Step­ping stones

There’s more than mar­ble on of­fer, writes Robyn Willis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE - More Cae­sar­stone, cae­sar­; De­signer Rugs, de­sign­; Du­lux, du­; Luxe Walls, lux­e­

We all like a lit­tle lux­ury. For some, noth­ing but the shini­est metallics such as gold, brass and cop­per teamed with bold geo­met­ric pat­terns will do.

How­ever, in re­cent years, lux­ury has be­gun to be ex­pressed in a less ob­vi­ous but more or­ganic way. This is most eas­ily seen in the rise and rise of mar­ble, which is be­ing used in gen­er­ous amounts ev­ery­where from the kitchen bench­top to the bath­room and liv­ing room floor. Nat­u­ral vein­ing through the stone al­lows its raw beauty to shine while ex­ud­ing un­der­stated lux­ury.

But if the bud­get doesn’t stretch to a large slab of Ital­ian mar­ble and you’re feel­ing a lit­tle more ad­ven­tur­ous, there are other op­tions emerg­ing.

Crys­tal clear

Most of us as­so­ciate semi­precious stones such as agate, amethyst, am­ber, quartz and mala­chite with peo­ple who be­lieve in the heal­ing pow­ers of crys­tals.

But used in their raw state or not, these lesser known stones can pro­vide de­sign in­spi­ra­tion in un­ex­pected ways.

Whether you’re into the jewel colours of deep teal, amethyst and emer­ald, or pas­tel hues are more your style, the nat­u­ral tonal vari­a­tions of mala­chite, agate, quartz, amethyst and am­ber bring a quiet soft­ness to any colour scheme.

For purists, it’s not too hard to find slices of agate or amethyst to use as coast­ers, or even wedges of crys­tal to put to work as book­ends. But there’s no need to bring in the real thing with a range of home­wares avail­able tak­ing cues from the or­ganic pat­terns of coloured stone.

The or­ganic lines of nat­u­ral stone can pro­vide the per­fect ba­sis for walls or floors, with de­sign­ers com­ing up with clever ways to use the pat­tern­ing as a fo­cal point.

In­te­rior de­signer Greg Natale’s fo­cus on mod­ern lux­ury has led to the de­vel­op­ment of his Mala­chite rug, while Luxe Walls has de­vel­oped a range of stone looks with its col­lec­tion of self-ad­he­sive wall­pa­pers.

The beauty of these strong pat­terns is their abil­ity to work with dark and soft colours, de­pend­ing on which tones you pick up on.

You don’t need to lit­er­ally use pre­cious stone. The Mala­chite rug by Greg Natale for De­signer Rugs uses the or­ganic shapes and shades of green to cre­ate an ul­tra luxe look.

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