With a long history in sales since his teenage years, Khunno Preap is all about building relationships with clients. He joined National Tiles as a commercial rep and learnt a lot about working with designers, builders and architects, and that is where he first met Kate Walker.
Explains Kate, “I was leading the commercial and architectural division of National Tiles when I employed Khunno, and set him on his journey with natural stone.” Adds Khunno, “Working at National Tiles and with Kate gave me such a strong foundation of, understanding of and experience with incorporating natural stone into interior and exterior design”
Khunno later joined RMS Natural Stone, a company established in 1993 that has grown to become one of Australia’s leading importers and suppliers of natural stone. “The clientele base and range of projects were inspiring and challenging and I fell in love with the materials I work with.“
“I am so passionate about natural stone. When the original owner passed away my manager took over the business and then when he retired a few years ago I bought the business. Over the course of this time, we have established strong relationships with key international suppliers and these relationships allow us to source and proudly supply high quality natural stone products for projects Australia wide.”
The RMS stone range is sourced from the world’s leading quarries in Italy, Spain, Turkey and Asia. They are focused on providing the highest quality natural stone slabs, tiles and mosaics to the Australian design industry. “I am so inspired by natural stone. The incredible effort it takes to get the natural stone to us in Australia can’t be underestimated, not just the quarrying and transportation, but the fact that it has been formed in the earth over hundreds of thousands of years. Each piece is unique, with veining and ancient fossils and fascinating colours and tones. It’s like Mother Nature’s work of art.”
In terms of trends, Khunno explains, “Natural stone has been consistently sought after, but the desire for natural stone is on the rise. Shades of grey have traditionally been very popular, like Tundra Grey and Portsea Grey, but the trend is heading more towards beige – and even greens and pink. And the demand for Quartz is on the rise too. It’s becoming increasingly more sought after than a traditional marble or limestone because it’s so dense and strong and requires less maintenance.”
Kate and the KWD team work closely with Khunno, developing KWD’s product offering and exploring new and innovative ways to use natural stone. When they began designing the exterior spaces of Kate’s new home, Biscayne, they explored all of the possibilities in order to select the perfect natural stone. Says Khunno, “Kate was very particular about having a really light coloured stone so we decided on a Turkish marble, Miami Marble, which is almost like a shade of limestone – neutral in colour, but very dense in structure. It’s a beautiful stone for landscaping and the colour Kate selected is perfect for the pool and spa surround.”
Working alongside Heath from Plume Studio, Kate created a very special laying pattern for the Miami Marble, one that will add a custom landscaping design to Biscayne, expertly laid by Matty from Rock Edge.
At KWD we live and breathe hard finishes, and natural stone is always one of our favourite materials. If you are keen to incorporate beautiful natural stone into your new build or renovation, KWD has an extensive collection of the most incredible natural stones – including a beautiful range from RMS Natural Stone, one of our most trusted supply partners.