84°F
weather icon Clear

Make your home rock

Dominated by stucco exteriors and textured interior walls, the valley’s long-held Mediterranean-inspired architecture often begs for a splash of something different. So for years, interior designers have welcomed bold-colored accent walls alongside their neutral sand and gray hues, and architects have implemented pop-outs to break up the monotony of long stucco runs on the outside of homes.

Using stone is a time-tested aesthetic popularized by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright that is still used today by valley home designers and architects. Wright’s Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania is a historic monument and one prominent example of the architect’s affinity for stacking stone along the interior and exterior walls, merging the indoors and outdoors.

“With stone, you get that mid (century) mod feel, and Frank Lloyd Wright was certainly someone who embraced that,” said Julie Porter, a Las Vegas interior designer and owner of Julie Porter Associates. “Stone walls add to that contemporary, cool feel and let you bring the outdoors into the home.”

“I have always loved using stone inside homes. Stone creates a beautiful contrast when placed next to soft fabrics in furniture,” said Heather Hess, another local interior designer.

Here’s a look at some of the ways the tried-and-true uses for stone in home design has changed and also stayed the same through the years.

Pop-out remedy

It’s a minimal, subtle touch, but one of the most common ways homeowners break up long runs of stucco on exteriors is to request pop-outs of a different color around windows or on corners of homes. Today, more and more opt for stone in these areas instead.

“For a long time, people really liked that pop-out color, but with stone, it’s more permanent. And think about it, you don’t ever have to paint again,” said Anthony Temblador, owner of Trident Tile and Stone in Las Vegas.

Some homeowners are opting for bolder statements on their exteriors, adding stacked stone on the entire bottom half of a wall. Some will even cover an entire wall on the front of their home. Wrapping columns and archways is still popular on exteriors as well, both Temblador and Porter said.

Floor-to-ceiling trend

Stone interior accent walls have also grown in popularity, both Porter and Temblador said. But where in the past covering a section of a wall was common, now homeowners ask for entire walls to be covered.

“Now, it’s more of that long wall. It could be 15 feet long or more. There may be a TV on it or not. Usually, it’s a wall they see all the time. … They want the whole wall, and they want it floor to ceiling,” Temblador said.

Ledger stone products, available in a lighter veneer or in actual stone, are popular for large accent walls. Many are manufactured in 6-by-18-inch or 24-inch sizes and come in palettes. Fireplace requests, another popular area in the home for stone, now also command more surface area to be covered.

“In the old days, you covered fireplaces 12 to 18 inches around and that was it,” Porter recalled. “Now you’re doing the entire wall, or maybe it’s a foot on each side of the fireplace, but you’re going floor to ceiling.”

Beyond accent walls, fireplaces

Kitchen and bathroom counters have long been among the most popular areas of the home for stone, and they comprise the bulk of the stone requests for both Porter and Temblador. Granite, slate and quartz are the most requested, Porter says, but she says quartz, even though it’s man-made, is becoming more and more the runaway favorite.

“It’s man-made, but it’s indestructible and maintenance free, and that’s what people love about it,” she added.

In bathrooms, Porter has also had requests for entire stone accent walls, and large stacked stone or ledger stone sections are also popular on walls behind bathroom sinks.

One of her favorite uses for stone comes with water features. In more contemporary custom homes, homeowners are getting away from traditional fountains, and instead looking to create water features that run down the length of a wall. These features are perfect for stone, Porter says, and are a great opportunity to introduce a touch of the outdoors into an interior.

“In our desert environment, it also keeps the humidity in the homes, and with the way it recirculates, it’s more of a quiet flow instead of the bubbling sound of a fountain,” the designer explained.

Before you buy

If you do think stone would be the perfect touch for your home, here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Ask about sealing the stone. Unless the stone is exposed to harsh elements like water or sun, for interiors, you can expect the seal put on during installation to last a lifetime, Temblador said. But for exteriors, you might need to reseal periodically.

Interior heights should be a contractor vetting point. When vetting contractors, if you want stone on, say, an accent wall or fireplace, ask about the contractor’s process. Anything above 6 feet will need to be secured properly with metal lathe and cement board, otherwise, it could fall down, Temblador said.

“There are those contractors who learned to stack stone but don’t know these details,” he noted. “If you’re just putting stone around the fireplace, that’s fine, but if it’s anything that’s floor to ceiling, you have to make sure they know what they’re doing.”

Time and cost considerations. Stone work will take longer than a regular exterior or interior textured or stucco wall, Porter said. If you’re incorporating it into a new build, expect that wall to be about four to five times the cost of a standard interior or exterior wall, she added. The work requires a craftsman, and if there’s a lot of stone on the job, chances are you’ll need a structural engineer involved too.

“The labor will cost more because you have to get a contractor that knows what he’s doing and has the equipment,” Porter said. “There’s a lot more involved, and that’s what drives up the cost.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
SecretBurger at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Carlos Cruz, executive chef of Jose Andres’ China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes the SecretBurger off-menu, one-night-only ‘All Quacked Up’ with a kimchi pancake, Peking duck, house-made hoisin sauce, a fried duck egg, pickled micro-vegetables, caviar and gold flakes and serves it with a Stillwater Artisanal Ale. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Famous Blue Angel statue commemorated in downtown Las Vegas mural
The 16-foot tall Blue Angel statue that stood above the Blue Angel Motel for six decades is featured in a mural spanning three walls at a downtown Las Vegas building. James Stanford designed the “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" mural based on his photography, and Cliff Morris painted the mural at 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near the Neon Museum. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Making Castle Frites at the new Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas
Tom McGrath, district manager/executive chef at Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, tops his beef-tallow fries like a loaded baked potato - with white and yellow cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chives. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hello Kitty Cafe on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
The Hello Kitty Cafe opens Friday, July 12th, 2019, between New York, New York and Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Amano Las Vegas' Fat Baby Sandwich
Chef Jason Weber of Amano Las Vegas has created a sandwich stuffed with pasta, and it's a hit. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A class at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School in Las Vegas.
Melissa Coppel, who teaches classes in various countries around the world, attracts students from far and wide to her eponymous school in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Havana Lobster at Boteco in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Fortunato, co-owner of Boteco in Las Vegas, learned to make Havana Lobster from the chef at El Figaro, a favorite of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Chef Gustav Mauler Is retiring
Las Vegas chef Gustav Mauler announces his retirement on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
A.D. Hopkins on his debut novel
Veteran journalist introduces readers to “The Boys Who Woke Up Early.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Mountains restoration complete
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s iconic Seven Magic Mountains receives a complete painting restoration in June 2019.
Making off-the-menu bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow in Las Vegas
Senior chef tournant Cesar Laran has created secret bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To make them, he rolls bean curd sheets around a filling of carrots, celery and shiitake mushrooms, then smokes them with oolong tea and sugar. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Bread Pudding French Toast at Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas
James Trees, chef/owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, slices house-made blueberry bread pudding, coats it in egg yolks and mascarpone, fries it and tops it with spiced walnuts, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and creme fraiche. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Celine Dion closes 1,141-show residency on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Hear from Celine Dion about her 16 years on the Las Vegas Strip and what the future has in store for her. (Caesars Entertainment)
Lobster grilled cheese at Big Sur Oyster Bar
The hugely popular lobster grilled cheese at Big Sur Oyster Bar at the South Point in Las Vegas is made with white cheddar and served on sourdough. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
You can dine out with your dog in Las Vegas
Lazy Dog, among Las Vegas restaurants that allow dogs, is probably the most accommodating, with free bowls of water and a doggy menu. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sparrow + Wolf at Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas
Marc Vetri will launch a new collaborative chef series June 18, with a little help from Sparrow + Wolf’s Brian Howard. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 best things to do at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
10 best things to do at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Disneyland - VIDEO
What it's like to ride the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ada’s opens at Tivoli Village in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Ada’s, from James Trees, owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas’ Arts District, brings Tivoli Village a similar menu of seasonal, artisanal pastas, pizzas — and ice cream. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Nutella French Toast at Cafe Americano in Las Vegas
Harold Norris, executive chef at Cafe Americano at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, coats brioche in cinnamon and chocolate and layers it with Nutella and bananas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Heavier traffic expected from EDC festival attendees
Electric Daisy Carnival attendees began to vacate the Las Vegas Motor Speedway starting before 5 a.m., the majority heading south on Interstate 15.
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC
What it's like to skip the lines and fly by helicopter to EDC. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DJ Steve Aoki visits Las Vegas comic book store
DJ Steve Aoki visits Torpedo Comics in Las Vegas Friday, May 17, 2019, for a signing for his new comic book series "Neon Future." (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas Smith & Wollensky opens at The Venetian
After 18 years, the Smith & Wollensky location on Las Vegas’ south Strip closed in 2017, to be re-born two years later with a rib-cutting — instead of a ribbon-cutting — in The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Colin Cantwell, Creator Of Iconic Star Wars Ships Visits Vegas
Colin Cantwell, who created and designed such "Star Wars" ships as the X-Wing fighter, and Death Star, met fans at Rogue Toys in Las Vegas today. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas makes an EDC Wonder Wheel
In honor of the Electric Daisy Carnival, Beauty & Essex at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas makes its Wonder Wheel party-worthy. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giada talks Vegas Uncork’d
Giada De Laurentiis talks during Aperitivo Hour, a Vegas Uncork'd event, at her Caesars Palace restaurant, Pronto, May 10, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Scenes from Vegas Uncork’d 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip
The 13th edition of Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit brought four days of food, wine, celebrity chefs and parties to town, May 9-12. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three ingredients Gordon Ramsay can’t live without
Bon Appetit's Andy Baraghani interviews the "Hell's Kitchen" chef during a Vegas Uncork'd event at Caesars Palace, May 11, 2019. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Stay cool indoors when it’s hot outdoors

The best way to ensure that your central air-conditioning system is in good working order is to arrange for a tuneup with a professional HVAC technician. You can prevent little issues from escalating into major problems.

Glamping brings luxury into camping

Glamping is camping in comfort, with accommodations as good or better than home. Glampers draw closer to nature while staying connected to technology, eating fine cuisine and sleeping in soft beds.

Difficult part of adding phone jack is running cable

There is an easy way and a hard way to do add a telephone jack. The easy way is to buy a wireless telephone jack and plug it into an electrical outlet. The hard way is to buy the hardware, cut a hole in the wall and run the line.

Rabbits can kill tree by eating trunk

If rabbits ate the trunk of a tree in a complete circle around the trunk, it’s a goner. Let it sucker from the bottom and start a new tree from the suckers.

Wet spring, hot summer a perfect combination for pests

As the weather heats up, homeowners are seeing an escalation of ants and cockroaches in search of water, which, in turn, brings out predator pests like spiders and scorpions to feed on them.

Put your creative stamp on inherited items

Inheriting treasures from a loved one can be a win/win for all concerned. Changing the color or upholstery does not diminish your feelings for your loved ones or their possessions. You are simply putting your stamp on them.

Lie like a rug

An area rug can be an art piece that adds dazzle to a drab room or a blank canvas that highlights unique pieces in the room. There are a wide variety of materials, designs, heights and colors to choose from, and each requires