Get the Edge on Designing with Natural Stone
Does anything compare to the beauty natural stone adds to a home? When we think about natural stone for a home – thoughts tend to wander towards more traditional uses such as kitchen and bathroom countertops, backsplashes and flooring. Whether it’s a traditional or super sleek modern look you’re after, there are some out-of-the-box creative applications homeowners should explore. Let’s take a look room by room.
Kitchen and Bathroom
This is the most popular application of natural stone whether it’s quartz, granite or marble. Floors, counters, backsplashes and walls are all great choices. How this material is used in these spaces is what creates a unique statement. And the key is in the choice of edging. Depending on what edging you choose, you can achieve a more traditional or modern look.
- Standard Profile Edges – Bullnose, Square Edges, Bevel, Ogee, Pencil, etc.
These edges are amongst the most well known. They all treat the edge of the material, with the look you want on the thickness of the slab it came from. They are both simple and inexpensive solutions for finishing your counter tops that are appropriate for contemporary and traditional designs.
- Laminated Edge
Laminated edges provide a less expensive option while still achieving the look of a thick countertop. Here, a piece of stone is epoxied under your counter, creating a continuous effect. Laminated stone edges can also produce a modern contrast if you use a different kind of stone for the edge of your counters.
- Double Stacked Edge
If you’re going for that “wow” factor, this edge has it. It takes the laminated edge a step further by including a profile – creating a profile over a profile in a lamination. The result is a crown molding effect.
- Waterfall Edge
This edge is the hottest trend this year – particularly with islands and vanities. The waterfall edge is named so because the countertop ends continue down the side of the cabinet and typically touch the floor. They are put together with two 45 degree miters for that continuous look.
- Broken/Chiseled Edge
This is a roughhewn edge that offers an extremely modern feel. The chiseled edge offers a unique statement for a real standout piece.
Beyond countertop options, there’s nothing that quite compares to the beauty of a stone sink. There are various options for farmhouse and apron sinks for your kitchen, or vessel sinks for your bathroom in materials like granite, limestone and quartz. An apron sink can have a rough finish to provide a change of pace with clean counter edges. There are also under-mount sinks available in natural stone materials, with an exact piece cut from the counter, giving a seamless look. You could use either option to add contrast or accent colors to your kitchen or bathroom.
Your living room is a perfect place to utilize natural stone in your home, and in more ways than just flooring. Fireplaces, accent walls, art and accessories can all be made from materials such as marble, quartz, granite and limestone. Fireplaces can be made from stone tiles, whole stones, blocks or custom cut pieces for wood or gas use. Sleek tiles or custom cuts are great for a modern room, rough blocks or whole stones would be better in an older home.
Natural stones like onyx and marble can also be used to create a backlit wall to add drama to your living room. Translucent stones are placed in front of a light source to highlight the stone’s inherent patterns, markings, colors and inclusions. Our showroom reception desk is a prime example of today’s LED technology being used to backlight large panels of book-matched onyx. If an entire wall seems like too much for you, you can scale it down by placing a stone insert in your wall instead, while still getting the same effect. Your stone accent wall doesn’t need to be backlit to add excitement to your living room either.
Natural stone is art, and can also be found in items like tables and lamps, which will add the finishing touches to your room. Try pairing freeform end tables with a leather sofa, or a geometric marble lamp with dark wood for a modern look.
Entryway, Home Office, or Bedroom
These rooms provide outstanding opportunities to use natural stone in your home with accent walls, backlit walls, and furniture or accent pieces. A granite top desk might be just the thing for your study, accented by a marble wall hanging. You might consider gracing your entry hall with a chiseled edge table, some flowers and a pair of geodes on either side. Or you could place a backlit stonewall behind your bed for the ultimate theatrical effect. Hallways, bedrooms and home offices are also superb locations for other stone accessories like bowls, lamps, sculptures or vases.
Your yard is an ideal place to use as much natural stone as you want without fear of overdoing it. Seating, fire pits, grills, fireplaces, paths, stairs, patios, terraces, tables, planters and lawn art can all be made from natural stone. It is the oldest building material to be used, and comes in a variety of finishes to look a little more natural, and be easier to maintain. You’re sure to find something out there to match your style, whether you have an infinity pool, an impressive garden or the best lawn on the block. We have even had customers take scrap to create a flat-stacked wall!! Whether you use a little or a lot of natural stone outside your home, you’re sure to get superb results when you choose your materials carefully.
In our next article, we’ll be focusing on one of the most popular areas of the house but the one most often overlooked – the shower. We’ll be exploring different types of porcelain materials, from one-piece shower walls to custom tiles.