The magical combination of light and natural stone
How to bring out the incredible beauty of natural stone through the magic of lighting
Natural stone is widely appreciated for its wonderful aesthetic but not everyone knows that the magic ingredient when it comes to really making the most of its innate beauty is lighting.
Whether it’s the natural daylight that filters in through windows or artfully positioned artificial lights, the rays bring out the colours of stone, adding depth to its texture and dramatically transforming the environment so that it appears more dynamic and alive.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit a quarry, you will know exactly what we’re talking about. Compact, almost unform walls of stone, be it marble, limestone or other variants, seem to take on new shapes and images every time the natural light or site spotlight falls upon it.
You can produce a very similar effect through clever design, and the best architects and interior designers know how to use spotlights and designer lamps so that the illumination grazes wall textures, furniture and accessories.
With that said, let’s take a look at how they do this.
As we’ve explained, illumination plays an important role when it comes to enhancing the beauty of marble and other types of natural stone. The light should caress the veins and highlight not just its incredible charm but also the expert work of the designers and craftspeople who envisaged and created the finished object.
It also serves to bring a wonderful harmony to a space, and the flip side of this is that poorly-placed lighting, or the wrong choice of illumination can have a negative impact on the atmosphere. This is particularly important for stone textures, many of which are designed specifically with the idea that they will interact with light. When this doesn’t happen, it can be almost a waste, as the play of light and shadow is stifled, resulting in a flat, less interesting effect that can compromise the entire décor scheme’s balance.
On the other hand, the right lighting is an unbeatable ally, creating unique, fascinating and stylish interiors.
Let’s move on and look at some examples of the magic that is produced when light and natural stone interact in the right way.
If lighting is an important factor when it comes to enhancing elements in natural stone, it is absolutely essential when we talk about stone textures. Here, its role is to create intriguing interplays of light and shadow that change the perception of the entire space.
Natural stone textures are appreciated for the light touch of their patterns and the way they can define the character or style of a home whilst simultaneously complementing other décor elements. Walls, floors and cabinet facings come alive through original quality textures that interact with artificial and natural light to create effects that can range from subtle to elegant to dramatic.
The myriad of aesthetic solutions offered by natural stone become canvases that take on another dimension in combination with lighting. And so it is that beautiful marbles such as classic Bianco Carrara, and limestones such as Pietra d’Avola, Silk Georgette® and Crema d’Orcia become even more fascinating for design lovers.
How do you position lamps, ceiling lights or natural light sources to best bring out a pattern? The answer depends on the texture and the direction the tiles are laid in.
If you are working with ridged textures such as CNC, the lighting should be perpendicular to the grooves. For example, if it is used in shower, you could opt either for side lights or decide on adjustable spotlights installed above, which are then crossed so that the beams highlight the depth and precision of the lines.
On the contrary, textures with lines, ridges or fluting that run in more than one direction call for a more intense, diffused lighting scheme. Romboo is the perfect example, where the light ideally should be placed between 30 and 60 cm from the stone’s surface.
By following these guidelines, the light becomes a key supporting actor, capturing attention and pleasing the eye. If you want to go into more detail on this topic, we recommend you download the installation guide that we provide for each of our textures or contact our Customer Care team who will help organise our tile laying service.
Whilst lighting itself is incredibly important when it comes to optimising the potential of natural stone, the source of that light can also play its part, and no more so than when it is made from stone itself.
Imagine the effect of a stunning lamp, ceiling light or even a chandelier made from a breathtakingly beautiful natural material, casting its soft beam on your favourite picture, accessory or piece of furniture.
Perfect examples include the Urano lamp by Elisa Ossino. Carved from a single block of luminous white Bianco Carrara marble, this perfect sphere never fails to create an inviting, romantic atmosphere. Or perhaps you might prefer a ceiling-mounted solution such as Farfalla or Silo, available as a single cylinder, a cluster of three or a showstopping chandelier. For a contemporary take on an old-fashioned oil lamp, there’s also the Bugia candle holder.
The interplay between light and natural stone recounts an eternal story that starts in a majestic quarry and continues in stylish décors.
We have been working with this wonderful natural material for over seven decades and know how to bring out the very best in it. We believe it is already a stunning material, so our philosophy is to give it a simple design twist or flourish to transform it into objects of understated elegance and luxury.
If you are looking to create something special for your own home or are perhaps looking for inspiration for your next interior design project, we invite you to view our range of Made in Italy textures.