Marble: this month’s hottest interior trend
Marble is one of the most expensive materials you can add to your home, used for centuries for its cool, durable luxury. While it has always had timeless appeal, marble has not always been at the top of the interior fashion pack but in 2021, it has seen a resurgence in popularity.
If you love the look of marble, here’s how to incorporate it into your home, from wall-to-wall tiles and small pieces of the real thing to the best faux options and DIY hacks that won’t break the bank.
What is marble?
We’ll spare you the geology lesson but in short, marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is subjected to heat and pressure. Marble deposits can be hundreds of feet thick, making it suitable for quarrying, carving, sanding and polishing.
The main characteristic of marble is its veining – streaks that make each slab unique. There is a myriad of marble colours available thanks to the different minerals present in the stone, from the purest white through blue and green to the deepest black.
Why is marble so expensive?
As a naturally-occurring material, marble has to be quarried from the ground. It’s a slow, laborious job, therefore the labour costs are high, and some of the best marble is in remote areas where new roads have to be built just to gain access. The price of Marble varies with plentiful, easy-to-quarry marble from cheaper labour markets, such as India and China, carrying a lower price tag.
Rarer types of marble will always sit at the premium end of the market, and these include the white Italian Statuario Marble of Carrara, the deep red Sicilian Diaspro and the jade green Brazilian Amazzonite.
Will marble worktops stain?
Marble is one of the most requested materials for kitchen worktops as it is heat resistant but before you get carried away, it’s worth knowing that marble is porous – meaning it has tiny holes that can absorb oil, juice and red wine. Spills will need mopping up very quickly to avoid permanent staining.
Where else can marble be used in the home?
Marble is better suited to bathrooms, where it can make a beautiful vanity unit worktop. Marble basins are also freely available and can be purchased for less than £300. Its heat resistance also makes marble a superb choice for fireplace hearths, backplates and mantles.
On-trend: marble tiles
The elegance of marble is the darling of 2021’s interior design scene, with marble wall and floor tiles making style statements – especially when the biggest tiles available are used, or when the tiles are laid in a herringbone pattern. Some of the most stunning effects are when the same marble is used to tile the floor, walls and shower cubicles in bathrooms. It can look impressive but it may not be budget friendly.
Add marble through accessories
If worktops and wall tiles are outside of your budget, marble accessories are a cheaper alternative. Opt for the interior designers’ favourite – marble spheres in different sizes – or follow the practical route with marble vases, coasters and serving boards.
The no-marble marble
Marble’s distinctive pattern can be recreated using cheaper production methods and materials. Browse supermarket homeware sections, stores such as B&M and Home Bargains, and online retailers, for convincing plastic/resin faux marble accessories. There’s also a good range of marble-effect wallpapers, self-adhesive murals and waterproof shower panels if you want to avoid the fuss of tiling.
Sticky back plastic with a marble printed pattern can be stuck to most clean, dry, smooth surfaces for an instant marble makeover, while along the same lines but on a grander scale, it is possible to ‘wrap’ old worktops with a marble-effect vinyl film. You can even buy marble-effect spray paint and marbling kits from stores including Hobbycraft.
It’s easy to embrace marble, even if you’re not as grand with its use as the Greeks and Romans. If you’d like more interior advice or a list of available properties where you could work some design magic, contact us today.