Traditional surfaces and European influences are returning to kitchens as homeowners rediscover the beauty of texture and detail in their cooking zones. This retro surface is making a comeback - providing layers of texture and interest to contemporary kitchens.
Lauded as the new ‘it’ surface for designers and homeowners the world over – even celebrities are bringing this multitalented finish into their homes. Here’s why:
1. Terrazzo brings texture into your kitchen
Perfect to add an extra dimension to a minimalist design, designers are embracing the concept of using terrazzo-style surfaces in benchtops and splashbacks.
“We use a lot of oak in joinery and floors,” Interior designer Suzanne Gorman of Studio Gorman told Caesarstone. “From limed oak to smoked oak and terrazzo is a great partner with the wood. Texture on texture is something we really like – it creates homely, warm spaces. I think terrazzo adds a lot of life into a family home – it adds interest and layers and textures.”
2. Terrazzo offers a complete colour palette
Italian in origin, terrazzo was traditionally made with marble chips embedded in concrete floors. Now the sky is the limit, with myriad colours being worked into a single surface that can be drawn on to inform your choices of finish in cabinetry, flooring and tapware.
Alternatively, it offers just the right amount of texture to add interest, without necessarily introducing new colours to a scheme. Gorman says that terrazzo is a good choice for homeowners looking for a more understated look.
“For families who want a fresher, white kitchen, it also works well because it’s always going to add interest and texture. We have a kitchen we are currently doing and we are using terrazzo on the vertical surface of the island bench and on the splashback, with a white Caesarstone benchtop.”
3. Terrazzo spans several decorating styles
Just because it’s a retro revival doesn’t mean it will only suit a retro decorating style. Terrazzo would be at home in any setting from contemporary to classic in style.
Interior designer James Treble told Caesarstone that while the Italian take on terrazzo is timeless, it's versatility lends it to many styles - even a style as specific as a Palm Springs look. “It creates a dynamic floor that can run inside the home and out into alfresco and entertaining areas, echoing the effect of crazy stone paving" he says.
“The interesting patterns created with the chunky character of the terrazzo finish is also a reason why this look is becoming so popular for Australian homes, especially in surface materials for benchtops. It creates so many exciting options in our homes.”James Treble
4. Terrazzo is versatile
Traditionally a poured in situ, terrazzo is also available in tile form – from large format to smaller sizes that can be used on floors and walls. This range of sizes means you can use it on practically any surface in your kitchen.
Suzanne Gorman often uses terrazzo surfaces in kitchens and bathrooms she designs. “What we like about it is that it’s a man-made material, but it’s made from natural materials,” she says. “You have the benefit of the natural stone look, but it’s more forgiving and a lot more versatile."
Capitalising on the resurgence of the look, terrazzo-style surfaces are now part of the range from big names in kitchen benchtops such as Caesarstone.
(left) 'Frozen Terra' features a robust concrete fused with translucent aggregate and embellished with fine black basalt | (centre) 'Atlantic Salt' is a more intricate, sculpted design featuring white, taupe, grey and black in an abstract pattern | (right) 'Nougat' is made up ofcoarse-grainedd and chunky neutral quartz chips on a white background.
5. Terrazzo is a secret weapon in design
James Treble loves the hidden complexity in a terrazzo surface. “I always find the soft and subtle terrazzo look is timeless, but the chunkier larger format look is also popular as it makes more of a statement, which we are happy to do in our open-plan Australian homes” he adds.
“I love the character of the surface, it creates interest in a space, and successfully creates more block colour in cabinetry and wall finishes” he says.
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