The trend continues in the use of natural stones in modern interiors and this has seen the development of a range of options that are at once economical and versatile, freeing up the design of both high traffic and wet areas to incorporate larger expanses of stone for a fraction of the cost.
The best bit? They’re now available in a form that is sustainably produced, mould resistant and can be used anywhere you need a high performing, wipe down surface – without all the fuss. They require little to no maintenance, are easy to install and come in a range of colours and finishes.
Tiling a large surface area with a small-scale tile can be used to create a contemporary look, such as on a floor-to-ceiling bathroom wall, especially where the grout colour matches the tile colour. Interiors designed with large format finishes, however, create a sense of space only a continuous smooth surface can achieve. This look is now accessible with the convenience of Italian made, large scale porcelain sheets which can be cut to size from vast pieces and either seamlessly matched together or placed randomly to affect the look of real stone.
Wet area winners
For kitchen and living areas designed with an open plan layout, choose finishes that either match or complement one another. Benchtops in the kitchen might be installed to wrap up the wall behind with the same finish, or with a ‘waterfall’ effect, where the benchtop cascades over the kitchen island and down to meet the flooring. In each case, this creates a streamlined look that is at once contemporary and practical.
A single large panel of stone creates a modern bathroom calls for large format finishes – be it sweeping stone flooring, wall-to-floor tiling or a statement wall of stone or marble – items perhaps only appearing on the wish list until now.
Outdoor kitchens can now mirror the finish of the main kitchen inside; a butler’s pantry and laundry can feature more practical and hardwearing splashbacks with benchtops made more useful where these finishes may have been compromised.
Cladding a fireplace with stone might once have been out of the question with the weight and engineering involved but new products on the market make this a much more feasible proposition. QuantumSix+ porcelain sheets are not only enormous and can be cut to any size, they’re flameproof, heat resistant and UV stable. At only 6mm thick, they’re a long way from the weight of the real thing. Alternatively, the 12mm version is perfect for benchtops and splashbacks.
Stretch your decorating dollar
With these sheets available in such large scale, there is less waste and fewer risks associated with an expensive natural stone. It also leaves room in the budget for supplementary wet areas where a big investment on finishes may not have been possible in the past.
With the seamless look of integrated spaces shaping up to be a trend that’s here to stay, the sky is now the limit… almost literally.