What Comes After Carrara Marble?
We asked five in-the-know designers.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:56 AM
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Anyone who’s ever watched Fredrik Eklund ooh and aah over a slab of it on Million Dollar Listing knows that Carrara Marble Obsession is a real thing. For almost a decade now, we’ve seen all kinds of kitchen countertops—Formica, laminate, granite—enthusiastically ripped up and replaced by the shiny white stone with subtle gray veining. But lately, interior designers are looking beyond the ubiquitous material and its siblings, Statuary and Calcatta Gold.
“While there’s nothing wrong with these marbles per se, there’s a tremendous breadth of expressive varieties out there that can add a significant amount of dynamism and personality to your project if you’re willing to think outside the box,” says Kevin Greenberg, founder of Space Exploration.
Others were less diplomatic: “Calacatta Gold, whether real marble or its porcelain imitator, has been overused in interiors,” says Britt Zunino, cofounder of Studio DB. “It’s become a very predictable and boring way to convey luxury.” So what are the pros into these days? We polled five designers on the types of marbles they’re loving right now. Their 8 colorful suggestions will have you swearing off Carrara for good.
“After an inspiring trip abroad, we couldn’t get enough of the richly colored marble. I’m especially drawn to Calacatta Viola, Turkish Violet, Calacatta Monet, and Rosa Portogallo. I also love Bardiglio, which is a beautiful gray option, if color isn’t your thing.” — Zunino
“A painterly, almost psychedelic variant that towers above its more commonplace cousins, the best slabs of Calacatta Turquoise display veining that recalls the foggy mystery of classical Chinese landscape paintings or an aerial photograph of the Himalayas. Its white ground is shot through with deep, ropey blue-green veins that hover above subtle pale gray brecciations (those cobweb-y forms created when two minerals are cemented under immense geological pressure). Its signature palette is occasionally interrupted by saturated pockets of caramels and golds. This is our current favorite stone to use for fireplaces and backsplashes. It’s not cheap, but few species compare if the brief calls for both elegance and drama.” — Greenberg
“I always love the drama that Nero Marquina brings to any space. The black marble with white veining is deep and rich and full of movement, and sometimes you get lucky with a touch of gold in the slab that brings some extra warmth.” — Jess Blumberg, Dale Blumberg Interiors
“Paonazzo is all about its dense, crunchy brecciations, which give it a decidedly ancient feel that recalls the patterns you might see in hallowed ruins in Europe or Asia (the Pantheon in Rome features especially fine examples). We generally look for slabs that display a subdued range of hues so things don’t start to feel overly baroque.” — Greenberg
“Calacatta Belgia is very dramatic and textured, so I use it for fireplace mantels or on a kitchen island where it can stand out front and center. With this much veining, the most important aspect of getting the design and installation right is to ensure your fabricator can book-match the veins. There’s nothing worse than not having the lines align; it will take away from the piece’s organic movement.” — Becky Shea, founder of Becky Shea Designs
“Rosa Egeo has claimed a special place in our hearts lately, owing mostly to its warm, vibrant hue but also its beguiling transparency. There’s something perversely appetizing about it, like a big block of pink Himalayan salt. Look for it as a custom vanity and tub surround material coming soon to a Space Exploration project near you.” —Greenberg
“This is one of my favorite materials to use, mainly in bathrooms. The stone resembles a tree’s annual growth rings. Its simplicity and light tones work so well with our neutral emphasis in homes. It happens to be very hardy and doesn’t require much maintenance (if any). I much prefer a honed to a polished finish, which lends itself to a more modern and natural look.” — Shea
Ferrara Vein Cut
“I am loving Ferrera vein cut marble. The linear veining adds the perfect graphic quality, keeping a space feeling bright, fresh, and modern. With brushstrokes of brown and gray throughout, it brings both a coolness and warmth, allowing for a wide range of other materials to be used as a complement to the stone.” — Blumberg
Our love for colorful marble doesn’t end here: The Coolest Countertops We’ve Seen Lately Are Blue Marble Two Tiny Bathroom Makeovers With One Stunning Marble Slab in Common The Green Marble Kitchen in This Melbourne Home Has Stolen Our Hearts