Design Trends – When it comes to Stone, Smooth is In
Here at Norstone we’ve been noticing a trend in terms of design towards smoother finished products and away from more textured materials. We get the chance to speak and work with some of the top architects and designers in the country on a daily basis and can see this reflective in the products they are requesting samples of and the projects they are working on. And it’s not just what we see come across our desks, walking outside any of our offices, whether that’s in Orlando, Brooklyn, or LA, we see new residential and commercial construction embracing the smooth trend. Let’s take a quick look at how some of the designers we work with are using Norstone products to follow this popular trend.
This recently completed courtyard in San Francisco embraces the smooth clean lined look with our Grey Basalt Interlocking Tile. This space, although small, is beautifully designed with natural wooden partitions and louvers, uniform planter boxes, clean lined steel and cable railings and low maintenance synthetic turf. The natural stone interlocking tile is a perfect fit for this small space, ideally scaled to help make the space bigger, and the smooth finish won’t leave a mark if brushed up against like a more heavily textured surface might. This entire space exudes smoothness and order and is a fantastic escape in the middle of a big city.
New construction multifamily projects always seem to be harbingers of current design, particularly one like we see in the above picture that is situated in a revitalizing area of Washington DC and seeking to attract young professionals as tenants. The courtyard abounds with our Basalt Interlocking Tile product which is featured on planter walls, fire pits, and a large water feature. The honed finish of this mosaic wall tile complements the overall modern aesthetic the design team of this project was striving for.
The fireplace above is a great example of a product within our line up that embraces this trend towards smooth, but still mixes it up with a bit of texture. The Grey 3D Panel used in this installation is made from basalt stone that received a honed finish. The varying sizes and depths of the individual stones give the product some texture and a fantastic visual geometry. In a space like this with smooth walls and ceilings, large format floor tile and furniture with clean lines, a product like the honed 3D panel, while still very on trend in terms of smoothness, creates just enough juxtaposition to be a focal point.
One possible drawback to the smooth trend we’re seeing is that the noise can become a factor. Have you ever noticed how much louder a room with floor tile is as compared to that same room with carpet? Adding smooth surfaces that bounce back sound without much dispersion can decrease the desirability of these surfaces but can also be addressed through various other design solutions like area rugs, art installations, and ceiling height. Remember, the best spaces are those that not only look amazing, but can be enjoyed without trade offs.
A trend by definition is the general direction in which a certain segment is developing or changing, and almost certainly will change over time. The cool thing about trends is each and everyone of us has the ability to be a trendsetter. Whether it’s by the clothes we wear, music we listen to, or more specific to us, the products we choose to put in our homes or like and pin on the internet, those choices either reinforce existing or help set new trends. Here at Norstone, we look forward to continuing to work with talented professionals in the design field, who truly are the “trend setters” for our industry, to see what’s next and create interesting and imaginative products to suit.