Love it or Leave It: Inlaid Pieces

{Ines Chair by Madegoods}

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, I certainly agree with that. What I’m wondering, however, is whether certain looks or styles fall into the category of trend or classic. I’m sure you’re thinking the distinction between those two categories should be a no brainer, but I definitely think this depends on who you ask. Take sunburst mirrors for example. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there (myself included) who would consider them classic, while many others would venture to say that they’ve been everywhere over the past few years and would consider them a trend.

So, each week, we’ll debate whether a certain item, look, or style should be considered a trend or a classic. Today, we’ll start with inlaid bone or mother of pearl items. Obviously, the technique dates back for centuries in other parts of the world, but these statement-making pieces have been increasing in popularity stateside. While I may comment on specific items in this post, I’ll keep my opinion as to whether these pieces are trendy or classic under wraps for a while and will share it later on in the comments section. Remember, you can love something, but it still has to fall into the trend or classic category!


{Inlaid Bone Flower Tray from Wisteria}



{Inlaid Mother of Pearl Bird Mirror from Wisteria}

Black & Bone Inlay 4 Drawer Chest of Drawers

{Gorgeous Inlaid Pieces from Graham and Green}

Raspberry & Mother of Pearl Inlay Chest of Drawers

{Raspberry & Mother of Pearl Inlay Chest of Drawers– This would be so perfect in a little girl’s room!}

Bone Inlay Tray & Table

{Graham and Green Bone Inlay Tray & Table– You choose the color of the tray top.}

Black & Bone Inlay 4 Drawer Console Table

{Black and Bone Inlay Console Table}

Chevron Frame - Blue

{Chevron Bone and Wood Picture Frame from Furbish}


So, what do you think? Trend or Classic?

38 thoughts on “Love it or Leave It: Inlaid Pieces

  1. Hmmm… Does price have anything to do with whether something is widely considered trendy or classic? I mean, I’m sure there are trends among the very wealthy, but when I think about what’s trendy, I usually think of the kinds of things that are accessible at lots of price points. Starburst mirrors, for example. People who are sick of them and consider them trendy probably feel that way because anyone can get a starburst mirror. I’m betting even Wallmart has a version. Chalkboard paint seems trendy to me, and that’s probably because I see it all the time.

    I could be wrong, but I’m guessing Target’s not going to be carrying mother of pearl inlaid chests of drawers anytime soon, so I don’t think we’ll be inundated with these kinds of pieces in every other blog post or AT House Tour.

    If this is a trend, it’s certainly not one that’s going to get lots of complaints about it being too ubiquitous (like the Keep Calm posters a couple years ago…). Besides, the workmanship is gorgeous. I vote classic.

  2. Love inlaid pieces, They are like jewelry in a room. I think the colored pieces are trendier looking ( you may get tired of it at some point) but the natural woods are classic,timeless neutrals that work in any setting.

  3. I’m erring on the side of classic, but when done in more classic colors and smaller doses. For example, pearls are totally classic, but the trend now is more toward chunky necklaces/bracelets with mixed metals and pearls rather than a traditional strand of pearls. I think that raspberry chest of drawers is AMAZING and my favorite piece, but I think that is definitely more trendy than some of the other pieces shown.

    As another commenter stated, when something has such a long standing history and a high level of craftsmanship, it’s always going to be a classic.

  4. I think that something can be BOTH classic AND trendy! For instance, as in the case of these lovely inlaid pieces, they are obviously classic in terms of their longevity and ability to be incorporated into styles throughout the years. However, I would also say that they are trendy, because they are popular RIGHT NOW in today’s designs. In my opinion, that’s what “trendy” means… Something that has particular relevance and popularity right now. However, even though inlaid pieces will eventually lose popularity in the mainstream market, and cease to be “trendy”, they will continue to serve as classic design elements in years to come. Either way, they are FABULOUS!

  5. The technique is definitely classic, the implementation perhaps trendy in some cases. Overall -I would vote classic for sure (is there a category for heirloom?)

  6. LOVE! But I think a little goes a long way. Just a piece is all you need.

    Btw, I have a pair of those chevron frames (one in aqua and one in orange) in the nursery — love ’em!

  7. Personally I love this and find a lot of “trendy” things turn out to be “classic” things to me. And a lot of “classics” are never quite suitable. So it’s all a matter of personal preference right. i think the inlaid style can remain classic and eternal in the right piece and if not overdone. It has lasted for centuries already right? Can’t wait to hear your opinion and see more of these!

    xx Vivian @

  8. While I generally look at inlay as “classic,” the way it’s being used to me is trendy. We’ll look at these designs in a couple years or sooner and tire of them. But overall classic.

  9. I am definitely biased because I just bought an inlaid mirror from Wisteria Outlet for a steal. They are having a sale until Saturday on mirrors by the way :)

    But I think they are a classic. The inlaid mosaic patterns can be found around the world in time worn structures, so I don’t think it’s anything new, and don’t think I will ever tire of it!

  10. I agree with the previous comment that something can be both. This is beautiful and almost ancient rather than classic. I believe if you see it at Target it is officially trendy. (I love Target.)

  11. First of all, love inlay! First and foremost inlay is a clssic technique, museums will back that 😉 A classic overall but it could side on trendy depending on color and what it is used on. But it is beautiful no matta.

  12. classic! i adore in laid mother of pearl anything (like my fancy schmancy steak knives)

    when in a chevron pattern or unexpected place, like the picture frame, thats more trendy.

    for the record, i think sunburst mirrors are totally a trend!

  13. I simply love inlay pieces although you can’t have to much around the house, I would say maximum one piece per room. I bought the mother of pearl bird mirror at Wisteria a couple of months ago and it is just stunning to say the least! It has some imperfections which is part of being handmade and it just makes even more charming and unique! It is a show stopper for sure…

  14. I personally love this look and consider it to be a classic when used in small doses. I do agree that the classic black and white color combination is the most timeless. When used with restraint, it adds an incredible touch to a space.

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