Design Trend Alert: Marble Everything
There are some things in life that create a subconscious visceral reaction. We don’t know why we respond to them that way. It must be some kind of internal programming from memories we’re unaware of. Often, it’s the result of repeated exposure under certain circumstances, so we come to automatically associate the thing with the feeling. Marble is one of these things, and it makes us think about luxury, class, and expensive taste.
This might be from seeing marble statues or ornate homes in old movies and classic books. Maybe it’s a lesson we picked from art class, our history teacher, or both. Whatever the cause, it makes us think marble is beyond the reach of ordinary pockets, and if you see it in someone’s home, you might suspect they have a higher income than you thought.
For home décor, marble is a beautiful and convenient material. You can use it on floors and countertops, especially in the kitchen or bathroom. Marble basins can also be used as sinks, footbaths, soap dishes, and ornamental bowls. Outdoors, marble is great for water features and poolside paving, because it’s non-slip and resistant to sand, salt, and chlorine. It remains cool even in hot temperatures, so it’s good in kitchens and sun-bathed decks.
Add a touch of luxury to your life
Because marble spells elegance, and because we can’t all have marble in our (rented) houses, we’ve found other ways to invite its opulence into our lives. In some ways, these allusions to marble are better than the original, because they’re portable. We can carry this version of glamour around, instead of leaving it in our beautiful but stationary homes and only exposing it to guests, family, and friends.
The trick is to use marble patterns in unrelated items. The veining in marble is so unique and distinct that seeing it in anything else automatically makes us think of that glamorous natural stone. In fact, when the veiny affect appears on other things – like meat or paper – it’s described as marbling. Marbling also refers to a mesmerising veined style in paintings (or nail art). You might remember it from primary school.
To achieve that result, you filled a big tub, pan, or wok with water and poured a few drops of oil paint on the water. Then you passed a piece of paper over the tub, holding it by its edges and moving it around the surface to create an image full of swirling paint, transferring the pattern to the paper. The same technique is used in nail art, except your put nail varnish in a glass or finger-bowl, swirl it with a cuticle stick, then pass your fingernail through it.
These are the first two examples of marble trending outside stone décor. Marbled paintings can be framed and hung in your home or office to elevate its status, and marbled nail art covered with a glossy top coat will make your mani-pedi look distinctly high end. You can also use marbled designs on purses, mirrors, combs, or feminine ornaments.
In 2016, designer brand Balenciaga released a line of marble clutch bags and matching leather-backed bracelets, and Hautbox lined their perfume boxes with marbled paper. That’s a great way to elevate your next gift. Take an ordinary box and paste marble-patterned paper to the inner surface. It will make your gift instantly look more pricy, even if it’s a home-made trinket or a button from the dollar store.
In the world of tech, marble backgrounds are appearing both inside and outside our digital devices. Want to make your web page look more sophisticated? Use a marble-veined pattern in the background. Same goes for the protective cover on your phone, tablet, or laptop. You could also buy marble-patterned stationery. Marble notebooks, pencils (mechanical or manual), and fountain pens make you look quirky, intellectual, and creative in an age where everyone just records notes-to-self and voice memos on their phones.
High end furniture at low end budgets
You might not be in position to apply marble to your walls or floors, but you can still use some in your home. The effect will be subtle, because as distinctive as marble is, its nature is intrinsically subtle. So, for that passing sense of elegance, invest in a marble table-top, or chairs with a marble pattern. They don’t have to be true marble – PVC works just as well. You can use frame your windows and mirrors with a few marble inches.
Another spot where marble can do wonders is your indoor-outdoor area. If you have an alfresco kitchen or even a garage or deck converted for barbecue, embellish it with stone benches. You could use real marble or intricately veined tile, depending on your budget. Both respond well to heat, staying cool and not cracking, so they’re ideal for that steamy cook area that frequently gets hot.
Finally, enjoy a mix of warm and cold with marble-patterned fabric. The technique is called batik, and it involves dipping a fabric in molten wax, letting it dry, twisting or scrunching the fabric between your hands to create cracks, then dipping the fabric in dye.The cracks will absorb in and you’ll have your very own marble cloth. You can use it to stitch scarves, curtains, pillowcases, smocks, or spandex tights. Don’t overdo the scrunching though. You only want a few cracks. Remember, true marble is all about subtly.