8 Natural Home Materials That Can't Be Beat

Listen, I know we architects can be difficult. More often than not, we don't listen and we don't respect the owner's budget. Or at least these are the things we're accused of. But in defense of the architect, there are just too many wonderful possibilities and opportunities. It's just that we see each how each project has a really interesting story to tell, and we want to use the full range of our vocabulary when telling that story.

A big portion of the vocabulary is the materials we select. My preference, as with so many architects and other designers, is to use natural materials. While human-made materials are fine, and in many cases the optimal way to go, natural materials have a luminosity and depth of color that can't be beat. And the uniqueness of each piece of quarried stone, batch of hand-mixed stucco and sawn wood board contributes to the story about you and only you.

Some favorite natural materials that just don't have an artificial equal are below. Which do you prefer to their artificial counterparts?

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