Alabaster can be interpreted in one of two ways. If we're speaking to an art student, visions of centuries-old statues may come to mind, while interior designers may describe it as the go-to creamy shade of white. And truthfully, any of the above would be correct. Alabaster is both a stone and a color.
Named after the (now) trendy, translucent, milky-white stone, alabaster—in color speak—is a semi-off-white hue that boasts the perfect amount of greige undertones. It's a subtle white that's neither overly warm nor overly cool—think: The Goldilocks of whites with hints of both gray and beige undertones. Alabaster brightens up any space with its ability to reflect light, all without making it feel cold and stark. In other words, it's just right.
Ahead, 11 ways to incorporate alabaster into just about any space in your home, from your ceilings to your floors and everything in between.
Try a Limewash
Limewash is made of limestone that's been crushed, burned, and mixed with water to create lime putty, then thinned with water and dyed with natural pigments. The mixture creates a matte, chalky, suede-like texture and adds so much depth to any wall. An alabaster limewash is the epitome of a winning interior design combo. This easy bathroom setup feels like a million bucks, almost for no particular reason, right? Trust us, it's the walls.
Play With Contrast
Again, alabaster is technically a shade of white, but the contrast you get when pairing it with an actual bright white proves it is a tone all its own. The canvas in this office with an abstract motif and off-white alabaster background pops off the cool white paint on the walls. Using the stone-inspired greige as an accent color in a white room feels minimalist but actually boasts a maximalist design trait.
Bring in Neutrals
The beauty of alabaster is the greige undertones help classify it as a free-standing neutral, rather than just a plain shade of white. Pairing it with additional neutrals like grays, blacks, and wood tones gives any space—like this formal dining room—tons of dimension and color without going overboard. This final design feels soft, minimal, and neutral, yet still makes a major impact.
Think About Tiles
You've seen bright-white subway tile in every setting, from a kitchen backsplash to shower walls, but this tonal design that incorporates two alabaster-colored tiles is serene as it is stylish. The honeycomb floor tile paired with an alabaster basket-pattern subway tile on the walls, contrasted by bright white and brass accents, is a winning combination. Just imagine soaking the day away in this relaxing space.
Add Sculptural Pieces
From lighting fixtures to tabletop statues and candles—like these luxury candles by Trudon—alabaster stone is the most Instagrammable material in home décor right now. It's impossible to scroll through your feed and not catch a glimpse of an alabaster statue casually stacked on top of a collection of fashion books. Instantly dress up your vanity or add a trendy touch to your living room coffee table via a milky-white sculpture. And the best part is you can find pieces that make your home feel expensive on any budget.
Try a Textured Wallpaper
A soft and muted shade of alabaster looks expensive to begin with, but it takes any style of décor to the next level when you incorporate texture. The off-white shade of grasscloth on the walls in this formal dining room adds a subtle yet luxe touch. The additions of crystal chandeliers, oversized art, candles, fresh flowers, and various textures further set the tone for hosting fabulous dinner parties.
Add an Area Rug
Oversized area rugs are an excellent choice for infusing color into any space—not to mention hiding floors you're not exactly fond of. Case in point: This alabaster rug works wonders for brightening up such a dark living area. The charcoal-colored walls, dark wood tones, and deep blue furniture can read a bit moody on their own, but the rug makes lighter-colored elements like the wall art, pottery and books pop.
Upholstered pieces set the tone for any space—especially the couch in your living room. And while we love a good statement sofa, picking one in a soft alabaster shade leaves so much room for additional design elements. The alabaster couch in this space acts as a clean canvas, leaving room for you to play with color everywhere else. Toss in some colorful throw pillows, flowers, and multicolored wall art, and you have yourself a striking space that doesn't feel the least bit overwhelming.
Bring in an Accent Color
Alabaster boasts the power to add so much warmth to any space. Use that to your advantage and incorporate the soft greige shade in every aspect of your décor. This bedroom includes alabaster tones from floor to ceiling, starting with hints woven into the rug to the upholstered bed frame and throw blanket, then working its way up into the capiz pendant lamp. These elements work together to make this bedroom look and feel its most inviting.
An all-white room could feel bland, but an alabaster room? That's the quickest way to achieve a glam look. We love how this bedroom incorporates a perfectly greige shade of alabaster from floor to ceiling, from the throw blanket at the edge of the bed to the paint on the walls, curtains, and color of the ceiling. And as an added element of design, the subtle print on the ceiling feels special without completely stealing the show. Finally, incorporating black and white accents makes the alabaster really shine.
As previously mentioned, alabaster is a stone, and not to be confused with white marble, this warm white material makes for a gorgeous countertop. However, just like marble, every piece of alabaster is unique, so it's important to handpick each piece you add to your kitchen design.