Friday, July 25, 2014


The term book-matched is used by designers, architects, and others obsessed with having to know everything about everything. It refers to stone or wood that is heavily grained or veined that is then cut and polished on alternating sides so that the grain or veins when put side by side mirror themselves. The slabs unfold like a book and that is where the name comes from.

You're not going to find book-matched marble at your local flooring store. You'll find tiles which are nice but not the slabs I'm talking about.
You've got to really want the look and you've got to have pretty deep pockets or the willingness to sell one of your kids if you're going to do some book-matched designing.
When it comes to marble and after you've bit the bullet, if that's what you're going to do, the next thing is to source out a marble supplier. Most cities will have an importer with marble stock but to find one who will have stock in book-matched is going to be rare. Local marble suppliers are supplying their stock to contractors building kitchen and bath countertops. You'd be lucky to find a couple of slabs of the same batch let alone enough to clad a room or complete a wall.
After you've found a marble source and selected your slabs it's off to the fabricator to have the stone cut and prepared for installation.
Once it's hung or laid the beauty of book-matched is stunning.
The same holds true for using wood with book-matched grains. Primary uses for book-matched wood is in wall paneling and in furniture.
Using the book-matched can make a wall sing.
It can also do the same for furniture. Our manufacturer, Black Wolf Design, has added the book-matched aspect to the pieces in the Mendota collection we launched at ICFF.
Book-matched designs can go either way. It can be overpowering and way too fussy or it can be beautiful.
Here are some examples of where it worked.

Identical Twins, Eoselle, New Jersey, 1967
Diane Arbus, photographer
Represented by Fraenkel Gallery

1 comment:

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