We’re in the process of building a new home in the mountains that’s not traditional, but not super contemporary either. The entrance is front to back and so it’s a very long hall. I’m looking for something drop-dead gorgeous but am at a loss.
We don’t want a rug and it should probably be a stone floor because it’s in the woods and it needs to be practical.
Oh man, I do have an idea and how lucky for me that I get a chance to write about this. I was just in Italy for a week and was lucky to be taken here.
What is that you ask?
This is the headquarters for Antolini undoubtedly one of the largest suppliers of natural stone in the world. If God created it, they have it and then some. The collection is as vast as the imagination.
Thick slabs are imported from all over the world.
We divided our 30 or so people into three groups. My group was the best :] and we had a fabulous guide, Sergio.
I can’t even begin to explain the vast selection of the usual as well as the exotic, rare and sem-precious.
Part-way into the tour, something caught my eye in the distance, so I went to investigate.
Is that an Oriental rug?
No, it’s stone! And if you are not familiar with how this is achieved, it’s called book matching. The slabs are cut thinly and are nearly identical and make these wonderful patterns.
Welcome to my new addiction. :]
I snapped the two pics of this granite below called Black Beauty.
Here is a slab of Black Beauty.
And here is the addictive part as you can see above and below. In case you are unfamiliar with this or don’t understand what you are seeing, this is four separate pieces cut from the same slab. Then, they are turned so that they make a mirror image pattern.
This design also lends itself to a square motif. If the slab is about four feet tall, then this treatment would be approximately an eight-foot square. But it could be smaller by using less of the slab.
If I were doing this for a client, I would take a straight-on photo of the slab and then play with where we would want them to make the cuts and in which direction. Some designs look good in a different configuration and some don’t. You’ll see more of that in a bit.
What’s really cool is that at Antolini, they have a special machine that can cut the marble only an 1/8″ thick. Then, the marble is mounted on glass. Essentially, it’s a marble veneer. It is very strong, lighter in weight and a lot less money.
Antolini features not only the usual stuff but also many exotic semi-precious stones and manufacturered stones like this one called Fire Jasper.
This one’s pretty jazzy but I could see it in certain applications.
This is also pretty as a square.
I snapped this image of a marble called Black Horse
Above a slab of Black Horse
And here is my version of the black and white runner. How posh this would be in a high-end store like Bergdorf Goodman, a boutique hotel, bar or a chic restaurant.
A granite called Breche Medusa. Normally, this would be way too much going on for my taste.
But now, it feels like an Oriental rug. By the way, you could do this application on a wall, on a bar or even a ceiling.
A French mantel created from a Breche marble via Marc Maison.
It seems the more intricate, the better.
Violetta Crest Stone Floor
Can you stand it?
Another busy granite
And another rug.
Turns into an “Oushak!”
Everyone’s fave Calacatta Gold
A Rorshach Test? lol
This is called Verde Ubatuba. I wasn’t sure if I would like it.
But I do! It reminds me of a deep green over-dyed rug.
During our tour, Sergio took us into room after room and one room was narrow like a gallery and on the floor running the length, was a wide border of this. It’s blue agate that’s been back-lit with LED lighting. The effect is the most extraordinary thing. It’s like a blastocyst (remember that one?) floating in some languid Caribbean lagoon. But the colors— mesmerizing! Then, I read that agate is considered to be quite healing. I believe it! It comes in several different varieties and colors.
From the Antolini Showroom, an arrestingly beautiful section of Malachite from a large slab.
So, where can you get this amazing stone in the USA?
Thank you for asking. ;]
As it happens, on the design and wine sponsors is a fantastic source in the Greater Boston Area called Cumar Marble and Granite. Two delightful associates graced our tour, Dawn Carroll and Stephanie O’Brien.
Cumar is owned by Italian-born Ivo Cubi whose family has been in the stone business for seven generations. The company handles everything from large commercial jobs to small residential jobs. From what I understand, Antolini is one of Cumar’s top suppliers. Good to know!
And now, please enjoy a few more images from the Italy trip.
The last day was spent in Verona but I was already starting to feel, not-so-great, so I left early with a few other tired travelers.
On the way to “Juliet’s Balcony” is the tunnel of love. Maybe 20 feet deep, covered just like this all over!
Andreas from Sartori Vineyard reminded us to “look up” when in Verona.
The rest of the photos are from the Veneto breathtakingly beautiful vineyard of Angiolini Maule.