Plasterwork has long been one of our favourite ways to upgrade our homes – and it’s not just a British trend. There are beautiful examples of plasterwork all over the world, each one a triumph in craftsmanship. From Europe to America, there are almost too many to choose from, so we’ve cherry-picked the best ones. Whether you want to add a touch of old-school luxury to your own home or are just looking for beautiful places to visit, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.
First on our list is the magnificent Glamis Castle in Scotland. Home to British royalty and steeped in history, it also boasts one of the finest examples of plasterwork in the U.K. The ornate ceilings are famed for their detail, and they have been immaculately preserved. Thousands come to visit the castle each year – and those ceilings are undoubtedly part of the appeal.
Nymphenburg Palace is home to the Amalienburg, a hunting lodge that is anything but a humble addition to the palace itself. Inside the Amalienburg is the Hall of Mirrors, one of the most beautiful examples of Rococo plasterwork in Munich. The walls are a pale blue adorned with some beautiful silver-gilt plasterwork.
It’s almost impossible to pick a stand out detail amidst all the garlands, banners and urns – although we’re big fans of the waterfalls and branches that bring the natural beauty of the Amalienburg’s surroundings indoors.
Places of worship are often places of great beauty too – and the Ottobeuren Abbey in Bavarian Germany is no exception. The basilica is a huge space that has been decorated with stunning plasterwork, again in the Rococo style, although there are some late-Baroque influences to be seen. Built between 1737 and 1766, it’s an imposing place decked out in white, green, gold and pink detailing that accentuates the murals beautifully.
Versailles is one of the most famous palaces in the world, associated with all the glamour and excess of the royals of old. There are examples of opulent plasterwork to be seen throughout the place, including the ceilings and even doors! The palace took years to build and decorate, so you’ll see a mishmash of styles, although for the main part it’s Rococo in its design. The Hall of Mirrors is perhaps the most famous room at the palace – but you’ll be able to find beautiful plasterwork in almost every room.
Meadow Brook Hall
Meadow Brook Hall is the final destination on our list, and to reach it, we’re crossing the Atlantic. Located in Detrioit, Michigan, it’s home to a plaster ceiling by Corrado Parducci, one of the mid-20th century masters of the art. The ceiling is in the dining room of the house, and pays homage to the great Baroque and Rococo plasterwork of the past, with its elaborate floral design.
So now you know where to find some great examples of plasterwork! While most can be found in the grand old palaces of Europe, it’s something that we took over to America with us, with Meadow Brook Hall being built to emulate the old English manor houses. So while these buildings might be a little grander than your current abode, it just goes to show that some beautiful plasterwork can turn a great room into a truly spectacular one.
Dominic Farrugia is the Co-Founder of one of the leading professional plaster restoration companies in the South East – Regency Plaster.