Stone Texture Achieves a Vintage Look

November 1, 2008
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Photos courtesy of Fabio Camara, www.fabiocamarastudios.com --  The classic design of a private residence in North Carolina is anchored by the kitchen, which features traditional rubbed cabinetry and Juparana Black and White countertops, including a leather finish for the large center island. The stone for the project was fabricated, supplied and installed by Granite and Marble by Malavé of Greensboro, NC.


The center of the island is a full slab of granite with a leather finish, while the edge border features a polished finish.

As a leading area real estate broker in the “triad” area of North Carolina, Deborah Proehl developed a feel for what she wanted in designing her own residence. Specifically, she sought to create a classic look for the residence - a goal achieved with the help of uniquely textured granite. The stone for the project was fabricated, supplied and installed by Granite and Marble by Malavé of Greensboro, NC.

The edge of the island is a laminated combination with a ½-inch bevel profile and a half-bullnose profile.

I wanted a real vintage look,” explained Proehl, a former television reporter in the area.  “I love an older [aesthetic], and I wanted the cabinetry and the granite to work together. The cabinets have a vintage, rubbed style.”

Other countertops in the kitchen were also fabricated from Juparana White and Gold granite, with a ½-inch beveled edge detail. “We used a total of five slabs in 3-cm granite [for the kitchen],” Malavé said.

The homeowner selected Juparana White and Gold for the kitchen countertops as well as a large center island, where the material was given a textured, “leather” finish. “We needed a stone finish that would look good with the rubbed cabinets,” Proehl said. “The center island is very long - 10 feet - and we didn’t want a granite surface with a high sheen to it. Once I saw the leather finish, I was hooked. Basically, we were at the shop, and [shop owner Len Malavé] showed me the difference.”

In the master bathroom, the vanity top runs the entire length of the wall, and it was made from Cosmos granite.

“We did the center of the island using one full slab in the leather finish, and the edge border in a polished finish,” explained Malavé. “It is a beautiful combination. The reason it was done like this was because the size of the island is 77 x 136 inches, so we had to put a seam in it. I have done so many jobs where we bordered the island in another color, rather than putting a seam down the middle of it, but the combination of the leather-finish slabs with a polished finish is awesome. We also had a combination laminated edge with a ½-inch bevel and a half-bullnose. We do a lot of laminated edges using two 3-cm pieces. It makes the edge look massive, and an island of this size really needed it. We had done work for this customer in the past, and she really trusted my judgment, We also did a mock-up so she could see it.”

The earth tones of the Cosmos granite, which was finished with an ogee edge, complements the color of the slate tile floors.

Other countertops in the kitchen were also fabricated from Juparana White and Gold granite, with a ½-inch beveled edge detail. “We used a total of five slabs in 3-cm granite,” Malavé said.

In addition to the stonework in the kitchen, natural stone can also be found in other areas of the residence. “We did the entire house,” Malavé said, adding that the vanity tops are made from Cosmos granite. The countertops run the entire length of the wall, following the detailed contours of the cabinetry and featuring two sink cutouts. The earth tones of the Cosmos granite, which was finished with an ogee edge, complements the color of the slate tile floors.

In the basement, the bartops were made from Juparana Persia, with a half-bullnose edge.

Meanwhile, the bartops in the basement were made from Juparana Persia, with a half-bullnose edge.

Now that the job has been completed, Proehl said she has been receiving very positive reactions by visitors to her home. “They come in, and they are really blown away, she said.” They can’t get over the leather finish in the kitchen, and they are compelled to walk up and touch it.”

Sidebar: A challenging installation

Given the large size of the kitchen island for the North Carolina residence, some creativity was needed to transport the finished stonework to its final location. “It was a very difficult installation, where we used a crane to lift it onto the second-floor balcony, where six men where waiting for it, “ explained Len Malavé of Granite and Marble by Malavé of Greensboro, NC. “We used the old-fashioned roller system, just like the Romans used. We used a lot of protection, and then rolled the piece into the house.”

According to Malavé, the island had barely enough room to make it into the house. “We had ½ inch of clearance between the doors, and it was impossible to pick up, weighing over 1,500 pounds,” he said. “It took two days to do the island alone, and we had a torrential downpour during the time of delivery and installation to boot.”


In the end, though, the experience and innovation of the team on site resulted in a successful project. “The installation went very well, despite the weather,” Malavé said.

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