MOST STONE ISN’T TRANSLUCENT. HOWEVER, SOME ONYX, MARBLE, QUARTZITE, AND OTHER STONE PRODUCTS ARE. THEY SHARE ALL THE SAME ORGANIC BEAUTY AND BENEFITS OF A STANDARD GRANITE SLAB. EXCEPT THEY HAVE THE MAGICAL ABILITY TO TRANSMIT LIGHT. WITH A CUSTOM IMAGILUX LED LIGHT PANEL UNDERNEATH THEY BACKLIGHT BEAUTIFULLY.
The very best custom homes commonly share one particular characteristic. The trouble is, it’s an intangible one. Not always immediately apparent, still it’s unmistakable, like a familiar perfume catching your attention in a crowded room and instantly transporting you to a different place and time. For a moment, you unconsciously catch your breath and transcend the present.
This “je ne sais quoi” factor—as a form of beauty—lies within the eyes of the beholder. It’s personal. You know it when you experience it—it just feels “right.” Architecture and design may evoke this response, as surely as a melody or a fragrance can.
This desirable aspect of architecture comes from our perception of the space and character of a built environment. There is no formula to produce the emotional effect. Its provenance could be within an architectural theme, the use of unique material combinations, or a harmonious integration within a landscape. Other times, it stems from a design taking advantage of a stunning vista or another single exceptional feature.
STONE MAKES A PERFECT EXAMPLE. IT’S IS A WONDERFUL MATERIAL FOR FIREPLACE SURROUNDS, BATHROOM AND KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS, KITCHEN ISLANDS, BARS, AND WINE CELLARS. IT’S BEAUTIFUL, DURABLE, AND EASY TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN. TIMES MAY CHANGE BUT STONE ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE—LEAST OF ALL OUT OF STYLE.
Whether it’s the result of a trickling down of decisions from architect to contractor to interior designer—or simply judicious placement of a striking design component—in the end, the goal is for the whole to truly become greater than the sum of the parts. Single rooms can command this attention within a space. Opportunities to design for this effect abound: expansive entries, mountain living room vistas, and welcoming kitchens can all anchor a design firmly within range of the transcendent.
ImagiLux, a Eugene, Oregon-based company, manufactures a unique product that may hold the key to elevating your interior design project to that unmistakable and memorable level. Custom LED panels allow light to be used in entirely new ways. Ultra-thin and available in any shape or size, these brilliant light “sheets” make it simple to showcase design elements in such a way that the whole does, in fact, become greater than the sum of the parts.
The only problem? Most stone isn’t translucent. But some onyx, marble, quartzite, and other stone products are. They share the same organic beauty and benefits of a standard granite slab. Except they have the magical ability to transmit light. And, with a custom LED light panel underneath, they backlight beautifully.
The difference is stunning. There’s nothing else like it. A beautiful stone kitchen island suddenly becomes a mesmerizing focal point as the sun slips below the horizon. Translucent stone pairs perfectly with LED light panels, a new tool that architects, designers, and contractors are just now beginning to discover.
A recent ImagiLux project illustrates this well. The homeowner had selected granite slabs for a kitchen remodel of a 7,000- square-foot mountaintop home. When the contractor arrived ready to install the large island, the homeowner was surprised to see the wrong granite. The contractor wasn’t convinced until he was shown the iPhone images of the granite slabs he’d chosen at the stone supplier’s yard. The island and countertops were sent back down the road. With the homeowner following. “When we arrived at the yard, they agreed that these were not the slabs we had paid for. The only problem? Our granite was gone.”
And there wasn’t anything else similar. But the stone supplier suggested a beautiful cream quartzite slab, veined with darker ranges of rust and brown and speckled with crystal inclusions. “Our cabinet maker had heard of backlighting onyx, and thought this quartzite would work perfectly; we were intrigued. We had never heard of the technique and never would have thought of it,” says the homeowner. “We almost went with a system of multiple small 12”x12” light tiles, but the wiring would have been a nightmare. The contractor recommended ImagiLux with custom-sized large panels in Eugene. He called us and said he’d found the right product and people to get the job done right. So we told him to go for it. But we didn’t really know what we were getting,” he chuckles.
David Morgan, marketing manager at ImagiLux, met with the homeowner after the installation. Morgan says, “As we talked about his experience, the sunset in the background and the light underneath the quartzite beginning to reveal the colors and depth in the stone, you could see how truly happy he was with the end result.” This homeowner’s reaction is par for the course. The people who have discovered and incorporated this sort of decorative lighting into their homes are blown away. Morgan says, “It’s easy to see why. With that project, the house is beautiful, but the kitchen with the warm ambience of lit counters and island is clearly something that homeowner is proud of and will enjoy sharing with family, friends, and guests. As you look out over the view, in that setting, it’s truly special.”
It’s possible to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. ImagiLux custom LED light panels put a fresh, new twist on the challenge of creating a visual design statement. The intangible may be within reach.