Terrazzo has been talked about for awhile now but this blog hasn’t been around long so it’s my turn to share my love for this amazing material.
Terrazzo is a sort of polished concrete that is made up of chips of marble, quartz, glass and granite and has a real mosaic look. It’s like tickertape, confetti and 1980s pop art all rolled into one bright and brilliant pattern.
Now for the history bit. Terrazzo originated in Italy where quarry workers used to use the stone off-cuts as flooring for their own homes. It become popular in the post-war era as an alternative to the more expensive marble and granite options which is why you’ll probably most associate it with places like train stations and airports.
But it’s far too pretty a material to be confined to corporate common areas and public transport hubs. Something that postmodernist designer Ettore Sottsass sought to rectify in the early 1980s when he founded the Memphis Group, a design collective that brought bold and colourful geometric designs and patterns to life.
So here are some of my favourite ways that Terrazzo can be used at home.
Ettore Table Lamp (€49), Oliver Bonas. Described as industrial chic, we can only assume that this terrazzo-stone effect base lamp is named after Ettore Sottsass himself.
Let your stairs be a focus rather than just a walkway just like in the beautiful Café Paradiso in Geneva by Nomos Architects. Here a terrazzo made of fragments of black and white Carrara marble and red Verona marble come together to make a real focal point. Head to Tiles.ie in Rathgar for some inspiration.
This Hay geometric cushion (£39) from Nest.co.uk is based on the patterns designer Nathalie du Pasquier, one of the founding members of the Memphis Group, and will sure add a serious pop of colour wherever you place it.
This Confetti coffee table from Swedish designers Fish and Pink comes in a medium (€890) as pictured above and a slightly larger version also available on CrowdyHouse.com (€1,400).
On sale from the 23rd of April, this beautiful Terrazzo Wallpaper (€72 per roll) from Ferm Living is available in a rose or grey. While they suggest it for use in a child’s bedroom, I see no reason why the grown-ups can’t have some added sparkle too. And you don’t even need to confine it to the walls à la Great Interior Design Challenge winner Daniela Tasca-York when she used it on the ceilings of this teenage girl’s bedroom scheme.
As I keep saying, wallpaper should not just be for walls. If you love a pattern or design then there is no need to limit yourself. Transforming a table top is probably one of the easiest things to do to make a piece unique and interesting. Just look at how Ferm Living has laid out that beautiful rose Terrazzo wallpaper (granted they probably didn’t cover the table).
However, it’s quite simple to do. All you need is your table (obviously), your chosen wallpaper, your wallpaper paste and brush (to get rid of any bubbles) and then about two coats of waterproof varnish on top to seal it.
Have fun x