Lueders Limestone Veneer – An Introduction

Many homeowners drive around their neighborhood or neighborhoods nearby and see homes with beautiful stone accents or a full stone exterior and feel envious.  Even if your existing home does not have stone accents, that does not mean it is too late!  You can elevate the appearance of your home’s exterior while also increasing your home’s value by adding a limestone veneer.  Lueders limestone veneer is limestone that has been quarried from the Lueders Basin in Texas.   To install a full-thickness stone exterior would be exceptionally difficult and heavy but a thin Lueders veneer is exceptionally durable but far easier to accomplish.  Lueders veneer weighs approximately 75% less than full-thickness stone so the difference is significant.  Additionally, limestone veneer is considerably less expensive than full-thickness stone so it is far more economical.

It is important to note that Lueders veneer is exceptionally beautiful and versatile.  It is durable enough for outdoor use but can also be used indoors.  There is a distinct reason that high-end custom homes are choosing Lueders thin veneer for their homes, it is lightweight and durable – it will stand the test of time and weather.  Because it is denser, it does not absorb much water and can be used in climates with significant swings in temperature.   When you use natural stone veneer, you are opting for a truly low maintenance option because it is derived from the natural elements.

To continue, Lueders limestone veneer is available in a wide range of colors that include chocolate, gray, brown, blue and caramel so there is certain to be a color to coordinate with your architectural design aesthetic.  Whether you have a traditional home, rustic home, or modern home, we have limestone veneer to suit your needs.  And, at Architectural Home Elements can manufacture any cut or pattern that you need including regular chop or a sawn cut pattern.  For interior use, we carry a selection of thin Lueders veneer that is lightweight and provides the perfect “pop” to your home’s décor.  Use limestone veneer to accentuate columns, niches, or other architectural design elements.  Or, create an accent wall that is sure to draw the eye and add significant depth and warmth with limestone veneer.  Allow us to show you the variety of colors and styles available in Lueders thin veneer, as well as the variety of applications in which it can be used to add value to your home and add significant beauty.

4 Ways to Incorporate Carved Stone Into Your Home

Natural stone is beautiful and elegant, providing timeless appeal wherever it is used.  It is no wonder that it has been used for centuries all over the world and those applications continue to look stunning even today.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the best natural stone available for a variety of applications both indoors and outdoors.  We work with homeowners, builders, architects and engineers to help bring their architectural stone needs to life.  Whether you want to incorporate Cantera, Limestone, Marble or Travertine, we can help you find the style and color that you want.  Natural stone can be used in many different architectural styles, from Old World, to Classic Mediterranean, to Tuscan, to Traditional to Contemporary!  If you love the look of natural carved stone and are looking for some inspiration for how you can implement it inside or outside your home, below are 8 different ways we can help you bring natural stone into your habitat.

  1. Columns
    • Columns offer a certain kind of grandeur that is hard to achieve with anything else. Columns can be purely decorative or they can provide actual structural support.  Natural stone columns are durable and strong enough to provide structural support but are also beautiful to behold.  We carry a selection of styles including Doric, Tuscan, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, Solomonic and more!
  2. Corbels
    • Corbels, similar to columns, can be either decorative or provide structural support. There are a wide array of styles available that range from elaborate and formal to simple and contemporary.  Additionally, if you prefer to custom design corbels, simply bring your sketch or picture in and we will reproduce the stone of your selection.
  3. Firepits
    • There is nothing quite like gathering around a fire pit and enjoying the tranquility of the crackling flames. Firepits can be incorporated in your landscape to elevate your experience in your backyard and add value to your home with a carved stone fire pit that perfectly complements the architectural style of your home.
  4. Fireplaces
    • A stone fireplace is the perfect centerpiece to any room and will immediately draw the eye. At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a vast and exquisite selection of stone fireplaces to beautifully accentuate any architectural style and add value to your home.  Whether you prefer more classic or ornate styles, or you are interested in a more modern or contemporary style, we have the perfect stone fireplace for you.


Thin Stone Veneers Applications for Your Home

If you are interested in add a stone veneer to your home but are not sure about how big the project will be, how difficult it will be to maintain, or the cost of such a large amount of stone, the answer to your questions is thin stone veneer.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a selection of natural stone thin veneer that can be used in a variety of applications.  Thin stone veneer is still natural stone and has many advantages over synthetic stone.

One of the first advantages of thin stone veneer is that it is lightweight yet still as durable because it is natural stone.  Because it is lightweight and highly customizable, it is easy to work with and can be used even in applications with limited space or weight restrictions.  Because the thin veneers are cut from real stone, they still provide the beauty, value and durability of real stone which has timeless appeal and strength.  Because they are not synthetic their color will not change or age in an unnatural way.  Thin stone veneers come in a variety of colors and styles which means that homeowners are still able to enjoy the versatility and variety of natural stone.   An additional benefit of choosing natural stone veneers is that it requires ZERO maintenance.  Any weathering or aging that occurs over time is natural and beautiful but because of its durability it will maintain the original integrity of the stone without the need to seal or protect it.

At Architectural Stone Elements, we have two kinds of thin stone veneer from which to choose: limestone and Lueders.  Limestone is eye-catching, luxurious looking stone that comes in a variety of hues including rustic, yellow, cream, blue, grey, and white limestone.  No matter what the style of your home is, we have the right kind of stone to complement your architectural style.  Additionally, you can choose the pattern you like, including regular chop, sawn cut, or flagstone and, we can produce a thin cut veneer for indoor or outdoor applications.  Lueders is another type of stone that we carry and it is great for rustic, traditional and even eclectic style homes.  Lueders stone comes in chocolate, grey, brown, blue and caramel and, just like limestone; we can produce a variety of cuts that range from regular chop to sawn cut pattern.  Lueders is another type of stone that is great for indoor or outdoor application.  Add thin stone veneer to walls, fireplaces, kitchens and more for enhanced style, added beauty and added value in your home.

3 Reasons to Install a Firepit at Your Home

Step into any upscale home or home that has had professional landscaping and you will likely see either an outdoor fireplace or firepit.  Why?  Because professionals know that every homeowner can use a firepit in their backyard.  Whether you love to entertain or you simply want to unwind quietly by yourself, a firepit is the ideal locale.  There is something tranquil and calm about the glow and warmth that a firepit provides.  You will sit down next to it and never want to leave.  Firepits are useful year round – whether it is a cold night and you need some warmth or a warm summer night and you have just hopped out of the pool, unwind next to your elegant carved stone firepit.  A custom-built, carved stone firepit is a useful addition to any home and below we explain the top 3 reasons why this is so.

  1. Add Value to Your Home
    • A store-bought, run-of-the-mill firepit doesn’t look particularly beautiful and certainly does not add any value to your home because. When you invest in a custom-designed firepit for your home, you know that it will coordinate perfectly with the style of your home and naturally enhance its beauty and value.  Should you ever decide to sell your home, it is a feature potential buyers are certain to love. Worth explains why fire pits add value to your home, “Maximize the potential of your outdoor entertaining areas. Erika Granath of Balistreri Realty in Boca Raton, Fla., suggests upgrading to a full outdoor “summer” kitchen. This might include a bar, a pizza oven and a fireplace or fire pit. “Buyers are wowed by great outdoor spaces,” she says.”
  2. Add Beauty to Your Home
    • When you have invested in your home’s beauty, as well as beautiful landscaping, your firepit should not be a flimsy piece of metal you put a few pieces of wood in. First of all – they are not stable and the last thing you need is a fire hazard or someone injuring themselves.  Second, they do not look high-end and will detract from the beauty of your home and landscaping.
  3. Create an Area for Entertaining and Relaxing
    • Have you looked longingly out the window on a cold night and wished you could entertain your guests in your beautiful backyard only to realize that everyone will be chilly? With a firepit you will have a great area for entertaining and relaxing for both you and your guests.  Add natural stone benches around your firepit for seating and you and your guests will want to linger around the fire all night.

4 Reasons to Install a Water Fountain at Your Home

If you have ever visited a high-end resort, important building or lovely garden or park you have probably seen a water fountain.  This is not just a coincidence; water features blend beautifully with landscape design and architecture.  Water is a natural element that is lovely to behold and soothing to the ear.  Water fountains are elegant and charming but that is not all, they boast a variety of features that take them great for either indoor or outdoor use at your home.  Below are 4 reasons we encourage everyone to consider implementing a water fountain into their home’s architectural design – whether indoor or outdoor.

  1. Beautiful
    • There is no questioning it – water fountains are beautiful. But, they are even more beautiful when they are made of carved natural stone.  The best part about using natural stone is that over time and with use it will only continue to get more beautiful.  There are natural stone fountains in Europe that are centuries old and still running beautifully – this is because it is not a cheaply manufactured water fountain, it is made of stone which is durable.
  2. Calming
    • Just about every spa in the world has a water fountain because the sound of trickling water is naturally calming. Many studies have shown that people are naturally relaxed by the sound of trickling and running water and that the negative ions that the water puts out also help relax people nearby.  Just imagine sitting near a soothing fountain while you sip your tea, or lying in bed and falling asleep to the sound of your fountain – it would certainly be more calming than trying to relax without it.
  3. Ambient Sound
    • If you live in a busy residential area or just have a loud neighbor you may want to reduce the ambient noise that your neighborhood produces. The sound of running water will help block out the noise of your neighborhood and replace it with a pleasing, soothing sound.  Ambient noise from fountains is used frequently in commercial settings to set the tone and create an enjoyable atmosphere and more and more homeowners are realizing the same benefits.
  4. Added-Value
    • A custom carved stone water fountain is not just beautiful and relaxing but it adds value to your home. Whether you use it indoors or outdoors, it is durable and able to stand the test of time.  Additionally, by custom building your natural stone water fountain you can blend it seamlessly with the architectural style of your home to not just enhance beauty but enhance value as well.  If or when you go to sell your home, buyers will be attracted to the beautiful addition of a water fountain that has upgraded your home.

Introduction to Stone Coping

Stone coping has been used for centuries in architectural design.  Coping stones are traditionally used to cap freestanding walls or as edging on pathways or around pools, giving the walls a finished and polished look while also protecting the walls from damage.  Coping stones are available in a variety of colors, styles, sizes and finishes to coordinate with the architectural aesthetic of the structure.  Coping stones often do not get as much credit as they deserve but they are the component of any architectural design that gives it is completed and polished look.

Coping stones can be designed to be flat and simple in style, or can be curved, end-style, horizontal-curved, vertical-curved, or customized to meet any unique needs you might have.  While coping can be made of a variety of materials, including metal, wood, brick or more, stone has been used for centuries and continues to be used today for good reason – it stands the test of time.  Not only does it stand the test of time in structure and strength, but in aesthetic appeal.  Natural stone weathers beautifully and is capable of standing up to even the most extreme of elements while continuing to do its job.

At Architectural Stone Elements, we are a world-class purveyor of hand-carved stone art.  We typically use Cantera, limestone, travertine, and marble in our work and we can seamlessly integrate your stone coping with any other architectural elements, including other natural stone elements you may be implemented.  We use only the finest quality stone to ensure that you are supremely satisfied with the finished look.  Simple installations of architectural stone can look understated and beautiful but what truly elevates the look is when there is dimension and texture.  It adds uniqueness that cannot be otherwise achieved and both perceived and real value to your home.  Curved coping can also be used to help move weather elements such as rain or snow gently off ledges and walls so that it does not gather and cause damage.  When natural stone coping is used around pools, it offers a beautiful warmth, texture and sturdiness that cannot be achieved with other materials.  Stone proves to be a valid option because it is long-lasting and is sure to give your pool the spa-like oasis feel that any homeowner or commercial property would hope to achieve.  Stone coping may not be the first thing you think of when choosing architectural elements, but it is important to not forget such a beautiful finishing touch that will elevate the look and reinforce the structure of architectural elements.



Reasons to Install Iron Doors

Entry doors and other interior and exterior doors come in a variety of styles and materials.  While there are many elegant and stylish choices, not all are as durable and timeless as wrought iron doors.  Sturdy wrought iron doors can be custom designed in any style or size that you need to effortlessly and elegantly enhance the architectural style of your home.  There are styles for every design aesthetic – from traditional to contemporary and everything in between.  But, if there are elegant and stylish options in both iron doors and wood doors, why opt for custom wrought iron doors?

There are many reasons to invest in wrought iron doors for your home.  To begin, a wrought iron entryway dynamically enhances your curb appeal and creates the ideal experience you want for everyone entering your home.  Custom wrought iron entryways are the peak of individuality and uniqueness, allowing you to put your own personal stamp on your home.  Dazzle your guests as they enter your home and set the tone for the experience they are about to have once inside.  In addition to aesthetic appeal, wrought iron doors are sturdy and durable.  Wrought iron can withstand any weather or climate and will durably protect your home.  Iron doors are not easily damaged or moved, providing the ideal level of security you need to protect your home and prevent break-ins.  When you want to protect your home like the fortress it is, there is no better option on the market than wrought iron doors.  Additionally, because they are so durable they require far less maintenance than a wood door.  Further, when you have a beautiful home and invest in the value of your home, wrought iron doors are one of the smartest investments you can make.  Iron doors add substantial value to your home, dramatically increasing your resale value should you ever choose to sell your home.

If you are weighing the advantages of different door products for your home, it is important to consider all of the various advantages of a wrought iron door over other entryway options.  Wrought iron doors look high-end but are exceptionally low maintenance.  If you are looking to add unique style and elegance to your home, while enhancing and reinforcing security and increasing the value of your home, there is no better option than wrought iron doors.

Introduction to Scuppers

When thinking of architectural elements that enhance a home, the first thing that comes to mind may not be stone scuppers.  But, when completing a home design and putting all of the finishing touches on to ensure a cohesive and elegant look is achieved, it is important to not forget about scuppers.  Scuppers were originally created to reduce water overflow on ships and boats but they are now commonly used on homes and buildings.  For those not familiar with what exactly a scupper is, About Home provides a helpful description, “The National Roofing Contractors Association defines scupper as “A drainage device in the form of an outlet through a wall, parapet wall or raised roof edge typically lined with a sheet-metal sleeve.”A roof scupper is a roof drainage system that provides drainage of a flat roof by allowing the water runoff from the roof to exit the roof through a metal edge, parapet wall or through the deck into a downspout or leader. Roof scuppers are not the same as roof drains.”  If your home or building has a flat roof, it likely has (or should have!) scuppers somewhere along the roofline because pooling water on the roof can lead to leaks and significant water damage.

Scuppers, in their most basic sense, are primarily utilitarian.  They are there to get water off of a flat roof building – an important feature to protect architectural integrity.  But, just because they are utilitarian and necessary to the structure of many homes, it does not mean that they have to be made of a basic, unattractive metal, detracting from the architectural beauty of the exterior of your home.  Many do not realize that gargoyles on older, gothic style buildings were actually decorative stone scuppers, draining water through the mouth of the gargoyle.  If your home has an architectural stone exterior or stone façade exterior, do not reduce the beauty with an unattractive scupper.  Keep a continuous and seamless stone look for your home by installing carved stone scuppers.  While gargoyles may not be what you have in mind, we have a wide selection of decorative stone scuppers that are carved in traditional and contemporary designs to coordinate beautifully with any home’s exterior design.  If your home does not currently have scuppers installed and you think it may need them, consult your architect to discuss the addition.  If your home does have scuppers installed but they are not the ideal style you would prefer, consider installing carved stone scuppers for added value and visual appeal to your home’s exterior.


Introduction to Plinth Blocks

There are a lot of architectural elements that homeowners are familiar with due to their popularity or trendiness.  One element, a plinth block, may not sound familiar but it is an important transitional element in décor.  You may have seen a plinth block before and simply not known the name for it.  Typically, plinth blocks appear at the bottom corner of door casings or at the bottom of trim that surrounds an entryway.  The purpose of a plinth block is to create a subtle yet pleasing transition between the trim that surrounds a door or entryway, and the trim that is around the lower part of walls. SFGate explains the history of plinth blocks, “”Plinth” is an architectural term used to describe a support for a column or base. The plinth was originally designed as a load-bearing component, but has since been relegated to a design element serving as an aesthetic enhancement, typically on both sides of a doorway opening at the bottom. The plinth block installation is basic. The vertical trim or molding butts into the top, and the horizontal baseboard butts into the side. Plinth blocks are wider and thicker than the conjoined moldings to allow for a reveal, lip or shadow line between the block and trim.”

Natural stone plinth blocks are the ideal way to add support, visual interest and an elegant transition between stone moldings around the base of the wall that connect with moldings around doorways or entryways.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we carry a selection of plinth blocks in a variety of stones and colors to seamlessly coordinate with any home’s architectural style and décor aesthetic.  Whether you prefer a contemporary style or a traditional style, we have something to suit your needs.  When decorating a home, there are certain things that take it to the next level, give it that custom look and ultimately, make it look complete.  A transition from molding around a door to molding near the floor can look clunky or unfinished without a plinth block.  The thickness of one molding may not match the thickness of the other and the styles may be different, making it look strange but with the addition of a plinth block suddenly it looks like a smooth, complementary transition with a high-end finish.  It is the small touches that often make all the difference and elevate the aesthetic of a home and plinth blocks are no exception.

Natural Stone Rosettes Add Appeal To Your Home

Natural stone home accents can be used both inside and outside to accentuate architecture, add visual interest, and elevate your home’s overall aesthetic.  Because they are made of natural stone, they are exceptionally durable and can easily weather outside elements or pristinely coordinate with inside décor.  Natural stone can also be sealed or left unsealed and allowed to naturally patina over time, depending on your preferred look and finish.  Often, it is the special touches, whether big or small, that helps give a home that custom, high-end feel.  Whether you have used natural stone architectural elements throughout your home or not, the use of natural stone rosettes make a beautiful, eye-catching addition to any room.

Natural stone rosettes are available in a wide variety of stones, colors and styles to suit traditional, contemporary and even modern architecture.  Architectural stone rosettes are the ideal accent piece for cabinetry, furniture, fireplace mantels, fireplace surrounds, ceilings and more.  Rosettes have different decorative trims and patterns that are carefully crafted to provide timeless appeal.  In fact, decorative stone rosettes have been used in architectural design for centuries and continue to be popular today, proving they are capable of standing the test of time.  Stone rosettes can be added to just about any surface you can think of and will add a certain sophistication and charm that could not be achieved with any other decorative element.  When selecting the ideal rosette, it is important to consider the architectural style of our home, as well as your personal décor style to help you choose the right rosette that will blend seamlessly.  There are a lot of ways to decorate and some add value while others do not.  When you invest in natural stone elements you not only add decorative appeal but also increase the value of your home.  Rosette blocks are also often used in conjunction with door moldings to add that something special beyond just simple molding.  Rosettes can be used on the top corners of door moldings to enhance entryways and make your home truly unique.  In addition to entryways, you may see natural stone rosettes used on walls with other natural stone, in niches, in flooring and far more.  While the term “rosettes” may sound ornate or very traditional, there are modern and contemporary carving styles as well, seamlessly blending with your home’s architectural style.