Used by ancient Roman sculptors and contemporary designers alike, Carrara marble is often touted for its quality, color and lavish feel. These characteristics made the material a top choice for one Miami Beach, Fla., family, who wanted to capture the ancient Roman essence when renovating their dated condominium in the luxurious Capobella building. In order to accomplish their vision of a contemporary haven, the family hired interior design boutique firm 2ID Interiors, who specializes in modern interiors, to turn their outdated home into an airy retreat that reflects the beauty of its Miami location.
However, having worked with Carrara marble in the past, 2ID Owner Rafaela Simoes was familiar with the limitations of the material and knew it would prove to be less than ideal for this dream home. While Carrara marble is a beautiful and popular material, many people are unaware of the laundry list of problems that can be associated with the product in certain applications.
Carrara marble requires special cleaning products, must be sealed and maintained with a quality sealer on a regular basis, and because of its porous nature, the material is prone to etching, staining and chipping. Homeowners can expect to see changes to the marble as soon as the first meal is cooked or the first spill happens.
“Our clients had expressed their love for a seamless contemporary design and requested that a marble look be merged into every aspect of the kitchen, as well as other areas throughout the home,” says Simoes. The designer’s challenge lied designing a space that met her client’s expectations without any drawbacks.
To achieve the desired aesthetic and low-maintenance quality, Simoes began planning, digging deep into the design process and drawing up plans of what would be a striking renovation of the 3,000-square-foot condo. The goal was to create a consistent design that flows effortlessly.
Simoes had recently heard about Neolith; a sintered compact surface product made from all natural materials, with a reputation for luxury design and incredible durability. Simoes was eager to present the material to her client and assure them that they can still have the look they were hoping for without all the headaches.
In addition to the beautiful design, Neolith slabs have a near-zero porosity, making them hygienic and resistant to bacteria growth, as well as impervious to cleaning solution chemicals.
Simoes introduced her clients to Neolith’s Estatuario design with a polished finish. Taking note that Neolith’s polished finish is perfectly linear, resembling the natural stone finish that is unlike other ceramic or porcelain polishing, Simoes was confident with her choice. Neolith’s Estatuario marble aesthetic seamlessly blends the high-end look of marble with the innovative design and features of sintered compact surfacing. Estatuario, from the Classtone collection, was the perfect solution that addressed the concerns of both the client and Simoes from a design and functionality perspective.
When redesigning the condominium at Capobella, Simoes incorporated a column that separates the living room from the dining room. She envisioned a floor to ceiling marble column—much like that in Roman architecture—and accomplished the look with Neolith’s Estatuario “end-matched” pieces. Unlike natural marble, where the designer is working with multiple slabs that are nearly impossible to match, Neolith’s “end-matched” effect produces an endless veining layout.
Similar to the column, “end-matched” slabs from Neolith created the exterior of the kitchen island for a unified floor to working surface look. The countertops and backsplash of the kitchen also embraced the “end-matched” look for an integrated and elegant design.
Pleased with the outcome of the kitchen, and understanding the limitations and maintenance of marble especially when it is exposed to water, the homeowners decided to fully design the master bath with Neolith. For the top of the vanity and the shower wall, Simoes opted to use a polished Pulpis design from the Classtone collection. The tobacco-brown tone of Pulpis exudes power and elegance and is a great contrast with the tub that is designed in the Artic white model in a silk finish, from the Colorfeel collection, to create a lasting luxurious and balanced space.