A Fresh Modern Twist On a Beloved Old-World Material

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: This Old Hudson)

Plaster is the timeless superhero of wall treatments. It blocks sound, acts as great insulation, is harder than drywall, and adds a special texture and feel that plain paint can’t achieve. This classic, beautiful wall treatment has been around for hundreds of years, but it’s been cropping up lately in more modern ways and colors, and we’re here for it.

(Image credit: This Old Hudson)

Above, we love the subtle wall in this rustic kitchen from Zio and Sons’ This Old Hudson, especially paired with the shiny zellige tiles and paneling below — it’s a great combo. Above, it looks gray, but in the lead image, it reads a cool light blue. Either way it’s gorgeous.

(Image credit: Skye McAlpine/Cup of Jo)

We love how adding pigment to the plaster gives it a fresh modern dimension. Jersey Ice Cream Co. recently transformed Skye McAlpine‘s kitchen, and its blush pink wall has since made the rounds on design blogs and social media. It feels both worn and storied, and current and modern.

Adventures in Cooking’s Eva Kosmas Flores went totally and moody and dark when she remodeled her garage into a study. The navy blue plaster backdrop gives her photos a rich, textured look that feels authentic and warm.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Roberts Design)

Architect Elizabeth Roberts used Tadelakt in the bathroom of this Prospect Heights townhouse, which is a traditional Moroccan wall finish made from lime plaster and soap. Because there are no grout lines, and it’s naturally mold resistant, tadelakt is a nice option for kitchen and baths —although it is labor intensive to apply, and therefore not the cheapest option out there.

This material lends itself to subtle nuances, which make a big impact in a space. Take this two-tone wall by Jersey Ice Cream Co. The crisp line separating the two shades, paired with the brushed texture, is a nice juxtaposition.

(Image credit: Kris Seymore)

In this charming Portland 1920s Cape Cod style cottage, seen on Design Sponge, owners David and Kimberly kept their home’s original plaster walls around the fireplace. The plaster walls definitely give the room a sense of warmth and character.

(Image credit: Cometa Architects)

This shower featured in the Tzia house designed by Cometa Architects features floor to ceiling plaster walls. The texture makes the whole shower feel luxurious and a little otherworldly, like a hidden vacation spa spot that no one has discovered yet.