When It Comes to Interiors, What's Old Is Officially New Again

White space with vase and branches.

Christian Torres

When it comes to interior design, trends come and go, just like fashion. But recently, there are a few classically-inspired trends making their way back onto everyone’s radar. Plaster, antique Italianate mantels, terrazzo, and pier mirrors are having a moment—and we couldn’t love it more. 

New York-based interior designer Tina Rich, who is known for creating textured, sophisticated spaces with varying materiality that are a true extension of her client’s authentic selves, enjoys building effortless homes by mixing vintage finds, custom pieces and the work of up-and-coming makers and artists. “You’ll find blonde wood, Morrocan rugs, and handmade ceramics in any space I design," Rich notes.

It’s that appreciation for the handmade, the pieces with stories and the veneration for design history that is seen in her work. She often finds inspiration from travel, artists, fashion, as well as other designers, but lately, she’s turned to European styling. "Plaster, terrazzo, handmade tile, giant urns, and anything you'd find in an old Italian or Greek villa are coming back,” she says. 

Plaster, terrazzo, handmade tile, giant urns, and anything you'd find in an old Italian or Greek villa are coming back.

Plaster, which Rich says is insanely popular right now, is trending for good reason. “I love the depth and texture it gives walls,” she says. The designer recently worked with Alala, a woman’s designer activewear brand, on their new flagship store, and plastered the walls in a subtle grey.

Alala, which is named for the Greek goddess of the same name, informed the design—thus, it was only natural to use Grecian touches like plastered walls, giant urns, and arches, according to Rich. The classics always have a way of coming back into style. 

As a designer in New York City, Rich has also been able to work on several renovations of pre-war brownstones, where she’s seen many gorgeous Italianate mantels and pier mirrors.

“I love mixing old and new, so I like to keep a gorgeous existing mantle and pair it with modern hardwood floors,” she says. She then balances the design with vintage pieces like artwork and accessories. “I can spend hours on 1stDibs and Chairish sourcing vintage pieces,” she adds. 

Looking for further inspiration? Athena Calderone’s Brooklyn townhouse includes multiple stone mantles, including one in the master ensuite. Rich notes it would’ve been a crime to remove it, as it pairs perfectly with the plaster walls and modern and vintage accents.

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