Get onyx

Now that the 1970s are back in, interiors-wise, it’s kind of OK to like things that just a few years ago seemed pretty brash. I’ve been moving towards the vulgar end of the spectrum when it comes to natural stone – big chunks of striated onyx are where it’s at, cream and green and yellow with the occasional provocative blood-red seam. As ever with me it’s the associations with the past that help with the appeal – I think my gran used to arrange flowers in onyx and (fake) gold vases, and we definitely had one of those heavy spherical lighters that sat on the coffee table like a trophy even though no one in the house smoked. A quick look around some interiors stores shows that almost no one in contemporary retail shares my love – although there are some rather fabulous onyx toilets available if you want to get all African dictator-chic at home – but I know that something so beautiful can be used tastefully too, in small doses, or as the centrepiece in a room. Clavel Arquitectos harnesses the translucent qualities of onyx to wonderful effect for this mausoleum in Murcia, Spain. Let’s see it in some houses next.

Mausoleum in Murcia, by Clavel Arquitectos






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