Economies of Scale from New Ravenna

As it turns out, size does matter.

Particularly when it comes to large mosaic patterns from Sara Baldwin’s New Ravenna showroom and warehouse on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

She’s come up with a collection of hefty pieces of stone in familiar patterns – a response to customer requests for grander floors in their foyers.

Palazzo, she calls it, citing Renaissance palaces as a reference point. Or even, one might add, the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence.

“The lovely thing about this is that the sizes can change – to four-inch or six-inch or 12-inch triangles,” she says. “They can be adjusted to match the scale of the room or the taste of the designers. Some are in a three-foot pattern.”

With the larger size come lower prices. “They’re less expensive because there’s less labor involved,” she says.

The mosaics can be created from existing patterns – or be customized to a client’s or designer’s needs and aesthetics. “You can do it any way you want and get it in just a few weeks,” she says.

There’s no shortage of choices at New Ravenna. Every week, a new container with 7,500 square feet of stone arrives from 12 countries around the world, including Greece, Spain, China, Turkey, Tunisia, Italy, and Macedonia. It adds up to about 90 different kinds, and inventory on hand at any given time is about 250,000 square feet.

Out the door every week move 7,500 square feet of assembled mosaics. “We ship 25 to 30 orders a day,” she says. “There are about 350 sample orders a month.”

Stones in the Palazzo collection get special treatment, though. “We hand-sand the edges and put them together for a texture that’s unusual – it makes the stone feel a like it’s warmer and softer,” she says.

They’re transitional too – they’ll work well in either a contemporary or traditional home.

But mostly, they deliver economy of scale.

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