Beauty of Stone: Tips for creating a stone masterpiece in your home

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Breccia de Notre Dame marble slab fireplace.
Breccia de Notre Dame marble slab fireplace.

I love to look at a great stone fireplace; a beautiful marble or onyx bathroom; gorgeous granite or soapstone countertops in a kitchen; or some really impressive bluestone or slate flooring. A well-designed project made with excellent craftsmanship takes the chosen stone material and uses it to its potential. Creating a personalized stone masterpiece is functional artwork that sets a high standard for your home. You will take more pride in your home and feel satisfaction like never before.

So many different kinds of stones are available to choose from. Every kind of stone comes in different colors, textures, densities and sizes. Sometimes, I use different kinds of stone together in the same room or throughout a home to create a pallet of color and richness that only stone can give. Unlike ceramic and porcelain tile, stone is natural – taking millions of years to metamorphasize into itself. Stone comes in different-sized tiles, and in slabs. I usually mix stone tiles and slabs together when I design and create my masterpiece bathrooms.

When creating your stone masterpiece, experience and knowledge from working with the medium are essential. The stone material needs to have the best finish on its face; the design needs to be perfected; proper prep work needs to be done; fine, professional craftsmanship needs to be implemented in the setting and finishing of the project.

Bluestone tiles and slab in running bond pattern.
Bluestone tiles and slab in running bond pattern.

When looking at a project to be stoned, you need to use the right color, texture and density of stone for the area. For example: I like bluestone for an outdoor walkway or front porch. The bluestone is not slippery at all. It looks rich and natural outdoors like fossilized plant life, so it goes with your flora.

Breccia Oneceata marble tiles and slab that are book matched and vein matched.
Breccia Oneceata marble tiles and slab that are book matched and vein matched.

I love marble and onyx — they make awesome-looking bathrooms! You can use marble in so many ways. You can book match or vein match the marble tiles to make a whole wall or whole floor appear as one big piece of marble. You can also cut the onyx or marble tiles into rectangular pieces, setting them in a running bond or brick pattern. Just taking square tiles out of boxes and trowelling them onto a wall looks weak and amateurish. Leveling and planing the stone to be flat when setting it, is the master’s way of making the job perfect. What a difference!

White onyx and Egyptian limestone tiles and slab in running bond pattern
White onyx and Egyptian limestone tiles and slab in running bond pattern

Be the artist. Create your masterpiece. Take your project to its potential. Take pride in your home and especially in your creations. It’s fun and satisfying. You’ll become addicted and be turned on to the creative process.

All of the pictures of stone work are designed and create for my clients, friends, family and myself. I work closely with people when designing their stone masterpieces. The creative process is very personal and fun.

In future columns, I will talk about many different kinds of stone and their application. We will explore where different stones originate and about their characteristics. I will share my design, fabrication, installation knowledge, and expertise with you. I want to inform you, assist you, and inspire you. Let’s have fun with this.

— By Jeff Sellen

5 beauty of stone signatureJeff Sellen is an artist, designer and a master stone mason. His website is here. You can reach him at jeffsellendesign@yahoo.com or at 425-444-5754.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have known and worked with Jeff for over 30 years. He truly is an artist and a craftsman. He has a passion for his work and pays attention to every detail. Give him a try.

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