As we touched upon in a recent post, there seems to be a shift to interiors that are undeniably earthy. Though the look feels incredibly refreshing after what has seemed like years of endless black, white and grey, the methods by which this look is achieved are anything but new. In order to achieve the right textures, tones and colours, designers are employing crafts and methods that are tried and true. Most notably, terracotta earthenware, plastering and ironwork have reemerged in a big way in the form of both custom work and store-bought pieces.
When you hear the word earthenware, it’s hard not to cringe and think of your children’s misshapen creations fresh from the kiln at a birthday party, which you were then expected to display proudly at home. Today however, earthenware (particularly terracotta) is actually très chic and has us wondering whether we ought to have held onto some of our kid’s masterpieces. Historically, various forms of earthenware can be found in the ancient times of countless cultures and had a very practical function. In 2022, with its brown-ish red hue, terracotta earthenware feels incredibly relevant (aesthetically speaking, at least) and is a great way to incorporate an earthy vibe and an on-trend colour without a commitment to a wall of Farrow & Ball x Kelly Weartler’s Faded Terracotta paint, for example. A simple terracotta vase can stand alone or display some dried flowers or sinuous branches. On your dining table, try displaying your candles in terracotta holders or set the table with a few earthenware chargers. For something that is both functional and stylish, countless designers are creating fabulous terracotta light fixtures that add wonderful texture and pigment to a room during the day and a warm glow in the evening. We’ve even come across wonderful stools that can also double as a side tables. The funny thing about all these pieces is that at one time, not too long ago, they felt incredibly South Western and out of place. Now, they are a part of our contemporary vernacular and are method of paring back spaces, while maintaining a fresh and contemporary feel.
When we talk about plaster, it can mean a number of things as, by definition, plaster is a general term for a soft mixture of lime with sand or cement and water. This mixture can be spread on walls, ceilings, or a number of other structures and surfaces to form a hard finish when dried. Today, plaster is popping up in many decor schemes in various forms. Once again, with this sudden trend of paring things back to create a more earthy feel, the tactile quality of plaster has become all the more alluring but, like terracotta earthenware, it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s actually one of the most ancient building techniques that hasn’t really changed all that much over the years, due to it’s durable and timeless nature. Although durability is an added benefit, the plaster of today is used more so as a medium of artistic expression. Walls are the most obvious surface for plaster to add immediate interest to a room. If plastering your walls gives you PTSD from the popcorn ceiling days though, you can still achieve the desired effect by hanging a few pieces of plastered artwork. Beyond walls though, plaster is a great medium for furniture and light fixtures. Whether you purchase one of the countless coffee tables or chandeliers available in store today, or bring an old one back to life with custom plaster work, these pieces are no longer exclusively reserved for the Mediterranean. Plasterwork has now found its new (and arguably rightful) home in urban houses and condos, next to sumptuous velvet armchairs and overhanging sleek dining tables.
Wrought iron was used as early as 2000 BC in the Anatolian peninsula that is now known as Turkey… and truly, we’ve never really stopped using it. From fences and stair railings to outdoor furniture and more, wrought iron has been heavily used throughout history. Today though, we’re seeing wrought iron find its way inside our homes in the form of furniture and decor. We particularly like the use of wrought iron bases on tables and seating to create a desirable level of juxtaposition, as demonstrated with the bench featured above. The use of such a heavy material to function as the base of a soft and feminine bench seat is unexpected but makes the piece all the more desirable and interesting. Wrought iron accessories can also be a great way to bring unexpected weight and heaviness. A set of rich black candlesticks can bring wonderful contrast to a neutral marble countertop, while wrought iron light fixtures are a perfect for creating a look that is a mix of old and new.