2 Advantages of Using Natural Stone Moldings

There are many ways to enhance the beauty and value of a home with architectural elements.  Architectural design elements add visual interest and draw attention to architectural features that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.  Regardless of your home’s architectural style, molding and trim make a great addition to any home.  While there are many different materials used for molding, we would argue that natural stone molding is the best option.  Types of molding include chair rails, crown molding, baseboards, wainscoting, picture rail, and casing so there are many ways in which to incorporate natural stone molding in your home. Below are 2 advantages of using natural stone molding’s in your home.

2 Advantages of Using Natural Stone Moldings

  • Stone Moldings Add Beauty
    • Stone moldings are one of the most beautiful additions you can make to your home. They help smooth transitions from wall to floor or ceiling, accentuate features of your home, add elegance, and so much more! Additionally, if you have incorporated other natural stone elements into your home’s architectural design it can help smooth the transitions with other natural stone elements as well.  When you opt to use natural stone rather than manufactured stone you get to enjoy all of the unique beauty that natural stone has.  No two pieces of natural stone are identical, they vary in color, texture, pattern and more.  Natural stone adds unique, one-of-a-kind beauty to a home that no other type of molding can achieve.
  • Stone Moldings Add Value
    • Not only do natural stone moldings add beauty to your home but they add value as well. Natural stone molding’s can be hand carved from materials including limestone, marble, travertine, granite, and slate and all of these beautiful stones are also quite valuable so when you install them into your home you instantly enhance it’s value. Use Natural Stone elaborates on the value natural stone adds to your home in whatever application in which it is used (including moldings!), “While limestone may be more expensive than brick or other common materials, it will always add more value and more than pay for itself, according to Derek DiSera, a real estate broker with @Properties in Chicago. He recommends using limestone pavers to create walkways and steps, or adding limestone to windowsills, crown moldings, or front stairs. “All of these have a timeless appeal and a much wider appeal to most buyers,” he says.”

 

Introduction to Stone Columns and Pilasters

When it comes to architectural stone elements, you are probably familiar with columns but you may not be quite as familiar with pilasters.  Or, at least, you do not know that you are.  Both columns and pilasters have been around for centuries.  Columns and pilasters have a relatively similar appearance but there are some unique features that set them apart.

One of the primary differences between a column and a pilaster is that a column is generally rounded while a pilaster are generally flat and rectangular in nature.  Columns are round supports that provide a structural element that supports the weight of architecture such as beams or arches in residential or commercial settings.

Unlike a pillar which is a rectangular, non-curved structural element, a pilaster is a rectangular, non-curved architectural stone element that is most often installed into or against the surface of a wall.  Pilasters can serve the purpose of being either an ornamental or structural column.  Architectural stone pilasters can be carved and custom crafted to provide any style or aesthetic appearance that you want so that it seamlessly integrates into the style of your home.

In addition to a freestanding, curved column, and a rectangular pilaster installed against the wall, there are engaged columns as well.  Study.com elaborates on the difference between engaged columns and pilasters for further clarification, “An engaged column is a curved shaft that is built directly into a wall. It’s just like any other column but is physically connected to and part of the wall itself. This is an aesthetic way to break up the monotony of the flat surface, but also an important structural element. Engaged columns are load bearing, holding weight from the ceiling as well as acting as buttresses that reinforce and support the actual wall.

Now let’s look at pilasters, which are also features that are built into or attached to a wall. Pilasters have bases and capitals just like columns, but they’re rectilinear, shaped like elongated rectangles, and not shafts. That’s difference number one. The most important difference, however, is that modern pilasters are almost completely ornamental. Some may add some structural support to the ceiling, but they do not reinforce the wall at all. Their attachment to the wall is decorative, imitating the engaged column and breaking up the monotony of the flat surface but not filling the same structural role. So, it’s a very different kind of architectural feature.”  Whether you want to install a stone engaged column, traditional column, or pilaster, Architectural Stone Elements can custom carve any stone element to your unique specifications and needs.

3 Reasons to Install Custom Cabinetry

Installing new cabinetry is one of the most exciting things any homeowner can do.  It also tends to be pretty confusing since you can go to your local big box store and buy pre-packages cabinetry, assemble it and “DIY” the installation.  When it comes to cabinetry, there is a wide range of options from which to choose and those options come at a huge range of price points.  And, while you could attempt to DIY the project, there are many reasons why most would agree that you should not.  Choosing custom cabinetry is an ideal choice for many reasons and it does not have to break the bank!  Below are 3 reasons to install custom cabinetry in your home.

3 Reasons to Install Custom Cabinetry

  1. Better Organization Choices
    • When you opt for pre-fabricated cabinets you are stuck choosing form the limited options they have for organization. But, with custom cabinetry, you can literally create any type of organization that you need.  If you have an extensive collection of cookbooks you can have additional shelving installed.  If you have lots of pots and pans you can have special racks and organization items installed within the cabinetry to make storage easier and more efficient.  If you have limited mobility or just want easier access you can have pull-out shelving installed to make accessing even the furthest items in the back much easier.
  2. Better Construction
    • If there is one primary reason that you should install custom cabinetry it is that they are just made better. Custom cabinetry construction is of superior quality which means your investment will be more durable and last much longer – ultimately providing a better return on your investment.  Not only will custom cabinetry be more durable but the superior quality will look much better from an aesthetic perspective.  The beauty of custom cabinetry elevates the overall design aesthetic of the room.
  3. Flexibility of Design
    • When you choose to buy pre-packaged cabinetry from a big box store you are stuck choosing from whatever cabinet dimensions and configurations they have decided to sell. But, as we know, homes are incredibly unique and that means they usually need custom cabinetry to accommodate their unique dimensions if you want the cabinetry to look seamless with the rest of the room and not like it has been forced to try to fit in the space.

3 Ways to Incorporate a Wrought Iron Gate Into Your Home’s Design

Wrought iron is a strong, timeless material and has been used in architectural design and décor for centuries.  Wrought iron adds beauty and value to your property in a way that no other material possibly can.  But, possibly one of the biggest advantages is that wrought iron adds immense security because of its strength.  Wrought iron is not easily weathered, damaged or knocked over so you have the peace of mind that you can keep the things inside that you want to (children, pets, etc.), and keep the things outside that you want to (unknown persons, animals, etc.)  Unlike wood or vinyl fences or gates, there is very little maintenance needed to keep your wrought iron looking great.  Additionally, you can achieve any architectural design style or aesthetic that you want with a custom wrought iron gate and its beauty and unique style will accent your home’s architectural design.  There are many ways to incorporate an eye-catching wrought iron gate into your home’s architecture.  Below are 3 ways that you can use a wrought iron gate in your home to add beauty and value.

3 Ways to Incorporate a Wrought Iron Gate Into Your Home’s Design

  1. Driveway
  • There are few things more elegant and impressive than a gated entry your driveway. You will wow your guests with the beauty and style of a wrought iron gated entry to your driveway. But, perhaps even better than impressing people, it will add a tremendous amount of security to your home.  With a wrought iron driveway gate you will have complete control over who you allow onto your property and who you do not.
  1. Front Entry
    • A small or large wrought iron gate can be used to set the tone for the entry to your home. As your guests walk up a path to your front door they will pass through elegantly adorned wrought iron gates before coming to your front door.  Additionally, a wrought iron gate makes a great addition to a home’s front courtyard entry.
  2. Garden Entry
    • A peaceful garden can be a wonderful, secluded place to experience nature. If you have a lovely garden that is in an enclosed portion of your landscape, consider creating an entryway to your garden that will not only set the tone but make the experience even more beautiful.  A wrought iron gate is a wonderful hardscape element to incorporate into your garden so that your landscape has the perfect balance of both softscape and hardscape.

 

3 Reasons to Use Limestone Flooring in Your Home

When it comes to flooring, limestone is one of the most popular stone choices.  Architects and home owners alike enjoy using limestone in home design because of its beauty, timeless appeal, and durability.  Because of its timeless appeal and durability, it is a great investment for homeowners because it adds value to your home and natural stone makes your home more appealing for resale.  Limestone comes in a variety of colors and patterns so it is conducive to being used in multiple architectural or décor styles or aesthetics.   Limestone is a softer material so it actually feels softer to the touch which can be appealing to homeowners who are replacing carpet because it still feels nice on their feet. It tends to be more neutral so it lends itself well to many modern home design aesthetics.  Limestone is available in such colors as Bianca, Lueders, and Riviera Beige which are neutral stone colors.  Below are 3 reasons why limestone flooring is a great choice for home flooring.

3 Reasons to Use Limestone Flooring in Your Home

  1. Neutral
    • While some homeowners love a rustic look, not all homeowners do. Many current trends in home design lend themselves well to a timeless appeal – clean lines, neutral patterns and neutral colors.  Neutral flooring can withstand time and trends well because it is the elegant yet unobtrusive background on which homeowners can imprint their own décor style.  Whether you live in the home for decades or move in a few years, you will know that your investment in limestone will still be stylish and beautiful.
  2. Durability
    • Limestone is a natural stone and can withstand even heavy traffic without experiencing unsightly or frustrating damage. In fact, there are many ancient structures that were built with limestone that have been not only standing but looking great for thousands of years!  In fact, limestone is one of the few flooring materials that tends to look better with age and wear – it just keeps getting more beautiful.
  3. Low Maintenance
    • Limestone flooring is exceptionally easy to maintain. All it needs is to be properly sealed upon installation (and re-sealed at regular intervals to maintain the sealant’s protective capabilities) and then simple, routine cleaning will keep your floor clean and looking great!  Limestone is also a popular choice among allergy sufferers or those who are immunosuppressed because it is so easy to clean and maintain that it makes it a simple task to maintain a hygienic atmosphere.  In fact, limestone is actually a hypoallergenic flooring material!

3 Trends in Kitchen Cabinetry

If you are considering installing new custom kitchen cabinetry you are probably trying to determine just what type of material and finish will look best in your home.  There are so many types of wood from which to choose and then you must decide if you want to stain it or paint it.  And, what colors and tones do you want your kitchen cabinetry to have?  There are many choices to make and while some trends come and go, some styles are simply timeless and make a wise investment for any homeowner.  Investing in custom kitchen cabinets is always a great idea because kitchen renovations have time after time proven to be a home renovation with a good return on investment.  And, when you choose to install custom cabinetry, you know it will add value and unique beauty to your home that stock cabinetry would not be able to.  When making a decision about custom cabinetry you should consider current trends, your home’s style and how to make a timeless investment in your home.  Below are 3 trends in kitchen cabinetry that will help inspire your new custom kitchen cabinets.

3 Trends in Kitchen Cabinetry

  1. Shaker Style
    • Though flat panel doors are still quite popular, no one can deny that shaker style cabinets are all the rage right now. But, the best part of this trend is that shaker style cabinets have been around for a long time and their style is timeless and very transitional.  Shaker style cabinets are simple in style with minimal adornments and recessed panels in the center of the door.  Because they are transitional in nature, they can be used in a variety of home design styles and they will look great decade after decade.
  2. Color Makes a Comeback
    • White has undoubtedly been the hot kitchen cabinet trend for a few years but color is making a comeback when it comes to kitchen cabinets. Not only will light shades of gray be a huge color trend in kitchen cabinetry in the coming years but other colors as well.  Darker cabinets are coming back, mixing two different colors or finishes with cabinetry is very popular, and even bold, unique colors like jewel tones are very popular right now.
  3. Functional Cabinetry
    • When homeowners invest in custom cabinetry it is a great time to make their kitchen cabinetry really function well for their unique needs. Because homeowners have the choice of what functional features their cabinetry will have, they have a great opportunity to incorporate interesting features such as built-in charging stations for technology, a place to hold/display technology like iPads.  Additionally, better and smarter storage for the types of things you most frequently use in your kitchen can help you maximize your storage space.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Choosing & Installing Custom Stone Architectural Elements

There are many places from which you can buy architectural stone elements.  But, if you do a little research you will soon see that all of the places are not created equal.  In fact, many do not sell quality stone or custom design their architectural elements.  Additionally, many of these sellers are simply that – sellers of stone.  That is all they do.  They do not visit your site to help you design, layout, and custom-create your stone elements.  They do not help you with the logistics for delivery and installation of your architectural stone creations.  At Architectural Stone Elements, we are there for you at every step of the process to ensure complete satisfaction with your custom designs.  Below is a step-by-step guide for choosing and installing your custom stone architectural elements with Architectural Stone Elements.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Choosing & Installing Custom Stone Architectural Elements

  • Site Visit or Architectural Software Integration of Designs
    • Depending on what stage of construction your home is in, we can either walk through the site with you to help determine how to best integrate custom stone elements or our on-staff draftsman can integrate custom architectural elements with your construction plans in architectural software. This helps you see how and where custom stone elements will be used to elevate the architectural aesthetic of your home.
  • Selection of Stone Elements
    • There are a variety of stone types from which to choose and we will help walk you through the selection of your stone elements. Our staff has visited many quarries and knows how to choose only the finest quality stone for your custom architectural stone project.
  • Stone Fabrication
    • A machine will not be executing the detailed designs of your custom stone elements when you work with Architectural Stone Elements. Our artisans will design every sculptural detail of your custom stone elements and will hand carve your stone for the finest quality custom craftsmanship.
  • Delivery and Installation
    • Our clients never have to worry that they will be left to wonder how to get their stone elements safely delivered or what to do with them once they have been delivered. We will arrange safe delivery of your architectural stone elements, as well as safe, high-quality installation to ensure your architectural stone elements look their best.  Custom architectural stone should be treated carefully and installed correctly for both safety and protection of your investment.

3 Important Considerations When Building a Stone Fire Pit

A stone fire pit is a wondering addition to any landscape design.  Fire pits can be custom designed in any size or architectural style to seamlessly coordinate and elegantly elevate a home’s architectural aesthetic.  Fire pits provide a beautiful glow to your landscape, a warm place to gather around, and a fun place to roast marshmallows.  When designing your custom fire pit, it is important to consider things like what type of stone is best for your architectural style and landscape design.  It is also important to consider the size, including diameter and height, of your custom stone fire pit.  But, that is not all!  Before you get out your marshmallows for roasting, there are a few more considerations to make!

3 Important Considerations When Building a Stone Fire Pit

  1. Location
    • One of the most important things to think about when designing your fire pit is what its location will be. If you have ample space, you may want to place your fire pit at some distance from your patio or gathering areas so that smoke does not interfere with parties. You may have a garden or scenic location in which to place your fire pit.  Or, you may want to put your fire pit near your pool so that you can hop out of the pool and warm up next to the fire.  A custom fire pit is not one that can just be moved so it is important to carefully consider the location before installation.
  2. Seating
    • When installing your custom stone fire pit, you also want to consider seating. If you plan to gather around your fire pit you may want to install stone benches or permanent seating around the fire.  It enhances the overall appearance and adds to the beauty of the fire pit.  But, if you prefer flexibility in your seating options, you may want to add one coordinating stone bench and leave room to move other chairs or seating around the fire as needed.
  3. Wood Burning or Gas?
    • When it comes to the fire in your fire pit, you have two primary options – wood burning or gas. This can be a hot topic because some people only like fires that are wood burning fires while others prefer the ease and efficiency of a gas fire.  You will need to decide this ahead of time so that appropriate considerations for a propane tank and a pipeline can be made when installing the fire pit.

 

3 Tips for Choosing the Location of Your Custom Stone Fountain

A beautiful stone fountain is a spectacular addition to a home.  Stone fountains can be placed in a myriad of locations both inside and outside of your home.  Running and trickling water has been shown to relax people and when you install a stone fountain you will immensely enhance your home’s tranquility.  Choosing where to place your fountain is very important because once it is installed, it is difficult to move it.  But, that is not the only reason to carefully choose your location.  The location you choose for your fountain can enhance your home and have multiple other benefits when chosen correctly.  Below are 3 tips for choosing the location of your custom stone fountain.

3 Tips for Choosing the Location of Your Custom Stone Fountain

  1. Consider Aesthetics
    • One of the firs things to consider when installing a custom stone fountain is where it will best enhance the surrounding architectural aesthetic. For example, even though a fountain may be more conveniently installed off to the side of an entryway or at a specific location in your landscape, it may not be the best location to enhance your home’s architectural aesthetic.  If you want to place a stone fountain near an entryway, you want to place it where it will be seen and appreciated by your guests.  Perhaps you want it in the center of a path or in your entryway or foyer.  If you areplacing it in your backyard, perhaps you want it near your pool for beauty or in a garden to balance soft landscape and hard landscape.
  2. Feng Shui
    • Fountains are known for activating the “water element” in fengshui. The Spruce elaborates on the use of fountains in fengshui and how to choose the ideal fengshui location for your fountain, “Fountains are very popular in fengshui because they bring the energy of the water fengshui element, and water is an ancient fengshui symbol of wealth and prosperity. The other good fengshui reason to use a fountain indoors is the fact that a working fountain will diffuse healthy negative ions into the air. Many indoor environments can greatly benefit from at least one fengshui fountain!.. Best fengshuibagua areas to place your fengshui fountain are the following:
      • East – Health & Family area
      • Southeast – Wealth & Money area
      • North – Career & Path in Life area”
  1. Maximum Tranquility
    • Stone fountains are great white noise and the sound of running water is incredibly tranquil. Because of this, choose your fountain location to maximize tranquility.  If you have a lot of street noise, place a fountain near that so that it can drown out the noise.  If you want to wake up to the tranquil sound of running water, place it near your bedroom.  If you love to garden, place a fountain in your garden where it’s beautiful running water will further relax you.

3 Ways to Use Stone Rosettes in Your Home Design

Stone rosettes are an ancient architectural design element that can be found in many historical buildings.  Stone rosettes have been around for centuries and used all over the world in a variety of architectural applications.  Stone rosettes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs which gives homeowners a large selection from which to choose when incorporating them into their home’s architectural design.  When you want to set your home apart and make it look truly unique, stone rosettes are a great way to do so.  They accent other design elements and enhance the look of any room.

At Architectural Stone Elements, we have carved stone rosettes in stock and can also custom-design them for your needs.  These decorative trim items are carved from a variety of stones, including cantera, limestone, marble and travertine. This means that you can incorporate rosettes in a variety of stone colors and patterns.  And, while there are many traditional and ornate stone rosettes, there are also more modern and linear designs to accommodate your architectural style.  Reflect your unique personality and implement stone rosettes into your home’s architectural design.  Below are 3 great ways to use stone rosettes in your home.

3 Ways to Use Stone Rosettes in Your Home Design

  1. Cabinetry
    • Stone rosettes can be used on or around cabinetry. For example, stone rosettes make a beautiful accent on custom cabinetry in a home.  Or, if you would prefer to leave your cabinetry alone but still want the look of a stone rosette, you can incorporate it into the stone backsplash or range hood design.  Rosettes are a beautiful juxtaposition of style and beauty against wood cabinetry.
  2. Fireplace Mantels
    • Stone fireplace mantels make a beautiful centerpiece for any room. They add luxury and elegance that cannot be achieved any other way.  But, if you really want to set them apart and make them look like no other stone fireplace mantel you have ever seen, incorporate stone rosettes into the design.  Stone rosettes will add beauty and uniqueness to your fireplace design.
  3. Fountains
    • Stone fountains are timeless and incredibly beautiful. The ambient sound of trickling water is relaxing and soothing and stone fountains can be used in interior or exterior décor.  Use them in your foyer to greet guests in an elegant way or in your garden to enhance the tranquil setting.