Tag Archives: Use Natural Stone

October 9 at #KBtribechat – Designing Kitchens and Baths that Last with Sustainable Natural Materials

A design discussion

Sponsored and Hosted by the Natural Stone Institute

Photo courtesy of Rugo Stone.

Ferris Bueller once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Doesn’t it seem like the same could be said about design trends? We constantly refresh Instagram and Pinterest or scan through our favorite design magazines, searching for the next new thing—something fresh, cool, and totally unexpected. Things that we loved six months ago now seem passé. In 2019, we move at super speed.

Let’s slow down for a moment. Instead of seeking out the next big trend, let’s think about what would happen if we focused on using materials that were built to last, like natural stone. Natural stones like granite, marble, quartzite, and soapstone have been used for hundreds of years, beloved for their durability, versatility, and easy maintenance. In recent years, stone companies have made significant efforts to ensure that best practices are in place for sustainability, both in quarrying and fabrication facilities. Whether you are designing in a style that is modern or classic, when you use natural stone, you will be designing a room that is made to last.

Italian marble quarry. Photo courtesy of the Natural Stone Institute.

Our KBtribechat Questions:

1.) How often does sustainability factor into material choices with your clients?

2.) In our fast-moving, “throwaway culture” world, how do we pivot back to timeless materials and designs?

3.) Sustainable materials like natural stone and wood are made to last. Share some of your favorite designs!

4.) How do you stay trendy/current while still designing something meant to last?

5.) Are there questions or misconceptions your clients have about choosing sustainable products?

6.) Using salvaged or reclaimed materials can add a unique piece of history to a project. Have you used materials like this in your designs?

7.) Natural stone is seen in currently trending kitchens, but it is also timeless. What other trends do you think will stand the test of time?

Join this Twitter discussion

on Wednesday, October 9

from 2 to 3pm

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here’s where you can read the transcript for this KBtribechat discussion.

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February 13: Authenticity Over Perfection

A design discussion

Sponsored and Hosted by Use Natural Stone.

Photo courtesy of Smokey Mountain Tops.

Photo courtesy of Smokey Mountain Tops.

Each day when we open or refresh our social media feeds, we are inundated with pictures of carefully curated perfection: photos staged, edited, and styled until they resemble something closer to a magazine spread than a glimpse of a real person’s life. Kitchens and bathrooms we see on social media are perfectly lit, accessorized, and devoid of any ounce of clutter. It is easy to find yourself mistaking these images for reality, and then looking at your own rooms in dismay at their perceived imperfection.

Perhaps 2019 is the time for us to take a break from social media perfection and instead turn our sights to something more achievable: authenticity. To be authentic is to be real, genuine, and original. To be authentic is to be the “real deal,” finding and embracing beauty in the little things that make your space truly yours and unique.

One way to strive for authenticity in kitchen and bath design is to choose genuine natural materials, sustainably sourced and durable enough to stand up to the demands of your daily, real-world life. Genuine materials like natural stone have stood the test of time and bring a piece of the natural world into your home. Natural stone is unique, durable, sustainable, and easy to maintain, making it a good choice for busy kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home.

Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Photo courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery.

Our KBtribechat questions:
1.)  Do you and your clients seek authentic materials when designing kitchens and baths?
2.) What do you see as the main benefits of choosing authentic materials such as natural stone and wood in your designs?
3.) Every room tells a story, and surfaces are a big part of that. What story do you hope your room is telling?
4.) Let’s get inspired. Share pictures of your favorite kitchens and baths—bonus points if they include authentic materials!
5.). What elements are critical to the creation of an authentic space? What makes these rooms truly feel like “home”?
6.) What are some misconceptions your clients have about working with natural products?
7.) If you could describe your ideal kitchen or bath in one word, what would it be? (And what would it look like?)

quarry

Join this Twitter conversation

on Wednesday, February 13

from 2 to 3pm eastern

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here’s a link to read the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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October 10 at #KBtribechat – Let’s Talk Kitchen + Bath Surfaces

A design discussion!

Sponsored and Hosted by Use Natural Stone

Today’s kitchen and bath spaces encourage more creativity in surface selection than ever before. From natural stone and wood to concrete and recycled glass to manmade composites and laminates, an array of stylish options are available for every design preference and budget. In fact, with so many options from which to choose, a growing trend is to mix several types of surfaces within a space to provide contrast and visual interest.

So, what factors are most important when choosing surfaces for the kitchen and bath?

Durability. Kitchens and baths are typically some of the busiest spaces in the home. As such, it’s important to consider what type of wear-and-tear a space will be subjected to before making a decision on surfaces. Selecting a material that is durable while requiring minimal maintenance will help to ensure that the surface can be enjoyed for years to come. For example, natural stone surfaces such as granite and quartzite are both hard wearing and heat resistant, making them particularly well-suited for countertops, islands and backsplashes.

Aesthetic Appeal. Because kitchen and bath surfaces aren’t likely to be changed frequently, it’s best to choose surfaces that won’t wear out their welcome. While neutral color schemes remain popular, there is a growing trend toward incorporating surfaces with interesting patterns and colorations for a more dramatic look. The choice ultimately comes down to personal taste, although – if a homeowner doesn’t plan to stay in the home for more than a few years – resale value should be considered in the final decision. More neutral hues and designs can be a safer bet for resale.

Oct 10 - composite image

Images – clockwise from top left: Aria Stone Gallery, Lundhs, Stoneshop, Artistic Tile

Our KBtribechat discussion questions:
Q1) What about a surface usually “grabs” you first – color, pattern, texture? Share photos of your favorite kitchen & bath surfaces. #KBtribechat

Q2) Are you seeing the use of several types of surfaces within a single space? What combinations work best for the kitchen & bath? #KBtribechat

Q3) Feature walls and full backsplashes are gaining traction. Do you think this trend is here to stay? Share examples. #KBtribechat

Q4) How about cabinetry? What cabinet colors, styles and finishes are most popular right now? Photos please. #KBtribechat

Q5) While it’s important that flooring look great, it also needs to stand up to wear and tear. What flooring types are best for the kitchen & bath? #KBtribechat

Q6) Surfaces made from natural materials never go out of style. What are your favorite natural surfaces? Share images. #KBtribechat

Here’s a link to read the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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August 8 at #KBtribechat – Neutrals vs. Color in the Kitchen & Bath

A design discussion! 

Sponsored and Hosted by Use Natural Stone

When it comes to the kitchen and bath, the array of available design options – from appliances to surface materials to paint colors – is virtually endless, making it easier than ever before to personalize these spaces. While neutrals remain popular, infusing kitchens and bathrooms with color is gaining traction.

Let’s take a closer look at the options.

Perfectly Neutral. It’s hard to go wrong with neutrals (think white, black, brown, cream, gray, and pretty much any muted earthy tone). These subtle hues “go” with everything, and offer a solid foundation for decorating, regardless of style. When layered, neutrals can create a very harmonious look, and when interesting textures and patterns are incorporated – natural stone countertops or a tiled shower surround, for example – the results can be understated, yet undeniably sophisticated.

Neutrals - composite image
Images – clockwise from left: Artistic Tile, Aria Stone Gallery, Fernando’s Marble Shop

Color(ful) Stories. Adding color – whether on a small or larger scale – can freshen up a monochromatic color scheme and bring new life to a kitchen or bath space. Cabinetry in hues of blue and green is popping up more frequently and can be a great complement to warm woods and metallic finishes. Natural stone surfaces are another great way to inject color into kitchens and bathrooms. Granite and quartzite can both be found in a variety of inviting hues, and – when used for a feature wall, backsplash or waterfall island – can create a striking focal point within a space.

Color - composite image
Images – clockwise from left: Aria Stone Gallery, Flemington Granite, Polycor


Our KBtribechat discussion questions:

Q1) When it comes to the bathroom, what inspires you – spaces layered in neutral hues or spaces that makes a statement with bold color?

Q2) What about bathroom surfaces specifically – e.g., vanities and shower surrounds? Do you prefer to “go neutral” or opt for surfaces with a pop of color?

Q3) Thinking about the kitchen now. What are the best ways to bring color into a kitchen without overwhelming the space? Share photos, please.

Q4) What about adding color (and movement) through pattern – e.g., patterned countertops and backsplashes. What patterns are trending at the moment?

Q5) Black is a timeless, sophisticated neutral. Are you seeing black used in the kitchen and bath? Photos please!

Q6) What hues do you think will be most important in kitchens and bathrooms as we move into 2019, and why? (There are no wrong answers!)

Q7) Share photos of your favorite kitchens and baths, and tell us why you love them!

Here’s a link to view the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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January 3 at #KBtribechat – Let’s Talk Backsplashes & Accent Walls


A design discussion! 

Sponsored and Hosted by Use Natural Stone

Photo courtesy of Brasigran

Image from Brasigran

When we consider surfaces for the kitchen and bath, we typically think first about horizontal surfaces such as countertops, vanities, islands and flooring. However, it’s important also to consider vertical elements and how the creative application of materials such as natural stone can bring these areas to life in bold and unique ways.

The interesting use of surface materials on backsplashes, walls and shower enclosures merges the best of function + form – not only helping to protect walls from moisture and splatter, but also delivering depth, dimensionality and visual interest.

Use Natural Stone - Composite 1a

Images – clockwise from left: Artistic Tile, Marblex Design Int’l, Stone Interiors New Orleans

Available in a wide variety of materials and colors, backsplashes are a great place to play up style in the kitchen or bath. For those looking for a more dramatic look, accent walls can transform what are often viewed as utilitarian spaces into places of beauty and inspiration.

For example, distinctive slabs of natural stone can be placed behind a bathtub or sink to create a dramatic focal point or be used as a stunning backdrop for a shower enclosure. Backlit stones such as onyx are particularly striking in this type of application.

Mosaics, inlays, tiles and “book matched” materials provide another way to capture the eyes while also enabling individual expression through interesting patterns and color combinations.

Use Natural Stone - Composite 2a

Images – clockwise from left: The Tuscany Collection, ROCKin’teriors, Decolores Mármores e Granitos

 

Whether choosing neutral hues to create a soothing, organic backdrop or opting to add a pop of color, the inspired use of vertical surfaces enables us to see kitchen and bathroom spaces in a new light.

Our KBtribechat discussion questions:

Q1)  Do you have a go-to material that you use for backsplashes? Why that material?
Q2)  Solid backsplash or tile/mosaic (patterned) backsplash – what’s your preference? Photos please.

Q3)  When it comes to backsplashes/shower surrounds for the bathroom, what are your favorite materials?

Q4)  What are some of the most interesting kitchen/bath accent walls treatments you’ve seen?

Q5)  Standard backsplashes, ceiling height backsplashes – or something in between?

Q6)  For vertical surfaces, do you opt for neutrals or color? Matte or shine? Let’s see examples.

Q7)     What exciting new trends do you see for vertical surfaces in the kitchen and bath?

Join this Twitter conversation

on Wednesday, January 3

from 2 to 3pm eastern time

by adding #KBtribechat to your tweets!

Here’s the transcript for this KBtribechat.

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