Natural stone has a beauty and elegance unsurpassed by man made creations. Among the most unique and rare stones in the world, are onyx, blue marble and blue granite. Utilizing these materials in a bathroom or kitchen design can add interest, colour and a unique beauty to the space.
Types of Unique Stones Available
Granite is a hard, coarse grained igneous rock, consisting mainly of quartz, mica and microcline. Its unusual bright blue colours, such as those seen in blue Bahia, or blue macuba, can be caused by the presence of sodalite. Blue granites are typically mined in small quantities, and those with high concentrations of blue crystals, with little to no white or black are in the highest demand.
Marble is a metamorphic rock formed by the alteration of limestone. Blue marbles, such as Blue Celeste, are actually quartzites, or metamorphosed sandstone. These marbles are also mined in small quantities and are in high demand.
Onyx is a translucent, finely crystallized calcite, or marble. It is extremely fragile material, making large blocks of it for tiles or slabs more uncommon and therefore in high demand. Onyx can come in multiple colours and shades, from honey onyx to pink, blue and green onyx, with multiple colours and bands running through each piece. It is among the most highly variable material and no two pieces or lots are ever the same twice. Using onyx tiles will result in a design with a great deal of movement and energy.
Designing with Exotic Stones
Highlighting an area with exotic stones can bring a lot of attention to a design. Because of their rich colors and movement, as well as the higher pricing, it is sometimes advisable to use smaller amounts of these materials so as not to overwhelm a space.
If a large quantity of the stone is being used, such as a blue Bahia kitchen countertop, be sure to allow that piece to be the focal point, and use complimentary designs and colors sparingly. In this case, a white subway backsplash, with blue delft blanc tiles behind the cooktop would compliment the stone and let it be the attraction.
Try taking advantage of onyx’s translucency, and light slabs or tiles from behind for cabinet doors and island fronts in a modern kitchen. Or use rainbow onyx, or Persian onyx tiles for an accent wall in a bathroom, to bring a great deal of color and movement to a space. Honey onyx can be placed in areas of direct sunlight to catch and reflect the light, brightening a dark room.
Blue Celeste marbles work well with white marbles, as well as with cream limestones to bring a soft color and depth to bathroom. Try using white marble tiles in a border around the room, and fill in the center with a white and blue marble basketweave, to bring a bright new look to a classic design.
If using custom mosaics, add just a small percentage of blue granite and marble to the color scheme to add a great deal of depth to the design.
Using exotic stones in a home design is a sure way of bringing unique beauty and style into the space. Consider their use and placement carefully for the fullest impact and result. Be sure to seal these stones properly during installation to help ensure their long life and use, and to light the area well to enjoy the natural beauty for years to come.