How to choose the perfect natural stone texture for a modern interior
Discover how natural stone is not only a timeless décor choice but also versatile and refreshingly modern
Why natural stone is the perfect material for contemporary interiors
Marble and other types of natural stone may have been in use for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be considered for elegant modern interiors. Forget all your preconceived notions of ornate, ostentatious villas and palaces, because while they are fascinating to behold, they don’t reflect the versatile nature of stone and its capacity to move with the times and transmit luxury, but of the understated, contemporary variety.
If you love the idea of natural stone and would like to use it for your home, but are unsure how to avoid the traditional associations of pretentious displays of taste, this article is for you. We’ll be focusing on designer finishes that will banish any ideas that stone is not suitable for contemporary décors, once and for all.
With no further ado, let’s enter the modern Stone Age.
Characteristics of modern designer tiles
Art, design and fashion aficionados understand the importance of texture in determining the identify of a piece, whether it is a garment, work of art or item of furniture. Smooth or rough, glossy or matt, flat or inlaid are just some of the characteristics that come into play when creating the final effect.
With that said, let’s return to our favourite material which is, of course, natural stone. Tiles are often associated with a smooth, shiny finish, but this is just one of the many possibilities that stone offers. In fact, it is far removed from the Salvatori approach, which is all about adding a simple but elegant twist by cutting the stone in innovative, distinctive ways. We are also huge fans of a more matt finish which we believe delivers a more sophisticated, understated look.
Many of our textures are designed by world-renowned names who share the same attention to detail as we do, and understand how to create a surface that takes on another dimension when the magic ingredient of light is added, bringing depth and the X factor to any interior.
Our tiles are designed to be used on their own or combined with other textures and stones.
Combining different colours with natural stone
Every stone is a glorious world of colour in its own right. Nature has performed its work over thousands of years on each block of stone, creating extraordinary shades of colour and unique details that we can see in the tiles that are cut from it, along with patterns of veining and sometimes even tiny traces of fossils. All of these add to the charm and appeal of an incomparable material.
One of the wonderful things about stone is that you can combine contrasting or complementary colours and obtain an elegant harmony. Whether this is for purely aesthetic reasons or to accommodate some particular aspect of a space by correcting a less-than-ideal proportion, for example, the effect is guaranteed to be stunning.
A case in point is the decor in this bedroom, which features Piero Lissoni’s Stone Tatami, here in Crema d’Orcia with accents in Pietra d’Avola. The dark strips of brown serve to break up the pale creamy tones while at the same time evoking the delicate sophistication of the Far East.
The result is a distinctive and undoubtably contemporary décor, that is not only perfect for the bedroom, but also for the living room.
Combining textures in natural stone
The materials and colours we choose for the walls and floor of a space have an enormous impact on the mood and style, and as such they are a key element of any décor. When you choose tiles, the texture becomes the defining feature. The way each tile is cut, its pattern, the way it interacts with light, all these things make an enormous difference and often express techniques belonging to a certain period or company and the vision of the designer.
As such, combining textures is not only a question of aesthetics, but also touches on conceptual approaches. We can see this principle at work in this image, where Stone Parquet and CNC are combined, both textures linked by material and their designer. Each of the two textures was designed by Piero Lissoni and are used together here in Crema d’Orcia limestone. Despite their very different cut and look, they work together here by responding in their own way to the light, resulting in a soothing, harmonious environment.
Combining stone with other materials
In addition to combining colour and texture, there is another way to use natural stone in a contemporary fashion and that is to combine it with other materials. This approach can pose challenges because it requires an innate understanding of the various components’ characteristics and capacity to interact with their environment.
There are a number of possibilities, such as stone and glass in a shower or stone and fabrics in the living room. Another combination we often use is that of natural stone and wood, and in fact it was this pairing that saw the creation of some of our most popular storage solutions, such as the Adda modular drawer system.
Inspired by the classic designs of the Fifties and Sixties, it combines retro style with an on-trend modern vibe and with its range of stones and wood finishes, it provides plenty of scope for interior designers. Available in Bianco Carrara, Crema d’Orcia, Grigio Versilia, Silk Georgette, Gris du Marais and Pietra d’Avola, it comes with a choice of front facing also in natural stone, along with walnut or thermos-treated oak.
The example pictured contains a warm and stylish combination of ribbed walnut and Pietra d’Avola.
So, with these three examples, we hope you can see how much potential there is for using natural stone to create truly modern interiors, and how much scope there is for combining it in different ways, rather than thinking of it simply in terms of the highly polished marble look of years gone by. If you would like to talk through ideas for your own interior décor project, we will be delighted to arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our experts.