Italian Tile Style: Understated Yet Deeply Luxurious Tile for the Kitchen

Italian Tile Style: Understated Yet Deeply Luxurious Tile for the Kitchen

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Faith Durand
Sep 28, 2012
This past week I took a trip to Venice, Italy, and this included a short jaunt to Bologna to check out the huge European tile show, CERSAIE. This show concentrates primarily on the bath, but I came away with serious tile lust for a few designs from the Bouroullec brothers and others, designed for Mutina, a luxury Italian tile company. These tiles rely on texture to balance an understated use of color. Now, these may look a little boring from this vantage point, but click through and step closer... ...see? Texture! I love understated tile like this. It makes you get up close, and it looks different from different viewpoints. It also emphasizes tile as a concrete, interesting object — not just a smooth printed surface. Textural tiles like these of course aren't always best suited for high-splatter areas like the backsplash, but a strip of tile can make a great accent behind a shelf or on a side wall in the kitchen. TOP ROW • 1 Pico Ronan and Erwan Bourellec for Mutina. • 2 Pico - This line was released last year. • 3 Pico - Up close, it's matte and textured, almost like cardboard with dots pressed into it. • 4 Folded - Raw Edges for Mutina. • 5 Folded - This tile looks like crumpled paper. Really, really gorgeous, and super hard to communicate in photos. Amazing in person. BOTTOM ROW • 6 Phenomenon - Tokujin Yoshioka for Mutina. • 7 Phenomenon - I've been such a fan of this stuff for a while. It's lovely in person - so textured. • 8 Phenomenon - Definitely not something for practical areas, but would make the most lovely accent. • 9 Oversized Tile - from Petraluxe. • 10 Oversized Tile - Now for something a little different. I really liked these enormous, wall-spanning ceramic tiles from Petraluxe. Think about having a backsplash of just one big tile... High-end tile is generally best sourced and priced out through a distributor or a kitchen or bath designer (good luck finding easy retail access to these things!). Related: Classic Design: A Gallery of Subway Tiles in the Kitchen (Images: Faith Durand)
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