Marble is having a moment, and we are here for it. A natural work of art, marble is formed from limestone and transformed into a beautiful material from the heat and pressure of the earth's crust. Clay, sand, and minerals combine with the limestone to give the distinctive veining, patterns, and colours we see in the most luxurious types of marble.

Artisans and designers have been inspired by this force of nature for centuries because of its uniqueness and durability. However, New Zealand designers are at the forefront of embracing marble in fresh, unique, and timeless ways.

The Plumbline team travelled to Milan Design Week and attended Salone del Mobile to view all that's new in the beautiful world of interiors and were pleased to see we are ahead of the curve. "Marble has historically been used in bathrooms, but now it is being used in new ways I find truly exciting. In our new Toscana vanity range, rare marble finishes are printed on high pressure laminate surrounding the vanity with ease, and our Marmo basin range is a study of individuality. Each bowl is unique in its colouration and veining, so you have a natural piece of history that's all your own." says Brad Wallace, Plumbline Managing Director.

The new Toscana Opaco vanity in catalina (left) and Marmo round vessel basin in Mugla White (right)

Bathroom Designers Embrace Marble

Emma Hoyle of Emma Hoyle Interiors uses marble as an inspiration point and a design feature in her of-the-moment spaces. "Marble is an incredible material; a metamorphic rock, extracted from the earth and applied to adorn our living spaces. Marble is always a focal point for its inherent beauty, and I design bathrooms by taking cues from the colouring and veining of the stone selection. This is the bridge to where I can develop a palette from there. Selecting finishes such as tapware, metals, and soft paint colours complement the marble and make it a cohesive space." Tapware and accessories to pair with marble have come a long way since chrome was the only option. Bathroom designers now have a variety of tapware hues available to complement the marble veining tones. Organic tapware finishes, like copper and brass, complement natural marble as they patina beautifully over time.

Kitchen design by Spatial Studio, Statuary marble accessorised with Buddy brushed brass organic tapware.

Karla Devine from House Party Interiors also finds inspiration in the intrinsic qualities of marble to build a bathroom scape that's both unique and classic. "Marble is just one of those rare materials that works with almost everything and never looks out of place. When going for something with a bit more pattern and colour, I love to pull one of the hues from the veining and use this in either my tile choice, vanity cabinet or even accessories."

Marble is a hero piece for a bathroom and a great moment to go big in a small space. Kirsten Basra of Spatial Studio doesn't shy away from making an impact. "We use marble a lot for vanities, which are generally the highlight of a bathroom. I personally love the texture and warmth it brings to bathroom spaces." The Toscana vanity offers the beauty of natural stone and marble using High-Pressure Laminate or HPL. It is available in six colours for a look that's both bold and effortless.

Kristen is not alone in loving this material of choice. "There is a marble for every bathroom theme or style. We have secured over 30 slabs of Italian Tundra for our clients. It's so popular for its soft, grey veining and natural beauty.", says Kristen. The Marmo basin collection is available in three shapes and four finishes, including Tundra Grey. She continues, "More statement marbles with heavy veining are also being used much more nowadays. They are quite strong with a big personality." Kristen associates marble selection with artistic taste. "It's like choosing art. You're either in love or not. Everyone has their own individual opinion."

Infusing spaces with environmental influences is a trend that extends beyond just bathrooms. Designers and tastemakers find marble's natural characteristics endlessly inspiring and totally fresh. "Coloured marble is a real trend right now. I can’t stop dreaming about rich browns and burgundy marble vanities.”, Says Karla. "It's just so good!" She continues, "You really can't go wrong with incorporating a bit of marble into most style themes as it's incredibly versatile. I love to see it used in eclectic settings or ultra-modern spaces paired with bright and bold colours."

The rich browns and burgundy of Toscana marble look vanities in Caspio

Is there such a thing as too much marble in a bathroom?

All the talk about marble begs the question, ‘is there such a thing as too much marble’? Kristen is divided, "Yes and no! The key is the balance of colour and veining, ensuring it doesn't feel too heavy or overpowering. Overall, in my opinion, bathrooms should be a calm space." Whereas Karla feels it's best to plan your marble around your location. "Too much marble in a place like Dubai, no. In New Zealand, absolutely!"

Careful planning, selection and balance are all factors in balancing marble volume for Emma. "I always like to balance the application of marble against some relief of painted gib or plaster in a bathroom.”

Infusing designs rich in colour together with marble influences can create some seriously stunning looks, but it can take time to get the balance just right. When it comes to pulling it all together, Emma says, "This is very project dependent, but finding a colour that compliments or pulls colour from the natural stone is a great place to start. The tapware selection is also important. For example, you may want a darker bronze or a brushed nickel finish if there are greyer or whiter tones in your stone. You may also use colour through the vanity finish, artwork, or selection of bath linens. It's all an act of balance."

Bathroom design by Michael Murray Studios, marble accessorised with Buddy aged brass organic Tapware

Turn Your Marble Dreams into Reality

With so many bathroom ideas it can be hard to know where to start. Karla has tips on how to turn your marble dreams into reality by not overthinking it. "I would keep it simple with my marble choice by opting for a style that would work with any colour, like a Calacatta marble. For those a bit more daring, I would pull a colour from the slab and either closely match this with my paint colour or other furniture/finishes or pair it with the opposing colour on the colour wheel, which makes for a delightful combo!"

Utilising the natural colours in marble to ground the basis of your design is also how Kristen guides clients in complimenting their overall feel. "Taking a colour out of the stone and pairing in the same tones works the best." This can be achieved with gunmetal tapware for cool tones and brushed brass tapware for warm tones. She emphasises, "Bold veined stones can look amazing with bold colour as long as you have a 50/50 balance of stone and colour."

Kitchen design by Cube Dentro, Calcutta marble with brushed brass PVD Oli 316 tapware

Infuse your next project with timeless style using marble in a totally new way. Surprise yourself with something unexpected and unique with our new Toscana and Marmo collections. Available to view at our premium Plumbline showrooms.