Natural Plaster - and why we can't get enough
Picture the scene: earthy tones dappled with natural light from a window nearby… pretty heavenly, right? There’s something deeply tactile – primal even – about natural plaster. It’s a material that adds warmth and richness to an otherwise classic white wall.
Don’t get us wrong, we love white walls (unashamedly, we are architects after all), but we also love inviting big bold colours into a space.
When comparing different ways of applying colour, natural plaster seems to offer something that other approaches can’t: it brings a sense of simple honesty.
Natural plaster is not only a healthier alternative to paint, which can give off harmful organic compounds (VOCs), but as Claire from Clayworks explains, “Natural plasters offer a more durable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly option to plasterboard as well”.
Naturally pigmented in a range of colours, they never need painting, which offers huge savings in time, material and carbon emissions. They also help regulate the internal humidity and temperature of your home making it feel more comfortable.
Basically, natural plaster not only looks really lovely but is a material that works hard for you too.
And just in case you needed any further persuasion, we thought we’d share our favourite projects that showcase natural plaster, plus some helpful pointers if you’re looking to use it in your own project.
Natural Plaster Inspo #1
Natural Plaster Inspo #2
“We asked for a calm, airy house filled with natural light, with lots of built-in storage and generous entertaining spaces, using as many natural materials as possible. We got exactly that, but somehow the house is also so much more.
It is such a joy to live in and, over half a year after moving in, we still notice brilliant little details every day that make us smile”.
The extension and refurbishment of this four-bed house delivers spaces which feel intimate yet expansive, with custom-built joinery throughout designed by the architects Emil Eve.
Natural materials bring warmth and a sense of calm to the home, which was designed for a young couple (and their two beloved pet cats). The breathable lime plaster walls give a soft texture to the changing light throughout the day, and earthy terracotta tiles in the back garden complement the colour and grain of the Douglas fir.
Sustainability was a guiding principle for the project, with a focus on low embodied carbon materials and breathable construction.
The Natural Plaster product used in this project was St Astier EcoMortar R50. As an extra bonus, you don’t need a specialist plasterer to install, any decent plasterer can do it.
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