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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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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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Curious Over A Quartzite Benchtop

What is Quartzite? How is it different to Marble? Read on into the world of this natural stone and why we recommend a Quartzite benchtop for your kitchen in Melbourne.

Keep an eye out for some coloured  Quartzite benchtop beauties that we will be bringing in from Brazil in the new year!


What type of natural stone is Quartzite?

Quartzite is often confused with Quartz, a man-made produced stone, engineered from resin and quartz chips tinted with various colours.

It is a metamorphic rock that is the result of sandstone and the mineral quartz being put under extreme heat and pressure within the crust of the earth. Its changes are a slow process resulting in an altered appearance of rich colours and patterns that are formed as a result of different conditions.

Colours range from white to black, with shades of blue, green, yellow and brown. A slab can appear grainy because of its formation from sandstone through recrystallization of Quartz grains. At least 90% of a Quartzite stone slab is Quartz.

Quartzite kitchen benchtop

Uses for Quartzite?

For a long time, it was commonly used for bricks and other building materials. It became very versatile in construction, used for strong materials to flooring to decorative wall coverings and recently has become very popular for kitchen benchtops.

This contemporary house in Cologne, Germany was built in 2016 out of grey Quartzite stone. The stone is so diverse, it flows systematically through the interior, cladding bathrooms, the whole of the swimming pool area and many of the home´s floors. Read the full article here.

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quatrzite matte stone

Contemporary house in Germany built out of grey Quartrzite matte stone

Quartzite is awesome for an outdoor stone application. It has very low water absorption rates. It is very resilient to staining from leaf and debris. And it has a high resistance to slipping thanks to its textured surface.

Why should you choose Quartzite?

Interior designers love a quartzite benchtop for the look, builders and homeowners love it for its durability!

It comes in lots of popular varieties, like White Macaubas, Mother of Pearl, Taj Mahal and La Dolce Vita. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we will be specialising in a big range of exotic coloured Quartzite, bringing it in from Brazil to Melbourne.

It’s heat resistant and naturally strong. On the Mohs scale of hardness of 1 to 10 (10 being the hardest), Quartzite measures in at 7, with Granite behind in between 6 and 6.5. This difference will buy you a bit more time to clean up before the stone starts to etch if it comes into contact with acidic materials.

How do you maintain a Quartzite benchtop?

Although it is heat resistant, any prolonged heat exposure can cause problems.  Just avoid that by using trivets, hot pots, chopping boards! Avoid etching by keeping common household items that are notorious for etching away, like lemons, fizzy drink, and red wine. Etching is basically the surface damage in the form of a dull mark on natural stone.  It happens when acidic substances come into contact with natural stone that contains calcium carbonate.

Sealing will depend on the type of Quartzite you have, ranging from not having to be sealed at all, to resealing every year or so, to regular sealing. Check with your stone fabricator which category yours falls under! Adding a stone sealant will give an extra layer of protection.
Just like with any other natural stone surface, clean up spills quickly, using a damp, soft cloth and a mild spray disinfectant if needed.

Consider picking a honed or leathered finish over a polished finish – they are more forgiving on etching and stains! Honed benchtops aren’t as reflective as polished and are smoother and flatter, which helps to prevent etching. A honed finish on harder stones is much more durable for benchtops in your kitchen.

Generally there is a lot less maintenance in comparison to other natural stone, yet still with the look of marble!

Leathered Blue Roma Quartzite from Victoria Stone Gallery

Our Blue Roma Quartzite looks striking in a leathered finish.

Special considerations when shopping for Quartzite?

Quartzite comes in soft or hard variations, sometimes the fabrication can be more expensive when it’s harder to cut through. Always check with your preferred fabricator if they have worked with it before! A Quartzite benchtop offers a lifetime of unique look alongside practicality, give it the professional installation and fabrication it deserves!

 


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