Charleston Style and Design

FALL 2015

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D E S I G N A C C E N T S 250 CSD When you arrive at the AGM Imports warehouse in North Charleston, you climb a fight of impressive light-brown granite steps and pass between stately black-veined granite columns. You glide across a buff-colored travertine tile porch that carries through the door and into the lobby. Finally, you're greeted at a weighty white granite desk by an expert in the feld of natural stone. Walk into the warehouse and feast your eyes on every style and variety of granite, travertine, marble, soapstone, onyx and quartzite you can imagine. TREASURES FROM MOTHER EARTH BY BAR RY WALDMAN | PHOTOG RAPHY BY HOLG E R OB E NAUS Natural stones carved out of the wondrous loam of Mother Earth stack up like playing cards in 400 styles that encompass whatever color and pattern you might desire for your kitchen or bathroom. Now operated by a third generation of the Antunes fam- ily, AGM Imports celebrates its 10th anniversary in Charleston this year. The company, founded in New York by a Portuguese immigrant, has grown to include four offces throughout the Southeast. Hard work and fne quality stones have been the keys to AGM's success. The company's second decade begins with something new: a quartz product that mimics the look of Italian white marble, but offers the durability of a harder stone. White marble countertops are all the rage these days—partic- ularly in kitchens where "light, bright and airy" is the fashion. When customers started to ask for a stone that would hold up to wear and tear better than marble (which is suscep- tible to etching), owner John Antunes scoured the planet, meeting with 15 different quartz manufacturers to fnd fnd the perfect natural stone at agm imports the perfect alternative. He now carries 12 styles of Polar Stone quartz, whose translucency and three-dimensional marbling easily fool the untrained eye. And those rocks are rolling right out the door! They now make up a quarter of industry sales. Antunes has traversed the globe to fnd the most beautiful stones and bring them home to his customers. AGM Imports carries slabs from roughly 40 countries, including Italy, Brazil, India, Namibia, Turkey and Madagascar. Many of the stones are so vigorous they stand up to

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