Last week I returned from a trip to London, Italy, and Greece. It was amazing – and inspiring to say the least! One of the most fabulous things about Italy was stone, stone, and more stone! Not only were there of course fantastic Italian marbles used for every surface imaginable, but other stones such as granite were readily present in contemporary settings as well.
Most notably to me, were the solid granite steps on the indoor stairs of the bed and breakfast I stayed at in Sicily. Solid ¾” slab was used for the steps and the risers – creating a beautiful staircase with the wrought iron railing. Even though the surface of the stone was polished, none of us found it to be more slippery than a wood or even a worn carpet stair would be. Solid Carrera marble was also used for the staircase in our apartment in Rome – again, both steps and risers.
Indoors, outdoors, marble and sometimes granite were used for staircases everywhere. I think this is something we should consider more in the US. There are many stone options that are affordable, and the stone wears beautifully. Even the white Carrera marble- over years of use it developed a beautiful patina, a soft honed look. Because stone lasts so long and needs so little maintenance, it is also considered an earth friendly product – it won’t end up in the dump, and it doesn’t require harsh refinishing chemicals like wood. And then of course, there’s the ambiance of the marble. In can exude formality, regality, and stature. In other settings it can feel warm and earthy. This was of course one of a million uses for stone – consider it for your next project.