x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Natural stone brings a contemporary touch

Natural stone is an excellent choice for both modern and traditional properties and is available in such a wide range of varieties, colours and finishes that there is sure to be a stone to suit your scheme.

"The flooring in my villa is the one thing that jars. I have recently redecorated and the ceramic tiling is completely out of character with my more modern scheme. Although the look is contemporary, I still want my home to appear warm and welcoming overall. I'd also like to differentiate the living spaces with different types of flooring. Would stone work well throughout the whole villa?"

Natural stone is an excellent choice for both modern and traditional properties and is available in such a wide range of varieties, colours and finishes that there is sure to be a stone to suit your scheme - and every room. For modern interiors, Piedra Plana Extra, a pale limestone, is the perfect choice for a neutral palette, especially when laid in a large format. It can easily be co-ordinated with the rest of your interior and is extremely hard wearing. To liven up your home, co-ordinate with brightly painted or wallpapered walls and contemporary accessories.

To create a more classic look, limestones such as Field Stone or Old Gold have a warmer tone and are especially well-suited for use in entrance halls. Choose tiles that have been hand-finished with pillow edges to make a welcoming appearance and warmer feel. In addition, you can soften the look of stone by pairing it with other natural materials, such as pale wooden furniture and softly textured fabric accessories, to produce an inviting and homely space. Add underfloor heating to combat any objections to stone feeling cold underfoot.

If you are looking for a more dramatic effect, couple a black marble or slate with a paler limestone like Vanilla in a checkerboard pattern. Use this in your hallway and then choose complementary stones for the rooms running off the hall. This will not only create a sense of grandeur to your entrance but will also help to define your space. In an open-plan layout, try laying tiles in varying patterns or formations to create interest and differentiate between areas. Most stones will be suitable for this but speak to your supplier if you are keen on mosaics, since not all stone can be worked to such a small size.

Consider your colour scheme and how it will work with the stone you have chosen. Darker stones like black granite or our new Mahogany limestone look spectacular against strong colours such as deep red, which will also inject a sense of warmth to your room. A richly detailed Persian rug would look stunning against the dark brown tones of Mahogany limestone, and will also add to the inviting feel of the room.

In a more neutral-toned scheme any stone looks fantastic, as it naturally co-ordinates with most grey, brown and gold hues. Selecting blues and greens as accent colours will tie in the natural characteristics of the stone, and may further complement your choice if you have selected a blue-hued stone such as Bruma Purple marble. Overall, select the stone you that most like and is best for the job. Your supplier will be able to advise you on your choices, but most stones are usually suitable for most applications, whether indoors or out. By deciding upon natural stone for your flooring you are making a choice that you will be able to enjoy for years to come, and it will only get better as time goes by.

Emily Davies was talking to Gary Walters, the managing director of Stone Age. @email:www.estone.co.uk