Terrazzo, which was once thought of as dowdy and terribly unfashionable, is now being coined the “new marble.” Although widely known for its use in schools and government buildings in the 70s, this material has a much longer history. Some reports claim it originated in 15th century Italy while others say examples date back as far as 9,000 BC.
Terrazzo consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, or glass, which are set into a matrix of concrete or resin. Once solid, the surface is polished smooth. The chips range in size and colour so there are a myriad of design possibilities.
Jesmonite, which has a similar aesthetic to terrazzo, is another popular option due to it’s eco-friendly benefits. The material is also light, durable, adaptable – so you can produce intricate details and textures – and easy to colour. Two top names to look out for are Dzek and Olivia Aspinall Studio. Dzek have created a special proprietary terrazzo, or engineered marble, called marmoreal which comes in both black and white.
Despite its enduring presence, terrazzo only really started to become fashionable in 2017, with its popularity expected to increase further this year. The technique is most commonly found in flooring but its use has spread to walls, coffee tables and even lighting and tableware. Advances in engineering now mean it is possible to pre-cast the compound, making it easier to mould into whatever form you please.
Putting it into practice…
With both highstreet shops and designers jumping on board, it’s easy to introduce terrazzo or jesmonite into your home. For the more cautious, perhaps start with a bowl, lamp base or imitation cushion. If you’re feeling more adventurous, dress your walls with patterned wallpaper or tile surfaces in your kitchen or bathroom.
The shopping edit
However you intend to embrace this trend, it’s the perfect way to add colour and pattern all in one go.
Top photo credit: The Siren Hotel by The Venue Report