Aria Stone Gallery believes each stone is a unique piece of artwork. Their curated collection of luxurious, hand-selected natural stone is sourced from the most exclusive quarries around the world. Follow along as Aria illustrates the process of transforming stone into art. Learn more about experiencing this journey firsthand here, with Interior Design Magazine.
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.
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.
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.
With great joy, we are proud to announce the launch of our brand-new quarry experience program. As a pioneer in the industry, Aria continually pushes the envelope when it comes to customer experience and education which holds true with the announcement of our new, custom “World-Class Hand Selection” program. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime excursion which gives the clients a chance to experience the behind-the-scenes process of hand-selecting stone for their special project. It allows the travelers to immerse themselves in the rich history, culture, and cuisine of the region from which the stone is sourced. 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 truly is a one-of-a-kind excursion, not only do the customers get a chance to experience all aspects of stone sourcing, they are also treated to world-class perks. From fine dining, true to the region’s culinary roots prepared by world-class chefs, and five-star lodging accommodations to breathtaking views and total immersion in the surrounding culture. 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 that they were there as it was hand selected in the quarry. Aria spends 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 be called “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, Vinny Tavares.
If you are interested in participating or have any additional inquiries, please contact us.
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.
Recently we had the pleasure to ask one of Dallas’ talented designers and creative masterminds, Brant McFarlain, from R. Brant Design, a few questions regarding the inspiration behind his award-winning design at Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio event. He partnered with Jean de Merry to create the largest and highest selling vignette in Thrift Studio history, earning him this prestigious recognition. Dwell with Dignity describes their annual Thrift Studio Pop-up shop as “an opportunity to celebrate beauty and creativity while helping others come home— in the truest sense of the word.”
McFarlain attended the University of North Texas where he acquired a Fine Arts degree, and went on to work as a designer for Leo A. Daly and Morrison Seifert Murphy before venturing off and starting his own company. He is best known for creating designs for high-end residential homes, national hospitality chains, and corporate clientele. See what McFarlain had to say about his vignette design and what inspires him in this one-on-one interview.
Q. What inspired your vignette design at Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio?
A. Jean de Merry was our major sponsor for the event, so our ‘vision’ was stemmed from their immaculate collection. One of my favorite pieces we chose to put in our vignette was a JDM sofa. It was a gorgeous, masculine piece with rich leather and black lacquer. That masculinity became the foundation of our design as we developed our gentlemen’s bedroom suite.
Q. What inspired you to work with Dwell with Dignity?
A. This is one of those opportunities where I couldn’t say no – it was a complete yes from the beginning. I hold this organization in such high regard, and am inspired by everything they do for those in need. I’m not even sure I’d say I was ‘inspired’ to work with Dwell with Dignity, more like I was honored and humbled by doing so.
Q. What is your favorite aspect/key component of this design?
A. I immediately fell in love with the room layout and the way our defined spaces still allowed a connected feel. Our space was unique in that it was quite large, yet still felt intimate and cozy.
Q. What are some key points to keep in mind when designing a masculine yet warm and inviting space, such as this one?
A. It is about selecting key pieces that exude masculinity, while also developing a consistent backdrop that creates an inviting room. I created warmth by adding lighter colors, contrasting textures, rich rugs, and luscious throws and bedding.
Q. Where do you draw your overall inspiration from?
A. Italian modernism.
Q. With a neutral color palette such as this one, what design elements do you find are most important to keep in mind?
A. When the color palette stays neutral, it is critical to add variety through textures and patterns. A bit of the unexpected makes it playful and infuses your own personality into the space.
Q. What are your favorite ways to add texture and dimension to a space?
A. Unique art and accessories you wouldn’t find anywhere else! It’s all about developing the subtle layers that help give a space depth and texture.
Q. How would you describe your style? What do you want readers to know about you as a designer?
A. I’m a minimalist – less is more. A timeless aesthetic is what I strive for – modern, traditional, and everything in between. My ultimate design style is sleek and sexy, but also practical.
Q. What are three pieces of advice you would give to an aspiring designer?
A. First, I would say find a designer that you admire and respect. Seek out opportunities to learn and grow as a professional from them. Second, develop confidence in your design preferences and your skills as a designer. Have a solid foundation of who you are as a designer and what it means to you. Then, of course I’d say take what you know about the rules of interior design and learn when to bend those rules to create something unique and extra special.
Q. Currently, what are your favorite types of stone to incorporate into your designs?
A. I love using white marbles with limestones. The light, neutral tones creates a sophisticated, soothing timeless aesthetic.
Q. What is your favorite way to incorporate stone into your designs?
A. For a very luxurious look, using slab material for floors and walls is great when budgets allow. This also creates a unique design with no grout joints.
Q. What factors do you take into consideration when selecting stone for a particular design?
A. The mood of an interior is set through multiple factors. I look at color, patterning and finish when designing with stone. The color of the stone for obvious reasons, the patterning in the stone is determined by the application of the slabs and tiles. If using a tile, I don’t like strong, heavy veining in marbles because it becomes very busy when the different tiles are applied. Finish is fun to play with as well in a space. You can mix polished and honed surfaces to create contrast or subtle interest. Honed spaces feel soft and understated where as polished can sometimes feel cold and formal.
Q. Any additional designer tips you can give our readers when it comes to selecting stone?
A. As a rule, minimize the number of different materials in one space. For example, I typically specify the same stone for both the counter tops and full height backsplash.
About Dwell with Dignity Charity Organization
Dwell with Dignity is a nonprofit agency dedicated to creating soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty. Their mission is to help families escape poverty and homelessness through design; one household at a time. They empower families to lead their best lives and to thrive in a safe, functional and beautiful environment. By providing and installing home interiors that include furnishings, art, linens, kitchen supplies and food in the pantry, they enable families to become stable and create home lives they are proud of. Toxic stress levels are reduced significantly. Academics improve. Play dates are made. Plans are made for birthday parties, holiday gatherings, and family dinners. These homes have a powerful generational impact.
This all-American library with bold blues and splashes of red and white hues has us feeling patriotic with fourth of July just around the corner. Featuring our timeless Blue Bahia granite, this custom Mid-Century Modern desk is the colorful highlight to this rich and elegant space. Designed in collaboration with the homeowner and artisan, this one-of-a-kind furniture piece features custom notched legs, while its clean lines blend beautifully with the modern aesthetic. Adding a pop of color and a dash of bold, this durable, work of art provides both form and function, marrying the two effortlessly.
The Aria team recently traveled to the beautiful land of Italy, and we are here to share our journey with you. Italy, also known as the “culinary epicenter, fashion capital and cultural haven” is richly abundant in historic architecture and art. Its unique beauty and serenity is so stunning that it is hard to describe in words. From its priceless cultural riches in Florence home to Michelangelo’s David to its historic monuments in Rome such as the Colosseum; stone and Italy have, for a long time, been synonymous.
Besides the historic attractions, Italy is also known for its beautiful marble. Ranging from Bianco Carrara, Goiai, Venatino, Statuarietto, Staturio, to the famous Calacatta, Italian marble remains in high demand. Our founder, Vinny Tavares, has been traveling to the Carrara region of Tuscany, also known as the land of the Calacatta, for the past decade. This Spring he was joined by the rest of our team.
Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look as we share the beautiful sights of Milan, Florence, and Carrara, from the beautiful mountaintops in the Apuan Alps to the charming Tuscan countrysides.
Come along with us as we take you on a truly one of a kind journey and share with you Italy through Aria’s eyes. We are certain you will experience the true meaning of ‘la dolce vita.’
“Do not follow where a path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
With Spring in full bloom, Summer just around the corner, and renovations on our minds, make your space as hot or cold as you would like it to be with the help of natural stone. Whether you choose to warm up your space with Sequoia Brown or cool it down with Shadow Storm, we have the latest materials to match your personal style. To choose a stone that evokes warmth, look for shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and tan. While ‘cooler’ stones embody shades of blue, green, violet, and greys. Take a sneak peek at some of the hottest and coolest stones of the season below.
Combine both cool and warm tones into your overall design for a well-balanced aesthetic. Warm hues are used in interiors to stimulate the viewer while cool tones help to focus creating a soothing, tranquil environment. Warm tones work great in social rooms in the house such as the living room, dining room, and kitchen, while cool colors work fabulously in private rooms such as the bedroom, office, and nursery. Keep in mind that the size of the room is also important when deciding which hues to incorporate. Warm hues tend to advance, while cool colors tend to recede, making them more ideal for smaller rooms.
COOL IT DOWN:
2cm Shadow Storm B4077
True grey with organic, soft veining moving throughout, this recently re-stocked, neutral marble is the perfect complement to any modern or transitional design.
Tip: Pair this natural beauty with a pop of warm color to add warmth to your space.
The waves of purple, blue, green and black effortlessly merge in this marble of majesty. Truly this is an Aria work of art.
Tip: Pair this showstopper with natural, rustic elements to warm it up and relax your space.
Other special mentions:
WARM IT UP
This piece evokes the same warming sensation as cuddling up next to a cozy fireplace, on a cold Aspen winter night . It features beautiful shades of red and rich browns, which gracefully flow throughout the piece.
Tip: Balance this warm piece with metallic gold accents to add some sizzle to the space.