If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know this has been a whirlwind month at MFI HQ with several exciting launches, one of which is my collection of natural stones with Aria Stone Gallery! Earlier this year, our Design Director Melanie Hamel had the incredible opportunity to travel to Italy with the Aria team to hand-select the stones directly from the source. The result is a capsule collection of seven stunning marble slabs that can be used for endless applications. Read on for a little Q&A about the collection and shop the stones for your home today!
Aria Stone Gallery: What drew you to collaborate with Aria Stone Gallery?
Marie Flanigan: We have partnered with Aria Stone Gallery in the past and absolutely fell in love with their unique selection of natural stone, as well as the convenience of having all of their materials online with transparent pricing. This made working with our clients, like Whitney Port in Los Angeles, incredibly convenient!
ASG: We brought your Design Director Melanie Hamel along for the unique experience of hand-selecting natural stone directly from some of the most prestigious marble quarries. What was this like?
MF: For Melanie, traveling to Italy with Aria Stone Gallery was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. Visiting the mountains from which the ancient stones are removed and meeting the local artisans who skillfully work with the stones reinforced how extraordinary and personal slab selection can be.
ASG: Where did the inspiration for your collection come from?
MF: Grounded in earthy, yet timeless, tones and saturations, this collection is largely inspired by my design work. With dramatic veining, unexpectedly nuanced jewel tones, and pure creamy marbles, my collection for Aria Stone Gallery leans both traditional and contemporary depending on the application. The stone selections can easily be utilized for a wide range of accents and furnishings.
ASG: What was your favorite memory your team has from hand selecting the stones for your collection in Italy?
MF: Aria is able to source the finest materials in the world, so it was an incredible experience for our Design Director Melanie Hamel to travel to Italy and engage in the selection process for the collection firsthand. In Carrara, the entire city is built out of stone. The patina on everything is so stunning and it was amazing to see how it has stood the test of time.
ASG: What are some key points to consider when designing a space with natural stone?
MF: One should consider how to celebrate natural stone in new and out-of-the-box ways. Consider unique applications like on walls, floors, backsplashes, and furniture. Natural stone isn’t just for countertops!
ASG: Describe how you envision each stone applied in a space?
MF: Calacatta Gold Borghini Diamond – This marble is the jewel of the collection! The Borghini quarry is one of the most exclusive quarries in the world and Aria Stone Gallery arranged for Melanie’s personal visit. Visiting the Borghini quarry in Italy only deepened our appreciation for how rare and one-of-a-kind this stone truly is. This marble is the epitome of luxury and, because of its large size, it can be utilized in high-use areas like an elegant kitchen island or on bathroom walls.
Bianco Dolomite – The ideal marble for more contemporary applications, including fireplace surrounds or bar tops. The veins give the marble a movement and energy that lends itself to sleek, clean design.
Nuvola Bianco – This marble is full of drama and would make an excellent selection for a bar, theater, coffee table, or kitchen island.
Fume – A wonderful choice for an impactful shower or piece of furniture! This marble would also be beautiful if used for an outdoor kitchen or masculine bathroom.
Verde Aver – I see this stone as a stunning bar or in a handsome dressing room. The green in this marble adds an unexpected richness to any room.
Breccia Pernice – I love this stone used as a surprise in a powder bath paired with a dark wall or stain. The deep rust tones add such saturation and dynamic energy to a room. You could also use this marble to top a gorgeous antique coffee table or desk for a study clad in stained walls.
Thank you, Aria Stone Gallery, for being such an amazing partner!