Stone and Trowel

Natural stone design inspiration and technical information for architectural and landscape professionals.

Steven Schrenk

Coming to the stone industry via studies in art and design at SCAD where I first fell in love with this material, I approach stone design with an artistic eye developed from years working in museums and galleries curating and installing exhibitions. I carve sculptures in marble and granite which continues to deepen my connection with natural stone. Cutting and fabricating slabs and blocks, working with architects and designers and managing complex installations are an extension of my hands-on skills in the industry and the studio. I enjoy expressing the beauty, and telling the story, of natural stone to convey its timeless message, ranging from the quarry to your finished design and everywhere in between.

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Recent Posts

Natural Stone Veneers Take Outdoor Dining to the Next Level

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Whether you want a freestanding pizza oven, a built-in BBQ island, or a full outdoor kitchen with counters, cabinetry and bar seating, Polycor’s natural stone veneers can help create a first-rate outdoor space.

Topics: Home Design, Outdoor spaces, Outdoor living, veneer

Textures, Colors and Patterns Bring Life to an Expansive Outdoor Living Space Designed with Natural Stone

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Virginia-based interiors stylist Sarah Raak of SKG Designs had been planning a project to redo her backyard patio for a while. But if ever there was an impetus to finally get it going it was this thing called 2020. Although this year brought challenges, it taught us to learn to appreciate the

Topics: Material Selection, Outdoor spaces, Outdoor living, buy local

Precision Cut Stone: An Architect's Vision Realized With Indiana Limestone

Posted by Steven Schrenk
Gillis Quarries is a longtime, 4th generation Canadian company which has made a name for itself specializing in the local dolomitic limestone to which they gave the name Tyndall Stone.
 

But for a new luxury residential project, architect John Duerksen and builder Cody Brown of Brownstone

Topics: veneer, Indiana Limestone, buy local

What is Damp Proofing and Why Do You Need It?

Posted by Steven Schrenk
Contractors are spreading the message that damp proofing is an extra, but worthwhile step in preserving the beauty and integrity of limestone installations, proven by thousands of well-preserved, historical buildings in the U.S. made with iconic limestone in particular.
 

Topics: Indiana Limestone, Hardscape How To

The Rich History and Promising Future of Woodbury Gray Granite

Posted by Steven Schrenk
With its distinctive salt-and-pepper coloring and classic American good looks, WOODBURY GRAY™ granite — quarried in the town of Woodbury, Vermont — has brought timeless style to buildings across the country for over a century and reflects the natural beauty of the Green Mountain State.
 

Topics: Granite, American natural stone, Homeowners, Woodbury Gray, Stone Facades

Retired Veteran Creates Picture-Perfect Farmhouse With American Stone

Posted by Steven Schrenk

When disabled combat veteran Stacy Pearsall and her husband began the process of designing a new house about 40 minutes outside Charleston, South Carolina, they quickly realized there were a lot of decisions that needed to be made to create what she calls their “final house.” But one thing the

Gather ‘Round the Campfire for Yearlong Patio Fun [VIDEO]

Posted by Steven Schrenk
Think your patio space is only good for a few months out of each year? No way!
 

Adding a fire pit is an easy opportunity to extend your outdoor fun well past Labor Day, and with a Polycor Hardscapes & Masonry granite fire pit kit, you can create an enviable entertaining space in one afternoon

Topics: Granite, Patios, fire pit, Hardscape How To, DIY Fire Pit

Granite Patio Sets the Stage for Life’s Moments [VIDEO]

Posted by Steven Schrenk

Your outdoor patio sets the stage for many of life’s cherished moments: a child taking her first steps, sitting with friends around a casual table talking long into the night, getting cozy in front of a roaring fire roasting marshmallows and sharing stories. These are the moments that last - the

Topics: Granite, Patios, Hardscape How To

Light Up Your Landscape With Granite Lamp Posts [VIDEO]

Posted by Steven Schrenk

 

While installing a granite lamp post on your property might seem like the cherry on top of your landscape design, outdoor lighting is critical for helping to establish borders and edges and illuminating key landscape features. Really, it’s more of the cake than the icing (although we do love us

Topics: Outdoor spaces, granite posts, lamp posts, ornamental

Garden Walls Give Outdoor Living Spaces Depth and Dimension [VIDEO]

Posted by Steven Schrenk

If your outdoor living space is looking a little flat and could use a little…oomph, consider adding dimension with vertical elements like a classic garden wall made from natural stone products. Not only will a low wall help create visual interest in your hardscape setting, but it helps add depth to

Topics: Indiana Limestone, Hardscape How To, Garden wall

Set the stage with stone.

Foundational ideas for
hardscape design.

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