Creating impact with Natural Stone Veneer

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Real stone veneer from Natural Stone Veneer Limited has been used to dramatic effect at a new restaurant in the vibrant village of Hoole, Cheshire. The Hollows is the newest edition this trendy suburb of Chester.

The inherent qualities of real stone veneer can unlock infinite design possibilities and this was certainly true at The Hollows. Cheshire based Brereton Pinnington who designed the interior was looking to create an eclectic and vibrant space with an abundance of witty detail to entertain the eye. Real Stone Veneer fitted the brief perfectly and provided the wow factor the client was looking for!

The Hollows is split over two levels and includes the first oyster bar and charcuterie bar in Chester. The bar counter area downstairs features a Chef’s Table where customers can sit and watch the spectacle of the food theatre that is played out behind it. A focal point of the bar is a glut of oysters displayed in a carved stone bowl, created from a huge boulder cut in half and hollowed out which effortlessly compliments the Real Stone Veneer on the bar front beneath it. The ridges of the oyster shells are also echoed in the stone veneer.

Autumn White Real Stone Veneer was chosen for the bar front. Clair Brereton of Brereton Pinnington commented, “The Hollows is quite a narrow, long space so we didn’t want anything too strong on the bar front. The stone has an organic feel to it, and is quite mellow with interesting 3 dimensional accentuations. The soft natural grey tones of the Autumn White fit beautifully with the décor and the use of non-dominant tones as a base enabled us to bring in pockets of interest around it.”

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The veneer was installed vertically on the front of the bar to give the illusion of height.

Despite their size, the sheets remain lightweight and are therefore easy to carry around site.

In The Hollows, the 2mm thick veneer was fixed on to a plywood surface. “It was really easy to work with for a competent joiner with a handsaw and some specialist solvent-free adhesive. We liked the fact that it came in large sheets so not many cuts or grout lines to spoil the design,” said Clair.

During the manufacturing process, the high degree of adhesion accomplished between the stone and the glass fibre reinforced polyester (GRP) produces a strong bond and results in a stable, yet highly flexible material. This made the bending of the stone around the front corner of the bar easy, but much more complex shaping around a tight radius can be achieved on columns and curved walls for instance.

The raw split surface of the stone and the interchanging colours of each layer are absolutely unique, giving completely natural colour hues and surface variations from panel to panel. At The Hollows, the effect completely transforms the environment of a room to provide maximum impact and provided a dramatic contrast to the Mediterranean tiled flooring.

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Avid fans of Real Stone Veneer, Brereton Pinnington also used the material at The Suburbs bar in Hoole, which is next door and under the same ownership.

Real Stone Veneer it is very appealing to clients who want to say something different. Clair admits, “No one has ever seen anything like Real Stone Veneer before so when we show it to clients there is always bit of a wow factor about it.”