Sculptors, architects, and furniture makers have used natural stone as the foundation of their work over millennia.
Many of the most recognizable and beloved buildings and artworks from around the world started life as blocks of stone. The Taj Mahal’s brilliant exterior could only be achieved with white marble. Michelangelo carved his David from Carrara marble. The Lincoln Memorial is clad in Yule marble from quarries in Colorado.
The tradition of natural stone design continues today: natural stone is used for furniture, furnishings, and architectural features in settings where durability and elegance are prioritized.
When we think of natural stone, marble is the first to come to mind. However, there are many other kinds of natural stone prolific in furniture design and architecture, including travertine, onyx, granite, porphyry, and quartzite. The table in the above image is made of carved dark sky onyx with brass inlays. Onyx is a type of chalcedony, which forms in the earth’s crust in a variety of colors and patterns.
Natural stone is sourced from quarries across the world. The stone from each quarry has unique qualities given to it by its chemical composition. Marble from Carrara is renowned for its pure whiteness, but its “impurities” give natural stone its diversity. These impurities are responsible for the “marbling” of marble and the coloration of other stone, which ranges from bright white to black, and from consistently colored to gloriously variegated.
The long history of natural stone fabrication continues to the present day. Artisans shape natural stone using the same techniques as their older family members, from whom they learned their trade. They turn natural stone into tables and chairs, intricate tiling and cladding for interiors and exteriors, tubs and sinks, and inlays for pieces made from other natural materials.
We are conditioned to seeing marble adorn both public monuments and the lobbies of grand hotels, but marble furniture and fittings are also perfect for introducing a touch of luxury to any space. Marble designs grace homes, gardens, offices, and stores across the world. Natural stone furniture is particularly desired in luxury homes, where it can be found in kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and gardens.
In this article, we’ve seen marble used for chairs, tables, tiles, and walls, but it’s important to note that natural stone doesn’t have to stand alone. It is often incorporated into designs that feature other natural materials, including metal, leather, wood, and textiles. Natural stone has seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years as luxury designers such as Enzo Berti and Marco Piva collaborate with natural stone fabricators like Kreoo, creating the most modern products from the most traditional of materials.
About Anthony: Anthony Davani is the CEO of The Davani Group, fabricators of high-end and custom furniture and decor. Theyproduce luxury custom furniture for some of the most well known Italian and American brands by Italian fabrication partners.
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