Relaxing in a stone paradise

April 18, 2001
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Three shades of French Vanilla limestone were employed in 16- x 16-inch floor tiles in the entry of Total Woman Day Spa & Gym in Mission Viejo, CA.

The vanity tops in the locker room were made of a honed limestone called Eurostone.
For the design of Total Woman Gym and Day Spa in Mission Viejo, CA, the objective was to create a relaxing, tropical resort environment. And designer David Dalton felt the best way to achieve this effect was with the use of natural stone.

"The concept was really to make a tropical resort hotel atmosphere, so when you step inside, you feel transported to somewhere else," said Dalton of David Dalton Associates, Inc. in Los Angeles. "The materials [used] were to support that concept."

In the entry of the 13,000-square-foot building, three variations of French Vanilla limestone -- supplied by Stone Mecca of Los Angeles -- were utilized as 16- x 16-inch floor tiles. "The limestone had the right coloration," said the designer. "It had an interesting range -- from a warm vanilla tone to fleshy peach to pale green."

Complementing the material is Eurostone, a limestone with a honed finish. "We used that as an inset border, and the field inside that border was random pieces of French Vanilla limestone," said Dalton. In addition, Eurostone was employed for the countertop of the reception desk as well as the vanity tops in the locker room. The use of French Vanilla limestone also continued into the shower areas, according to the designer. "It had a good slip-resistance surface, and it's actually been easy to maintain," he said. "It worked well in the shower areas."

Because the French Vanilla limestone had such a wide range of color, measures were taken to examine each piece. "We did have to weed out that mix of stone," said Dalton. "There was sort of a rusty color in the limestone that we didn't want."

In addition to limestone, polished copper slate was used for the floor in the cosmetic and reception areas. "It had a really great range of color -- from silvery to pinks to metallic, greenish pink," said the designer. "The quartzite in the slate had a beautiful metallic look when polished." The slate floor was accented with 2- x 2-inch Mother of Pearl tile, which was supplied by Lyric in New York, according to Dalton.

With five locations in Southern California, Total Woman Gym and Day Spa intends to expand to over 20 cities within the next five years. Dalton was asked to create a standard design that could be implemented in future locations, he explained.

"One of the challenges was trying to educate the client that different materials were viable possibilities in that setting," said Dalton. "They were used to using ceramic tile as a standard. I had to convince them to use natural stone because its look was more sophisticated. But in the end, management was happy with the results."

Credit Box

Total Woman Gym & Day Spa

Mission Viejo, CA

Designer: David Dalton Associates Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Stone Supplier: Stone Mecca, Los Angeles, CA

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