Viva Italia

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; CMG

Kreoo-Fenice-Graffiti_webNo doubt you have heard that Italians are very colorful people.  Having traveled Italy, I can definitely vouch for that.  Not only their architecture, but their fashion and interiors all embrace color.  And the word ‘colorful’ can be interpreted through personality as well.   I’ve never been to Chiampo Italy, but I would have to say these people are truly colorful, friendly, and willing to please the American market.  At least those that I met personally at Surfaces/Stone Expo all fit that description.

Their tradeshow exhibit was a testament to remarkable craftsmanship using granite, marble, travertine and onyx as blank canvases for their work.  The parent company is  Ferrarigraniti, and they certainly know how to work magic with stone. One of several lines represented by Ferrarigraniti was Kreoo by Decormarmi. These “artists” use precision water-jet machinery to cut organic, curvilinear designs into pure marble, producing stunning visuals with deep tactile dimension to each stone surface.  From a designer’s standpoint, my imagination ran wild as to the possible applications of these unique stone creations: custom fireplace surrounds and mantels; decorative wall cladding for commercial projects; hospitality lobbies; residential backsplashes and elegant tub surrounds—just to name a few.

Kreoo-Pave-Seating-System_webAt the same booth (and if you were at Surfaces, this will jog your memory for sure) another partner company to Ferrarigraniti displayed amazing carved seating, formed from natural woods and hand-sanded to a stunning, satiny finish.  They were shaped like healthy, oversized mushrooms sprouting from a lush forest floor.  Cute is a word I seldom use, but it certainly describes these clever, adult-sized wooden stools very well.  If the Italians were looking for a way to steal attention, they certainly found it.  They stacked the mushroom stools up front, using that to draw crowds into their space to then discover treasures in carved stone.  What a combination!  What ingenuity!   I would suggest you investigate more—it’s worth it.  For more information, or perhaps the Kreoo catalog, contact  Her English may not be expansive, but her willingness to please certainly is.

For more information on flooring visit the World Floor Covering Association’s Consumer Carpet & Flooring Guide.

Walker Zanger – Product to Watch

kitchen_4Walker Zanger is known for its innovative style and design. While browsing their website, in their inspiration gallery I saw something that caught my eye. In the picture to the left, of course the backsplash catches your eye, but if you look closely the island is where the unique feature is.

Notice how the perimeter of the island is polished and the field of the island is honed! It’s hard to tell whether the perimeter countertops are honed or polished, but either one would compliment the island.

The products shown are:

Weave Kitchen

Backsplash: Weave Teak Offset Blend

Counter: Copper Canyon Granite Slab (Honed and Polished)

Walker Zanger has a wonderful website with an interactive product catalog. You can turn the pages on the website of the catalog just as if you were turning the pages in the printed catalog. Very chic. Very green.

To care for your granite countertop, here are a few hints and tips from the WFCA site:

  1. Your retailer or manufacturer can suggest specialty products designed for use on your stone floors. These are highly recommended.
  2. Always blot spills immediately. A neutral pH detergent or pure soap, such as Liquid Ivory, and warm water, can be used for spills or periodic complete cleaning.
  3. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and dry the surface with a soft, clean cloth. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Change your rinse water frequently.
  4. Do not use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar or other acids on marble, limestone or travertine.
  5. You should avoid using products that contain abrasive cleaners, cleansers (dry or soft) or any ammonia-based cleaners on any stone. These products will dull its luster.
  6. Also, do not use retail grout cleaners, scouring powders or bathroom tub and tile cleaners on your stone.
  7. For heavens sake please don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.

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