Design Vocabulary: Carrara Marble

Question: What do this statue

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

and this bathroom

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have in common? Answer:  They both require nakedness. Also, they are both made of carrara marble.  Same product, different uses.

Carrara marble comes from the city of Carrara, in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The marble is quarried from the mountains of limestone and dolomite that run throughout the region.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A little science reference: Marble is a metamorphic rock, meaning it is formed from other rock (limestone and dolomite) as it transforms under the pressure and heat. The pretty veining that is so identifiable in marble are actually flaws, made up of residue from other rocks and sediments that were trapped on the porous surface when the rock started to change. Also, because it is a porous surface, marble gets unhappy with stains and direct heat, but you can get can get special gel coatings to seal them up. It just requires a little extra home maintenance. Okay, science lesson over…

Carrara marble is very special, because it is famous for its clean, creamy white color. It has been a treasured material for sculptors and masons for centuries. Because the material has been used through so many design eras, it has become a classic, almost timeless, neutral in interior design.  You can really put anything against carrara marble and it works. Doesn’t it make for beautiful kitchens?

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You find all kinds of beautiful forms of carrara marble for your home.  Take a look:

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Image courtesy of Amazon  ($9,000+, although I doubt it qualifies for free shipping.)

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Voronoi marble bookcase is designed by Marc Newson Image courtesy of

Do you like carrara marble? Would it work in your home? Are you surprised by all of the modern pieces available?

Posted on March 31, 2011, in Design Vocabulary. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. There really is no substitute for marble. It’s solid, but can be supple like liquid. I love the modern sink photo. It’s a little too daring to actually invest in, but I’d love to get away with it someday. Thanks for the masonry lesson.

  2. I only own a marble baking board! So many interesting pics. I loved the fireplace mantle. I hope people save some of the antique ones when houses are torn down.

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