustav Kaiser.

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

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Images courtesy of Lotta Agaton @lottaagaton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Contemporist February 2017

Contemporist February 2017 features a plethora of natural stone inspiration pieces, including Aria Stone Gallery’s stunning and modern Sea Pearl Quartzite kitchen. In 5 Reasons Why You Should Use Natural Stone For Your Interior Spaces, you will find great examples of how to use this amazing material on every surface and in every room in your home.

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Behind The Stone: Red Louis Quartzite

Houzz February 2017

Aria Stone Gallery’s Corteccia is nothing short of breathtaking, and the same goes for this kitchen, featured in Houzz February 2017. The colorful undertones of this earthy stone makes a statement upon all kitchen surfaces, while chocolate brown veins add dynamic flare and direction. 

Space designed by Dona Rosene Interiors and Helene’s Luxury Kitchens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

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

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

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

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

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

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Onyx Caramello Backlit Bar at The Grove Restaurant

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Houzz February/March 2017

Houzz February/March 2017 features 7 Kitchens With Statement-Making Fridges, and among these wonderfully unique and fun appliances lies Aria’s whimsical Chateaux Blanc quartzite countertops. Green and pink tones collide in this retro-style space, and we couldn’t be more excited to show it off.

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Exploring Geometry, Body, & Space with Hong Kong Fashion Week Designer Winnie Witt
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Modern Luxury Interiors Texas February 2017

Aria Stone Gallery is so excited to announce our features in Modern Luxury Interiors Texas February 2017, in collaboration with Marvelous Home Makeovers, Traci Connell and more. So many beautiful natural stone projects have been highlighted in this issue, including one of our most luxurious installations, a Calacatta Extra Marble kitchen.

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It’s All in the Details: Seamless Stone Applications
Exploring Geometry, Body, & Space with Hong Kong Fashion Week Designer Winnie Witt
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Luxe Interiors + Design January 2017

Luxe Interiors + Design January 2017 features some exclusive insight from some experts in the world of natural stone, regarding usage, techniques and importance of the material. April Graves, VP of Aria Stone Gallery was included in this informative article, Eye on Design 2017: Materials.

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History of the Brazilian Stone Market
“Stone is Art” Industry Panel Discussion, Sponsored by D Home Magazine

Transitional Calacatta Rhino Marble Kitchen

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

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

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

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

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Industrial Rustic Crossfit Gym

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

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Grigio Italia Marble Front Desk

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

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

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Striato Olimpico Marble Women’s Locker Room

 

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Striato Olimpico Marble Women’s Locker Room

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PaperCity Dallas January 2017

This breathtaking kitchen, bookmatch wall and bar application, featured in PaperCity’s Dallas January 2017 issue, sports the always elegant Calacatta Extra marble – a hand sourced material especially chosen by Aria Stone Gallery.

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D Home Design Book 2017

D Home Design Book 2017 features a sneak peek of a few of Aria’s most stunning natural stone projects, from bright green marbles to backlit onyx. The options for designing with stone are truly endless. Get more inspiration below!

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

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

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

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

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Zebrino Black and Gold Marble Bar at Stirr Restaurant

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

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Midcentury Modern Kitchen and Master Bath

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

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Statuario Marble Kitchen

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

Statuario Marble Kitchen

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

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Statuario Marble Kitchen

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Transitional Onyx and Marble Home

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

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

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Backlit Onyx Nuvolato Bar

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

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Calacatta Vagli Marble Kitchen