Home Interior Design: The Elegance of Having Ornamental Plasters

Blog |February 8th, 2016

Many designers would agree that the finest and most beautiful architecture is in the details. And one of the most decorative and detailed work is with ornamental plasters. This ancient art technique was quite popular in the early 16th century in Western Europe to Renaissance Italy. Most of the work was sculptural and included famous artists such as Raphael, Giulio Romano and Giovanni da Udine. However, the earliest plasters known stems back to around 7500 BC by the people of ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan. The lime-based plasters were used on a large scale for decorating floors, walls and hearths of homes and other buildings.

Today, ornamental plasters are being recognized as the true art form that it truly s. The increasingly popular architecture is used in both contemporary and traditional designs. Plus, there really are no limits to designing a home or office with decorative plaster.


When thinking of ornamental plaster designs, many reminisce of Roman or Renaissance Italian styles. However, the revived architectural art is quite versatile. Although you can create the feeling of stepping back in time, the traditional look can also take on a modern appeal.

Indeed, there are a variety of styles from the well-known classical Robert Adam’s ceilings to Edwardian-style plasters. Actually, ornamental plaster designs come in numerous styles such as French country, English cottage, Gregorian, Gothic or Etruscan such as Tuscany flair.


One of the most renowned ceiling masterpiece artists was Robert Adam (1728 – 1792). Adam’s is known for his classical motifs and mythological paintings like sculpted griffins or Apollo in plasterwork. At the time, Adam’s work did not have a lot universal appeal like the Gingerbread embroidery ceilings of Horace Walpole. However, the style of both artists of their time is quite popular today. You can also select Baroque style ceiling medallions, Celtic prints and numerous other options.

Like ceilings, decorative plaster wall designs come in many varieties of styles. Some of the more popular choices include simple textured walls like earthy southwestern adobe, highly pigmented Venetian plaster and rich Provence flair. More elaborate walls include classic Mediterranean, colorful Venetian wall sconces that add decorative aesthetics or natural light and other options.

Other Decorative Ideas

Ornamental plasters add an element like no other interior design. They can be exquisite, luxuriate or uniquely subtle. Other decorative ideas that add an individual statement include mantles, cornices, arches, domes, Adams panels and more.

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