Creative Collaborations

Celebrating  A Thirteen Year Relationship

By: Dawn Carroll, Stone Specialist, CUMAR Marble and Granite


(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

(L-R) Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto at The 2007 Builders Association of Greater Boston. Winners of Silver PRISM Award for Best Kitchen Remodel Unlimited.

Pure fascination. That’s typically the reaction people have when designer Rosemary Porto, of Poggenpohl Kitchens, unleashes her creativity. We are left in awe with the end result. However, her designs and unparalleled talent is only part of the entire process.  The other half of her success is due to her uncanny ability to assemble the perfect team for each job. How do I know this? For many years, I have found myself on her winning team.

For those New England fans out there, you can think of Rosemary as the Coach Belichick of the design field. As Belichick has said, “On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Cumar Marble and Granite Table- ASID AWARDS Honoring Over My Shoulder Foundation Designing the Next Generation Mentoring Award

Over the past 13 years of working together, Rosemary has led me to many “Design Super Bowls.” Together, we have won prestigious awards. The Subzero,  Best of the Best Kitchen Design, which showcases top talent, featured two amazing projects that I was lucky to be a part of, along with Hacin + Associates. I have also been very fortunate to have had the opportunity, through Rosemary, to work with some of the finest architects and builders, in some of the most well-known addresses on the East coast. Not only had the experience working with these individuals been wonderful, but I can also now call most of them by dear friends.

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Editorial feature project in September 2016 Design New England issue. (Photo courtesy of: Greg Premru)

Rosemary is also a big believer in the power of mentoring. She has been a huge supporter of one of my passion project,  the Over My Shoulder Foundation and our Design Mentoring Mission. Rosemary embodies the words of our co-founder, Patti Austin, when she says “we are all increasingly interdependent on each other, rather than independent individuals.” She invests in her friends, their dreams, and gives her time as she graciously hosted a dazzling mentoring event in collaboration with designer and friend, Leslie Fine.

 Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.

Collaboration between Poggenpohl Kitchens and Cumar Marble and Granite.


As Rosemary consistently reminds us, it’s all about the team and I couldn’t agree more. Therefore, I would like to give recognition to my colleagues at Cumar Marble and Granite, who are the true “Rock Stars” of this collaboration.

My super star boss Ivo Cubi, owner and patriarch of Cumar, travels around the world to hand pick the gems of the earth to bring back to Cumar. After the designers make their selections, our engineering team examines each slab spending hours creating a layout where the elegant stone patterns and designs come to life,

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

Team from L-R: Bob Earnst at FBN Construction, Rosemary Porto, our client Bonnie Berman, Dawn Carroll.

weaving the perfect story. Then the fabrication shop talks ownership of this creation, slicing and polishing each rare stone, sculpting the shapes needed for each individual project. Once it’s complete, the installation artists secure the stone in its final home, where it becomes the epicenter for a family, hosting many family gatherings.


As I celebrate with Rosemary thirteen years of friendship, mentoring, design, and collaboration, it is with great pride that I share the news of an exquisite editorial piece that is in the current Design New England’s Fall issue. A stunning team design- a Super Bowl win for us.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl's second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.

Poggenpohl and Cumar Marble and Granite display at Clarke Distribution Boston Showroom. Cumar and Poggenpohl’s second collaboration for this prestigious company, Dawn Carroll and Rosemary Porto celebrate with designer Eric Roseff and Real Estate professional, Colin Sullivan.


Congratulations to the entire team and bravo to my Cumar team! Looking forward to thirteen more wonderful years creating masterpieces.

Cumar on HGTV’s House Hunters Renovations

Finding a new home is one of the most nerve-wracking processes a family can endure. Now add the stress of a 10,000-mile move.

Chris and Erin knew that relocating from Australia to Erin’s hometown of Boston, MA, would pose challenges. Each of them had an idea of their perfect home: Erin wanted a contemporary split-level, Chris likes modern-rustic. Oh, and they need an in-law suite for the times when Chris’s parents visit from Australia. All on a $600,000 budget.

An impossible feat in the tight Greater Boston market? That’s why HGTV’s “House Hunters Renovation” stepped in to help. A job this daunting calls for the best. HGTV called upon interior designer Eric Roseff to turn the family’s dream home into a reality—and Eric reached out to Cumar’s own Dawn Carroll to advise on their stone choices.

Dawn Carroll leapt at the opportunity to work with Roseff on this show. With more than fifteen years of experience, his design portfolio includes such diverse spaces as Montana’s Yellowstone Club, a residence at the Ritz Carlton, and a plush Brookline estate.

Chris and Erin in the Cumar stone gallery

With a deadline looming as well as a hard-and-fast budget, Dawn met with Eric to select a set of fabulous and uncommon stone options for Chris and Erin. Cumar stocks more than 8,000 different slabs of stone from which to choose, boasts a new state-of-the art fabrication shop, and offers complete installations services.

“The producers were floored when they saw Cumar’s new state-of-the-art fabrication,” says owner Carlotta Cubi. “Our production facility recently doubled in size and we now have the capacity to run 24/7 with multiple shifts cutting and carving our stone.”

“This really is the Rolls-Royce of the stone world,” says designer Eric Roseff.

“With our team of expert engineers, we can take any stone dream and make it a reality,” adds owner Ivo Cubi.

Which stone does Chris and Erin choose? Will they complete the renovations before his parents arrive in Boston? You’ll have to watch the episode to find out!

The Potter Estate Undergoes A Metamorphosis

Exciting things have been happening on the grounds of the Jackson-Walnut Park Schools in Newton! Through a month-long Show House event hosted by the Junior League of Boston, The Potter Estate undergoes a metamorphosis; while preserving the charm of this 1867 property, distinguished local design firms unite to re-design 36 areas – volunteering their time and resources toward this project.

The goal of this event has been to give local designers and landscapers the ability to showcase their creativity and innovation. At the core of this effort, the Junior League raises funds for its important mission of “promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.”

Our stone design specialist and founder of the mentoring organization, Over My Shoulder Foundation, attended the event. Dawn had this to say: “Working with the energetic design community in New England is exhilarating. Each room in the show house makes an impression that is hard to forget.  It’s an honor to work with the designers.”

We would like to congratulate the participating designers whom we also have had the pleasure to collaborate with over the years:

Gerald Pomeroy / Gerald Pomeroy Design Group

Frank D. Hodge / F.D. Hodge Interiors

Stephanie Rossi / Spazio Rosso, Inc.

Kate Maloney Albiani / Kate Maloney Interior Design

Diana Kiker and Janet Heyde / Sticks & Stones

Michael Carter / Carter Dayton Home, Carter and Company (Winner of The Junior League of Boston Designers’ Pineapple Award. This prize recognizes “accomplished interior designs who demonstrate utmost creativity and dedication to their art as well as to the mission of the Junior League of Boston.”)

Read more here!


In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we would like to share an article we found by our stone designer, Dawn, which described her travels to the quarries in Ireland. On this holiday, we would like to thank Irish Natural Stone especially, for working with us to bring valuable Irish limestone into the hands of an even larger community.

By: Dawn Carroll

A few years ago I was talking with an old friend who asked if I missed my exciting life back in Los Angeles. He was inviting me to a fancy Tinsel Town event, and was confused when I declined, explaining that I was going to a stone show. Silent for just a minute, he replied, “I didn’t know they were touring.” I shook my head and laughed aloud. “No, not a Stone’s show! Stone. As in marble and granite!” Silently, we both wondered if I had committed career suicide. After all, what the heck was I doing cutting and fabricating natural stone instead of putting together a world tour for the Rolling Stones? Once upon a time, I was a player in the music management business. But that was then, and this is now. I have since become one of the few women working in the world of stone fabrication … a top-notch rock chick! Like the music business, the rock business can also be colorful, dramatic, shocking and challenging!

The 13th century Church of St. John the Baptist, built by Goban Saor for St. Colman at Kilmacduagh, Gort.

In a few short years, I have completed several thousand projects with granite and marble. The stone business, espe­cially when I began working, was a funky place for a little Irish girl, and the ques­tion haunted me: Had I found my career in the stone industry or had it found me? And the truth was that there is no easy explanation as to how I ended up in this business. I left a cushy corporate position in a beautiful, air-conditioned Hollywood office, and now I was lugging chunks of rock around the streets of Boston; rain, sun, sleet or snow … and loving it! You have to love this industry because it exposes raw nerves and creates some of the highest tension I have ever en­countered. I often joke that the building industry elicits more drama than all of Hollywood. Dealing with a product that is millions of years old, and has had more cosmetic surgery than Michael Jackson, proves that you are hardly ever in complete control. Products of Mother Nature can be most temperamental; almost as impractical as a family that has been living together in a crowded basement with ten kids, two dogs, eight cats and no sink for 11 months 12 days, 18 hours and 45 long hard seconds. As I said, you have to love this industry or you will die an early death!

One day an answer presented itself, and finally satisfied my need to know. The secret was revealed. It was out and it was true! Stone was in my blood, and in my hands was a piece of the earth belong­ing to my Irish ancestors. The bearer of such a glorious gift was a man named Bob Spencer who was introducing me to a stunning new stone from Ireland. Ask any designer, especially a stone designer, how exciting it is when new stone arrives. Simply stated: It rocks our world!

Now, this industry has long been ruled by ego-maniacal Italians who adore calling themselves “The Masters.” And yet here it was, finally, my great Irish stone relief! Rock, of all things, offered a nostalgic glimpse of Ireland. Yes, it took a rock to make my history come alive, and it had arrived convenient­ly on my New England shoreline. I can only describe the sensations as euphoric when I was told that not only was this stone from Ireland, but that it came from my ancestor’s backyard! This information was revealed at a time when I needed it most. Long overdue was a quick, sharp jab at the Italian egos I had been working among. Sporting an ear-to-ear grin, I slid into The Master’s office and smiled the “undisputed leader smirk.” Holding out the century’s old object I blurted: “Class never goes out of style.” This magnificent Irish limestone forever altered a long-held but fraudulent per­ception, and finally separated fact from fiction: Italians were not the only Masters in the stone industry.

This beautiful Irish Grey Limestone, a fabulous stone for kitchen countertops, is utilized here in the showroom of Dalia Kitchen Design. The stone is not porus, and is well suited for a variety of uses. The showroom is located in the Boston Design Center, on Boston’s harbor front.

When I first learned about Irish limestone, it was when “honed” granite styles were peaking. Honing is when you take a perfectly polished stone and remove the shine. It perplexed me that people want­ed this matte finish. To us, in the early days of stone fabrication, honing a stone was analogous to ruining it, since you were basically scratching the heck out of it. I was bored to death with the trend, and the Irish limestone was the perfect alternative. Bob and I became fast friends.

The popularity of the stone was not only due to its fossil activity, but it was now easy to remind everyone that their kitchen and bathroom counters were millions of years old. This was a point I always made, but one that clients seemed to easily forget. The stone also satisfied the folks who did not like a high shine, but rather enjoyed a durable matte finish.

One day, Bob and his wife Gerry made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Air Lingus was having a huge off-season promotion, and we were going to Ireland. We would visit their partners’ stone fabrication shop, and tour the quarries and learn more about this amazing stone. After many cans of Guiness, I awoke just in time to see the remains of a castle just outside Shannon along with, perhaps, a waving leprechaun! It was my first trip overseas and I was told that it was rare to land in Ireland during daylight. I will never forget opening my eyes and seeing the ancient ruin just outside my window, surrounded and framed by a million shades of green.

The next day the stone tour began. Stone was everywhere: walls, churches, manors, ruins and countless cottages. Nestled below the beautiful, sweeping paradise of emerald mountains is the sprawling compound that employs a team of experts overflowing with talent and imagination. Inside and around the com­plex you will find an endless supply of creativity and unforgettable uses of natural stone; interior as well as exterior applica­tions. It was easy to see how and why Bob and Gerry had fallen in love with this product and opened their business in the United States.

Pictured here is Gerry O’Donnell (President of INS) and Dawn Carroll, standing in front of the Cliffs of Mohr on a chilly morning. The seas were calm after a week of wind and rain.

For over a week, Francis McCormack and his gracious wife Mary hosted and chauffeured us Americans as we inhaled the gorgeous landscape and traveled the enchanting, prehistoric west coast coun­tryside. They assisted as I purchased my first pair of very unfashionable “Wellies” (knee-high, not thigh-high), army green boots designed to get you around in the muck, while not insulating you from it. Once several hundred feet into the earth you don’t care much about what you’re walking in, since you are so completely mesmerized by what you are seeing. All I could hear myself say was “what the*#&!#!” That deep in the earth there is a certain calm that leaves you breathless; it’s very dangerous and yet tranquil. If you close your eyes you could swear you hear a soft whisper emanating from the walls. The sheerness of the quarry is sensual and sleek, and discreetly you pray to God that you look that good when you are a mil­lion plus years old!

A trip like this can turn your life around and offer that one radiant moment where you can see not only who you are, but why you are and where you came from. For me, standing in the bowels of a stone quarry in the town where my ancestors once lived unleashed new creativity and a fresh perspective on my career. For the first time in my ten years in the stone industry, I heard the pounding surf, felt the sun, tasted the salt and sensed the 400 million years of pressure that was neces­sary to create this magnificent material of mystical Irish charm.

Francis McCormack’s Irish Natural Stone quarry in Ireland.


There is no doubt about it, the internet has made life easier for us in so many ways and purchasing product on line is one way but there are many things that the internet cannot bring to you that working one on one with a local company can. As we are all looking for companies who can deliver a professional job at fair prices, I thought I would share as Cumar Marble and Stone performed above and beyond! Cumar Marble and Granite can deliver!

I have worked with Cumar Marble and Stone on several projects over the past years and I recently had the pleasure of working with Dawn Carroll, the expert stone consultant, on a recent project, “The New England Living Show House” in Vermont. I was and still am impressed with Dawn’s knowledge and expertise.

For most projects I work on I go through Cumar’s warehouse and go through slabs and slabs of stone. I was looking for a particular stone that would read “classic beauty”, elegant and without a lot of movement. Dawn knew exactly what to show me showing me two stones and the second one was perfect! I chose a beautiful natural stone, Eremosal, a rare and exotic stone for the bathroom vanity top. It had all the qualities that I wanted and it is truly the most exotic and beautiful stone I have ever used and seen.















The staff is phenomenal. From staying late after closing time to show my clients and me stone slabs for projects, to the engineers hand delivering stone samples to me to delivering my finished pieces in a timely manner and ahead of schedule!

So, I will still purchase my office supplies online, but when it comes to delivering a product which needs the professional care of people who know what they are doing, and someone who will listen to my needs, I will head to Cumar Marble and Granite.

Thank you to the entire team at Cumar Marble and Granite for helping me with a successful project and doing a great job because you also make it easy for me!

Eileen Patterson
Patterson Group
Boston Design Center
1 Design Center Place | Suite 324
Boston, MA 02210


Located in Boston, Ruhl Walker Architects has brought elegant, inventive design to its clients for over fifteen years. Receiving the Housing Design Award from the Boston Society of Architects/New York AIA in 2010, the company’s reputation for exceptional work continues to grow. Their work in a Boston Common home was recently highlighted in Boston Home Magazine!

In the stunning four-page spread, Ruhl Walker creates a beautifully cohesive interior design for a family recently expanding their home from two floors to four floors on Beacon Hill. In the kitchen, Walker designed a room-length island as the focal point and looked to Cumar to supply the highest quality stone for the countertop. Complementing the bright walls and streamlined look of the kitchen, the light stone countertop is the perfect fit, providing a functional work space that is also aesthetically pleasing!

Cumar – The Best Stone Countertops in the World


At Cumar, we really know our stuff when it comes to making kitchens beautiful with stunning stone accents, breathtaking tile and countertops made with the finest stone from around the world. We’re always on the lookout for amazing examples of innovative design and our Stone Fashionista is here to bring you our top finds! HGTV has compiled a fantastic list of their top ten kitchens from around the U.S., from fun family-oriented designs to elegant, functional spaces perfect for any foodie! We especially love the stone and tile work of the Tuscan kitchen (pictured above) – check out this incredible space and many more at Contact Cumar today and let us help you create the kitchen of your dreams, just like these!

Cumar – The Best Stone Countertops in the World


When a homeowner selects stone to create the kitchen island of their dreams, oftentimes it’s up to a design professional to make that vision a reality. However, many consumers do not realize stone slabs are limited by their size – unlike countertops made with man-made materials like plastic composite which can be easily customized to any length, stones are restricted to their slab size, leaving designers to figure out how to handle seams for these one-of-a-kind pieces.

At Cumar, we’ve perfected a variety of methods that deal with seams in the final design. First, we thought why not use the actual seam to create a more interesting design concept? For stones with veining, Cumar can match the vein in a book match pattern to create an amazing finished product achieved only through our extensive stock of materials and precision cutting. With Ivo Cubi’s attention to detail when selecting Cumar’s stone materials, a variety of slabs are available for creating book matched designs.


Walk into our warehouse in Everett and you enter a granite and marble wonderland. If you weren’t considering major stonework in your home, whether for your kitchen countertops or bathroom tiling, the dream-like stone patterns, exquisite array of colors and various textured surfaces are likely to change your mind. A veritable treat for the eyes, these hand-selected stones are available thanks to Cumar President Ivo Cubi.

Aside from international sourcing to provide the most stunning stone to New England, Cumar’s “dedication to craftsmanship” (Boston Home) has garnered us the prestigious Boston Home Best of Boston 2011 Award for Kitchen and Bath Countertops. What sets Cumar apart from all other stone suppliers and fabricators is the flawless combination of the highest quality materials, the top technological advancements, and an unrivaled passion for projects completed to perfection. Along with the incredible stone countertops we are well-known for, examples of innovative uses for stone slabs to create furniture and custom stone accents are endless. “The rock-solid resource for stone” (Boston Home) for designers and builders, Cumar is honored to be recognized by Boston Home, and we look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in the years to come!

Cumar – The Best Stone Countertops in the World