Item Lessons: Portuguese Azulejo Tiles Made Modern

Recently we have actually discovered tile sneaking well beyond floorings and backsplashes: onto counters and kitchen area islands, fireplace surrounds, and more. However tiling by doing this is far from brand-new: In Lisbon, for instance, churches, city stations, street indications, floorings, water fountains, and exteriors are covered with azulejos And it returns even further than that.

A (extremely) quick history lesson:

in a renovated brooklyn townhouse, architect elizabeth roberts t 12
Above: In a remodelled Brooklyn townhouse, designer Elizabeth Roberts tiled a sink backsplash in antique Portuguese tile. Photo thanks to Elizabeth Roberts Architecture & & Style

These ceramic tiles are now an icon of Portugal, however their history can be traced to Spain and, before that, to Egypt (the name azulejo originates from the Arabic al zellige, significance “refined stone”), where they served as innovative environment control versus desert heat. When Moorish impact brought the tiles to the Iberian Peninsula, they likewise showed helpful versus the dry, hot environment of contemporary Spain, and in the 13th century the city of Sevilla ended up being a main production center. (An early, and popular, example of Moorish tile in Spain is at the Alhambra in Granada, where tile mosaics are comprised of alicatados— a method where tile panels are colored one color, cut into geometric shapes, and meshed like a puzzle.)

Azulejos concerned Portugal when King Manuel I, stunned by the tiles he saw all over throughout a see to Spain, brought the custom back to his own nation. It remained in Portugal that azulejos began to handle a more elaborate, ornamental design, utilizing a range of strategies and including impacts from Indian to Dutch. Especially with big stretches of bare-plaster walls, Portuguese tiles ended up being a method of filling void with information and style.

Now, hoteliers and designers are taking this ancient custom and making it modern-day. To get the take a look at home, tile your kitchen area, bath, or floorings with among the 5 styles listed below.

5 to Purchase

new terracotta makes “handmade tiles in a human scale factory&# 13
Above: New Terracotta makes “handcrafted tiles in a human-scale factory” in Portugal. The Sagres Tiles are among numerous azjulejos available.

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