Choosing the right kind of stone for your home

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Stone has been a popular choice for centuries for its timeless beauty and versatility, and it continues to be one of the most-requested materials today. With an abundance of products available on the market, choosing the right type of stone is key.

Understand your design goals

The first step in selecting the right stone for your space to identify your aesthetic goals. Each stone type has its own characteristics and can complement different design styles.

If you’re leaning toward a classic, elegant look, consider marble or travertine. The natural veining and timeless appeal of marble adds subtle sophistication to your space. For a sleek and contemporary look, granite and quartz are excellent choices, offering a clean and polished finish that complements modern design elements. For a rustic, cosy ambience, slate or sandstone are good options.

Evaluate colour and pattern

Every piece of natural stone is as unique as a fingerprint. Hailing from a physical structure and chemical composition shaped by millions of years of geological processes, no two are alike. This means incredible variations in colour and pattern, even between stones of the same kind. While a particular piece of stone may catch your eye in a showroom, it’s best to evaluate it within the context of your home, colour scheme, design elements and your overall goals.

For example, light-coloured marble and limestone can make a space feel more open and airier. On the other hand, dark stones such as black granite or deep brown marble can add drama and sophistication.

As well, veining and patterns in stone can range from subtle to bold. I am a big fan of natural marble. My designs often lean into a softer veining pattern, which allows for a subtle book-match of the marble, or stones with consistent veining patterns that don’t need to be book-matched and oftentimes can have more hidden seams, making the slabs appear larger.

Consider durability and maintenance

Different stones have varying levels of durability and require different maintenance routines, so research your options through this practical lens.

If you want a high level of durability, granite and quartz are resistant to scratches, heat and stains, and ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Where durability is less of a concern, limestone and travertine offer moderate durability and are suitable for a living room or bedroom.

For low-maintenance materials, quartz and granite are great options, as they require minimal upkeep, and can withstand daily wear and tear.

While marble is inherently a softer stone and can stain and/or etch, there are finishing products available that can be professionally applied to the stone to protect the surface and increase the durability to become maintenance-free on a day-to-day basis.

Factor in cost and budget

Lastly, consider the cost. Stones vary in price based on their rarity, source and quality. Choose something that aligns with your budget, while still meeting your design preferences and quality requirements.

Marble is generally more expensive, priced to reflect its exclusivity. Granite is more affordable compared to marble and offers durability and a high-end appearance. Engineered quartz is a cost-effective alternative to natural stone, providing a similar aesthetic, with added durability and easier maintenance.

Holistic view

All this to say, you’ve got options – a lot of them. Think about your space, from its foundational elements to the finishing touches, and choose with this holistic view in mind. The right option is… just a stone’s throw away!

designer find

For bigger movement and variation, consider the Calacatta OMG design, with its prominent veins to create a more dramatic statement and draw attention to the marble.

tip:

Finishes of the stone, such as polished, honed and “leather,” all yield very different results, and should also be carefully considered.

Jessica Cinnamon
Jessica Cinnamon

Jessica Cinnamon is the principal designer and founder of Toronto-based Jessica Cinnamon Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary design company that creates stylish and well-curated interiors, and provides complete bespoke residential design services in Toronto, the GTA, cottage country, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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