Artist Spotlight: Using Tile to Make the Perfect Guest Room Table

Highlighting designers who use Riad tile is one of our favorite ways to share inspiration with the community. Whether it’s a creative pattern on the floor or a bold use of marble in the master suite, we always find something new to add to our dream project list. This time, our creative juices are flowing in overdrive thanks to the innovative way artist Emily Tartaglia used our Zellige tile — furniture making, here we come.

Carrying on the Artisan Tradition

One of the best things about Zellige is its long history as handmade tile. The techniques are passed down from one artisan to the next in a revered tradition that adds to Zellige’s unique warmth. The rough edges and varying color waves give these tiles an energy that you don’t see in mass-produced products. We’re inspired by how multitalented Emily Tartaglia, a self-taught photographer and content creator based in Tucson, Arizona, carried on this artisan tradition using her own two hands to craft a coffee table from Zellige tiles. There’s something special about turning handcrafted materials into another handmade treasure.


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The inlaid Honey 4”x4” Zellige took some dedicated craftsmanship to get just right, so we know Emily has logged hours honing her artistic skills. While we’re used to seeing tile on the floor, walls, or ceiling, furniture is fairly uncommon. Hopefully, 2024 will be the year that everything changes —because this coffee table is stunning.

Clean Lines, Desert Vibes

Creating furniture requires the same keen design sense you’d use to purchase that perfect piece from the store. Emily knew she wanted soft, desert vibes in this guest room-reading nook combo, so her choice of color palette is fitting. The Honey 4”x4” Zellige is a great, rich hue that Emily picks up again in the blanket on her sofa bed. This color is meant to stand out as a centerpiece in the room without detracting from any other elements.


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Rather than muddying the project with a darker grout or trying to match the tile color perfectly, Emily’s choice of a light grout that matches the sofa fabric highlights her eye for cohesive design. We also can’t overlook the intentionally low, rectangular shape she chose for the table. The silhouette mirrors the couch effortlessly, creating clean lines in a small space that might easily feel cluttered.

Warning: Tiling Projects Can Become Addictive

Emily should have known that another unconventional tiling project was in her future after completing this piece in 2022. While the form is simple, the result is anything but.


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The warmth that our Unglazed Natural Terracotta Zellige 4”x4” tile brings to such a small side table is worth the effort. Emily started with a handcrafted wooden cube that would have served her needs from a purely practical standpoint, but we all know that adding some personal style is what turns a utilitarian house into a home. We love that Riad Tile has been with her on this journey from the beginning.

We can’t wait to see what inspiring projects the community creates next.