|Pavé Tile's Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Tile from Rouen|
I love Pattern. On the wall or on the floor - I find having pattern intermixed with more calming surfaces creates interest, making a too modern ambiance warm or adding authenticity to an historical decor. The kitchen back splash is the perfect surface to add this interest - and the choices of patterned tiles are nearly limitlessness. Patterned tiles historically found their way to our shores through years of evolution, beginning where civilization began in Mesopotamia circa 600 AD when terra cotta tiles where first used for a building material. This technique was developing also in China and eventually led to Europe via North Africa from the Moors in Spain, via Italy with their Majolica Tile and during the 16th and 17th Centuries via the Dutch East India Trading Company from China into Holland.
The colors of patterned tiles can be bold or quiet. I find multicolored patterned tiles beautiful like Majolica tiles from Italy or Moorish Tiles with Spanish and North African roots. There are spaces perfect for these bold and multicolored tiles - and many who do them exceedingly well. As for me at Pavé Tile, we could choose to offer these tiles and maybe one day we will...but for now - our passion resides more in Northern Europe where the influence of Chinese porcelain propelled artisans to recreate the luminescent surfaces of blue and white Chinese vases and plates onto tile.
Blue and White. How lovely are these colors. They are clean and quiet - yet warm all at once. Designing with blue and white - designers still have many options to mix in other glorious building materials - like a French Limestone Floor, a classic French Terra Cotta Tile Tomette Floor or a soft Reclaimed French Oak Floor. Pavé Tile offers all these European flooring options - and once installed, make the Blue and White kitchen sing.
|Pavé Tile's Vieux Monde French Limestone Flooring Collection: St. Etienne, Finish: 14th Century|
|Pavé Tile's Vintage Mill 18th Century French Oak Floors in Cognac|
|Pavé Tile's French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile Floors in Classic Provencal Tomette|
|Monet's Kitchen in Giverny France|
So let's talk about these infamous Blue and White Tiles. Pavé Tile offers two Collections - the 17th Century Delft Tile Collection and the Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Tiles from Rouen. Having a passion for narration and draftsmanship - I love Delft Tile. Delft Tiles tell stories and they are little windows into what life was like in the 17th Century. Capturing the countryside or ships, the children at play or the tradesmen in villages - the pictorials can be quaint and whimsical. Delft Tile gives a warmth of play to a kitchen while visually adding patterned interest to what was just a bare wall.
My desire to do our own Blue and White Delft Tile versus importing it from Europe was because I love painting. I wanted to create a Blue and White Delft Tile Collection for Pavé Tile from my own hand. Another reason, in terms of business, was that we wanted a Delft Tile truly stateside - easy to obtain and at a good price point. Many Delft Tiles must be imported with incredibly long ETA's and at prices that cannot always allow a client to be generous with her walls. Although we are still in process of producing our Delft Tile for the Market, I can show you some of my Delft Blue Tile paintings that will be hand decorated onto a hand made earthenware (or terra cotta) tile. There will be numerous collections including: Blue and White Delft Tile Ships, Blue and White Delft Tile Children at Play, Blue and White Delft Tile Flowers, Blue and White Delft Tile Villageois, Blue and White Delft Tile Bourgeois, Blue and White Delft Tile Sea Creatures, and Blue and White Delft Tile Paysage. The three photos I am showing below is just samples of what the Blue and White Delft Tile at Pavé Tile will soon be. These are some of the original paintings.
|Pavé Tile's Blue Delft Tile Children at Play - Original Painting|
The second Delft Tile like Collection Pavé Tile offers is "Cuisine de Monet - 18th Century Tiles from Rouen". In the 18th Century in Rouen, France, ateliers set-up shop recreating in their own way, the Chinese porcelain that had been entering their country via Holland via the Dutch East India Trading Company. Instead of concentrating on figures, the French manufactures of Rouen were taken with geometrics. At the time, Monet lived 45 minutes south of Rouen, in Giverny - and thus the history began between Monet's Kitchen and the famous porcelain-like blue and white tiles from Rouen. Pavé Tile will offer an array of geometrics for this Delft Tile like Collection - and although the designs originate from the 18th Century, there is a modern aesthetic that exudes from these blue and white geometric tiles.
As I was researching Delft Tile on-line, I found a blog from Attic Mag entitled: Delft Tile Kitchen Style, where she writes, "I keep expecting to read that it’s passé. Instead, iconic cobalt blue-and-white Dutch tiles continue to be chosen for kitchens whether the ceramics are made in Morocco, Texas, France or The Netherlands. While the look screams ‘traditional’ it always feels fresh. Plus, there are so many variations in the motifs – including genre figures, animals, florals, abstracts, geometrics, landscapes, Chinoiserie – it works with a majority of architectural and cabinet styles."
In another article from Big Bossy Color Blog, Annie Elliott has written an article following the South Beach Mondrian Hotel entitled: The South Beach Mondrian Hotel - the Dutch Thing. She writes," Marcel Wanders design for the Mondrian hotel in South Beach...apart from the fact that designing a hotel like a Mondrian painting would be well, kind of dreadful, the designer gives us the Dutch connection – and a wink and a nod – in another way. Mr. Wanders, from the Netherlands, pays homage to the artist Piet Mondrian, ALSO from the Netherlands, not through primary colors and right angles, but by exploding a quintessential Dutch design element: delft tile."
|Inside the Mondrain Hotel, each room has it's own kitchen exploding with Delft Tile|
Yes...thank you, Annie for seeing that! Delft Tile is meant to be used in continuous pattern and yes...it can rival the sleekest subway tile of modern decor - for it's the whimsy and warmth that contrasts splendidly with the cool lines of contemporary aesthetic. There in lies the point of my blog - Delft Tile has a legacy - a continued legacy that feels at home in historic and modern decor.
To finish my blog, I will show you some final photos of various Delft Tile Kitchens I found along the way.
|Quiet, contemporary kitchen becomes more warm and inviting with it's Delft Tile Backspalsh.|
|A Classic Americana White Kitchen, bianco carrara marble counterops, French oak flooring and Delft Tile back splash - so lovely.|
|La Cornue Range pops surrounded by the Blue Delft Tile backsplash.|
|A gorgeous French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile Tomette Floor with a patterned back splash motif - the legacy of Claude Monet? And the reclaimed French terra cotta parefeuille on the ceiling - fantastic. Texture and pattern done so right.|
|Mixing French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tomette Tile with a sleek black and white contemporary aesthetic|