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