5 INSPIRING USES OF MARBLE

- 14.01.19

Are you drawn to the quiet allure of marble? Over the centuries, it has been chiselled into many different statements. Today, marble is the plaything of some of the most inspirational designers, architects, and artists, and their work has unlocked powerful qualities of this most tactile of stones.

This means, as always, pushing boundaries. Here are some of the ways that marble is asserting its presence at the forefront of design.

1) Dining Tables With A Difference

In hearth and home, the dining table is always a focal point. Chanel’s artistic designer Karl Lagerfeld recently showcased this in an exhibition designed to celebrate the “origin of beauty, culture, and modernity” through marble sculpture.

His classically inspired tables juxtapose the mathematical golden ratio with marble’s unplanned beauty. The result is a startlingly timeless vision of how everyday objects, such as tables, can also be powerful celebrations of nature’s effortless inspiration.

black marble semi circle dining table

Image source – https://www.dezeen.com/2018/10/31/karl-lagerfeld-sculpture-furniture-carpenters-workshop-gallery/

To explore another side of marble table design, however, look no further than Belgian art-wonder Ben Storms, who has gone in the opposite direction and conjured the truly stormy disposition that marble can offer.

Invoking clouds and atmosphere that have been described as “crazy beautiful”, his ‘In Vein’ project results in a marble table so finely finished and acutely honed that it achieves not only a mirror surface, but also a tag as “the hottest table you’ve ever seen”.

thin marble dining table on metal legs

Image source – https://www.yellowtrace.com.au/ben-storms-marble-trestle-table/

2) Splashbacks With Soul

Parisienne designer Joseph Dirand recently made his way into the headlines through his meticulous refurbishment of his personal apartment.

Although well known for his admiration for travertine (a type of onyx), the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs restaurant designer chose “dreamy, uninterrupted expanses of rare marble” to create stunning splashbacks that infuse energy into a space that is otherwise almost Scandinavian in its homely, perfectly measured simplicity.

The warmth of the natural marble hues play with the loving charm of everyday objects, whilst eschewing quiet elegance, refinement, and discerning taste.

marble kitchen splashback with decorative shelving

Image source – https://www.yatzer.com/a-marbleous-trend/slideshow/2

3) Bespoke Bath Cladding

With its ability to cover large surfaces whilst rendering them impervious to water, marble has long been the darling of the bathrooms of the elite.

Interior architect Isabelle Stanistas continues this tradition, and has routinely turned to marble when crafting notable works, such as the acclaimed Rue de Ravoli refurbishment in Paris.

The masterpiece of design is beset with towering ceilings and grand windows, including in the bathroom and en-suite, both of which feature marble bathtubs. Far from austere, the tonality is comfortable and enduringly practical.

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black and marble bathroom

4) Cups, Mugs & Plates

Visit any design museum worth its salt, and there is guaranteed to be at least one room dedicated to mugs. Perhaps it is the central importance of the humble cup of tea, which one startled American writer recently described as the balm of civilisation. Or, alternatively, it may be the enduring geometric challenge of reconciling the cylinder with an oddly intrusive handle.

Either way, the masterminds of design continue to explore the tea-cup, and marble is firmly en vogue as an artisan material. Lee Broom even went wild recently, and released a range of On The Rock glassware, introducing the marble-stemmed martini glass.

5) Chairs

Believe it or not, Italian designer Alessandro Medini’s world renowned Proust Chair has a marble incarnation. Arguably the most hauntingly beautiful of the range, the marble chair looks at once fixed in time and deliciously inviting.

One of the great design icons of the twentieth century, the Proust Chair is an academically infused statement on the role of history in our fast-paced present. Carved from white marble with a calm grey vein, the chair reasserts the position of marble as a material of beauty, power, and unbridled creativity.

detailed marble chair

Image source – https://www.yatzer.com/a-marbleous-trend/slideshow/11

Is Marble The Answer?

For centuries, marble’s mesmeric qualities have fascinated sculptors, designers, and humble folk alike. Despite many other dynamic minerals being in the ink-pot of today’s globalised architects, marble continues to quietly glimmer as a material with unique presence. And at the end of the day, it’s not a surprise: who wouldn’t say no to a cup of coffee from a marble mug?