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The White Arrow office featuring scrap Bardiglio marble on the kitchenette countertop and backsplash. | Photography by Kate Jordan; Styling by Brittany Albert

When Keren and Thomas Richter, the designer couple behind White Arrow, were pulling material options for Sight Unseen editor in chief Jill Singer’s Hamptons home, Keren found herself on a peculiar—albeit to-the-point—website: stonetrash.com. At the time, the designer was on the hunt for a chunk of pink onyx to potentially use as the kids’ bathroom vanity countertop and she was hoping to do so without breaking the bank. “It’s such a beautiful material, but usually you have to buy a full slab,” she shares. The premise of Stone Trash? One designer’s garbage can be another’s treasure.  

In the end, the Richters ended up purchasing a piece of travertine from a stone yard for Singer’s space, but Keren never forgot about the pages-on-pages of remnants she discovered at Stone Trash. In fact, shortly after uncovering the secret source, the pair bought a piece of Bardiglio marble from the website for their New York City office kitchen. “In a situation where [you need] a small sink console or a piece of furniture or a tiny kitchenette, it totally makes sense to get remnants,” says Keren. 

Along with Stone Trash, the designers have also used remnants from fabricators and stone yards that will sell offcuts at a serious discount. “A lot of that material ends up in landfills [otherwise]. It’s not only cost-effective but good for the planet,” adds Keren. Ahead, she answers our most pressing questions on sourcing scrap stone and reveals a few bold slabs she’s eyeing right now. 

What’s the difference between salvage and remnant stone?

Salvaged materials, whether it’s tile, doors, or marble, implies that it has been removed from an existing site. Olde Good Things, for example, is one of the largest architectural antiques dealers in the country and pulls its inventory largely from pre-Depression and late-19th-century buildings. “It’s amazing if you’re trying to put some soul into your home,” says Keren. 

Then there are vendors like Stone Trash and Countertop Smart that sell remnants. These pieces likely come from the material vendor directly, perhaps because a slab broke in transit or a developer decided they didn’t need their leftovers. 

Do I have to buy the whole remnant? 

Stone Trash, specifically, is a platform for a variety of vendors looking to get rid of different-size offcuts. The entire listing—whether it’s a 60- or 400-square-foot piece—must be purchased. Other sellers, though, may be open to negotiating the dimensions. All you have to do is ask! “It’s often about developing relationships with vendors; you find out more information when you engage with someone,” says Keren.

What types of stone should I be looking for? 

While White Arrow isn’t averse to a gorgeous piece of onyx, travertine, or even granite, almost all of its projects call for a range of marble. “For instance, a laundry or a basement kitchen might have a more simple stone; a powder room or home bar might have something dramatic; and furniture can be a wide range of fun materials like silver travertine, Calacatta turquoise, Calacatta Borghini, Calacatta Viola, Arabescato, Nero Marquina, you name it!” says Keren. Here are three slabs she’s eyeing right now: 

Sustainability photo
Grey Marble with White Veins – covers 18 square feet, Stone Trash ($507 total)

How do I turn my remnant into a final product?

Once they know their dimensions, the Richters and their team like to use Photoshop to see how the cuts will look in their design. “We allocate a bit of spacing between our intended design and the edges of the slabs when it comes to templating, because edges tend to be a bit jagged and irregular,” explains Keren. 

Many retailers including Stone Trash and SMC Stone (one of the designers’ go-to spots in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) will connect you directly with a professional who can template, fabricate, and install your stone if you don’t have your own contractor. In other cases, you’ll be responsible for delivering the material to a fabricator. “I would say for somebody who’s trying to figure this out, it would probably be easier if you can do the fabrication in-house,” she says. 

Going to a stone yard that doesn’t offer fabrication requires more work on your end, but if you’re on the hunt for something really special, it could be beneficial to look around at its products. “I’ve found that the most fantastic material usually comes from stone yards that do not do fabrication. That’s because they’re specializing in really high-end, incredible slabs and have taken that element off their plate,” Keren says. 

How much money will this save me?

The cost of scrap stone varies depending on how desirable the material is, the size of the remnant, and where in the country it’s located. No matter what, if you’re trying to cover a little coffee table or sink backsplash, it’s almost always going to be more economical than purchasing an entire slab. For example, on average, you can expect to pay around $60 per square foot for marble, according to Angi. But at Stone Trash, you might be able to score a piece of White Carrara for less than $18 per square foot. 

Really, the cost benefit all depends on the type of surface you’re looking to cover. “If you need a ton of material for a kitchen or a bathroom, a remnant is never going to be the solution,” says Keren. Also, the cost of putting it in your home won’t vary just because it’s an offcut. “Labor is labor,” she shares. “You’re never going to save on that.”

How should the scrap stone be finished and installed? 

Part of the appeal of buying remnants is it gives you access to more unique varieties—and that’s worth showing off in the end. If White Arrow is, say, designing a kitchen, its team will place the slab’s most dramatic veins on the island and countertop in key locations, always ensuring the transitions between different cuts appear seamless. “I do not like book matching (where the marble is visually repeated to appear like a dramatic mountaintop),” says Keren. “I like marble to look organic and natural. Either way, I like to ensure the color and drama hit the right points.” 

One hack up her sleeve? Because stone is sold usually in a 2- or 3-centimeter thickness, you pay more money for the thicker option because it’s more material. However, if you opt for a less expensive 2-centimeter cut, you can make it look thicker by having the edge mitered (aka cut at a 45-degree angle). “It gives the visual appearance of being thick, but it’s actually made from a lot less material,” she points out.

Where should I ultimately use stone scraps? 

Keren’s rule of thumb for designing with remnants is allocating them to slivers of countertop or small pieces of furniture. Here are a few examples of where White Arrow has used scraps on past projects.

On a Custom Piece of Furniture

Photography by Thomas Richter/White Arrow

When the owner of this penthouse told White Arrow she wanted her bed to face her windows, what she was really asking them was to situate it on the narrowest wall of the room—a tricky placement that didn’t leave much space for nightstands. So the team was forced to devise bespoke side tables that fit the space’s constraints. They wanted the petite wood table to still feel grand, so they hit up the stone yard for a scrap of Arabescato. “I think having a marble top on a piece of furniture is an easy way of making something seem extra-chic,” says Keren. 

On an Old-School–Inspired Vanity 

Photography by Thomas Richter/White Arrow

When it came to renovating the primary bathroom at their own Pound Ridge, New York, home, the Richters designed a custom sink vanity combining a remnant slab and old-school legs. They made it feel extra-special with a squared-off profile on top that matches the silhouette of the faucet. 

On a Bar or Kitchenette

Photography by Kate Jordan; Styling by Brittany Albert

The Bardiglio that the designers ordered for their office kitchenette was fabricated into two pieces: a 24-by-60-inch countertop and a 12-inch-tall backsplash. Keren chose the piece based on the rest of the studio’s color story. “[The space] has a lot of these richer colors, and I wanted a stone for the kitchenette that was sort of either bold and picking up on some of those purples or greens, or I wanted something in the darker grays that would pair nicely with the sort of muted blues that we had in the door,” she explains. What started out as an imperfect stone ended up being the perfect fit.