Arcaico elegance in Shanghai
Here in Kreoo we have just received those amazing picture by Buschmeyer + Cai Architects about a project in Shanghai yet finished … and we fell in love with it!
“A clean, modern, contemporary, yet harmonic and luxurious place. We liked the Arcaico (and kreoo as well) for his pure geometry in contrast to his opulent use of materials. A thought/concept that combine leather, velvet (mohair), precious woods and marbles, gold and silver with simple shapes and geometries.” Philipp Bushmeyer, Architect
There is a great flexibility in the definition of ARCAICO collection, a system of tables based on a metal structure where massive marble cylinders are hooked. These cylinders act as counterweights to the top that seems to be suspended in the space in a burst of dynamic light. Bases vary from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 6, in relation to the top sizes and to personal tastes.The table concept offers a wide range of personalization: the group of marble bases can be both monochrome and polychrome, and you can choose among various marble essences that nature offer.
“Working with Kreoo was always a nice experience. Always quick, no problems with transporting these goods to China” Philipp Bushmeyer, Architect
Thank you Philipp for sharing this beautiful goal with us!
A Focus on Kreoo Coverings
Tiles designs following the latest trends of shape, texture and material combinations!
Did you know Kreoo makes innovative wall and floor “coverings” and its texture
are available in different colors and thickness?
Today on the Kreoo Blog, we’re taking a brief tour of the Kreoo Coverings Line and its endless design possibilities.
Kreoo Coverings line features dozens of designs, but there are three production methods we use to create them. Each method produces a different effect and can add a different essence to your final design.
GRAFFITI -Three Dimensional, Two-tone Marble
Graffiti is Kreoo’s patented carving technique that grafts two different marbles to form a three dimensional tile. In this special process, we adhere two marble pieces, one on top of the other, then carve any of our pre-selected designs into the top tile. This removes a portion of the top tile to reveal the color of the bottom marble in a beautiful pattern. (Wall applications only)
BAS RELIEF – Single Color, Three Dimensional Marble
The classic bas relief technique where one of our team of Italian sculptors shapes the design into a single form of marble. (Wall applications only)
INLAY – Marble plus…
The inlay process composes each tile by fitting precision-carved inserts into a marble base. Traditionally, the inlay technique uses a marble base with different colored marble inserts. However, Kreoo inlay tiles can feature a variety of inserts in materials like Murano Glass, Brass or other metals, or even semi-precious stones! (Wall and floor applications)
4 different models are characterized by combining the organic nature of marble with other noble materials such as Murano glass, brass and semiprecious stones
Hana and Motion Collections:
Fascinating rhythmic designs that play with shape, texture and color. Each one can create its own aesthetic composition by combining 6 basic figures. Composition can be either flat or three dimensional.
Texo and Panama
Marble, Brass, Wood and Metal
New architectural solutions free from the static nature of traditional walls. Both Panama and Texo feature an interlacing effect, depicting strands of marble “woven” with other materials.
Do you have an upcoming project that needs a marble touch? Email Kreoo for application ideas and custom quotes.
Happy Birthday Pavè Stone!
Time flies when you’re
designing having fun. We should know. As hard as it is to believe, it’s already been six years since we built the first prototype of the Pavè Stone design.
The Pavè line has quickly become one of our most popular designs both for home owners and prestigious show houses.
The concept for Pavè Stone began with the idea of exploring the expressive potential of marble. Our design team decided to approach this goal through nuanced shaping, as well as by combining marble with other natural elements such as wood and cork.
The moment of inspiration came during a day in the Treviso mountains. The image of stones in a river, carved and polished by flowing water started our imaginations running. We wanted to evoke the delicate shapes, elegance and harmony of nature.
Back at the Kreoo factory, our team held design sessions where that inspiration began to take shape. We played on the form of the stones, the contrast and collaboration of the earthy density of marble and the formal lightness of wood and cork. Our goal was to balance all these elements, enhancing each material in one overlapping design.
After many scrapped ideas, revisions and improvements, we turned our sketches into the very first Pavè Stone.
Here you can see a Pavè Stone in White Estremoz with a white brushed larch seat. Thanks to Kreoo’s precise engineering, and thoroughly researched treatments, Pavè Stone’s natural wood and marble holds up to common weather conditions.
Also after six years, Pavè retains its structural integrity, even with its natural fissures. The design ages beautifully with the authenticity of a weathered piece with its aged aesthetic.
As the original Pavè design grew more and more popular, we were still fascinated by the inspiration of river washed pebbles. Our design team kept playing, working with variations and contrasting shapes. Today, the Pavè Collection features five modular designs in complementary sizes and formats.
In addition to the original Pavè seats, it features Pavè Log, Pavè Drink and Pavè River and Stream. The Pavè Collection combines eight different types of marble with four colors of wood and cork with options for different exterior treatments.
Designers use individual pieces as well as visually dynamic groups of different Pavè pieces to create atmospheres that instills the peace and tranquility of nature. Which makes sense… After all, this whole concept started with one excursion through the mountains.
So Happy Birthday Pavè Stone! Here’s to design that keeps on inspiring and to the beauty of nature that’s the catalyst for all of our work.
Have you celebrated any design milestones lately? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Marble Trends: (Matte) Black & White
Hop on the bandwagon…
Marble’s natural refinement makes it difficult to tip the scales into “overly” trendy. Stone designs always come out looking timeless. But even timeless marble has its own set of trends. One of our favorites at Kreoo is pairing marble with different metals. Metals are a gorgeous contrast against the cool sheen of natural marble. Over the years preferences have shifted from brass, to brushed nickel, to copper and back again. Today we’re highlighting a combination a stunning combination that’s gaining popularity: Matte black fixtures on white marble.
This stunning bathroom is the first shot that hooked us onto this trend. It’s a work of art, beautifully done. A combination that sets off every element to advantage.
We could just stare at this bathroom forever. The movement of the grey veining in this marble-slab backsplash contrasts beautifully against the clean lines of the black accents. The matte finish adds a softness that pairs with the subtle gray scale and keeps this room from looking too sharp.
This minimalist gem is a work of art! Natural light and horizontal Carrara marble tile showcases an exquisite shower-head and fixtures. It’s like bathing inside a painting!
Bathrooms aren’t just about shower walls though! A sleek, freestanding marble tub like Kora, with its matte black supports, is the perfect artistic centerpiece for a modern bath remodel.
Matte black fixtures are just as chic in the kitchen! We love the black wash basins and the quirky adjustable light in this modern marble kitchen. Green plants and tan stools add some warmth and liveliness to the cool tones and clean lines.
This matte black trend isn’t always starkly modern – this sweet, updated traditional bath combines matte black fixtures with copper hardware and mirrors to brighten up this cheery space.
If you want to hop on the black and marble bandwagon, you’re not limited to fixtures alone. Furniture elements like Moon stools, with black steel stands and dozens of marble options, are a sleek and flexible option.
…Yes, we know this article is supposed to be black and white, but if that’s too monochrome for your tastes, have no fear. Matte black fixtures are a dream on colored marble too! Like this luscious caramel colored marble slab.
Or this masculine, teal and grey spa.
So what do you think of the Matte Black on Marble trend? Could you see this concept working in your home? Comment below and share your design plans.
Kreoo offers marble furnishings as well as custom marble for Home, Corporate and Hospitality applications. Contact us for your next marble project!
Kreoo Product Spotlight – John and Jackie
In life there are icons of culture and icons of design. Many times one inspires another. This is certainly true of Kreoo’s latest releases, “John and Jackie” which were inspired by the personas of some of America’s most beloved figures.
“John” and “Jackie” marble tables were designed as a tribute to these incredible people who were the embodiment of America’s passion and class.
With true icons, their personalities becomes a style all their own. That’s definitely the case for the Kennedys. Their style diffused into the culture, with far reaching effects on design and creative thought. Even half a century later, their iconic style shows up in today’s greatest designs. Like many mid-century designs, “John” and “Jackie” – Kreoo’s latest releases designed by Stebastiano Zilio – take their inspiration from the distinct personalities of JFK and Jackie O.
“John” features strong lines, and bold angles. The almost abstract, geometric shape evokes the charisma and determination of the man it represents.
The “John” design incorporates up to six different shades of marble. It’s design adapts to any space while creating a overlapping presentation of color and stone.
Sinuous and dynamic, “Jackie” offers a subtle femininity that is bold and yet refined. In contrast to “John”, a single shade of marble makes up this table in order to accentuate the fluidity of her design.
Fresh and classic, these stunning designs display an artistic range of shape, color and texture. In both pieces, a metal rim accentuates each precisely-cut stone segment like a frame around a work of art.
For these very special pieces, “John & Jackie” come in select precious marbles. Dramatic veining characterizes each recommended stone: Onice Cielo, Calacatta Dorato and Nero Portoro. At their debut at ICFF 2016, “John and Jackie” debuted with a glossy finish, but they are also available in matte and feature several metal options.
What’s your favorite Kreoo design? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Marble and More! 5 Material combinations for jaw-dropping interiors.
Marble and Wood
Marble and Brick
Marble and Glass
Marble and Patterns
Marble and Stone
The 5 lies you’ve been told about marble
There are a lot of myths out there about marble and its use in architecture and design; from horror stories about “high-maintenance” kitchens to the woes of contemporary design enthusiasts. We’re here to set the record straight on five “untruths” you may have heard.
1. It’s fragile
Marble is actually a very durable stone even at extremely thin dimensions. It’s not overly prone to breaking or chipping which makes it a great choice for floors as well as other applications like walls, furniture, even outdoor structures (hint-hint the Colosseum in Rome…) While it is a softer stone than Granite, marble offers an unrivaled visual with the natural veining and a range of colors from classic white to vibrant blues.
2. It’s high maintenance
This is probably the most common concern with marble, but does the truth really justify the mass hysteria? These professionals don’t think so…
Like everything beautiful, marble requires a little extra care, but in my opinion, ages beautifully. – Johnathan Legate
We also have marble for our backsplash and countertops and they are an absolute breeze! I’d do it again in a NY minute. Ours our honed and sealed and all I use is a damp sponge with some dishsoap to clean them. – RM Kitchens
So yes, stains and etches can happen, but are usually minimal and very preventable. With a little common sense and an easy-to-apply sealant used once every two years, you can protect the stone you love for a lifetime of use.
3. It’s too expensive
Expense is always a question of timing. With marble, you get a timeless piece that will last for decades. Many marble alternatives can stand up to harsh detergents, but their lifespan is significantly shorter. Once that trendy tile chips, you’re stuck replacing a whole floor. With marble, a scratch or dent can be easily re-finished to its original shine. If you’re making an investment in your home, it’s worth the upfront cost to choose something that will stand the test of time.
4. It’s bulky
While some people love the look of thick, chunky slabs, there’s a lot more you can do with marble. Marble has been the choice of artists for centuries when creating delicate sculptural details. When skill like that is paired with the latest advancements in technology, the possibilities are endless.
5. It’s too classical
Marble is one of the most versatile materials a designer can work with. From contemporary to classic, marble can be molded into any form your design-loving heart can desire.
Share your thoughts! Did we miss any marble myths you’ve heard of before? Comment below and let us know.
Luxury Design in Fluctuating Markets
Why smart design is the best investment in a changing real estate market
It’s no secret that the real estate market is a game of high risk, high reward. As markets shift and tastes evolve, it’s often a game of numbers for builders and designers that bring projects to fruition. Today’s buyer demographic is changing. The influx of millennials into the “adult” world has created a drastic shift in which projects developers will be completing. As much as they want to start their lives as homeowners, this demographic faces obstacles past generations never had to overcome. Crippling student debt and sky-high rent prices siphon off earnings, forcing first time buyers to defer their purchase for upwards of three years.
Sellers are faced with huge competition from new construction as many developers still seek out the remaining pockets of opportunity in a slowing market. On top of that, developers have to address the impending threat of a market downturn. There is a clearly defined cyclical aspect to the real estate market, but as of yet, no one has been able to pinpoint the exact moment when the shift happens. Market watchers have been preparing for the inevitable “bust” for years already. Some use this fact to denounce “sitting on the sidelines” while there are deals to be made, but others say this is even more reason to play it safe.
In preparation for that inevitable turn, investors are making adjustments in, not only the type of projects they take on, but how they are investing. For the high-risk/high-reward crowd, the draw of the next great neighborhood is spawning projects in places like the Bronx. Mezzanine debt investments and consolidated partnerships entice the security conscious. Other developers are making the switch to low cost investments, preferring to spread out their capital over multiple properties, but low rent, low quality holdings can create more problems than the diversified investment solves.
Not every condo can offer penthouse views, but you can make up for that by creating a breathtaking atmosphere. TWEET THIS
Cost cutting isn’t limited to low budget projects. Luxury builders are faced with the puzzle of reigning in expenses while dealing with a sophisticated and exacting clientele. Developer concessions are ramping up in both the buying and rental markets. Amenities like gyms, spas, in-home massage services, even free flat screen TVs aren’t unheard of in the race to raise occupancy and beat out the competition. But these fads are predominately marketing ploys, flashy enticements to catch the eye of prospective buyers. The one thing that will never change, no matter where you build or how you finance, is the necessity of great design.
Luxury buyers demand perfection, and to entice them you need to go beyond their expectations with at least one show-stopping element. Not every condo can offer penthouse views, but you can make up for that by creating a breathtaking atmosphere with a luxurious layout, great materials and wise styling.
When well executed, design can even become a cost saving tool in a developer’s budget. The best example of this is natural stone. High quality natural stone, well-chosen and uniquely positioned, can be the tipping point for a prospective buyer. Incredibly versatile, stone can be used in the traditional aspects, marble counter tops, marble showers, and the like. On the other hand, it can also be used to turn a home into a functional work of art through statement walls and innovative furnishings.
Design is the one thing that will turn a buyer’s head and tip the scales on that big purchase decision. TWEET THIS
Kreoo has been working with builders and developers across the globe for over fifty years to create spaces that are in themselves works of art. Leveraging relationships with the top quarries around the world and decades of experience in “Value Based Design”, Kreoo and other competent companies provide higher value for the customer even while lowering costs for the developers.
The benefits of working directly with manufacturers like Kreoo are extreme. It can cut time and hassle from a restrictive schedule while at the same time offer higher quality products at a lower trade cost. Direct manufacturers can provide much more specific data, even sending samples from the exact block of stone being used. Working with the designers at Kreoo directly, or in conjunction with local representatives, gives you unlimited access to the specific marble sculptors and quarry-men. This can help cut down on miscommunications and re-orders, and can literally cut lead time in half compared with many local providers.
Does your firm have an upcoming stone project? Comment below and tell us about it!
Kreoo X Factor – Kora at ICFF 2016
In the design world, everyone is always searching for that elusive “X factor”. The next shift of design. The intangible, indefinable something that makes the difference between “pretty” and “iconic”. The quality that makes you stop and say “Wow”.
But what is the X factor? And how do you get it?
At Kreoo we believe the “X” is something expressive, something visual that conveys emotion and forges a connection as only beauty can. But for the world of professional designers, there’s much more to an elite design than the visual aspect. Hundreds of beautiful things are created every day, but true luxury runs deeper than aesthetics. Heritage, Innovation, Artistry. All these things come together to create what we like to call – the #KreooXFactor – Luxury marble products for designers looking for the crowning element for their design.
…which brings us to ICFF. In 2015 we revealed several new products: a sleek marble sink, geometric marble tiles inlaid with brass and Murano glass, modular marble seating, all of which were all met with great approval. Over the last year, our team of Italian marble designers has created new designs that take on the challenges so many architects and designers face. Our goal was to find creative solutions to lower costs and improve logistics while providing a superior visual and sensory experience for both the developer and client.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be breaking down several of those designs and how they exhibit the #KreooXfactor on so many levels. To kick off this series of posts, today we’re talking about Kora – The first marble bathtub from Kreoo.
Kora is a solid marble bathtub carved from a single block of stone. No seams mar its surface, which offers a beautiful effect with the veining that flows uninterrupted from one end of the tub to the other.
Kora was designed to help developers and architects overcome challenges common to large scale luxury projects. Many developers and designers face strict weight restrictions in high rises and other luxury applications, which forces compromise in either the materials used, or how they’re incorporated (cladding vs solid stone).
With Kora, designers no longer have to sacrifice glamour for practicality.
Using a combination of patented technologies and hand-finish work by a team of expert Italian marble sculptors, Kora’s sides and base are cut to extremely thin measures – as thin as 2 cm thick!
Its unique dimensions enable Kreoo to produce it at a fraction of the weight, resulting in a full sized, solid marble tub, thirty percent lighter than similarly sized options. This new technological development opens doors for spaces with strict weight requirements to incorporate the luxury of natural marble that would have been out of reach.
Even in spaces without prohibitive weight requirements, Kora offers huge benefits to designers. Lower weight means lower shipping costs, safer transport and easier installation! In addition to the design-side benefits to the actual developer, this brilliant design has overcome a major flaw of most solid marble bathtubs – heat retention. Traditional stone bathtubs are notorious for cooling water quickly due to marble’s natural molecular structure. With its streamlined shape and low mass, the water in Kora retains heat for longer periods of time than tubs with thicker marble sides, ultimately improving the experience for the final home owner.
Kreoo’s groundbreaking advances in weight reduction own the doors to untapped design potential. The solid marble tub is suspended in mid-air on a matte-black metal base, offering fresh luxury for people who love marble but aren’t looking for a traditional style. Its light weight is reflected in the weightless look of its design that seemingly floats on air. The soothing effect of natural veining compounds on the form of the tub to produce an oasis that enhances the atmosphere of any bathroom. Ultimately, Kora’s architectural style forges and emotional connection between the client and the space, entrancing and intriguing prospective buyers and cementing the design with authentic luxury.
Don’t forget to come back next week for a in-depth look at Kreoo’s new Musaico!
Tangram, the harmony of a marble puzzle
A new item in Kreoo Living Collection: Tangram. Tangram collection presents elegant tables made of a glass top that highlights the structural table soul, its base, obtained by interlocking elements of stone and wooden blocks of different colors and measures. From different geometries, thicknesses and materials, among them complementary, a new harmonious shapes cluster has born, highly innovative and characterized by a great visual impact.
A game of joints and overlaps, alluding to the ancient Chinese game and to the famous Danish bricks game, that both give their names to this new statement piece of furniture.
As in Kreoo philosophy, the combination of marble with other materials such as wood and glass, contributes to enhance the “sensual and secret soul” of stones even more.
At Salone Del Mobile 2016, the Tangram collection is presented in three different solutions:
– Tangram Mini (coffee table) with a single base, available in matt walnut wood essence and Bianco Estremoz. Top size: 140×140 cm
– Tangram Mono, table with one central base, proposed in Zebrano Essence and Bianco Calacatta Oro, with square or round top (160 x160 cm or diameter 160 cm)
– Tangram Maxi, table with two bases, proposed in Zebrano Essence and Black Marquina, with top size 240x100cm
As for all Kreoo collections the pieces are available with other marbles (Griglio Bardiglio, Bianco Carrara, Emperador, Verde Ming), or customizable on request.
Design: Enzo Berti
Brief Description: Tangram is a collection of tables made of a glass top that highlights the structural table soul, its base, made by interlocking elements of marble and wooden blocks of different colors and measures.
Proposed materials: glass top. Marbles: Bianco Estremoz, Bianco Calacatta, Griglio Bardiglio, Bianco Carrara, Emperador, Verde Ming, Nero Marquina. Wood: Zebrano Essence
Sizes : Mini, top of 140cm x140cm – Mono, top of 160 cm x 160 cm or 160 cm ø – Maxi, top of 240 cm x 100cm
Natural Stone – Design Trends for 2016
2016 is shaping up to be one exciting year for the world of interior design and especially for the lovers of natural stone! From new outlooks to new applications, it’s a safe bet that we’ll be seeing no slow-down in the use of marble and other natural materials in architecture and design.
The Kreoo team has put together a list of the top predictions for natural stone trends in 2016. Let’s dive right in!
Geometric patterns are going to be even hotter this coming year than they were in 2015! For natural stone applications, a great way to introduce this trend is with marble inlay in a modern pattern like this lovely wall designed by Kelly Wearstler. For custom work, make sure you’re dealing with a respected stone manufacturer with great design capacity and you’ll definitely be pleased with the results!
Creative lighting – Back Lit Stone
Artistic lighting is looking bright (no apologies for the pun!) and set to team up with natural stone in 2016. Going beyond simple canned or pendant lighting, the creative minds of our day are beginning to explore all the possibilities of lighting as an art form and natural stone is getting some great creative energy . Skillful backlighting can turn a bath into an oasis or turn a back splash into a subtle mood lighting tool. Or go even further outside the box with a custom lit stone staircase like this groundbreaking design from Quinn Architects.
Contrasting cabinets got took off in 2015, but this year will take the concept even further with counter tops in complementary materials. Everyone has an opinion on the best stone options for kitchens; marble, granite, quartz not to mention other materials like wood, stainless steel and even concrete! You really can have it all; and “all” is gorgeous!
Texture on Texture!
Layering with color is so 2015. In 2016, sophisticated design will be all about adding texture. People will be using marble in fresh ways. Small cuts of marble with offsetting veining provide a soft, stirring sensation in contrast to the more dramatic veining patters that have dominated typical marble design in the past. Modular tiles that can be configured in different ways, like Hana, are a designer’s perfect resource.
Texture layering can be extended to metals, ceramics, etc, but natural stone’s inherent texture automatically ups the ante in this 2016 design trend.
Feature walls – Nature’s artwork
Art is the soul of the home, and what better artwork than a completely one-of-a-kind showcase by nature itself? Marble slabs make truly breathtaking displays that are surely going to explode this year – this isn’t just a trend for 2016, this is sure to be a timeless classic.
Three Dimensional or 3D stone is a great way to add visual interest to a design. This works especially well for walls. Colors will stay neutral, but the real grab here is the raised patterns. Kreoo has a line of over a dozen designs in both single dual-stone 3D tiles here.
Gold is making a huge comeback this year as is obvious from this stunning bathroom by JLB Development. Necessarily, this design will require a natural stone that infuses the space with the same welcoming warmth. Calacatta gold is a perfect choice to highlight this luxurious color palette.
Soft Toned Kitchens
Another predicted trend for 2016 is the pastel kitchen, which may have a surprising effect in marble selection for kitchen counter tops. Traditionally, Calacatta marble has been the premiere white marble due to the clean distinction between it’s creamy white base and dark veining. However, as kitchen design turns to more muted tones, this may mean an uptick in the selection Carrara’s soft, grayish shade.
Which trends do you think will catch on for stone in 2016? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
The Marble Lover’s Christmas Gift Guide
Great gift ideas for the marble lover in your life
Christmas is right around the corner and gifting can be the most stressful part of the season! Marble lovers can be the hardest people to buy for; once you’ve replaced the counter tops, what else can you really do? If you have a marble lover on your list, take advantage of this lineup, curated by the marble-lovin’ team at Kreoo.
Marble has really stepped into the 21st century and has made its mark on the tech scene. If your marble lover is also into Apple, try one of these gorgeous iPhone cases by Native Union.
Marble is such a beautiful stone, it’s no wonder that it makes for stunning jewelry. This trendy marble and gold pendant from Kakao by K is a perfect example of the stone’s versatility and style.
Marble coasters like these beauties are a great “home” gift that will add just a hint of marble to a living room. These might be the perfect present if your “giftee” is just dipping their toes in the world of marble.
Last on our list is a present worthy of royalty. For that very special someone on your Christmas list, there is one showstopping experience of a lifetime that will blow every other gift out of the water. A trip to the marble caves is the ultimate marble lover’s escape. We hear Chile’s beautiful this time of year…
What’s the best marble themed gift you’ve ever received? Comment below and tell us!
Thanksgiving is a time of joy and reflection. That’s no different in the design industry. Here are four things the team at Kreoo is thankful for this Thanksgiving.
The beauty of nature is our chief inspiration for every Kreoo design. The lines and curves of a river rock, the delicate arc of a water lily’s petals, we believe that organic nuance is the most important factor of even the most modern designs.
Technological innovations in the marble industry have opened up infinite design possibilities. We’re proud to hold to the principles of Italian design as our physical capabilities increase. We can’t wait to see the future of great design and how it unfolds in the modern era!
Our heritage is our driving force. Every design we create, every dream we ponder is born out of our history. Italy’s pursuit of excellence and beauty inspires us to continue creating, pushing toward the next great marble masterpiece.
At Kreoo we’re proud to be part of a family, growing for the past fifty three years from the vision of our founder Danilo Farinon and his family. We want to especially thank our Kreoo USA team, who has come together, working hard to bring the United States into the Kreoo family. We are blessed to have such a wonderful team!
What are you thankful for in design this Thanksgiving? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below and join the conversation.
Italian marble. Is it a splurge only the biggest budgets can justify? Or is it the most necessary ingredient for a quality design that will last decades?
Chinese marble is a ‘go-to’ alternative to genuine Italian marble, but is it really worth the price cut? At Kreoo, we’ve compiled a list of all the reasons why you really don’t want to settle for second best. Take a look and decide for yourself…
1. A rose by any other name…
The most common alternative to genuine Italian marble is “Chinese Carrara”.
If you ever see this terminology, run. Chinese Carrara is nothing more than false advertising. Carrara marble is ONLY quarried in Carrara Italy. That’s what makes it Carrara marble. Anything else is fraud, pure and simple.
Sure, some of you may say “It’s just a label. That’s no big deal.” And if it were just a label, we’d agree with you. But in the marble industry, quality and expectations are directly linked to the title of the chosen stone.
For example, Carrara marble is a white to blue-grey, showing a soft gray veining, only mined in Carrara Italy. Calacatta marble is much more dynamic, with bold veins set against a white base. Its variations offer a wide range of both warm and cool tones. So as you can see, how a marble is labeled is vital to the final quality of your design.
While less expensive than genuine Italian marble, Chinese marble is usually extremely poor quality stone. It is notorious for yellowing and rusting over time. Typically clients who lean toward marble are interested in something that will last years, not something that needs replaced quickly. Italian marble has been used in the greatest works of art and architecture the world has ever seen! Sculptures and buildings that have stood for hundreds of years are a testament to the durability of true Italian marble.
2. Selection specialists
Did you know that an experienced quarry foreman can tell from the shape of the quarry mount the quality of the marble inside? Italian companies have been developing this expertise for years and employ exactly those kinds of experts when quarrying stone.
A quarry is something like nature’s warehouse. It is the foreman’s job to make the right selection for the most efficiency, and minimal waste or affect on the environment. It takes a lot of skill to pick a good quality block.
After each block is selected, it is further sectioned into individual slabs. Through the cutting and shaping process, there will always be “surprises”, imperfections in each stone. True quarrying experts, like those at Kreoo and other Italian marble quarries will excise those sections to offer only the best spans of stone to designers and final customers.
3. The devil is in the details
This is probably the most overlooked reason why Italian marble is the best choice for design, but it’s no less important. Most people easily understand why stone quality is so important. However, the processes, the behind-the-scenes details that go into crafting and manufacturing the final product are just as important as the actual block of stone!
In marble tile, it’s not only a question of stone quality, but production quality as well. The best marble products have crisp cuts, even thickness across every sheet, and high quality mesh backing with solid adhesive to give extra security. For solid projects like sinks and furniture, the quality of the finish determines the quality of the final product. In fact Kreoo has developed it’s own protecting hydro-oil-repellent finishes for increased durability.
This is the major difference between Italian and Chinese marble companies. Italy operates from a permeating culture of excellence. From shoes to wine, anything that comes out of Italy is certain to be of the highest quality.
While “Made in Italy” is synonymous with excellence, “Made in China” is reason enough to put a toy back on the store shelf. Why should it be any different with large purchases like marble?
4. Process makes perfect
Now that we’ve hit on the major quality issues, it’s time to look at the companies behind the sales. Once you’ve found a quality product, made from a beautiful stone, it’s pretty important that it makes it to you in one piece. And when there’s a problem? Companies that care about making things right are worth their weight in gold.
When it comes to shipping and top customer care, Italian companies like Kreoo know what they’re doing. Often, Chinese firms don’t take care to ship products properly. Shipping containers can reach extreme temperatures which affect the integrity of the marble as well as stretch or shrink mesh backing, resulting in misshapen sheets of tile and other imperfections.
On the other hand Italian marble manufacturers are known for their attention to detail. At Kreoo, mosaics and marble inlays are pre-installed at the Italian factory to ensure a perfect alignment in the final product.
5. A glowing past, a brighter future
The last reason we will always, always recommend Italian marble manufacturers if for the history and authenticity they bring to any design project.
When asked what defined luxury, blogger and designer Martyn White said this:
It is all about the finer details, the connections and the story in its creation.
That history is what propels designers into the future. And that’s another thing you need to be aware of when spec’ing your next marble piece. Where is this company going to be three months from now? In five years, will you have cultivated a longstanding relationship that adds credibility to your firm or will you be scrambling, again, to find another manufacturer because the last one went out of business…
Knowing you can trust the companies you work with enables you as a designer to be bolder, more creative, more empowered. In the long run, that is what will truly benefit your customers.
What do you think? Is Italian marble worth the splurge? Share your comments below!
Custom Marble Fireplaces
Why Your Home Needs One!
Fall is coming, and with it the inexplicable desire for good books, anything pumpkin spice, and the indescribable comfort of a warm fire. But whether your local temperature drops below 40 or keeps to a balmy 89, the desire for a getaway, a cozy escape is universal.
Fireplaces are a common element of every luxury home no matter the size or style. For decades they have littered the “must-have” lists of every prospective home owner and every designer upgrade. Little wonder, as every style of home has found a way to make the fireplace all their own.
Now more than ever before, fireplaces of all shapes and sizes are in demand for every space in the house; bathrooms, kitchens, the great outdoors, all begging to be fitted with the classic fireplace. But as every designer knows, sometimes these breathtaking pieces cause more than a little hassle…
Your client wants a crowning jewel for their dream room but something puts a complication on this simple request. Perhaps the providers you normally work with don’t have the right color stone, or none of the standard designs quite “work”, or maybe you’re dealing with a room laid out like the inside of a kaleidoscope and no normal fireplace will come close to fitting where you need it to fit!
The obvious answer? Custom marble design. And the one thing a successful custom project hinges on is choosing the right manufacturer.
At Kreoo, we use decades of curated knowledge to select the best methods and techniques to create your perfect work of practical art on even the tightest deadlines. Our lead time for a custom, carved marble fireplace is a mere 3-4 weeks!
Though many are surprised at an international firm’s ability to produce so quickly, we credit our global reach and time-tested methods with allowing us to beat the quotes of even local companies. Architects and Interior Designers from across the US have used Kreoo’s expert designers for multiple custom pieces on last minute time schedules.
Margarita Beal of IKBA says,
I have sincerely enjoyed working with Alessia and Anthony. It has been a seamless experience from the beginning to the end and it was amazing to see how a drawing came to life. Everything was handled with such care and it was obvious that these are the people that love what they do, which I believe is always evident in the product.
Check out any of our Designer Insights articles to hear other designers’ experiences with Kreoo and custom work.
As for design ability, the sky’s the limit! The designers at Kreoo can add carved texture and even create multi-color/multi-stone, 3D inlays. Any size any style, any dream. Our sculptors utilize the highest levels of technology and artistic expertise to manifest each piece. Take for instance our “Zebra Fireplace” for example. A custom work for a private client in Lebanon, this eye-popping design is a piece of 3D inlay work. You heard it right a 3D INLAY!
Using methods from our countless floor installations and our new Graffiti line, we’ve combined Nero Marquina with Bianco Sivec marble to produce a seamless effect.
Perhaps this one’s a little outlandish for your tastes. Have no fear. The artistic minds behind the sleek transitional designs at Kreoo are also experts at the classic and traditional.
Or the subdued craftsman style
Or any style really.
No matter what your taste, Kreoo can handle all your custom needs from sketching to production, shipping to installation. We’ll create the perfect fireplace to turn any room in your home into a cozy fall getaway.
What kind of fireplace are you dying to have in your home? Comment below!
Looking for a way to take your bathroom from average to spectacular? At Kreoo, the answer is always marble. Natural marble gives any bathroom an expensive and luxurious feel. Sadly, most people relegate marble to the counters.
In truth, marble is one of the most versatile materials you can use a bathroom. Still few people naturally think of marble as a workable resource. To amend that tragic way of thinking, here are the top 5 ways you can use marble in your high-end bath remodel!
1. Luxe Seating
As a brand stemming from the illustrious heritage of Italian design, we at Kreoo wanted to give you all a look into our home. Italy is a beautiful place, filled with history and gorgeous architecture. It’s a top destination for luxury travelers and design aficionados everywhere.
So here is everything you have got to see when you’re in Italy!
Welcome to the latest round of Designer Insights. We’ve got a great treat for you today – An interview with Alex Ray of Five Senses Art Consultancy. Alex has the distinction of being a three-time designer in San Francisco’s Decorator Showcase. In her most recent design, Alex featured several elements from our Pavé Collection.
Today we get to take a look inside the mind of this brilliant designer.
So Alex tell us, when did you first find your aptitude for art and design? What sparked the fascination?
It was as soon as I could walk I am afraid. I saw Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and I was SOLD!!! I noticed bold statements in art from an early age. I also saw the power of the way good design and living with art can literally change the way a person lives. I saw how it makes a person feel and how it challenges a person to strive for better comfort, quality and good materials.
And now you’ve turned that passion into a successful career. But you aren’t just an art lover, you’re a designer. How do you think design and art interact?
They need each other and yet it is a fine line to be aware of. One must try and elevate their interiors with good quality art and not just decorative art that has no meaning or content. As soon as the art looks too decorative it falls away—when it holds some weight it makes the viewer more interested in the personality of the owner.
You did a great job of that with your recent garden design. Very fresh and unexpected, I mean Photography in a garden? That’s bold. Did this idea come from your history as a photographer?
I assisted Nick Knight and Herb Ritts back in the late 80’s. and went on to have an editorial photography career for seven years in London. I think all the art practices are inextricably linked: photography, fashion, fine art, why not garden design???
The boundaries of photography are really getting pushed and re-defined right now and I think it is an exciting time for photography in general. I was very excited to show how one can live with Photography in a garden outdoor context, because the possibilities are endless and vastly less expensive than sculpture. I have fabricated an outdoor weatherproofed light box that illuminates the garden at night, which is great for entertaining and it also gives a garden no matter how big or small a captivating focal point.
That is a beautiful thought. You definitely made that concept come to life. So what drew you to the Pavé collection for this space?
I discovered it through Coup d’Etat in San Francisco, and it really stood out as being such a sculptural and refined line of furniture and bath products. It has sophistication, simplicity and is beautifully crafted.
I loved Pavé for the bench because it is the perfect piece for a small space. It provided really economic seating options. I can now fit 5-6 people comfortably in front of the art piece in the garden and it is so beautifully sculptural. It also has such smooth curves and finish that compliments the neo-classical style of the light box photographic image.
As an art consultant and designer, you must work with a lot of architects and interior designers. What qualities matter to you in the artists and companies you partner with?
I think architects and designers can sometimes have different agendas for their clients and its really getting the clients at the end of the day to connect with whatever you are showing them. The architects tend to like works that are perhaps a little “purist and quiet” as they want form to speak, and the designers, definitely want that pop and something that makes a statement. That can sometimes be a challenge when you are working with both on a project! The qualities that matter to me most are ‘collaboration and generosity” to make the best results happen together.
And your experience working with the team at Kreoo? How did that measure up?
It was fantastic! Everyone at Coup d’Etat has been so helpful and effortless to work with from the start, and everyone from Kreoo so supportive…..besides I tend to agree, Italians do it better!!
You heard it from the expert! Huge thanks to Alex Ray on her artistic insights. Don’t forget to check out Pavé at this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase.
And for more information on the Pavé Collection, visit us at our website.