Home and Interiors: For timeless elegance

Marble is one of the most unique and elegant decor elements. Rashmi Gopal Rao gets the experts talking on marble-inspired home decor

Homes built today are definitely a stark contrast to the ones built in the yesteryears. They are different not only in terms of appearance but also in terms of aesthetics and design sensibilities. One of the main reasons for this is the wide variety of building materials used today that includes granite, cork, wood, stone and an assortment of metals. However, one material that has never gone out of style is the time-honoured marble. Used extensively in not only temples and monuments but even in homes, marble, as a material, has an ethereal quality about it and has always been associated with sophistication and luxury.

A metamorphic rock made up of recrystallised carbonate minerals like calcite, marble is a classic material that goes a long way in adding the 'chic' and 'oomph' factor to any space it is used in. “Marble is associated with magnificence and panache and is, therefore, the perfect material to incorporate into your abode if you desire luxe interiors," says Arshi Mukri, design expert, Pepperfry.

Versatility of use

One of the best qualities of marble is that it can be used not only as a home building material but also in accessories and artefacts and in multiple ways. In terms of spaces, it fits perfectly in any corner of your abode, be it flooring, kitchens, living rooms and even bathrooms. “Marble is a very chic stone that can be ingeniously incorporated in home decor. From kitchen platforms, shelves, flooring, hearth to even having them in your foyer area, this stone has a very versatile use. Of course, there is no better place to use the marble than the kitchen area. The kitchen floor, countertops or even open shelves can seamlessly blend to give a very divine appearance,” says Tuhin Roy, founder, Jumpinggoose.

Another interesting use of marble is in furniture, which is sure to lend a classic look to your space. “Having your side tables or credenzas or dining table countertops made of marble would be really amazing and unique. One can even have a marble wall or a marble temple in the living room, which would look like a highlighted part of the whole space,” says an interior designer at Ayushi Kanodia designs. Wall cladding is another innovative option. “Marble with laser cutting self-engraved designs can be used in wall cladding to give a feature wall at entrances, staircase walls and even terrace gardens,” says Vaishnavipratima Kodakalla, interior designer and founder, Vaishnavipratima, The Interiors Studio.

What's trending?

Mix and match of marble with other materials, bolder hues like browns, greens and blacks as well as smaller and sleeker accents are some of the latest trends in marble decor. “Backsplashes are especially trendy marble accents, and really it does make sense. While it clearly looks stunning in all of the kitchens, marble is a rather easy surface to wipe clean; so, it’s beautiful and functional,” says Ishita Narula, design partner, HomeLane. The objective is to create a clean-lined look that is glamorous yet understated at the same time.

“Tabletops are a great form of flaunting its flamboyance and this could be via sleek end-tables, side tables, consoles or even coffee tables that are powder or aluminium-coated as the desired combination for marble is with metal and not wood,” says Arshi. Using marble in balconies and outdoor spaces is also a popular trend. “Marble is bigger than ever. From lamps and bed linen to wallpaper, there’s a marble effect finish for all home accessories this season. Marble cushions can add an on-trend touch to pale colour schemes,” adds Ishita.

Unleash your creativity

There are several unique ways you can up the style quotient of your home by using marble. The simplest way is to fit in marble accessories like vases, figurines and even murals. “Use marble platters and trays in the living or bedrooms to place some potpourri or your own knickknacks. Having a fruit bowl made out of marble and placed on the dining table will look good. Candle stands made out of marble also looks good, placed on the side table,” adds the interior designer at Ayushi Kanodia designs. Smart additions like marble curios, wall clocks, adding marble knobs to cupboards or topping existing pieces with marble are yet other quick ideas to lend style to your space.

Aye & nay

Marble isn’t the cheapest of materials and hence requires considerable deliberation before taking a decision to use it on a large scale. Also, it is a material that needs to be used judiciously. An all marble theme is certainly a no-no as it tends to make the space too loud and over the top. Secondly, marble requires considerable maintenance so that it retains its glow and shine. Being porous, it has the tendency to absorb any impurities and hence makes the surface look unkempt.

Cleaning of marble always needs to be done with mild soapy solutions that should immediately be wiped dry. Do not use acid-based cleaners or scouring cloths as it is sure to damage the surface of the marble apart from giving it a dull look. Heavy objects like planters, furniture, etc, should be placed on a rubber mat to avoid damage to marble in the form of cracks and stains. “Always incorporate marble with natural elements. On the kitchen platforms or countertop, avoid placing hot dishes, etc. Place a coaster or a mat to avoid it from cracking,” quips Tuhin.

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