European Flooring

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Maison de Tunisie Vintage Terra Cotta Tile Collection

There is something appealing when one stumbles across authenticity.  I can remember when François and I first started Pavé and we were showing at Coverings.  Men with their little black cameras taking pictures of our products just to return from where they came across the sea, to copy all our hard work and originality.  I say to those men with this collection - good luck.

Pavé's Maison de Tunisie Vintage Wall Tile Collection takes 10 steps to achieve what we believe, a comparable tile to a real antique.  Ten steps.  Yes...we are crazy.  But we would never create something we did not believe in ourselves.  So ten steps later and two years later, we are have arrived to this point of authenticity.

Authenticity of what?  We certainly did not recreate the wheel...these Tunisian, Moresque designs have been done and redone for over 3000 years! flattering to recreate these same motifs for over 3000 years...why not Pavé?  Pavé is picky.  We will not create a new collection that does not exude who we are authentically.  François's father being a professor for a time in Tunisia, he and his siblings lived in Carthage, Tunisia.  He grew up among the Jasmin and palm trees, ate dates from the trees in their family's gardens and learned Arabic, writing the letters carefully with ink and plume.  Here is in fact a picture of François (on the right, standing up) with his younger brother Emmanuel and sister Anne in their gardens.

But I digress.  Whether one is French, Tunisian or American, there is something about these Moresque motifs that appeal to all our senses.  Sometimes I ponder this.  Why these designs?  I, as well as François, like "chunky" designs, designs one can grab and hold with the eye.  I am not pleased with over ornate motifs...they in fact make me dizzy.

Why 10 steps?  The first few is simply making hand made European terra cotta tile - high fired and glorious, a quality without compare.  From there, in our studios we do 8 more steps...and voilà!  We have 19 different motifs that come in 8 different colors.  This is where I step in...the American francophone.  As a former French high school teacher, lived in France, married a French guy and our daughter's first language is French - I am still very much American.  I get us.  I know, without generalizing...but in general, most American decors welcome pattern...but not too much.  Most American decors like color...but not too much!  A touch, a splash.  Thank goodness beige has been replaced probably by white - or by gray - but with an added zing, maybe paired with apricot or chartreuse.  So in this collection, we were very aware of color.  The colors still must seem authentic to Tunisia but translated ever so slightly for the American color palette.

Texture.  Of course through a computer screen - you could not possibly know the surface texture of this collection.  I will define it for you.  It's like a patina glass.  The decorative seems to be floating just underneath vintage glass with a slight crackle.  And yes, crackle is overdone in the tile market - but this tile called for it.  Period.  The crackle is done elegantly and adds to the authenticity of this collection.

Another fun part of creating an authentic Tunisian terra cotta tile collection is in the names.  I love naming my designs and colors.  I fully believe a name for a certain motif and a name for a certain color is a necessity when trying to translate how I feel and view about our products.  For me, our collections must speak to my soul or I will not have a passion for them.  I have names like Femme Berber and Tunisian Wedding to Souk and Place Victoire.  I have colors like oxblood, sky and sea mist.  I envision myself in this country and using the right word - my mind almost believes I am there.  I feel an openness - a big clear sky, a dark marine sea, a sea mist raised by winds, the sand beneath my feet, café one drinks that is rich and bitter...

This is just a sampling of the Maison de Tunisie Vintage Terra Cotta Tile Collection. If you would like to view the entire collection as well as all the names, colors and motifs, please click here.

So much is going on at Pavé...I have been quiet for awhile...but it's simply because François and I have been creating.  Next up is a collection close to my heart, The Montmartre European Terra Cotta Flooring Collection.  I added more designs and glaze colors.  I will be in my studio photographing the lovely boards François has made for me.  Look for that soon in the next blog and on our site.  And something so exciting will be On The Road to Florence Wall Collection - Florentine elegance and color inspired from the 16th century with my little American twist.

We hope you enjoy our hard work and authenticity!  Kudos to François,  for without his incredible hard work and meticulousness, Pavé would just be pretty designs on pieces of paper.  It is he who has tamed hand made European terra cotta tile. Period.

A bientot,
Emmi Micallef
Pavé Tile & Stone, Inc.


  1. These are beautiful tiles. I am amazed to learn that tile flooring has been around for centuries. The one thing I love with tile flooring is how easy it is to clean. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your blog. Want to have excellent design tiles for your home? Design Tiles Rockdale offers a wide range of tile products, from indoor to outdoor tiles and many more. Visit our website now for more information!

  3. I would love to have custom tiles installed in my kitchen on day. The designs that you show in your tile options above would be perfect for what I am looking for. I have always wanted a Tuscan style kitchen, and with these tiles, I could finally achieve that for myself.
    Cynthia |

  4. Reserve de France ® Hardwood flooring receive the upmost attention to detail throughout every step of their creation. We have direct relationships with National forests in France , and giving us access to the highest grade French oak lumber and allowing us to hand select each log that your floor is crafted from. From there, each board of your new floor is hand crafted to a high standard in Reserve de France. Every individual log we use can be traced back to responsibly harvested and verified sources from French sustainable forests. In these certified forests, selective cutting is the manner to harvest logs without destroying the forest. Reserve de France - Producer of Solid and Engineered French Oak Hardwood Flooring ready to lay. The logs are "live sawn" in a horizontal manner only. After cutting, the boards are naturally air dried for 12 to 24 months. Before production into wide planks for flooring, the planks are slowly kiln dried for 30 days for added stability and to bring the moisture content to indoor levels. At this production time, we also use the high tannin content of the French Oak to accelerate the aging process to give different natural colors to the flooring plank without using any artificial coloring or stain. You can get here the best quality of hardwood flooring, french oak, french oak flooring, engineered flooring, engineered french oak flooring, french oak factory, french oak manufacturer, hardwood flooring miami, hardwood flooring nyc and hardwood flooring Chicago.

  5. Good post....thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.!
    Katni Yellow Sandstone

  6. Nice Website...
    Hey JOIN now and Increase Facebook Likes your profile and websites.
    Increase Facebook Likes and check your website worth worth my websites
    FB Likes and check your website worth Website Value Calculator
    Hot Wallpapers
    its may be very beneficial for you also really

  7. Our clients are small businesses trying to make their way in this crazy messed up world. We’re trying to give them a leg up in the online space and would love to find out if there are any opportunities for us to begin building a working relationship.

    pave tiles website