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Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Author Bio: Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for Euro Marble in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.


In an increasingly crowded world, the minimalist interior design tries to bring a balance by reducing the amount of clutter in our homes. This trend promotes spacious rooms, with a focus on natural materials (mostly wood or stone) and clever arrangements that brings space separation without the use of walls or big pieces of furniture.

Modern minimalism dances around geometric shapes, neutral colours, and natural textures that give the room warmth. When it comes to the walls and floors, the textures should be natural and (especially for the floors) easy to clean and maintain. This is why you’ll almost always find natural stone and wood in a home with a minimalist approach (think about Scandinavian design).

Both materials can be used for floors and walls in a wide range of settings throughout the house or for the facades. However, natural stone is more durable and resists better to the elements and wear and tear, which is why we recommend it for most designs.   

How to Select the Right Stone for a Minimalist Design

Colour, texture, and lines are the primary elements of a design that wants to be simple, freeing, and welcoming. As such, these are the elements to consider when you choose the right type of natural stone.

Colour

Natural stone has the advantage of colour because it features hues of black, grey, and white. These are known to promote an atmosphere of calm and serenity, which makes the material perfect for minimalist interior designs.

For instance, if you decide to use predominantly white marble, this makes space feel clean and exquisite, with a note of elegance that’s difficult to obtain otherwise. Furthermore, you have the possibility to implement a monochrome palette (an all-white room), which are very popular in the Scandinavian culture.

Carrara Slab

Carrara Slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

But if you choose to go with a dark colour, it will make for a fantastic background while highlighting the other nuances used (whites and greys). A black marble floor, for instance, will bring a splash of colour in a minimalist setting. And it works in any room of the house (starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathroom).  

Nero Marquina slab

Nero Marquina Marble at VSG

Texture

The fundamental concept that represents the minimalist approach is simplicity. As such, the texture of the materials used for interior design should allow for easy cleaning and maintenance without the need for rugs, carpets, or other accessories. So, the subtle textures of natural stone will fit right in.

Thinking from an interior design perspective, the smoothness of marble or the rugged beauty of travertine are fantastic for day spaces such as the living room or a home office. For bathroom and kitchen areas you can always go with the durability and freshness of granite, while for the bedroom, you can choose a warmer texture, in a darker colour, such as quartzite in brown hues.

Palomino slab

Palomino Quartzite

Pattern

With natural stone as your go-to material, there is a plethora of lines and patterns from which to choose. As it turns out, minimalist designs are all about lines and patterns. Creating harmonious combinations that lead the eye and fill out space.

Patterns can be included in any type of design element, from countertops to backsplashes, to floors and walls, or you can use them to highlight the focal piece of a room. Regardless, the unique beauty of these patterns will be forever by your side, encouraging creativity and originality!

Wrap Up  

The minimalist approach is more and more popular these days, and that is due to its many benefits. Starting with a more organized space that invites to focus and productivity and ending with a house that helps you feel relaxed and balanced this trend can have a strong influence on our lives.

However, it’s important to understand how minimalism works and this includes learning about the right type of natural stone to select. Each home is unique, so the choices you make must be fit to your needs and the ones of your family.


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Natural Stone Feature Wall

Natural Stone Feature Wall in Vogue

Interior Designer, Gregory Vaughn, sees the potential of a natural stone slab beyond its most common use as a kitchen benchtop, island or bathroom vanity. Gregory Vaughn is talking a natural stone feature wall.

After decades of specifying natural stone, he can truly appreciate a stone slab as a work of art from Mother Nature.

Challenging the common denominator of all types of natural stone in the home – its horizontal application, Gregory has called for more vertical application -in stone feature walls. We couldn’t agree more!

“Kitchens and bathrooms have been designed around natural stone for years but what’s really coming back into vogue now are feature walls where the stone slabs are applied vertically as an accent, sometimes being the design feature of the room.

Decor aficionados are taking note and filling their Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with prime examples. It is literally one of the hottest trends right now in interior design.”

This trend is likened to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s work on the iconic Barcelona Pavilion, dating back to 1929.

In this article, Gregory shares his work on a client’s home to create a similar zen-like atmosphere. Finding a slab of Red Onyx too beautiful to cut up, the duo agreed on using it as a wall panel in the bathroom.


With some absolutely unique and stunning stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery, we would love to see the natural stone feature wall trend continue. Here’s some inspo.

Palomino Quartzite

A coppery-gold Quartzite, characterised by its large rings in white, gold and blue tones.

Palomino slab

Blue Mare Quartzite

A bright baby-blue Quartzite with smoky-coppery gold veining.  Particularly stunning in its leathered finish.

Rainforest Brown

A brown and green, heavily veined marble with blue-black undertones. If you like this, check out Rainforest Green.

Skyfall Granite

A heavily contrasted black and white granite from Brazil. Characterised by its dramatic, chunky white veining.

Nero Marinace Granite

A unique black granite, tightly packed with variously sized pebbles.

Nero Marinace slab

 

 

 

Granites to renovate your fireplace hearth with

6 Black Granites to Renovate Your Fireplace Hearth With

Winter is approaching in Australia, and homeowners are turning to comfort and warmth of their fireplace. But does your fireplace hearth look as hot as it gives off?


Natural stone is a perfect option to consider when remodelling your fireplace hearth. Natural stone is durable, efficient, long lasting and retains heat better than any other material. And most beautifully, it combines two of the earth’s greatest natural elements; fire and stone.

What’s particularly special about using granite for your fireplace hearth, is its formation. Formed under extreme heat and pressure, this dark, igneous stone comes full circle from the earth and into your home, giving direct relationship to your fire. There you can experience the warmth your fire will give with this igneous stone.

Amongst marble and quartzite, black granite is particularly on trend this year. A sleek polished, honed or leathered black granite can enhance the contemporary sophistication of any home.

Featured in this post is some of our favourite black granites at VSG at the moment!

Skyfall is a striking, black and white polished granite from Brazil. This is a very unique granite that you won’t find anywhere else.

Barocco is also new to the gallery. It’s brown and black with shades of orange rippling through the slab.

Our polished Black Forest, and leathered Via Lactea and Night Dream are three very popular black and white granites. Each unique in the pattern that they have carried throughout the slabs.

Titanium Gold, one of our favourite translucent stones, especially effective in its leathered finish.

Treat yourself this winter, after all, home is where the hearth is!

 

Natural stone imperfections in a quartzite

The Beauty of Natural Stone Imperfections

Natural stone imperfections – they’re not uncommon! In fact, it’s rare to see a slab of marble, quartzite, travertine or granite that is completely impeccable and unblemished.

Their uniqueness can result from anything from heat, pressure, mineral makeup, volcanic activity or time. We’ve found this article here that explores just a few of the possible natural stone imperfections that can make your stone benchtop one in a million!


Natural Stone: Not A Game Of Perfect.

It might have been Dale Clevenger, former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who at one point during his illustrious career surprisingly said that he is yet to perform a perfect concert. Whether it was truly him who said it, this sort of notion really hits close to home: here at Blue Pearl Stone, we are yet to see a perfect slab of natural stone.

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Natural stone, by nature, is always imperfect.

This is not because of some mystical curse or an outlandish series of mishaps.  There will most likely be a slightly brownish patch somewhere on a beautiful white Carrara marble, a tiny pit in a Luna Pearl granite slab, and amongst the undulating wave-patterns of a Macauba quartzite you may just happen upon a cloudy patch.

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Natural stone just won’t stand up to the fastidious scrutiny of perfectionists.

And it really shouldn’t. The real beauty of any natural stone comes from its unabashed uniqueness. Natural stones are either formed under subterranean pressure, are a result of sedimentation or a product of volcanic activity. But wherever they might come from, the thousands and millions of years that it takes for these stones to form means that each slab is exposed to the caprices of time and stands as a testimony to all the events that occurred during its formation: a slight drift in the tectonic plates, a trapped and fossilized organism here and there, or the leaking of an uncommon material into the ossifying sediment. You name it.

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis - Wikipedia

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis – Wikipedia

In granite, for example, there’s a mineral called biotite, which is softer than granite’s other components. The main components of granite, feldspar and quartz (the mineral), have the hardness of about 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. But biotite’s is only 2.5. This means that biotite flakes and crumbles more easily compared to the other minerals, sometimes leaving tiny pits behind. Yet, this by no means compromises the integrity and durability of granite.

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Take fissures for instance: fissures are natural cracks that found in the surface of stones. Most are almost undetectable, but some are wide enough that quartz bits and epoxy resin are required to fill them in. Mining companies extract stone out of the ground in large cubes (see video), then slice the cubes up like bread. Cracks can occur during these processes, but if the accidental crack doesn’t entirely damage the integrity of the stone, it’s immediately restored with resin, and can go on the market.

We’ve also received requests for service calls regarding cloudy patches on countertops. In certain natural stones there will be areas that have a slightly different composition than the rest. Which, accordingly, take polish differently. The results are occasional cloudy patches and they, too, are perfectly natural.

For some inspiration and encouragement, let us suggest an article by Faith Durand, blogger and author of several cookbooks, in which she elaborates on her penchant for so-called etchings.

While etchings are man-made marks on countertops, the accepting and easygoing approach of a professional cook in these matters can be quite reassuring, especially for those with misgivings about purchasing natural stone products. Read Faith Durand’s “Here’s What an Etch on a Marble Countertop Actually Looks Like” article.


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Curved Marble Cave by Peter Tijoe

Curved Marble, Floating Granite

MM Galleri director, Peter Tijoe has perfect the art of curved marble. And all by near-unfortunate incident that almost cost him his business! Read how things literally shaped out for the better.

Posted from thepeakmagazine.com.sg by Jasmine Tay.


What’s the secret to curved marble cave walls and intricate floating tables that are unmistakably marble to the touch?

Curved Marble Granite Table by Peter Tijoe

Dubbed the “Floating G” by Tijoe, this table appears to be one solid piece of stone that defies the law of physics. In actuality, it is a steel frame with a heavy foot, covered entirely with slices of black granite.

It was then that he discovered the stone’s limited but existent malleability. With the steel backing, the marble sheet can handle some pressure without it breaking.

Tijoe then tested the limits of that bendability. The method, which he perfected last year, involves heating a 1mm marble sheet, then slowly moulding it into shape. To prevent it from cracking, he adds a chemical to the surface of the stone. Other hard stones like granite and onyx can handle this technique.

“Curved marble exists – and it makes for stunning interiors”

Says Tijoe: “The result is a sheet we can use like wallpaper to apply on anything, in any configuration.” Such application is unprecedented. To prove a point, Tijoe created a marble cave in his Chin Bee Avenue showroom by applying sheets of white stone from wall to ceiling (header image). He also created spindly marble chairs and tables – steel structures wrapped in thin stone sheets.

Curved Marble table by Peter Tijoe

The use of steel frames allows designers to bypass structural limitations.

“These pieces are structurally impossible if carved from marble blocks thanks to the stone’s weight. The thin legs would break,” says Tijoe.

The technique has caught the attention of other designers. Last year’s Maison & Objet design fair in Paris saw Indonesian designer Jeffrey Budiman using the process to create a lamp with intricate twists of pink onyx. The technique could very well spell a new genre of design.


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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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Pionara Pyeongchang marble art piece

Verde Imperiale Granite Comparable to Korean Art Piece

As soon as we saw this masterpiece it reminded us of our Granite stone slab, Verde Imperiale, popular for kitchen benchtops in Melbourne homes. Natural Stone truly is diverse.

Check out the article below from DesignBoom. A piece of art by Korean visual artist, Pionara!


artist captures winter olympic scenes in south korean marble

ahead of the winter olympics, set to commence in korea this year, visual artist pionara sees a unique opportunity of her own to provide an entry route into understanding the country. in a personal project exploring the games the artist evolves her fondness of working on natural materials and objects, sourcing marble unique to the hosting region in an attempt to better understanding the place that will be televised worldwide.

intending to find something unique about the county, pionara‘s work begins with her canvas – a beautiful stone (called ‘pyeongchang seok’ – seok means stone in korean). this marble, produced in the pyeongchang area of the gangwon province makes a backdrop from a series of complimentary grains. mixing pink, bluish grey, white and black, a sunset-kissed setting of snow and tricky terrain is imagined by the artist whose illustrative additions of figures depict scenes from the games itself.

Pionara’s canvas was Pyeongchang Seok. A marble produced in the Pyeongchang area of the Gangwon Province

Verde Imperiale Granite Slab

Verde Imperiale Granite slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Verde Imperiale is a unique, mixed-colour granite used for kitchen benchtops, bathroom vanities and more. It has a sweeping diagonal effect, mixing greens, whites, pinks and a touch of orange.

pionara’s aim is to capture the dramatic moments that will be presented during february 9 to 25. so, in the beautiful patterns and swirls of pyeongchang marble, skiers run steep mountains, figure skaters show off beautiful performances, and bobsleigh slide down fast.

the artist was inspired by her research into the characteristics of the region.

This led to her discovery of the gangwon province being a valuable part of korea with regards to its resources. understanding that the rare mineral resources of the gangwon province account for %70 of korea this eventually led to the artist’s choice of canvas, symbolising the contribution of the region and its individuality.
Pionara Pyeongchang marble art piece 3
Source 
designboom.com, pionara.co.kr


 

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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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Granite Benchtops Slabs Row

Granite Benchtops – Hard To Beat!

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard already the advantages of Granite benchtops. Strong, durable, and little maintenance required. Have it in your Melbourne home or bathroom for life!

We have over 15 styles and counting for your Granite benchtop dreams at Victoria Stone Gallery. Read on and shop our Granite product catalogue.


What type of natural stone is Granite?

Granite is one of the world’s toughest stones! An igneous rock formed over millions of years from extreme heat and rapidly cooling volcanic magma.

Granite is second strongest to diamonds and some Quartzites.

Granite Slabs Row

Uses for Granite?

Diverse and durable, Granite can be used decorative or functional! Granite benchtops and granite bathrooms are hugely popular in family homes. Granite is a popular stone choice for outdoor areas in Australian homes for BBQ areas and outdoor table tops.

Outside of the household, you’ll find Granite used for anything from tiles, paving stones, building construction, bridges to tombstones.

Why should you choose Granite?

It is dense, durable and very resistant to chemicals and acids! It offers the beauty of natural stone with less maintenance and will add value to your home. Granite comes in a limitless range of colours, and loved for its speckled appearance given off from small shiny flecks.

There are some great retro looking granite slabs here at Victoria Stone, with Uba Tuba Granite making a real comeback!

Uba Tuba Granite Benchtops

A typical Uba Tuba Granite benchtop look. Photo credit: bestdesignideas.com

How do you maintain Granite?

It’s true, most Granite applications require little to no maintenance. But, to see your Granite benchtops live out a lifetime and prevent liquids from absorbing in, have it professionally sealed at least once after installation. Granite benchtops will buy you a little more clean up time in between spills than marble benchtops but do wipe them up as quickly as possible.

Our friends at the Granite Benchtop Company recommends this fail-safe method for caring for your granite benchtop.

How to clean granite benchtops

Granite Benchtops require little to no maintenance, a dream clean!

Special considerations when shopping for Granite?

Granite benchtops are more uniformed compared to heavily veined natural stones. If you’re a homeowner or architect in Melbourne that prefers the solid, consistent look, then this could be the stone choice for you.

We know now that Granite benchtops will withstand household battles more than others, but did you know that granite is stronger than a knife? Always use a chopping board to keep your knives in good condition.


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