Achieving European elegance
When Peter Shah thought of design ideas for his Scarsdale, NY, house, one important aspect that came to mind was to have an elaborate entrance. "I wanted the stairs to be built like how I see them in the movies," said Shah. He commissioned Arlene Pilson Interior Decorators of Pound Ridge, NY, to help his vision become reality. The foyer and extending staircase was specified as a field of Imperial White granite, -- supplied by Ankur International of Monmouth Junction, N -- accented by a black and gray medallion in the center. While the flooring was done in 18- x 18-inch tiles, the staircase was done in 1 1?inch-thick slabs of the material.
"The owner wanted to have a glamorous entrance," said Pilson. "We felt that neutral colors would go with whatever we wanted to do in the house. There was a wrought iron railing on the stairs, so we wanted to bring black in [to the medallion], and what goes with black, which was white. But that would have looked cold, so we also introduced gray. It was waterjet cut and [attached as one piece] so it just had to be installed."
The stairs were installed by four workers from Ankur International over a period of about six weeks. "We made each and every piece for the stairs," said Binod Toshniwal of Ankur International. "The stairs were mud set."
He explained that the smaller panels for the treads were carefully assembled, so they would appear as a single slab of stone. "It took two weeks just to grind the side of the stairs," he added.
Michael Grasing of Grasing Associates, Inc. of Syosset, NY -- which installed all of the stone except for the stairs -- concurred that the stair installation was complicated. "It was difficult to calculate the stone steps and cut the stone to fit the stairs," said Grasing. "The stairway was steel with concrete treads, that stone was adhered to."
Once the foyer design was completed, natural stone use was continued in other areas of the house. "The overall design goal was for the home to look palatial," said Pilson. "We wanted to achieve a European sophisticated elegance."
Crema Marfil was chosen for the master bathroom with an Emperador Maroon border, as well as the added flair of mosaics. "The master bath included two mosaic trees of life on the wall," said Pilson. "We wanted the bathroom to be understated. The owner loved the mosaics and wanted the architectural space to be interesting. It is a luxurious bathroom."
Imperial White granite and Crema Marfil marble are mainstays throughout the rest of the house, and light colors are also carried into other rooms, such as another of the six bathrooms.
Other rooms have splashes of bolder colors - including golds, greens, reds, coppers and blacks -- to accent the cream tones. The fireplace was done in black and white to evoke a formal appearance, while the kitchen and breakfast area are more casual, filled with 1,000 square feet of Shiva Gold granite.
Altogether, Ankur supplied 15,000 square feet of granite and 3,000 square feet of marble for the residence. All of the stones for the flooring were cut into 12- x 12-inch tiles, except for the Imperial White.
Five to eight workers from Grasing Associates installed the stone in the bathrooms, as well as other flooring throughout the house, over about seven months. "The contractor provided a 3-inch concrete base," said Grasing. "The house was built with concrete over a steel reinforcement for the lower level. We installed a heating system in the floor; it was all radiant heat. The stone was then adhered with thin-set mortar, using Tec products."
Once the project was completed, the owner's vision was met and everyone who worked on the job was satisfied with it. "People come from all the surrounding areas to see the house," said Toshniwal.
End BoxShah Residence Scarsdale, NY
Interior Designer: Arlene Pilson Interior Designers, Pound Ridge, NY
Stone Supplier/Installer: Ankur International, Monmouth Junction, NJ
Stone Installer: Grasing Associates, Inc., Syosset, NY
Installation Products: Tec Specialty Products, Inc., Palatine, IL