Does Stone Belong in your Home?
Hopefully you've had a chance to read my previous post. Stonework is an art form.
Does stone belong in your home?
In the early days, stone was a functional structure. It usually served as a foundation or fireproof vent, such as a chimney. Through the years construction materials have advanced to more homogeneous and "ease of use" type materials; perfect example - ready mix concrete has replaced stone as a preferred foundation material.
Unless you have a home built before WWII you're likely to have a concrete foundation and a simple masonry chimney. Homes built in my lifetime, are likely to have little more than a stone or brick hearth in front of the fireplace.
So is stonework making a comeback?
Interior stonework has always been a luxury. Until recently, stone could only be worked by a skilled mason. Interior stonework has no real structural value on modern homes so it's sole purpose is to be the center piece or accent of a room. As time goes on and remodeling becomes more of a hobby than a necessity, we see more and more themed rooms. Ski lodges are a great example of this. Think of the exposed beams and stone fire places. We see this while on vacation and think, I really need this in my house! My question to you today is, does stone belong in your home?
Like any planning process it all starts with questions.
Traditional or Contemporary?
First you need to decide which look fits your space better. Stone work has always been a very traditional feature of architectural design. However contemporary stonework has been gaining momentum in recent decades. I like to think of contemporary stonework as having artistic purposes while traditional styles invite a more functional look.
Center Piece or Accent, or both...
The fireplace is the center, always. This is traditional, especially in colder climates. We've been meeting the information age head on and incorporating flat screen tv mounts into our fireplace surrounds which again, is a focal point. If you have the space you need a stone fireplace surround - end of story. If you don't have a fireplace but still want a center piece, an arched entry way made with stone is a great idea too.
Stone accents are tough. Stone isn't meant to be small and inconspicuous. You start walking that line of ski lodge theme. Stone accents work great in lake and mountain homes but I'm hesitant about incorporating them into year round homes.
Real or Fake
Real is real and fake is always fake. But fake has its place. Some people prefer a uniform look. Faux stone or architectural stone is a wonderful alternative to real stone. It provides texture and color much like real stone. It also eliminates any irregularities making installation easier in most cases. Some of our faux stone projects have turned out better looking than our real stone projects. If you're not ready to commit to the look of real stone, go with faux stone.
Colors and Types of Rock
Keep it simple! Unless you're going for an ultra modern contemporary look there are two rules of thumb here. What kind of stone would you dig up in your backyard? And what color do you like? If you pick your stone based of these two thoughts, you can't go wrong. Pick a native looking stone and pick a color that flows well with your furnishings - and will for a long time...
There's quite a bit to the layout and planning process of a stone work project. The key is planning. If you can work through what you want and what you like, the vision will present itself. Stonework is organic, so it's best to let the design process be the same.