What’s with all the marble in contemporary bathrooms?
The luxurious swirling formations of the beautiful sedimentary rock that is marble are a distinct feature of neoclassical architecture and interior design. So why is this doubtlessly most luxurious of surface materials suddenly making a comeback in the bathrooms of today’s leading-edge interior designers and celebrities?
More than ever before, we are starting to see clashes of old and new, gloriously brought together in ways that point to a futuristic take on home design that isn’t afraid to look to the past for inspiration. And we’re not talking about the retro-futurist fascination with Mid-Century Modern, either. Today’s marble bathrooms use flashes of the metamorphic rock alongside state-of-the-art materials to create truly jaw-dropping interiors the likes of which we have never been seen before.
How can you have marble in a modern bathroom?
Don’t let yourself get confused between Modernism and the contemporary. What we call Modern in interior design begins in the early part of the 20th Century with Art Deco and Art Nouveau and stretches through to the Minimalism of Scandinavian Mid-Century design that characterised the 1950s through to the 1970s. And, sure, you didn’t see a whole lot of marble in those days, particularly in the Mid-Century period. Contemporary design, by contrast though, refers to what’s going on right now in the design world. And, wherever you look, you’ll see the beautiful recrystallised calcite and dolomite minerals of marble featured somewhere in today’s most on-trend interiors.
Is there a specific type of marble used in contemporary bathrooms?
The beautiful thing about marble is that it’s a natural material, so it never dates. It just looks like marble. It is of the earth and, so, it is truly timeless as a design element. There’s no specific type of marble that could be said to define contemporary design. Whether it’s Calacatta or Carrara, Crema Marfil or Emperador, every style and pattern has its place in the mind’s eye of today’s best interior designers. And you’ll find marble from all over the world in contemporary bathrooms – sourced from as far and wide as India, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Italy and the USA (though the quality can vary wildly and you should only choose the best).
How do I choose the right marble for my bathroom?
The great thing about contemporary interior design is, of course, that the rule book has been well and truly thrown out. Colour mashups are as valid as complementary juxtapositions so feel free to go nuts. Can’t choose between white Carrarra wall tiles, red Verona floor tiles and black Marquina washbasin? Why not combine them or just have them all? If you choose the right connective elements between styles and colours of marble, then you could end up with a seriously dazzling piece of interior design that will add real value to your home.
What are the most popular colours of marble right now?
There’s no denying that the world still considers white Carrara marble from Italy to be the best in the world. But, take it from us, there’s a lot of incredible marble out there and it comes in all kinds of colours. We’re seeing a big upswing in the numbers of pink marble bathrooms and red marble bathrooms making their way into contemporary home designs and this just helps to demonstrate that we’re getting a little bit looser and freer and less uptight in terms of how we define what we call a luxury interior.
But it’s not just about being different. Great interior design is also about having a tasteful eye for what feels right from all the amazing choices out there. It’s about letting your imagination take control and choosing your bathroom products based on what it instinctively tells you. There is most definitely just as much of a place in your home for a white Carrara washbasin as there is for a green Dicalio vanity top. It all depends on what kind of setting they’ll sit in. You can make a disaster of any bathroom given half a chance. So consult the style magazines, see what your favourite designers are doing and even hire one of them if you have the budget for it. They’ll help you choose the perfect marble colour combinations for your new best-room-in-the-house.
Is the comeback of marble just a passing trend?
Quick tip: great interior designers don’t worry about what other people are doing right now. Being boundary-breaking means not caring what anyone else is up to and letting yourself be driven by your own innate sense of taste and style.
Now, that very much relies on your actually having a knack for interior design because, well, you might want to sell your house one day, so you don’t want to design a bathroom that suits you but that no one else can stand. The good thing is, though, that whether or not you’re the new Nate Berkus, you can rest assured that incorporating some high-end marble surfaces into your bathroom design is going to end up with a bathroom that will outlive any passing design fads.
Yes, marble is the ultimate in timeless materials. It’s been around since Julius Caesar was still in loincloth nappies and it will still be around long after the first flying cars powered by household waste are setting a course for the future on the flux capacitor. So indulge your right now with a material that has forever written all over it.