Praise be to the gods of modern design, we met this guy. Seriously. Tally Stevens is a stone slangin' swell at European Marble & Granite, and a substantial contributor to some of the COLLECTIVE office's most tasty furniture pieces. Thanks to his eagle-eye for perfectly-appointed slabs [and the crafty skill of this cat], we've got no less than seven incredibly-gorgeous tables and counter tops strewn throughout our wonderland. If you need a marble guy, we got him right here [and his contact info can be found below]. We asked Mr. Tally a few q's about the work, the process, and his stone-cold knack for getting it right. Keep reading...
First things first: why marble? What the what? I've always enjoyed interior design as a hobby and when I fell into this career several years ago, the design aspect meshed perfectly with the type of residential and commercial tile/stone work we do. I've also enjoyed the challenge of learning the vast amount of technical knowledge required in this industry. Stone countertops and other stone applications are an integral and sometimes eternal part of a home and being involved in that part of the process is a great feeling. Especially when you get to see the finished product.
Our office is stellar in large part to your help with the choices/cuts/decisions on some amazing marble pieces. Is every project pretty clear for you? Do you know the direction you'll take the minute you see a space? One of the most important parts for me is to see the home or business...the setting, the style, and the surrounding landscape. If I can visualize the space with plans or an on-site visit, it makes all the difference in helping the clients select the perfect stone and tile. Not every project is clear and sometimes you feel at the edge of your seat throughout the whole job, but sometimes the ones that aren't so clear become the most challenging and fun.
What's your actual role in the process? Are you the project designer? The marble cutter? Or just the handsome man-bait in the sales process? I can only claim two of these. Fortunately, we have the best fabricators, templator, installers, and shop manager in the intermountain west and they take great pride in their work. If something goes wrong with a cut or a piece, it's just as upsetting to the fabricator as it is to the rest of us. Luckily that happens very rarely. I, on the other hand, pretty much run the job from start to finish (from the time I bid the material to the day we invoice). There are a lot of steps between the material selection the install and in some aspect I'm pretty much hands-on or overseeing every step of the process.
Your dream client…tell us about that project. I've had the opportunity so far to work on so many great projects...I can't just list one. I work with some of the best contractors, clients, and designers in Utah and the surrounding states. I will say that I love it when a client or designer really allows (or wants) me to get involved in the material-selection process. I have so much fun, for example, when Andrea Beecher brings a new client into our showroom or when we meet on site. We start throwing around tiles and counter top samples and suddenly the client is like, "yeah, that's it, let's do it, sold!" So that's fun.
What are you seeing in stone trends, both in SLC and other cities? Right now we're seeing a huge trend in white marbles and natural stone with a vein cut. Vein-cut materials are usually a marble, travertine, quartzite or granite slabs where you see the veins in a linear striation in the slab. They're very beautiful and they seem to be the hot item. We're also seeing more interest locally for unique, mosaic tiles and large-format porcelain tile. We happen to specialize in all of the above.
Pro tips. Got any? What should we know and/or look for in a big ol' slab? My first recommendation is to find a good fabricator/installer, like our company. I think one of the biggest mistakes someone can make is to buy a beautiful 'big ol' slab' and then hire the cheapest fabricator in the city, as materials can really show imperfections when the fabrication and installation are poor. It's amazing and heartbreaking how often we get called after someone chose to spend a little less and then they call us to fix the other guys mistakes. Secondly, you should always try to find something unique. In every price range, from low to high, you can find something that is a little different from everything else out there. Last but not least, take your time in the selection process. These types of items are a very solid part of your home, and you won't likely be tearing them out in the near future. Walk through the slab yard a few times, take home samples...make sure your happy with every decision.
Our office has got some solid chunks [dude…pun], and you and I both know you'll be adding another perfect piece to the collection soon. Are you excited? Are you? Are you? Can't wait. The COLLECTIVE offices have become a great show piece for the amazing work we do.