What is Certosina?

Certosina is an intricate decorative technique involving the use of contrasting materials.


Certosina, also known as pietra dura outside of Italy, is a decorative technique that dates back to the Renaissance period, particularly revered for its detailed and intricate designs. This technique involves the inlaying of pieces of contrasting materials - such as various types of wood, stone, metal, or ivory - into a solid base to form elaborate patterns or images. The precision and skill required for Certosina make it a highly valued form of craftsmanship within the realms of furniture types and decorative objects alike.

Over the centuries, Certosina has been used to adorn a wide range of items, from grand pieces of furniture like cabinets and tables to small decorative objects and even architectural elements. The technique creates a stunning visual impact, lending a luxurious and unique touch to both historical and contemporary interior spaces. Through careful selection and meticulous arrangement of materials, craftsmen can achieve a variety of effects, from subtle elegance to bold statements, making Certosina a versatile art form.


Certosina finds its application in the creation of high-end, luxury furniture pieces, architectural elements such as wall panels and floors, and decorative items like boxes, frames, and artworks. Its use brings a distinct character and sophistication to interior spaces, blending art and craftsmanship in stunning detail.


  • How does Certosina differ from marquetry?

    Certosina and marquetry both involve the inlaying of materials to create patterns, but Certosina is specifically known for its use of precious stones and metals, offering a more intricate and lavish finish. Marquetry typically uses various types of wood veneers.

  • Is Certosina durable?

    Yes, when crafted with skill, Certosina pieces are highly durable. The precision inlay work and quality of materials used contribute to the longevity and resilience of these decorative items.

  • Can Certosina be used in modern interior design?

    Absolutely. While it has historical roots, Certosina can be seamlessly incorporated into modern interiors. Designers often use it in statement pieces to add a touch of luxury and craftsmanship to contemporary spaces.

Practical Application

When incorporating Certosina into your interior design, consider its intricate nature and the statement it makes. Use it sparingly as an accent in furniture or decorative objects to add depth and luxury without overwhelming the space. As Certosina pieces are often focal points, ensure that they complement the room's overall theme and color palette.