When it comes to tiles, uniformity has been pushed to the side. Now it is all about adding an extra dimension with different tones and finishes, so it is unsurprising that Zellige Tiles are having a moment.
Hailing from Morocco, Zellige Tiles are usually square but come in all shapes and sizes. They are usually created by hand meaning every tile has a different finish, due to the glaze the color variations can be endless.
In one fell swoop, these unique tiles summon up visions of holiday escapes, whilst adding an extra dimension of color and texture to kitchen ideas or bathroom ideas. Is it any wonder that they have become a newfound favorite with interior designers after the year we've had?
Exhibiting a refined timelessness, Zellige Tiles can create a statement in homes of all sizes and styles – but expert advice will ensure you do these colorful pieces justice. Here, the people in the know share their interior design tips so you can maximize their impact.
Why are Zellige Tiles trending?
Claybrook's (opens in new tab) Brand and Marketing Director, Lucy Kenna, explains that variegated tiles work effortlessly in every scheme, meaning Zellige Tiles inevitably continue to grow in popularity.
'The inherent charm and timeless design of these variegated Zellige style tiles will create an organic and rich artisan aesthetic and will sit perfectly in Mid-century Modern to English cottage interiors,' Lucy says.
There is also the escapism factor. The world may be reopening once again; but with travel still a distant memory for many of us, escaping to faraway shores is never far from our minds, so what better way than to recreate it in our interiors.
The Zellige Tiles Morrocan roots makes them an elegant way to evoke thoughts of distant shores – while offering hints of optimism for what's to come.
How to style Zellige Tiles in your home
1. Apply using an authentic method
'We recommend that Zellige and Bejmat tiles are installed in a traditional way, with little to no gap in between for the best visual effect,' explains Otto Tiles & Design's (opens in new tab) Founder, Damla Turgut.
While Zellige Tiles are not bound by specific pattern rules, Damla recommends following the grid pattern, 'which strikes a perfect balance of contemporary and classic styles.'
'These tiles are hard-wearing so can be used indoors and outdoors to create surfaces with texture and personality,' she adds.
2. Pair alongside rustic accents
While laying your Zellige Tiles is refreshingly simple, Marketing & Creative Manager at Ca' Pietra (opens in new tab), Grazzie Wilson, recommends adding extra thought to the wider space – and how your interiors can further accentuate their authenticity.
'Be it a brick or square tile. Inspired by Zellige tiles, they embody so much character in such a small space. The beauty is that you can lay them horizontally, vertically, brick-bond or stacked; the choice is yours,' Grazzie begins.
'Bring out the natural variation in the tiles by teaming them with some rustic accents – whether it's vintage bar stools in a kitchen or a freestanding tin bath in a bathroom.'
3. Curate a minimalist wider scheme
Similarly, Creative Director at Mandarin Stone (opens in new tab), Louisa Morgan, shares her kitchen and modern bathroom ideas – suggesting the most effective way to style your Zellige Tiles is found in your wider scheme. The secret to ensuring your tiles remain at the forefront of your interiors is by maintaining a simple scheme surrounding the area.
As Louisa explains: 'When using such materials, they really become the stand-out focus in the space and everything else should be kept to simple forms and tones. Think simple sanitary ware forms and subtle fixtures and fittings in neutral shades.'
4. Accentuate the irregular finish
When investing in Zellige Tiles, Damla urges you to choose a design that exhibits an authentic finish – thus showcasing the traditional Moroccan ambiance. Otto Tiles & Design's pieces epitomize this style as they are 'handcrafted from natural clay from the Fez region of Morocco' and 'air-dried in the sun in huge olive pits before being glazed and kiln-fired.'
'It is this traditional production method that creates the unique, irregular finish enhanced by the rich, glossy, colorful enamel glaze which highlights the natural tonal qualities and surface pattern of the tiles,' Damla adds.
5. Take the tiles outside
Before covering your interiors in glorious Zellige Tiles, Damla urges you to save some pieces to create a tropical sanctuary in your exterior space. Needless to say, her advice has reshaped our garden ideas. 'I love using them outdoors on patios as they remind me of exotic courtyards in my home country of Turkey,' Damla explains.
It's time to transform your home into an escapist paradise, one tile at a time.
Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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