A Dallas importer-designer duo offer ways to make a statement using antique stone features
In Raymond Pittet’s own words: “Trends come and go, but the elegant quality of antique stone architectural elements is timeless. You can incorporate it into any design style.”Whatever the architectural style of your home, you can make it your own by adding stone elements from the past. “An antique French limestone fireplace or a kitchen countertop made from reclaimed Italian marble can be an exquisite focal point,” says Raymond Pittet, the owner of Pittet Architecturals, a Dallas company that imports and designs European architectural elements. “These are statement features that say a lot about who you are.”
Master collectors. Pittet grew up in Switzerland in a family of antique dealers. He started collecting rugs and textiles while working on a humanitarian project in Afghanistan in the 1980s. When he moved to the U.S., he started showing the rugs to friends, who wanted to purchase them. Pittet now travels the world with his son, Robinson, collecting masterworks of history and craftsmanship for clients’ homes and gardens. Raymond’s wife, Harmony, is the company’s vice president.
“My dad has come a long way from selling rugs out of the back of his van,” says Robinson, the marketing director at Pittet Architecturals. “Now we collect and sell fireplace mantels, reclaimed wooden cabinetry and doors, and large stone fountains and statuary that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Family-grown business. Raymond went from selling rugs and tapestries to working with his family in Switzerland to sell European furniture, paintings and light fixtures. From there, he made the leap into more structural elements. “I love the chase, the search for new and exciting elements that can change the look and feel of a space,” he says. “I love my job. I get to see different parts of the world, explore new cultures and meet interesting people — and share all that with my family and our customers.”
Below are Raymond and Robinson Pittet’s tips for incorporating antique stone elements into your architectural design.
1. Plan Ahead for Large Pieces
If you’re thinking of incorporating a decorative architectural design element into your remodel or new home, do so early in the process. “It’s much easier to work large elements like a fireplace into the blueprints rather than retrofitting,” Robinson says.
Highland Park clients wanted an antique fireplace that would fit in with their home’s contemporary design and extend to the ceiling. Pittet Architecturals supplied an 18th-century trumeau fireplace from Paris, seen here, that’s in the same style as the arched ceiling and molding.
3. Know Your Stone’s Story
If possible, get to know the stories behind the antique architectural fixtures that make up the character of your home. “Part of the value of reclaimed stone — whether in a fireplace, backyard fountain or patio tiles — is that it often comes with a history that’s fun to share with others,” Robinson says.
The French Burgundy limestone tiles used in this Highland Park patio were cultivated from a 17th-century castle in the south of France. “The rich patina of antique stone can only be acquired over time,” Robinson says. “This type of limestone is perfect for outdoor pavers, patios and driveways because it’s incredibly sturdy.”
See more reclaimed flooring
More: For more information on Raymond and Robinson Pittet and examples of their work, visit Pittet Architecturals’ Houzz profile.