Interior stonework characterizes homeowners' personality

March 1, 2008
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Seeking a casual, elegant look for the design of their interior space, the owners of a home in Alpine, NJ, chose stone that would be reflective of their personal character. Stone is revealed in more than 21,000 square feet of the home -- beginning right in the entry foyer, where wood wraps around every four pieces of 16- x 16-inch Amber distressed stone. “You get a feeling of the entire home right when you walk in,” said Anna Marie Fanelli of Floor & Décor in Tenafly, NJ, which supplied the stone for this project.


Seeking a casual, elegant look for the design of their interior space, the owners of an Alpine, NJ, home chose stone that would be reflective of their personal character. Therefore, when it came to selecting materials, they went with a familiar face to help them make a decision.

“Since I knew the family, I made a special effort to make sure whatever I selected really suited them,” said Anna Marie Fanelli of Floor & Décor in Tenafly, NJ, who supplied the stone for this project.

Although the owners and designer looked at all available materials, Fanelli explained that the selection process was not rigorous because her clients were very decisive. “It was a nice working relationship,” she said. “I clearly understood their objective, so it was easy to put the project together.”



The combination of two mediums follows into the kitchen, where planks of wood surround groups of nine 12- x 12-inch pieces of antique terracotta. The space is further enhanced by granite countertops.

Making a grand entrance

Stone is revealed in more than 21,000 square feet of home, where Fanelli often created patterns and used the stone as a complement to other aspects of the residence. Evidence of this begins in the entry foyer, where wood wraps around every four pieces of 16- x 16-inch Amber distressed stone. The rich woodwork, which is also used as wainscot and trim along the ceiling and doorways, contributes to the grandness of the space. “You get a feeling of the entire home right when you walk in,” explained Fanelli.

The combination of two mediums follows into the kitchen where the grid-patterned floor is continued. Planks of wood surround groups of nine 12- x 12-inch antique terracotta tiles. The space is further enhanced by granite countertops and lush wooden cabinetry.

In the sunroom, 16- x 16-inch Amber distressed stone floor tiles were chosen. The varying shades of gold and beige in the stone help to create a warm environment in the space. Additionally, a 48- x 48-inch Romanesque mosaic medallion is a focal point on the floor and serves as an accompaniment to the floral pattern padded walls.



In the sunroom, 16- x 16-inch Amber distressed stone floor tiles were chosen. The varying shades of gold and beige in the stone help to create a warm environment in the space. Additionally, a 48- x 48-inch Romanesque mosaic medallion is a focal point on the floor and serves as an accompaniment to the floral pattern padded walls.

Accenting with mosaics

Mosaic accent pieces were also used to dress up the master bathroom. Fanelli used stock borders to add detail to the design. The designer explained how the floor was designed to resemble a mosaic carpet, featuring 1- x 3-inch tiles with a polished finish set in a herringbone pattern and wrapped in a decorative mosaic border comprised of polished Honey Onyx and White Thassos.

Moreover, Fanelli repeated the same “carpet” pattern on the main shower wall. “The objective was art in the shower,” she said. Another defining feature of the shower is a tray ceiling in which ¾- x 12-inch round bars border the tray. On the floor, Fanelli once again created her own pattern by cutting Honey Onyx into 6- x 12-inch pieces for a border that surrounds a field of 6- x 6-inch tiles of the same material, which were set on a diagonal.

Both the “his” and “her” toilet rooms feature walls made of Honey Onyx in a combination of 5- x 12-inch base detail and 3- x 6-inch pieces set in an offset brick pattern. For the floor in these rooms as well as the rest of the master bathroom, 12- x 12-inch Honey Onyx tiles were employed. This material also extends into the master bedroom closet.

The couples’ sons’ bathroom has a floor pattern that consists of 6- x 6-, 3- x 3- and 3- x 6-inch pieces of Mexican tumbled travertine, which are secured to 12- x 12-inch mesh tiles that are placed on a diagonal. For the walls, Fanelli explained that she formed her own stone base, rather than purchasing one, by taking 12- x 12-inch tiles and cutting them down to 4- x 12-inch pieces and using a few rows of dark polished Emperador offset mosaics. The lower half of the bathroom wall is comprised of mesh-mounted tiles that form a basketweave pattern, and it is capped with a chairrail of Mexican travertine. The top half of the wall is offset with 6- x 12-inch tiles of Mexican travertine. To accent the travertine, the designer added a few rows of Dark Emperador offset mosaic marble with a polished finish near the ceiling and the floor. Both mosaic borders wrap into the shower, and the shower floor is set with the same pattern as the main bathroom space. Additionally, the stall features a 2- x 12-inch chairrail of Mexican travertine and a built-in shelf.



The lavish use of stone continues in the master bath where Fanelli used stock borders to add detail to the design. The designer explained how the floor was designed to resemble a mosaic carpet, featuring 1- x 3-inch tiles with a polished finish set in a herringbone pattern and wrapped in a decorative mosaic border comprised of polished Honey Onyx and White Thassos.

Utilizing various shapes and sizes

The couples’ sons also have a study room that contains a bathroom. The floor of this space features 12- x 12-inch honed Renaissance Bronze stone tiles set on a diagonal. Additionally, the shower floor consists of the same material, although it is tumbled in a 4- x 4-inch format. Renaissance Bronze is also employed for the bathroom walls, but in a subway tile format with a pillowed finish. The subway tiles are offset with a border of Honey Onyx and maroon-colored marble in a geometric pattern that is capped with a 2- x 12-inch Renaissance Bronze chairrail and 3- x 6-inch stone pieces with a pillowed edge detail.

The formal powder room also has its own distinctive look with a custom mosaic floor made of tiny hexagonal stone pieces, which are intended to look like a cobblestone walk. The tiny mosaics consist of slate, Giallo Reale marble and a variety of other stones, which have both a honed and polished finish. The cobblestone floor is wrapped in a floor border of 12- x 12-inch polished Inca Gold stone cut to a 4- x 12-inch format.

For the guest bath, a tumbled travertine tile floor in 8- x 8-inch pieces on the diagonal was selected. The walls showcase a mosaic “hopscotch” tumbled border, which consists of Coral, White Golden Tobacco and Noce, according to Fanelli. Beginning with two rows of the hopscotch border, the shower walls also have a 2- x 12-inch travertine chairrail, while the shower floor incorporates 4- x 4-inch tumbled travertine tiles. Like the master bathroom shower, Fanelli likewise created art in the guest bath’s shower by using the hopscotch mosaic on the back wall to form a picture frame panel.

Further adding to the luxurious feel of the residence is a full-sized gym, which also includes a bathroom. The floor is comprised of tiny pieces of Renaissance Bronze stone and travertine resembling a riverstone pebble pattern. The floor provides a complement to the porcelain tile walls, which in the shower are combined with a ban of riverstone to add detail. The riverstone is capped with Ramone Gold chairrail.

Another highlight of this upscale home is a room for the family’s dog. Fanelli again created her own design in this space by using texture. Bushhammered Ramone Gold 6- x 6-inch tiles are featured on the diagonal and surrounded by 3- x 6-inch smooth Ramone Gold pieces as well as 3- x 3-inch bushhammered tiles that are set on a diagonal. The backsplash of this room has the same pattern as on the floor, but in a straight lay.



The same “carpet” pattern is repeated on the main shower wall. “The objective was art in the shower,” said Fanelli. Another defining feature of the shower is a tray ceiling in which 3/4- x 12-inch round bars border the tray. On the floor, Fanelli once again created her own pattern by cutting Honey Onyx into 6- x 12-inch pieces for a border that surrounds a field of 6- x 6-inch tiles of the same material, which were set on a diagonal.

Forming a good working relationship

In addition to a good working relationship with her clients, Fanelli also explained that her relationship with the installer and contractor was similar. “The installation went relatively smooth because we all worked as a team,” she said. “Everyone knew the design was critical, so they were willing to do all different layouts to achieve what needed to be accomplished. The installers were true craftspeople.”

The overall working relationship attributed to very positive results. “The client is ecstatic with the way the house turned out,” Fanelli said. “We were all working together to achieve the same goal. We stayed consistent to the objective of casual elegance.”

Stone also helped maintain what was insightful of the homeowner’s demeanor. “Although it’s a very large home, you don’t feel like it engulfs you,” Fanelli explained. “We used material to reflect their style.”

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