Good day, design friends! Today, I’m sharing my August Moodboard. This month I was intrigued by tortoiseshell. Do you remember when Sarah revealed the uniquely beautiful tortoise switchplates for her office renovation? I was captivated! I had never encountered the pattern in this application; I wondered what other novel examples awaited discovery. Spoiler Alert: Lots! Click through to see why I love tortoiseshell and some of my favorite finds.
So many aspects of this print appeal to me! It’s obviously organic and quietly variable. Patterns from nature are always a win in my book and suit a variety of aesthetics. Many tortoise iterations appear mottled, so they’re less dramatic than zebra or leopard. This subtlety makes it an interesting alternative for the pattern shy. Other examples, like the Celerie Kemble for Schumacher wallpaper below, pack a punch! Which do you prefer?
While colors may vary depending on the material and designer, tortoiseshell is generally found in a dark palette of warm browns, rusty orange and golden tan. This creates great versatility. Tortoise blends seamlessly with other neutrals, yet the pattern adds a little snap. For color fans like myself, it acts as a perfect foil for kaleidoscopic interiors, without feeling blah. Are you ready to peruse some treasures wearing this crowd-pleasing pattern?
Click directly on the objects to be redirected to the source, or use the numbered links below to shop my finds…
01: tortoise light switch cover // 02: tortoise shell headboard // 03: tortoise table lamp // 04: tortoise bamboo table // 05: tortoise glassware set // 06: inlay table with tortoise shell base // 07: vintage tortoise bamboo bookends // 08: monogram coasters // 09: faux tortoise glass bowl // 10: tortoise flatware // 11: glass vase // 12: henredon tortoise console pair
As usual, I have a difficult time narrowing down my picks! #3 checks so many boxes! Tiny lamp, reasonably priced and definitely giving Murano mushroom vibes. I dig the tortoise bamboo of #4; also called torched or burnt bamboo, I find the darker, dappled appearance preferable to the traditional, lighter variety. Can you believe the perfection of #6? I can picture it anchoring the most stunning entry vignette. For a more attainable tortoise fix, how about #11? The addition of white to the design adds a fresh twist. Does anything catch your eye?
Tortoiseshell has been used for decorative purposes on vessels and furniture for centuries. Have no fear, animal lovers! The harvesting of actual tortoiseshell was banned internationally in the 1970s. Faux finishes reign currently. Those fireplace tiles in the opening image were hand painted. Some brief internet sleuthing uncovered a variety of DIY videos for creating a tortoiseshell look with paint, stain and even epoxy. I saved a couple for future consideration. Are any of you adventurously crafty?
Given my affection for colorful glassware, china and linens, incorporating tortoise pieces into a tablescape might be an ideal way to bring this gorgeous motif into my home. How many sets of silverware are too many? Asking for a friend.
There you have it! All my thoughts and meanderings on tortoiseshell. Compiling this round up really reignited my desire for a special piece. I certainly find it a delightful and classic design, but I would love to hear your ideas. Do you already own a tortoiseshell item or two? Could you envision a perfect element for your home? I’m anxious to read your comments! I hope you are all well and soaking up the late summer sunshine! Until next time, friends.