Why did you get started in marble and stone and how did Franca Design come about?
Our love for marble and stone started within our family a long time ago, with our ancestors being stonemasons, safe to say it is in our blood. Franca Design has been a vision we have dreamt of for many years however we didn’t want to rush the creation. We wanted the brand to form organically and felt we needed the first hand experience within the industry first prior to launching Franca.
We were lucky enough to come to The Slab Room, in your warehouse, and drool over your range of marble and stone. What is your approach to sourcing? Is there a particular ‘style’ you are drawn to at the moment?
When selecting our material there is definitely a process. We have our signature stones like our Vagli or Bosco (Franca’s Favourites ), however we love sourcing marble and stone that is not necessarily on trend. We love seeing what is going on in the design space in Europe especially in Denmark and Switzerland – they really push the boundary and always have stone cleverly featured in their projects.
As stone/marble is a limited natural resource, we are aware of the care, precision and responsibility needed to work in the stone industry. Can you give us an insight into the steps of care you take when selecting, processing, shipping and installing the stone?
We have established long term relationships with our international suppliers over the years and always have an understanding if there is a certain stone that is currently not being quarried due to environmental issues or weather. Generally speaking the material we select and import we know is a material we can turnover. We, a lot of the time, can also use certain off cuts of stone to turn it into some of our stone furniture pieces like the baby XO.
‘You should never be afraid of using a natural stone. Stone is not only an incredibly durable material, but you can always get it back to its original state’
Can you tell us more about the design arm of your business (Casa) & where you see this leading for the future? (i.e. furniture pieces & working with designers etc)
We love how much stone furniture within the home is starting to become the norm. Its not only a piece that will be a forever item in your home, but it can really transform a space. We love to collaborate with local designers on creating unique stone pieces that no one has seen marble be created from.
The most common place we see stone being used is in the kitchen. What have you found the best stone for use in a kitchen is & how do you recommend cleaning & maintaining it?
We really feel marbles, quartzites and granites are fantastic materials in the kitchen. We recommend post installation that the stone is professionally sealed and simply cleaning the stone down every few weeks with a stone care kit (for example from Lithofin).
Are there any common mistakes that clients/designers make?
That they don’t use enough stone in their projects 😉 (jokes)
Are there any common myths about stone that you would like to debunk?
You should never be afraid of using a natural stone. Stone is not only an incredibly durable material, but you can always get it back to its original state. We recommend every year or so having the surface honed down by a micro mill to get it back popping again.
Tell us about your favourite project to date & how they used stone in a unique or clever way.
One that is etched in our minds is Vincenzo de Cotiis Villa in Tuscany. It’s a masterpiece. He has used some unique stones that just amplify the spaces within the home. One of our favourite details is the stone he has used within his bathroom; an integrated stone sink and the same material on the floor – large format tiles – amazing! We loved this material so much (called Verde Cipollino ) that we had to source and import it! Check it out, Vincenzo de Cotiis Villa.
Do yourself a favour and visit Franca Designs website to drool, like us, over their gorgeous range.