Rock On!: Why I Use Natural Stone
By Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, CAPS, Principal and Lead Designer of Samuel Design Group
As a busy interior designer, I cannot begin to express how much I love using natural stone. I have always believed that in my work I must produce a space that radiates more than beauty. If a space does not produce a reaction that evokes the senses in a positive way, then I have not generated my best design. Natural stone is one element that will add to the richness of any space and can help create an important visceral reaction; I believe that this is due to the connected or rooted feeling that natural products arouse in us as human beings.
Natural stone has been used as a building material for thousands of years. Stone is obviously abundant and practical as a resource for building, but it can also be a beautiful addition to interior design. Stones like marble, limestone, travertine, quartzite, sandstone, onyx, and granite are hand selected from the most consistent sources for beauty as well as durability. When I am designing a project, I consider the composition, color, and texture that will suit the design optimally. This thoughtful review results in designs that are distinctive and unique. I have been able to incorporate natural stone in many of my designs.
A menagerie of stone choices are available—choosing the right one can be overwhelming. A licensed interior designer can be a great resource in guiding you through the choices. Be sure to talk to your stone provider about what stone is best suited for your project—they can advise you on the durability and suitability of each stone type for various applications.
In one project, I had an entire length of a hall clad in a quartzite stacked stone veneer from floor to ceiling. The wall intersected a glass pivot door at the home’s entrance and again with a glass window at the rear of the home. The quartzite was a great choice, because its crystalline structure reflects and bounces light beautifully and holds up to the dramatic freeze-thaw environment in the high mountain desert climate of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Natural stone can be used in so many ways and in so many areas of the home. Stone can be used outdoors as well as indoors on floors, countertops, walls, furnishings, tub and shower surrounds, walkways, patios, and fireplaces. Many natural stones can be enhanced by a variety of finishes. In my opinion, some of the most captivating finishes are bush-hammered, leathered, and flamed. The beauty, texture, and feel of these finishes are sublime, and I enjoy the variety of the aesthetic features these finishes can bring out in the stone, resulting in an exquisite, timeless design.