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How to be an Ethical Consumer in 2019

By | Environmental Impact, Trends | No Comments

New Year, New Resolutions, New Approaches

As we roll on in to 2019 no doubt you have set yourself some resolutions or goals for the year ahead. And as the news around us becomes increasingly peppered with articles about sustainability and our environmental impact, it is highly likely that modifying some simple habits in relation to this has creeped into those goals you’ve set.

Perhaps you’re vowing to get to the local market every Saturday, or are determined to take that keep cup your sister-in-law got you for Christmas everywhere you go. Maybe you haven’t figured out the details yet, but you have this niggling feeling that THIS should be the year that you do something about reducing your carbon footprint.

No matter where you are in your journey towards adjusting your impact on the environment, we’ve put together a few simple ideas on ways in which you can do so by simply being a more ethical consumer in 2019.

Hopefully these tips on being a more ethical consumer have given you some food for thought, and inspired you to action even just one thing on the list! We’ll be talking more about the topic of the environment and sustainability as we go through 2019.

Tell us about you…

What do you do already to be ethical in the way you consume and use goods? Let us know your own top tips. What works for you? And what doesn’t?

Milan Design Week 2018: Salone del Mobile

By | Interior Design, Trends | No Comments

The place to be for all interior design aficionados in the Italian springtime, Milan Design Week is where trends are born.

Here’s our round up of the top trends that have emerged from Salone del Mobile so as to inspire your home design project – whether it be for kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living spaces or all-over home makeovers.

Warm & Earthy

Shades inspired by the Arizona desert; hues of rust, amber and clay; rich colours with faded charm reminiscent of red, terracotta and coral.

Natural Stone

Tactile, textured details abound; side tables, lamps, bowls, furniture legs, wall panels; boldly pigmented, richly veined marble; hard surface patterns applied to soft furnishings.

Going Green

Serene greens bringing softness to rooms; inspired by nature and sustainability; bringing a feel of the natural environment into the home.

Millennial Calm

Cool tones are out, warm tones are in; think millennial pink, light creams, less grey more beige; keeping things light.

Organic Curves

Voluptuous curves and circular forms; a playful application of round edges; think planets and marshmallows.


Unique application of colour graduation; soft furnishings and eclectic weaves; warm rusty reds and soft sea greens.

Boldly Blue

Electric, cobalt, Klein; bold blocks of high impact colour; stand-out pieces and statement chairs.

We’re Feeling Retro…

From all that we’ve seen it’s not surprising that many people are reflecting on the Retro feel that Milan Design Week 2018 had to offer. With rounded curves, subdued hues and rich textures, there’s many different ways in which you could apply this retro aesthetic within your own home.

If you’ve been inspired and would like help with choosing stone or porcelain for your home, kitchen or bathroom we can help.

Contact Our Showroom

The rise of porcelain: why so popular?

By | Kitchens, porcelain, Trends | No Comments

Why is ultra-compact porcelain so special?

Porcelain has of course been around for centuries, but only recently has it emerged as a surface material used in homes and commercial buildings. Following great success in Europe, porcelain slabs and large format tiles are now captivating architects and home owners in Australia too. But why?

Firstly, what is a porcelain or sintered compact surface?

To better understand why porcelain kitchen benchtops, floors, wall tiles and bathrooms are so popoular it’s best to first understand what they actually are.

Also known as a sintered compact surface or technical pressed porcelain, large format porcelain is a high-density material that has undergone extreme temperatures and pressures to result in a permanently hardened, virtually non-porous surface material.

A sophisticated blend of raw materials, powdered clay and coloured pigments are fused together to make pressed porcelain, mimicking the processes that natural stone undergoes in the ground over thousands of years. These porcelain slabs and tiles have immense durability and can come in a range of designs that look like wood, concrete, marble and limestone.

The thickness of the final ultra-compact porcelain varies from 5mm to 20mm. The intended final use is likely to dictate what thickness of porcelain is chosen for a fit-out.

Did you know? Raw materials found in glass, ceramic and quartz are used to make ultra-compact porcelain slabs, and during the manufacturing process no harmful chemicals or resins are used.

What are the pros of using porcelain?

Designers and home owners are loving the many benefits of using porcelain within a home or commercial space. Here are some of the pros of using porcelain for kitchen benchtops, floor tiles and so much more:

  • Porcelain is extremely tough and hard-wearing
  • Porcelain is heat resistant and UV light resistant
  • Porcelain is largely unaffected by wear and tear
  • Porcelain is less porous than other stone surfaces therefore doesn’t stain
  • Porcelain can withstand harsh chemicals
  • Porcelain is an environmentally friendly and completely recyclable product
  • Porcelain can be used for many different applications, both indoors and outdoors, with no special sealing or treatment needed

Did you know? An induction cook top can go below a porcelain benchtop resulting in there being no need for a breaks in the kitchen benchtop surface.

Are there any cons to using pressed porcelain?

In comparison to the list of pros, the cons of using porcelain are certainly few. Here they are:

  • Porcelain is difficult to repair perfectly. If a chip occurs it is fixed using an epoxy acrylate resin of matching colour. Though this won’t result in a seamless repair, the skill of your chosen stonemason will certainly affect the finish.
  • A cut or groove on patterned porcelain will reveal the non-patterned porcelain beneath. This is because designs on porcelain are printed using an inkjet printer.
  • Joins and mitred edges between pieces of porcelain will not be seamless. This may be avoided by using a slab that is of uniform colour and grain patterning. Alternatively, embrace the visible seam and make it a design feature!

What can I use a porcelain surface for?

Kitchen Benchtops

Kitchen Splashbacks

Bathroom Wet Areas


Furniture & Cabinet Facades

Indoor Floor Tiles

Outdoor Floor Tiles

Stair Treads

Wall Tiles

Exterior Cladding

Balconies, Patios and Decks

What finishes are available for porcelain?

Because natural pigments are used in the manufacturing process of pressed porcelain each supplier will have their own range of colours. It is possible to have a smooth or textured finish, matt or high gloss – it’s up to you!

Porcelain can also be patterned in designs such as rust, marble, woodgrain, metallics and cement. These options open up a gateway of creativity and are sure to expand in range as porcelain’s popularity continues to grow.

Who can install porcelain for kitchen benchtops and other applications?

Porcelain must be treated extremely carefully during manufacturing and installation. Therefore it is highly recommended that you use a fully trained installer for your project.

At Distinctive Stone Noosa, our stonemasons have been comprehensively trained in handling porcelain slabs and use the correct equipment to avoid any damages to your precious purchase.

To view the range of porcelain we stock please take a look at our dedicated Porcelain Page.