[photos: Ben Ritter]
So, at least 80 percent of the questions that I field about tile concern bathrooms. And 99.9 percent of the “how should I tile my bathroom?” questions are followed by this caveat: “Oh, and I want to use white subway tile.”
Fair enough. White subway tile is gorgeous and very classic. It opens up a small room and can be accessorized in any number of ways. Although I typically encourage people to embrace color in their tile choices and not play it overly safe, white subway tile appeals to so many people that I cannot say a bad word about it behind its back!
This week’s posts will be dedicated to groovy alternatives to straightforward 3-by-6-inch white ceramic subway tile, which is typically set in a horizontal running-bond pattern. Fasten your seatbelts, folks!
The bathrooms at the Lucida (more pix on website) on New York’s Upper East Side, designed by S. Russell Groves and Co. The images here are from the secondary bath (i.e. not the master bath). Instead of using ceramic, Russell and his design team chose an amazing milky glass that incorporates recycled content. This gives the same look as the expected glazed ceramic, but pulls in a bit more light–and gives walls a sense of depth that ceramic lacks. Brilliant for a small-ish space. Also clever: he executed the running-bond installation vertically, rather than horizontally, to draw the eye upward and make the ceiling look taller! The slightly elongated format (2 x 8 inches, I believe) enhances the effect:
My favorite discovery at ICFF last spring: interior designer Laura Gottwald unveiled an amazing line of mod waterjet-cut stone mosaics for Sara Baldwin’s New Ravenna, which are being carried by Stone Source. They come in 6-by-12-inch modules, in a variety of marbles and other stones. I wanted to steal all of her samples and take them home with me!
I’ve been seeing some amazing water-jet-cut designs lately, but manufacturers have mostly been enlisting the technology to create either very contemporary designs or very classical olde-tyme patterns. While both extremes have resulted in some amazing product, I think the technique–which creates super crisp lines–is a natural for very graphic, mid-20th-century influenced designs like these, which I love best!
Visit Laura’s website to visit some of the amazing spaces she’s designed. And Sara from New Ravenna did a great blog post with lots of background scoopage. Plus check out Interior Design’s article, too:
More of Laura’s designs:
A digital rendering of the above:
OMG! Just walked by the newly opened Standard Grill underneath the High Line…very Gio Ponti, no?? Those op-art tiles are amazing. (The above is cropped; see photog Melissa Hom’s full slide show at NYMag here). Hurrah for designers Roman + Williams.
I also had a laugh over the tablecloths, which look like they’ve been mosaiced:
And check out these pix from Notcot, who seems to have gotten a tour of the joint–including the “penny” tiled floor! Rich!
Photos: Melissa Hom via NYMag. And Notcot.
This amazingness just appearing in my in-box! From Urban Archaeology’s current newsletter, in which the company recreated Bauhaus masterworks in tile:
Below, a rendering of an installation pattern inspired by Anni Albers’ Design For Wall Hanging, which Urban Archaeology suggests recreating with tiles from their Claymonde collection. Click here for more!
Checking out my friend (and ex-Domino web editrix) Katy Elliot’ blog today, I came across a great post she did awhile back on Cuban tile–one of my fave mediums for injecting color and pattern. Like an area rug, but better! These exuberant encaustic tiles are from Villa Lagoon–who has a really great website filled with info, design ideas, and process shots:
I also dig these from Cuban Tropical Tile in Miami:
Oooh…check out the top row of Elle Decor’s “Toolbox” section: stunning ’60s-mod stone mosaics designed by Ashley Hicks for Studium. Unbelievably lovely! Ten times better than a patterned carpet! Check out Studium’s website for more. The nine patterns comprising the collection–called David Hicks by Ashley Hicks–are rendered in water jet-cut marbles and limestone:
Also spied these cheeky-chic mosaic-patterned trays by Hermes
…OK, they’re technically not tile– but close enough for my purposes!
Posted in Fancy designers, Mosaic, Pattern, Stone, Tile in the glossies
Tagged 60s inspired mosaic, Ashley Hicks, David Hicks by Ashley Hicks, Elle Decor June 2009, faux-mosaic trays, Hermes, Studium, water-jet-cut stone mosaic
Spied on MoCoLoco! Puerto Rican designer Maruja Funetes‘s Green Pockets: recycled-content ceramic wall tiles that double as planters or containers for…whatever. Brilliant! I love the interlocking fishscale profiles. Just a prototype for now; I am eagerly anticipating the commercial launch.
Spied in the Tiles of Spain pavilion: alluring artisanal terra-cotta by Ticsa. (Although based in Barcelona, the studio has a California outpost, too.) I didn’t get great photos in the booth, so I’m cheating by including a few out-takes from my book instead (I shot these at Cersaie in ’07). I love how these look like tooled leather:
I first saw Le Murrine Gold–made by one of my favorite Italian manufacturers, Settecento–at Cersaie in 2007. But it had just as strong an impact on second viewing. What appears to be little crackle-glaze tesserae set with glittery gold grout is in fact a 30-by-30-cm tile designed to look like mosaic! So clever.
I was hoping Settecento would have samples from its new Visionnaire collection so I could drool over it, but no luck: they brought only a tightly edited selection to the show. So excited am I about these foil-wallpaper-esque porcelains that I am sharing screen grabs with you anyway. Seriously, folks, can you believe this is tile and not wallpaper??!!:
Love these for a backsplash: great handmade mosaics from a Minneapolis studio. The glazes are amazing, and the bodies are made from local clays. Check out their website for more!