October 2015

Distinctive Granite & Marble: Decorating with Stone Reaches New Heights

Author: Andrea Antunes McGilton

Not too long ago, using stone in your home meant looking at a small sample and picking out a granite countertop for the kitchen and another stone for the bathrooms. The choices were limited, applications uninspired and the looks predictable.

Today, there’s been an explosion in available natural and man-made stone here in the Lowcountry, and designers and homeowners are using it in creative and exciting new ways.

Several homes recently completed in the Lowcountry used as many as 10 different types of stone supplied by Distinctive Granite and Marble. Sure, the homes were large and there were multiple rooms and bathrooms. But in big homes and small, the approach to stone selection has become much like that for fabric—with an eye for color, textures and impact for each separate application.

The large variety of stone now available locally is probably the single biggest reason for this fresh approach to interior design. Distinctive Granite and Marble has four showrooms in the Lowcountry with vast displays of stone, including marble, granite, limestone, quartz, tile and more. Their sister company, AGM Imports, directly imports stone slabs from all over the world.

The owner of both companies, John Antunes, regularly travels to Europe and South America, visiting quarries and hand-selecting stone. The AGM warehouse in Hardeeville displays over 5,000 slabs. Customers are encouraged to leisurely tour the entire inventory and select their stone. Many come accompanied by their builders or interior designers.

AGM’s huge buying power means that they purchase stone for a better price and sell it at a lower price than other distributors throughout the Southeast. Combine that with Distinctive’s high tech, precision fabrication and old world craftsmanship, and it’s no wonder that it has been the choice for stone for the new Sea Pines Beach Club, Plantation Golf Club and Harbour Town Clubhouse.

Distinctive also installed stone at the Westin, Bray’s Island Golf Club, Ombra, the Ocean Palms Villas and Blue Water Marina, among others.

Remnant yard offers discount stone
Distinctive’s remnant yard at the Riverwalk showroom is a delightful surprise for stone shoppers. At Distinctive, unlike many stone suppliers, buyers pay only for the stone they need for their homes. The remnant stone is made available for sale at prices well below market. Exotic stone is included in the huge selection of smaller pieces that can be found in the remnant yard. It’s the perfect place to find a special piece of stone that might have been too expensive for a larger application.

Visitors to the remnant yard pass through Distinctive’s state-of-the-art fabrication facility, featuring a closed loop system that recycles all water, imported high tech equipment and expert craftsmen. The new Beaufort showroom also includes a fabrication center, offering new expertise to the area marketplace.

New stone products offered
While marble has always been a preferred choice for its elegance and glamour, new quartz products are now gaining in popularity. PolarStone, a popular new quartz product now exclusively available at Distinctive Granite and Marble, has quickly become a favorite of home builders. This stone looks like marble, with veining through the slab similar to natural stone, and offers high performance and low maintenance. PolarStone combines the sought-after translucent quality of marble with a surface that is scratch, chip and heat resistant.

The choice is yours
With companies like Distinctive Granite and Marble and AGM Imports, Lowcountry homebuilders have the best of all worlds in selecting stone for their homes and businesses. Whether you want to make a dramatic statement with your stone—in color, movement and visual impact—or prefer the calm subtle beauty of a classic stone, the choice is yours. 

Andrea Antunes McGilton is sales manager at Distinctive Granite and Marble, the company founded by her father, John Antunes over 30 years ago. Distinctive has showrooms in Riverwalk, Beaufort, Pooler (Savannah) and on Hilton Head Island.

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