In designing a new home, achieving a contemporary look can sometimes mean sacrificing warmth and comfort. Holly and Randy Stachyra, owners/designers of a home in Dallas, TX, were able to find the perfect balance by choosing Indian granite as the residence's predominant material. Kashmir White, Volcano Black and Galaxy Black (also called Gold Star ) clad much of the walls, floors and countertops, modernizing the house, while other materials were selected to complement the stone for an overall soft feeling.

"The stones we chose were white and black, which set the tone for the house, but the house has a very comfortable feeling," said Holly Stachyra. "The walls are taupe and the woodwork is stained cherry, so there is a warm-looking feel to it, as well as a clean styling."

About 4,000 square feet of the combined stone, supplied by Stone-Tec of Garland, TX, was selected for the 5,100-square-foot, 41/2-bathroom house. Kashmir White was predominantly used for flooring and bathrooms; Volcano Black was chosen for focal points such as the entry foyer and kitchen countertops; and Galaxy Black was used for the study, wet bars and the living room fireplace.

"The layout of the house is a 'C-shape,' which allows us to look at the outdoor pool from different rooms in the home, and provides a nice, open feeling," said Stachyra. "The house has transitions from Kashmir White to black throughout."

In order to choose the stones for the home, the Stachyras went directly to Stone-Tec's showroom. "We went to the company's studio with a couple of ideas for what stone we wanted to use," said Stachyra. "We wanted lighter colors. The company had a few samples, and we focused right in on the Kashmir. We were drawn to the strength of the stone and very much liked how it looked. The surrounding color scheme came from the use of the Kashmir White."

Stone-Tec also fabricated and installed the granite. "The Kashmir White was in 18- x 18-inch tiles and the Volcano Black was 2 and 3 cm thick," said Rupy Shah, president of Stone-Tec. "The stones were quarried by Imperial Granite, a sister company of Gem Granite, in Jenai, India. All the fabrication was done in Texas, specifically for the clients' needs."

The stones used were all polished, except for one shower in the home. "The particular shower was burnt-finished, so it is not slippery; and the shower floor was done in a Volcano Black slab, rather than in tiles."

The fabrication of the stone took a month, according to Shah. "The stones were special ordered to come from the same lot, which took some time," she said. The installation then took 11/2 months, after the stones were fabricated.

Seven workers installed the stone in the house. All of the flooring was thin-set over concrete, and the shower was set with a mud bed. Stone-Tec used products from Custom Building Products and Laticrete for the installation as well as epoxy for some joints, to better reinforce them.

"We had a good knowledge of the design of the house, and since we did the fabrication and installation, we had control of everything," said Shah. "Because of that, we were able to give it 150%. Every job is a little bit of a problem - there can be some hue changes within the stone, and we have to be careful on the fabrication part of stone."

Stachyra concurred that hue changes in stone can sometimes cause an obstacle, but skilled installers can still make the stone transition smooth. "Sometimes Kashmir White can have a little blue in it, which we didn't expect," said Stachyra. "Our original sample had no blue in it, but the floor tiles had the blue hue. We made some design decisions to incorporate the blue in the color scheme of the house, which worked out very well. The installers did a great job mixing and matching and making it flow."

Once the project was completed, both the owners and installers were satisfied with a job well done. "The stone looks very clean and the design goal was accomplished," said Shah. "The owners really like the easy maintenance of the stone, too."

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Private residence, Dallas, TX

Designers/owners: Holly and Randy Stachyra
Builder: Wald Custom Homes, Allen, TX
Stone Supplier: Imperial Granite, Jenai, India
Stone Installer/Fabricator: Stone-Tec, Garland, TX
Installation Products: Laticrete International, Bethany, CT; Custom Building Products, Seal Beach, CA