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  • Soumak Mukhopadhyay

Do you find Terrazzo Boring?

A number of times, we've heard similar statements.

"I hated the terrazzo in my childhood home."

In my childhood, we had terrazzo everywhere. I find it so boring now."

Terrazzo may be charmingly nostalgic to some, but not everyone. Honestly, it's hard to blame them.

A very standard terrazzo floor in an old Kolkata house

Many of us grew up in homes with terrazzo floors. It did not help that, unfortunately, a lot of us had a very similar looking terrazzo in our home - grey or white base, with black, white and occassionally red and yellow stone chips - with very little variation.

An old terrazzo floor in a house in Goa

Some of them were finished poorly. A lot of terrazzo were also in the form of tiles which, over period, had developed ugly, black sediments between them. It is not difficult to harbor an aversion towards these aged terrazzo floors.

Terrazzo tile floor in an old apartment in Goa

However, for those of us, fortunate enough to have come across the more refined executions of these old flooring, the admiration persists. Whether within the opulent art-deco residences of Kolkata or Mumbai or the quaint old villas of Goa and Kerala, these floors often exhibit vibrant layers of colour that leave a lasting impression.

Creating patterns and bands in terrazzo was quite common in Art Deco houses

The corner in an old house finished with cast-in-situ terrazzo. Its interesting to note that the craftsmanship of the terrazzo is better than the new red IPS, which has made the terrazzo patchy.

Additionally, you can sometimes also find these cast-in-situ terrazzo dadoes, staircases, and handrails that possess an enchanting sense of old-world charm and craftsmanship, a rarity in today's times.

A well finished staircase in terrazzo in an old Art Deco house in Goa.

A cast-in-situ motif in an old Goan villa

After all, good terrazzo ages gracefully and remains, as we are fond of asserting - timeless!

Now that this material is making a huge comeback, what has changed?

To begin, more architects and designers have come to recognize that terrazzo, being a customisable material, can be tailored to harmonize with various interior design languages.

Designing a Minimal home? A Scarpa terrazzo floor with a grey cement base and white marble pieces will give it the subtle look it needs. Craving an industrial aesthetic? A gray terrazzo floor adorned with small white or gray marble chips will undeniably prove visually striking. Shabby Chic, you said? Consider a brown terrazzo floor enriched with black and white chips. For those who admire a rustic design, a terracotta-hued terrazzo with elements of red and white will be an impeccable choice. A Scandinavian interior will look stunning with a white terrazzo floor with white chips in it and for a Bohemian interior you can make a statement with a White terrazzo with pink sandstone chips.

The possibilities are genuinely boundless.

By venturing out of the box and craft-fully combining different aggregates and pigments, the resulting terrazzo floors can become truly astounding in contemporary times.

Here are just a few examples

Moreover, the Scarpa Terrazzo technique has opened up even more avenues for creativity in designing unique floors that transcend mere functionality and are elevated to being artwork themselves.

In Scarpa Terrazzo, marble or other natural stones are cut into regular or irregular pieces and laid in a random or specific pattern and the spaces in between filled with regular terrazzo.

Scarpa Terrazzo floor at the Edge Bar, Alila Diwa by Jyamiti & Sea
Scarpa Terrazzo floor at Dubki, Goa by Jyamiti & Sea
Green Marble inserts in a Terrazzo Floor by Jyamiti & Sea

And so, there it is. Do you still maintain the notion that terrazzo is 'boring'? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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