Eight ways to use Terrazzo and create a speckled look
Best in class: Terrazzo is cropping up in home accessories everywhere
1. A SUSTAINABLE SURFACE
Terrazzo as we know it today has its origins in Renaissance-era Venice when Venetian construction workers mixed scraps of marble from upscale jobs with clay to create inexpensive flooring for their own homes and patios. Today it can consist of marble, quartz, granite, recycled glass, porcelain, concrete, and metal aggregates, mixed with cement or epoxy and polished to produce a sustainable, smooth surface. Concrete Design Studios can design a kitchen island, similar in size to the two metres by one metre one pictured, using white titanium oxide, for about €5,600, ex VAT and can also provide a huge range of funky new colours. The plant box, 60cm by 65cm by 25cm is by Ferm Living. It comes in three colours; black, pictured, and light or dark grey and is available to order online from UK-based Nest or Belfast-based Maven. It costs about €199, ex delivery.
2. A COHESIVE KITCHEN
Paris-based architectural and interior design practice Atelier du Pont created a very beautiful reimagining of a Hausmann-era apartment in Paris’ second arrondissement on Rue Etienne Marcel. It features honey-coloured oak parquet underfoot, laid out in a herringbone pattern but it is the use of terrazzo on the shelving and kitchen counter top and in the inset open shelves to the rear that knits the kitchen area is a slick, cohesive fashion. PJ Ryan Terrazzo is a very adept local specialist that says a similar-sized kitchen will cost from about €8,000.
3. AN INDULGENT SPACE
This Ceppo Stone on the walls and floor of this bathroom features unhoned tiles from Spanish firm Porcelanosa that will feel gorgeous underfoot if used in conjunction with some form of underfloor heating. It will turn a washroom into an indulgent place to spend time. The 80cm squares cost about €84, per square metre, and is currently reduced from €112, at the sale at Ballymount-based TileStyle which ends Sunday, June 2nd.
4. A CHEAPER APPROACH
The problem with home trends in our modern, digital world is that an idea becomes so hot as to be almost uniformly embraced whether you live in Melbourne, Williamsburg or Waterford. Steel Crittal-style windows and doors, for example, houseplants, palm print fabrics and wallpapers are other examples. Even terrazzo, a material that is centuries old may just feel over and not worth its significant investment. If that’s the side of the fence you’re on, try a fashion accessory instead, like this handmade black and white coloured Tessia tray, from Lene Bjerre, comes in two sizes; 30cm by 30cm, about €34, and 40cm by 15cm, about €31, both excluding delivery.
5. THE UNDERFOOT OPTION
One of the great ways to use terrazzo is underfoot, in conjunction with underfloor heating but if you have problems with the heating system it can be very costly to have to dig up the terrazzo and indeed repair it afterwards. Terrazzo-look porcelain tiles might be a smarter option and will prove better at conducting heat. These slate grey Autore Navigli 120cm squares feature a tone-on-tone charcoal-coloured grout and the tiles cost €123.50 per square metre from Italian Tile & Stone. The tiles are also available in smaller formats; 60cm and 30cm squares and 5.7cm by 60cm rectangles and prices for these start from €72psm. If this is too dark for you then try Parade, a paler option that is flecked with gorgeous gold through its 60cm by 120cm shapes. This costs €110 psm and is also available in smaller formats.
6. ONE LAMP, TWO WAYS
Figure is a stylish lamp whose shape can be customised in one of two ways. The 17cm high by 18cm wide light can be triangular in shape or plant pot-shaped. Designed by Studio Fragmenture for Serax this building material is characterised by its speckled, graphic and refined effect and mixes splinters of marble, natural stone and white cement. It thus forms a mosaic that has existed since ancient times. The lamp is available to buy from French site Nedgis and costs about €98, ex delivery.
7. A KITCHEN CLOCK
One of the reasons for terrazzo’s reprise is the trending of all things 1980s, including the Memphis movement and Japanese designer Shiro Kuramata’s work with Memphis Milano featured the material with coloured glass infused pieces. His pieces sell from about €5,000, excluding delivery, on collectable sites like 1st Dibs but a far more affordable way to buy is this quartz movement kitchen Tom clock by Netherlands-based Karlsson. Its pink form, 26cm in diameter, has black hands, a red second hand and costs about €98, ex delivery the Design Gift Shop.
Accessories are a really easy way to work this trend into your existing set-up. This lidded terrazzo jar, one of a set of two by Hübsch Interior, and seen on the middle shelf of this claret-coloured unit, will work as a object or as a functional storage jar within your kitchen. The jars measure 9cm by 11cm and 11cm by 14cm. The set costs about €45, ex delivery from German-based Einrichten Design.