A homeowner came into ROCKin’teriors, located in Raleigh, NC, to discuss a residential remodeling project of an 8,627 - square - foot home in Cary, NC. While they and ROCKin’teriors’ owner, Laura Grandlienard, were discussing the homeowner’s options, as part of the design process, the owner fell in love with the conference table, which has a thickness of 6 cm. “At the same time, we had just brought in another 5-cm honed Calacatta [marble] for another project,” said Grandlienard. “The owner of the new 5-cm honed Calacatta provided this client with a testimonial, stating that she had no regrets for having a special order submitted for their family home. Customer referrals like this really drive our business, as does recognition as a top-quality stone service provider in the area.”
The 8,627-square-foot home was built in 1997, and the homeowner decided to have the entire kitchen frame gutted so that ROCKin’teriors could give the space a much more open concept, with unique countertop and cabinet designs. The kitchen features two seamless 10-foot-long double islands. “This project is unique in that it was a special order straight from Italy’s Calacatta marble quarry,” said Grandlienard. “We offered the client the option to go to Italy, but being a busy family, they chose to select the block based on our recommendations and from the quarry’s pictures.”
ROCKin’teriors acquired the slab raw, customized it for a 5 cm thickness and paired it with a matching parameter of the countertop in 3 cm of the same exotic Calacatta marble, from a matching block. The kitchen features roughly 175 - square feet of stone in a 325 - square foot space.
It was about a six-month project because the stone was a special order from Italy. Before the renovation began, Grandlienard knew that they would have to allocate more time for the installation process because of the time it takes to receive shipments across the Atlantic. In order to get the two 10-foot seamless island slabs into the home, they had to use a special crane. The project required 10 men, along with a crane operator.
“Fabrication was pretty uneventful, though the weight and size of the slab made the safety of our installation team especially important,” said Grandlienard. “We are used to high-touch residential installs like this, though we never underestimate the importance of safety. It’s better to have an excess of installers on-hand, rather than strain with fewer craftsmen.
“It is always a bit nerve-racking doing a custom cut of this size,” Grandlienard went on to say. “The nerves are there up until we deliver and install the project. Plus, safety is always our highest priority, so we had to be mindful and not rush a delicate process.” ROCKin’teriors used a Zonato bridge saw to cut the slab and make sink cutouts. They then polished the stone top and bottom and created a smooth “eased” edge to complement the interior environment. The countertop was sealed after the installation.
Since the homeowner did not have time to fly to Italy and visit the quarry, she was nervous it would not meet her dreams once it arrived. “I reassured her that any premium exotic Calacatta marble will sell,” said Grandlienard. “So, if it arrived and wasn’t exactly what she wanted, then we would re-order to her desires, and resell the slabs. When the container hit our door from Italy, it was just so over the top gorgeous. The client said, ‘I don’t know how I worried so much; it is amazing and beautiful.’”
Since the completion of the kitchen renovation, the owners have told Grandlienard, that “it’s a treat” every time they enter their new space. “Each day, they always see something new and unique about their stone,” said Grandlienard. “We’ve been told guests always offer pleasant commentary about how breathtaking the space is now. It’s been such a success, in fact, that we have now moved onto a third phase of another project for the homeowners. ROCKin’teriors has had a hand throughout the whole house. We ensure our service is the best quality throughout the entire process, which is why we have a lot of repeat customers.”
According to Grandlienard, clients have said to her, “I was told to call ROCKin’teriors because ‘my project is complicated.’ You can say it’s our niche. The ROCKin’teriors team is trained to take on highly customized residential or commercial work and special orders. The more detailed our client is, the better. With projects like this, our teams’ craftsmanship is taken to another level of excellence. The more that happens, the more fun we have aspiring to new benchmarks for our services.”
Fabricator and installer: ROCKin’teriors, Raleigh, NC
Stone Supplier: Calacatta, Calacatta, Italy