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Jet Black granite kitchen benchtop

Jet Black Granite – An Alternative to Zimbabwe Black

Jet Black Granite – An identical alternative to Zimbabwe Black

Jet Black is one of the finest-grain, natural black granites on the market.

The slabs are naturally the darkest, untreated, and best-performing.

Jet Black is one the hardest natural stones. Perfect for kitchen benchtops, bathrooms, fireplace surrounds, amongst many other applications. 

Available in the highest quality of all finishes; polished, honed and leathered.

Jet Black an alternative to Zimbabwe Black

Source: architecturaldigest.com

Shop Jet Black, a great alternative to Zimbabwe Black Granite.

Jet Black slab, alternative to Zimbabwe Black

Blue Cabinetry and Veined Marble

Room of the Week: Deep Blue Cabinetry and Veined Marble Forge a Wow Kitchen

Photos by Shannon McGrath.  Answers by Kate McMahon and Rob Nerlich, directors of mcmahon and nerlich

Full article on Houzz.


Who lives here: A semi-retired couple who were downsizing from a significantly larger residence
Location: Malvern, Victoria
Room purpose and size: A kitchen and dining room with French doors to a courtyard. The area is 32 square metres in total.

Brief 
The clients were looking for a relaxed setting to reflect their love of fine art, cooking and reading, extended family entertaining and events. They wanted something informal with a hint of country, but with quite a sophisticated and beautiful material palette. The budget didn’t permit a radical transformation to the rear facade, yet we had to improve the indoor-outdoor flow.

Starting point
We began by prioritising the large island bench. Freeing it of services meant it could provide a generous preparation area and become the centrepiece for relaxed social interaction, with leisurely cooking prep and glasses of wine over a long lunch or dinner. We also had to accommodate a freestanding Lacanche cast-iron range, which provides a hint of country charm and complements the French doors.

Key design aspects

  • The stone is the feature element and the hero of the kitchen.
  • The remaining materials were selected to respond to the ‘hint of country’ in the brief, with a contemporary feel.
  • We introduced a third set of French doors to improve the indoor-outdoor flow and balance the facade. Together they work to provide the look the clients wanted.

Colour palette: A custom deep- blue based on ‘Blue Lobelia’ from Dulux was the only colour applied. The balance of colour comes from the remaining natural materials themselves.

Materials palette: Arabescato Vagli stone features on benchtops and splashbacks and is complemented by the warmth of the Victorian ash shelves and the deep-blue cabinets. The engineered-timber floor was selected for a touch of country style.

Key pieces of furniture/fittings
The Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen AJ Royal pendant light above the dining table is from Cult. The feature kitchen pendant and spotlights are from Darkon. The timber table is by Mark Tuckey, while the dining chairs are from Danish Red in Armadale. The black steel planter boxes are from Redfox & Wilcox.

Thinking behind the arrangement of furniture/fixtures: Everything is organised around the generous island bench, the kitchen is complemented by the adjacent timber dining table to provide a place for the family to eat, read, study, relax and converse. Open timber shelves increase the practicality of the high overhead cupboards and allow for display of glassware and objet d’art.

A significant part of the brief was to house the clients’ enormous book collection. The dining room wall is fully lined with the cantilevered timber shelves, which work with the Mark Tuckey timber table. The marble is also used as shelving, with the cabinets dividing the kitchen and living room fashioned into a full-height bookshelf, and a hybrid marble-timber bookshelf in the end of the kitchen island itself.

Vertical elements such as the integrated refrigerator and pantry are located together opposite the French doors, and appliances and sink arranged along a long bench to the rear. A frameless, flush range hood is perfectly concealed behind the overheads. The pantry doors open to reveal hidden additional bench space, complete with sensor lights and marble. Deep overhead cupboards imply a continuous surface, elegantly resolve the junction with the pantry, and create a recessed appliance area.

Challenges you worked around
The clients wished to negotiate with a particular builder, which caused some challenges with budgets at a late stage, however, everyone pushed through these issues in good faith to obtain a great outcome.

Why do you think this room works?
We love this room because it is a deep response to the personalities of the clients and their design commission. For a semi-retired couple in a conservative suburb of Melbourne, most designers and clients would err on the side of restraint. Yet our clients had a real appreciation for art and literature and immediately responded to the artistic provocation of this incredible Arabescato Vagli marble, as well as the resonance of the deep blue. We presented it to them and they loved it.

The design is contemporary in nature, but with all the timber and marble elements balanced, the centrepiece of the island bench and the introduction of the triple French doors, it still references a hint of country with a relaxed and informal setting.


Want to shop this look? Check out Arasbecato Corchia and Arasbecato Don from our Carrara Marble range.

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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How to keep clean marble
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Clean Marble – 5 Easy DIY Tips

Dying for a marble benchtop but the thought of maintaining clean marble is daunting? Architectural Design share these Clever, household tips on how to keep that marble surface as beautiful as the day it was installed!


How to Clean Marble (Yes, There’s Hope for Those Stains!)

Caring for this beautiful material is as easy pie

The marble kitchen counter of your dreams (and Pinterest boards) is finally installed—but wait, there’s a catch: how to clean marble? Keeping marble countertops and tile clean is actually simpler than you’d think. But, as with maintaining any surface and most things in life, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Now there’s day-to-day marble cleaning and then there’s the kind of tactics you’ll need to employ if Uncle Pat puts the punch bowl on his head at dinner and spills Cabernet across the length of your beautiful, white marble island. You got this—here’s how to clean marble and make it stay that way.

Supplies You’ll Want to Keep on Hand

  • sealant of your choice (food-safe, if for use on a marble counter)
  • soap and water (for counters)
  • dust mop (for floors)
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • ammonia
  • liquid cleaner
  • #0000 steel wool

Hand cleaning black marble stone counter bar

How to Maintain and Clean Marble Surfaces

Know your marble. Think like the marble. Be the marble. Marble is more porous than other common countertop materials like engineered stone (sold often as simply “quartz”) or soapstone, so it can be prone to staining and etching (a.k.a light scratching or physical changes to the stone itself). You’ll want to clean and seal yours regularly. More on that below—and easy enough to do before you’ve had coffee, promise.

Prevention is key. Whatever marble you have in your home, sealing it every few months is a good idea. According to the Marble Institute, sealants don’t make the stone stain-proof but they do make it more stain resistant—giving you a bit more time to get to big spills. Check with whoever supplied your marble for their recommendations on the right products to use (and remember to make sure it’s food safe if you’re using it in the kitchen). For marble floors, coffee tables, and other high-traffic surfaces invest in some furniture pads and some coasters—better safe than sorry.

Daily cleaning. For routine maintenance and spills you catch quickly, warm, soapy water is the best for the job. Just make sure to rinse well, sop up any standing water, and thoroughly dry the surface. Also note that for marble, acid is kryptonite—so do your best to keep things like wine and lemon juice (or even cleaners that contain vinegar) away from the surface. And if they do spill, tend to them as quickly as possible. For marble floors, start with a dust mop; you want to avoid anything abrasive on the surface, and dirt and sand being dragged around by a vacuum could do more damage than you intend.

Getting out pesky stains. If you don’t catch a spill quickly (hello, red wine spilled at a lasts-until-2am dinner party), there’s hope. For most organic food stains, the Marble Institute recommends cleaning with a solution of 12% hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia; if you spilled anything oil-based, like a vinaigrette, and the stain has set, attack it (gently) with a liquid cleanser that contains “household detergent, mineral spirits, or acetone.”

Correcting etching. For water spots, light scratches, and nicks, try buffing your marble with dry #0000 steel wool. Anything deeper than surface level scratches will require a professional’s help. So if you left a lemon out on the counter and now it’s both etched and left a stain, go ahead and use the above recommendations for food stains to take care of the latter. Sadly, the etching will likely need to be polished by a professional—so be careful where you leave your cut lemons!


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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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Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone
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Quartz V Natural Stone

Shopping for a new stone benchtop for your kitchen? There are a lot of stone options in the Australian market these days, which is great! But it all drives down to two options. Man-made (aka reconstituted or reengineered stone) Quartz V Natural Stone.

Are you looking for indoor or outdoor application? Do you need a stone benchtop to withstand a hectic lifestyle? Are you wondering which will add more value to your home? Have a read of this super informative article from Phillymag.com & Colonial Marble & Granite for a quick crash course in the differences and similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone.


Quartz vs. Natural Stone: Similarities, Differences and When to Use Each

When you’re opting to swap out your old bar or kitchen countertops for something new, there’s a lot to consider. First, you need to think about value and quality — are you willing to pay a little extra for quartz or natural stone, which has more staying power than laminates and can also help raise your property value? Aside from being a good investment for your home, natural stone or quartz are durable enough to withstand the wear-and-tear of extreme cooking and regular family gatherings. So, if you’re ready to make a valuable upgrade to your living space, here’s what you need to know about quartz and natural stone countertops, and what you should expect out of your install.

First, a briefing on both:

  • Quartz, in its natural state, is found in large crystals or small, sand-like grains. Once mined, the stone is mixed with man-made materials, like resin, which allows for a cleaner cut and more scratch and stain resistance. Quartz is one of the most popular materials for counters and backsplashes, due to its durability and antimicrobial, non-absorbent properties. Colonial Marble offers one of the widest varieties of quartz in the country, from the extremely durable Q Quartz to ECO, which is made mostly of recycled materials and comes in a variety of hues and textured patterns.
  • Natural stone is a bit less malleable than quartz but withholds a snowflake-like individuality that makes it truly, naturally unique. Sourced straight from the earth, natural stones like a soft-coloured limestone or bold marble show off raw patterns, flecks and textures that quartz can only mimic through manmade mixing. When it comes to choosing a timeless, on-trend look, Arctic Cream graniteBianco Venatino marble and Lagos Blue limestone are three (literally) solid options.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite Quartz V Natural Stone

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite

The differences between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz is fused with resin and other polymers, and does not need to be sealed regularly. Natural stone, however, may require yearly sealings to maintain its smooth look and durability. Additionally, this material makeup is less prone to chipping than natural stone.
  • Since quartz is mechanically engineered with naturally mined materials and binding resins, cleaner cuts are available. It’s because of this that quartz is considered extremely design-friendly.
  • When opting for natural stone, it’s a good idea to go with an “eased edge,”. It gives the stone a thick cut look that helps to play up the natural texture and marbling.

The similarities between Quartz V Natural Stone:

  • Quartz and natural stone are both extremely heavy. Due to this, it is important to work with a professional during installation. The team at Colonial Marble will not only help with installation but can provide samples, quotes and even a Kitchen Visualizer to help you decide just where to make your upgrades.
  • Natural stone and quartz do not always hold up to extreme weather conditions, making indoor installation the preferred method. Planning on installing an outdoor bar or fireplace? Make sure your granite or marble surface is safe from hard rain and the scorching sun.
  • Historically, the price of quartz and natural stone, like marble, seemed out of reach for many. But, as granite, marble, quartz and stone countertops become increasingly trendy in today’s homes, materials are becoming more and more affordable.
Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite2

Photo Credit Colonial Marble and Granite


More About Marble

More about Marble

Thinking about buying Marble for your benchtop in Melbourne, Victoria? Here are some fast facts to get your shop on! Find out some more about Marble.


More about Marble

What type of natural stone is Marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. This video of marble quarrying in the Italian Alps shows some neat footage of how marble can be quarried.

Carrara Italy – marble quarry in Fantiscritti valley. Marble works of Miseglia. Apuan Alps mountains.

Uses for Marble?

White Marble has been used for centuries in classic sculptures to construction. You might recognise it in such works of art like Michaelangelo’s, David, or the Taj Mahal, even recently in modern-day photo shoots like the one campaigned by NZ brand Lonely Lingerie where woman modelled next to Carrara Marble. Marble is commonly used in Melbourne in the bathroom, kitchen benchtops – Where the Kitchen starts, splashbacks or reception counters. Don’t let the characteristics of Marble scare you away from using it in your home! Read our post on Marble & 5 Facts Nobody Will Tell You.

Why should you choose Marble?

It’s beautiful and timeless. Homeowners and Melbourne stone fabricators sometimes shy away from marble being one of the softer natural stones and more prone to etching and stains. The right care will maintain it and you’ll have a stunning marble benchtop, adding value to your home. Read this amazing story on Natural Stone at home? How much is it worth – who knows how much value your marble benchtop or marble bathroom may bring you!

How do you maintain Marble?

Be sure to seal your marble benchtop every one to two years. Protect your marble benchtop from vinegar and citrus’. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners on your marble benchtop.

 


Check out our Marble catalogue.

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