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A Reminder That Travertine Isn’t Just for Floors

A Reminder That Travertine Isn’t Just for Floors

Travertine has a star role in epic architecture projects like the Sacré-Cœur in Paris and the Colosseum in Rome, but it’s also a beautiful addition to regular old homes—and not just as tile. We’ve recently spotted the material, which is a form of limestone, in all shapes and sizes.

Rather than your typical marble or wood, its made of, you guessed it, travertine. A rosy Persian red travertine, to be exact. You’ve probably seen the classic, buff-colored variety a ton, but the stone actually comes in a wide variety of other hues, including silver (gray undertones), gold (yellow undertones), and scabos (lots of variation in color).

That’s why, though travertine is super durable, that isn’t the reason they chose it, says Ohlo Studio founder Jen Lowe. “To be honest, on this particular project it was all about the color and variation in the stone as opposed to the other qualities.” she says. “Often when I begin a project, I let the materials drive the project early on. We had found this stone prior to the project beginning and felt it spoke to the clients brief in terms of the warmth they were looking for. We then built the remaining palette around this stone.”

Caat Studio, an architecture firm based in Tehran, crafted an entire home’s facade out of the stone, shown above. It only made sense, considering the residence is located in Mahallat, Iran, where the “area surrounding the city is rich with travertine” and the client happened to be in the stone business, says the firm on its website. According to Dezeen, “To reduce weight, each stepped stone brick was cut into an ‘L’ shape, with the waste created through this process then used in straight sections of wall.” We love it when a decision based on function ends up being aesthetically gorgeous, don’t you?

Australian design firm Golden is similarly smitten with travertine. The material is found in the form of a long, low, built-in storage unit in this living room in Golden’s recent residential project, Wattle House. “We particularly love the horizontal veins through travertine when it’s vein cut; this helped to elongate the space,” directors Kylie Dorotic and Alicia McKimm tell us. “We purposefully moved away from timber as the flooring in the room is engineered timber board. We wanted to create contrast and a focal point for the living room.”

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