Terrazzo tiles may seem of the moment, with their chunky nougat-like chips and muted primary palette, but if you ask Will Cooper, creative director of ASH NYC, they were years in the making. “The material recently became very trendy in a mass way, but the roots of terrazzo are so old,” he says. He was first inspired to use the composite following multiple trips to Italy and, in particular, a visit to Barnaba Fornasetti’s home in Milan. “His floors really are to die for,” he adds. “They are a larger variation of terrazzo called palladiana, and the image of them has stuck with me for years.”
So after discovering original terrazzo floors in the Detroit building that’s now ASH’s Siren Hotel, Cooper decided to create his own tile design for the property’s bathrooms. The vibrant colorway (red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white) was inspired by a Le Corbusier project in Marseille, France, where the architect had used those shades on the building’s balconies: “We didn’t know this, because a lot of his work was photographed in black and white,” says Cooper. He also designed a very cool pillow chair in the same palette last year.
This month, he is making the tiles available to the public through a new collection with Balineum, so we couldn’t resist asking him to create four dreamy bathroom schemes centered around his new line. Which one would you pick?
For this fiery combo, Cooper mixed various earthy sunset hues for an elegant monochromatic look that would feel right at home on the Italian coast. Even the Water Monopoly tap has orange handles to finish off the palette.
A turtle tap sets the tone for this marshy green scheme. “We toned down the hues a bit to feel softer and more European, perhaps as if they were uncovered during demolition in a large English country manor from a 1920s renovation,” says Cooper. Paired with a muddy green paint, a scalloped mirror, and a vintage hanging lamp, the tile gives the theme a moody and slightly mysterious vibe.
This blue and white palette feels entirely made for the East Coast. The bright cabana stripes and standout vintage sconces balance out a more muted paint color and terrazzo, which gives the combo an elevated air.
This layout is like a ray of sunshine. “I would love to see someone use the yellow full tilt in a highly sophisticated bathroom,” says Cooper. The whole theme is muted with a bronze scallop sconce and a brass accent stool by ASH.