Modern Stone Profiles That Amp Up Designs

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers™

Choosing the perfect stone accents can be tricky no matter the style, but some styles require more careful attention than others. Modern and contemporary homes and even traditional designs with updated interior schemes call for sleek and simple touches in the background. Not sure what to look for? Here are the basics to keep in mind when shopping for modern stone profiles!

Eldorado Stone Marquee24

Marquee24 from Eldorado Stone offers a blocky limestone look with crisp lines between the pieces. This 12” by 24” veneer efficiently covers walls and can help set the tone for formal luxury residences and more industrial designs, too.

Sharp Clean Lines

Perhaps the single most important part of modern design is keeping it simple with clean lines. By eliminating divisions and decorative elements, you can open up your space and appreciate its underlying structure. Stone that complements this aesthetic has crisp lines around the edges—like those cut from larger pieces, not rounded like river rock or randomly shaped through other natural or rustic means—which allows you to lay them together neatly. Whether you choose a stone profile with only one shape or a variety, you can decide how you want the pieces to line up. Are you looking for the order of a repeated pattern, or do you prefer the more natural appearance of a varied layout?

The crispness of shapes will also affect how you can install stone, and how the lines show through. For instance, grout lines that show between very neat blocks can contribute to the overall look of the room. Match the grout color for a subtle effect, or choose a contrasting tone if you want to define and draw attention to the pattern. Dry stack installations, which do not have visible grout between the pieces, work for very clean-cut stones as well as those with just a bit of roughness around the edges. This is a favorite way to apply all kinds of modern stone profiles because it lets their innate forms stand out—just as modern design aims to do.

Cultured Stone Coral Stone

The center column of Coral Stone from Cultured Stone® on this home’s exterior warms up an otherwise very stark design scheme. With a variety of shapes for unique lines, fossil patterns for natural texture, and a mix of light tan hues, it makes a beautiful complement for contemporary homes.

Neutral Color

Traditional wisdom will tell you that modern stone should be very light to brighten the space or very dark to stand in contrast to the brightness elsewhere. There’s no reason to stick to the ends of the spectrum, though, because there are plenty of perfectly suitable middle tones. Better yet, these middle neutral tones are relatively easy to design with!

You can’t go wrong with any shade of gray. This popular choice can be found on all sorts of stone shapes and sizes and in cool and warm tones to match any décor. If you need to add more warmth, check out tan colors. Sandstone-like hues work really well in indoor and outdoor applications, and they can also be found on some of the more unique profiles. Be sure to consider color variation on and between pieces as well—having color variety really softens the look of the stone compared to a monochromatic example of the same profile. Be sure to get some samples to see in-person if you aren’t sure which color or blend you prefer.

Dutch Quality Stone Dry Stack

If variation is your thing, you might consider the Dry Stack stone from Dutch Quality Stone™. It comes in color blends to suit all styles and creates shadows across and between the stones. Better yet, it comes in panels to simplify installation!

Surface Texture

If you want to use stone to add some dimension to your design, you have plenty of options! Many prefer smooth to subtly textured stone for modern applications because it maintains a simple and chic vibe, but there are also plenty of profiles with rougher surfaces to choose from. If anything seems too uneven to fit your scheme, make sure to look at the whole picture before dismissing it—if it has clean lines between the pieces and comes in a suitable color, it could still work beautifully.

Surface texture comes in different forms from grainy to rolling to faceted. Modern design schemes welcome this variation—it adds interest to the background of a room or to the exterior of a house. And as a natural element, it helps balance the starkness that can make modern designs seem too cold and uncomfortable to some. Consider the relative flatness of the stone to determine how it’ll affect your space—is it uniform or does it have highs and lows that’ll create shadows and movement to break up the mundanity of the wall? If you’re using stone to soften appearances, texture is the best way to do it!

Whatever sort of stone you need to complete your home, Boral® brands have you covered. The catalogs available from Eldorado Stone, Cultured Stone®, and Dutch Quality Stone™ each have options for modern and traditional designs alike. There’s a great wide world of options out there, so don’t be afraid to ask for help choosing the perfect modern stone profile(s) for your needs!

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