An ambitious exploration into high-end residential markets across the globe.
There are certain aspects of a luxury home that are so classic and timeless, they’ve become shorthand for opulence. The marble bathroom is one of them.
When embellished with marble, an ensuite instantly and intuitively conjures an impression of quality, radiance, and relaxation. And through floors and tiles, or tubs and countertops, there are many creative ways to feature this material and magnify the statement it makes.
Marble is like a butterfly, not just because it’s lovely to behold. It’s the product of metamorphosis; when subjected to the extreme pressures beneath the earth, limestone changes form and recrystallizes as something wholly new. When it does, it may contain variegated “veins” of color due to other minerals present in the original limestone—and this is one of its most striking properties.
The color of the marble, and the differentiated bands within it, can serve as an exquisite starting point for designing a bathroom. Such is the case in this enchanting Parisian apartment, where the bronze stripes in the cerulean stone set the tone for everything else, from the metallic fixtures to the mural wall.
Though multicolored marble can be impressive, it is—technically speaking—impure. Dense hues and rich striations are actually the result of substances such as iron oxide, clay, chert, and feldspar that intruded into the limestone before it became marble. In its purest form, marble is white, as attested by the statues and monuments of classical antiquity.
That makes it the perfect material for a monochromatic moment. Those who prefer a clean, uncluttered aesthetic will appreciate the bathroom at this unique, auspicious property in Dorado Beach’s highly desirable Ritz Carlton Reserve.
From serpentine to porphyry, there are many minerals that can change the visual composition of marble—and in exceptional cases, the results can be especially vivid.
This stunning alpine lodge in Wanaka is a shining example. Its marble bathroom takes the accent wall to a whole new level by selecting a singularly striking variety of marble and accessorizing the entire ensuite with it so that the wooden paneling is made even more luminous and attractive.
While simple, chic concepts are always in style for home decor, warm neutrals are increasingly taking the place of stark white surfaces. This can imbue spaces with a sense of comfort while preserving their air of sophistication.
In many cases, marble serves this purpose with aplomb, as demonstrated by the bathroom of this panoramic San Juan penthouse. The interplay of natural light, clear glass, earthy tones and textures, and gray- and beige-infused marble gives this gilded ensuite an extra sumptuous sheen.
White marble may be the purest form of this coveted stone, but when marked with prominent shades and hues, it can take the place of wall art to create a space that makes an abstract yet high-impact visual statement.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in this vast lakeside compound in Austin. With a wonderfully contrasting palette and veins that almost appear to splash and flash across the polished surface, the marble in this spa-like bathroom is nothing short of painterly.
Bathrooms with marble features will always be iconic. But they will never be generic, because this fabulous stone—with its myriad applications, and the mineral incursions that grant it such variation—possesses both an allure and a versatility few materials can match.