DESIGN with STONE
Stone for use in interior design comes in so many forms and types that it can be used effectively in almost any space. However, it is important to choose the appropriate stone for the specific application. Polished floor tile, for instance, could pose a slipping hazard in areas that may become wet such as a bathroom, kitchen, or foyer. A mix of polished and unpolished tile might be a good solution in these settings, while creating an intriguing textural effect and blending the best characteristics of both. Small-scale mosaic tiles create striking patterns where they are seen up close, as in a border or back splash. Preset mosaic tiles are also highly effective where they create a recognizable motif such as a wall mural, a “rug” or medallion inset in a floor tile pattern. Heavily textured tile, although beautiful in the right setting, might not be the best choice in a kitchen, for instance, due to maintenance challenges. Thin stone, in its many sizes, colorways, and patterns, makes a stunning fireplace wall or creates a handsome backdrop motif for bold artwork.
Slab stone for use on countertops has become almost a standard for kitchens and bathrooms, and is a versatile choice for outdoor cooking areas and special features in the landscape. Granite is the typical natural stone of choice for countertops due to its hardness, density, and resistance to staining. Price grades of granite depend on type, availability, and origin. Surprisingly, much of the world’s stone is sent to Italy for cutting and polishing, no matter where it is mined in the world. That fact, along with fabrication and installation, accounts for much of its cost. Composite stone countertop materials such as Cambria and Silestone offer similar features with enhanced durability. The waste from countertop fabrication is significant, and is creatively becoming a recycled product in the form of colorful pavers for landscape use.
IN the GARDEN
Stone in the landscape produces a calming and tranquil effect and is useful in a multitude of applications. Beautiful focal points are created with the artful placement and strategic installation of boulders and accent stones. Stone patios have become quite popular and often solve functional and spacial needs. Irregular stone loosely laid in the lawn creates a cottage or casual look, while formal or classic walks or patios can be created with rectangular stone set in concrete.
Fireplaces and fire pits are another wonderful application for stone in the landscape and tie in the second and third primal elements, combining earth, fire, and sky. Stone is also a natural component of any landscape feature including the fourth element, water, offering unlimited creative opportunities around a pond, bubbling fountain, or other aquatic feature.
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