As much as we lean into timeless home decor and thoughtful decorating practices, knowing the longevity of an interior design trend can feel impossible. Though little harm is done if you have bought a small home accessory that can easily be switched out, if you have gone and retiled an entire bathroom or kitchen floor, committing hard to a trend can be risky.
Luckily, interior design trends are incredibly circular and you can guarantee if you give it long enough they will come back around. And that is what we are currently seeing with this once outdated tile trend - terrazzo. We've spoken with many designers recently asking them for their trend predictions for the year, and oddly this unexpected material is having a second resurgence after we all went crazy for it a few years back.
Is terrazzo back in style?
Tile trends may sound niche, but consider how much space they take up in your kitchen or bathroom, they are often as dominant as the color of the fixtures. So they deserve plenty of consideration and if you are redesigning a bathroom, having an idea of what tiles are in and which are out is key.
So in recent conversations with designers on the topic of tile trends for 2024, we picked up on the surprising revival of terrazzo 'microtrend' that we thought was over.
Irregular, flecks of earthy blue, brown, red against an eggshell white, the classic Italian terrazzo tile had a very strong resurgence a few years back, but it did get to the point where it was becoming overused and even starting to look dated.
Though it made a brief revival in last year's kitchen countertop trends, we had suspected that its moment had politely passed. That is until interior designer Mikel Welch first mentioned the material again when we spoke with him recently. He opened with ‘I never knew I would be a fan of terrazzo...'
Mikel Welch is a New York-based interior designer and the founder of Mikel Welch Designs. Mikel shares his best renovation tips with viewers of Quibi's Murder House Flip and is a former on-air personality of TLC’s Trading Spaces, with his designs having been featured on HGTV, The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, and Good Morning America. Mikel's work is admired by several publications and he has had the honor of designing lavish VIP green rooms for prominent personalities, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Faith Hill, Steve Harvey, Harry Connick Jr., Joan Rivers, and Halle Berry.
Admittedly, we did also not expect terrazzo to be one of the ‘palettes’ we would be enjoying again, and so soon. But according to Mikel, it's part of a ‘new movement’ we are seeing in design, including a shift towards silver and metallic spaces, moving away from the softer modern farmhouse style looks that have reigned in trends for so long.
‘I'm just as surprised I am enjoying the continuation of terrazzo,’ said Mikel, who happened to be seeing his own design thoughts play out before him as he looked down at the floor of his hotel lobby. ‘I'm sitting here in the lobby of this hotel that I am in right now, and this floor is terrazzo as well.’
As we have seen with the previously ‘classic’ subway tile, and even more recently, Zellige tiles, this tile trend seemed to have lost its spark a couple of years ago, but it is back. ‘I think we're going to keep seeing Terrazzo,’ said Mikel, describing it as ‘a revival.’
‘It is like one of those songs, that we stepped away from a minute, but now we're coming back to it, so I think the terrazzo is going to live, yes.’
Mikel is not alone in seeing the design potential of terrazzo in our homes once again. Terrazzo tile is an esteemed and enduring style, particularly in Europe. Terrazzo bathrooms might have slightly disappeared for a few years there, but can such a classic look ever really fall out of fashion?
‘In my opinion, Terrazzo has never gone out of style,’ interior designer Amy Youngblood tells H&G. ‘With its classic Venetian roots, it adds a certain look and interest to any space. In fact, I’ve worked on a few historical renovation projects where the Terrazzo floors were actually restored as the owner felt it was worth preserving them. Plus, terrazzo also comes in a variety of color combinations and additives that make it super adaptable and fun to work with!’
Interior designer Kati Curtis also appreciates Terrazzo and its unique beauty: 'Terrazzo, an age-old flooring composite, continues to make its mark in the modern world of interior design. Balancing resilience with visual charm, this material is a sterling example of timeless aesthetics that never fade.'
Kati energizes spaces with a fearless commitment to pattern and texture, color, and motif. That commitment is invigorated by friends, mentors, and clients who share her design passions and passion for design. It’s reinvigorated by Kati’s travel bug, which has taken her around the world.
How can you decorate with terrazzo in 2024?
As with any trend resurgence, it usually has a glow up, and there's a different approach the next time around. For terrazzo, it just comes down to not overdoing it and being more mindful of where and how we bring it into the home.
Instead of using terrazzo as an accent in itself, use it to subtly enhance tone, and add dimension to a room so that it elevates an existing blend of interior design styles. Interior designer and founder of Arsight, Artem Kropovinsky also endorses a quieter approach to keep terrazzo on-trend and fresh: ‘Be minimal and thoughtful with how you incorporate this material,’ he advises.
Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and the founder of Arsight, a global award-winning design firm with over a decade of experience in residential and commercial interior design. With a cohesive team of professionals, Arsight specializes in tackling complex projects, including new constructions, complete residential renovations, restaurants, and retail stores. Their designs embrace authenticity and originality, utilizing natural materials and handcrafted elements for a unique and cohesive aesthetic.
Rather than making terrazzo the entire theme of a space, let it simply complement the overall design atmosphere you are trying to create. ‘The conventional way of employing terrazzo is being replaced with a novel approach,’ continues Artem. ‘The attractiveness of terrazzo lies in its ability to be customized according to individual preferences.’
It is the fact that this tile material can be tailored to suit the character and aesthetic of different homes, that makes it a great contender for bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, and even entryway floors. Not to mention the fact that it is durable and always being reinvented.
‘Minimalist style settings can benefit greatly from the use of terrazzo. It achieves balance by using appropriate textures and bold patterns. The appeal of terrazzo lies in its durability,' continues Artem who notes that there is more focus on the sustainable production of Terrazzo tile too.
‘The incorporation of recycled materials in its production signifies the growing emphasis on sustainability in the industry. Large, colorful Terrazzo tiles are gaining popularity as they are being used to transform surfaces into pieces of art. The bold move is drawing interest from both the creative industry and the general public.’
Does Terrazzo look good in a traditional home?
New terrazzo designs mean that you can use it in both contemporary and more traditional home settings. When used thoughtfully, Terrazzo tile will create a beautiful finish and remain timeless. Kati Curtis notes how modern-day terrazzo can suit spaces with different characters: 'Personally, I love terrazzo for its remarkable adaptability, its kaleidoscope of color choices and tailorable patterns, allows it to grace various decor styles - be it classic or modern - with ease
'Furthermore, its eco-responsibility, due to its construction from recycled elements, resonates with today's trend of eco-conscious design. Thus, even with its historical roots, the persistent stylistic importance of terrazzo is indisputable.'
For even more longevity, choose a cohesive design in the space, and do not go overboard with where you use it throughout your entire home. You want to aim for balance and avoid being ‘obvious’ with trends anyhow. Used well, Terrazzo can be a kitchen countertop that never goes out of style, bring balance to a modern bathroom, or interest to a bland entryway.
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Camille is the former deputy editor of Real Homes where she covered a broad range of topics, including house tours, small space design, and gardens. She studied English language and Italian at the University of Manchester and during a year abroad studying linguistics and history of art in Bologna, Italy she started documenting her adventures and observations in a blog. Camille is always creating and spends her downtime painting, taking photos, traveling, and writing short stories.
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