Blue Cabinetry and Veined Marble

Room of the Week: Deep Blue Cabinetry and Veined Marble Forge a Wow Kitchen

Photos by Shannon McGrath.  Answers by Kate McMahon and Rob Nerlich, directors of mcmahon and nerlich

Full article on Houzz.

Who lives here: A semi-retired couple who were downsizing from a significantly larger residence
Location: Malvern, Victoria
Room purpose and size: A kitchen and dining room with French doors to a courtyard. The area is 32 square metres in total.

The clients were looking for a relaxed setting to reflect their love of fine art, cooking and reading, extended family entertaining and events. They wanted something informal with a hint of country, but with quite a sophisticated and beautiful material palette. The budget didn’t permit a radical transformation to the rear facade, yet we had to improve the indoor-outdoor flow.

Starting point
We began by prioritising the large island bench. Freeing it of services meant it could provide a generous preparation area and become the centrepiece for relaxed social interaction, with leisurely cooking prep and glasses of wine over a long lunch or dinner. We also had to accommodate a freestanding Lacanche cast-iron range, which provides a hint of country charm and complements the French doors.

Key design aspects

  • The stone is the feature element and the hero of the kitchen.
  • The remaining materials were selected to respond to the ‘hint of country’ in the brief, with a contemporary feel.
  • We introduced a third set of French doors to improve the indoor-outdoor flow and balance the facade. Together they work to provide the look the clients wanted.

Colour palette: A custom deep- blue based on ‘Blue Lobelia’ from Dulux was the only colour applied. The balance of colour comes from the remaining natural materials themselves.

Materials palette: Arabescato Vagli stone features on benchtops and splashbacks and is complemented by the warmth of the Victorian ash shelves and the deep-blue cabinets. The engineered-timber floor was selected for a touch of country style.

Key pieces of furniture/fittings
The Arne Jacobsen for Louis Poulsen AJ Royal pendant light above the dining table is from Cult. The feature kitchen pendant and spotlights are from Darkon. The timber table is by Mark Tuckey, while the dining chairs are from Danish Red in Armadale. The black steel planter boxes are from Redfox & Wilcox.

Thinking behind the arrangement of furniture/fixtures: Everything is organised around the generous island bench, the kitchen is complemented by the adjacent timber dining table to provide a place for the family to eat, read, study, relax and converse. Open timber shelves increase the practicality of the high overhead cupboards and allow for display of glassware and objet d’art.

A significant part of the brief was to house the clients’ enormous book collection. The dining room wall is fully lined with the cantilevered timber shelves, which work with the Mark Tuckey timber table. The marble is also used as shelving, with the cabinets dividing the kitchen and living room fashioned into a full-height bookshelf, and a hybrid marble-timber bookshelf in the end of the kitchen island itself.

Vertical elements such as the integrated refrigerator and pantry are located together opposite the French doors, and appliances and sink arranged along a long bench to the rear. A frameless, flush range hood is perfectly concealed behind the overheads. The pantry doors open to reveal hidden additional bench space, complete with sensor lights and marble. Deep overhead cupboards imply a continuous surface, elegantly resolve the junction with the pantry, and create a recessed appliance area.

Challenges you worked around
The clients wished to negotiate with a particular builder, which caused some challenges with budgets at a late stage, however, everyone pushed through these issues in good faith to obtain a great outcome.

Why do you think this room works?
We love this room because it is a deep response to the personalities of the clients and their design commission. For a semi-retired couple in a conservative suburb of Melbourne, most designers and clients would err on the side of restraint. Yet our clients had a real appreciation for art and literature and immediately responded to the artistic provocation of this incredible Arabescato Vagli marble, as well as the resonance of the deep blue. We presented it to them and they loved it.

The design is contemporary in nature, but with all the timber and marble elements balanced, the centrepiece of the island bench and the introduction of the triple French doors, it still references a hint of country with a relaxed and informal setting.

Want to shop this look? Check out Arasbecato Corchia and Arasbecato Don from our Carrara Marble range.

Granites to renovate your fireplace hearth with

6 Black Granites to Renovate Your Fireplace Hearth With

Winter is approaching in Australia, and homeowners are turning to comfort and warmth of their fireplace. But does your fireplace hearth look as hot as it gives off?

Natural stone is a perfect option to consider when remodelling your fireplace hearth. Natural stone is durable, efficient, long lasting and retains heat better than any other material. And most beautifully, it combines two of the earth’s greatest natural elements; fire and stone.

What’s particularly special about using granite for your fireplace hearth, is its formation. Formed under extreme heat and pressure, this dark, igneous stone comes full circle from the earth and into your home, giving direct relationship to your fire. There you can experience the warmth your fire will give with this igneous stone.

Amongst marble and quartzite, black granite is particularly on trend this year. A sleek polished, honed or leathered black granite can enhance the contemporary sophistication of any home.

Featured in this post is some of our favourite black granites at VSG at the moment!

Skyfall is a striking, black and white polished granite from Brazil. This is a very unique granite that you won’t find anywhere else.

Barocco is also new to the gallery. It’s brown and black with shades of orange rippling through the slab.

Our polished Black Forest, and leathered Via Lactea and Night Dream are three very popular black and white granites. Each unique in the pattern that they have carried throughout the slabs.

Titanium Gold, one of our favourite translucent stones, especially effective in its leathered finish.

Treat yourself this winter, after all, home is where the hearth is!


Marble and Wood kitchen designs

Marble Kitchens & Bathrooms- The Best of by Vogue Magazine

Marble Kitchens & Bathrooms

Leaders of the fashion world, Vogue Magazine, pays homage to a mutually-loved material – marble. Here is a selection of their favourite marble kitchens and bathrooms.

This is living proof that marble adds an immediate luxe touch to any home.

Here at Vogue Living, we’re lucky to see a lot of amazing and incredibly inspiring homes. And while every home holds its own uniqueness, after a while you’ll notice a few elements that all beautiful homes share. Sure, an eye for great furniture design and chic colour combinations helps, but there are other more, shall we say, material matters that make up a VL-worthy home.

We’re talking, of course, about marble. Based on the sheer prevalence of marble in many of the homes we shoot or feature in VL, we have well and truly noted the unmistakable appeal of this luxurious looking finish. While its cool aesthetic and tactile appeal is obvious to any eye, we love the way you can use various colours to accent your home – most commonly in places like the kitchen and bathroom. Seen on bench tops, splashbacks and kitchen tables, the beauty of marble means you can use it in myriad ways to create a sense of decadence and luxury to your home kitchen.

So, in honour of our enduring love for the most opulent, yet hard wearing of materials, we give you 15 of our favourite marble kitchens.

House tour: a light-filled Sydney harbourside home

“The use of marble and handmade tiles complement brass, so the overall feeling is of natural, timeless materials.”



House tour: inside a fashion blogger’s beachside home

“Timber stools mismatch with the light timber flooring and subtly contrast against the marble kitchen island.”

Beachside apartment, Sydney. Photographer: Felix Forest | Stylist: Decus Interiors

Inside Claudia Schiffer’s English mansion

Shop this look at VSG. We suggest Damasca.

House tour: a spacious and modern bayside Melbourne home

“Additionally, use of oak timber boards, natural stone (honed Carrara marble), textured carpets and subdued tones encourage a sense of warmth and ambience throughout the family home.”

“The open-plan living space features custom-designed marble fireplaces, black steel windows and cement rendered walls.” 

Shop this look at VSG with our Carrara range.

House tour: the Surry Hills apartment redefining small space decorating

Shop this look at VSG with Arasbecato Corchia.

House tour: an Art Deco-inspired beachside home in Sydney’s Coogee

Shop this look at VSG with Arasbecato Don.

Shop this look at VSG with Negresco.

Read Vogue Living‘s full article on the stunning usage of marble kitchens and homes here.


Green Marble Bathroom
, ,

The Best Natural Stone Resources

The Best Natural Stone Resources

We found this article from Delgado Stone, offering advice on the best natural stone resources on the web. We think it’s pretty good, and regularly use these websites for inspiration when deciding what stones to import into Australia. If you’re looking to learn more about natural stone – look no further! Check out the list below. 


Anyone who has used Houzz for anything can attest how easy it is to get lost for hours (or days) on their website. One click leads to another which leads to another. It’s amazing to see some of the architecture and design work done with natural stone or any other product. Yes, there is a marketplace but if you are looking for design inspiration of any kind, Houzz should be your first stop.

Use Natural Stone

This is a great one-stop destination for anyone interested in the use of natural stone from around the world. A visit to provides articles, videos, professionals, and links to countless other resources. If it has to do with natural stone they either have it on their website or they have a link to help you find it. We follow this website closely to learn about news, trends, and to share with a customer when they have questions. Don’t skip over this awesome natural stone resource.


You’re probably wondering why this isn’t #1. If it’s images you’re after, it’s images you’ll find on Pinterest. Here you will find quotes, images, recipes, design work… the list goes on. If you need images to inspire you go visit Pinterest… you will leave here with more inspirational images then you’ll know what to do with!

Architectural Record

We subscribe to the print edition and still follow this website closely. Most people think this website is for architects only but a quick visit tells a different story. They have something for everyone: Projects, Images, Continuing Education, News, and plenty of other information. Add the Architectural Record to your list of resources for building and design. You won’t be disappointed.


These two organizations recently merged to create a “Mega Resource” for the Natural Stone Industry. Following this organization will help anyone interested in the use of any natural stone: veneer, granite, quartzite, bluestone, marble… you get it. The Building Stone Instituteand Marble Stone Institute have joined forces and now provide one amazing resource for all of us in the building and landscape industry.

Stone World Magazine

When naming the best natural stone resources it’s tough to leave off Stone World Magazine. Like any magazine there are ads but if you look past that you find some excellent content and information. They continue to write great articles and feature industry experts to help generate more value to the reader. For those of you who are tech savvy, you can download their app and check it out on your phone or tablet.

Related Posts

Houzz Reveal Best of the Week: 40 Marble Marvels From Around the Globe

From floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms to splashbacks with sensational veins, here’s a gallery of marble marvels.

Are you thinking of including a marble feature in your home? If so, be prepared to be inspired. From the popular marbles such as Cararra, Calacatta and Statuario, to Nero Marquina and other exotic-to-Australia types, and from great slabs of marble to tiles (and marble-look alternatives), here is a quarry’s worth of images that show myriad ways this wonderful natural product has been used across the globe.


1. Location: Perth, WA
Why we love it: The veining in the marble is sensational, and adds an element of luxury to the more rustic/ low-maintenance aspects of the kitchen.

2. Location: Singapore
Why we love it: Marble-look surfaces feature throughout this property, giving this apartment a funky retro air – not a look commonly associated with white marble. It’s one for the books.

3. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Marble is so well employed in this splashback, especially as it acts as a contrast to the black joinery surrounding it. Again, it is an easy way to add a layer of sophistication to almost any scheme.

4. Location: Austin, USA
Why we love it: Marble, marble, everywhere… This would just be a stunning bathroom to walk into, let alone to use. The way the timber pops out from the patterning is something to be admired. A brilliantly executed interior.

5. Location: San Francisco, USA
Why we love it: Using marble with restraint also works well. This marble-tiled floor, paired with high ceilings, gives this room gravitas.

6. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The repetition of white marble-clad volumes emphasises the luxury of this relatively small kitchen area. A great example of using this material to raise the stature of a space.

7. Location: Sydney, NSW
Why we love it: Just stand back and take it in. We love the invitation to admire this stunning space, and the way the marble panels used solely on the outside of the island bench, tone down the ‘look at me’ aspect just enough.

8. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: We can’t say it enough… the veins maketh the marble, especially so in this Statuario marble benchtop and splashback.

9. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: Because sometimes a light touch is enough too.

10. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Marble isn’t all light and beauty. Sometimes it adds a darkly dramatic element just where it’s needed.

11. Location: Los Angeles, USA
Why we love it: Case in point.

12. Location: New York, USA
Why we love it: Because this is a great example of how black marble can elevate a room from ordinary to extraordinary.

13. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: The Statuario marble island bench is the hero of the renovation of this Grade II (heritage) listed Regency house, the ‘furniture’ element anchoring the kitchen and providing a proportional contrast to the tall Georgian windows.

14. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: Imagine this bathroom with plain white walls. The inclusion of marble lifts it into another realm.

15. Location: Spain
Why we love it: Marble can break out of the ‘simple and sophisticated’ cliche. Here it’s paired with lively patterned tiles to beautiful effect.

16. Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Why we love it: The interesting but not overwhelming marble tiles are the ultimate backdrop for the organic-shaped bath. Shape and material working harmoniously.

17. Location: London, UK
Why we love it: We love how marble isn’t the standout material here, but provides the link between the dark upper cabinetry and textured cladding on the base cabinets. A lovely and interesting combination.

18. Location: Italy
Why we love it: The black Marquina marble is an incredibly striking feature in this kitchen, adding a dynamic element to a very restrained scheme.

19. Location: Leicestershire, UK
Why we love it: Understated marble teamed with dark blue-grey cabinetry. Gold.

20. Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Why we love it: These tiles lift the energy of this Swedish powder room no end.

See the next top 20 here!

Stone island

Improve Your Home With A Stone Island

Out with the dining table and in with a Stone Island!

A stone island in the kitchen can allow room for a lot of improvement in the household.  It can buy you space, save money and increase home value. An island can transform from a family’s communal hub of the hustle and bustle, to being the centre of a night entertaining friends – the versatility one can offer is endless. Designers and architects these days are calling the kitchen ‘the heart of the home’ and here’s how we think your kitchen can benefit from an island.

Stone Islands are…

A multipurpose space. Families are stepping back from the lounge and into the kitchen and an island is a great gathering point! It’s a great place to relax, catch up on each other’s day or have the children do their schoolwork. A big preparation space may help involve the kids with the cooking! For those who like to entertain, an island offers a nice open area for everyone to interact. With an island, you also have the option to chuck some extra bar stools around for additional seating! With so many options, an island acts as a focal point of a room, opening up the whole living space.

Fun to accessorise! Starting with your stone, opt for a classic white Marble stone and compliment it with colourful appliances. Or get a statement piece, like a Quartzite or Granite and make it a kitchen feature! Easily change the mood of your kitchen by swapping out bowls of fruit, for flowers or niche jars. Go big and consider an oversized light fixture, which is becoming a popular design trend. Use the space above the island to hang a row for pots and pants.

Stone Islands help…

Add storage and reduce clutter. What more could you want out of a kitchen! Whether you want a sleek, minimalist look or you simply don’t have enough room to put appliances or rubbish bins, you can tuck them all away in drawers and cabinets underneath. Think specifics like cutlery, a wine rack or a space for your bulky pots and pans. In a recent Houzz study, it was noted that 39% of homeowners are adding islands for additional storage, alone.

There’s a stone option for everyone. Whether your lifestyle is more suited to a natural stone surface or reconstituted stone, kitchen stone islands can be made out of Marble, Granite, Quartzite, Super White or Trendstone Quartz. If you want a super big island, Trendstone XL slabs are a great option. At 3.4m x 1.9m you can have a seamless surface.

These are just a few of many ways that a stone island can increase your kitchen’s functionality.

Adding an island truly allows you to take great advantage of the space in your home. Even if you have a small kitchen to work with, added storage and surface area outweigh the concern. Keep in mind, you can always go for a portable kitchen island on wheels, too!

Related Posts




Blue Roma Quartzite Benchtop

Quartzite Benchtops – On Trend For 2018

Move over Marble and Granite, Quartzite Benchtops are the choice for kitchens in Melbourne in 2018!

Renovating your kitchen for the new year? Wanting to invest some value into your family home but wanting something different yet resilient? These Brazilian beauties offer the Marble-look with the durability of Granite. Here’s why Quartzite Benchtops are on trend.

The kitchen has become the ultimate communal space in the family home that brings everyone together.  No longer is everything sitting in front of the television in the lounge, they are all hovering over the kitchen benchtop or kitchen island. This is great but what natural stone option can handle the busy family life? The wine spills? The lemon juice? A Quartzite benchtop can.

Quartzite stone is becoming a knowingly more practical alternative to Marble.  For designers and architects, it is aesthetically pleasing. For builders, its durability is a no-brainer. And for homeowners, its low maintenance wins above all.

The formation of Quartzite contributes to all of its winning factors. At the beginning, sandstone transforms into Quartzite by extreme heat and pressure –  becoming much harder and less porous, ultimately helping it withstand heat incredibly well. Go ahead and enjoy a mug of coffee on that stone bench!

Unlike Marble, Quartzite is extremely hard and resilient and won’t etch from household acids like lemon juice or vinegar. This is because Quartzite doesn’t contain calcite, a carbonate mineral, that is susceptible to etching by acidic products.

Quartzite stone requires far less short and long-term maintenance. We recommend to keep it sealed, but its original seal will go much further than on any other natural stone.

And if it wasn’t obvious by now, thanks to the elements of Quartzite, its suitable for indoor AND outdoor application!

Why are Quartzite benchtops so popular in the design industry?

Where it is likened to Marble, is its looks. Quartzite has some unique colours and marble-like veining. Whether you want a real statement piece in a neutral-toned kitchen or a classic marble-look, Quartzite has both options. Designers and homeowners are now wanting to compliment White Kitchen Cabinetry with Statement Benchtops. The design options are endless!

Outside of the home, Quartzite stone is also incredibly on-trend, spot them in office fit outs and bar benchtops. A real popular look is back-lit Quartzite, complimented with a vodka, soda and lime on top of it – no worry if it spills!

If Quartzite hasn’t won over your heart yet, give us a call or come see our selection at Victoria Stone Gallery. We are proud to have a direct source from Brazil to Melbourne, Victoria.

Related Posts


Uba Tuba Splashback Flashback!

Uba Tuba Granite slab

Uba Tuba, a common kitchen benchtop material in the nineties. Loved for its dark reflective, tightly packed grain surface. Now a timeless look in the household, we’re hearing a demand for this retro-look piece of natural stone.

Uba Tuba is…

A Granite quarried in coastal Brazil, from the Ubatuba area.

∴ An Igneous Rock made of mostly quartz and mica.

∴ Quarried in large quantities.

∴ Tightly packed grain, with very little veining. Small Quartz pieces make up the delicate pattern. 

∴ Variable in colour. Primarily dark green, sometimes black, depending on the section of the quarry it is cut from.

∴ Characterised by its flecks of black, gold, brown, blue and white.

∴ Popular in kitchen design and office fit for decades.

∴ Very affordable!

∴ Low maintenance.

Found right here in Melbourne at Victoria Stone Gallery for your Uba Tuba kitchen benchtop or splashback desire!

Related Posts



Alternatives To Marble – An Infographic

Alternatives to Marble infographic

Marble is considered a soft stone and requires love and care to stay looking fresh. There are many alternatives to marble that are close to maintenance-free, leaving you to worry about more important things!

As the consumer becomes more educated, many are aware of the stresses of having marble in the home can bring. When caution is exercised, sealers are applied and care is taken, marble can last many lifetimes. In today’s busy world, that isn’t always achievable. There is nothing quite like the classic look of Carrara marble, but due to its natural form, the marble will etch, stain and scratch. The good news is that there are always alternatives! Here are some natural and manmade alternatives to marble similar in appearance but superior in performance.

Infographic showing alternative stones to marble. Suggestions are Quartzite, Super White, Trendstone and Porcelain

Marble and It’s Alternatives

Quartzite demand increased by 20% in 2017. It is predicted to continue into 2018. Engineered stones like porcelain and quartz continue to grow in popularity.

Global stone trends are seeing a shift toward the more high-performance natural stone. The American market has gone up 20% in Brazilian quartzite sales only in the last year. Quartzites have a lifelong guarantee and are generally a foolproof option. Quartzites are cheaper than the premium quality marbles like Calacatta or Statuario. Some other popular colours of quartzite are White Macaubas and Mont Blanc.

Super White (or White Fantasy) continues to grow in popularity too. Less hard than a quartzite, but harder than a typical marble.

Here at Victoria Stone Gallery, we specialise in exotic stone slabs from Brazil. Keep your eyes peeled for these speciality stones, and much more to come in the New Year.

Check out the range at Victoria Stone Gallery.


Lonely Lingerie models in Italian Carrara marble

Honoring the Female Form: Lonely Model Alongside Italian Carrara Marble

A New Zealand-based lingerie brand is celebrating women of all shapes and sizes.  A stunning new underwear campaign sees models posing alongside classic Italian Carrara marble sculptures.

Lonely Lingerie enlisted photographer and artist Yumna Al-Arashi to shoot models Naomi Shimada, Riya Hamid, and Ayesha McMahon at a classic marble atelier in Carrara, Italy, for its Autumn/Winter 2017 campaign.

Since Ancient Roman times, sculpt depictions of the female form have been carved out of Italian Carrara marble. And the three models look right at home posing next to the statues’ marble curves.

Lonely Lingerie models in Italian Carrara marble

Photo taken by Yumna Al-Arashi for NZ lingerie label, Lonely

The brand prides itself on its honest representations of women. The company explained that ‘modern portrayals of women have never been more unrealistic,’ in comparison to classic works of art.

‘Where once curves, imperfections and realism were celebrated, many representations of women now seek unrealistic and potentially damaging ideals.’ Lonely said in a press release.

Unlike many advertisements found in today’s media, Lonely’s campaign aims to honour the female form rather than depict unobtainable body shames, homogenised ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, and heavily edited and retouched images.

Carrara’s marble has been used to make some of the world’s most famous sculptures, including Michaelangelo’s David and Pieta.

‘I visited an incredible atelier in Carrara. Home to some of the most famous marble quarries on this planet.’ she said of her inspiration behind the shoot.

‘Michelangelo’s hands worked in this town, and its marble has built structures that have withstood the test of time.’




Check our Italian Carrara marble range.