Interiors: The new stone age

When it comes to floors, honed limestone tiles provide an eye-catching, look and are much more practical than once popular sanded wooden floors.
Promoted by Ideal Marble

It’s as old as time, and naturally beautiful. No wonder stone is making a big impact in modern design.

While sophisticated marble and tactile stone has never really gone out of fashion, it’s now becoming easier – and more popular - than ever to incorporate a touch of its natural luxury into our homes.

With marble and other stones offering such a wide range of choices, colourways, textures and patterns, its elegant beauty is no longer confined to the high-end market.

According to Derek Burt, of Natural Stone in Dunnington, marble and stone tile products are in increasing demand from Yorkshire homeowners seeking to make an impressive statement.

“We are seeing a lot of demand from people who have decided to update or extend their home rather than enter into a volatile property market.

“Often they are building onto their property to create a large kitchen, dining and living space, and see the benefits of laying a stone floor that will give them continuity throughout and will really stand the test of time.

“Many will opt for underfloor heating rather than radiators, which is ideal for a stone floor which will absorb the heat and help keep the room warm.

“There’s also a real shift towards upgrading bathrooms to create stone-walled shower rooms, or just turning the smallest room into something really impressive.”

When it comes to floors, honed limestone tiles provide an eye-catching, hardwearing and contemporary look and are much more practical than once popular sanded wooden floors.

One of the most popular choices is Minster Antiqued Limestone, which has echoes of traditional flagstone flooring and with multi-tones of olives, greys and browns which enable it to blend in with traditional and modern colour pallets.

Sledmere Limestone, meanwhile, has a sandblasted finish, with a pale base warmed by beige and gold tones, while Jorvik Limestone’s riven and tumbled texture makes it perfect for interiors and exteriors – ideal for spacious modern kitchen-diners which spill outside onto the patio.

Garrowby Tumbled Limestone is another local favourite, with homeowners drawn to its warm beige and oat tones and gentle quartz veining that add extra character.

But as well as traditional stone floors, style-conscious homeowners are picking up on luxury trends for bold patterns using stunning mosaic and even hexagonal tiles to make a strong statement on walls and flat surfaces.

Those are trends that Mr Burt is familiar with – Natural Stone’s sister company, Ideal Marble, works with high end international clients who are often at the cutting edge of modern designs.

“We can see these trends emerging from the top end of the market,” he adds. “But at the same time, there are some classic styles – such classic white Italian Carrara marble, which never really goes out of fashion.”

While Carrara marble offers the ultimate luxury finish for a kitchen or bathroom – it was, after all, the stone used by Michelangelo when he carved his iconic statue of David - Travertine tiles are emerging as a popular option both at Natural Stone’s showroom and online, thanks to the range of colours, textures and finishes which make them suitable for any room in the house.

Many of the best stone tiles are sourced in Italy, Portugal and Spain – there are more than 40 different options on show at Natural Stone’s showroom from six countries. However free tile samples make it easy to compare colours and textures without leaving home.

And while it has a ‘luxury’ label, stone tiles can be less expensive than they sound and tend to work out better value in the long run thanks to their durability and timeless elegance.

Adds Mr Burt: “Yorkshire has a strong history of making the most of quality stone in its homes, and today’s design-conscious homeowners are following that trend.

“Interiors trends can come and go, but you often find stone doesn’t go out of fashion.”

Discover how you could transform your home using natural stone, by visiting Natural Stone’s showroom in Stamford Bridge Road, Dunnington, York, or go online here