Stone Design for Modern Homes

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

Are you interested in using stonework in a contemporary space, but aren’t sure how to implement it? Natural elements are right at home in modern designs, so you can definitely include them even if you’re going for a very clean and chic look. Here are a few points to keep in mind to ensure your modern home’s stone stays true to its style!

Eldorado Stone European Ledge

European Ledge® from Eldorado Stone is a beautiful veneer that balances lines and textures to complement modern settings. Shown here in Zinc, it offers a mix of warm and cool neutral tones, perfect for a calm space.

Choosing Colors

Modern designs tend to be light and bright, and the stone accents incorporated in them usually follow suit. White and gray are most represented, and there’s a lot of variation within these categories to serve your exact vision. Although most contemporary styles are based on cooler tones, warmer colors are available and are particularly appropriate for Mediterranean schemes, which share a lot of characteristics with modern architecture. Wheat-colored stone is perfect in these cases.

There’s a wide range of attractive neutrals at your disposal. Light to medium gray stones are favored by most people, because they match everything and offset other color choices. Look for tonal variation between or across stones to soften the effect that they have in your design. This is pretty universally desirable for residential settings and enhances beauty with a natural look. If you choose to go very light or dark without much variation, be aware that the stone will seem stark; it’s best to leave a design like this to a professional who can balance the overall impression of the space.

Eldorado Stone Course Cut Stone

Consider creating unique lines with a stone design that utilizes multiple shapes. This Cut Coarse Stone® has heights of 3”, 6”, and 9” and lengths ranging from 12” to 24” and provides the look of saw-cut Turkish limestone.

Linear Considerations

Arguably the most important variable to take into account, the shape of your stones and the lines between them have a huge effect on how they are perceived. Rounded and irregular stones that show a lot of grout are definitely rustic, and sharply cut stones with blocky rectangular or long linear shapes are the best fit for modern styles. They can be stacked more tightly and be used to build a pattern if you so wish, so think about it: do you want something consistent and akin to brickwork, or maybe a multi-dimensional design that uses stones with a range of heights and lengths?

The shape(s) and size(s) of the stones will dictate the general feel of the design. Take, for instance, a classic running bond brick pattern; if you use long, linear stones, the general impression is sleek, but do the same with larger, blockier pieces and it can look more industrial. If you opt for multi-dimensional stones instead, you can put together an eclectic or regular pattern with them—and the arrangement of the lines can really set the tone for the space!

Eldorado Stone Longitude24 and Zen24

A large-faced, homologous stone pattern like this is undeniably bold. Longitude24 in Snowdrift and Zen24 in Soft Light are used together to vary the texture on the wall and soften the vibe of the room.

Balance Textures

Texture is a tactile descriptor, but it also means a lot in the visual sense. How smooth or rough the stone is is just the beginning—smooth is more or less even when you’re working with rectangular blocks, but a rough surface can be even or bumpy, jagged, and irregular.

Stone with even surface texture, whether it’s smooth like marble or rough like brick, is available in a whole range of shapes and sizes, and its design influence is largely decided by those factors instead of the texture itself. When you start looking into rougher, uneven stones, that texture and the aspects of the block it belongs to have a greater effect on each other. For example, if you want a stone design with a lot of depth and shadows, a linear product with a narrow height is a good choice for interior use, because it balances its irregularity with a lot of crisp lines. The same level of unevenness on a large, blocky stone is overpowering in a modern setting, though, and it is better suited to exterior applications.

If you’re looking for amazing design ideas, check out this inspiration gallery full of all sorts of stones in every kind of room and outdoor space! Stone makes a definite and permanent statement in your home, so make sure to seek expert help if you’re unsure of your choice. Eldorado Stone offers a wide variety of stone profiles and design services to help you find the perfect look!

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