Travertine's diverse appearance—creamy white to rusty brown, jaggedly porous to solidly dense—owes to its unusual origins. Slowly formed by mineral deposits, each travertine stone is shaped by a wide range of geological factors, including the presence of small organisms (sometimes found entombed in the stone). From fireplaces to floors, see how the timeless material can be used.
This recently-restored 1957 modernist masterpiece features a freestanding travertine-and-steel fireplace, open on all four sides, that divides the living and dining areas.
A couple got their hands dirty in Brooklyn by rehabilitating a 19th-century tenement to reveal decades of layers and scores of possibilities. In the resulting design, the main bathroom features a custom stainless-steel bathtub that contrasts with a wall clad in silver travertine.
A Brooklyn couple transformed a 150-year-old house into an elegant home for the future. The travertine floor for the guest bedroom came from a De La Espada showroom in Soho. Along with exposed ceiling beams, the tiles provide a sense of texture and warmth to the space. Photo by Tara Donne.
When the Hsus family found themselves expecting a third child, they engaged an architect to enclose the upper part of their double-height living room to create a fourth bedroom and playroom-study upstairs. Additionally, the architect resurfaced the fireplace wall with massive slabs of filled silver travertine marble. The slabs were so large that one of them broke an adjoining floor-to-ceiling glass pane during installation.
Seeking a modern shell for their mid-century pieces, a pair of collectors found a relatively untouched Eichler in San Rafael, California—and a built-in excuse to acquire more furniture. In the living room, a travertine-topped coffee table by Paul McCobb pairs well with the Florence Knoll Parallel Bar System sofa. The Josef Albers print over the fireplace is an original, scored on eBay.
This renovated 1940s home in a Cincinatti suburb features honed travertine flooring—i.e. travertine smoothed out from grinding and/or filling its pockets—in its kitchen and living areas.