[Paid partnership with Maitland & Poate]
I definitely have a thing for tiles (and paint, and cushions, lamps, furniture and accessories, but let's focus on tiles today, okay?). And my love knows no bounds as far as styles go. In fact, I probably need at least seven homes so I can bring all my ideas to fruition. IN MY DREAMS...
A modern-rustic farmhouse in the Italian countryside, a contemporary beach-house in Miami, a villa in Formentera, a Brownstone in New York, a classic Parisian apartment, a mansion in the Hollywood Hills or maybe something in Palm Springs - I'm not fussy. Oh, and a Victorian Terrace in London. At least I can tick one off the list, so I mustn't complain, but I can dream, right?
Anyway, if I had all these fantasy homes, then I could put some of Maitland & Poate's antique tiles to extremely good use.
Maitland & Poate are a London based family run business that started after their obsession with finding the perfect tiles for their family home led them to sourcing them from Andalucía in Spain.
You will now find Spanish tiles dating back to circa 1790 on their site, and believe me when I tell you that they're stunningly beautiful. They are of course original reclaimed tiles and once they're gone, they're gone. For the most part you won't find them in huge numbers, making them the perfect choice for kitchen splash-backs, small bathrooms, and borders where they could also be combined with other tiles. Some designs are available in large numbers, so amazing for kitchen floors, halls or patios.
I chose just a few of my many favourites from the current stock to photograph. Although they would work with both traditional and contemporary styles, for me these tiles would be amazing combined with really modern brassware and clean lines if you're using them in a bathroom or kitchen - that classic contrast between the rough and old with the sleek and new really lets both elements shine. And as ever I love a restrained, tone on tone colour palette.
Reclaimed encaustic (cement) tiles are more hardy than new ones as they've already been treated throughout their lives. They still need to be re-treated, but shouldn't give you as much stress as new ones that can get stained and marked more easily during the installation process, which is an added benefit alongside the obvious environmental bonus of a reclaimed product. They've already developed a beautiful patina adding that much sought after aged character - and it's entirely authentic. Perfectly imperfect you could say.
I absolutely love the fact that you're told the area and era of each tile design and that you can give a new home and life to these works of art that have so much history.
Coser Tile, Jaen c 1905
The Coser tile obviously caught my eye with its gorgeous muted pinks, and this pattern reminds me of pretty pink gingham! Perfect for a small bathroom or cloakroom floor, or a splash-back in a kitchen, bathroom or utility room. Pair with Maitland & Poate's Seashell lime paint.
Pato Tile, Barbate, c 1940 / Moteado Verde Tile, Coil de la Frontera, c 1960
Ah this classic 50's green of the Pato tile gets me every time, although in this case it's actually 40's green, and this is the perfect shade, that is at once vintage and yet very of the moment. These would make a stunning border in a larger space, and are perfect for a bathroom floor. The larger format marbled Moteado tile compliment them beautifully. Pair with Carrera lime paint to keep it light and breezy.
Raya Tile, Arcos de la Frontera, c 1900 / Gonzalo Tile, Cordoba, c 1910
You can't go wrong with this colour palette - truly timeless and always classy, black, grey and warm whites are a guaranteed winner. Both the Raya (above, top) and Gonzalo tile with its infinite pattern possibilities ooze modern elegance, even if they are over a hundred years old. Pair with Nero lime paint for an über dramatic space or Ivory for a more classic look.
Ladrillos, Medina Sidonia, c 1790 / Rojo Viejo, Cadiz City, c 1890
These tiles are going on my fantasy patio in my fantasy garden. I do actually have the garden, and maybe next year we'll be able to make better use of the decent size by getting rid of some of the wasted-in-our-hands garden beds and creating a patio off the kitchen as the first phase.
But I digress.... these would also be incredible inside, I'm thinking the rectangular terracotta on a kitchen floor in a herringbone pattern, walnut units and a soapstone worktop, whilst the square Rojo Viejo tile would be beautiful in a bathroom paired with oak cabinetry. The Ladrillos tiles are over TWO HUNDRED years old!
Okay, so I've revved myself up into a complete fantasy tiling tizz now. If only these tiles could talk, boy would they have some stories to tell! And isn't it just amazing how modern they feel, when they're up to 200 years old? It just goes to show, that nothing is really original anymore, and that's not always a bad thing.
Do check out the Maitland & Poate website for the full selection of antique tile treasures, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.