Complementing Regional Architecture with Manufactured Stone and Brick Veneer 

Words: Sarah Lograsso

How MSV can create stylistic distinctions in homes throughout the country

In the realm of home building and design, the allure of stone and brick is undeniable. These timeless materials have long been valued for their durability, versatility and aesthetic appeal, lending strength and charm to wide-ranging commercial and residential projects. When paired with other materials, they infuse projects with rich texture, elevating classic and innovative architectural designs alike.

Manufactured stone and brick veneer expand on this tradition, offering a range of styles, colors and textures to provide boundless possibilities. MSV and brick veneer can push designs beyond the limitations of natural materials like traditional stone, brick or wood. Whether aiming for a rustic farmhouse feel, classic traditional or a sleek modern look, the array of options is diverse. Builders and specifiers can seamlessly blend different styles to create bespoke patterns and effects that honor distinct architectural aesthetics.   

Pictured: Echo Ridge® Dressed Fieldstone from Cultured Stone 

Understanding regional nuances such as building codes, historic preservation requirements or stylistic differences is paramount for industry professionals. Across the United States, architectural styles are influenced by its region’s climate, historic precedent and local preferences. From variations in residential homes to the designs of commercial or mixed-use projects, regional styles and material selections have a synergistic relationship in defining each distinct area.

 

New England

In the Northeast, where historic structures and cobblestone streets are abundant, traditional materials like brick, stone and wood reign supreme. Colonial and Cape Cod styles often feature clapboard siding and steep roofs to handle heavy snowfall, and granite is commonly used in building foundations and decorative elements in homes. Projects in this region can be complemented with a fieldstone, which provides a rugged texture that blends well with the natural environment.

 

Mid-Atlantic

Stone and brick construction are popular in the Mid-Atlantic, adorning historic buildings and charming neighborhoods. Cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore are known for their brick row houses and Victorian-style architecture with ornate craftsmanship, contributing to this region’s rich heritage. Renovating these structures provides an opportunity to honor their history while refreshing them with a dynamic brick veneer to add dimension and contemporary colors.

 

South

Homes in the South often call for materials like stucco and brick to suit the region’s balmy climate. Porches are a staple to provide respite from the heat, and structures in coastal areas are often perched upon pilings to mitigate flooding. Here, a brick veneer with a classic brick shape and chiseled edges would provide architectural designs with a look like it’s braved the elements for decades.

Pictured: Chalk Dust TundraBrick® from Eldorado Stone 

Midwest
In the heartland, practicality and utilitarian design meets aesthetics in the form of farmhouse and craftsman style homes. Brick is both timeless and sturdy in its adornment of urban areas, bridging the gap between historic tradition and contemporary sensibilities. A barnwood-like stone veneer with wood grain textures can create aesthetic balance in both rural and urban projects throughout this region.

Mountain West
Amongst the rugged beauty of the Mountain states, log cabins and wooden structures are common. Stone is used extensively for practicality and aesthetics, especially in modern architecture where seamless blends of traditional and contemporary materials are preferred.

A stone mimicking natural limestone that showcases embedded, fossilized artifacts and roughly cleaved shapes will create a bold statement that echoes this region’s dynamism.

Pacific Northwest
Wood takes center stage here, reflecting the abundance of timber and lush greenery in the area. Modern designs often embrace the natural light with large windows, and sustainability is a key consideration for new projects. A hewn stone with its rough texture and smooth colors can bring an old world feel to modern projects in this region.

California
From sunny shores to rolling hills, California’s landscape and corresponding architecture is a testament to diversity. Mediterranean and Spanish influences lend an air of old-worm charm through stucco and tile roofs. Modern designs may embrace a mix of materials such as sleek glass, industrial steel and concrete, reflecting the state’s innovative spirit. Designs here would be complemented well by a European-inspired brick veneer, showing charming textural details and a contemporary yet balanced look.  

Pictured: Farola™ LoreioBrick™ from Eldorado Stone 

Southwest
In the arid, expansive Southwest, adobe construction blends seamlessly with the rugged terrain. Flat roofs and earthy tones complement the desert landscape, where stucco is best to withstand the harsh sun. Here, a versatile ledgestone veneer will gracefully mix with a spectrum of designs, bringing an earthiness to modern and rustic spaces alike.

Of course, throughout the tapestry of American design and architecture it’s important to recognize how economic factors, sustainable building practices and individual architectural preferences are always evolving. Contemporary trends are reshaping the architectural landscape, inspiring new style variations and building innovations.

When presented with extreme weather conditions, the durability of manufactured stone and brick shines through. In addition to being engineered to withstand the rain, snow and UV exposure, leading veneer products carry a Class A fire rating and are approved for use in high-velocity hurricane zones. Unlike their natural counterparts, MSV demands minimal maintenance, providing builders with a versatile tool that allows regional styles to evolve and adapt around them.

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About Sarah Lograsso
As Director of Marketing and Portfolio Management for Westlake Royal Stone Solutions, Sarah has successfully coupled her design talents with business acumen to refresh, refine and distinctly position five standout brands—including Cultured Stone and Eldorado Stone—in the North American market and abroad. She continues to provide design direction for the brands’ variety of best-selling modern profiles and trend-forward color palettes while enhancing the prestige of the category among masons, builders, designers, architects and consumers. 

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