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Why Natural Stone is a Great Option for Millennials

by | Mar 27, 2018 | Inspire |

Millennials are on the pulse of the latest trends, gadgets, and technology. They know what apps to use and when, and probably know more than you about the industry in which you work. They do their research and can subsequently become an expert on anything—or so they think. This includes home buying, even though millennials are choosing to make home purchases later in life, taking time to work hard and play harder before settling down.

Photo courtesy of Ripano Stoneworks.

According to information from the National Association of Realtors, millennials are the largest share of home buyers at 35% and this figure has been increasing across the past four years. More members of this demographic are moving to the suburbs and selecting detached, single family homes in which to reside: Millennials are clearly choosing to make a long-term investment when they finally make the decision to purchase and when they do finally sign on the dotted line, they are looking for quality.

Builder Magazine recently published an article discussing the Responsive Home Project, a “laboratory” that delves into what will appeal to young people who fall into the millennial bracket. Individuals in the building products industry concurred that these young people seek high-quality features in their homes because they are waiting longer to purchase their abodes. Millennials are opting for high-end materials that look stellar and will last, and natural stone is one material that covers all of these bases.

Carrara marble. Photo courtesy of Kohler.

“Natural stone is a luxury material and it’s aesthetically beautiful,” said Jacqueline Tabbah of the Houston-based company International Stoneworks, Inc. She joined the family business around eight years ago and works on the stone restoration and maintenance side. Tabbah has seen more millennials come in, armed with research, ready to incorporate this material into their homes.

“When you have a millennial consumer—in any industry—they come to you very knowledgeable about what they want. It’s nice that they come in educated…they know the maintenance and the care that stone requires.” Being informed is obviously important, but many in this demographic are also seeking out natural stone because they like its appearance. “Stone is timeless,” Tabbah added, “And what really sets natural stone apart for millennials is the cool look and texture from the stone…they have a lot more options these days and can select a polished or brushed look in a range of stone types or go for marble. If they don’t want to commit to caring for marble or limestone they can go for something that requires very little care—granite or quartzite, for example.”

Photo courtesy of Smokey Mountain Tops.

Millennials might be ready to get the latest smart home feature, but their attention to quality makes natural stone the ideal material for a sophisticated space. “Every slab of natural stone is unique and has its own history,” explained Abby Sanders of Stone Interiors. “Unlike manmade products, a slab of marble or granite is literally excavated from the Earth before it is cut and polished to bring out its natural characteristics.” Natural stone elements are like functional artwork and a stone countertop is a true investment that will last for years, especially when properly maintained. The material is on point for those who want their home to truly reflect their station in life, in addition to being a thoughtfully decorated space. “Stone is not ‘trendy,’” Sanders added. “The veins, texture, and colors you see in a piece of granite or marble have been there for millions of years. Manmade surface materials are often made to resemble current interior design trends, and, ironically, are often specifically made to mimic the look of natural stone.”

Exotic serpentine. Photo courtesy of Rockin’teriors.

Thanks to the unique designs and nature of natural stone, every piece will be slightly different. Yet it is versatile enough for many tastes and need not only be used to create a classic, timeless effect. Sanders explained that “it can be fabricated into the same modern shapes and edge profiles as manmade products. A good stone fabricator can create the sharp, geometric lines that are frequently featured in modern home designs.” Since millennials like to do their homework, it can be an appealing part of home decorating to seek out the ideal piece and design of stone.

With recent innovations and the availability of natural stone, it can enhance the look and feel of a modern home, fitting right in with the Amazon Alexa, stainless steel appliances, and copious glass and metal that are hallmarks of contemporary design. For millennials who want to invest their resources into something truly special, natural stone is an excellent material to select—one that will elevate their investment to a higher level.

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