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Natural Stone is Featured Prominently in Healthy Home Showcase

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Inspire |

When Victoria Di Iorio was pregnant in 2004, her husband became ill. For almost a year, he suffered from flu-like symptoms that began with a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, a cough followed by difficulty breathing, sleepless nights, wheezing, pain, and exhaustion. The symptoms would continue for a week, subside, and re-occur again. They soon learned he was having a reaction to something inside the home.

That realization would change the trajectory of their lives as Victoria started researching safer, non-toxic building products since her husband also happened to be a general contractor. She’d go on to launch Healthy Home Initiative and started her research to find safer, non-toxic building products.

Ninety percent of our time is spent indoors and indoor air quality is, on average, two to five times worse than outdoor air, according to Victoria. “Aware of this sobering fact, my goal is to be a voice – a change agent – to help swiftly and permanently reverse this trend,” she says.


A Health(ier) Home

Victoria began lobbying her husband and in-laws, Peter and Kathy Di Iorio, owners of Dior Builders, an Illinois-based company focused on building and remodeling luxury homes, to change the way did business. A few years later, Dior Builders built their first “healthy home,” as a spec house in Long Grove.

Earlier this year, Dior Builders opened its doors to Healthy Home 2018 in Inverness, Illinois, as part of a tour and in partnership with the American Lung Association Health House™ program.

Healthy Home 2018 is the first home in the country to be built under the American Lung Association’s revised Health House™ guidelines, featuring everything from energy-efficient products and innovative technologies, to green building materials such as natural stone and non-toxic furniture and accessories.


Natural Stone: A Healthy Option

Among the many building decisions made for the new home, using natural stone was among them. Unlike other building materials, natural stone contains no harmful chemicals or toxins, making it an ideal healthier choice for a home’s interior.

Victoria chose Fond du Lac natural stone from Wisconsin-based Halquist Stone for the exterior façade of the home. The Princeton custom blend hit all the checkmarks, from being a sustainable material to the aesthetically-appealing hues, shapes and sizes to create an attractive curb appeal, according to Mike Slagle, the salesperson with Halquist Stone who worked with Victoria and her team on the Healthy Home.

There are several things homeowners need to consider when choosing natural stone for a home’s exterior, says Slagle. While his company offers clients 120 natural stone blends, he says most clients have a relatively clear idea of what they’re drawn to, whether it’d be a specific color or texture, which makes it easier to narrow down selections. Sometimes the size of a project will dictate options. For a large exterior façade, clients will need to consider options where a particular natural stone will be available to complete that project, for example. “There are limits to anything that is natural,” Slagle reminds us.

He’s grateful to have been part of the Health House project as it’s a great opportunity to remind clients that natural stone is an eco-friendly building material. He notes that all of the natural stone the company quarries is used – nothing ever goes to waste – adding to the sustainability of the product.

Natural stone was also used as part of the interior of the home.

Colorado Lincoln marble surrounds the DaVinci fireplace indoors and a natural marble top graces a 1920’s dresser that was converted to a vanity for the formal powder room.

Artisan Stone Tile by Stone Impressions also is featured in multiple locations throughout Healthy Home 2018. One of the reasons Victoria was drawn to their pieces is because the company offers one-of-a-kind stone selections that are completely customizable.

“Artisan Stone’s patterns with hand-painted detailing are both classic and timeless and always makes a statement no matter where it is installed,” shares Kedra Pai, a designer with Kedra Chalan Designs.

Kedra chose the Lena tile in custom navy for the 70 square foot kitchen backsplash which served as inspiration for the whole house design. “We couldn’t be any happier with this exceptional installation,” Kedra adds.

In the master bath, they chose Artistic Tile’s newest pattern, Riviera, which is a combination of Thassos and Bianco Carrara polished marble inlaid with Rivershell. It is used as floor tile carpet border to match decorative panel design in expansive shower.


Building a Healthy Home

Building a luxury home of this caliber may not be within reach of many homeowners but everyone can help make their current home healthier, says Victoria.

“We can’t all do everything, but we can all do something,” she insists. Using natural stone whenever possible is one way, but she also recommends limiting wall-to-wall carpeting, taking off shoes at the door and opening windows, even for a few minutes a couple of times a week to improve indoor air quality.

These are all simple and inexpensive ways individuals can make their homes healthier for their family, she says.

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