New home construction, as well as remodeling, still focuses heavily on kitchen and bath design. The perfect design balance between beauty and function in kitchens and baths is always a challenge. To capture this delicate balance requires consumers to devote much time and attention to every detail. This has led to a growing number of home owners selecting natural stone for its beauty and durability.
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Britt Choate, formerly a builder, moved into the granite business with partner Jodie Aaron as they saw this trend begin to grow in the Shreveport-Bossier area. In 1999, while working on a project for the Parade of Homes, Britt purchased a granite countertop through Jodie’s business, Classic Interiors. After considering the granite market together, the two decided to join forces to open their own granite countertop business within the Classic Interiors firm. Initially, obtaining the product they wanted required driving seven hours to Loxley, Ala., to a fabricator who was gracious enough to train them for the business. Through much trial and error, and many trips, they persevered to become the largest fabrication facility and showroom in the entire area.
On September 1, 2004, Classic Stone Interiors opened the doors of their new and expanded showroom and fabrication facility. Britt and Jodie have seen their business grow from just four employees in October 2003 to 17 employees in October 2004 with a computer generated profiling machine, the first if its kind in the area, in operation.
“The range of color and pattern in our granite selections are really exciting,” says Jodie, who works with clients to achieve their goals of personalized kitchen design. “We offer so many stunning stones with exotic movement and color that it is almost impossible to make a decision. But when we factor in all of the components of wall color, cabinet color, flooring, personal style, and budget, we find just the right stone to bring it together in its best possible combination.”
Granite is a naturally occurring stone quarried all over the world from places such as Africa, China, Italy, Brazil, and even the United States. The color of the granite depends on its origins. Typically, granite coming from deeper inside the mountain has a darker color. Some granite has a great deal of “movement,” many stones have more consistent color patterns. Patterns of “movement” within the stone are created by the formation of mineral deposits.
The staff at Classic Stone will begin with a potential client by determining if they prefer a stone with consistency in pattern or one with movement. This allows the salesperson as well as the consumer to narrow down the choices to being their quest. As progression is made in the selection process, other items pertaining to the look of the kitchen such as backsplash design are addressed. “We strive to offer the larges array of specialty pieces and accents for backsplash areas,” said Jodie. She stresses that the backsplash is usually the focal point, setting the stage for the granite countertop.
Having a set of plans is very important when shopping for countertops. Britt emphasized that without house plans or drawings of the layout it is very difficult to determine the right look and impossible to quote a price. “We love to be able to facilitate the customer with a price as well as a design when they leave, so that they can have everything needed to make their decision,” he says.
“It may seem overwhelming at first, but our inventory of over 160 slabs means that a customer can actually choose the particular slab they want for their home, have it tagged with their name, and take ownership of it. This makes a big difference in someone making such an important decision.”
Options also about when it comes to the edge detail you use to finish your countertops. There are a number of choices for the actual contour of the outside edge of your countertop, which range from a flat polished edge to a chiseled edge. The real creativity, however, can be found in the possibilities for custom shaping of the countertop overhang. This is where the automatic profiling machine makes all the difference. “If you can imagine it, we can create it,” said Britt.
Classic Stone Interiors boasts that it is a one-stop shop. You can select your materials, have them fabricated and then installed within 15 days. “People need to be aware that they have choices here and don’t have to drive to Dallas anymore to choose the material they want,” said Britt. With Jodie’s expertise in the interior design field, you can comfortably and confidently go through all the options for each project – bathrooms, fireplace surrounds, tub surrounds, wet bar, islands, etc. From floors to countertops and in between, you can trust the staff of Classic Stone to help you make the right choices for every room in your home.
The technical information about granite, its performance qualities, and those of its man-made counterpart, engineered stone, is shared with customers that come into Classic Stone. Being informed about granite makes the consumer confident that they have made the right decision. Granite is inherently resistant to heat – up to 6000 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not stain after being sealed, and cannot be scratched except by another piece of granite or a diamond.
Upgrading to granite is the “natural” thing to do. With everything considered granite is worth the cost and the experience will be enjoyable and regarding when you visit Classic Stone Interiors grand new showroom.