Let's marvel at marble

Let's marvel at marble

The word 'marble' originates from the Greek word, marmaros, which means snow white and spotless stone...

Let's marvel at marble

Once considered a cold and heavy piece of stone that could only make for a good flooring option, marble has made a modern comeback in the world of interior design. Without overwhelming the eye, one can spot this beautiful stone in small doses in luxury and aesthetically-done homes  – accents and statement pieces to talk of.

Marble down the line

The use of marble in architecture dates back thousands of years to ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures. The stone’s capability to bear immense weight served well the monolithic columns and supporting structures in public, private, and religious buildings. From the richly-coloured red floor of the basilica of Saint Paul in Rome to the walls of the Palace of Versailles, to the elaborately designed nave of England’s Salisbury Cathedral, to our very own Taj Mahal, marble has been used in some of the world’s most awe-inspiring buildings.
The word ‘marble’ originates from the Greek word, marmaros, meaning a snow white and spotless stone. However, marble can be found in a rainbow of colours these days.

This beautiful stone willingly lends itself to moulding, polishing and any kind of refinement that can turn this cold stone into a piece of art. No wonder some of the great sculptors have chosen marble as their favourite medium for expression of their art. Architects too have taken great deal of advantage of marble’s unique features. From incorporating iconographic details to making marble portraits to building design elements, they’ve explored it all.

All over the place

Traditional considerations for marble have been floorings at the best. However, modern design enthusiasts have taken the stone from bathroom fittings to table tops to kitchen rolling pins!

“I picked blue shaded marble coasters from Turkey and they have since been the talk of our guests. They’re slightly heavy, but sturdy and so very royal,” says Vaneeta Kaushal.
If one has ever travelled to Agra and visited the Taj Mahal, it’s next to impossible to miss the marble antiquities and decor items on sale in the area. Pick up from miniature Taj Mahals, ash trays, gold and lacquer decorated elephants, peacocks and religious idols in marble or make do with the photo frames. People often pick up marble chips and tiles as well for specific home decor needs.

Another expensive hi-tech use of marble has been seen in the form of the latest phone case. Heavy yes, but the stone allows ethnicity and intricacy that can be flaunted any time. Stores like handloom houses and government-owned state craft shops have many marble products that are good looking and affordable, too.

Decor focus

In the past few decades, marble has fallen by the wayside in terms of interior design. Odds are that when you picture marble as a design element, you have visions of large, cold rooms encased in floor-to-ceiling stone. Or, of the ornate sculptures that adorn your grandma’s pristine living room. It’s hardly modern and sleek – or so you may think.

Designers have given it a chic twist by teaming it up with copper or a black and white palette. Even pastels like soft pink and mint make marble a star player. “I’ve used a lot of marble in my designs for clients. Marble chip table, counter tops, cupboards, bath tubs and shower panels, study tables,” says interior designer Gyati Kathuria.

Though it may seem cold and uncomfortable at first glance, when paired with the right pieces, marble makes for an excellent material for furniture. It is strong, sturdy, and will last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to invest in a statement piece of marble furniture. It does withstand a lot of wear and tear, while still looking high-end.

Do be sure to take measurements. Since marble is particularly heavy and unforgiving, you’ll want to be certain that your purchase fits into the space before you make the effort to bring it home.

Another option is to replace the wooden island in your kitchen with one made of marble to create a visual transition. Add a bit of elegance to your living space with a marble coffee table. Think about using marble tables as outdoor furniture since they are sturdy and weather all seasons. Maintenance tips:

Use a soft cloth and warm, distilled water to clean marble countertops, especially after contact with food and then use another cloth to dry the surface.

Marble is prone to water spots, so it is a good idea to never let it air dry. l Invest in a good marble sealer to prolong the lifetime of your marble.

Remember to avoid vinegar and other acidic cleaners when cleaning marble.l There are non-abrasive marble cleaners available in the market. It’s safer to use them rather than resorting to commonly used chemicals.

PH-neutral dish soap is probably the best for more intensive marble cleaning, but you may also use acetone (for dark marble only, to be safe).

Fix a slight scratch with coarse sandpaper and for deep ones get a grinding done.

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