On a rainy fall morning in mid-September, we received a call from an architect in New York. He was working on a retail project and had found several photos in our inspiration gallery that spoke to his idea for the new building. Our initial phone call lasted nearly an hour. The architect was familiar with natural thin veneer but hadn’t worked with it first-hand. Thin stone veneer is a relative newcomer to the industry compared to its counterpart, full-thickness building stone. We discussed the many advantages of choosing natural thin stone veneer and how it would complement the overall project.
Creating the Custom Blend
Commercial projects are always exciting for us at the Quarry Mill. We love to see the architect’s creative blends and application ideas. In this case, the architect compiled a number of photos from our inspiration gallery and other sources showcasing elements of natural thin stone veneer. Each photo represented elements that aligned with the idea for the project and were to be incorporated into the custom blend. Some examples of the scenarios we discussed are: “I like the stone in this photo, but I would like more variation in heights of individual pieces of stone” and “I like this photo, but I want the stone to have more of a gray tone”. We helped to answer all of the questions, explaining our tumbling process and how it affects the look of the finished stone.
Finalizing the Stone Selection
After more discussions, computer renderings, and input from the client, a custom blend was developed. The architect chose to mix several natural stone veneers that would complement each other while also creating visual contrast. The colors would be a range of light to dark gray tones with accents of gold to create a uniform but interesting appearance. The individual stone pieces would come in a full range of heights from 2″-12″ and the entire blend would be brought together with a tumbled finish. The ultimate goal was to create a look reminiscent of an old farmhouse in stark contrast to the modern urban environment of the retail store.
Bringing It All Together
After the custom blend was finalized, a sample pallet was shipped to create an onsite mock-up for final approval by the client. The initial idea for the custom blend was now becoming a reality. Thousands of feet of stone on multiple trucks were delivered to the job site to be artfully installed by a team of experienced masonry contractors. The project came together rather quickly given the scope and within two months the store was open for business. The custom blend of natural thin stone veneer gave this urban retail store the atmosphere and classic farmhouse feel that uniquely represented the client’s brand.