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Modern Spaces with a Dose of Handmade Tile

Whether the rustic simplicity of zellige or the complex patterns of encaustic tile, designers all over the US are using these handmade tiles in new and exciting ways to create unique and stunning applications in bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and more. With each passing day, classic handmade tiles are appearing in more and more homes, allowing designers to experiment with materials so classic that they’ve become new again. All of the applications we’ll explore below use some variety of handmade tile to add doses of rustic charm to modern spaces.

 

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There’s nothing we love more than seeing our customers build something all their own with our handmade tile. This bathroom is a perfect example of a space that is both one-of-a-kind and brimming with Old World style. Handmade tile, such as the 4×4 Sea Green zellige tile seen here, is capable of adding a bit of rustic charm to any space, which can act as a remarkable contrast in rooms with a different flavor of interior decor. This bathroom is part of a 1970’s lodge in Lake Arrowhead, CA, so it prominently displays the natural wood these homes are well-known for. Adding a handcrafted Moroccan terracotta tile to a lodge bathroom might not seem like the obvious choice, but thanks to the bold vision of this interior designer, you can see that natural wood and Sea Green zellige is a match made in heaven. Because of the traditional methods used in the creation of zellige, this style of tile tends to offer a diverse array of colors, textures, and finishes within any given order, which is especially true for our Sea Green zellige, which can skew from light greens to ruddy browns to light tans. The earth tones present in this tile application are an outstanding match for the wood, while the vibrant green shades give a fascinating color palette to this bathroom.

A common myth about handmade tile is that it can be too fragile for many uses, limiting its uses to pure cosmetics. As you can see in this pool wall, that’s simply not the case with zellige tile.

 

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Though certain styles of tile are definitely not for every purpose, that doesn’t mean that handmade tile, like zellige, isn’t a versatile choice. For example, you wouldn’t place marble floor tile by a front door because of the possibility of it being damaged by outdoor debris or heavy foot traffic. Similarly, zellige’s terracotta construction isn’t meant to tread underfoot. That being said, zellige stands up to water quite well, and the fact that it’s kiln-fired protects it against the elements in many climates. Versatility notwithstanding, this application of our 4×4 Emerald Green zellige tile simply looks fantastic. The natural pigments used by the artisans who create these tiles stand out brilliantly in the sun, brilliantly offsetting the black and white decor. Zellige tile was made for applications like this, where its high quality, beauty, and practicality is on full-display for all to see.

As amazing as zellige is, it’s not the only handmade tile in our collection. As a matter of fact, each and every one of our cement tiles is locally created by master craftsmen (even the more complex varieties!).

 

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As one of our first offerings, cement tile will always hold a special place in our hearts. Of course, it helps that each and every one is absolutely gorgeous with countless potential uses. Unfortunately, many people regard patterned cement tile to be something of a novelty with limited uses. Fortunately, we have countless customers and designers proving that this tile can be used in countless areas of the home, both as a practical choice and as a design statement. Though cement tile is often found in bathrooms and kitchens, it can also make appearances in other areas of the home to great effect, as you can see in this hallway which features our popular Maya Blue cement tile. While the reddish wood seen around the edges would have certainly made for a handsome hallway, the addition of this exciting patterned tile creates something quite unique. The splash of color is a welcome contrast from the bright white walls, and contrasts the wood in an unforeseeably appealing way. Spaces like this just go to show that with a good design eye, even the boldest pieces can fit in all sorts of different spaces.

We’ve established the value of cement and zellige handmade tile on their own, but what about when they’re combined? Do they prove to be too much and fight for visual control, or do they work together to make something greater than the sum of their parts? This bathroom, with the bonus addition of our handcrafted terrazzo tile, might provide an answer:

 

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This bathroom features no less than THREE distinct of our handmade tile all in one space! This is quite an ambitious undertaking, but the results look positively marvelous. This designer used our 2×6 Steel Grey zellige tile on the wall, Zeus 2013 cement tile on the shower floor, and our handcrafted 12×12 White Terrazzo tile on the bathroom floor. Each of these tiles offer soft neutral colors in their own unique way. The Steel Grey zellige offers a sweeping array of soft greys and cosmetic hairline cracks, the Zeus 2013 presents a bold pattern made delicate through its soft color, and the White Terrazzo tile provides a charming, pebbly look that evokes a sense of the natural world. When combined, this bathroom is a cornucopia of subtle textures and colors that come together to give the space an amazing character.

Riad Tile’s Collections of Handmade Tile

If you’re interested in seeing any of the tiles shown above in person, please feel free to order a sample today and we’ll ship directly to your front door! Each and every one of these tiles was handcrafted by artisans, either locally in the US or, in the case of zellige, in Morocco according to time-tested methods.