If you've ever had a kitchen disco, you'll know that an island turns out to be a surprisingly good spot to dance around. However, if you're ever invited to a party at Cardi B's house, you might find yourself dancing on top of the island, rather than around it.
The global superstar took to her Twitter this week to show off her newly installed kitchen island, but rather than simply posting a photo, Cardi climbed on top of the room's new centerpiece and strutted along it, while singing and dancing. That's because this kitchen island is big - no seriously. At a glance, it's got to be at least 12 feet long - while the average kitchen island length is about 6 feet.
But while some commentators might have been distracted by the size of Cardi's new island, the style-dedicated among you were probably trying to work out exactly what kind of stone the rapper had chosen for her brilliantly maximalist space. The bold black-and-white seams of this stone make for a kitchen that stands out from the crowd.
Fortunately, the team at Livingetc knows exactly the person to call on for any burning interior questions, and with a quick consult of my little black book, I managed to find out not only exactly what type of stone has been used for the kitchen island and statement backsplash, but also how its designer has specified it to make the most dramatic impact in this room.
What kind of stone does Cardi B have in her kitchen?
To see if we could identify the specific type of stone Cardi has chosen for her kitchen, I asked Oliver Webb, an expert who knows pretty much everything there is to know about natural stone, and director of luxury stone merchants Gerald Culliford.
'It's Panda White marble from China,' Oliver tells me. It's a marble renowned for its luxurious qualities, its striking black and white coloring and its bold, sweeping veining.
My kitchen island is soooo big!!! I can’t wait till it’s completely finished 🖤 pic.twitter.com/CHe2FY15kZJune 10, 2023
The countertop of the kitchen island has been designed with a dramatic diamond shape as its focal point, an effect created using a process that cuts slabs from the same marble block and arranges them side by side to create a reflected surface that appears not to have any seams. It's called 'book-matching' when the process uses two slabs, and quarter-matching when using four slabs together.
So how was Cardi's large kitchen island designed? 'These slabs look like they are quarter-matched to produce the top in six pieces, Oliver explains, 'taking the mirrored corner of six slabs to produce the effect.'
The biggest challenge Oliver sees in this design is in making the match perfect. 'I can’t see any joint lines, but joining this successfully and with veins looking matched is probably the trickiest part,' he says. 'That or those joints holding whilst your client danced on them!'
Is this type of marble on trend?
Striking veining is among Livingetc's predictions for countertop trends in 2023, but more than that, there's a wider trend for people being more expressive and adventurous in areas like the kitchen, which have often been designed as 'blander' spaces in the past, in order to preserve resale value.
'We have been through a beige and grey plain phase in the last 20 years, I just think people are after more color,' Oliver ventures. 'And as there are less definite massive trends at the moment, I think people feel free to express themselves.'
However, a big bold countertop material like White Panda marble isn't for every kitchen. 'You really would need a big kitchen to pull this off, otherwise it can look too over the top,' Oliver says.
Where can I get similar countertops?
'There are many challenges in designing with this type of marble,' Oliver explains. 'Finding suitable slabs is the first port of call. Supply is not easy at the moment due to quarry issues, but there are some slabs around, there are other similar ones on the market, such as San Simone, Copacabana, or there is a new quarry that just started working in Greece producing similar slabs.'
After you've found the marble, the challenges aren't over. 'Fabricating and installing them would be a very worrying process, because if one were to break, it's hard to substitute another piece without starting all over - which would be very expensive.'
If I was to guess, budget wasn't so much of a concern for Cardi B's kitchen, so until you have a platinum-selling recording artist budget for your kitchen renovation, you might be better served with these maximalist marble accessories, instead.
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Hugh is the Editor of Livingetc.com. From working on a number of home, design and property publications and websites, including Grand Designs, ICON and specialist kitchen and bathroom magazines, Hugh has developed a passion for modern architecture, impactful interiors and green homes. Whether moonlighting as an interior decorator for private clients or renovating the Victorian terrace in Essex where he lives (DIYing as much of the work as possible), you’ll find that Hugh has an overarching fondness for luxurious minimalism, abstract shapes and all things beige. He’s just finished a kitchen and garden renovation, and has eyes set on a bathroom makeover for 2024.
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