One of the more surprising trends I've noticed in the past year is the frequent use of terrazzo in residential interiors. This ubiquitous composite material is more commonly associated with schools, metro stations, and 1970s office buildings than with our homes.
But everything old is new again, or so they say. And terrazzo is definitely old—invented in 15th-century Venice as a way of using up marble remnants, it's been in use ever since as an extremely durable surface. Composed of chips of marble, granite, quartz, and/or glass suspended in a cement or polymer binder, terrazzo can be made in nearly any color and has often been used to create intricate, mosaic-like designs.
The new terrazzo, however, is simpler, as seen above in a Melbourne home by Nest Architects. I see it as an alternative to other more-commonly available hard flooring finishes; warmer than marble, more interesting than polished concrete, and more minimal than tile, it hits a sweet spot, that's for sure. That is, if you can get past the faintly commercial, institutional connotation. Can you?
- Designer Ilse Popelier used terrazzo to stunning effect in this bedroom.
- I'm really into the black and white bits in the floor of this Melbourne home by Steffan Welsch Architects via Home Adore.
- This 1952 California home was recently restored by Marmol Radziner—via Archinect—with period-appropriate grey terrazzo floors.
- This Swedish loft found on Bjurfors via Decoholic looks cool and collected with its pale terrazzo floor.
- Terrazzo blends perfectly with the other finishes in this home by Frederic Kielemoes.
- Architect Claire Cousins' home, found via Afflante, is a beautiful example of how concrete-cast terrazzo is the perfect indoor-outdoor flooring.
- Used in a kitchen, like this one from Martha Stewart, terrazzo is perfect: seamless and easy to clean.
- This is maybe a bit much, but there's something undeniably cool about this bathroom tiled in a designer terrazzo called Marmoreal by dzek.
- & 10. There's only one word for this custom terrazzo floor—by AREA via Divisaire—full of huge, geometric pieces of marble: lush.
I'm sold! What about you?
(Image credits: Home Adore; Ilse Popelier; Steffen Welsch Architects; Joe Fletcher for Marmol Radziner; Bjurfors; Cafeine for Frederic Kielemoes; Shannon McGrath for Clare Cousins Architects; Martha Stewart; Brian Ferry for Dzek; Ioanna Roufopoulou for AREA)