Ornate plasterwork adds historic charm

5 years ago
2 minutes

Lithuanian design studio ŠA Atelier has transformed an apartment in Vilnius into a minimalist family home while paying homage to the site’s history.

The apartment is located in an ornate townhouse, originally built in 1862. Since then, the building has passed through a series of landlords and undergone several interior changes, so the design studio’s main goal was to ‘release the interior’ from its oppressive past. 

While keeping the interiors sleek and modern, the design team retained elements of building’s past by utilising natural wood and concrete materials, and decorative plasterwork such as ceiling roses and detailed cornicing.


Image: ŠA Atelier

Speaking to Dezeen, the designers said, "Wood is a natural base under the feet, and has been used in this apartment since it was built. At the same time, we prefer enveloping space with natural materials rather than colours. We try to keep materials as authentic as possible so that no material should be a pretender."

You only have to add a couple of small, ornate details in your own home to get this look for yourself. Here’s how.

Ceiling roses

You can instil your home with heritage charm by installing a ceiling rose. If you live in a suburb filled with Victorian homesteads, then check out these ornate designs inspired by that era of Australian architecture.

Talk to the person designing your piece and make sure you have photos of your space to take along. They’ll want to know how high your ceilings are and how big the room is — all factors which determine the size and diameter of the plasterwork.



Used primarily from 1901 until around the beginning of World War 1, Edwardian cornices were more restrained than the plasterwork of the decades prior which makes it the perfect style to pair with Victorian ceiling roses.

Alternately, if you’re skipping the centrepiece altogether, you can afford to create a real statement here. Classical cornices, traditionally inspired by Ancient Greek and Roman artwork, often feature acanthus leaves and a technique known as ‘dentil moulding’ — small indents appearing in a receding fashion.


Pressed metal

If you love the look but prefer to make a more subtle impression, pressed metal is a great affordable alternative. You can use it to replace wall panelling in connecting hallways in your home or as backing for shelves in your living room. 

Create a unique statement in your kitchen by replacing the splashback with a pressed metal panel, or transform your bedroom by installing a panel in your bedhead. This will look especially impressive when paired with Art Deco bedding or an intricately detailed bedside lamp.


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Source: Dezeen