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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
     Monthly Newsletter
September 2009
In This Issue


Topic of the Month:
Interior Design With Others In Mind

Designer of the Month: Nava Slavin of The Creative Edge, Inc.

Stone FAQ: Sealing Your Natural Stone Surface

Helpful Links for Architects

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Need Samples? Visit our Sample Request page.

Devonian_Countertop Welcome to the September issue of our newsletter! With Fall in full swing, we imagine there are a lot of interesting new projects underway. We love hearing what architects and designers are up to, so if you have a project you would like to share, please contact us and tell us about it. We may choose to feature your project in one of our upcoming issues, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. And who are we? Our company mines and manufactures Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products. The stone has a consistent pale blue-gray hue that has been used in residential, institutional and commercial projects across the country. Click here to find out more.

Designer of the Month: Nava Slavin of The Creative Edge, Inc.

Nava_Slavin_1 Nava Slavin, President and CEO of The Creative Edge, Inc. has over 25 years of experience in kitchen, bath and interior design. She has a degree in architecture and is affiliated with the AIA, ASID, and NKBA.

The Creative Edge, Inc. is a high-end, 4,000 square foot kitchen and bath design showroom that mirrors a real home so that clients can get a true feel for the different products in an actual home setting. The showroom houses displays of Scavolini contemporary European kitchens, Craft-Maid fully custom American traditional cabinets, and Ovation semi-custom cabinetry. In addition, American and European bathroom vanities are featured. The Creative Edge, Inc. also offers closet systems, a full selection of tile, countertops, appliances, Murano lighting and fine art. Nava Slavin also designs wine cellars, custom wall units, and hosts evening events, talks and product demonstrations by company representatives, chefs, master samoliers and other experts.

For more information:

Topic of the Month: Interior Design With Others In Mind
Nava Slavin loves design. That's why she opened her showroom, The Creative Edge, Inc. in Roslyn Heights, NY six years ago. Although she specializes in kitchen, bath and wine cellar design, she also does whole house renovations of both interiors and exteriors. Ms. Slavin explains, "I have an architectural degree and have been involved in much bigger projects, but I ended up really liking working with interiors. That led me to opening up my showroom because I needed the products and this way I can have all of them on hand. So I've gotten more and more involved that way and that's when I opened the showroom, but I worked with other companies all along. I've been in the business for about thirty years."

Ms. Slavin doesn't have a favorite thing to design because she likes to design everything. "I really enjoy designing, period. It doesn't even matter what period of design, whether it's contemporary or traditional, I enjoy both equally. It's more about the enjoyment of working with the client toward certain goals. That really motivates me rather than the specific style. I like to talk with the client about their life, the way they like to work and entertain in their home, and the design comes from that rather than from a specific style. They may lean toward a more traditional style or a more modern style, but the design itself is born from the needs and desires of the client. It's not about designing for me - my skills are to design for other people. When I speak to a client for the first time, I try to steer them in a direction which will reflect the way they really want to live, rather than someone else's style. So that's the reason each project I design comes out looking very different, because it's not a copy of anything else - it evolved into what the client really wants."

"I never try to impose my views on clients, unless it looks like they're going to make a mistake because of something they want that I feel in the end they're going to regret. Then I do point it out to them. But I don't force them to do anything, I just advise them."

Despite the fact that Ms. Slavin prefers to base her designs on a client's needs, a signature style seems to shine through amidst the preferences of others. "I would have to say that's the case with any designer, that you do sort of develop a certain signature style, but I think it would take a very trained eye to really be able to know that if they were to look at my designs overall."

"We have worked with a lot of architects and designers and the nice thing about it is that we work very much in concert with those designers and architects. If an architect or a designer sends us a client, we always listen to them and hear what their vision of the design is. What happens in the end is one of two things. Either we follow what the architect or designer wants and we don't get too involved with our own suggestions, we just provide them with the materials, or, if the architect is not really interested in designing a particular space like a kitchen or wine cellar and they want us to be completely involved with the design of that space: kitchen, bathrooms, whatever it is, then we do that. We always work with the architect where we send them plans first and the elevations and go over it with them before we actually finalize anything to make sure we're on the same page. So we're very flexible in how we work."

Of all the types of projects Ms. Slavin works on, designing wine cellars is perhaps among the most interesting. "It's a very specific type of job. Usually when you do a wine cellar, you do it for a person who is very much into wines and knows a lot about what they want, and how they want things designed depends on what they do with the wine cellar. Sometimes when we do a wine cellar, it has to do with storage alone, which is a simple, no fuss kind of design. Sometimes they actually entertain people for a wine tasting and they want a seating area and demonstration area where they bring in samoliers to talk about the wine. It gets much more involved, but that's really a lot of fun to design. I developed my love for wine from spending time in Italy and going to wine cellars, and then going to Argentina to wine tasting events where I saw how passionate people were about their wines and about their parties. It's just a fabulous part of the field to get involved in."

Entertaining is another specialty that Nava Slavin offers at her showroom. She explains, "We volunteer our showroom for events held by charitable organizations that raise money for breast cancer research or heart disease. We invite chefs and samoliers and whoever is of interest to that particular group and we do an event, sometimes once a month, sometimes twice a month, depending on what's going on. We really enjoy it because it's our way of giving back to the community and to charitable organizations. We also offer our cabinetry or furniture that people are getting rid of that's in good condition to Habitat for Humanity and other organizations that can reuse it by offering it to people who need it."

The next event will probably be toward the end of October. Architects, designers and clients attend, and of course people who are affiliated with the charity attend as well. Sometimes the particular charity will invite all of their people who are donating. "We welcome people to contact us to schedule events because it's good for them and it's good for us. We don't take money from them, we just volunteer our space and the chef. Doing this makes us feel very good."

Stone FAQ: Sealing Your Natural Stone Surface

The use of sealers is a powerful preventative measure for protecting natural stone against stains. People often assume that natural stone is "stain-proof," however all stone is porous to some degree. If not properly treated with a protective sealer, water, oils or other liquids can easily penetrate the stone, leaving behind unwanted stains.

For countertops and other food preparation areas, the stone should have a high-quality, food-grade sealer applied that is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. You will need to reapply this sealer periodically and the frequency of applications will depend on the sealer, and on the type of stone you have. Vanity top surfaces should have a penetrating sealer applied. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing automobile paste wax can be applied to minimize water spotting. The application of additional coats of sealer will depend on the type of stone, the frequency of use, and the manufacturer's recommendations. The expected wear for most sealers is 3-5 years for interior surfaces and 1-3 years for exterior surfaces.

If you have any questions regarding any stone-related topics, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with the answer in an upcoming issue of our newsletter.

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community
The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit:

Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit:

Architectural Record Continuing Education Center
Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.

Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

Copyright Devonian Stone of New York, Inc. 2008. All Rights Reserved. Content may not be copied or reproduced in any way without the written consent of Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.