How to create designer home interiors in natural stone
Why marble and stone are taking the interior design world by storm
When it comes to great interior design, functionality and uniqueness are absolutely key, and a material that delivers both characteristics in spades is natural stone. With its dazzling palette of colours and patterns, original textures and capacity to combine with other materials, it creates fascinating interplays of style and light and transforms any space into a designer haven.
Marble and other types of natural stone are enjoying a newfound popularity in home décor, with floors, walls, furniture and accessories all benefitting from the refined touch and timeless atmosphere they never fail to bring.
Architects and designers relish the chance to play with striking combinations, experimenting with new ways to interpret stone and unleash the innate expressivity and soul of this incredible raw material that is the fruit of our natural environment.
The possibilities are endless, with the only challenge being to find the perfect solution for your own home and taste. In this article, we look at how to introduce it into key rooms to create stunning interiors.
Natural stone or marble is often associated with floors or tables in the kitchen, particularly in countries where it is common for this room to include a table. However, it can be so much more than a merely functional element, adding style and personality through artful use of texture and design that strip the stone of its more austere aspect and bring out is warmer, beguiling side.
In fact, there is nothing cool and unwelcoming about “stone on stone” environments, as we can see in this gorgeous kitchen where the Piero Lissoni’s Design for Soul dining table in Bianco Carrara marble is almost cosseted by the soft creamy hues of Crema d’Orcia limestone. The result is an inviting, convivial atmosphere that is both elegant and functional.
Additional touches of natural stone dotted around the room add designer credentials, once again without sacrificing practicality, such as a wine cooler in Bianco Carrara or the Techa cabinet. Designed by Elisa Ossino, this original reinterpretation of an item of furniture that can often be a little staid or anonymous, comes in a choice of different marbles, limestones and Salvatori textures.
Marble and limestone combinations in the living room are a throw back to an ancient tradition in which precious or luxury materials defined the value of a building or environment.
Revisited in a modern key, it is no longer merely the material itself that creates value, but instead it is the finish or the design, with stone transformed from tough and unyielding to ductile and responsive to designers’ flair and inspiration.
Sinuous, fluid curves are juxtaposed with sharp angular lines and dramatic geometric shapes, varieties of shade and patterns happily coexist in the hands of a skilled artist. Such is the case in this living room where the unusual deep yellow hue of the deceptively simple Ikona stool by Elisa Ossino draws the eye yet works perfectly with the rugged lines of our Raw texture in Silk Georgette® limestone on the walls and facings of the Pliss sideboard.
Softening their starkness are a selection of accessories in a range of stones varying from cool white to deep red and intriguing black, with their smooth forms creating a gentle play of contrast that lends a harmonious atmosphere to the space.
For centuries, marble, Travertine and limestone have been used in the design of bathrooms, from rudimentary facilities to sheer opulence.
Its hardwearing properties and breathtaking beauty have made it a perennial favourite when it comes to designing stylish bathrooms with interior designers pushing it beyond mere functionality to create stunning decors, furnishings and accessories.
Monolithic or freestanding bathtubs never fail to capture the imagination with their majestic proportions, but even the smallest details can make an incredible difference. A wall in Pietra d’Avola in Lithoverde® becomes a dark, moody backdrop that is offset to perfection by the combination of cool white marble and burnished brass that make up Silvia Fanticelli’s TABL-EAU towel rails.
While an all-white bathroom is a popular option, introducing darker shades can also produce stunning results. In this example, the chocolatey tones of Pietra d’Avola in Stone Parquet on the floor anchor the entire space, allowing the focus then to fall on the sculpted lines of the Anima bathtub in Bianco Carrara marble.
On the wall we have Lithoverde® once again, but this time in its timeless white version, combining with the other elements to create an unusual but eye-pleasing balance of colours, patterns and forms that play with the inherent qualities of the stone. The result is a welcoming haven in which innovative textures and the simplest of shapes make you feel as though you are in your own special bubble, far from the stresses of the world outside.
A stone bedroom may not sound like the most usual or comfortable choice for this important environment, but with knowing design and the right combination of colours and textures, it can be a stylish and restful option.
Although stone is often considered a cool, hard material, it is actually incredibly versatile and can evoke a surprising sense of warmth and gentleness. The perfect example is Crema d’Orcia, a soft, creamy limestone, used in this gorgeous bedroom in Stone Parquet on the floor. Its soothing qualities find their perfect counterpoint in the dark shades of Pietra d’Avola in CNC texture on the oversize bedhead. Accessories in Bianco Carrara, such as the Urano bedside lamp, add a third stone and colour into the room, but the entire effect is harmonious and elegant.
Among the many advantages of natural stone is the ease with which it can be combined with other stones without creating a disturbing or busy visual onslaught of colours, effects and patterns. Marbles such as Nero Marquinia, Gris du Marais®, Bianco Carrara, Rosso Francia and Verde Alpi sit effortlessly alongside limestones such as Pietra d’Avola, Silk Georgette® and Crema d’Orcia and travertines such as Imperiale or the classic light version.
Interior design has come a long way from the traditional marble floors of centuries gone by which were often imposing and ostentatious. Today they reproduce the softness and warmth of wooden parquet and are paired with walls in innovative textures designed to bring vitality and depth to a space, and make the most of a precious natural resource. In fact, this latter concept was behind the invention of eco-friendly textures such as Lithoverde® and Romboo.
With imagination and vision, natural stone is transformed into a malleable material, in the sense that it has all the potential of clay to be moulded by creative genius into surprising and innovative products that have universal appeal for their timeless, understated elegance.
When two or more stones are combined in modern design, the results can be truly stunning, but while the material itself is already extraordinary, great lighting is the magic ingredient that adds yet another dimension, creating settings that please the eyes and the soul.
Marble and other types of natural stone are a perfect choice if you are looking to create timeless, stylish interiors, but to get the most out of them, you need to know how to play with colours, textures and patterning.
We have been working with these wonderful materials for over 70 years, pushing the limits to develop innovative surprising products. We believe stone is incredible as it is, so our philosophy is merely to add a touch of human design that brings out its inherent beauty.
This approach is applied across our entire range of products from textured tiles to furniture, sanitaryware and accessories, often working with leading names from the international architecture and design world.
If you would like to know more about how our products can transform a space, why not visit one of our showrooms and talk to a Salvatori design expert. Book an appointment now and start planning your dream interior.