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.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Italian Marble Quarries As Never Seen Before

Photographer Luca Locatelli goes literally above and beyond to take these stunning photographs of Northern Italy’s marble quarries. Capturing these ancient pieces of large, white stone, being quarried and processed into what will become an ever-so-desirable marble kitchen benchtop.

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Majestic Views of Northern Italy’s Spectacular Marble Quarries

Spellbound by the ancient white quarries of his home country, photographer Luca Locatelli set out to capture them from the air

He’s well known for his awe-inspiring photographs revealing how humans and technology are altering the world we live in, so it should come as no surprise that Luca Locatelli’s body of work about Northern Italy’s majestic marble quarries delivers a devastating blow – in the best possible way. Locatelli was recently shortlisted for an award in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards for White Gold, published by The New York Times Magazine, which series turns the spotlight on the Italian marble trade.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

The Italian photographer has been training his lens on the stunning Apuan Alps. An area rich in marble. The naturally occurring and extremely desirable stone made from tiny crystallised creatures compressed over hundreds of millions of years. Since Roman times, humankind has ripped the dazzling white stone from the land via hundreds of quarries that operate in the region. Activity in this part of Italy is as intense as ever.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

Outside of the country, current demand mainly comes from cities from Abu Dhabi and Mumbai to Beijing. With the marble destined for mosques, malls and hotel lobbies as well as lavish palaces. To say it is big business is an understatement. Quarries such as Henraux Cervaiole, the Calacata Borghini and the Borghini, all of which Locatelli photographed, are working flat-out to keep up with demand.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

As Locatelli’s images so powerfully show, the quarries are staggering in terms of size and shape. Their sheer scale is not always immediately obvious. Look once and you’ll see the jagged side of a mountain. But look again and you realise there are tiny tractors and men crawling all over. Using a drone to capture many of the most breathtaking views from above, Locatelli also went inside the quarries, boarded a cargo ship that transports the marble, and visited a workshop where sculptors are pictured honing their craft.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

“The marble quarries of northern Italy are famous around the world. They are so impressive.” says Locatelli, who is based in Milan.

“I was curious to find a way to shoot them – to show their majestic dimensions. So I was making pictures, which I started to share on Instagram.”

Shortly afterwards, The New York Times Magazine contacted him suggesting they work together on a project.

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

“For thousands of years we have taken from the mountains and created a powerful alternate landscape,” he continues. “You can see those mountains as ruined by humans, but at the same time, the mountains – and this is what attracts me to the story – are in some of the best pieces of art we have on the planet. […] I wanted to talk about what’s behind those great pieces of art.”

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

Luca Lucatelli's photograph of Italian marble quarries

Credit – Luca Lucatelli

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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.