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Retro resurgence

Retro Design Inspiration

Darren PalmerDarren has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

2018 is seeing some interesting design trends from the past see a resurgence in popularity. Things that have long been relegated to the uncool pile have been revisited, reinterpreted and presented with a new life that is already gathering momentum.

We’ve all walked through foyers of old buildings, or climbed the steps of historic structures and seen terrazzo. With a coloured base and speckled with contrasting or complimentary aggregate, terrazzo started out life as a way to use discarded pieces of marble. It became popular in more expensive or stately homes and buildings through the 1920s and 30s.

Terrazzo fell out of favour when trends turned away from heavy detailing and toward minimalism. However,  terrazzo is (thankfully) back in a new and innovative way.

You can expect to see terrazzo, not just as flooring, but across all manner of products for the home this year, from homewares to furniture, tiles, benchtops, splashbacks and even built in furniture and walls. Bold statements will carve their way through interiors in 2018, where safe and predictable ones used to stand.

An extension of terrazzo, with a similar heritage, is the use of larger offcuts of stone as a flooring base. Known as crazy paving, the irregular pieces of stone set into a mortar or concrete base - for outdoor use - will find new life indoors, with the contrast of colour between stone and fixing agent being one of the features. The irregular patterns and organic visual movement of crazy paving creates a feeling of harmony and an interesting feel underfoot.

Another favourite of a bygone era is parquetry. Again, utilising smaller pieces of a popular and expensive product, parquetry became an artform by creating patterns and intricate shapes in flooring, separated by differing types of woods or with inlays of metal strips. This concept of inlay alongside the movement of pattern has been amplified in the new approach to parquetry, with metallic tiles and other interesting materials used as inlays to create contrast. Keep an eye out for interesting takes on pattern, made possible through advances in computer aided production, as this artisan approach to timber flooring takes over from the conventional look of bamboo flooring.

When it comes to refreshing your home this autumn, don’t be afraid to look past the fashions and trends of the previous few years and hark back to the haughty and decorative days of old for your detailing and design inspiration.

Retro Flooring Ideas

Get the Carpet Court Look

1. Terrazzo

2. Paving

3. Terrazzo Products

4. Parquetry