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Give your home a dramatic makeover with the artful use of black marble—see how one home incorporates the luxe material in all aspects of their home here.
Move over, Carrara marble. White-based stone with gray or black veining will always be classic, but it’s time for so-called Nero marble to receive a little appreciation. Dark, moody stone brings even more drama to the table—or the counter, or the backsplash—and it has just as many uses in your decor. Here are some of the many reasons I love dark or black marble finishes, as well as some tips on incorporating a bit of this high-style material into any decor, on any budget.
1. Dining tables. A Saarinen-style modern table, with a tulip base and marble top, is a design classic, but it doesn’t only come in the popular white option.
A dark charcoal or black table gives a more dramatic punctuation mark to a space, commanding attention and truly making the dining area the focus of the room.
Very dark marble can sometimes seem severe, but the round edges of a circular or oval modern table give it a little softness, so it catches the eye without appearing gothic.
These rich marble tones are excellent with neutral palettes that involve a lot of wood, because the stone has a natural character that contrasts with wood grain beautifully.
Black Marble 1: Courtney B Smith Design, original photo on Houzz
However, a dark dining table can also be a great accent to a colorful space as well. A black element makes colors seem more vivid by contrast. This charming garden scene feels a touch more lively and exotic with the black table as an anchor.
2. Coffee tables. Like a dining table, the coffee table is often a center point to a space. A dark, moody stone coffee table sets the scene for sophisticated conversation—or quiet contemplation.
It can give a room a haute look even if you really just plan to spend a lazy Sunday doing the crossword. Black-and-white marble adds an instant air of fashion, regardless of the day’s trends.
Black Marble 2: IDC Collection Eichholtz, original photo on Houzz
3. Side tables. For a lighter touch of dark marble in the living room, try a richly veined stone side table. It pairs beautifully with a black, gray or white sofa, and it also looks great with rich colors like navy or emerald.
Black Marble 3: Maison Blue Design Group, original photo on Houzz
Instead of a chunky block table like those in the previous photo (usually hollow, by the way), use a slim center-leg table like this one for a breezier look that shows off more of the floor treatment.
4. Flooring. Have the taste (and budget) for high drama? A dark stone floor gives a space a sense of true gravity. You can skip the accent rugs and let the floor speak volumes.
A polished finish will reflect more light for an even greater sense of depth.
Black Marble 4: Black Lacquer Design, original photo on Houzz
5. Counters. Who says kitchens have to be white on white? A dark stone counter makes an excellent pairing with a deep cabinet color. You can break up the darkness with a light backsplash and some shimmering metallic accents. Nobody will want to eat in the dining room again.
Related: Search Kitchen Countertops by Material and Color >>
For a less dramatic take, try a stone counter with various charcoal and gray tones, paired with a classic white subway tile. Add some open shelves for an even airier look and you’ve got a chef’s kitchen vibe that feels classic yet anything but ordinary.
You can also try using a dark statement stone for just the island top, or just the main counters, with a less dramatic material for the remaining surfaces. It’s a great way to balance the look and the budget.
Related: Learn How to Clean Marble Countertops >>
Black Marble 5: Alex Maguire Photography, original photo on Houzz
6. Backsplashes. Dark counters make a big splash, but for an even stronger statement, turn that stone vertical and use it as the backsplash. Facing toward you, the grain of the marble is that much more visible, presented almost like a piece of art.
Again, to balance the budget and get a softer look, you can use a dark stone for just an accent backsplash, such as behind the stove or sink, or at a small area of counter, with the remaining walls in a plain ceramic tile or undressed altogether.
If you’re buying stone slabs for the counters, you’ll probably have some material left over anyway, and it can be used as an accent piece at essentially no extra cost.
7. Knobs. One more way to use dramatic black marble in the kitchen: cabinet knobs. A few $15 knobs are a relatively inexpensive way to add a touch of haute drama (especially if you use them just on the upper cabinets or just on the drawers)—and they’ll be touched and appreciated often.
Black Marble 6: Contemporary Bathroom, original photo on Houzz
8. Bathrooms. White is a popular choice for bathrooms for its clean, crisp look. But what could be more crisp than a sleek black stone like the one used in this shower? This is definitely a look that can stretch the budget, but the results are commanding and timeless.
Using a black-based stone for even just a single wall (or half wall) offsets porcelain fixtures beautifully. Try using it as a sink backsplash and you can make a very simple white vessel look like a sculptural composition.
This a great look to use in a powder room, as very little material will be needed to cover a wall, meaning you can get a luxe look at a lower price.
9. Vanities. Not ready to commit to marble in the kitchen? A black marble vanity top won’t see as much wear and tear as a kitchen counter, especially in a casually used powder room, and you can often get enough off-cut material at a bargain if you shop around at marble suppliers.
10. Fireplace surrounds. Finally, I can’t go without mentioning classic black marble around a fireplace. This rich, moody material is exceptional at making the fireplace seem grander, deeper and a definite focal point.
Want a TV over or beside your fireplace? The black stone will match the visual weight of the dark screen and keep the TV from dominating the look when turned off. Prefer a more artistic approach? Dark marble is the perfect anchor to a collection of framed photos or a painted canvas.
Add in some classic wall moldings, or just a coat of simple white paint, and you’ve got a look that will always feel high-end.