Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

Innovative Slabwork Defines North Carolina Home

June 8, 2009
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The renovation of a private residence in Greensboro, NC, utilized stone slabs in a variety of materials. In the master bathroom, a backlit slab of Cappuccino onyx provides a focal point for the space. Stone Fabricator and Installer: Granite and Marble by Malavé, Greensboro, NC; Builder: Wolfe Homes, Greensboro, NC  - - Photos courtesy of Fabio Camara, www.fabiocamarastudios.com


In expanding his Greensboro, NC, residence, prominent club owner and entrepreneur Rocco Scarfone went with a palette that included a broad range of unique, one-of-a-kind stone applications. The stonework was completed by Granite and Marble by Malavé of Greensboro, which specializes in high-end custom stone designs.

The builder was Wolfe Homes of Greensboro, and the project included a master suite addition as well as an outdoor living center and pool.

Slabs of Asterix Cosmos granite were used in a book-matched format for the walls, floor and ceiling of the shower in the master bath. “We also made recessed shelving and a corner seat,” explained Len Malavé, owner of Granite and Marble by Malavé.

The innovative use of stone begins in the master bathroom, which features Asterix Cosmos granite. Slabs of the material were used in a book-matched format for the walls, floor and ceiling of the shower. “We also made recessed shelving and a corner seat,” explained Len Malavé, owner of Granite and Marble by Malavé. “The vanity tops are also Asterix Cosmos granite with a flat polished edge detail, and glass vessel sinks were used to not take away from the beauty of the stone.”

While the slab work used throughout the bathroom space is impressive, the focal point of the room can be found above the bathtub. “The spectacular Cappuccino onyx is backlit and is truly a piece of art,” Malavé said. “It is a museum-quality piece. All of the stones were selected by the homeowner as well as the interior designers, Mark Darnell and Barbie Matson, from our indoor stone gallery.”

The vanity tops in the master bath are also Asterix Cosmos granite with a flat polished edge detail, and glass vessel sinks were used to not take away from the beauty of the stone.

Malavé said that the stone selection was a particularly detailed process. “Each slab was carefully inspected and book-matched by me personally,” he said. “With onyx, we put six slabs outside to see which one would look the best, since the translucency of onyx is determined by the clarity and composition. It was time consuming, but in the end, it was worth every minute.”

Flooring in the master bathroom is comprised of 12- x 12-inch tiles of Navona travertine. “Its classic, unadulterated look was a perfect match,” Malavé said. “It is non-combative with the other elements; we use it a lot because it goes with just about anything. Its subtle classical beauty can be used in about any surrounding.”

The Emerald Pearl granite was chosen with a “large-fleck” aesthetic. “That stone is tricky to work with,” Malavé explained. “If you don’t [lay out the slabs properly,] it can make a job go really ugly. The way the blocks are cut creates the direction and pattern that a fabricator must follow in order to have a successful installation.”

Fine outdoor living

Following a trend that has been growing in popularity - particularly in milder climates - the project also included an outdoor living area adjacent to the pool. “It doesn’t get any better than this,” Malavé said. “All natural stone was used to clad the entertainment center. Being in the entertainment business, Mr. Scarfone knows how to lay it out.”

For the countertops in the outdoor living center, the design uses Emerald Pearl granite from Norway, and it was chosen with a “large-fleck” aesthetic. “That stone is tricky to work with,” Malavé explained. “If you don’t [lay out the slabs properly,] it can make a job go really ugly. The way the blocks are cut creates the direction and pattern that a fabricator must follow in order to have a successful installation. The mica reflects in the direction it is cut, so we also made sure the custom granite sink was cut to these specifications. Ultimately, we achieved a continuous look.”

A sink in Emerald Pearl granite contributes to the continuous look of the design.

In addition to the granite sink, the counters were given a full bullnose edge detail. Other elements in the area include a gas fireplace, a 90-inch television, a gourmet workcenter, a waterfall, a Jacuzzi and a heated pool.

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