One of the biggest trends of the last few years, marble has taken interiors by storm. Little wonder when the look is both earthy and natural and yet it still manages to create an aspirational and decadent aesthetic. With its roots in ancient Greek and Rome, there’s something luxuriously Italian about this material that exudes an instant timeless appeal. With so many variations (indeed, no two pieces are exactly alike), it’s a material that’s sought after for high-end architectural projects right through to domestic applications across the nation’s homes.
As part of our monthly Trend Watch series, today’s post will explore the marble trend in more detail. Where has it come from? Why do we love it? And how long will the trend last? Read on to find out.
What is Marble?
Marble is a type of limestone or dolomite which has been subjected to intense heat and pressure in a process known as metamorphism. When this happens, the carbonate in the stone re-crystallises in various forms. The sediments that are in the original rock are either damaged or modified, something that leaves those stunning markings and grain we see within the stone. Different mineral impurities within the stone such as silt, clay, or iron oxides are what gives marble its colours, creating veins and marking within the formation of marble. These can range from grey to pink, yellow, black, brown or even blues and greens. For instance, red marble gets its rich colouring from hematite whereas limonite gives marble a green or yellow tone.
Where is Marble from?
Marble usually lays among the oldest part of the Earth’s crust. When someone mentions marble we normally think of the white marble with subtle grey veining that is found in Italian Carrara, however, there are many types of marble found around the world. From the black Nero Marquina marble in Spain to Bianco Sivec in Macedonia and Swedish Green Marble from – you guessed it – Sweden, it’s been mined in various countries the world over.
Its popularity began to grow in ancient Greece and Rome when both artists and builders chose marble for their structures due to its beauty and durability for everything from statues to flooring which we can still enjoy today. These days, it’s used for both structural as well as aesthetic purposes in modern buildings and homes including walls, floors, worktops, fire surrounds, and so much more.
Marble in the Here and Now
Marble has enjoyed a resurgence with modern designers updating its classic image to chic, elegant, and sought-after. It’s surprisingly versatile as well, pairing just as beautifully with a minimalist contemporary vibe, a trendy Scandinavian interior, industrial warehouse chic, or an opulent Art Deco look. Used in small doses, it can instantaneously create a more high-end look, elevating everything around it. In larger areas, it’s head-turning and statement-making – a worthy focal point for a beautiful space.
Marble in the Kitchen
A popular look in the kitchen, marble adds a touch of luxury to almost any style of kitchen design. A marble splashback or worktop will add movement and texture as well as a natural element to your space.
Consider a striking slab for a kitchen island for the perfect cool surface for pastry prep or re-interpret the look of a single slab with marble subway tiles as a more cost-effective option.
Something to keep in mind is that marble is a natural stone, meaning that sealing will be necessary for a kitchen application. As a porous material, it may be prone to etching, scratching and staining. Many people love the natural patina that forms on marble over time but if you are looking for something to stay pristine for years, consider one of the many alternatives on the market that promise the look of marble without the upkeep.
Marble in the Bathroom
Marble is also a popular material in the bathroom. From vanities to flooring, marble can be used to create a glamorous look in the smallest room in the house. Consider a single slab to line a shower enclosure or marble tiles for both your walls and floors.
With so many colours on the market, you’re not limited to the tried and true white with grey veining that is so popular today. Consider black or coloured marble for a striking feature in any space.
If the steep price of real marble or the associated upkeep is putting you off using this material in your home, you may want to consider some excellent alternatives. Today’s advancements in porcelain tile manufacturing means the marble look can be yours without the hassle. In my own kitchen seen above, I used Tile Mountain’s fantastic Matt Carrara Marble Effect Tiles on the walls and a Minerva acrylic worktop in a subtle Carrara marble look to get the look without the hefty pricetag.
You might also want to consider the many ranges of marble-effect tiles for the bathroom that Tile Mountain stocks. It’s a great way to get the look and durability of marble alongside the ease of maintenance and stain-resistance qualities of porcelain.
Marble Accents for the Home
Of course, you might also want to opt for some marble accessories for the home. The material is gracing many small tables, shelving and coffee tables this year and so you’ll have the pick of the bunch. Elegantly paired with gold tones, marble adds a luxe edge and timeless appeal to your interiors.
You can also mimic the look of marble walls with wallpaper in a myriad of marble designs. From subtle veining as seen below, to full wall murals, there’s something out there for nearly every budget.
The odd small accessory will also lift your space. We particularly love the design of these marbled coasters as seen below – a quick and easy way to dress up your coffee table or dining table in the latest trend without spending a fortune.
Why not try a light fitting made with marble accents? This one from West Elm would pair just as beautifully in a light and airy Scandinavian-inspired setting as it would in a glamorous bedroom when mixed with luxurious velvet and dark wall colours.
Adding a dash of marble to your bathroom? Why not layer the effect with the inclusion of this stunning copper tap with marble handles?
And finally, for the easiest update of all, a few throw cushions in a marble print is a great way to update your bedding or sofa style!
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