natural material

Flat-Out Gorgeous
There's never been much of a tradition in this country when it comes to beautiful stonework, especially when it comes to flat stone surfaces.  What you usually see is the same few stone types used over and over again in the same sorts of applications.   To see a contrasting heritage, just travel in Europe and some parts of Asia, where you'll see a far greater variety of flat stone used in creative ways to create pathways, walls, decks, patios and a host of architectural features, including pilasters and finials.  Of course, the Old World had a long head start on us, but even so, we've been slow in the New World to catch up with the masonry and quarrying trades as they've been practiced abroad for centuries. Fortunately, that's starting to change.  My firm, Malibu Stone & Masonry of Malibu, Calif., supplies stone (flat and otherwise) to a host of contractors, landscape architects and designers.  What we're seeing is a two-stage process:  Professionals are surprised