When I was at the LAX International Terminal two weeks ago, I snapped this picture of the floor. It was a jewel tone terrazzo, and something about it really grabbed me.
I would love to use it as a subtle accent color somewhere. Maybe someplace with white walls and lots of natural materials (wood, fiber, etc). If it was paired with colorful walls and furniture, the whole thing could go in a bad direction (i.e. 90's arcade )
Terrazzo is a composite material, poured in place or precast. It consists of marble/quartz/granite/glass/etc and mixed with something cement-like. Terrazzo is cured and then ground and polished to a smooth surface. It is extremely durable, and that is why it can be found in airports and malls, but it also looks great.
Hillary and I first got into terrazzo when we visited the Virginia Robinson House and Gardens in Beverly Hills. There is a terrazzo veranda. The home is one of the original homes of Beverly Hills and has an incredible garden. The tours are free with a reservation.