How marble-effect decors have influenced kitchen worktops, using any material and at all price points
Whether a classic farmhouse kitchen or cutting-edge contemporary design, marble-effect worktops play a main role in the aesthetics of an up-to-date kitchen.
Marketing manager of Cosentino Laura Davie explains why: “Marble-effect surfaces deliver a premium feel, with both subtle and bolder vein styles to suit both minimalist and more extravagant interior designs.”
Synonymous with luxurious interior aesthetics, reflecting the trend for bringing the outdoors inside, yet more practical than natural stone, marble-inspired surfaces have also broadened the design possibilities.
With the decors available across porcelain, quartz and laminate, it has also extended the reach of the look to sit within a greater variety of budgets.
Led by the movement towards open plan spaces and monolithic kitchen islands, large scale surfacing enables designers to show the intricacies or bold nature of veining in worktops.
Head of sales at RAK Ceramics Ben Bryden says: “The move to open-plan living has brought with it a sense of courageous among consumers who are more willing to embrace pattern and opt for something different.”
And managing director of CRL stone Simon Boocock agrees: “Strong patterning and an emphasis on detail help make a striking impression and add instant bursts of personality, while overall keeping to a neutral theme.
“This is why we are seeing marble-inspired surfaces being used across wide areas, from islands to entire walls in many cases.”
Combined with modern technologies, marble effect surfaced has further enabled focal design features such as waterfall islands or book matched wraparound islands.
Ben Bryden of RAK Ceramics comments: “Many of our marble-inspired surfaces at RAK Ceramics are available as Mega Slabs, allowing for greater consistency when used over large areas, with less need for grout lines and a seamless finish.
“Because these are often difficult for retailers to take stock of due to their sheer size, delivery can be arranged direct to site or end customer, helping with the logistics too.”
Variety of stone
Just like the real stone, there isn’t one marble effect but a multitude of patterns with delicate or bold veining.
While white seems to be the favoured neutral backdrop, it is combined with seamed patterns in various hues of grey, blue, brown, black or even gold.
Silestone by Cosentino recently introduced its Ethereal Collection, which features four marble effect patterns with deep, fine veining.
Caesarstone also recently introduced the Whitelight Collection, an extension of its Supernatural Collection, which offer lighter tones and a natural aesthetic.
Vice president of marketing at Caesarstone Jonathan Stanley explains: “The collection showcases the individuality and complexity of natural stone and the variety of ways in which diverse marble motifs have been interpreted to meet this highly desirable aesthetic; a style that communicates luxury, comfort and cleanliness along with a timely connection to our external environment.”
In fact, marketing manager of Kongistone Joanne Bull points out nearly a quarter of quartz decors in her company’s range are marble inspired: “There are seven white ‘marble’ finishes that sit in the Kongistone range; approximately 23% of our selection of colours.”
Back to black
With such an emphasis on the white marble decors, and supported by a move towards richer, darker tones to create luxe kitchens, there could be a pendulum swing towards interiors featuring darker veined stone. Could we see a return to black granite worktops?
At Poggenpohl’s trade show in 2021, themed as “Spotting new dimensions”, it showcased unusual materials which included the black tones of Nero Portoro and red Rosso Lepanto marble.
The premium kitchen furniture manufacturer brand also introduced terrazzo surfacing. All of which could challenge the dominance of the white marble-effect finishes.
Classic and timeless
However, the one word frequently associated with marble is ‘timeless’ and so, arguably, whatever the colour, the demand for marble effects will remain unaffected by interior fashion trends.
Commercial director of Brandt Design Julila Steadman comments: “In my experience, marble is a timeless and versatile choice for projects at all price points in the contract and residential sector, given its rich heritage and design status in the design world.”
And so long may the effortless beauty of marble continue to influence kitchen interiors, allowing designers to cater for consumers with a wide variety of budgets, by creating a kitchen aesthetic in the same vein to the authentic stone.