Dark and Natural: Decorating with Dark Coloured Porcelain and Stone

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Oikos timber look tiles – Artisan Stone

Rich, dark, natural stone provides a stunning complexion or highlight to any home. Jet black and deep ochre colours are opulent and thick. In the right setup they look ethereal and complex, and are amazing to use as a main event or as a striking contrast against lighter stones.

In order to make the most of your home, it’s good to know the capabilities of your tools. Dark natural stone has a wealth of use and of intricacy that isn’t always utilised to its full potential. To this end, we’ve put forward a short primer on getting the most out of the material.

Ebony and ivory

Dark and light contrast is one of the easiest, most effective things you can do to heighten your interior design skills for free. It’s the simplest thing you could possibly do, but it looks no less amazing despite it.

Natural stone is famed for its ability to contour to these polarities, and certain stone types are prized specifically for their ability to meld white and dark together. Take marble – when it’s not used as a white or cream pillar or slab with black texture lines through it, it’s just as likely to be found with dark colouring and white flecks for a natural highlight.

Stone’s texturing and ability to hold multiple authentic textures makes it a marvellous fit for anyone trying to fit the simplest design trend of all: contrasted white and black.

Another current storm in interior design is the use of grey as a focal point. It’s seeing use as a neutral colour, feature wall, and anything in between. Not only are there are a lot of natural stone choices for complex greys – travertine in particular has quite a few stunning options – but it pairs about as well with white and black as you’d expect from a colour made from mixing the two together.

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Fossil grey quartz – Artisan Stone

Highlight and contrast

If you know your colour theory, there’s a multitude of combinations that you can use to make dark stone beautiful and fit your conditions.

For example, if you’re going for a pastel villa look with yellow ochre walls, you can pave the floor with dark grey or faux wood-look stone tiles to keep the villa theme while keeping the house cool. Likewise, you could use a desaturated blue in tandem with it as a higher contrast piece that still won’t detract from the complexity of the ochre itself.

Have a talk with a specialist when designing your house, particularly if you have a pre-existing theme that you want them to accommodate.

Within individual pieces, particularly cobblestone, dark cuts can be used to add intricacy to an individual wall or set piece. Much like the concept of textured marbling through individual slabs, adding an element of contrasting rock into a veneer or cobble wall creates a visual focus that you can use to turn your backsplash into a feature wall.

Feature it

Dark stone makes for great feature walls. Wood-likes give the rustic feel of a wooden feature wall without the warping porous nature of wood itself, while a flat wall provides a textured backdrop to give a room depth and sophistication. Dark slate can add verticality to a room, cladding provides a unrepeated pattern and its own subtle contrasts and highlights within, as does dark stone with lighter marbling as a flat slab.

In essence, dark stone works as a centrepiece that cannot be ignored. When placed correctly as the focal point to a room, it cannot be surpassed in both texture and beauty.

When not to use dark stone

Sometimes it’s just as good a thing to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Stone is a great material, but remember that the colour black retains heat. If you’re looking to make an internal wall to contrast against, you won’t notice the difference (and it’ll function identical to a lighter stone). However it might not be the best idea to decorate around your pool with dark stone, as that’s where you’ll be walking barefoot in the summer sun.

For outdoor decoration in hot climates, we’d encourage using dark stone sparsely and instead using a brighter colour. You can then feel free to use dark stone for accents and edges: the same effect without having to wear thongs around in your backyard.

Certain materials also conduct heat better or worse: bluestone is quite heat absorbent, but travertine is comparatively cool. Check before you commit to a project, and research your materials to avoid future issues with them.

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Noir – Artisan Stone