Stone, Porcelain, or Something Else? The Latest Trends in Building Design

Stone and porcelain are back at the forefront of luxury commercial and residential design. Today, we dip into some of the design trends that are emerging from the Continent. Local heritage, porcelain pools, and exotic minerals are the order of the day. Prepare to be inspired.

Porcelain Pool Linings

This is a trend that looks set to arrive on our shores imminently. On the Continent, high-end pool installations began embracing natural stone linings in the late 1990s, but the cost limited this trend to the very highest echelons of the market.

The choice of stone was driven by the harmony between stone, light, and water. Deep green, charcoal, and moss granites make for a surprisingly tranquil pool, especially when lit with the natural brightness of Mediterranean sunlight. Quieter limestone and marble complement the pearlesque skies of cooler climates.

Typically sold with vinyl lining, the vogue was for bright aquamarine, and the now-ageing fleet of installations is nearing the time when the old linings require upgrading.

Porcelain tiles recreate the desirable stone effect at a fraction of the cost. It is therefore likely to become the go-to option for this market. This opens up dynamic opportunities for designers, not least in light of the current preference for vintage and heritage design.

pale granite indoor poor area

Pinterest pale granite pool:

black granite outdoor pool area on cliff side

Pinterest black granite pool:

Local Stone

Architectural trends often follow political pressure. In the current age, one of the demands is for the preservation of “cultural and natural heritage”, with the government calling for historic buildings to lead local development. Local stone – nature’s ubiquitous identity marker – is experiencing a rise in popularity.

An example is the stunning Spring Woods development in Wentworth, Virginia Water. Waverton House makes use of local limestone to blend Cotswold aesthetic with clean modernism. The result is a statement piece that draws upon heritage themes to create an aura of authenticity that complements the stately landscape.

On an equally striking but more budget-sympathetic scale, the same effect can be achieved with porcelain tiles that mimic the personality of local stone.

Exotic Themes

DeZeen magazine has identified ambitious stones and textures as the latest trends to flow from the Italian design studios. Obscure marbles and exotic stones are leading the way, offering a deep palette of potential tones.

The prismatic qualities of Italian stone require little intervention to reveal themselves, as Sicis have demonstrated with their gem glass experiments. For others, the requirement is for creating a calm, otherworldly atmosphere. For this, subtle and beautiful Lunar Marble is very much the geology of the season. As Transalp by Fire demonstrates, this versatile stone is as comfortable in the commercial space as the residential.

The search for interesting and unusual minerals has led to some bold boundary pushing. Amazonite – a stone steeped in the mystery of remote Brazilian history – has found a niche within the current vogue for dark, heritage themed installations.

meeting room with Vetrite Gem Glass wall and large windows

Vetrite Gem Glass by Sicis:

marble effect reception entry area

Transalp by Fire:

amazonite wall in bathroom with white basins and mirrors

Amazonite bathroom:

Unique Stone & Porcelain For Your Project

When it comes to Kinorigo stone and porcelain, no quarry is too ambitious, and no design beyond our scope. To see the range in person, or to discuss your ambitions, arrange to visit Kinorigo’s central London studio today.