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Timeless Beauty: Chicago Landmark Restored to Its Natural Stone Glory

by | Feb 16, 2024

After the 1871 Great Chicago Fire, many homes made of wood were destroyed. When it came time to build new homes, laws were passed to prevent a similar disaster. Fireproof materials such as brick, marble, limestone, and terracotta tile became the preferred building materials since constructing buildings with wood was banned in the downtown area. Eight years after the fire, construction of the Nickerson House on Chicago’s near northside neighborhood began. The three-story, 24,000 square foot Italianate mansion was reported to be the largest and most extravagant private residence in Chicago at the time it was completed.

How to Use Natural Stone to Create At Home Water Features

by | Nov 21, 2023

Being near water has a calming effect and research studies have shown that water features can positively contribute to our overall mental health and well-being. Incorporating natural stone water features at home can bring both beauty and tranquility into your space. Anne Roberts, president of Chicago based Anne Roberts Gardens Company, finds that people love the sound of water because it’s relaxing. Since not every home has a water feature, adding one is a way to make your home stand out.

Connecting with Natural Stone

by | Aug 29, 2023

Andreas and Naomi Kunert, co-founders of Ancient Art of Stone, know they don’t easily fit into one category. Together they create one-of-a-kind art installations using natural stone, crystals, and bronze. Andreas and Naomi are artists, first and foremost. It’s not unusual for their art pieces to be 25’ tall. An upcoming project will include a 900-foot mosaic wall, with 20 feet surrounding it and large doorways with 350 ton standing stones that one can walk through.

Using Locally Sourced Limestone to Add Structure and Strength to Historic Preservation Projects

by | Jun 1, 2023

Julia Manglitz, AIA, LEED AP, APT RP, has worked on several building types throughout her career: county courthouses, state capitols and office buildings, university campus halls and community centers. What makes each of these public buildings unique is they’re all landmarks in their communities. Another thing each of them has in common? Almost all feature locally or regionally-sourced natural stone.  

Thassos White Marble Adds Reflection and Beauty to 2 Bryant Park Lobby Project

by | Mar 24, 2023

Dan Shannon and his team wanted to take advantage of the unique footprint of 2 Bryant Park and connect the park to the plaza visually. Choosing the right natural stone would prove to be a pivotal decision. They decided to create a two-story high entry lobby passage through the building and elevate that open space using Thassos White marble from Greece along the primary and surrounding walls.

Beyond Beauty: Creating Timeless Spaces with Sustainable Natural Stone

by | Jan 20, 2023

Natural stone is often chosen for residential and commercial work because of its beauty and versatility. It’s also really nuanced, according to Roger P. Jackson. He is drawn to the beauty of natural stone and believes that its beauty goes beyond aesthetics. “Natural stone feels more durable,” Jackson says. “It has a character of strength, stability, durability, and mobility.”

Range, Sustainability, and Beauty: Why Architect Craig Copeland Uses Natural Stone

by | Nov 29, 2022

There is no mistaking natural stone for its range, beauty, and sustainability. These are among the many reasons Craig Copeland, an architect, sculptor, industrial designer, and partner at Pelli Clarke & Partners finds himself recommending natural stone to many of his clients.

Undercover Artwork: Finding the Hidden Beauty in Natural Stone Slabs

by | Sep 30, 2022

Many people are drawn to natural stone because of its artistic qualities and characteristics. ALMA Studio takes it to the next level. The studio uses pure light projections to uncover, accentuate, and highlight art scenes that are hidden within the natural veining of stone slabs.

From Waste to Wonderful: Using Salvaged Limestone at the Houston Botanic Garden

by | Aug 12, 2022

“Natural stone is such a noble material, and there’s a gravity to it that is immediately recognizable and universally appreciated by everyone,” says project director, Donna Bridgeman Rossi. “It’s not a subjective mix material, it is good in its own state that we value. You don’t have to modify it in any way to make it do what it needs to do.”

Master Stone Carver Focuses on Architectural Details

by | Jul 16, 2022

Fairplay is an artist and his medium is natural stone. He works with stones such as marble, limestone, and sandstone. While his studio is currently based just outside Cleveland, Ohio, his training began in Europe, where he specialized in hand-carved stone, marble sculpture, and ornaments.

How Hana Ishikawa Builds Solid History with Genuine Natural Stone

by | May 3, 2022

One of the biggest reasons design principal Hana Ishikawa uses natural stone in her projects is because of its durability. “Natural stone has been around for millennia, and it’s much more durable than concrete,” she says. “It’s much more durable than porcelain. It’s more durable than most materials that we work with.”

Granite Creates a Serene Space at the Spring Creek Nature Area

by | Apr 13, 2022

Today and for years to come, residents and visitors of Richardson, Texas, will be able to leave the chaos of the world behind and enjoy some calm and serenity as they pass through Sylvan Portals at Spring Creek Nature Area.

Stone Consultant Helps Bring Presidential Memorial to Life

by | Feb 17, 2022

Knowing what to look for when sourcing natural stone is one of the reasons Enzo Giambattista, a natural stone consultant with Enmar Consulting in Ontario, Canada, was called upon to collaborate at the early design phase with Gehry Partners on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial project in Washington, D.C.

2022 Color Trends Inspire and Enhance Timeless White Marble

by | Jan 6, 2022

Color has profound psychological effects on our mind and body. After the uncertainty of the past two years, it is not surprising that color experts are predicting a turn to calming neutral earth tones in 2022. Natural stone trends are also moving to timeless, sustainable materials like white marble.

On the Surface: Choosing and Caring for Natural Stone Finishes

by | Oct 27, 2021

Kat Coleman, owner and principal of Long Beach, California-based Topkat Design Group, reminds clients that stone is a natural material so there needs be some tolerance. What some clients may view as imperfections in natural stone, Coleman calls “character.” “Nature is perfectly imperfect,” she reminds clients.

New Treatments to Natural Stone Make Them More Accessible in Kitchens

by | Aug 12, 2021

There are many reasons homeowners choose natural stone in their kitchens. With new technology and resources that allow for more stress-free living, they have more options than ever to create a space they love.

How to Make Natural Stone Play a Starring Role in a Kitchen Design

by | Jun 18, 2021

Jan Neiges is a certified master kitchen and bath designer with the National Kitchen & Bath Association and principal of Colorado-based Jan Neiges CKD LLC. For Neiges, the act of discovery and finding out what is drawing the client to a particular piece of natural stone is part of the fun when working on a kitchen.

Bold Bathrooms Using Natural Stone

by | Apr 16, 2021

Rose Kallas and Christine Morgan, partners and principals of Chicago-based Two Girls and a Hammer LLC, have seen residential design trends come and go. While many classics, like marble, remain popular, the duo is noticing clients asking for more color. Natural stone is delivering.

Using Natural Stone to Create a Backyard Respite

by | Feb 23, 2021

Home improvement projects have surged in the past year. Many people are realizing what the growing body of research has been showing for years: spending time outdoors can improve our health, from being able to better focus to reducing the risk of major health issues such as cardiovascular disease, stress, and high blood pressure.

Using Pantone’s Colors of the Year and Natural Stone to Create Tranquil Spaces

by | Dec 28, 2020

Pantone recently chose two colors for its 2021 Color of the Year: a gray and yellow, which the company says come together to create an aspirational color pairing, conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.