Modernizing an outdated space with stone

April 13, 2007
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The kitchen of a California residence was redesigned using slabs of Sea Foam Green granite for the countertops. The material, supplied by Stone Resources, was selected for its color and strength.


The master bathroom features Autumn Mist slate from Southland Stone USA, Inc., in an 18- x 18-inch running bond offset pattern for the flooring, while 12- x 12- inch tiles were used for the shower wall.

Christopher J. Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group, Inc. was recently challenged to transform a private residence, located on Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills of California, from an outdated space to a modern home that reflected the lifestyles and personalities of its owners. In order to meet the client’s request, a total of 2,600 square feet of natural stone was added to several rooms throughout the space.

Considering that the homeowners were big on entertaining guests, the designers opened up the kitchen by taking over part of an oversized laundry room adjacent to the space. Another goal in enlarging the kitchen size was to offer the owners additional space for cooking and preparing food. The countertops feature Sea Foam Green granite from Stone Resources of West Hills, CA, as the color choice went well with the cherry wood cabinetry.

“The material is very sophisticated, and the homeowners liked its earthy tones,” said Grubb. “They didn’t want anything too dark. They wanted something with a little color in it - not just another beige or brown - and this material introduces a little color. The material just sung in the place.” Sea Foam Green granite was also selected for its strength. “Since they cook so much, we needed to use a strong material,” he added.

The designers utilized a custom edge detail with a 45-degree angle cut in it and a 1 ¾-inch-thick edge. “We also did a full backsplash in this kitchen to keep cleanup easy and to carry the color onto the wall,” said the designer.

The designers also added a stripe of Questech metal tiles - supplied by Walker Zanger of Sylmar, CA - with a curved face and a hammered metal stainless quality to the backsplash design. “The stripe in the backsplash adds character and dimensionality,” said Grubb, adding that each link runs about 4 feet in length.

Furthermore, the island features a cantilevered countertop, and the designers used chrome rods to suspend the top 6 inches above the regular countertop. Overall, a total of 280 square feet of material was used for the kitchen.

Arch-Interiors Design Group, Inc. also utilized over 200 square feet of stone for the master bathroom, which according to Grubb, was also outdated. “We used the existing patio as a foundation to push the room out and enlarge it quite a bit,” said Grubb, adding that the client wanted a two-person tub, a two-person shower and a dual vanity area as well as a makeup area.

Autumn Mist slate from Southland Stone USA, Inc. of North Hollywood, CA, was selected for the space because of its “earthy” tonality. “The client really reacted well to the randomness of the material,” he said. “They loved that it didn’t all match perfectly and that it offered such a variety of colors.”

The floor features Autumn Mist slate in an 18- x 18-inch running bond offset pattern, while 12- x 12-inch tiles were used for the shower wall. Furthermore, Golden Sunset granite from Stone Resources was used for the countertops of a two-person vanity, a makeup area and a shower bench.

According to Grubb, the two corner windows by the tub offer spectacular views of the Hollywood Hills as well as sunsets. “There is a great indoor/outdoor sense of light and airiness,” he said. “It counterbalances the slate, so the material doesn’t feel too heavy.”

In yet another area of the home, Elizabeth Skorucak of Arch-Interiors, served as the Senior Designer for the powder room in the residence. “The client wanted to make the space visually larger, so we suggested a neutral palette of tone-on-tone colors, as the original dark colors made the space seem smaller,” she said, adding that she also wanted to create a look that wouldn’t be outdated in a few years.

A total of three slabs of Jura Gray limestone from Southland Stone USA, Inc., were fabricated for the space. “It is a very neutral stone,” said the designer. “It is warm enough, but it is very beige. It’s just beautiful. The client liked the clean lines and neutral palette, so we started with that.”

The same material was also used for the countertop. “We created that very thick jagged edge on the countertop to make it a little more interesting, and the sink bowl is made from a limestone as well,” said Shorucak.

The overall project was deemed a huge success. “The clients were really easy to work with and love to tell people about their new home,” said Grubb. “The project was so far beyond what they expected and guests often make the comment to them that they want to move into their master bathroom.”

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