Zellige Tiles: Moroccan Style Taken Global
Over the last year, interior designers have taken zellige tile to new heights in the US. Going from a novelty item with a casually interested following to an incredibly popular design statement, zellige tiles have proven to be an ideal mashup of useful, stylish, and unique. Designers from all over the US have latched on to the possibilities present in this unique style of tile and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. From home bathrooms to hair salons, our customers haven’t pulled any punches in trying out new ideas with their zellige applications, which has the added benefit of inspiring the perhaps more nascent designers to do the same. This has led to all manner of exciting uses for zellige tiles, expanding on what was already a versatile tile.
The World of Zellige Tile
As designers find new uses for zellige tile in their homes, they pave a path forward for others to try their own applications. Zellige tile continues to gain a foothold in the US, but there’s so much room to try new things with this tile that we find ourselves constantly surprised by the exciting and gorgeous ideas that our customers come up with.
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This bathroom is nothing if not zellige-centric. With a floor-to-ceiling zellige wall and a zellige nook, this bathroom is a celebration of Moroccan terracotta tile. This designer opted to go with one of our most popular offerings, Natural White in 2×6, to create perhaps one of the most relaxing baths we’ve ever seen. This calming, neutral tile provides the perfect backdrop for an evening spent soaking, the natural coloration of the tile giving the room a healthy dose of rustic charm. This bathroom also reveals the color variations present in even our white zellige, skewing towards dusky browns and greys almost as much as whites. As the natural light from the window catches the tile, you can see the signature glaze dancing across the walls. You can even see where there are variations in the glaze, with some tiles shining brightly and others glinting subtly. This bathroom is ideal not only as a relaxing space, but as an example of zellige in its element.
As much as we love zellige, we are aware that not everyone wants zellige as a focal point for their space. Fortunately, zellige tiles can be used to great effect as accent pieces and walls, like in this shower:
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In this shower, you can see how useful just an accent wall of zellige tiles can be. Using our verdant Forest Green zellige tiles in 2×6, this designer was able to add a new dimension to this sizable shower, creating a dark contrast to the bright white of the rest of the bathroom. But they could use anything to add a dark accent wall, so what makes zellige special in this case? In a word, diversity!
Dark accent walls are typically a solid color, as they’re often used as something of an anchor point for the room’s intended color scheme. When this designer used our Forest Green zellige tile, they didn’t get a single uniform slab of dark green, they got a spectrum of dark green hues, with smatterings of emerald, pine, and basil colors. The name “Forest Green” is quite fitting, as the many shades of green present in this tile create a veritable forest of colors in this simple bathroom. When placed alongside the bright white and dark bronze fixture, a fascinating color scheme emerges, making this shower one distinctive space.
Though we offer a wealth of zellige varieties, our most popular offerings tend to be our white zellige tiles. This isn’t just because of their neutrality though, it’s because of their versatility (and we don’t just mean they’re good for a lot of situations!) What we mean by “versatility” is the idea that depending on their surroundings, our white zellige tiles can take on different characters altogether. Take this bathroom for example:
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This bathroom uses the same color of zellige (Natural White, this time in 4×4) as the first bathroom we discussed, but it looks and feels completely different from the soothing bath at the top of the article. While still quite neutral and calming, this bathroom seems to have significantly less of the earth tones present in the other. So what’s different?
Aside from the obvious differences like this application being a vanity and the tile being 4×4, the decor and lighting surrounding the tile is really what makes this application seem so different from the above bath. Where the bath had a lot of natural light to add warmth to the tile, this backsplash is further from the windows and closer to the fixtures. This means that rather than warm sunlight, these tiles reflect the cooler light of the fixtures, highlighting the cooler hues present in the tile. Additionally, this vanity is obviously more broken up by decor than the bath, leaving more room for matching colors and contrast to be introduced, making this application more of an accent piece than the focal point.
Explore Our Offerings
Riad Tile is the United States’ home for authentic terracotta zellige tile. All of our zellige is handcrafted in Morocco by master artisans who have perfected their methods over generations. Each tile is still kiln-fired over olive branches and glazed by hand, no factory processes involved, because we believe that you shouldn’t have to settle for an imitation. In fact, we extend this idea to all of our tiles: our marble tile is sourced from carefully inspected slabs and our cement tiles are all handcrafted locally. We do our best to keep our prices low, because we believe that high-quality materials should be accessible, and no one should have to settle for less when it comes to designing their dream space. If you’re interested in seeing any of our zellige tiles in person, please feel free to order a sample and we’ll ship directly to your front door!