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Travertine Is the Next Surface Du Jour

Today, thanks to these same qualities, it’s going head-to-head with surface favorites such as marble and terrazzo in the material libraries of interior designers near and far. Simply look to AD for evidence: AD100 designer Steven Volpe opted for a striated travertine tub with a view in the Manhattan apartment that graced last February’s cover. May cover star Kacey Musgraves showed off a vintage travertine dining table in her blush-and-sand-hued Nashville haven. AD100 designer Vincenzo de Cotiis used the fan favorite on floors, furniture, and a glamorous bathtub in the Paris apartment of fashion designer Pierre Hardy and his husband and brand CEO Christopher Turnier. And Paris-based designer Diego Delgado-Elias recently crafted a kitchen island and matching light fixture in the material of the moment for a French farmhouse in Provence. For the facades of the island, he left the porous, natural roughness of the material, while on the countertop he added a translucent resin filling to make it more suitable for a kitchen counter.

“The block can be cut in two ways,” explains Delgado-Elias, who has previously used travertine as flooring and for outdoor furniture. “One leaves graphic lines that you could use vertically or horizontally; the other gives you different tones and shades of color. You can use it anywhere you would like, keeping in mind that [it] is a natural stone that will patina and stain with time.”

A travertine tub in the Paris home of Pierre Hardy and Christopher Turnier. Milan-based AD100 designer Vincenzo de Cotiis used the material throughout the 17th-century hôtel particulier, on floors and furniture. 

Photo: Francois Halard

AD100 designer Julie Hillman, who is known for her bold use of stone across her interior design projects, counts travertine among her favorites. “Its earth tone palette is complementary with nearly any finish or color, making it incredibly easy to use,” she explains. “It adds a pure material that can warm up any space.” Most recently, she has applied it to sinks, walls, and floors. Her advice for making the best use of the material? Go for unfilled travertine on vertical walls and filled travertine on horizontal surfaces.

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