A little bit of Italy

Those of you who know me well, know that I love fine things. Established taste, old world charm and classic elegance. This usually is expressed best in my fondness for timeless materials.

This ADU is such a representation of modernity that I wanted to contrast the new and modern-ness of it with use of a material that has been highly coveted since Michelangelo began scuplting with it during the Renissance: Calacatta Marble.

Michelangelo’s Tomb of Pope Julius II; 1505-45. Michelangelo spent 6 months selecting this marble before he would begin work on the commission.


A calacatta quarry in the hills of Carrara, Italy.

Calacatta is an Italian marble carved from the hills in the Carrara region. Calacatta is a whiter, brighter marble what has warmer veining. I specifically wanted to use this material since it would pull together all the tones of the other materials used in the ADU. The bright white of the paint, the softer grays from the concrete flooring and the warmer browns in the Douglas fir trim. The richness of the marble is so strong, that I did not want it to become overpowering. I chose to use it in a small location: my tiny master bath.

I could not be happier with my decision and the outcome. Andy and Bill Paris did a wonderful job of installing the large format 12 x 24 tiles. Every time I am in my bathroom it feels like a small slice of Italian luxury. Below are the photos of the process.


Hardiebacker board is applied to the walls and tub surround. Note on the wall the marked-out box where a cubby will be inset.


A leveling compound is set on the floor to cover the radiant flooring mats.


Andy + I discuss the process of the installation and how quickly it will be completed.


River inspects some of the tile. We have some distinct veining in our batch of tiles. To mimic the classic Italian aesthetic I decide to have some select pieces book-matched.


Shower liner is applied. The initial layout of the floor tile is set-up for my approval.


Floor detail. Warm tones in the marble compliment the natural wood.


Andy installing the first wall of the shower surround.


Detail of book-matching.


Geometry of the tile, the veining and the shadows from the skylight are stunning.


Plumbing fixtures are the final touch.


Almost complete. Already beautiful.


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