Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tile as wallpaper

Tile somewhere other than in the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom--this is a trend I see repeatedly at tile shows, in catalogues and in showrooms.

The idea of tiling non-traditional rooms is interesting because I don’t see it much in North America, and in my work, I go into a lot of well-designed homes. So, is tiling the bedroom, living room, etc, really wildly popular elsewhere? I don't know. Then again, I don’t know why not, because it is hard to imagine anything more elegant than a wall-sized mural of the most gorgeous tile you’ve ever seen. Think of New Ravenna Mosaics and it's hard to conceive of a place you wouldn't want it.

Many Italian glass tile companies show exotic, erotic or exquisite tile murals. (But sheesh--have you seen the ads? You'd think they were marketing to strip club owners.) Those tile patterns are stunning, but personally, I wonder if I’d want to change that out after a while.

The idea of tile wallpaper—a luxurious, repeating pattern—seems more manageable. Several glass mosaics companies have classic tile patterns I could imagine in a dining room wall above the chair rail, or something romantic--but not clich├ęd-- for the wall behind the headboard in the bedroom. 

There's Bisazza and Sicis, with their stunning murals, of course. Previously, I've written about the classic Mosaico Italiano stone mosaics. Also, Hakatai and the Canadian company Interstyle, both of which have beautiful glass tile. Oceanside has very unique and lovely glass tile and mosaic lines.

Trend USA is a glass mosaic company with an interesting line called Wallpaper. It was hard to narrow down the selection because there are dozens of designs, but the black and white patterns are very striking. When I saw these photos, I really started thinking about mosaics that really were never meant for a kitchen backsplash.

This organic vine pattern seen above and at right is called "Glorious 3" and the zebra design below is appropriately called "Wild 3". Pretty groovy, I'd say.

Images courtesy of Trend USA.