New Stone Gallery Takes Museum-Style Approach
authors Janice Costa | August 19, 2013
Dallas, TX— Natural stone has long been a favorite choice for kitchen and bath surfaces, from countertops and shower surrounds to walls and floors. Kitchen and bath designers continue to see high demand for high-end natural stone, but their clients can struggle with envisioning how a small sample will translate to how the product will look on a large surface in their home.
The recently opened Aria Stone Gallery, located in the Dallas Design District, is striving to change all that. The 10,000 sq.-ft. gallery offers an upscale, museum-style concept that showcases the product in a way that helps bridge the gap from imagination to reality, with individual slabs of stone hung on the walls like paintings in a museum. Open to both consumers and the trade, the elegantly appointed showroom has the upscale feel of an art gallery, making this stone boutique a unique option for those who want to experience the look and feel of high-end natural stone like granite, marble, quartzite and onyx.
According to showroom manager Amanda Reilly, ASID, RID, the showroom features a vast array of product, with more than 65 colors on display, including stones from select quarries in places such as Brazil, Italy, Turkey and India. The layout is an open-plan display area with bookmatched stones, a backlit onyx room and inspirational bathroom, kitchen and bedroom vignettes.
Having worked for eight years in the Dallas Design District as a residential kitchen and bath designer, with a background in interior design, Reilly is well versed in the needs of both consumers and the trade, and she notes that the showroom gallery is already becoming a destination spot for the Dallas design community.
The staff also includes product manager Zuzana Long, who brings another unique point of view to the gallery, having been raised in Italy, where she spent time at quarries there, before coming to the U.S. where she’s worked for stone fabricators, as well as with Dallas area designers and architects.
Owner Vinny Tavares came up with the concept for Aria Stone Gallery following a visit to the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. He explains that the opportunity to explore the museum’s installation of Slow Art and to understand its philosophy and fundamentals led to the idea of displaying natural stone as pieces of art, created slowly by nature over centuries.
Speaking about the concept for the gallery, Tavares said: We wanted to create a museum-like atmosphere that would force people to concentrate on a single piece rather than zoom by, fighting the desire to graze and instead diving deep, discovering the intricacies of a particular slab and hopefully resulting in an emotional connection to one of our stones.”
The showroom’s grand opening event was held in July, with more than 300 people in attendance, primarily designers and architects from the community. And the Aria team has made it clear that they will continue to focus on the design community with future events. In fact, this month, the gallery will host its first major event for the trade, a free class that will look at the concept of stone as art, and explore creative and unusual applications with stone, including vertical applications and bookmatching, with examples including shower walls, ceilings, fireplaces and more. Attendees will receive CEU credits, and additional CEU events are being planned for the coming months.
The gallery is located at 1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 310, Dallas, TX and is open Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm, and Saturday 11am-4pm.