Stoned & Tuscany

We have two starkly contrasting books for our ‘Books of The Month’ in partnership with Potterton Books, which are connected by our latest design insight ‘Off The Wall’. It explores the numerous different ways in which you can exploit natural stone’s texture and natural patterns through inspired design and expert fabrication.


Natural stone has made a big comeback in the world of interiors. A 'New Stone Age' has dawned for trendsetting architects, artists and designers. Stoned illustrates how marble and stone are the interior trends of the moment.

With colour-themed chapters from Pink Floyd to Brown Sugar, Stoned unearths some amazing marble projects. It is a journey through the natural beauty of stone with a strong focus on the raw and immense power of this most beautiful and natural resource.

In the opening chapter, White Lines, the author likens a kitchen island designed by Parisian trendsetter Joseph Dirand  to 'architectual plate techtonics' ... 'as though you're in a stone quarry cooking amidst newly mined marble blocks'. In Green Day (pictured) an immense hanging cabinet - or vast sculpture, fashioned from Verde Patricia marble houses among other items a TV cabinet.

Featuring interviews with Artists from the New Stone Age including Francesco Balzano, Kris Martin, Muller Van Severen, Tim Coppens, Glenn Sestig, Pierre Yovanovitch, Sophie Dries, Bas Smets and Pieter Vermeersch, Stoned is filled with home inspiration and craftsmanship.


A hands-on account of buying and restoring a house in Tuscany by Anne M. Bauer, with beautiful photography by Alberto Strada. Mrs Bauer, a former diplomat and UN employee from Norway, now lives part of the year in her beautifully restored farmhouse in Tuscany.

With no official training in this field, Mrs Bauer’s passion for old houses, architecture and building processes has taken her far. She understands what it takes to buy and restore in Italy, the craftsmen needed, the legal framework and the aesthetic issues involved. This book is a wonderful insight into how old farmhouses can be turned into modern, comfortable homes without losing their original character.

The photography is stunning, with examples of natural stone materials, reclaimed tiles, old cotto and marble throughout. We really enjoyed the chapter on the workforce required for the projects – for example the local marmista, the stonecutter, as well as the types of stones most commonly used in Tuscany such as pietra serena - a beautiful grey sandstone, and of course travertine.

A must-read for anyone interested in the history and traditions of Italian farmhouses and the captivating countryside in which they are situated.


To order either of these books please contact Potterton Books. Email or call +44 (0) 1845 501 218. Visitors to Potterton Books in Sessay are also welcome during office hours, or by appointment at weekends.

Interested in the ‘Off The Wall’ look? Read our blog here and enjoy 121-pins of inspiration with our new ‘Off The Wall’ Pinterest board.

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