Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tale of an Old Fountain and its Coy Pond

The legendary antique wall fountain, stone channel and coy pond combination, commissioned and realized by Ancient Surfaces, installed in Irvine California. Has been featured in many showcase home tours as well as on the front covers of national shelter magazines

To learn more please visit our Website at:
or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Arcane Antique Limestone by Ancient Surfaces

The Arcane. Reclaimed French Limestone Floors

The Arcane french limestone floors are old and reclaimed ancient pavers salvaged from old homes and structures from across ancient South of France cities on the Mediterranean Sea.

The advantage of the Arcane limestone is that it's a bit texturally smoother and is less costly than its famous counterpart the 'Biblos Stone' also known as the 'Biblical Stone'.

This stone blend offers a sophisticated and evenhanded mixture of ancient arcane beauty and modern luxury.

Just like all our limestone its quartzitic composition is very high so its hardness is legendary, capable of enduring any climate extreme, any weather conditions, wet environments or heavy traffic areas with ease.

The Arcane French limestone is the perfect choice for all indoor and outdoor applications including spas, dining room floors, Jacuzzi lingers and swimming pool floor bottoms.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Let it sink in. Original sinks found in ruined farmhouses

The kitchen sink, with its plentiful hot and cold running water, is a mundane feature of our daily lives that we take for granted—unless, that is, the water dries up or turns smelly, thereby inconveniencing our schedules or threatening our health, or unless we are considering a house purchase or renovation.The tap turns on, the water obligingly pours out; the tap turns off, the water obligingly drains away.

In Situ. An old stone sink as seen in an ruined French farmhouse in Provence. 

Of course it was not always so. The advancement of kitchen sinks from dishpans filled with buckets of water to today’s carefully controlled municipal system—with its in/out pipes, hot water tanks, and on/off taps—reflects developments in plumbing technology, society’s evolving concerns about civic and moral health, and major alterations in expectations around women’s work.

A real, centuries old limestone sink. Hand carved out of a full block of stone.

Farmhouses usually had the sink in the big room that doubled as central family space and kitchen, rather than in a separate scullery. But estate houses and houses of any pretension had a separate room, either called a sink room or scullery, for washing up and vegetable preparation.

An elongated, trough like, vegetable washing and preparation sink seen in a ruined Provence countryside castle from the 16th century.

Such properties also often had a space off the dining room called a butler’s pantry that contained a sink reserved for washing fine china, silverware, and glassware. Examples of butler’s pantries are still seen today at museum farmhouses and castles all across Europe.

Another rectangular, trough-like, washbasin kitchen sink, hand caved for an Italian Tuscan villa from the turn of the 15th century.

As centuries went on, believe it or not, the advent of the kitchen counter top impaired the ergonomic advantages of the original Limestone farmhouse sink. What happened you ask? Well we unfortunately entered the age of mass production…

A massive antique thick slab sink seen with three supportive limestone legs.

Sinks could finally be built by the hundreds, even the thousands and at a marginal cost. No time-honored hand carving was needed any longer. Kitchen cabinets were now standardized and built in production facilities, prompting the use of counter tops with integral sinks.

A still working 400 years old outdoor potato washing sink in Provence France.

So, what is wrong with that you ask? First off, those uniformed kitchen cabinets were perfect for a select group of people; those who measured 5’5” to 5’10” in height. Secondly, sinks that were installed in a counter top required a significant amount of counter top space in front of and behind the sink to account for the mechanical stability of the counter top.

A stone block with a shallow sink cut used as a hand sink in an old Tuscan farmhouse. 

This required that the sink recede, away from the user, causing the user to bend needlessly at the waist. Moreover, metal was a very expensive product during this phase of our early 20th century history when production line was introduced. Hence metal sinks were shallow in depth, to save on cost. This was ideal for some, but not nearly as efficient as the deeper stone sinks of times past.

A perfect ergonometrically carved limestone sink reclaimed from a French farmhouse.

Times have once again changed and it seems that our generation it completing the full cycle of the kitchen sinks, shying away more and more from 21st century production line metal, enamel and ceramic sinks back to real limestone and marble that are simply unrivaled in charm, history and beauty.

A similar antique sink to the earlier one, installed recently in a Bastide style home.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Crafting stone wonders by hand

Faithful to the history for which they are renowned, our European master carvers are some of the world finest stone artisans, sculptors and problem solvers, creating the highest quality and detailed stone and marble bath tubs to be found.

Our mission has always remained the same, to create true works of art, unrivaled in their level of magnificence and attention to detail while providing our clientele with unparalleled service guaranteed to exceed their expectations.

All our work is custom, made-to-order. Even when a clients commission us to carve them a classical bathtub design, each creation will be unique from any other since they are customized in stone choice, finish, dimensions, artistic accenting and nuances enough to ensure that no one else in the world will have an exact stone bath tub like theirs.
Our clients are not often interested in trends, but in the philosophy of individuality and standing apart – They their custom elements to reflect the uniqueness of themselves.

Our mission has always remained the same, to create true works of art, unrivaled in their level of magnificence and attention to detail while providing our clientele with unparalleled service guaranteed to exceed their expectations.

The vintage farmhouse bathroom d├ęcor expresses the nostalgia of today’s world for the classical frugality of Mediterranean design as experienced for generations across pass centuries.

If you want to recreate that human charm that existed in the dwellings of the past century while incorporating the best of what our advanced technologies have to offer, you can give your bathroom an authentic Mediterranean farmhouse touch by infusing it with old reclaimed stone elements that were used by our ancestors once upon a time.

Modern bathroom have become much like us. They mimick our lifestyle our pace, they resemble our day to day interactions and relationships. They are highly synthetic, glossy or with a brushed, washed or honed finish, giving us the illusion of wisdom through time and the impression of authenticity and tradition.

Ancient limestone are a gateway to relaxation to meditative escapism. A well thought of and well-designed authentic farmhouse bathroom will transform your outlook, it will give you a precious moment for yourself to unplug from the synthetic controls of modernity, allowing you a brief moment of reflection and of self-observation.

Those are very important concepts that we seem to be slowly losing in our lives. Old world stone elements that have stood the test of time go beyond the decorative and become devices of immense therapeutic values, serving to remind us of our roots and connecting us to our common and basic humanity

Unwinding in one of our hand carved limestone tub will transform your farmhouse bathroom into a southern French hydrothermal escape.

We at Ancient Surfaces, live by this design philosophy that we preach. We have no doubt that once you amerce yourselves with our utilitarian antique limestone elements, your design will therapeutically affect your lifestyle your state of mine and even your health.

To learn more please visit our Website at: http://www.ancientsurfaces.com/Antique-Fireplaces.html or call our sales office at: 212-461-0245

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