The Modern Way to Decorate With Terrazzo

published Jul 4, 2018
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(Image credit: Cat Meschia)

What once was old is new again, and nothing proves that more than the recent resurgence of the retro terrazzo trend. It was a classic staple during the ’70s, when everything from floors to kitchen countertops was covered in the stone material with its confetti-like chips. But while it might remind you of your childhood kitchen or your grandma’s powder room floor, terrazzo has a long history that extends way past the 20th century—examples have even been found in ancient mosaics in Egypt.

But the Venetians were the ones who made the style famous: 15th-century palace owners wanted to find a budget-friendly alternative to mosaics when it came to paving their terraces. So they had their construction workers throw leftover pieces of marble in a mortar base, and then grind the stones smooth to create a polished floor. It took until 1890 for the trend to hit the United States, but it didn’t become popular until the 1920s, when Art Deco took off. Now, nearly a hundred years later, the style is making its way back into the mainstream.

Using chips of marble, quartz, or granite in concrete or resin, the pattern has been making its rounds on everything from credenza cabinets, to bathroom walls, to cabinet knobs, and even paper plates. To see how to work the look in a modern way, check out some of the design examples and home accents below.

For those with a spunky sense of style and a daring attitude when it comes to going all-in with a trend, you can cover every surface in your bathroom with a retro terrazzo, matching the walls to the floor.

If you prefer a more subdued accent, this rose colored bathroom with concrete flooring is underscored with a blush pink terrazzo that breaks the space up and adds a “color block” effect.

For a playful kitchen with a vintage-inspired design, you can pick out a chunkier terrazzo with muted shades. Accent the space with blush pink chairs and gold hardware to make the pattern look less “18th-century Venetian aristocrat” and more “2018 breakfast nook.”

You can also let your freak flag fly and mix two different terrazzo patterns together, just like this bathroom in a guest suite at The Siren Hotel in Detroit. The mint green speckled sink both clashes with and complements the black and white checkered terrazzo tiling, making for an interesting pairing.

(Image credit: The Siren Hotel)

Or contrast a bulkier terrazzo motif with a color-blocked marble.

If you want to play with the trend in your home but aren’t quite ready to call the contractors to tear up the flooring, then there are more temporary ways to thread the ’70s look into your space, like these eye-catching products.

(Image credit: Urban Outfitters)

A confetti of turquoise stone set in maroon resin makes for a bold side table or night stand. Bonus points if you match it with something mustard to really make the unexpected color pairing pop.

(Image credit: Target)

Or take the freckled print and express it through a credenza, surrounding it with modern pieces like a gold framed mirror and the latest trendy house plant to make it feel more modern.

(Image credit: Jet)

If pink isn’t your color, then there’s also a blue-grey credenza with dinner-plate-sized chunks of stone.

(Image credit: Overstock)

Bring the playful pattern to your kitchen or breakfast bar with these gold geometric bar stools in a blue terrazzo cushion.

(Image credit: Etsy/Livettes)

Channel a coastal style through the print by introducing blue and white terrazzo wallpaper to your bedroom or office.

(Image credit: Etsy/KerenDenisCom)

Transform a plain wall into an eclectic nook with self-adhesive sticker wallpaper. This particular dusty shade would look great with white tones and blonde woods.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

For a subtler nod towards the textured pattern, you can add it to your kitchen or bathroom in the form of marble and brass knobs.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

And if you’re the type that likes their handles to match their knobs, we have you covered.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Speaking of kitchen accents, this butter dish brings major class to your counter with its marble, twine, and butcher-block-like resin motif.

(Image credit: Etsy/Tramake)

Or save your coffee table from wine glass and coffee cup ring stains with these rose, goldenrod, and blue-green coasters.