Monthly Archives: February 2016

Leather, Flamed, and Textured Counters

Texture is rapidly becoming one of the watch words in the kitchen industry right now, with lots of natural and man-made materials taking on new texture throughout the space. This includes the countertop, where natural stone is still reigning, but with different finishes than the traditional polish.

While many people still like polished and honed counters for their simplicity and easy cleaning, more homeowners are also beginning to turn to finishes such as flamed and leather granite to get more depth out of their counters.

Flaming is the process of heating up the surface of the granite so that the weakest particles are brushed away. It leaves behind a very rough textured surfaces that glitters with quartz and silica particles. This also has the effect of muting the colors of the granite, so for example Absolute Black becomes more of a deep steel gray.

Leather finished granite has a smoother texture than flamed granite, but with a contoured movement across the surface of the stone. Meant to mimic the appearance of crocodile leather, this texture has a low sheen that still brings out the color of the stone, while adding depth and interest to the surface at the same time.

Not all granites can be textured, and not all granites tend to look their best with these finishes as well. It’s always best to have a sample done first to see how the stone will react before ordering the finish on the entire countertop. Darker stones, such as gabbros, tend to work best, and stones that handle honed finishes well also tend to work well with a textured finish.

As etching, pattern, and texture continues to become a trend in the kitchen, look for more natural stone counters that have a more tactile surface as well. Whether you opt for a very rough or a more natural texture, the results are sure to



Complement a Stone Counter with a Stone Sink

Natural materials and a movement away from things like stainless steel have been gathering a lot of momentum in trends for the last few years. As predictions for 2016 interior and home design continue to come out, they show more of the same; a movement toward richer, warmer materials than were used in the past.

This means that a lot of homeowners that had been pairing their granite countertops with stainless steel sinks, are now looking for a newer material to use. In both kitchens and bathrooms, one material that always pairs beautifully with natural stone, is natural stone.

Stone sinks are made of the same natural granite or marble that makes up the countertop. They’re available in two ways; a granite composite that uses about 99% real granite with a resin to make the sinks more uniform and lower maintenance, and natural stone that has been carved and polished to form the sink. Both will create a beautiful complement to a stone counter, making a more natural, softer, warmer appearance in the room than stainless steel.

Stone sinks are available in a number of different colors, finishes, and styles. Granite composite sinks can be undermounted or dropped in, and can come in a number of different configurations including double bowls, and insets for shelves. Natural stone sinks can be found as vessels, apron-front kitchen sinks with naturally cleft or carved faces, as well as undermount and dropped in varieties. Some stone sinks can even be pieced together from slabs, forming a continuous look from the counter into the sink itself.

With so many different styles available, there is a stone sink that can complement any type of kitchen or bathroom design.

Stone sinks are cared for like stone counters; they may require sealing and they should be cleaned with PH neutral cleansers made for natural stone.

If a stainless steel sink feels too cold or industrial for the space, consider trying a natural stone sink instead.


Considering Burgundy Stone

While this year’s colors are predicted to be softer in shade, the hottest color of the winter happens to be last year’s predicted hot color: burgundy. There are a lot of indicators that point toward this color continuing to be strong for the next several years as well. For those want to make a strong statement in their home, considering a burgundy stone may be the answer.

There are a number of different granite and marbles that can fit in beautifully with this trend, whether you want to approach it subtly or in a more bold way.

Crema Bordeaux granite has a very subtle burgundy streak and fleck running through it, while having a background of softer golds and creams. This makes the stone perfect for those that want to embrace the burgundy trend, while leaving themselves open to other color palettes for the future.

Another choice for those that want to mix burgundy in with other shades, but want a bolder color palette is Breccia Pontificia. This marble is streaked with a rainbow of colors ranging from deep burgundy to grass green.

For homeowners that want a more subtle stone, but with true, deep burgundy color there is also Cape Breton Bordeaux, a Canadian marble that ranges from bold reds to deep burgundy, all with a thick white vein.

Another choice, for those that want a burgundy granite, is Juparana Bordeaux. This stone ranges from a reddish-tinted brown to a soft burgundy, sometimes within the same slab. It can give you the color you’re after, while still giving you the option of toning down the other colors in the room over time.

Verde Fouco is another good choice for those that want a bolder look, but with the durability of granite. Fouco ranges from bright green to deep burgundy within the same stone, often with a white vein mixed in as well.

Burgundy is a natural choice for those that want to add some color and depth to their homes at once. Consider finding a natural stone in this color to help dress up your décor.


Choosing Stones with the Color of the Year 2016

In January of each year, Pantone releases its color of the year – the shade that will likely dominate interior design for the next 12 months and beyond. This year is no different, except in one regard; Pantone has released two colors – Rose Quartz and Serenity – and has explained that the two shades are used together in this year’s color chart.

These colors permeate everything in the home, so if you’re using them, you’ll want to consider some natural stone choices to go along with them as well. There are several beautiful stones that work well with either color.

To go with Rose Quartz – a very soft, pink shade, consider Pink Onyx, a translucent stone with a color reminiscent of true pink quartz. For a more durable stone, you may want to also consider Rosa Porrino, a Spanish stone with little movement or veining, but a rich pink color that will complement Rose Quartz beautifully.

You have many more choices when it comes to finding a stone to pair with Serenity, a light, smoky blue. Azul Macuba, a very dramatic blue and gray stone with the veining of marble but the denseness of granite is the perfect choice. It’s on the pricier end of the spectrum, however, so those looking for choices that are more budget friendly may also want to consider stones such as Persa Blue granite from Brazil, which has a smoky blue background with large white crystals studding its surface. Another stone to consider may be Azul Celeste, a very light blue quartzite that is sometimes sold as a marble. This sky blue stone often has marshmallow veins running through its crystalline structure. Finally, a limestone known as Blue Elegant, which is hard enough to handle a high polish, makes a deeper accent against the light tones of Serenity.

Pantone’s Color of the Year is always sure get a lot of exposure throughout many homes. Make sure that if you use one of these shades this year, that you pair them with the right stone to complete the look.