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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?

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

22 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I'm a lover of marble as well. Beautiful pieces.

  2. Barbara C. says:

    Marble is exquisite. Great lamp.

  3. Audrey C. says:

    The backsplash is so nice. Looks great.

  4. RSS says:

    I just noticed the small marble piece beside the lamp. It's perfect in that setting.

  5. Liz_HGTV says:

    Ah, your backsplash is so pretty. I don't think white marble is in the cards for my kitchen, but I can live vicariously through yours. :)

  6. [...] in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble HGTV Design Happens Wed, February 13, 2013 3:29 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  7. [...] in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble HGTV Design Happens Wed, February 13, 2013 3:29 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  8. [...] in Antiquing: Crushing On Carrara Marble HGTV Design Happens Wed, February 13, 2013 3:29 PM UTC HGTV Design Happens Rate Share (function(){var [...]

  9. Michelle S. says:

    Always enjoy your antiquing blogs. All the marble in your home is lovely.

  10. 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.

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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