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Marble Benchtop with Lighting

How to Enhance Your Granite or Marble benchtop with Lighting

Author Bio: Lisa Wetherell runs the blog Lighting House – where she writes about her knowledge gained from 10 years of industry experience in the lighting and interior design field. To learn more about how lighting can improve your space, you can follow her blog.


When installing marble or granite benchtops there is more to think about that may be obvious. Choosing the type, size and shape of the marble or granite that works best in the property are main considerations. But in order to make the most of your final selection, you will need to pay plenty of attention to lighting.

When properly lit, your marble and granite benchtops will come alive. They are usually installed as a major feature of any room, be it a bar, hotel reception, nightclub bathroom or home kitchen. Granite and marble benchtops are not cheap, so it makes perfect sense to do everything possible to enhance them… and lighting is the best way to do that.

The below guide will help you to choose the perfect lighting to make your granite or marble benchtops the focal point you intended them to be:  

Take colours and styles into consideration

To ensure that your benchtops are the centre of attention, you will want to avoid installing very bright or bold. Your benchtops might contain subtle hues that are greatly complemented by the right level of lighting, so you won’t want to wash those out with blanket lighting.

For example, if installing a white marble slab with dark grey veins like this one, you would do well to go for stainless steel or brushed nickel light fittings, which will really make it shine.

You will want to try out a few different bulbs to see how varying levels of intensity and hues impact the look of your benchtop. The level of brightness and intensity you choose will be dependent on details like whether the room receives a lot of natural light, what colour the walls are, whether there are cabinets shading your benchtops, and what the benchtops are actually made of.

If your benchtop is made from light coloured or white material, it will benefit from brighter light; if it is made from a darker material like this Titanium Gold Polished Granite, softer light would complement it best. A dark benchtop is going to absorb more light, so install lighting that is bright enough to compensate for that.

The most important factor is to avoid glare, as that will detract from the aesthetics of your benchtop. A lighting level that highlights the finer details of the material is ideal.

Titanium Gold Granite polished slab

Titanium Gold, a translucent granite at VSG.


 

Under-cabinet lighting

As mentioned above, cabinets can cast shadows over your marble or granite benchtops, and that will detract from their brilliance. However, cabinets provide an ideal spot for placing lighting that actually illuminates the whole surface, so you can use them to your advantage. After all, there is nothing prettier than a marble benchtop with quartz crystals glinting in an ambient room.

It may be advantageous to have cabinets above and around your benchtops, especially as lights on the ceiling can’t always properly illuminate them. Depending on what you’re using the benchtops for, under-cabinet lighting acts as the perfect task lighting. This is also a remedy for lack of natural light in a room.

For example, if used in bathrooms, it not only highlights the benchtops; it also creates more visibility when washing your hands. In kitchens this kind of lighting helps with food prep and other kitchen activities. The proximity of under-cabinet lights to your benchtops means the hues, textures and unique details of the material you’ve used can be perfectly highlighted.

The best lighting for this is pucks – circular lights installed at regular intervals, such as every 6 to 10 inches. They create pools of light on the benchtop surface, which really makes it stand out. You can also install strips if you want to distribute an even amount of light. Lastly, note that the benchtop is likely to create some level of reflection, so you won’t want to install lights that shine directly onto it; opt for light fittings with a lens over the bulb, as those won’t create quite as much of a reflection.

Island pendants

Pendant lights have long been a top choice for kitchen task lighting, and in particular, to highlight a stunning benchtop. They are certainly one of the best options, especially when you select a fitting that goes with the style of your granite or marble.

Titanium Gold benchtop with island pendants.

You don’t need to choose just the one, of course. Installing a few smaller pendant lights can look even better. This works well in bars, but it can also do wonders for the look of a kitchen. When installing your light fitting, position it between 28 and 34 inches above your benchtop for best effect.

There is a world of lighting options to complement your benchtop, depending on the type of material you’ve used. Industrial-inspired fittings look wonderful with white marble, for instance… or perhaps you will want to go for an antique-style pendant with an ambient bulb to bring out the best in a dark and mysterious granite surface.

Marble benchtop with lighting

White Macaubas island benchtop

Backlighting with LED light panels

One of the best things about lighting today is that it is more versatile than ever. It is now possible to achieve all manner of wonders when it comes to lighting a room. And this is evident when you consider backlighting. A gorgeous, translucent marble benchtop with light shining through it is a sight you’ll never tire of looking at.

New York Marble transclucent

VSG’s New York Marble backlit on display at Victorian Kitchen Company, Springvale.

 

No longer is it necessary to depend on overhead lighting or wall-mounted fittings to make your benchtop shine. LED technology has stepped up to the plate and now there are many more options for lighting your benchtops in style.

You will surely have heard of LED light bulbs, but have you heard LED light panels? These are cutting edge lighting technology and a very popular choice with modern bars, hotels, restaurants and more. In those places aesthetics and ambience really count. And the establishments know they can’t go wrong with backlit marble or granite benchtops.

LED panels are flat light bulbs made from clear acrylic that is lit from the side using LEDs,  situated in a metal frame around the outside. You can source them in different shapes, from square to rectangle. And some specialist light providers even make panels with the LEDs embedded into the acrylic. That makes it possible to customise the panel shapes.

It is nothing new to backlight a translucent marble, onyx and resin benchtop. But LED light panels are now making it possible to light them in more uniform and practical ways. They can be placed flush under or against the benchtop, saving space; it also takes focus away from the lighting itself and puts it firmly on the particular assets of your benchtop.


Featured in this post is Titanium Gold Granite and New York Marble, two of our favourite translucent natural stones that we have in stock here at VSG. Be sure to also check out Azul Lago Marble and Himalayan Onyx to achieve that, translucent backlit effect as seen in the New York.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our selection!

 

 

 

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Natural Stones for a Minimalist Approach

Author Bio: Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for Euro Marble in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.


In an increasingly crowded world, the minimalist interior design tries to bring a balance by reducing the amount of clutter in our homes. This trend promotes spacious rooms, with a focus on natural materials (mostly wood or stone) and clever arrangements that brings space separation without the use of walls or big pieces of furniture.

Modern minimalism dances around geometric shapes, neutral colours, and natural textures that give the room warmth. When it comes to the walls and floors, the textures should be natural and (especially for the floors) easy to clean and maintain. This is why you’ll almost always find natural stone and wood in a home with a minimalist approach (think about Scandinavian design).

Both materials can be used for floors and walls in a wide range of settings throughout the house or for the facades. However, natural stone is more durable and resists better to the elements and wear and tear, which is why we recommend it for most designs.   

How to Select the Right Stone for a Minimalist Design

Colour, texture, and lines are the primary elements of a design that wants to be simple, freeing, and welcoming. As such, these are the elements to consider when you choose the right type of natural stone.

Colour

Natural stone has the advantage of colour because it features hues of black, grey, and white. These are known to promote an atmosphere of calm and serenity, which makes the material perfect for minimalist interior designs.

For instance, if you decide to use predominantly white marble, this makes space feel clean and exquisite, with a note of elegance that’s difficult to obtain otherwise. Furthermore, you have the possibility to implement a monochrome palette (an all-white room), which are very popular in the Scandinavian culture.

Carrara Slab

Carrara Slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

But if you choose to go with a dark colour, it will make for a fantastic background while highlighting the other nuances used (whites and greys). A black marble floor, for instance, will bring a splash of colour in a minimalist setting. And it works in any room of the house (starting with the kitchen and ending with the bathroom).  

Nero Marquina slab

Nero Marquina Marble at VSG

Texture

The fundamental concept that represents the minimalist approach is simplicity. As such, the texture of the materials used for interior design should allow for easy cleaning and maintenance without the need for rugs, carpets, or other accessories. So, the subtle textures of natural stone will fit right in.

Thinking from an interior design perspective, the smoothness of marble or the rugged beauty of travertine are fantastic for day spaces such as the living room or a home office. For bathroom and kitchen areas you can always go with the durability and freshness of granite, while for the bedroom, you can choose a warmer texture, in a darker colour, such as quartzite in brown hues.

Palomino slab

Palomino Quartzite

Pattern

With natural stone as your go-to material, there is a plethora of lines and patterns from which to choose. As it turns out, minimalist designs are all about lines and patterns. Creating harmonious combinations that lead the eye and fill out space.

Patterns can be included in any type of design element, from countertops to backsplashes, to floors and walls, or you can use them to highlight the focal piece of a room. Regardless, the unique beauty of these patterns will be forever by your side, encouraging creativity and originality!

Wrap Up  

The minimalist approach is more and more popular these days, and that is due to its many benefits. Starting with a more organized space that invites to focus and productivity and ending with a house that helps you feel relaxed and balanced this trend can have a strong influence on our lives.

However, it’s important to understand how minimalism works and this includes learning about the right type of natural stone to select. Each home is unique, so the choices you make must be fit to your needs and the ones of your family.


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Natural Stone Feature Wall

Natural Stone Feature Wall in Vogue

Interior Designer, Gregory Vaughn, sees the potential of a natural stone slab beyond its most common use as a kitchen benchtop, island or bathroom vanity. Gregory Vaughn is talking a natural stone feature wall.

After decades of specifying natural stone, he can truly appreciate a stone slab as a work of art from Mother Nature.

Challenging the common denominator of all types of natural stone in the home – its horizontal application, Gregory has called for more vertical application -in stone feature walls. We couldn’t agree more!

“Kitchens and bathrooms have been designed around natural stone for years but what’s really coming back into vogue now are feature walls where the stone slabs are applied vertically as an accent, sometimes being the design feature of the room.

Decor aficionados are taking note and filling their Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards with prime examples. It is literally one of the hottest trends right now in interior design.”

This trend is likened to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s work on the iconic Barcelona Pavilion, dating back to 1929.

In this article, Gregory shares his work on a client’s home to create a similar zen-like atmosphere. Finding a slab of Red Onyx too beautiful to cut up, the duo agreed on using it as a wall panel in the bathroom.


With some absolutely unique and stunning stone slabs at Victoria Stone Gallery, we would love to see the natural stone feature wall trend continue. Here’s some inspo.

Palomino Quartzite

A coppery-gold Quartzite, characterised by its large rings in white, gold and blue tones.

Palomino slab

Blue Mare Quartzite

A bright baby-blue Quartzite with smoky-coppery gold veining.  Particularly stunning in its leathered finish.

Rainforest Brown

A brown and green, heavily veined marble with blue-black undertones. If you like this, check out Rainforest Green.

Skyfall Granite

A heavily contrasted black and white granite from Brazil. Characterised by its dramatic, chunky white veining.

Nero Marinace Granite

A unique black granite, tightly packed with variously sized pebbles.

Nero Marinace slab

 

 

 

Granites to renovate your fireplace hearth with

6 Black Granites to Renovate Your Fireplace Hearth With

Winter is approaching in Australia, and homeowners are turning to comfort and warmth of their fireplace. But does your fireplace hearth look as hot as it gives off?


Natural stone is a perfect option to consider when remodelling your fireplace hearth. Natural stone is durable, efficient, long lasting and retains heat better than any other material. And most beautifully, it combines two of the earth’s greatest natural elements; fire and stone.

What’s particularly special about using granite for your fireplace hearth, is its formation. Formed under extreme heat and pressure, this dark, igneous stone comes full circle from the earth and into your home, giving direct relationship to your fire. There you can experience the warmth your fire will give with this igneous stone.

Amongst marble and quartzite, black granite is particularly on trend this year. A sleek polished, honed or leathered black granite can enhance the contemporary sophistication of any home.

Featured in this post is some of our favourite black granites at VSG at the moment!

Skyfall is a striking, black and white polished granite from Brazil. This is a very unique granite that you won’t find anywhere else.

Barocco is also new to the gallery. It’s brown and black with shades of orange rippling through the slab.

Our polished Black Forest, and leathered Via Lactea and Night Dream are three very popular black and white granites. Each unique in the pattern that they have carried throughout the slabs.

Titanium Gold, one of our favourite translucent stones, especially effective in its leathered finish.

Treat yourself this winter, after all, home is where the hearth is!

 

Marble withstands storm at Taj Mahal complex

Marble Withstands Storm at Taj Mahal

Want to use marble outdoors, but worried how marble withstands storm and other weather conditions?

Yahoo.com  reports on two ancient pillars sadly being destroyed by the storm just days ago. Meanwhile, four white marble minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal survived the violent winds. Yet again standing against the test of time.


Violent winds topple stone pillars at Taj Mahal complex

Agra (India) (AFP). A violent storm has destroyed two ancient pillars at the entryways to the Taj Mahal, an official said Thursday. Underscoring the fragility of the centuries-old marble monument to love.

The four-metre high sandstone minarets topped by ornate spires were left in chunks after being felled by strong winds late Wednesday.

“Two decorative pillars collapsed last night amid high-velocity winds. One of the pillars stood at the royal gate. The other at the southern gate.” an official from the Archaeological Survey of India told AFP.

None of the four white marble minarets surrounding the Taj — or the spectacular shimmering mausoleum itself — were damaged in the storm, authorities said.

Tourists often get their first glimpse of the Taj — a UNESCO world heritage site — through the royal gate, a grand fortress-like entrance made largely of red sandstone. It was flanked by two imposing minarets before the storm brought one crashing down.

Footage showed the stone pillars lying in large broken pieces. The distinct spire is still intact but separated cleanly from the shaft. Nobody was injured by the falling steeples, authorities said.

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.

The Taj is one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. Beset by problems from air pollution yellowing the marble to insects leaving green stains on its rear wall.

Efforts to restore its grandeur have dragged into a fourth year, with scaffolding marring the view for the 10,000-plus tourists that visit the 17th-century mausoleum every day.

Work is yet to begin on its main dome, with authorities concerned about how to proceed with handling the fragile centrepiece.

The Taj has attracted world leaders and royalty, including former US President Bill Clinton. Diana, the late British princess, was famously photographed alone on a marble seat there in 1992.


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Natural stone imperfections in a quartzite

The Beauty of Natural Stone Imperfections

Natural stone imperfections – they’re not uncommon! In fact, it’s rare to see a slab of marble, quartzite, travertine or granite that is completely impeccable and unblemished.

Their uniqueness can result from anything from heat, pressure, mineral makeup, volcanic activity or time. We’ve found this article here that explores just a few of the possible natural stone imperfections that can make your stone benchtop one in a million!


Natural Stone: Not A Game Of Perfect.

It might have been Dale Clevenger, former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, who at one point during his illustrious career surprisingly said that he is yet to perform a perfect concert. Whether it was truly him who said it, this sort of notion really hits close to home: here at Blue Pearl Stone, we are yet to see a perfect slab of natural stone.

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Naturally occuring crack in a slab of Zsa Zsa quartzite

Natural stone, by nature, is always imperfect.

This is not because of some mystical curse or an outlandish series of mishaps.  There will most likely be a slightly brownish patch somewhere on a beautiful white Carrara marble, a tiny pit in a Luna Pearl granite slab, and amongst the undulating wave-patterns of a Macauba quartzite you may just happen upon a cloudy patch.

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Pits filled with resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Natural stone just won’t stand up to the fastidious scrutiny of perfectionists.

And it really shouldn’t. The real beauty of any natural stone comes from its unabashed uniqueness. Natural stones are either formed under subterranean pressure, are a result of sedimentation or a product of volcanic activity. But wherever they might come from, the thousands and millions of years that it takes for these stones to form means that each slab is exposed to the caprices of time and stands as a testimony to all the events that occurred during its formation: a slight drift in the tectonic plates, a trapped and fossilized organism here and there, or the leaking of an uncommon material into the ossifying sediment. You name it.

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis - Wikipedia

Rock sedimenttion at the blue lias cliffs at Lyme Regis – Wikipedia

In granite, for example, there’s a mineral called biotite, which is softer than granite’s other components. The main components of granite, feldspar and quartz (the mineral), have the hardness of about 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. But biotite’s is only 2.5. This means that biotite flakes and crumbles more easily compared to the other minerals, sometimes leaving tiny pits behind. Yet, this by no means compromises the integrity and durability of granite.

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Fissures and pits filled in with epoxy resin in a slab of Noce Travertine

Take fissures for instance: fissures are natural cracks that found in the surface of stones. Most are almost undetectable, but some are wide enough that quartz bits and epoxy resin are required to fill them in. Mining companies extract stone out of the ground in large cubes (see video), then slice the cubes up like bread. Cracks can occur during these processes, but if the accidental crack doesn’t entirely damage the integrity of the stone, it’s immediately restored with resin, and can go on the market.

We’ve also received requests for service calls regarding cloudy patches on countertops. In certain natural stones there will be areas that have a slightly different composition than the rest. Which, accordingly, take polish differently. The results are occasional cloudy patches and they, too, are perfectly natural.

For some inspiration and encouragement, let us suggest an article by Faith Durand, blogger and author of several cookbooks, in which she elaborates on her penchant for so-called etchings.

While etchings are man-made marks on countertops, the accepting and easygoing approach of a professional cook in these matters can be quite reassuring, especially for those with misgivings about purchasing natural stone products. Read Faith Durand’s “Here’s What an Etch on a Marble Countertop Actually Looks Like” article.


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Fantasy Brown - close up
,

Is Fantasy Brown a Marble or Quartzite?

Fantasy Brown has just arrived at Victoria Stone Gallery! But there’s a bit of speculation over what sort of natural stone it is. Is it a Marble or a Quartzite? Long answer short, it’s a hard marble that performs like a Quartzite. This article that we came across today talks the science and formation behind this peculair stone, and discusses in detail whether Fantasy Brown is a Marble or Quartzite.


There are thousands of natural stones available in the world right now. But every now and then there comes a granite, marble, or quartzite that we just can’t get enough of, we get regular calls about, and homeowners simply must have.

Fantasy Brown is one of those stones. Cool gray waves and smooth swirls tumbling diagonally across the slab, stunning mineral formations, and the faintest hues of green and rose make this a truly unique stone. But what is it? Is it quartzite as so many fabricators label it or are the suppliers who categorize it as marble correct?

“It mostly does perform like a quartzite or a granite. It’s a great stone. Geologically it does have some calcium carbonate & thus is a marble. A very hard marble. Even so, we have never noticed it etch, but since there’s some calcium carbonate we called it what it is – marble (just in case).” – Jeff @ Architectural Granite and Marble, Ltd. (AG&M)

The answer is a little complicated. Most broad stone types like marble or granite include a wide variety of different mineral compositions. Some marbles are much harder than others, and the same goes for quartzite. So, the precise geological term for a stone is not always a guarantee of how the stone will last or stand up to normal wear and tear.

Technically Fantasy Brown is a Marble, but There’s More to the Story

Geologically speaking, it contains the mineral calcium carbonate, which is a defining feature of marble. However, it’s an extremely hard marble with a very low risk of etching or staining. In other words, it behaves like a quartzite.

“Because we can’t expect our clients to know the finer details of how each individual stone will perform in the kitchen, we classify them according to durability. That means that in our showroom, you will see Fantasy Brown labeled as a quartzite.” – Kasey King | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

Fantasy Brown Quartzite is a durable, reliable countertop choice. With proper sealing once to twice a year, you won’t have to worry about etching or staining. Quartzite is scratch resistant, but we don’t recommend cutting on your natural stone, as it will dull your knives!

Fantasy Brown

Actual photo of Fantasy Brown slab available at Victoria Stone Gallery

Marble vs. Quartzite? What’s the Difference?

Both are metamorphic stones. One of the three main types of rock (the other two are igneous, which includes granite, and sedimentary).

Marble is created when limestone is “recrystallized” through exposure to heat, pressure, and/or chemically-active liquids. These forces change the composition of the stone, leaving behind an interlocking pattern of white crystals. The swirls and colors found in marble are technically impurities. They occur when clay, sand, iron, and other materials find their way into the metamorphosing limestone.

“Marble is softer than granite and quartzite, which makes it more susceptible to scratches over time. The calcium in the stone means it may etch when exposed to acidic liquids like lemon or vinegar.” – Lauren Little Rhodes | Sales Consultant at Tate Granite | Tate Ornamental

“The stone is what I call a “combo stone”. It’s a combination of quartzite minerals and calcite. alcite being a soft mineral and quartzite being a hard one.  So this stone, depending on its density plus quartzite to calcite ratio, can be pretty darn durable but that durability will fluctuate with the ratio of quartzite to calcite in the slab. The more quartzite, the more durability. We have sold a lot of this material and have had rave reviews from customers on how much they love this stone. I think a lot of customer satisfaction comes with properly educating customers on the type of stone they are choosing and how to take care of it.” – Laura Bolen | OHM International, Nashville, TN

While marble comes from limestone, quartzite is created when those same “metamorphosing” forces of heat, pressure, and chemically-active liquids come into contact with sandstone. This difference is what gives quartzite its glassy surface. Quartzite can range from slightly harder than marble all the way to harder than granite.


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Super White Dolomite quarry in Brazil

All You Need To Know About Super White Dolomite

Super White Dolomite…

Is a fantastic natural stone option to have in the household for kitchen benchtops, island tops, splashbacks and bathrooms. It has the desirable marble-look, but Super White Dolomite is harder than a typical marble and comes in large-sized slabs. Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we are fortunate to have a close relationship with the quarry, which is how we are able to secure a direct, consistent quality stone for Melbourne homes.

We have a lot of customers come to our Warehouse to check out this highly sought after, exotic stone. Here are some questions we are frequently asked…


Where is Super White from?

Super White is sourced and quarried from the South of Bahia, Brazil. They are then transported more than 800km to reach the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim (this is where our director lives!), here they are carefully processed, before being transported directly to Melbourne, Australia.

Super White Dolomite quarry in Brazil

Super White quarry, Brazil

There’s more than one type of Super White?

In the international stone market, there are four different types of SW. Super White Calacatta, Super White Arabescato, Super White Light and Super White Dark. In our Warehouse, we have a regular and consistent supply of Super White and Super White Calacatta. Each type is graded by the quarry depending on its tones and patterns. The grading reflects the price, offering affordable options.

Super White Dolomite Calcatta

Super White Calacatta available at Victoria Stone Gallery

What is Super White made out of?

The slabs are a unique makeup of dolomite and quartz. The large white parts are a dolomite marble, which is harder than a typical marble. The quartz veins running through the stone aid its structure.

If it looks like Marble, is it still durable?

Very! Don’t let the look delicate, marble-look let you wonder otherwise. Because of its make-up, Super White dolomite is less porous, stronger, resistant to heat, more durable and less prone to staining and etching

Super White 10271

Super White available at VSG

Super White slab

Super White available at VSG

So, Super White is very durable, does it still require much maintenance?

Super White is a great option for the household but still requires care and maintenance. It should always be sealed by your fabricator or installer and we recommend re-sealing it about once a year, depending on the usage and exposure to household products and sunlight.

Treat it like any other stone! Clean it on a daily basis, wipe spills up as soon as possible and don’t put hot pots and pans straight onto the surface.

What sort of finishes is it available in?

Polished, honed, semi-polished. Tip: a honed finish over polished will be more forgiving to any damage and act as extra protection. If you find a slab here that you love the look of but is only available in polished, speak to your stonemason about getting it honed!

Can the slabs be book-matched?

Yes, Super White comes book-matched.

Super White Dolomite Bookmatched

 


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Curved Marble Cave by Peter Tijoe

Curved Marble, Floating Granite

MM Galleri director, Peter Tijoe has perfect the art of curved marble. And all by near-unfortunate incident that almost cost him his business! Read how things literally shaped out for the better.

Posted from thepeakmagazine.com.sg by Jasmine Tay.


What’s the secret to curved marble cave walls and intricate floating tables that are unmistakably marble to the touch?

Curved Marble Granite Table by Peter Tijoe

Dubbed the “Floating G” by Tijoe, this table appears to be one solid piece of stone that defies the law of physics. In actuality, it is a steel frame with a heavy foot, covered entirely with slices of black granite.

It was then that he discovered the stone’s limited but existent malleability. With the steel backing, the marble sheet can handle some pressure without it breaking.

Tijoe then tested the limits of that bendability. The method, which he perfected last year, involves heating a 1mm marble sheet, then slowly moulding it into shape. To prevent it from cracking, he adds a chemical to the surface of the stone. Other hard stones like granite and onyx can handle this technique.

“Curved marble exists – and it makes for stunning interiors”

Says Tijoe: “The result is a sheet we can use like wallpaper to apply on anything, in any configuration.” Such application is unprecedented. To prove a point, Tijoe created a marble cave in his Chin Bee Avenue showroom by applying sheets of white stone from wall to ceiling (header image). He also created spindly marble chairs and tables – steel structures wrapped in thin stone sheets.

Curved Marble table by Peter Tijoe

The use of steel frames allows designers to bypass structural limitations.

“These pieces are structurally impossible if carved from marble blocks thanks to the stone’s weight. The thin legs would break,” says Tijoe.

The technique has caught the attention of other designers. Last year’s Maison & Objet design fair in Paris saw Indonesian designer Jeffrey Budiman using the process to create a lamp with intricate twists of pink onyx. The technique could very well spell a new genre of design.


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Houzz Reveal Best of the Week: 40 Marble Marvels From Around the Globe

From floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms to splashbacks with sensational veins, here’s a gallery of marble marvels.

Are you thinking of including a marble feature in your home? If so, be prepared to be inspired. From the popular marbles such as Cararra, Calacatta and Statuario, to Nero Marquina and other exotic-to-Australia types, and from great slabs of marble to tiles (and marble-look alternatives), here is a quarry’s worth of images that show myriad ways this wonderful natural product has been used across the globe.

 

1. Location: Perth, WA
Why we love it: The veining in the marble is sensational, and adds an element of luxury to the more rustic/ low-maintenance aspects of the kitchen.

2. Location: Singapore
Why we love it: Marble-look surfaces feature throughout this property, giving this apartment a funky retro air – not a look commonly associated with white marble. It’s one for the books.

3. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Marble is so well employed in this splashback, especially as it acts as a contrast to the black joinery surrounding it. Again, it is an easy way to add a layer of sophistication to almost any scheme.

4. Location: Austin, USA
Why we love it: Marble, marble, everywhere… This would just be a stunning bathroom to walk into, let alone to use. The way the timber pops out from the patterning is something to be admired. A brilliantly executed interior.

5. Location: San Francisco, USA
Why we love it: Using marble with restraint also works well. This marble-tiled floor, paired with high ceilings, gives this room gravitas.

6. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The repetition of white marble-clad volumes emphasises the luxury of this relatively small kitchen area. A great example of using this material to raise the stature of a space.

7. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Just stand back and take it in. We love the invitation to admire this stunning space, and the way the marble panels used solely on the outside of the island bench, tone down the ‘look at me’ aspect just enough.

8. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: We can’t say it enough… the veins maketh the marble, especially so in this Statuario marble benchtop and splashback.

9. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: Because sometimes a light touch is enough too.

10. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Marble isn’t all light and beauty. Sometimes it adds a darkly dramatic element just where it’s needed.

11. Location: Los Angeles, USA
Why we love it: Case in point.

12. Location: New York, USA
Why we love it: Because this is a great example of how black marble can elevate a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

13. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: The Statuario marble island bench is the hero of the renovation of this Grade II (heritage) listed Regency house, the ‘furniture’ element anchoring the kitchen and providing a proportional contrast to the tall Georgian windows.

14. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Imagine this bathroom with plain white walls. The inclusion of marble lifts it into another realm.

15. Location: Spain
Why we love it: Marble can break out of the ‘simple and sophisticated’ cliche. Here it’s paired with lively patterned tiles to beautiful effect.

16. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The interesting but not overwhelming marble tiles are the ultimate backdrop for the organic-shaped bath. Shape and material working harmoniously.

17. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: We love how marble isn’t the standout material here, but provides the link between the dark upper cabinetry and textured cladding on the base cabinets. A lovely and interesting combination.

18. Location: Italy
Why we love it: The black Marquina marble is an incredibly striking feature in this kitchen, adding a dynamic element to a very restrained scheme.

19. Location: Leicestershire, UK
Why we love it: Understated marble teamed with dark blue-grey cabinetry. Gold.

20. Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Why we love it: These tiles lift the energy of this Swedish powder room no end.

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