The addition of stone can dramatically change the look of your home, inside and out. It’s a versatile solution that can match many different styles, and it can be used in more ways than you might realize. A stone finish on walls adds both visual interest and tactile appeal, and stone is an effective design element for fireplaces and outdoor columns.
Once you decide that the look of stone is right for you, the process has just begun. Next, you’ll select the style of stone that suits your design and the products that fit your vision. Start by determining whether you want real stone or faux stone panels. Let’s look at some information that will help you make that choice.
Real Stone vs. Stone Veneer Panels
Any material you use in a home renovation should add to the overall appeal of your home. To get the natural beauty of stone, you might think you have to use the real thing. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case. In fact, faux stone panels have many advantages over real stone, beginning with cost.
Using real stone requires hiring a construction professional, which can be expensive. You will have to find a company that understands different types of stones and knows which ones work best in your climate. These experts can also tell you which stones are hard enough to withstand stains and moisture and advise you on which ones suit your project.
An additional expense of real stone comes from the excavation process that’s necessary to extract stone from the earth. After excavation, it must be delivered to a manufacturer and turned into a product that can be used for your project.
As faux stone panels have become more realistic in their appearance, they have become increasingly popular as an affordable alternative to real stone. Faux stone panels from Barron Designs come in a wide range of colors and styles, and because they are all equally durable, you aren’t limited by the types of stone that are suited to your area’s weather.
Because they are made from lightweight polyurethane, faux stone panels can be cut and installed easily, even by budding do-it-yourselfers — saving you the expense of hiring a stone professional.
But don’t let their lightweight nature lead you to believe that faux panels aren’t sturdy. Our panels are extremely durable. They are even more resistant to harsh weather than real stone, which means they can endure heat, cold, moisture, direct sunlight and wind. They’ll also resist fading, peeling and cracking, so your home will continue looking good for years to come!
Which Stone Finish Is Best?
If you’ve decided that stone veneer panels are the better choice for you, you can start looking for the style that will best suit your needs. With so many options, colors and textures available, deciding which one is best for your design might feel overwhelming. To help you through the process, consider these five questions:
1. What is the overall style of my home?
Whether you’re doing an interior renovation or exterior additions, you want your home to have a consistent look from the outside in. For example, a rustic exterior and contemporary interior don’t mix, so keep the overall look of your home in mind — not just the area you’re updating.
If you are interested in a more formal look, you’ll want stone panels that are neatly stacked with a sense of order and conformity. Contemporary designs also generally use stones that are stacked and linear to create a sleek impression, but the colors tend to be lighter and brighter than those used for formal designs. For an industrial look, use larger, blockier stones or brick. If you want more of a cottage or Prairie-style look, you’ll find that fieldstone is a great fit.
2. What do other homes in my neighborhood look like?
While this question is less important for an interior project, you’ll definitely want to think about it if you’re adding stone to your home’s exterior. Although you don’t need your home to be a carbon copy of those around it, it’s still part of a visual landscape that works in concert with the other homes. To maintain visual harmony, take note of the colors and styles used on the exteriors around you, and think about whether your desired project will complement or clash with the neighborhood look. (This is particularly important if the homes in your area are situated closer together.)
3. What is the texture of the rest of my home?
This is a good question to ask when you’re thinking of updating your home’s exterior. If you have smooth vinyl siding, a patterned stone with a rough texture can provide excellent contrast. If your home has lots of wood and wooden shingles, the orderly look of stacked stone could complement it and maintain the horizontal lines of the wood. For a stucco exterior, look into gray and brown rocks, as both colors work well with the neutral tones. The different shades of gray and brown give you a lot of variety in your choices, and your home’s style can dictate which style of stone works best.
Bonus tip: Avoid using too much texture variation to keep your exterior from looking too busy. You don’t want your home to have so much of a mix-and-match look that it detracts from what you’re trying to accomplish.
4. Which other colors are being used?
Knowing which other colors you’re using in the room or on the rest of the home’s exterior will influence your color choices for stone. If the walls are dark, look for a lighter stone; the same goes for siding on the exterior. It’s possible to find a hue that carries the same warmth as the color of your paint but either darkens or lightens the room, depending on what you need it to do.
Stone accent walls tend to look best in rooms where the other walls are solid colors. Too many patterns (such as wallpaper) can create a sense of chaos and make it hard for the eyes to know where to focus.
5. How do I start?
Before you dive into a big project, order samples of the stone you’re interested in to make sure it creates the look you want for your space. If you are torn between different colors and textures, samples allow you to see for yourself how it will look.
And, if you still need some advice, our customer service team is just a phone call away at 800-651-4223.