In the past couple of years, it’s been all the rage to decorate your home with natural materials. They add so much organic texture, which is the design antidote to all the straight lines and manufactured materials that are often prevalent in modern homes. And this past year, especially, biophilic design—an approach that’s all about bringing both direct and indirect experiences of nature into your home—has risen in popularity.
Most people, when they think of natural materials and nature-inspired decorating ideas, probably think of woven pieces like seagrass baskets, jute rugs, or rattan furniture. But many people forget that stone is considered a natural material as well. From marble and granite to soapstone and travertine, incorporating stone into your home adds an elevated elegance to your space.
One of our forever-favorite stone materials to decorate with is marble. It’s versatile, beautiful, and each marble piece is unique with its veining and coloring. So, today, let’s explore marble decor and the many ways you can incorporate marble into your home!
Meet Karina, Our Resident Marble Expert
As Modsy’s Senior Visual Stylist, Karina is a lover of all things marble. (She’s the visionary behind our Instagram account and designs many of our blog and social media images!) She has a beautifully styled home that we’re absolutely obsessed with. And she’s an avid collector of marble decor—her ever-growing collection of marble decorative objects is elegantly scattered throughout her home with impeccable style.
We chatted with her to get the scoop on why she loves decorating with marble and how she brings this material to life in her own home. Read on for all of her tips and insights—then shop some of her favorite marble home decor!
How would you describe your personal style?
“In my home, I try to create a space that feels pulled together but livable and laid back. In Modsy terms, my style would be “Discerning Collector”—a mix of minimalist and eclectic styles. That’s because I love collected and unique pieces, but I’m definitely a minimalist in terms of color. In general, I keep my color palette neutral and I prefer using texture instead of color to add depth to my space. I also love natural materials and use them as the ornamentation in my space—where the texture or finish of a material itself adds the visual intrigue and nuance to a room.”
Want more of these gorgeous photos? Follow Karina on Instagram for daily doses of her content.
Why do you like decorating with marble?
“On a basic level, I just love the look of marble. But, more specifically, I appreciate the visual contrast it brings into a space, the uniqueness of each marble piece, and the level of craftsmanship that goes into creating a piece of marble decor.
“For example, I have a glass bar cart, and I always have a marble bowl or tray on one of the shelves to add more visual depth and contrast to the styling. And I use that same principle throughout my home, layering marble trays on my countertops and wooden surfaces for extra visual contrast.
“With real marble, the veining means that no two marble pieces are the same. The variegated veining gives each marble piece a unique look, which I love. That’s where the “material as ornament” comes into play.
“And, as a designer, I really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making pieces out of marble. Marble is a really tough material to work with; it requires a lot of attention and skill to make decor and furniture out of marble (which is generally why it’s a more expensive material). I have so much respect for how these pieces are made—and I love bringing that craftsmanship into my home.”
In what ways do you incorporate marble accents in your own home?
“As an apartment-dweller, I can’t have any big moments of marble, like marble countertops or backsplashes. So, adding pieces of marble decor helps me have moments of marble today, where I’d like to have larger pieces of this material in my home in the future. So, instead of marble countertops, I have a marble tray next to the stove that houses utensils and cooking oils. I also have a marble coffee table in my living room, which is a nice way to have a larger marble surface in my home, in a more renter-friendly way.
“I also love dispersing marble trays and catchalls throughout different areas of my home. On my desk, which is burl wood, I have a marble tray as a surface for a candle and my glass of water. Since burl wood is more sensitive than other wood, I use the tray not only for visual interest but also to protect the wood. I have a marble dish for jewelry on my nightstand, and marble pieces on my bar cart, as I already mentioned. I also tend to set candles on top of marble dishes throughout my home to create more visual depth in my surface styling.”
What other materials (natural or manufactured) go well with marble?
“Marble goes well with so many different materials. It’s going to look good with most wood pieces and finishes. Just pay attention to the tones in the marble; say the marble you have has bluish undertones; if that’s the case, consider pairing it with a warmer wood to offset those tones! However, my favorite wood tones and finishes to pair with marble are lighter woods or burl wood. Both marble and burl wood bring to life that concept of “material as ornament,” so I love mixing them together!
“I also love pairing marble decor with vintage crystal—like layering a little dish of cut crystal on a marble tray. The crystal adds shine to the porousness of marble, but it’s see-through so you can still see the beauty of the stone, just a bit abstracted.
“A trendier approach would be to mix marble with metallic accents like copper or brass. But, personally, I prefer solid marble pieces, which feel more timeless. For me, simple is best. I think solid marble is so beautiful and a work of art on its own, without any additional embellishments.
“One thing I’d avoid mixing marble with in your decor is other stones, like granite. They’re too alike and will visually clash.”
Are there specific design styles that marble accents go particularly well with?
“Marble goes with every style. It’s so versatile! But I especially like it with styles that have vintage elements or those that feel layered and eclectic.”
Any tips for incorporating marble accents into your home’s decor?
“Start by looking at the areas of your home that you need the most decor. If it’s your surfaces, like coffee and side tables or consoles and dressers, add pieces like a marble tray layered with coasters, candles, and a small decorative object. You could also layer marble sculptures on shelves with other decor to add depth and dimension.
“If you want to add a bit of decor to your kitchen, there are some great marble kitchen decor pieces out there, like utensil crocks or a marble mortar and pestle. And with its beauty, marble is perfect for displaying things. So, marble cake stands, trays, and serving dishes are another way to incorporate this material into your decor. You can use them for serving, but they also make beautiful display pieces when not in use! And stores like West Elm and CB2 have marble bathroom decor collections if you want some marble in that space!
“Personally, I think a marble tray is one of the most timeless ways to bring small moments of marble into your decor. It’s a transitional piece that can be moved around and the way you style it can change as your personal style evolves.
“When looking for marble home decor, I just recommend reading the reviews on specific products! This will help you know if they’re made well or fall apart easily, how heavy they are, and help you make a more informed decision!”
Anything to avoid or be aware of when decorating with marble?
“Marble is a very sensitive material, so you just want to be careful when placing things on top of it. Since it’s rather porous, marble easily absorbs liquids and can get stained. However, today most marble surfaces, like what you’d find on a coffee table or bistro table, are manufactured with a protective layer so you don’t have to worry about it as much. Just be sure to wipe up any spills right away!
“But also, part of the beauty of marble is that it ages and develops a patina over time, in the same way that leather does. So, a little wear and tear won’t ruin marble—it will just give it more depth over time.”
What are your thoughts on black vs white marble decor?
“Marble comes in all different colors—from white and black to pink and green. White marble is my personal favorite, but black marble is also really beautiful. It’s all about your personal preference and where you’re placing it. Different colors of marble simply add different character to your space. Dark marble adds more drama and is a bit more glamorous. So, if that’s your vibe, go for black marble! You can also find white marble with a lot of dark veining, which gives you the best of both black and white marble decor.”
How to Style with Marble Decor
Want to shop some of Karina’s favorite marble decorative objects and furniture—plus get some inspiration on how you can incorporate marble into your home? Read on for top picks! (Including some more affordable decorative options using marble!)
Marble shelves add instant glam to any wall space (especially when paired with brass brackets). Hang this marble wall decor above a workspace or over a piece of furniture to add some stylish surface space to display decorative objects. (Bonus: marble shelves are also super durable!)
Marble Coffee Tables
A marble coffee table is a great way to add a larger marble statement to a living area. Solid marble coffee tables will make quite a statement—and are super sturdy—whereas a marble-top coffee table with wooden or metal legs will look nice but blend in with your overall room design a bit more. And remember—the amount of marble on the table (if it’s just the top or if the table is solid marble), will help determine the price point and how much of an investment piece it will be.
Marble bowls are both stylish and practical. You can place them on almost any surface to corral objects like keys, jewelry, and candles. But they can also sit empty, since they’re a decorative object all on their own. And marble bowls aren’t style-specific—they can go with a wide range of interior design styles!
A marble-top desk is an absolutely timeless piece of furniture. And because of this material’s versatility, marble-top desks can be made in so many different styles. A marble desktop can be paired with a base or legs made of stone, metal or wood, each of which will give the desk a different look. But whatever the style, this type of piece offers a crisp, bright, and clean surface to work on!
Marble Kitchen Decor
Love the look of marble countertops but live in a rental? Bring in marble kitchen accessories instead—from marble utensil holders to marble cookbook holders, cake stands, or a mortar and pestle.
Marble Bar Carts
The clean, smooth surface of marble makes it a beautiful material for a bar cart. It instantly elevates your drink-mixing station, creating a timeless look that pairs well with any style of decor and bottles you put on it.
Add instant style and sophistication to your bookcase with marble bookends! Marble is actually a perfect, practical material for a bookend, since they’re so heavy. We love a good mix of practicality and style!
Marble Side Tables
Solid marble side tables can add a bold, dramatic touch to your living room. An accent piece like this is a great way to introduce marble into your space. And, since marble comes in so many different colors and tones, you can choose a colorway that suits the rest of your room!
Marble trays come in many styles and sizes and are one of the easiest, most timeless ways to incorporate a pop of marble into your space! They’re perfect for corralling small items on a tabletop while also protecting table surfaces. We love layering them with a candle, vase, book, or small decorative object—or a mix of all four!
Marble Console Tables or Credenzas
Marble-top consoles and credenzas are very stylish and add a sleek look anywhere they’re placed. We love them in dining rooms, entryways, and as media stands in living or family rooms. It’s a subtle way to add a bit more polish to any room. Most marble-top consoles and credenzas have wooden bodies—but you’ll also find them made of lacquer or another sleek material that complements the marble.
Marble accents on a lamp adds a classic touch to even the most modern lamp style. But you can find lamps with marble elements in all styles of lamps. Most often, the marble part of the lamp is the base, which makes for a very sturdy light. But you can also find lamps with a marble body or even shade!
Marble End Tables
Marble end tables are a chic way to add marble to a seating area. Most marble accent tables are just marble-topped, which will always be classic. But it’s the base that can give the table its style direction—a brass base is more glam while a wood base leans more contemporary.
Marble Bistro Tables
A marble-top bistro table is a great way to add marble to an eating area without spending too much money. Bistro tables, especially those with marble tops and iron bases, have that lovely Parisian cafe vibe—giving your dining space or porch a classic, timeless vibe.
Marble canisters can be both functional and decorative—and they’re also sturdy and will last a long time if well taken care of. When placed on a console or credenza, they can conceal matches, remotes, or even dog treats! Whatever you want out of sight but within reach.
C-tables are practical and multifunctional. Opting for a marble-topped style adds a classic touch, while offering a sturdy surface for drinks, books, or a laptop.
A nightstand with a marble top is a classic way to add marble to the bedroom without it feeling too cold. The polished tops brighten up a bedroom, but, like other marble-topped tables, the base of the material will have a big impact on the style—with a metal base leaning more glam or modern while a wooden base will lean more traditional or rustic. Regardless, marble-top nightstand offer a beautiful surface to layer lamps and meaningful decor, as well as phones, books, and water glasses.
Marble Dining Tables
Looking to make a big statement with marble? Go for a solid marble dining table. A piece like this adds a very modern and elegant look and is typically the boldest piece in the room. After all, marble is a material that demands attention! We love that marble tables can go well with any color scheme. But just remember—solid marble tables are a major investment!
Marble Kitchen Islands
A kitchen island can offer extra prep space, as well as adding seating and a place to gather in a kitchen. Marble-top islands give you the perfect way to inject some marble into your kitchen without going for marble on all your countertops! (The perfect way to get the look for a little less money!)
Want help incorporating marble decor into your home?