While marble has been trending for what feels like years now, it’s mostly been limited to subtle grey and white iterations. But it’s a look that seems to be evolving as lately I’ve noticed a more daring aesthetic has taken flight that, while not new, certainly feels fresh on Australian shores.
“The marble trend has been around for a long time, and we have seen it used en-masse in major high-end fashion retail stores, as backdrops for fashion campaigns and even faux plastic covers for mobile phones. The saturation of what I call ‘marble pattern’ has extended far and wide,” says interior designer David Hicks who is a major proponent of what I would call a much bolder marble approach.
“My approach to using marble in interiors now is more about seeking out unique marble that is distinctive in its veining and colouring. European trends have long seen marble used as a decorative element. The sophisticated mixing of numerous, disparate and colour-clashing marbles has long been an art form throughout Europe and is now making its way into Australian interiors,” says David who nonetheless views it as an interior design staple.
“The thing is, marble is such a unique material as it is natural and no two blocks or slabs are identical and this characteristic will ensure that marble remains a mainstay in design. At the end of the day, it just depends on how brave the clients are as to the end result,” says David. From large-veined statement designs to more subtle patterning, and even different colours, there is so much more choice in the marble sphere than people often realise.
“Natural marble is like art, whether you like certain patterns and colours is subjective. Part of the challenge is grappling with the intricacies of organic stone as each piece is individual. Sometimes when I come across an incredible batch of marble, I tend to let it speak for itself and use it in large panels. Not only does this retain its natural beauty and intrinsic subtleties, I find that every time you look at the stone, you find something new about it,” says David.
But David acknowledges that statement marble isn’t a look that appeals to all. “I’d argue that it’s more for the adventurous at heart. Many people are scared off by the heavily veined and coloured marbles as they see them as not being timeless in their aesthetic, but this is not the case,” says David who points to Europe where the look has been seen for literally hundreds of years. “I often describe to clients, and even show images from beautiful villas in Italy or chateaus in France so they can visualise how a statement marble may look. It’s very impactful this way. When approaching dramatic stones, they must be carefully considered in every aspect as it can really make or break a space,” says David.
“I have used a host of different stones across my projects, some daring and some more sedate. It’s often the daring ones that really make a space sing and give it character, it ensures true individuality for a project,” says David who favours heavily veined calacatta oro (though acknowledges it has become mainstream), calacatta viola and paonazza marble. “I also love a heavily veined nero marquina marble from Italian quarries, which is very hard to find. I believe the more unique a marble is, the better!”