In many instances, stone has a tendency to be utilized for a custom job. According to designer Harri Aalto, of Creative Edge Corp., it is important to help customers choose the appropriate stone and modify designs to accommodate their taste and color options, giving each a personal touch.

"The pattern used in this home's entranceway was selected for it's semi-floral relatively conservative design," Aalto said. "The homeowner, who is somewhat of a designer herself, wanted something that would complement the organic architectural styles in her home and the many plants she has."

This inlay Aalto created was designed to further enhance the natural stone as well as accent the style of the home. "The lotus blossom design mimics the pattern of the skylights found directly above the entranceway, and the geometric shape of the inlay on the floor matches the shape of the second floor overlook, so it looks like a shadow of the cutout," Aalto said. "Ming Green, Giallo Reale and Desert Rose marble tiles were chosen for their color as well as their durability. These three stones formed a border on a field of honed Jerusalem gold stone."

The installation of these inlays was contracted out on Aalto's re-commendation, however, he commented that it would be a fairly simple job, as the stone was supplied in 6- x 12-inch tiles which would fall into a normal grid on the floor. In total, a couple thousand square feet of stone were used to complete the work in this residence. In addition to the entryway, the kitchen and bathrooms also serve as an exhibit for natural stone.

"In higher end homes like this, the first question I am asked is, 'How about using stone?', and when the homeowners see the variety of options available, they immediately fall in love," Aalto said.

For those who have the room to show it off and the budget to afford it, stone is often chosen as the premier building material in private residences, according Aalto. "Once they get over 6,000 square feet, stone is a relatively common option in homes today," he said. "The ceramic industry is also designing tiles to resemble natural stone."

About this project:

Private Residence: Fairfield, IA
Stone Fabricator: Creative Edge Corp., Fairfield, IA
Stone Suppliers: Belstone; MLW Stone, Norcross, GA