2016 trends: Magnificent marbleJen Wiss-Carline
Magnificent marble has been one of the biggest and most beautiful trends this year in home decor. The stores are brimming with everything from marble floor tiles to marble kitchen counters, table tops and accessories, and designers are combining this classic stone with cool white or matt black.
Marble is synonymous with wealth and luxury, typically associated with traditional homes. Lately however, it has been used extensively in more modern spaces, particularly with industrial interiors – earning it a new, trendier reputation. Thanks to its renewed popularity, many marble alternatives have made it to the market, making it an affordable choice for even the tightest of budgets.
Image credit: Home Xmas
Matching your marble
From a distance, marble looks grey – but if you look closely, you’ll notice different marble pieces have either a warm or cool base. Look carefully and decide – does the marble have purple or blue undertones, orange or yellow undertones, or some mix of the two? Figuring out what base your marble tiles, accessories or furniture has can help you select the perfect items to combine it with.
If the base is cool, choose colours that are cool too – for example, cool white/grey marble would look stunning against black stained wood but uneasy against a red oak floor.
If you’re not sure about the base, get some colour samples to hold against the marble and see which looks right.
Marble tiles, furniture etc will either be polished or unpolished. It’s best to avoid too much of the same in each room – so a large polished table might look rather ugly against a shiny polished floor but stunning against a dark fairly matt backdrop. Similarly, unpolished marble will look breathtaking against a polished or lacquered floor.
Marble can look beautiful combined with wood but you need to take care that the pattern of the wood doesn’t compete with the pattern of the marble. Stay away from tiles or wood that has a similar pattern to the veining in the marble -for example, if you have marble with widely spaced veining, use wood with a narrow grain or thin planks on the floor. Conversely, if your marble vein is very small, use wood with larger grains or larger planks.
Marble is quintessentially glamorous and combines beautifully with anything that evokes this look. Chandeliers, ornate mirrors, dark wood furniture, paneling and coving, crystal droplets and luxury fabrics all enhance the richness and beauty of this natural material.
Ideas for using marble in the home
Love the look of marble but can’t stretch to the price tag? Consider the ‘Elements’ range of marble wallpaper, available for around £30 a roll.
Image credit: Stuart Graham
Here’s how you can use it to create really smart marble accents around your home (note the really clever visual detail created by the partly painted wooden stools on the left):
Image credits: Stuart Graham
Imitation marble floor tiles
Another budget-conscious way to use ‘marble’ in your decor is to choose imitation. These porcelain tiles (below) make use of inkjet technology to accurately reproduce the veins seen in natural marble. However, unlike natural marble, they are fairly affordable (currently £25.20 a square metre) and don’t stain easily.
Image credit and supplier: Porcelain Superstore
Who said marble had to be stone? Check out this eye-catching marble design bedset by Urban Outfitters which captures the beauty of natural marble on fabric:
Image credit and supplier: Urban Outfitters
This simple, well designed shower curtain brings a touch of stylish marble to the bathroom, for a fraction of the cost of marble floor or wall tiles:
Image credit: Kess in house
Budget marble accessories
There are a wealth of gorgeous accessories available to bring a touch of marble into your home. Here are some of our favourites:
Above: ‘Marble’ frame by Paperchase £12.00, Marble effect vase by Dunelm £6.99, White hand made marble tray by John Lewis £18, White marble coasters by John Lewis £20, White & Copper wall clock by Hurn & Hurn £25.00, Marble tealight holder by Amara £11, Marble telephone by Purple Holly £46.95