Alabaster or Onyx in luxury interior design

Atelier Alain Ellouz has become a master craftsman in alabaster design, creating luxury tables, counter bars, contemporary wall lights and other luxury interior design projects from this elegant natural stone.

There are different types of Alabaster, though typically only the one type is used and in fairly regular formations. On first impressions, alabaster can be compared with onyx, another natural stone usually used for the same purpose. However, there are many subtle differences between the two, many of which we are going to examine here.


The different effects of backlighting with onyx and alabaster

Firstly, when backlit – an effect used in the majority of Atelier Alain Ellouz alabaster creations – alabaster gives off an ethereal, white glow. The light is so bright and natural that it seems to originate from the stone itself. Alabaster is often compared with marble in interior design, but marble cannot be backlit so if you are looking for a luxury lighting design you must go with alabaster or onyx.


When backlit, the light given off by onyx is more yellow in colour. This difference in brilliance relates partly to the stone itself, but in the case of Atelier Alain Ellouz it is mainly attributed to the rigorous selection process. Only the purest alabaster mined is used in the Atelier Alain Ellouz workshop, and even then only the most brilliant centre of each piece is often deemed worthy for use. Because his selection process is so exclusive, the alabaster is always guaranteed to give off stunning, natural-looking light.


Assembling and joining alabaster and onyx

Pure alabaster has a uniform grain, is snow-white in colour but with natural veins running through. Much more fragile than onyx, alabaster can easily be cut with a hand saw. All of Atelier Alain Ellouz’s creations are hand finished: like a carpenter creating a wooden chair, Atelier Alain Ellouz sculptors mould the alabaster into the desired shape, creating forms and volumes unique to alabaster.


Furthermore, those unfamiliar with alabaster may expect it to be cold to the touch, like marble. However, another similarity it shares with wood is that it is actually warm to the touch. This feeling of comfort and natural beauty is further achieved by the lack of artificial joins in alabaster creations. The purest alabaster slabs are assembled edge by edge without the need for dark, artificial joins and are instead protected with a finishing treatment which maintains the warmth and softness of the stone.


Natural veins in stone

Arguably the most beautiful aspects of alabaster and onyx are their natural patterns. The backlighting of these rocks highlights the organic veins running through, meaning every piece created is entirely unique. Whilst the veins in onyx are rather darker in colour than the stone itself, the ‘imperfections’ in alabaster stone shine brighter than the stone itself, like shafts of pure light running through.


Onyx and alabaster are both beautiful, natural stones, ideally suited for creating stunning pieces of interior design from luxury chandeliers to luxury fireplaces. When choosing between the two, first identify the result you want and then you can discover which stone is better suited to your needs. Whichever way you go, you are guaranteed a beautiful result.