Handmade tile is all the rage but is it trendy or classic? Our stance is that a material that has been around for hundreds of years is inherently classic, even if it is off-the-moment. Zellige or otherwise-handmade tile fits that category perfectly, and it’s easy to see why it’s filling our feeds right now. It’s beautiful, nuanced in color, and brings a soft, Old-World vibe. Here are a few of our favorite ways to work it into a space.
Fill the Space
If a little bit of handmade tile is great, then an entire room is a showstopper! California designer Amber Lewis filled her personal kitchen with creamy Zellige tile paired with texture galore. Antique beams, bespoke cabinetry, marble, and an island crafted in Belgium combine to create a one-of-a-kind European-inspired space.
Tip: When creating a tone-on-tone space like this one, be sure to combine EVERY sample before placing orders. Subtle undertones may seem harmless on their own, but can look exaggerated next to other materials.
Shop our similar style: Handcraft Creme
Consider a Dark Shade
Natural shades of handmade tile gets a lot of play, but the darker tones are just as lovely while offering a healthy dose of drama! And if you think a darker material will make the room seem bleak, think again. The slightly iridescent surface of the tile will help bounce light around the space, making it ideal for an "evening room,"or any space that will be lit by ambient sources like lamps, sconces, or candles
Shop our similar style: Magma Black
Design by JHL Design
For a more modern approach, try a straight or even a vertical straight stack. This tile has imperfect edges, so this layout may not look as tidy as a more uniform material might, but it’s still a fun option. We love how this designer mimicked the tongue and groove wainscot outside the shower with a vertical stack, and wasn't afraid to use multiple bold colors in the space. Simple, classic white penny tile and a stunning marble curb offer a counterpart to the darker shades.
Shop our Similar Style: Artisan Coral Pink Matte Ceramic
Pair It with Texture
To really capitalize on the imperfect, handcrafted vibe, we love to see it paired with other textural elements. Tumbled stone, a heavily-veined marble, or a natural wood finish all offer a similar feel and help the room feel balanced. A shiny metal finish will complement the subtle sheen of the tile, so steer away from matte plumbing, lighting, and hardware fixtures to really lean into the old-world style.
Shop our Similar Style: Handcraft Creme