Stone Love

Unleash your inner cave-woman

(or cave-man), and embrace the beauty of exposed stone work in a contemporary interior.

View of the sitting room with original exposed stone and brick wall.

As a designer who has a serious love for any and all natural finishes and materials, I must stress my utmost  **love** for stacked stone finishes of any variety. Having said that, it becomes obvious why I fell head-over-heels for the tasteful use of exposed original stonework seen in Casa Remon 2 at Los Cuatro Tulipanes in Casco Viejo (which is now referred to as Casco Antiguo) in Panama City, Panama.

Exterior view of Los Cuatro Tulipanes.

This spacious second-story apartment has two bedrooms and two full bathrooms (one of which is an ensuite); as well as a pull-out sofabed in the sitting area/family room. There is a full kitchen, a small office nook and two fabulous balcony patios with decorative iron railings and humbling views of the historic buildings and local houses below.

Main balcony overlooking Plaza Catedral.

View of Plaza Catedral from Casa Remon 2.

All these fabulous features aside, my favourite part about Casa Remon 2 is still the restored original stacked stone walls that grace nearly every  room.

Master bedroom with original explosed stone work.

This calicanto stone wall is in surprisingly great condition considering that it was part of the original structure dating back hundreds of years (exact date unknown). I love the ornate Spanish furniture and the colourful, cozy-looking linens on the bed. Very little is happening in this room in terms of furniture and decor, but it works because our “hero” of this blog post (obviously I’m referring to the dashingly handsome stone wall) can hold his own. (By the way, did you notice the pretty blue border tiles that imitate an area rug? They are gorgeous.)

Check out the super intricate carvings on the posts of the headboard and footboard in the photo below. Simply stunning. Although I am not fond of floral patterns, I adore this duvet – or at least, I adore the combination of patterns, colours and textures in this space.

Second bedroom with original exposed stone work.

The magic is in the details. Yes, the photo below shows yet another example of the same type of exposed stone wall, but I find this antique chair and old Spanish-style throw cushion to be so painfully charming I just HAD to share it with you.

View of the apartment landing.

What you cannot see in the above photo is how I wanted a picture taken of me sitting in this chair (which is situated at the landing of the staircase leading to the entrance to Casa Remon 2), and as I sat down and posed with my best look-at-me-I’m-a-tourist face, the hotel groundskeeper walked by on the main floor below, looked up, and blatantly laughed at me, obviously not understanding my love for stone walls and antique chairs. I  felt a little embarrassed…and stupid…for demanding such a photo…but I just couldn’t help myself.


Caught in the act of a stupid tourist photo-op.

Love makes us do strange things, doesn’t it?

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  1. I am currently in Florence, Italy, surrounded by stone architecture in every sense of the word. Every hotel, church, basilica, restaurant, boutique, cafe, laneway, main road and bridge is made of stone. Large slabs, small cobbles…you name it. This is a stone-city that I can really get used to! Very pretty…

  2. I love the wall too! I would totally be posing for a silly pic too! Glad to see you are having fun! xo

  3. Thanks for commenting, Staci! Glad I was able to catch my blog-comment pop into my inbox while sitting here at 12am in the hotel lobby in florence. Thanks so much for reading….and thanks for being the one to say you’d also pose for a silly picture…us silly girls keep live interesting, right? :)

  4. I love, love, love that first bedroom – the stacked wall the faux area rug done with tiles, the carved bed – just beautiful!

  5. While I love the look and “pseudo-brutalist” feel of much stonework, I feel that it only ever really appeals when juxtaposed with the modern,l or against a cleaner aesthetic.

    Otherwise, it’s just too much (LeCorbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut notwithstanding, of course.)

  6. Love this one Tania! Hope you’re all having a great time tripping around Italy (easy for YOU guys with your command of the language!) I’m sure you’re taking lots and lots of pictures with your great eye for detail. Looking forward to seeing them all when you get home.


  7. Thanks for the comment, Lisa. And yes, the room is beautiful indeed, I just wish the photo could have done it justice – it’s much more impressive in person (as most things are). Thanks for reading :)

  8. Thanks for reading, Dany :) I hear you on the juxtaposition of the old and new. I like when there’s a combo of two styles as well, but being such an Old Soul, I always gravitate more towards antiquity (and nature for some reason) than contempory when it comes to design. Props to you for name-dropping LeCorbusier… ;)

  9. Hi Judi! thanks for reading and commenting. I would have never been introduced to this apartment if it weren’t for you and Mike. Italy is great so far, lots and lots of great photos to share here soon.

  10. Are there any faux stone walls you’ve come across that you like. I love the look too and always gravitate to keeping some natural elements when I can redo a wall or room…I mean, when I eventually can afford to redo a wall or room. Do you work with any affordable faux stone walls? Your pix are great and ain’t nothing silly about loving what you do.

  11. Thanks for your comment, Nadine. I have spec-ed faux stone panels by a company called Stone Rox in the past. I have a couple of samples at my office that a sales rep dropped off for me to see the quality in person, and I must say, I am impressed. The product is remarkably believable and well-priced. The company also provides in-depth instructions on how to install on your own if you aren’t interested in hiring one of their installers (although I would be hesitant to go the DIY route since these panels are quite heavy and if you don’t have the proper wall-prep and support done, you could end up with a disaster!). Take a look at and see for yourself. Hope you’ll come back to Passport2Design and read more soon. Cheers!

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