Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri Archives - cornerstonecustomconstruction

10 Design Ideas for Using Cast Stone To Customize Your Home

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Uncategorized | No Comments


Cast stone accents are an affordable design details that transform a simple home into one with character and architectural appeal. “Cast stone gives a home character by using it as architectural details on the exterior and interior for an upscale, elegant look—one with natural, time-worn appeal.,” says Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.


Cast stone also known as precast concrete mimics the look of limestone by mixing cement and sand that is poured into molds to create shapes and architectural pieces. Precast concrete gets its weathered look by adding baking soda in the mixing process to create its uneven surface and rich texture.   Although cast stone looks and feels heavy, it is much lighter than natural stone making it easier to install and opening up more design possibilities.


Foam inserts in cast stone pieces keep the material lightweight and support its structure and shape. Cast stone comes in different colors but Ulibarri cautions that it’s hard to have a consistency in color and texture because each batch has variations. Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri offers a few design ideas for using cast stone in your living space

Exterior Cast Stone Accent Ideas:

Window Sills & Surrounds:





Front Door and Garage Door Frames:



Fountain frames:


Interior Cast Stone Accent Ideas:

Fireplace Mantles:


Range Hoods:





Crown Moulding:






Wine Cellar Surrounds:


For more design ideas to customize your home, go to www.imyourbuilder.com


A Sneak Peek at a Mod-Mediterranean Home Under Construction

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Kitchen Design, Mod-Mediterranean Design | No Comments

Transitional style is the buzzword in today’s home design and decor. It’s a fusion of traditional and contemporary design but in Florida, we’ve got our own take on this trend: It’s called Mod-Mediterranean. Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri says a lot of clients are asking for the Mod-Mediterranean look in new homes because it’s timeless yet reflects some of today’s trends. The key to successfully creating this New twist on Old World design is striking a balance between the sleek, shiny, edgy, urban and the rustic, timeworn, traditional.  Jorge says to create the look, first define style of the large surfaces and elements in the home such as floors, ceilings and solid surfaces. “Do you want them to be rustic or modern? Once you’ve established the style of the base decor of your home, go in the opposite direction with details and accents,” explains Jorge.

For example, if your floors are rustic, perhaps made of chiseled-edge travertine, add in modern details such as stainless steel, metallics, quartz and glass to bring in a contemporary edge. Let the defined style of your base decor and accents be your guide as you pull together the Mod-Mediterranean look in architecture and decor.  Here are few ideas from a Mod-Mediterranean home Jorge has under construction with 4,900 square feet of living space that dances between both worlds: Modern and Old.

Mod-Mediterranean Ceiling Designs:

This barrel ceiling features travertine square tiles as the primary material with glass tiles in brown and beige forming the decorative edge for a seamless blend of rustic and contemporary materials.

A Mod-Mediterranean style barrel ceiling. Notice how glass tiles in earth tones edge the rustic travertine tiles for a seamless blend of Old World and Modern. This hallway is in a Mod-Mediterranean home under construction by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

A Mod-Mediterranean style barrel ceiling. Notice how glass tiles in earth tones edge the rustic travertine tiles for a seamless blend of Old World and Modern. This hallway is in a Mod-Mediterranean home under construction by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri.

This ceiling uses rustic materials in a contemporary design. Notice how the painted wood planks form a decorative grid recessed in the ceiling and anchored by a contemporary light fixture.

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Mod-Mediterranean Kitchen Design:

In this home, the canvas or large surface areas are rustic and the accents are contemporary. This kitchen blends both styles by balancing out traditional materials with sleek accents. Notice the wood beams in the ceiling and the rustic stone on the curved pantry wall that frames a sleek flat-paneled wood door. The glass mosaic backsplash, metal-framed, frosted-glass panel cabinets, stainless steel sculptural range hood and industrial light fixture give the kitchen a modern edge. White quartz on the kitchen countertops keep the aesthetic clean and sleek.

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A split height kitchen island breaks with traditional style. Notice how the white quartz countertops have a clean, simple edge, nothing embellished. The kitchen’s white, flat-paneled base cabinets contrast with the island’s darker wood base melding modern-style cabinetry with rustic chiseled-edge travertine flooring.

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A Mod-Mediterranean Fireplace:

Creating focal points that blend traditional and contemporary materials will pull together the Mod-Mediterranean style. This 24-foot fireplace mixes contemporary glass tiles with wood panels and rustic stone. The stainless steel hearth injects modern metallic into the design for a fireplace that is timeless yet current.

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Mod-Mediterranean Floor Design:

The home’s rustic canvas relies on chiseled-edge travertine stone as the base but shiny glass mosaic floor medallions throughout the living space create visual surprises and opportunities to inject more modern design accents.

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Mod-Mediterranean Pool:

This seamless blend of Old World and modern continues outside as well. The home’s outdoor living space features a glass tile spa and pool with travertine pavers.

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For more Mod-Mediterranean design ideas, check out this episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge and keeping checking back for more photos of the home’s finished spaces.

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Cast Stone for Affordable Timeless Touches

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design | No Comments

Another money-saving idea to add luxury to your living space

Cast stone range hood in a home designed and built by Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Cast stone range hood in a home designed and built by Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

For centuries, cast stone has been used in some of the world’s most celebrated monuments and architectural works. Today, cast stone remains a popular architectural element for its cost and durability. In custom homes, cast stone is often the material of choice for a variety of ornamental details including the fireplace mantle, range hood, windowsills, columns, crown molding and even baseboard. Florida Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri uses cast stone or architectural precast in most of his homes as an affordable architectural detail that gives the home character and its timeless appeal.

His latest example is a Tuscan-style home on Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. The home will feature cast stone details throughout including cast stone interior window stills. It’s an original architectural touch that creates a dramatic visual impact and adds to the home’s timeworn style.  “The cast stone window stills are considered an upgrade from the wood window sills that I typically include with my homes. The cost for the cast stone upgrade is approximately $40 dollars more per sill but far more affordable than real stone,” says Jorge.

What is Cast Stone or Architectural Precast?

According to the Architectural Precast Association (APA), cast stone and architectural precast are comprised of

Cast Stone windowsill and door surround on winery in a home designed and built by Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

cement, sand, water, pigment and additives to achieve a finish that simulates natural stone. This cement aggregate is poured into a mold and cured to create a variety of shapes and structures. Cast stone products can look like a variety of natural building stones including but not limited to limestone, granite, slate, travertine or marble.

The APA calls the production of architectural cast stone an art form. “When done properly, this product provides the owner with a beautiful, lower cost structure that will maintain its aesthetic properties for many decades,” says Fred McGee, former executive director of the Architectural Precast Association.

The use of cast stone has a long and storied history. The APA says the earliest known use of cast stone dates about to the year 1138 and was seen at Carcassonne, France, the Cite, which contains the finest remains of medieval fortification in Europe. Cast stone was first used extensively in London in the year 1900 and gained widespread acceptance in America in 1920.

The Advantage of Cast Stone over Natural Stone

For ornamentation, Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri prefers cast stone to natural cut building stone for its affordability, durability, and its ability to simulate the look of natural stone.  “Cast stone weathers better than natural stone. It is structurally stronger when properly reinforced and it offers a consistent look for trim or ornamentation that natural cut stone does not.”

Ideas to Enhance Your Living Space with Cast Stone

Cast stone fireplace mantle in a home designed and built by Florida Custom Builder Jorge Ulibarri

Precast stone is a luxurious and timeless architectural detail that can enhance the style of any home. It’s affordable when used in high profile, small spaces. Some potential uses of precast stone include: columns, windowsills and door surrounds and entries, and cladding, fireplace mantles. For more affordable design tips, check out the series Trade Secrets by Jorge on YouTube and Vimeo.

Fireplace Design Tips from Trade Secrets by Jorge

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design, Fireplace design | 2 Comments

In this episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge, Luxury Custom Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri shares tips and design ideas for creating a fireplace that is both functional and a focal point of the room. Learn about various materials, labor costs and design considerations when adding a fireplace to an existing room or including one in your design plans. As always, Jorge welcomes any questions or comments. For more information go to www.imyourbuilder.com.

Watch the latest episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge for “Another Affordable Idea to Enhance Your Living Space”

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Trade Secrets by Jorge- Floor Design Ideas

By | Custom Home Construction, Custom Home Design | One Comment


Custom Touches that Will Floor You

In this episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge, Luxury Homebuilder Jorge Ulibarri focuses on floor design. Jorge takes viewers on a tour of one of his homes that showcases a mixture of floor designs and materials. Jorge shares ways to create and define space with floor transitions and offers ideas to add affordable custom touches such as floor medallions, wood details, and mosaics to create that luxury look on a budget.
Watch the latest episode of Trade Secrets by Jorge for “Another Affordable Idea to Enhance Your Living Space”

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