The Terrazzo Comeback

This past week at BIRDBLACK DESIGN, we revealed our ‘Gymea Residence 1’ ensuite.

At our first meeting with our client, we discovered the existing ensuite was exceptionally beige and ready for some rejuvenation. As a result, we wanted to transform this room into the perfect parents’ retreat.

As our client loved the existing layout, our brief for this ensuite was to keep the spaces similar adding functionality and elegance with a hint of industrial style. In order to transform the tired space into a parents’ retreat, we carefully selected complementing products, fixtures and finishes, which in conjunction with each other, created an atmosphere of calm and tranquillity. The use of luxe, elegant terrazzo tiles, a timber vanity, a concrete benchtop and custom gunmetal tapware allowed us to achieve this seamlessly.

The tiles within this space ooze opulence. We installed a combination of two stunning porcelain terrazzo tiles: white for the window wall and a grey tile for the floor and vanity wall. The darker grey tile definitely grounds the space, while the lighter wall tile creates the illusion of a larger, more grandeur space. We love the lappato finish these tiles feature as it presents a slight sheen effect. Who loves the comeback of terrazzo? We certainly do!

What is terrazzo? Terrazzo is a man-made product consisting of chips of granite, glass, quartz or marble set in concrete. The concrete is subsequently polished for a smooth surface. The history of this product dates back to the Venetian era where it was much easier and cheaper to lay terrazzo in comparison to mosaics. Therefore this material became one of the most popular choices for flooring. During the mid-twentieth century, terrazzo was the material of choice for many public buildings, streets, shop floors, airports, schools and public toilets. Thankfully it’s back and as beautiful as ever!

Terrazzo brings a very distinctive visual feature. It can be used boldly within an interior bringing vitality and strength, or in a more subtle, elegant manner like we did n our Gymea ensuite. It is available in both tile and slab form. Due to the product being a custom man-made product, it can also be poured in place or precast into a custom mould. The below vanity designed by Natalie Dubrovska at Dubrovska Studio is an example of a custom terrazzo vanity with integrated sinks. The speckled grey and black terrazzo in contrast with the exquisite brass tapware is simply stunning.

Terrazzo is available in an endless array of colours and aggregate sizes. Additionally, you can also alter the concentrate of the aggregate to suit your individual tastes. The below terrazzo called Marmoreal designed by British designer Max Lamb. This terrazzo features large aggregate pieces of marble. The combination of different marbles is spectacular.

Terrazzo can be applied in many areas of an interior: walls, floors, benchtops, even basins. Due to being a custom product, the options for Interior Design are endless. We love this kitchen designed by Rolies Architects. The design features terrazzo on the kitchen island, back benchtop and splashback.  It also includes terrazzo tiling for the flooring. Too much? We don’t think so! It is a dramatic yet elegant kitchen statement.