So I’d like to start in on a series of blog posts where I can speak towards some unorthodox methods for home decoration. I feel as though pushing against the boundaries of the ordinary is important in order to facilitate progress among the clichés of home decoration. We all get so caught up in what’s accepted as good, what’s standard, what’s proven to look the best, that we stop innovating and pushing against the standards of the industry.
So in this post I want to talk about slate. Most people consider slate to be typically exterior resource. Roofs, walkways, garden walls. When slate is brought into the interior, it’s almost exclusively used for fairly standardized things that one would usually use stone for, like countertops.
Slate, however, doesn’t have to be an off putting, outdoorsy stone with no real decorative purpose. Sure, most of it is indeed just that, but not all of it. So before getting into my favorite uses, a bit of background would be helpful.
Slate is a metamorphic rock that is formed under extreme pressure and heat from sedimentary rocks. It occurs naturally in our world. It forms in many textures, which is great news for us, because we can make use of them for different purposes. My favorite for interior decoration is fine grain slate. Fine grain slate is smooth, has a small almost uniform texture over the primary portion of the plate. This means it easily matches its surroundings and can hold a variety of purpose better than other textures. However, if the need fits, I’m also quite fond of the wave texture, which is, as the name implies, wavy, or the Ribbon texture, which is a finer, straighter version of the wave. Each can be used to draw the eyes of someone toward a feature. A sort of “follow the line,” if you will.
As far as coloring, slate can be several variations of gray. There’s very little need, in my opinion, for the ugly ashen gray slate unless your needs are perfectly suited to a monotone and subdued gray. The slate I most prefer to work with is a perfect, rich, and deep black. The slate black is a rare color in decor, and thus offsets most other work in a most impressive way. It can be used to either highlight or complement other design decisions.
The black slate looks classy and elegant in certain settings, but can also be provide a rustic and/or modern look to a room. It’s a highly variable object that can be repurposed based on its surroundings, which is an indescribably invaluable tool for any home decorator.
Now, funnily enough, the slate I most often use is primarily purposed as a slate board for cheese. It’s even used in restaurants – I definitely see how they make interesting plates for your restaurant. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best I’ve found on the market, despite my repurposing of it. I buy nearly all my slate from Slateplate. That said, they do host some products for home and decoration purposes, like their tealight holdersand their Slate garden markers. But even the slate that they purpose toward food products work wonders as simple decorating items.
They can be used in the kitchen to hold hot serving platters, in bathrooms to raise tissue boxes, on hallway stands to highlight vases or other knick knacks. You can even have holes drilled into them in order to hang them on walls. They smooth and sand their slates to perfection, oil it accordingly, and they all contain that desirable jet black color that’s necessary for the decor portion. The lovely folks at Slateplate will also engrave nearly anything onto their slates, in any location on the slate, though typically in the bottom right unless otherwise specified. You can submit your own designs, words, and images, or simply choose from their stock selection. They’re non-stick and non-slip, so they work marvelously on any surface. Tables, counters, backs of toilets, carpet, anything really.
They, therefore, make wonderful gifts. I often get my friends’ initials engraved into the bottom corners and then suggest placements for the slates where the slate can host one of their most prized possessions. Anything from figurines to stand-up photo frames. The slate will complement nearly any setting.
But of course, even used for their intended purpose of food service, will liven up any kitchen. Simply serving or eating off of the slate makes any kitchen instantly more posh, and an absolute unique delight to dine in. Slate is simply perfect when you’re avoiding that florid overuse of decoration and simply trying to achieve that minimalistic subtle feel to any room.