Green Marble Bathroom
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The Best Natural Stone Resources

The Best Natural Stone Resources

We found this article from Delgado Stone, offering advice on the best natural stone resources on the web. We think it’s pretty good, and regularly use these websites for inspiration when deciding what stones to import into Australia. If you’re looking to learn more about natural stone – look no further! Check out the list below. 

Houzz.

Anyone who has used Houzz for anything can attest how easy it is to get lost for hours (or days) on their website. One click leads to another which leads to another. It’s amazing to see some of the architecture and design work done with natural stone or any other product. Yes, there is a marketplace but if you are looking for design inspiration of any kind, Houzz should be your first stop.

Use Natural Stone

This is a great one-stop destination for anyone interested in the use of natural stone from around the world. A visit to usenaturalstone.com provides articles, videos, professionals, and links to countless other resources. If it has to do with natural stone they either have it on their website or they have a link to help you find it. We follow this website closely to learn about news, trends, and to share with a customer when they have questions. Don’t skip over this awesome natural stone resource.

Pinterest

You’re probably wondering why this isn’t #1. If it’s images you’re after, it’s images you’ll find on Pinterest. Here you will find quotes, images, recipes, design work… the list goes on. If you need images to inspire you go visit Pinterest… you will leave here with more inspirational images then you’ll know what to do with!

Architectural Record

We subscribe to the print edition and still follow this website closely. Most people think this website is for architects only but a quick visit tells a different story. They have something for everyone: Projects, Images, Continuing Education, News, and plenty of other information. Add the Architectural Record to your list of resources for building and design. You won’t be disappointed.

BSI + MIA

These two organizations recently merged to create a “Mega Resource” for the Natural Stone Industry. Following this organization will help anyone interested in the use of any natural stone: veneer, granite, quartzite, bluestone, marble… you get it. The Building Stone Instituteand Marble Stone Institute have joined forces and now provide one amazing resource for all of us in the building and landscape industry.

Stone World Magazine

When naming the best natural stone resources it’s tough to leave off Stone World Magazine. Like any magazine there are ads but if you look past that you find some excellent content and information. They continue to write great articles and feature industry experts to help generate more value to the reader. For those of you who are tech savvy, you can download their app and check it out on your phone or tablet.


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Houzz Reveal Best of the Week: 40 Marble Marvels From Around the Globe

From floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms to splashbacks with sensational veins, here’s a gallery of marble marvels.

Are you thinking of including a marble feature in your home? If so, be prepared to be inspired. From the popular marbles such as Cararra, Calacatta and Statuario, to Nero Marquina and other exotic-to-Australia types, and from great slabs of marble to tiles (and marble-look alternatives), here is a quarry’s worth of images that show myriad ways this wonderful natural product has been used across the globe.

 

1. Location: Perth, WA
Why we love it: The veining in the marble is sensational, and adds an element of luxury to the more rustic/ low-maintenance aspects of the kitchen.

2. Location: Singapore
Why we love it: Marble-look surfaces feature throughout this property, giving this apartment a funky retro air – not a look commonly associated with white marble. It’s one for the books.

3. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Marble is so well employed in this splashback, especially as it acts as a contrast to the black joinery surrounding it. Again, it is an easy way to add a layer of sophistication to almost any scheme.

4. Location: Austin, USA
Why we love it: Marble, marble, everywhere… This would just be a stunning bathroom to walk into, let alone to use. The way the timber pops out from the patterning is something to be admired. A brilliantly executed interior.

5. Location: San Francisco, USA
Why we love it: Using marble with restraint also works well. This marble-tiled floor, paired with high ceilings, gives this room gravitas.

6. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The repetition of white marble-clad volumes emphasises the luxury of this relatively small kitchen area. A great example of using this material to raise the stature of a space.

7. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Just stand back and take it in. We love the invitation to admire this stunning space, and the way the marble panels used solely on the outside of the island bench, tone down the ‘look at me’ aspect just enough.

8. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: We can’t say it enough… the veins maketh the marble, especially so in this Statuario marble benchtop and splashback.

9. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: Because sometimes a light touch is enough too.

10. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Marble isn’t all light and beauty. Sometimes it adds a darkly dramatic element just where it’s needed.

11. Location: Los Angeles, USA
Why we love it: Case in point.

12. Location: New York, USA
Why we love it: Because this is a great example of how black marble can elevate a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

13. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: The Statuario marble island bench is the hero of the renovation of this Grade II (heritage) listed Regency house, the ‘furniture’ element anchoring the kitchen and providing a proportional contrast to the tall Georgian windows.

14. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Imagine this bathroom with plain white walls. The inclusion of marble lifts it into another realm.

15. Location: Spain
Why we love it: Marble can break out of the ‘simple and sophisticated’ cliche. Here it’s paired with lively patterned tiles to beautiful effect.

16. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The interesting but not overwhelming marble tiles are the ultimate backdrop for the organic-shaped bath. Shape and material working harmoniously.

17. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: We love how marble isn’t the standout material here, but provides the link between the dark upper cabinetry and textured cladding on the base cabinets. A lovely and interesting combination.

18. Location: Italy
Why we love it: The black Marquina marble is an incredibly striking feature in this kitchen, adding a dynamic element to a very restrained scheme.

19. Location: Leicestershire, UK
Why we love it: Understated marble teamed with dark blue-grey cabinetry. Gold.

20. Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Why we love it: These tiles lift the energy of this Swedish powder room no end.

See the next top 20 here!

Stone island
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Improve Your Home With A Stone Island

Out with the dining table and in with a Stone Island!

A stone island in the kitchen can allow room for a lot of improvement in the household.  It can buy you space, save money and increase home value. An island can transform from a family’s communal hub of the hustle and bustle, to being the centre of a night entertaining friends – the versatility one can offer is endless. Designers and architects these days are calling the kitchen ‘the heart of the home’ and here’s how we think your kitchen can benefit from an island.


Stone Islands are…

A multipurpose space. Families are stepping back from the lounge and into the kitchen and an island is a great gathering point! It’s a great place to relax, catch up on each other’s day or have the children do their schoolwork. A big preparation space may help involve the kids with the cooking! For those who like to entertain, an island offers a nice open area for everyone to interact. With an island, you also have the option to chuck some extra bar stools around for additional seating! With so many options, an island acts as a focal point of a room, opening up the whole living space.

Fun to accessorise! Starting with your stone, opt for a classic white Marble stone and compliment it with colourful appliances. Or get a statement piece, like a Quartzite or Granite and make it a kitchen feature! Easily change the mood of your kitchen by swapping out bowls of fruit, for flowers or niche jars. Go big and consider an oversized light fixture, which is becoming a popular design trend. Use the space above the island to hang a row for pots and pants.

Stone Islands help…

Add storage and reduce clutter. What more could you want out of a kitchen! Whether you want a sleek, minimalist look or you simply don’t have enough room to put appliances or rubbish bins, you can tuck them all away in drawers and cabinets underneath. Think specifics like cutlery, a wine rack or a space for your bulky pots and pans. In a recent Houzz study, it was noted that 39% of homeowners are adding islands for additional storage, alone.

There’s a stone option for everyone. Whether your lifestyle is more suited to a natural stone surface or reconstituted stone, kitchen stone islands can be made out of Marble, Granite, Quartzite, Super White or Trendstone Quartz. If you want a super big island, Trendstone XL slabs are a great option. At 3.4m x 1.9m you can have a seamless surface.

These are just a few of many ways that a stone island can increase your kitchen’s functionality.

Adding an island truly allows you to take great advantage of the space in your home. Even if you have a small kitchen to work with, added storage and surface area outweigh the concern. Keep in mind, you can always go for a portable kitchen island on wheels, too!


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Blue Roma Quartzite Benchtop

Quartzite Benchtops – On Trend For 2018

Move over Marble and Granite, Quartzite Benchtops are the choice for kitchens in Melbourne in 2018!

Renovating your kitchen for the new year? Wanting to invest some value into your family home but wanting something different yet resilient? These Brazilian beauties offer the Marble-look with the durability of Granite. Here’s why Quartzite Benchtops are on trend.


The kitchen has become the ultimate communal space in the family home that brings everyone together.  No longer is everything sitting in front of the television in the lounge, they are all hovering over the kitchen benchtop or kitchen island. This is great but what natural stone option can handle the busy family life? The wine spills? The lemon juice? A Quartzite benchtop can.

Quartzite stone is becoming a knowingly more practical alternative to Marble.  For designers and architects, it is aesthetically pleasing. For builders, its durability is a no-brainer. And for homeowners, its low maintenance wins above all.

The formation of Quartzite contributes to all of its winning factors. At the beginning, sandstone transforms into Quartzite by extreme heat and pressure –  becoming much harder and less porous, ultimately helping it withstand heat incredibly well. Go ahead and enjoy a mug of coffee on that stone bench!

Unlike Marble, Quartzite is extremely hard and resilient and won’t etch from household acids like lemon juice or vinegar. This is because Quartzite doesn’t contain calcite, a carbonate mineral, that is susceptible to etching by acidic products.

Quartzite stone requires far less short and long-term maintenance. We recommend to keep it sealed, but its original seal will go much further than on any other natural stone.

And if it wasn’t obvious by now, thanks to the elements of Quartzite, its suitable for indoor AND outdoor application!

Why are Quartzite benchtops so popular in the design industry?

Where it is likened to Marble, is its looks. Quartzite has some unique colours and marble-like veining. Whether you want a real statement piece in a neutral-toned kitchen or a classic marble-look, Quartzite has both options. Designers and homeowners are now wanting to compliment White Kitchen Cabinetry with Statement Benchtops. The design options are endless!

Outside of the home, Quartzite stone is also incredibly on-trend, spot them in office fit outs and bar benchtops. A real popular look is back-lit Quartzite, complimented with a vodka, soda and lime on top of it – no worry if it spills!

If Quartzite hasn’t won over your heart yet, give us a call or come see our selection at Victoria Stone Gallery. We are proud to have a direct source from Brazil to Melbourne, Victoria.


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Uba Tuba Splashback Flashback!

Uba Tuba Granite slab

Uba Tuba, a common kitchen benchtop material in the nineties. Loved for its dark reflective, tightly packed grain surface. Now a timeless look in the household, we’re hearing a demand for this retro-look piece of natural stone.


Uba Tuba is…


A Granite quarried in coastal Brazil, from the Ubatuba area.

∴ An Igneous Rock made of mostly quartz and mica.

∴ Quarried in large quantities.

∴ Tightly packed grain, with very little veining. Small Quartz pieces make up the delicate pattern. 

∴ Variable in colour. Primarily dark green, sometimes black, depending on the section of the quarry it is cut from.

∴ Characterised by its flecks of black, gold, brown, blue and white.

∴ Popular in kitchen design and office fit for decades.

∴ Very affordable!

∴ Low maintenance.

Found right here in Melbourne at Victoria Stone Gallery for your Uba Tuba kitchen benchtop or splashback desire!


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Alternatives To Marble – An Infographic

Alternatives to Marble infographic

Marble is considered a soft stone and requires love and care to stay looking fresh. There are many alternatives to marble that are close to maintenance-free, leaving you to worry about more important things!

As the consumer becomes more educated, many are aware of the stresses of having marble in the home can bring. When caution is exercised, sealers are applied and care is taken, marble can last many lifetimes. In today’s busy world, that isn’t always achievable. There is nothing quite like the classic look of Carrara marble, but due to its natural form, the marble will etch, stain and scratch. The good news is that there are always alternatives! Here are some natural and manmade alternatives to marble similar in appearance but superior in performance.

Infographic showing alternative stones to marble. Suggestions are Quartzite, Super White, Trendstone and Porcelain

Marble and It’s Alternatives

Quartzite demand increased by 20% in 2017. It is predicted to continue into 2018. Engineered stones like porcelain and quartz continue to grow in popularity.

Global stone trends are seeing a shift toward the more high-performance natural stone. The American market has gone up 20% in Brazilian quartzite sales only in the last year. Quartzites have a lifelong guarantee and are generally a foolproof option. Quartzites are cheaper than the premium quality marbles like Calacatta or Statuario. Some other popular colours of quartzite are White Macaubas and Mont Blanc. Super White (or White Fantasy) continues to grow in popularity too. Less hard than a quartzite, but harder than a typical marble.

Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we specialise in exotic stone slabs from Brazil. Keep your eyes peeled for these speciality stones, and much more to come in the New Year.

Check out the range at Victoria Stone Gallery.

 

Lonely Lingerie models in Italian Carrara marble
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Honoring the Female Form: Lonely Model Alongside Italian Carrara Marble

A New Zealand-based lingerie brand is celebrating women of all shapes and sizes.  A stunning new underwear campaign sees models posing alongside classic Italian Carrara marble sculptures.

Lonely Lingerie enlisted photographer and artist Yumna Al-Arashi to shoot models Naomi Shimada, Riya Hamid, and Ayesha McMahon at a classic marble atelier in Carrara, Italy, for its Autumn/Winter 2017 campaign.

Since Ancient Roman times, sculpt depictions of the female form have been carved out of Italian Carrara marble. And the three models look right at home posing next to the statues’ marble curves.

Lonely Lingerie models in Italian Carrara marble

Photo taken by Yumna Al-Arashi for NZ lingerie label, Lonely

The brand prides itself on its honest representations of women. The company explained that ‘modern portrayals of women have never been more unrealistic,’ in comparison to classic works of art.

‘Where once curves, imperfections and realism were celebrated, many representations of women now seek unrealistic and potentially damaging ideals.’ Lonely said in a press release.

Unlike many advertisements found in today’s media, Lonely’s campaign aims to honour the female form rather than depict unobtainable body shames, homogenised ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, and heavily edited and retouched images.

Carrara’s marble has been used to make some of the world’s most famous sculptures, including Michaelangelo’s David and Pieta.

‘I visited an incredible atelier in Carrara. Home to some of the most famous marble quarries on this planet.’ she said of her inspiration behind the shoot.

‘Michelangelo’s hands worked in this town, and its marble has built structures that have withstood the test of time.’

 

Source dailymail.co.uk, lonelylabel.comyumnaaa.com

 

Check our Italian Carrara marble range.