Be it kitchen islands, countertops or tiling, mixing materials allows homeowners to update the look of their home while using the most practical material for the given surface. Kitchen prep like chopping requires a durable surface that is easy to wash down (marble), as opposed to the table where you have tea and coffee with guests (wood). That’s why home design shows and magazines are full of examples of how mixing materials has both a functional and an aesthetic function.
Combining marble and wood materials in your home produces a compelling contrast and balance. Warm, earthy wood and cool, shiny marble play off each other to create a seamless juxtaposition of cool and warm, contemporary and traditional. Despite this innate contrast and balance however, using glossy marble and rich wood strategically is critical to mixing these materials successfully.
Understand Visual Properties
Natural materials like wood are inviting, which is ideal for areas where you and others will assemble. Marble, on the other hand, gives a cooler, crisp look to a space. Consider which material you want to place visual focus on and the desired effect you’re hoping to attain. For example, if you want to add an inviting look to a room with marble floor tiles or marble wall tiles, place a wood table in the space. Alternatively, by using marble countertops in a kitchen with wood cabinets, the contrast updates the kitchen while maintaining a more traditional look.
Employ Contrast Through Tonal Groups
Colours are not the whole story. Group materials by their tonal group, which means their intensity and level of coolness or warmth. The basic tonal groups are tints, tones, shades and pure hues, which are then divided into whether they are cool or warm.
Keeping materials of the same tonal group together builds continuity. Use a different tonal group to create contrast and visual focus. Remember though that wood warms up the space while marble- even earth-toned marble- invariably cools it down.
If you have hardwood floors and cabinets in your kitchen, installing marble countertops, a marble island and//or marble sink tones down the kitchen’s warmth to add a touch of elegance to the space. If you have marble flooring or existing marble elements such as a fireplace in your space, place wood where you want to add contrast and draw the eye.
Consider Your Budget
Marble and hardwood are expensive materials. Using them in a small area to draw the eye is one way to mix materials while keeping to your budget. For example, employ marble island or marble sink in your kitchen, as opposed to having marble countertops throughout the room. If you love wood but having true hardwood cabinets is not within your budget, install a wood countertop.
Keep Workspaces Functional
Workspaces should use the best surface for the tasks you and your family will perform there. Remember:
Wood naturally gathers people together due to its soft, comforting look. However, wood requires regular oiling to prevent water damage or singeing;
Waterproof metal is essential for sinks in order to ensure hygiene and durability with simple maintenance.
Marble is a winner if you want a work area that is strong, scratch-resistant and straightforward to clean. For bakers, marble’s chilled surface is ideal. Marble is also fantastic as a heat-resistant, stunning backsplash.
Mix Exterior Materials
Combining wood and marble in exteriors introduces the home’s style from when guests first arrive and helps ensure visual flow.
The same factors that determine where you use each material inside work for the exterior as well. For example, marble doorsteps, a marble statue or even marble columns add a sophisticated look to your home if your exterior already includes wood elements, such as wooden bannisters or hardwood doors. By the same token, if your love of marble is already evident in your home’s exterior, including a few touches of wood will add an inviting note that will truly welcome your guests.