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My love affair with stately, opulent marble began in college and my first trip to Italy. Semesters spent in art history class poring over photos of classical sculpture and architecture didn’t prepare me for experiencing it firsthand. By the end of Day One, I was hooked and my quest for Carrara marble began.

The first bit of marble awesomeness I bought was a small bedroom lamp. I’ve since graduated to these big beauties (below). You can find them on ebay, 1stdibs and V&M but be prepared to shell out the big bucks. The lamps themselves are pricey but shipping is the real budget-buster. Plus, because these date mainly to the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s (Art Deco and Hollywood Regency periods), the wiring will need to be replaced meaning more $$.

To score a marble lamp within budget, hit local antique or thrift stores and, of course, estate and garage sales. Before purchasing, carefully check the stone for chips, cracks and discoloration. A good cleaning with mild dish soap and a toothbrush will do wonders, but marble is porous so if the lamp has spent decades exposed to cigarette smoke, regaining its original creamy color will require professional help.

Oh, in case you’re wondering: I paid $35 for the lamp below at an antique store which my dad and I then rewired for around $12, $15 for the drum shade and $18 (a total splurge) for the crystal finial.marble table lamp with lenten roses

How amazing is this bowl?! I found it full of stagnant water and rotted plants at an estate sale. It was so grimy that both I and the seller initially thought it was concrete. After wiping off a layer of black slime (eww!) I could tell it was marble and knew I had to have it. The price: just $10 — a real steal. Of course, I tweaked my back man-handling it back to the car…but….it was totally worth it.  carrara marble planter with orchids

Here you can see the planter’s detail. The marble isn’t polished but the lion’s heads and banded detail are well carved. carrara marble planter with orchids

When I decided to add a DIY kitchen backsplash, marble was my first choice. In hindsight, this fragile, moisture-sensitive material wasn’t the best choice for my first tiling project but the extra prep work and time I put into installing it paid off and I’m *in love* with the results:  carrara marble kitchen backsplash

So pretty, don’t you think? Although my kitchen wasn’t dark before, the white backsplash really brightened it up:Kitchen With Carrara Marble BacksplashSo, tell us in the comments below. Have you been bitten by the marble bug?

MORE ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING:
Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy
Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock Repurposed as a Frame
Adventures in Antiquing: Classical Busts
Adventures in Antiquing: Vintage Avon Bottle
Adventures in Antiquing: Salvaged Molding As Holiday Decor

26 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    The lamp is alabaster. Similar to but not marble.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks to Jim I was intrigued to learn the difference. According to differencebetween.net though, I'm not convinced that Jim is correct that the lamp is alabaster since one charcateristic is the inability to polish it much.

  2. Shannon C. says:

    Wow, that planter is neat. I had a marble floor lamp that looked very similar to your lamp. My mother gave it to me when i first moved out on my own. She bought it in the 80s….I believe while she was stationed in Guam. Very beautiful and very heavy! After a while, the marble started turning yellow though and I didn't know how to clean it. I wish I would have kept it, but I was young and didn't appreciate things like that….I only saw it as an old lamp :( I very much regret it.

    • hgtvcamille says:

      Wow Shannon, I can certainly understand wishing you still had what must have been an amazingly beautiful lamp. I'll let you know if I ever stumble across it while antiquing. ;)

  3. Jeri Hinkle says:

    I love marble too. Your bowl is pretty also. I had a marble tile counter top and
    loved it.

  4. hgtvcamille says:

    Hi Jeri, a marble countertop is high on my list of wants — the cost is the only thing keeping it from happening. :Sigh: maybe someday.

  5. judithb says:

    Marble- I love it. True story…as a kid I would helpmy Dad in his antique store. Listening to him complain about victorian tables and dressers topped with marble stays with me today. Vic was out of style that way. Systematcally smashed hundreds of gorgeous seventy year old marble- sob, sob. I wish I had a few hunks of it today!

  6. [...] ADVENTURES IN ANTIQUING: Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock [...]

  7. FloM says:

    I love Carrara too! We did the bathroom thresholds in marble, and I have an antique dresser with a marble top. If and when we redo our kitchen counters, they will definitely be marble, even though the experts say it stains and chips too easily. I have a marble slab on my (tile) counter that I use for pastry-making. It has been there about 2 years and although you can see it is being used, it looks beautiful.

  8. […] in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock […]

  9. […] in Antiquing: (Easy!) Beachy Candle Makeover Adventures in Antiquing: Repurposed Wooden Tray Adventures in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble Adventures in Antiquing: Old Toolbox Turned Magazine Caddy Adventures in Antiquing: Old Clock […]

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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