Buying Guide for Marble Furniture
For many, marble symbolises complete luxury. After all, it’s graced floors and furniture pieces in some of the world’s most iconic royal residences, heritage buildings, historical sites and upscale modern mansions. But, in the 21st century, marble is far more accessible than you may think, and presents an absolutely gorgeous, timeless design choice.
Marble furniture suits an array of homes and styles, but in particular, can bring a modern, classic or mid century aesthetic to life. If you’re considering adding some marble to your space, there are a few things to consider before you start sourcing a beautiful new piece, including the type, colour and style of marble you’re drawn to. To help answer all of those questions, we’ve put together a must-read buying guide with the help of our expert interior stylists.
Selecting the right type of marble
Anyone who’s flicked through an interior design blog before will know that there are a number of different types and styles of marble that range in colour, cut, look and feel. But, first things first – where does marble actually come from? Well, it originates from limestone, and is formed when the rock is put under intense pressure. As a result, marble pops up all over the world, making its geographic origins a huge factor that influences price point and accessibility to the average home designer.
Something to know about marble is that every variation is unique, with differences in colour, grain (the trademark lines we see running through a piece of marble), and porosity. Marble from Italy could look completely different to marble found in France – in fact, you might have even witnessed these differences yourself. Popular types of marble include Carrara, Calacatta and Emperador, and they’re all completely different to one another. So, when you go into your marble buying journey, it’s good to have references of what you like and dislike, or know a little about the style of marble you’re after to help narrow down your choices.
Marble also has two very distinct cuts that can totally change its appearance and feel. Cross cut marble is the most popular, and is typified by that flowy, fluid look wherein the grain is inconsistent (yet beautiful). Vein cut marble, on the other hand, has a more striped, uniform look with distinct bands of colour.
Black marble vs white marble – and more colour choices
When it comes to furniture, the two most popular marble colours are black with white grain, and white with a black or grey grain. When faced with these options, personal choice should always win – but these two distinct colours each give off a different feel that might help influence your decision.
White marble is clean, bright and serene, which makes it ideal for an airy and light home that uses a lot of complementary colours (think light neutrals and pastels). There’s a reason it’s a top choice for countertops – white marble opens up the space and makes it appear bigger, so it might also be a go-to if you’re styling an apartment or small home.
On the other hand, black marble is moody, chic and mysterious, and will darken a space rather than brightening it up. If your home colour scheme consists of a lot of darker neutrals or bold or jewel tones, black marble might be preferable. It’s super distinctive, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to make a statement.
Of course, there’s more to marble than just achromatic colour schemes. Marble is found in a huge array of colours, including beige, brown, red, pink and green. If you can source a piece of marble or faux marble furniture in one of these shades, go for it, and enjoy the luxurious yet whimsical feel it brings to your home.
Real marble vs a fake marble finish
Now that you have a better idea of the kind of marble you like, there’s one question left to answer – is real marble really necessary, or can you get away with faux? The answer is (somewhat predictably): it’s totally up to you. Understanding the differences between the two will help you make an informed choice and discover the right type of marble or ‘marble’ for your home.
Faux marble is made in two ways – it’s either ‘cultured’ marble, which is an artificial replica of marble that’s still stone in itself, or faux marble, which consists of a marble pattern printed onto another material like plastic, resin or laminate. While marble lovers may tell you to stay away from both, depending on the finish and look you’re trying to achieve, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with either. In many cases, fake marble options are easier to manoeuvre, provide more choice, and very notably, are immeasurably cheaper. Just don’t go into the buying journey with any illusions that they’ll have the same weight, high quality or durability of real marble.
Bringing marble into your home
With all of the ins and outs of marble behind us, let’s discuss the best ways to bring this chic and timeless material into your home. Not every furniture piece suits the marble treatment, but there are more and more ways to inject a little luxury into your home using this beloved material.
Marble in the living room
Marble is a classic way to upgrade your living room, regardless of the style you’ve established. With a subtle touch of this gorgeous material, you’ll notice the room feels elevated, fresh, and like a little taste of luxury.
Marble coffee tables
Not just the perfect spot for your drink or the TV remote, a marble coffee table can spruce up a space like no other. It’s perhaps one of the most popular ways to introduce marble into your home, and definitely gives the humble coffee table a much-needed boost. Play up the new Art Deco vibes with a white-and-brass combo like the Huber Coffee Table, a round marble coffee table with a modern design. If you prefer darker shades, the Oeuf Coffee Table might pique your interest – it melds white marble with matte black legs and accents in an on-trend egg shape that will stand the test of time. Either way, a marble top coffee table is a fantastic way to introduce some of that opulent flair in a way that’s still palatable and easy to style.
Marble side tables
If a coffee table is a little too much surface area for you, perhaps a marble side table will do the trick. Place one or more at the end of your sofa or next to an armchair to create a convenient nook for must-have items like snacks, your favourite drink, and a good book. For an ultra-modern and very chic approach, give the Cushla Side Table place of pride in your home. Available in black or white marble adorned with brass trim and base, this contemporary piece features a singular stem on one side for an asymmetric look. For a marble-look piece with mid century modern flair, the Olympia Side Table certainly does the trick – the tripod-style base is very 60s chic, yet won’t look out of place against current trends.
Marble entertainment units
While it’s likely you won’t see an entertainment unit entirely constructed of marble (that would be a very heavy beast…), this large piece of furniture has tonnes of surface area just begging for the luxe treatment. A marble TV unit might sound overwhelming, but with your television and other items adorning it, the grain will be less obvious, and the flashiness of this material will feel a little more subtle. The Memphis Entertainment Unit is a mid century modern favourite that melds chestnut-coloured wood with matte black legs and a stunning black marble top to draw the eye.
Marble in the dining room
Often seen as a formal space in the home, the dining room is an ideal place to add a splash of modern elegance with marble. Whether you opt for a big statement with a marble top dining table, or prefer to make it a secondary focus with a smaller or less showy piece, this material will tie your dining room together and really establish that sense of classiness.
Marble dining tables
Nothing says opulence like a gorgeous marble table – and a marble dining table is no exception. Bring some splendour to mealtime by adding a little splash of everyone’s favourite material. The Memphis Marble Dining Table is chic and sleek, with matte black legs, a unique shape that blends sharp angles and soft corners, and the piece de resistance, a black marble top with a prominent white grain. Family dinners have never looked better! This piece would feel right at home in a modern, minimalist dining room, but styled correctly, could work in any number of settings. If the angular shape isn’t your thing, a round marble dining table would also look fantastic and have the same jaw-dropping impact.
Marble console tables
If you’re looking for a marble piece that isn’t the central focus of your dining room, perhaps a marble console table will do the trick. Stock up a beautiful item like the Vermont Console Table and let the stunning marble top do all of the talking. Straight, matte black legs complement the white and black mix of the marble. Styled with a few drinks, a lamp, some flowers and a book or two, this piece will look ultimately classy. Bar cabinets like the Memphis Bar Cabinet are also another great way to add some marble to the dining room, and provide more storage than a console table.
Marble in the bedroom and beyond
While the living and dining rooms are traditional and celebrated spots for marble furniture pieces, that’s not to say you can’t switch things up. Marble has a place in practically every room in the home, just like it can slot in with the features of almost any style.
Add a pop of this versatile material into your bedroom with a marble bedside table or end table. Marble will elevate the feel of your bedroom and give it a sleek edge, so if you love an upscale look in every room, it’s worth considering. If you can’t find a piece that’s specifically designed as a bedside table, an end or side table like the Huber Side Table will do the trick, and in the white and brass combination, will really recreate that famed Art Deco style.
Another way to subtly introduce some marble elements is through your homewares and decor. From trinket trays to vases, jewellery boxes, candle holders and so much more, marble looks beautiful in miniature, and can either tie in existing pieces in similar materials, or add a little flair in a simple and low-effort way. At the moment, we’re loving marble table lamps. Go traditional with the Lyra Table Lamp, which features a plain black shade, a straight brass stem, and a weighty circular base made of black marble. If you like to mix things up, we can’t stop drooling over the Kio Table Lamp, which features a unique shade of marble that mixes cream, gold, ochre and more to give a dreamy effect. Paired with brushed brass accents and a soft white shade, it’s a beautiful addition to absolutely any home.
Cleaning and caring for marble
Before you head off and start exploring the big, wide world of marble furniture, we wanted to touch on the maintenance behind marble. Thankfully, as a smooth and heavy surface, marble is pretty easy to clean on a day-to-day basis – generally, the rule is to go gently, and use non-abrasive cleaning products. When paired with a microfibre cloth and the tiniest touch of elbow grease, soap and water will do the trick! Whatever you do, avoid using acidic cleaners like vinegar, bleach, and some spray and wipes.
If you spill something on your marble, the first step is to clean it up as best and as quickly as you can. When that’s out of the way, you can zero in on the stain further with the aforementioned soap and water duo. If the stain is stubborn or raised, try a toothbrush to stir up the residual particles. Then, in terms of regular maintenance, marble simply needs to be wiped down with a clean, dry microfibre cloth to remove dust. No polishing necessary, marble should stay looking spic and span for a long time.
Ready to step things up a notch with a touch of marble? Marble furniture is timelessly beautiful, so whatever piece you choose, it’ll be hard to go wrong. Shop our range of marble furniture, including marble coffee tables, dining tables, TV units and more, and take home your new piece with Australia-wide shipping and a range of premium delivery services available.