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10 Monumental Stone Moments Inside and Out

by Caitlin Kelch


With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, I thought it would be interesting to expand the green/brown and flora/fauna themes and take a peek at what lies deep under the earth’s surface. When I moved from NYC back to my hometown in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, I realized that the stone all around me in the city was definitely a powerful elemental force, but one I often overlooked because of people, noise and the frantic pace of city life. Now, when I travel to NY, or even to Washington D.C., to a museum, I’m awestruck by the all of the natural stone in public places.

I often admire stone elements in interiors here in my role at Design*Sponge — and in homes I visit in my everyday life — but those moments of being surrounded by massive stone installations in metropolitan spaces have made me more acutely aware of just how powerful even a touch of natural stone can be in any environment.

I also love the metaphor of “digging beneath the surface” when it comes to considering stone moments. There are many voices and opinions about the use of stone and the processes behind it as it relates to the earth and environment. If you dig a bit deeper though, we’ve actually come a long way in terms of technological development and reuse practices that make this natural element a choice that can surpass the synthetic production industry in terms of responsibility to the planet and more healthy standards. Not everyone is onboard, but many are dedicated to LEED certified practices and responsible sourcing. The more we insist on best practices alongside those responsible industry leaders, the faster standards will be adopted by the outliers.

In a day and age where industries liberally slap monikers like “organic,” “all-natural” and “sustainable” on all types of products, we do have a duty to dig a little deeper and find out what that actually means.

One of my favorite pastimes is visiting my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and seeing recycled natural stone pieces lined up next to laminate countertops and flooring. Shoppers will linger in front of the natural stone pieces and then simply give the synthetic pieces a couple little knocks. And these aren’t just design-savvy folks. These are people on a budget simply responding to the sturdiness and strength of stone. And I love that.

Why? Two reasons. Number one: because it distinctly shows the primal elemental power of a natural material; and number two: because it means that there are choices. Choices, combined with the instinctual pull toward natural material, can mean that we’ll keep upping the bar for environmental processes and the impact on our planet.

Here are some of my favorite stone moments, inside and out. –Caitlin

Image Above – Photo credit: PICCO Engineering


Image above: National Cathedral 


Photo credit: PICCO Engineering


Photo credit: Artistic Tile


Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia – Photo credit: Sahar Coston


Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia – Photo credit: Sahar Coston


Photo credit:PICCO Engineering


Photo credit: Arizona Tile


Photo credit: Steve Maylone


Photo credit:PICCO Engineering

This post is brought to you in collaboration with MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute. Visit their website here to learn more about marble and other natural stone.

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