Published on September 13, 2016

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Photography by ADAM PARKER SMITH

text by Alex Redgrave

Blowout by Adam Parker Smith, Courtesy of Honor Fraser Gallery

A favorite of sculptors and architects for centuries (hello, Taj Mahal), marble is being reimagined in contemporary artworks and new designs—from trompe l’oeil canvases to the humble cinder block.

“Originally marble was this classic material symbolizing wealth, decadence, and extreme competence of craft,” explains New York–based artist Adam Parker Smith. “Now it’s being reappropriated in a new context.” Smith snaps large-format photos at a marble distributor in Brooklyn near his home, then prints them onto oversize pieces of foam, creating marble “slabs” that are sculpted and adorned with, among other things, playful balloon dolphins and bright plastic broomsticks.

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Photography by TROLS FLENSTED

“Because the final pieces are so expressive, it’s important for me to keep the shapes simple,” says Troels Flensted of his poured acrylic bowls in minimalist forms. The Danish designer experimented for more than two years to come up with his unique patterns. Now, he says, “I try to find the right balance between my control as the designer and the material’s own natural behavior.”

Poured Bowls by Troels Flensted from $76

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Photography by ESME WINTER

To make her richly colored gift wrap for the British paper shop Esme Winter, artist Jemma Lewis uses seaweed to thicken the water and prevent the paint from sinking. “Occasionally a more abstract, experimental piece can be impossible to re-create,” explains co-owner Richard Sanderson. “The beauty of a genuine marbled paper is that no sheet is identical.”  

Marbled Papers by Jemma Lewis for Esme Winter from $4

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Warm up the room with a hint of gold.

Levante in Bianco by Flat Vernacular $175/roll

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Give it a swirl.

Frozen Moment Small Table $875

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Photography by CONCRETE CAT

A concrete block in the perfect dusty rose puts an industrial object to good use.

Infiniti Unit in Pink + Red + Ivory by Concrete Cat $420 

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Photography by STAMPD

Update your desk by swapping bright sticky notes for this understated notepad.

3M Carrera Note Block by STAMPD $18

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Photography by DOMINO

The classic black leather bag gets a metallic spin for fall.

Midi in Black Gold Marble by Future Glory Co. 

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Photography by CASETIFY

Protect your phone as the Romans would.

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Photography by MERCI MERCI

Just like the real thing, each of these enamel plates has a unique pattern.

Black and White Plate by Merci from $23

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Photography by DOMINO

Party decor in our favorite motif— minus the heft.

Marble Party Balloons by Knot & Bow $12

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Photography by FERM LIVING

Bedrock chic in lightweight organic cotton for cozying up on weekends.