For interior designers, we are given the canvas of a home on which to paint our designs. Our mediums are all the materials available to us - wood, stone, paint, wall coverings, fabrics, etc. Like a true painting, the work of art is complete when everything is in balance with everything else (or at least the relationships between the elements is resolved). One of our favorite materials to work with is stone. This design element comes in many different forms - slabs, veneers, whole stones, chipped face, split, polished, mosaic, faux (usually a nice representation of stone made from concrete) and so on. Whatever the design style, there is most likely a version of stone that would be appropriate. The real benefit of stone is in it's inherent beauty. Because it's a natural product, we get to simply work with what nature has provided us and implement it in a way to get our design message across. The interior designers at JBi are tackling a couple of stone-related projects currently. Both involved fireplaces, but have very different styles - one will be more Craftsman in style and focus on the pattern and movement in slab granite. The other will be a cleaner contemporary design utilizing a stone veneer or split face stone. These two very different challenges forced us to start looking for inspiration from which to draw our final look. We looked for pictures of different implementations of stone in various different styles. Here are some interesting ways to use stone beyond the expected.

Stone as wall treatment. Probably the most common use of stone inside is as a wall treatment of some sort. Whether as a fireplace surround or accent wall, the stone provides an interesting texture and color as contrast to the other design elements in the same space. Notice the difference in aesthetics in these two rooms, even though they both utilize stone. The first is much more contemporary with a strong linearity of the stone. I love the use of stone in the second - a rustic (although transitional) stone in a city apartment is a nice contrast.

linear stone in contemporary bathroom, interior design, portland, oregon

interior designers in Portland talk about use of stone in interiors


Stone as architectural accent. Different than on just a wall, when stone is used to highlight certain architectural feature, it adds a certain weight and age to a space. The stone columns in the first picture help delineate each of the spaces in the room without adding walls. In the second picture, the designers at JASON BALL interiors used stone as an accent to help create a particular moment in this living space. The candle wall is paired with the elegant chaise to provide our client with place to call her own.

Stone columns for architectural feature

Stone candle wall by elegant chaise by JASON BALL interiors


Use stone to create an environment. Sometimes, just sometimes, it makes sense to go all out and use a material as the primary design element. When stone is used in this way, it again brings a particular aesthetic that no other material would be able to. In this amazing entry and staircase, stone walls surround visitors with a level of grandeur that wouldn't have been present with just painted walls. The open rustic beams and wrought iron railings complete the look of a French chateau. I can only imagine walking in to this home and being transported to some far away land and time.

Stone entry and staircase, interior designers, portland


How have you used stone in your home? If not, what is the most likely way in which you would want to use stone? Any wild or crazy ideas I haven't thought of?


About JASON BALL interiors. We are a team of interior designers based in Portland, Oregon serving residential clients throughout Oregon and Washington and beyond. To see examples of our design work, visit the Portfolio page. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at We look forward to being your interior design team.