When I think of mother of pearl I can’t help but remember my mother’s jewelry and the ornamental objects she had collected from her travels. When I was young I played with her dark green-grey pearl necklace and I also remember a luminous white mother of pearl box. It seemed like the most beautiful thing in the world to my childhood self.
Yet mother of pearl has truly come of age and can be used to magnificent effect in design today. It can be found in modern day bathroom tiles, mirrors and sinks, as well as kitchen splashbacks, countertops and flooring. I’ve even seen it used as an entire wall covering and the way it reflected the light was simply mesmerising!
I admit I’m partial to a good chandelier, and Coco Republic’s Henry Chandelier is certainly that. Imagine, if you will, the translucent capiz shells cascading the light down across the room, as if captured within an underwater wonderland - I do believe much of its appeal comes from the way it brings the old-world elegance of vintage jewelry into modern homes.
One of my favourite designer duos, Oly, use mother of pearl to illuminate mirror edges and photo frames. The San francisco Bay designers Kate McIntyre and Brad Huntzinger come together to create some sophisticated yet casual pieces that make rooms sing with class, and my absolute favourite piece must be their side table in black resin, inlaid with circles of mother of pearl. It’s a stunning work of art that adds glamour and light to a room.
And if mother of pearl doesn’t quite fit your decor? Then take inspiration from its gorgeous colour pallette. Look for smokey blues, greens and purples that hint at the ocean’s dark and watery depths...