A Look Back at 2015

2015 has been a great year for CUMAR. Not only have we had the pleasure of being a part of so many great projects, we’re continuously grateful to be able to work with so many amazingly talented designers and builders in the industry. From sponsoring a design week event, to being honored with a 2016 Best of Boston HOME, below are some highlights from our best year yet!

 

In March, as part of Boston Design Week, CUMAR along with M-GEOGH sponsored the well-attended Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes panel.

In March, as part of Boston Design Week, CUMAR along with M-GEOGH sponsored the well-attended Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes panel. Co-moderated by interior designer/media personality and Ellen DeGeneres brand ambassador Taniya Nayak  along with Patti Austin, Grammy Award–winning singer and Over My Shoulder Foundation co-founder, the panel focused on how mentoring helps enliven the field of home design. Panelists included: Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thought forms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C&J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution.

In the Spring issue of Boston Common Magazine, CUMAR’s beautiful blue agate stone (pictured in the top left corner) was featured as one of interior designer and ASID President Eric Haydel’s hottest trends for the spring!

Cumar Marble and Granite feature in Boston Common Magazine

 

CUMAR was also featured in the Fall Kitchen issue of Boston HOME Magazine. Located in the Seaport District, this renovation turned an outdated kitchen into a contemporary haven with neutral quartz countertops and a crisp backsplash. Stainless steel hardware and Thermador appliances complement the space’s industrial vibe. Check out the article HERE!

In November, Ivo Cubi, President and Founder of CUMAR, was asked to do the closing toast at New England Home‘s annual Designer Hall of Fame Awards. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have had especially significant careers in residential design in New England. A small number of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects whose work, influence, and community involvement set them at the pinnacle of their profession are inducted into the Hall of Fame at an annual ceremony each November. Since CUMAR has worked with many of the winners, both past and present, Ivo was the perfect choice to close out the memorable night!

Ivo and Carlotta

In December, CUMAR was honored to be named “Best Stone Countertops” 2016 by Best of Boston HOME Magazine. CUMAR was recognized for our exceptional stone selection and our team’s dedication to customer service, making sure every project is expertly executed. This achievement marks the second “Best of” honor for CUMAR, having been previously recognized in 2011.  Check out the article HERE.

Once again, the entire CUMAR team  would like to thank you for your ongoing support and business. We look forward to another successful year together.

Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season and New Year – from our team to yours!

Cumar Marble and Granite holiday party 2015.

 

Floor Creation with Dawn Carroll

Welcome to the Cumar Marble and Granite Blog!

Cumar Marble & Granite is excited to announce the re-launch of our blog, a one-stop shop for insight into the fascinating stone industry. Check in every two weeks for behind-the-scenes glances at the process, photos of our gorgeous products, employee profiles and contributing articles, advice on stone care and design, and much more!

Read on for this week’s contributing blog from Cumar’s own stone design specialist Dawn Carroll, who is discussing the exciting process of creating a custom floor!

 

Feature Employee: Dawn Carroll, Stone Design Specialist

Dawn Carroll, Stone Design Specialist at Cumar Marble and Granite

 

Dawn Carroll has been consulting on stone design and fabrication for New England’s most prestigious builders, interior designers and architects for the past 20 years. Her projects have won numerous awards and have been featured in many publications. She now has projects across the United States and Bahamas.

The combination of Dawn Carroll’s talent and reputation and Cumar’s talent, reputation and expertise is taking stone design and fabrication to a completely new level. Clients will continue to benefit from stellar customer service, exceptional project management and now extraordinary and thought-provoking design concepts.

 

 

 

 

Creating a Custom Floor: Our Process

For over 20 years, Cumar Marble & Granite has relied on Ivo Cubi for his “stone-wisdom and mentoring.” The master craftsman, who is a seventh generation stone fabricator, has been instrumental in helping me develop a deep appreciation of the stone business—and in particular the mysterious product of natural stone and how it can help create lush interiors.

As New England homeowners begin to embrace a bolder aesthetic in their home design, the demand for couture stone is skyrocketing. Lively, courageous interiors are a hot commodity—and so is the expertise that goes into creating them, which is where Cumar excels. “The easy part is picking out the huge slabs of stone,” Cubi explains. “The hard part is cutting and fabricating it into a masterpiece.”

It is at this point that designers become so integral to the process. The empty space brims with possibility, posing a single question to the designer: “What do you see that I can become?”

Last week, members of the Cumar team lived out this process: hours on hands and knees, meticulously piecing together a custom-cut floor for a private residence. It was a test run to ensure that every detail was perfect before delivering the product to the home for installation, where the team repeated the process.

This particular project has been a delight from day one. The client, a discerning stone collector, first approached Cumar because he wanted something truly special for his home—a top-performing stone flexible enough to support the different personalities of each room. Honing in on his specific needs is where companies like Cumar Marble & Granite lead the pack, as we firmly believe that successful collaboration begins with listening and thoroughly understanding what a client wants. Our client’s imagination, enthusiasm, and active participation made this project an especially exciting and fulfilling collaboration.

With the client’s vision in mind, Cubi scoured the quarries for the perfect blocks of stunning natural quartzite stone to reify the client’s dream. Countless hours of sourcing, imagining, planning, and carving later, our team of stone artists had a finished product. In this case: a floor consisting of hundreds of pieces of custom-cut ¾”-thick rare white quartzite transitioning smoothly throughout the house to tell a different story from room to room. With the care and passion that infused every step of the process, this special collaboration is a true point of pride for Cumar!

Ivo Cubi oversees custom floor creation at Cumar Marble and Granite

 

 

Meet the “Home for the Holidays” Designers in Boston

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This Saturday, Decmber 20th, from 2:00–4:00 pm, Gerald Pomeroy, Paula Daher, and Eric Roseff will appear at the “Home for the Holidays” exhibit at Neiman Marcus, Copley Place.

 

Visitors will have the chance to ask Pomeroy, Daher, and Roseff about their design philosophies, holiday tips and tricks, or special home projects. This is a rare opportunity to talk with some of Boston’s leading interior designers in spaces they themselves envisioned and created.

From Pomeroy’s choice of chandelier, to the marble fireplace of Versailles, and the glowing marble columns of the Winter Palace, visitors are sure to be inspired.

Produced by Dawn Carroll of the Over My Shoulder Foundation and Tony Fusco of Boston Design Week, sponsored by Cumar Marble & Granite as well as New England Home magazine, “Home for the Holidays” is located in the Gift Gallery of Neiman Marcus, Copley Place.

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!

CUMAR CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Angelo "Ivo" Cubi with his daughter, Carlotta Cubi

Patti Austin, Grammy winner and co-founder of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, honored with the 2010 inaugural MIDDIE Award, designed by Cumar

In the stone world, mentoring is the only way that the special craftsmanship has been able to live on from generation to generation. Growing up as the daughter of a 7th generation stone craftsman has been very inspiring. The passion that my father, Ivo Cubi, exudes everyday has brought him international recognition. In our house, a highlighter and a set of architectural blue prints were how we practiced coloring within the lines. No coloring books, just plans of hotel lobbies, elaborate offices, or luxury residences. When I joined the family business, it became obvious that my dad was mentoring me all along. To you [my father] Ivo, I say thank you from me, the entire team at Cumar, and the countless number of other people in the industry you have mentored over the years.  

Lastly I would like to thank Cumar mentee Patti Austin and Cumar employee Dawn Carroll for starting the Over My Shoulder Foundation and inspiring the MIDDIE-Mentors in Design awards– We are honored to be part of the Award that is hosted by Design New England magazine. Patti was given the 2010 inaugural MIDDIE award and we welcome you into the design industry. We wish you all the best with your transition from mentor in the music world to mentee in the design world.”  Carlotta Cubi

A SPECIAL RECOUNT OF A VISIT TO THE QUARRIES IN IRELAND

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. www.daliakitchendesign.com

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.

PATTERSON GROUP GIVES RAVE TESTIMONIAL ON CUMAR MARBLE AND GRANITE

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