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Special rooms


Stone works best when you embrace its natural variations


Bathroom displays show how your stone will look in situ


These sinks somehow


contrive to be both classic and stylishly modern


oversized slabs, the idea being that the fewer flagstone-sized tiles you have in a room, the bigger it will seem. “As well as the larger format flooring, grey stones are very much in vogue,” Louisa says. “Indeed, we’re carrying grey marble now too.” Also new to the store: an expanded stone


bath-ware range, and a new textured stone collection called ‘Splitface’ that’s very much worth popping in to take a look at next time you’re on Broad Street. “Our stones are natural, so they have


lots of variation in terms of shade and texture,” Louisa says, “meaning an image, or even small sample, will never give a true reflection of the overall effect. Seeing it over larger display areas makes the decision-making process so much easier – and safer, too!” This extreme degree of choice (“an


equivalent range of quality stone is impossible to find elsewhere,” Louisa maintains) isn’t the only thing Mandarin has going for it, of course. There’s also the quick delivery times (possible because such vast stocks are held at the company’s home base in Monmouth), while the value-for- money aspect is not to be sniffed at either, especially if you’re buying fairly large quantities. “We’re very reasonable,” Louisa says, “with our Classic ranges starting from just £15 per sqm.” So, we wonder, if you, personally, were


redoing a bathroom at the moment, what would you chose? “I have to say, the classic Italian marbles we offer are simply timeless,” Louisa says.


“They have strong veining, almost like a blue cheese, and will never date. Once good stone is installed, it lasts forever.” CL


Mandarin Stone, 15 Regent Street, Bristol BS8 4HW; 0117 9731552; mandarinstone.com


Viva Rock!


We get the ‘Stone’ bit, but why ‘Mandarin’? In the late ’80s, Mandarin Stone founder Alma Small was asked to sell a container load of Chinese slate, brought in by a roofing distributor in Weston super Mare. “It started from there,” Louisa says, “and Alma’s grown the company steadily over the years since, to the point where there are now nine showrooms across the UK.” The Bath showroom was the first after the


original one in South Wales, but Bristol soon followed, along with Cardiff, Cheltenham, Exeter and others. It’s no wonder Mandarin Stone, with its Chinese roots, has become such a South West institution.


www.mediaclash.co.uk Clifton Life 83


Stone baths always look spectacular; when they’re marbled like this, especially so


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