Set in Stone: New Takes On A Design Favorite

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Pietra Grey Marble Fireplace (Aria Stone Gallery)

In all its iterations, stone lends a timeless and elegant vibe to a home’s aesthetic. Interesting and innovative options abound, inside the house and out.

We spoke with April Graves, Vice President of Aria Stone Gallery, about the current market and changes post-COVID-19.

“We anticipate a shift back to natural stone. People will be focusing on quality products that have a long life span. Across the board, we see the interiors industry having a greater focus on artisan products,” she says.

Calacatta Gold Extra Marble Kitchen and Butler’s Kitchen (Aria Stone Gallery)

Graves was in Italy making selections when the travel ban was enacted.

“All American carriers were grounded. But we still had time to package and load the containers before the Italian government halted work.”

Expecting production delays, she shifted gears. “We made the decision to invest more heavily in stock levels without compromising Aria’s standards for quality and hand selection.”

Aria elevates stone to a fine art. (Aria Stone Gallery)

Coming Soon: Calacatta Gold Borghini Diamond

“It truly is one-of-a-kind and will never be repeated,” says Graves. “We procured the entire block of material. The quarry owners specifically called it the ‘diamond’ due to its super creamy ground and the massive size of the slabs, 126 x 79″, which is unheard of.” When it arrives, it will be available by invitation only to Aria’s top designers.

Four Seasons Marble is a medley of sage green, maroon, and pink pockets, freely speckled across a polished canvas. (Aria Stone Gallery)
Four Seasons Marble is a medley of sage green, maroon, and pink pockets, freely speckled across a polished canvas. (Aria Stone Gallery)

Other upcoming collections feature historical classics including Paonazzo Macchia Vecchia, Grigio Firenze, Four Seasons, and Breccia Antique.

“We’re seeing them juxtaposed in unexpected applications to add warmth and texture to a design that could otherwise come off as cold,” says Graves.


Ben Coats’ Transitional home has a Hamptons vibe. Architecture by David Stocker and interiors by Erin Sander. (Coats Homes)

Ben Coats, owner of Coats Homes, is a recent client. The builder tapped Aria to provide the stone for his personal home, a Hamptons-inspired Transitional shingle-style custom in Bluffview.

“As a homebuilder, being unique was important. I wanted it to be a showpiece,” says Coats. “Aria was able to provide more boutique-like materials.”

Paratinga quartzite in the kitchen (Coats Homes)

Specific choices included Paratinga quartzite in the kitchen; Sahara Noir Honed marble for the fireplace and bar; and Calacatta Vagli marble in the master bath. Used in harmony with other materials, stone added another layer of texture.

“We wanted movement, but at the same time, something soft and subtle. Color, but nothing too bright,” says Coats.

Calacatta Vagli marble in the master bath. (Coats Homes)

Here’s more of what’s trending:

Stone Veining

Providing an elegant and organic look, stone veining will be adopted for all surfaces. The result of tectonic plates lifted during the cooling process, veins give every slab its own unique pattern.

Quartzite

Durable and heat-resistant, quartzite is a popular choice for kitchens. According to Houzz, a kitchen featuring a dramatic quartzite island countertop was the No. 1 upload in 2019.

The 2019 Houzz most uploaded image. (Houzz)

Colored Marble and Travertine

Both are particularly trendy in bathrooms, known for their durability. And a pop of color adds instant interest to any environ.

Sustainability

Stone, a natural product of the Earth, is an original green material. No other materials or resources are needed to create it. And because it’s completely recyclable, stone has the potential to serve many different uses and purposes over its lifetime.

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Elaine Raffel

Having left the corporate world to launch her own freelance creative business, Elaine Raffel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mega-talented Dallas homebuilding community. She credits her work with top fashion and design brands for teaching her one inarguably valuable lesson: that truly great work is always a collaboration.

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