From subtly shimmering white subway-style walls to intricate mosaics, tile is one of the most seductive ways to enhance space. Lately, it has made its way from the kitchen and bath into the entertainment areas of home: namely, the living and dining arena—where most owners like to show their home’s best character. Sun-filled salons decorated with 18th-century-style azulejos; stairways lined in Talavera and Saltillo tiles; halls, loggias and pergolas employ rugged ceramics to soak up the sun. The options are endless: create an intricate mantel frieze, embellish an entry door, deck out a dining room, or dress up a mirror. Available in a wide range of colors and schemes, decorative tile is a practical and visually pleasing material that works for any room in the house.
Butterfly 2 decorative tile by Fired Earth
Tile has long been a feature of Moorish interiors. Its smooth, reflective qualities provide a cool counterpart to the natural textures of sisal and stone. And intricate mosaic tiles contradict the rough-hewn, matte elements of Mediterranean décor, but its value extends far beyond the practical. Tile works together with textiles, colors, and special effects such as trompe l’oeil to create rhythms and patterns that light up a room.
The Art of Tile, Designing with Time-Honored and New Tiles ISBN: 978-0-307-40691-0 Written by Jen Renzi, this full-color guide illustrates the many imaginative ways to decorate with tile: what to use and how and where to use it. Do you want eco-friendly bamboo tile in the bath, a backsplash of gorgeous gold leaf Italian glass tile, or an explosion of roses in a dining room mosaic? Thousands of options are organized by color, pattern, motif, texture and material.
Tips for Decorating with Tile
Consider the scale of the room - small tiles, or tesserae, may appear fussy if too confined; larger tiles dominate if given too broad of a range.
Use alternating motifs, accent tiles, and contrasting patterns to add interest to an entire block of tiles. Geometry rules!