The Art of Contrast
Colonial Marble & Granite’s team of design experts collaborates with homeowners to create distinctive home renovations known for beauty and balance.
by Bill Donahue

Some people have a gift for color, pattern, texture, and contrast—the fundamentals of design. Whether through years of education and experience, innate talent, or likely all of the above, these magic makers know exactly how to pair together disparate design elements in complementary fashion, with each component working in perfect harmony with the other.  



Impeccable design is the beating heart of Colonial Marble & Granite’s business. Known as a premier provider of natural stone and just about every other aspect of a home renovation, King of Prussia-based Colonial Marble & Granite has assembled a team of talented designers who are educated and trained in all aspects of stone and how to incorporate stone in design.  
Considering its vast inventory, the stone options are nearly endless at Colonial Marble & Granite. Members of the company’s design team enjoy walking clients through each phase of the project; they begin by asking the right questions to ascertain the client’s vision, if one exists, then take that feedback to create, develop, and hone the design concept. The company then uses specialized software to generate high-quality 3D renderings that can “bring the space to life” so homeowners can see with confidence how the different materials, colors, and textures work together, long before the renovation begins. Once the design has been finalized, the design team works with the company’s fabrication and installation teams to make sure the project is completed to the client’s satisfaction.
Many of the company’s residential projects involve different colors, sizes, patterns, and textures of stone, all working seamlessly together. When approaching such a home renovation, a designer must first consider the defining characteristics of the stone itself—namely, its size, shape, color intensity, pattern, veining, and texture. One must also take into account the existing colors and textures in the environment, such as the wall paint and flooring, so the stone works well within the space.
Colonial Marble & Granite’s design team has expertise in various aspects of design, from residential, commercial, and industrial, to fashion, graphics, and textiles. For example, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Design Sandra Phillips honed her skills in high-end residential and commercial design while working in Manhattan.
“Design is about preference, but it’s also about balance,” Phillips says. “Mixing the different patterns in stone creates visual interest and creates a dynamic feel within the interior. Some people prefer a monochrome look, and that allows for one element in the interior to pop. You can take a Carrara or Calcutta marble, which is white or at least light in color, and pair that with granite that has color. How do you do that? How do you get these two very different stones to work together? It’s an art, contrasting them in ways that please the eye.
“If we use a stone with a striking, stunning pattern that has a lot of detail, we’ll want to pair it with something a little more simple so the two support each other in the space,” she continues. “Even if you’re working with the same color palette, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get different colors; you can have many different white Carraras—some may be more yellow, some may have more veining—and innately you’re going to have some contrast that provides depth and uniqueness. It’s what makes each slab so unique.”
Texture provides another opportunity to “play.” In some situations, polished stone may be the best option, whereas another may be more conducive to leathering or a matte finish.
“Different textures are another way of adding contrast,” Phillips adds. “You can have different textures on top of the different patterns in the stone. If you have two dominant stones in the space, it can get overwhelming. But if you have one main star, with everything in balance around it, all the colors, patterns, and textures work together.”
One recent project at a home in Media involved renovations of a master bathroom and a guest bathroom. In the guest bathroom, Colonial Marble & Granite opted for Dekton on the shower walls, with gradients of gray and cream and pronounced veins of rusty terracotta or burnt orange. For the vanity, the company chose a leathered natural stone with a tighter organic pattern containing shades of the veining found in the shower walls.
“It came out stunning,” Phillips says. “We had two different stones, with one color uniting them. The Dekton is durable, and we were able to book-match it. Using the natural stone on the vanity was a good choice because you can really play around with the texture. Personally, I don’t think enough people take the time to play with texture; even subtle changes can make a big difference.”
The Colonial Marble & Granite design team is ready, willing, and able to guide homeowners through each step. Phillips welcomes homeowners to start the process by visiting the company’s flagship location in King of Prussia, which has, in her words, “the largest stone yard in the Northeast.” Thanks in large part to the efforts of President Nikos Papadopoulos, Colonial Marble & Granite has amassed an exhaustive selection of natural stone and American-made quartz slabs, each distinct in character.  
“We have every kind of stone you can imagine,” Phillips says. “When you walk our yard, it’s like walking no other yard, because we pride ourselves on our wide selection of what Nikos calls ‘God’s art.’ Marble, granite, onyx, quartz, porcelain, Dekton—you name it, we’ve got it. And stone is just the start of it; we also have cabinetry, tile, hardware, flooring, backsplashes, and more. People are wowed by how much we have to offer. You’d think it would be overwhelming, but we’re very good at narrowing down what people are looking for and bringing them through the journey.”
Of course, every person’s journey is unique. No matter what a homeowner hopes to accomplish with a renovation that has stone at its center, Phillips says there’s no one more capable of “making it happen” than Colonial Marble & Granite.
“We have something for everybody,” she adds, “regardless of the project’s size, complexity, or budget.”
Colonial Marble & Granite
475 S. Henderson Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 994-2222
768 Corporate Circle
New Cumberland, PA 17070
 (717) 774-2110
2000 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 732-7800
240 S. DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 947-3000

Photo by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, October 2023.