Get a Quote
Blog

Stone Stories: The wood that wont make you poor!

Although I love real wood, because of clients’ failure to maintain, I never got into it. I just knew that complaints would undoubtedly come. Knowing the clients pre-disposition not to maintain, as a solution, architects have decided to use wood porcelain tile. I personally don’t like, because of its fake appearance. I actually feel pain when I see water marks. When white drips on the popular wood porcelain tiles, it makes it look so artificial and “common”. From the standpoint of aesthetics and durability, Lamwood is all I would consider. Hence, I have entered the market with this product. Were I to recommend an alternative to wood, this is all I could suggest that looks authentic. Why is it authentic to me? Lamwood panels is not in contact with the cement wall, because there is a void behind it. The outer Lamwood skin can breathe. By using screws, or rivets on 1 inch aluminium nailers, it is installed just like real wood. So the net effect is that it looks and feels just like real wood. Largely because of this methodology, it looks very close to the real thing. There is, however, just one huge difference. Lamwood is zero maintenance, which perfectly fits our psyche and cultural attitude. Could It be a cultural quirk? Look at what happened to the famed celebrity politician’s own house in Forbes Park. The wood was never maintained ever since the house was purchased. This resulted in all the wood used for the eaves and columns rotting away. In just a few short years, the house needed a multi-million peso full replacement. Instead of wood, cement board was chosen (as in gray embossed cement board, painted brown to emulate wood veins)! To me, this was totally unacceptable. I see it daily in KFC, Jollibee and McDonald’s and it doesn’t worry me; but I find it hard to bear, to see it used in high-end residences. To me, cement board looks even worse than wood tile. No one can possibly be convinced with brown glossy wood cement board. And as it looks fake, I don’t get the rationale behind its use. The bottom line is, do use real hard wood if you are willing to spend to maintain it. If not, use Lamwood.
ivory limestone
Blog

Stone Stories: Matte

This interior by Architect Ed Calma dates back to early 2000. Actually, it is his first project in Forbes Park. The project had many firsts. For instance, the onyx exterior wall, and this interior floor in Kaufman Ivory limestone is certainly a country first.

This floor is dead flat. It has absolutely no reflection, which is completely different from the common place polish finish marble floors uses by almost all the neighbors. This materials differs quite significantly. A matt stone like limestone absorbs the available sunlight just like how a white sheet of paper does. The luminosity is amazing. Even without switching on electric lights, the sun is drawn into the house. This photo does not have a single lights on, and it is still very bright.

Ivory limestone normally cost a lot of money in slabs form. After cutting and wastage, the cost increases by another 30% to 50% due to the wastage factor. In order to help the owner save, I suggested we cut the stone in the foreign factory to lower the cost to the levels they were targeting.

Im happy when my clients can get the stone they aspire for at prices that are budget friendly. We always preempt the customer to look for well priced alternatives, because from my quarter century in the trade, I know sources that are way bellow market price.

Blog

Stone Stories: Border

Black and White is always a powerful combination. Dare I say it: Black and White never goes out of style. About 15-18 years ago, when this San Lorenzo Village home had its interior done by Anton R Mendoza, the owner and designer envisioned a New York style brownstone house, complete with heavy wall paneling and spectacular moulding. The interior had high ceilings, and huge, vertical floor to ceiling windows. The space was the closest to a New York interior I had ever seen then or since.

The interior floor and walls were in Turkish Ivory limestone like the Saint Martins Lane Hotel in London by Philippe Starck. The bathrooms were in this pristine, white terrazzo I call White Linen, named after my Mom’s favorite perfume by Estee Lauder.

The slabs of fine grain terrazzo, having the particular size of 2mm, making it looks exactly like Thassos White from Greece, just costing a third of the original price of that marble variety.

The Kaufman White linen is then paired with Absolute black granite to border some areas, and cut into tiles for a checkerboard effect for other areas.

Just to prove my point: almost 20 years later, Anton R. Mendoza is renovating another home in 2021 and will be using the same color combination. Didn’t I mention how black and white never goes out of style?

white linen agglomerate marble
Blog

Stone Stories: Less is so much more difficult

You have all heard the phrase, “Less is more”, made famous in 1947 by Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. You may even have used that statement yourself. It seems easy to keep things simple, but actually, the truth of the matter is, to create a simple space is not at all quite that straightforward .

In fact, to reduce the amount of visual clutter in a design is tremendously challenging, as most elements are necessary. You can’t, for instance, easily hide power outlets, lighting fixtures, beams, columns and terminations; but that is exactly what has to be done to create a clean and minimalist space. Walls, floors and ceiling need to be freed of unnecessary elements. Imagine how a clean wall is ruined by an unsightly plug or switch. These things need to be hidden from view, which means strategically, moving such elements out of sight.

In this photo, you are looking at a seamless floor slab in Kaufman white linen agglomerate marble. It is just a fancy way of saying: terrazzo, or composite marble. Each 120x300cm slab weighs over 600pounds, and is so big that to cover an average living room, you will only need about 9 slabs, as compared with the usual 100 or more tiles to cover the same area. In other words, having 10 times less joints; meaning 10 times less opportunity to accumulate dirt and germs. It is those crevices that blacken and trap the disgusting viruses which cannot be cleaned. No matter how much you clean the joints, they are still black and dirty!

All clients want a simple and modern space. They always ask for a hotel look. This to me is exactly that. Simple and clean like a five star hotel.

Kaufman Figaro Sandstone
Blog

SandStone Stories #1: If heaven had a stairway

This stairway in Kaufman Figaro Sandstone draws the eye in. It is such a rare sight to see a non-beige tiled staircase, that when you see one in Sandstone, it is memorable.

This home located in the south, prioritizes its outdoor area. Given the beautiful weather, who would not spend as much time as humanly possible in the open area? That means, greater priority was placed on the pool, garden and patio areas.

The large pool, situated directly at the back of the home is surrounded in specially treated natural sandstone slabs as big as a small car. Each slab was maximized in size and installed in the biggest possible dimension, so that the dramatic vein pattern could be appreciated when viewing the pool area from the second floor window of the house. The stone continues down the staircase, down to the lower base of the home, to form an accent wall in the font.

This home is pushing 20 years old and still looks contemporary today. I believe materials make a house. You cannot, however, create timeless design without the correct material choice. When making your selection, just ask yourself: Is this material a trend, or will it still look good in 20 years’ time?

kaufman ivory limestone
Blog

Stone Stories: Good design sells

Tyler, known for its monochromatic color scheme, was viewed as the Comme des Garçon of the Philippines. The fashion brand specialized in impeccably made androgynous pieces that were simple yet edgy. They took classics and added a bit of whimsy, and the market loved their creations. The boutiques were designed by Anton R. Mendoza of Arm Design, who is known for his timeless creations.

Every space he was involved in always used stone. The Glorieta Makati shop used Kaufman Ivory limestone strips cut into 1 inch thick shards, and the floor was Kaufman black slate in 60x60cm sized tiles.

Mendoza’s adherence to his mission to further the use of natural materials guaranteed that his interiors transcended trends. His spaces were trend-free. The look never got dated. The interior would be relevant for years into the future which any owner would surely appreciate. Because, if a space does not go out of style, that equates to savings. As we all know, no matter how rich and famous a person is, they always appreciate savings. In fact the irony is, the more successful the person is, the greater their propensity to save.

Blog

Stone Stories: The Hotel

Crown Plaza Hotel in Pasig, built 15 years ago, had its interiors done by the popular designers, Sungsung and Periquet. This Makati-based design team is known for their modern classic silhouette and is highly sought after in the hospitality sector.

This hotel keeps to a simple color palette of earth tones, set within a controlled design style, devoid of excessive ornamentation. The interior surfaces are clad in exquisite materials. Rich woods, shiny metals and stone of many varieties. The floors are in Crema Marfil from Spain, elevator architraves in Emperador brown marble. The walls are in the Kaufman exclusive sandstone called Figaro and Thames.

The former has a peach beige color tone with a powder-like fine grain texture. The material looks like cotton fabric in grain structure. Thames, the other stone used on the left of the main entrance has a more earthy appearance. The color is like brown paper and coffee in a wood-like vein pattern. I selected this particular stone for the Philippine market because of its uncanny resemblance to Australian sandstone, like that used in the Eugenio Lopez Center at ABS-CBN. The main difference is price. The Kaufman alternative is a third of the price of the original.

Kaufman appreciates our clientele’s desire for quality and beauty, yet they demand to get value for money. A lot of people ask if our prices are competitive because they think Chinese suppliers with insalubrious offices along Balintawak are cheaper.

I have one thing to say about that theory. A company cannot have grown and thrived for 24 years by being uncompetitive. That would be impossible! In short, we have ways of getting prices that are way below the competition while still giving first quality.

In all my years of business, to my knowledge, we are the only firm that partners with its clients to help find unbelievably low prices. We share our industry insider know-how in our market. By following our advice, gained from a quarter century of continuous service to the Philippine market, our clients enjoy tremendous advantages.

kaufman ibiza limestone
Blog

Stone Stories: Classic of classics

This high profile client first built a house with celebrity architect, Conrad Onglao, using Kaufman Ibiza Limestone. That house was the first house we are aware of, to use whole slab installation for the floor. Most houses of the era have hundreds of 60x60cm tiles and just as many dirty grout joints. Because this Onglao place had only about 16 joints, the visual mess of hundreds was eliminated by the use of a big slab, each approximately 1600x2600x20mm in size. The living room only had about 15 huge slabs, producing an almost seamless effect, but that is another story.

This photo shows a project by Architect Ed Ledesma, also owned by the same owner. In this case, the houses uses Ami Travertine, unfilled, in the size of 120x60cm. The slab was left unfilled, like the Meis Van Der Rohe designed Barcelona Pavilion built almost 100 years ago. The stone truly is a classic and will not become obsolete or dated.

This stone has been the “go to” material for the Philippine market since we introduced it over twenty years ago. We are pleased it has found its way into almost every gated village, in chapels, retail stores, convention centers, and in 2021, possibly a government city hall.

ivory white limestone
Blog

Stone stories: To the point.

This work by Anton R Mendoza of Arm Design has one of the best views I have ever seen. Competing with it would be a injustice to this priceless vista. The best approach when faced with such natural beauty is to keep the design elements to a minimum to let the view take center stage.

Mendoza uses a clean pallet of Kaufman Ivory white Limestone, for all the horizontal surfaces. The stone is used on the balconies and exposed areas to lend a resort like feel to the house. What is so wonderful about the material is how the stone is so white, it feels like you are walking on solidified Boracay sand. Actually, it is even better, because you feel clean all the time, since the sand grain dont get all over the place. The other great thing about Ivory white is how the floor keeps cool even when the sun is directly over head. The stone feels cold to the touch even under the hottest mid day sun. A dark stone would be so hot, you might not be able to stand it and you could actually burn your feet.

This material being natural never goes out of style, and never gets phased out. The client contacted my after 10 years as they want to change their pool tiles, from what might have been from china. Now they want Amanpulo style pool tile, and I was asked if I can provide 5m2 of the old stone tile from 15 years ago. And my answer was a yes. Since Kaufman stone never tell its customers Phase out maamser. We always make sure our projects are future safe by making sure replacements are always available.

bali white sandstone
Blog

Stone Stories: The Wall

This early work by Architect Ed and Lizzy Ledesma uses Kaufman Bali white sandstone, also know as Palimanan. The sandstone, as the name suggests, is from Bali. If you have been there, the material would be familiar to you, as almost all resorts would use it very generously. The Indonesians are proud of their culture, especially their natural stone materials. You will hardly find tiles and plastic, unless it is a commercial establishment. To them, natural elements, and the history they suggest, is an integral part of their architectural heritage.

This Dasmarinas house which is approaching 20 years since its completion is one of my favorite projects. I love the simplicity of the material pallet, and how it allows the masterful architectural design to stand out. Our material serves as a neutral blank slate for life to unfold. When a single color of stone is used for the walls, fence, cladding and floor, the material almost disappears, and the play of light and sculptural form are brought forward to play a more prominent role in the architectural narrative.

Seeing the owner invest in stone, and how committed they were preserved the house in all its glory. Most other houses would have been due for a renovation 10 years ago, and certainly on the 20th year. But since the architect and owner chose well, they saved millions. By prolonging the lifespan of the house, they did so many times over.

1 2 3 5 6
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Spotify
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound
Get a Quote
Cart Overview