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.


Enhance Your Home with Stone Window Surrounds

When you look around your home, do you feel like it is lacking a little something?  Some visual interest? Pizzazz? Texture?  If you find that your home is lacking something, you may wonder how to enhance it in a way that is unique but that also adds value to your home.  After all, there are a lot of ways to remodel or decorate your home that will change how it looks.  But, doing so is expensive so you want to choose something that enhances your home on multiple levels.  For example, one often overlooked way to enhance your home is by adding stone window surrounds.  It is a something that not only adds aesthetic appeal but true value to your home.

From an aesthetic perspective, window surrounds can be subtle or opulent but either way, they add appeal.  For those looking for an understated but elegant upgrade, stone window surrounds come in a variety of modern and transitional carving styles that enhance a room.  And, for those looking to add opulence and draw the eye, there are more intricate carvings available.  Further, there are a variety of colors and patterns in natural stone that will blend beautifully with any home’s architectural style and existing décor.  Stone window surrounds are the finishing touch to a window installation and, without them, windows will look unfinished.  Just like a woman wears a beautiful dress and finishes the look with elegant jewelry to complete the look, window surrounds function in much the same way.  Stone window surrounds can frame the entire window, the top portion, bottom portion or top and bottom portion depending on your unique needs and style preference.  Once installed, a rather boring window looks more substantial and provides a beautiful frame through which you can enjoy the view outdoors.

From a value perspective, what makes a home look custom are the small details.  Attention to detail looks high-end and unique.  While a “naked” window may not be offensive, you will not believe the difference it makes once a stone window surround is installed.  A cake with frosting looks nice, but if you add decorative icing it makes it beautiful.  When a home has beautiful, high-end details it makes it look “expensive” which adds value to the home.  Further, when you invest in truly high quality products such as fine architectural details, it, again, adds true value to a home.  When you want to enhance the appearance and value of your home, install elegant stone window surrounds.

How to Instantly Upgrade Your Home With a New Stone Fireplace

When you walk into a home and examine the features, a fireplace is often one of the things that stick out the most.  It can make or break a first impression and really sets the tone for the feel of the room and even the entire home.  No matter how much you decorate your home with your own personal design aesthetic, if your fireplace looks outdated or odd there is not much you can do to disguise it.  But, there is one look that is timeless, elegant, stylish and versatile, and that is a stone fireplace.

The stone fireplace has been a staple of design for centuries, and for good reason.  It makes a grand statement, is effortlessly elegant, and exceptionally durable without being overly trendy.  It is perfectly fine to decorate with trends but when choosing architectural elements for your home it is best to stick with timeless classics to ensure they stand the test of time.  Investing in a stone fireplace will give you both intangible and tangible ROI – it really does add actual value to your home.  If you are looking to upgrade your home, one surefire way to do so in an instant is with a stone fireplace.  Stone fireplaces are incredibly durable, capable of lasting decade after decade.  A natural stone, such as limestone, can stand up to decades of use and its look will only continue to grow more naturally beautiful over time as it weathers.

In addition to instantly upgrading your home’s value with durability and long-lasting materials, a stone fireplace instantly upgrades your home’s style.  Whether your hone boasts a traditional look, modern vibe, or transitional feel, there is a natural stone fireplace for you.  Natural stone comes in a variety of colors and styles, and can be carved in a variety of ways to ensure that your new fireplace blends seamlessly with your home’s architecture and décor.  A stone fireplace is craftsmanship at its finest and silently communicates luxury to anyone who sees it.  Further, it is your chance to put your individual spin on your home’s architecture.  A house is not truly a home until it exudes your own personal style and by adding a stone fireplace, you are defining your home’s aesthetic as uniquely “you.”  Additionally, when properly sealed and protected, a natural stone fireplace is very low maintenance.  It will change and weather over time but, as mentioned, that is part of its natural beauty.  Beyond that, stone is very durable and requires little-to-no-maintenance.  If you want to upgrade the value and style of your home, one way to do so in an instant is with a stone fireplace.

Types of Stone and Colors for Home Architectural Elements

We have often mentioned the unique beauty of natural stone that is the result of the varied nature of natural stone color and pattern.  At Architectural Stone Elements, not only do we offer our clients a selection of different carving styles to seamlessly coordinate with any architectural and decor style, but we carry a vast selection of colors and patterns.

First, we offer a gorgeous selection of Cantera stone.  The word Cantera is Spanish for “quarry”.  Cantera stone is quarried igneous stone that is then carved into exquisite forms by expert craftsmen, which gives it it’s immense value.  Each region in North America has its own unique Cantera stones that are produced in different colors, hardness and textures throughout.  Because it takes millions of years for this stone to be formed, it is an incredibly valuable resource.  Cantera stone comes in shades including neutral tans and beiges, as well as reds, greens, and other earth tones. Beginning in the 16th century, Cantera stone rose in popularity and became the prime choice for the building of monasteries and churches in Europe.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we want to provide our clients with the highest quality materials which is why we mine selected areas and quarries.  This customized carved stone is in very high demand and we ensure that our Cantera stone is handled by only skilled craftsmen that know how to properly handle such valuable material when hand-carving it into architectural and art pieces.

In addition to Cantera, we also offer a beautiful selection of limestone.  Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite.  Travertine is also a type of limestone.  Limestone is typically available in whites, tans and cream colors.  What truly sets limestone apart is the wide variety of texture and tint that it exhibits.  This high density beauty is a top notch architectural stone and can be used in a variety of applications which is why it is often chosen over granite or sandstone.  Travertine has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties.  And Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of re-crystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.  With our vast selection of such lovely and unique stones, and their colors and patterns, we can help any client find the ideal natural stone to suit their needs and enhance their home’s architecture, decorative style, and value.

Uses Natural Stone Moldings

Stone is as stately and timeless as just about any architectural style, decor element or anything else that you can think of.  This is for good reason – stone is durable, beautiful and strong.  It can be used to construct a small decorative element or an entire coliseum.  Each piece of natural stone is unique, like a thumbprint, no two pieces are the same and that is what makes it so gorgeous.  Natural stone coordinates with any architectural or decor style seamlessly so it can be used in a wide variety of applications.  When used to enhance architecture or decor, it not only adds beauty but it adds real value to your home or property.  While there are many ways to add natural architectural stone elements to your home, we want t explore using cast stone moldings.   Cast stone moldings can be used both inside and outside, and will elevate the decor and style of your home or property in any application.

Cast stone moldings come in a variety of stones, stone colors, shapes and sizes.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we use the finest limestone, cantera stone, and travertine.  The design possibilities are truly endless.  You can use cast stone moldings to create chair rails, v-caps, wall caps, stair treads, around windows, around doorways, around fireplaces, around chimneys, and so much more.  By adding natural cast stone moldings to your home you will add drama, dimension and texture in a way that no other material could ever hope to.  When you add such dimension and unique character to your home’s exterior, you dramatically boost curb appeal which makes your home more appealing to the eye, more inviting and more valuable.  When you add that same character inside your home you add your own personal style, warmth, regality, and again – value.   What makes cast stone moldings so exceptional (aside from their obvious style and class) is that they are so strong and durable.  Whether inside or outside, they can weather the elements and stand up to the test of time, always looking their absolute best.  Because they are so strong, they can provide actual architectural support to your home’s structure which cannot be said about older moldings.  Whether you have classic or contemporary tastes in architecture or decor, there are cast stone moldings that coordinate with your style seamlessly.  Allow us to supply your home build or remodel with the perfect cast stone molding to elevate your home’s style.