1. Home
  2. Design Ideas

Terrazzo Patterns in Modern Design

Terrazzo is no longer just for floor tile. In fact, terrazzo-inspired patterns have once again come to the forefront of modern design, thanks in part to a Memphis-Milano revival, also known as the New Memphis. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first delve into the basics of terrazzo tile. From there, we’ll see how the pattern itself has been celebrated in recent years, whether it’s placed on the floor or sprinkled onto the surface of modern jewelry!… [terrazzo room by designer Max Lamb, photo by Danilo Scarpati for The New York Times]

Terrazzo room by Max Lamb

The 411 on Terrazzo

Originally consisting of marble chips suspended in cement, terrazzo flooring has evolved to include a range of materials, such as epoxy bases and recycled glass bits (even mirror). The top is then ground, polished and sealed for a smooth finish. Terrazzo flooring is hardy, making it the perfect choice for high-traffic areas. [photo by Zakalak Restoration]

Terrazzo restoration by Zakalak Restoration

No wonder so many commercial spaces utilize terrazzo tile! Examples of these locations include shopping malls, hospitals, office buildings, museums and schools. [photo from BPM Select]

Commercial space featuring terrazzo tile

Terrazzo flooring is becoming increasingly popular in modern homes, as varieties created with recycled content are appealing for eco-conscious consumers. Not to mention, the flooring’s durability is appealing for design lovers wanting to select materials that last. [photo from Miris Windows & Doors via Houzz]

Modern kitchen featuring terrazzo flooring

Terrazzo isn’t limited to flooring. For example, terrazzo shower tile can provide a sturdy solution that’s also big on style. [photo from Swell Property via Houzz]

Modern bathroom with terrazzo shower tile

Let’s now take a closer look at terrazzo, noticing the pattern created by bits suspended in a base material. It’s no surprise that designers from movements such as Memphis-Milano have embraced the look. For example, a black and white terrazzo pattern comes to life when combined with vibrant hues such as bright yellow and turquoise. [terrazzo from Brad Hedges]

Terrazzo from Brad Hedges

A Terrazzo Revival

Current modern design trends have once again brought terrazzo to the forefront. For example, today’s design realm celebrates mixed materials, emphasizing the texture and sheen of substances such as marble, brass and granite. Terrazzo has a textured look and a visually ornate feel, yet when the overall form of a terrazzo piece is kept simple, the finished product is sleek and modern. This Keyhole Terrazzo Table from Terrazzo by Lorenzo combines clean lines and curves with a terrazzo top:

Keyhole terrazzo table from Terrazzo by Lorenzo

For another example of a terrazzo table with geo flair, check out Hexagon, a low side table designed by Roderick Vos. Using a wet cast method that involves pouring a fluid mix into a mold, letting it harden, then grinding and polishing the top, Vos has crafted a sleek piece that can be combined with other Hexagon tables to create a functional focal point for the room of your choice. [via Moco Loco]

Hexagonal terrazzo table with modern style

This Midcentury biomorphic coffee table from 1stdibs dealer Mark Frisman proves that terrazzo furniture is hardly a new concept:

Terrazzo coffee table from 1stdibs dealer Mark Frisman

Terrazzo style isn’t limited to the world of furniture. In fact, the New Memphis movement (which puts a modern twist on the Memphis-Milano movement of the 1980s) has appropriated terrazzo patterns in clever new ways. This terrazzo-style necklace from Cool Machine is a celebration of color and form:

Clay necklace from Cool Machine

Also from Cool Machine is this irresistible necklace featuring a terrazzo-motif triangle with a pattern that resembles floor tile. Yet when combined with a spherical bead and bright blue cording, it’s given a new (and exciting) context:

Terrazzo-motif necklace from Cool Machine

Terrazzo patterns have also found their way onto textiles, as shown by Urban Outfitters’ Terrazzo Collage Tapestry, perfect for pulling both wall art and blanket duty:

Terrazzo tapestry from Urban Outfitters

Here’s another Urban Outfitters wall tapestry featuring terrazzo, this time with the addition of stripes. Geo motifs meet visual texture:

Terrazzo tapestry with stripes from Urban Outfitters

ferm LIVING’s Terrazzo Cushion in Dark Blue combines hand-printed canvas with a colorful border for a subtle yet striking terrazzo effect:

Terrazzo cushion from ferm LIVING

The cushion is also available in Bordeaux for a rosy variation…

Patterned terrazzo pillow from ferm LIVING

Online marketplace Society6 is bursting at the seams with terrazzo patterns, which can be printed on items ranging from pillows and blankets to shower curtains and wall art. Here are a couple of our favorites from Oh Clog (Terrazzo Pattern 2 and Terrazzo Pattern 3):

Terrazzo artwork from Oh Clog

Urban Outfitters brings terrazzo flair to your powder room with the Killian Terrazzo Shower Curtain. A modern pattern combines with washable cotton fabric for a fun, functional decorative statement:

Terrazzo shower curtain from Urban Outfitters

Don’t forget that terrazzo patterns can make a big impact on the smallest of accessories. These Terrazzo Notebooks from Form Maker are inspired by the aggregates in Italian terrazzo:

Terrazzo notebooks from Form Maker

Form Maker also offers iPhone cases in terrazzo, such as the Blush selection below. Not only do the cases pack on the pattern, they feature raised aggregates that create a tactile experience in addition to a richly visual one. Note the brand’s use of energy-efficient UV technology and eco-friendly no-VOC ink. Also available in white and black:

Terrazzo iPhone case from Form Maker

For an iPhone case with a collage effect, check out Urban Outfitters’ Zero Gravity Collaged Terrazzo iPhone 6/6s Case. Enjoy 3 takes on terrazzo style with this eye-catching item:

Terrazzo iPhone case from Urban Outfitters

Are you a fan of the terrazzo revival?… 

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

You might also like