by Emmi Micallef
January 29, 2020
As co-founder of Historic Decorative Materials and Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc. Showroom, I hand painted a decorative wall tile collection from European time periods that transcend time and marry well with our company’s reclaimed French limestone flooring, Belgian bluestone floors, French Oak floors and French reclaimed terra cotta tiles. Inspired from original museum pieces ranging from England’s 14th Century Encaustic tiles, Amsterdam's 17th Century Delft Tiles to France’s 19th Century kitchen tiles from Monet’s kitchen - my original hand painted designs in a neutral color palette of blues and various grey - elegantly compliment kitchens and baths from luxury to farmhouse and old world interiors.
French Provincial 19th Century Cuisine de Monet Decorative Wall Tile Collection
Classic blue and white geometric designs create pattern and interest, while the serene blues of the decorative motifs exude a clean and calming aesthetic. Claude Monet commissioned to have these tiles made for his Giverny kitchen by one of the most famous 19th century ceramic tile manufacturers located in Rouen, France. I chose to hand paint and recreate this famous tile collection for the fact that geometric patterned blue and white tile motifs with such history, is forever timeless.
Mixing the motifs is a classic way to use the Cuisine de Monet Tiles and is an authentic kitchen back splash with a French oven like La Cornue.
Using one motif like Petals, throughout a kitchen back splash or bathroom wall installation is also well-received, creating a beautiful and historic focal point for an interior.
Authenticity is sublime when mixing the J'aime la France decorative with one of the best French oak floors on the market today - The Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Flooring Collection. One of 12 colors, this color, called Aged Cask is classic Belgian interior style when paired with a blue like that of the Cuisine de Monet Collection.
This motif, called Gate, can be used as a single motif or within the classic Cuisine de Monet mix. Pairing Gate with the Monet Border gives the look balance and interest.
In sum, the Cuisine de Monet Decorative Wall Tile Collection is authentic 19th century designs from a celebratory tile manufacturer in Rouen, France. This tile was made famous by Claude Monet for his kitchen installation in Giverny, France. My original hand paintings recreate this collection for today's interiors.
Dutch Blue 17th Century Antiqued Delft Tile Collection
From the East Indies Trading Company bringing blue and white porcelain from China through the port of Amsterdam, 17th Century ceramic artists in this region became inspired to create their own version of this craft onto ceramic wall tile. Depicting real life during 17th Century Amsterdam, these tiles are relished for their history. Hand painting my own version of these tiles inspired from museum pieces, brought joy to me knowing I was adding to the long line of Delft Tile history.
From traditional and historic homes to luxury and farmhouse interiors - hand painted Delft Tiles will add elegance, beauty and history creating beautiful focal walls for a kitchen back splash or powder room. This motif called Tulip is one in a set of 4 different flowers, each having it's own hand painted butterfly.
Historical depictions of different trades during 17th Century Amsterdam is one of the Delft Tile trademarks, as well as seeing children playing with traditional wooden toys or jumping rope. It’s the simple events in their lives that allows us to breathe and appreciate our own. These depictions are stories that come to life in a Delft blue glaze, creating a calming and historic ambiance for an interior.
The Blossom and Butterfly motifs that I hand painted, represent the fields of flowers that blanketed the Amsterdam countryside. Capturing the natural elements, the Delft 17th Century tile artists seemed to relish these flowers that surely bloomed profusely during that time. As an interior design element within an historical context, these motifs are classic. The oxtail corners - elegant scroll work found in each corner of an authentic Delft Tile, are it's hallmark. This adds a lovely geometric and nearly lace-like pattern that is historically accurate since the beginning of Delft Tiles in 17th Century Amsterdam.
The active ports of Amsterdam brought ships from all over the world, so it is no surprise how wooden ships and the sea play a big role in historic Delft Tiles. A fireplace surround installed with our Delft Tile Ships + our Kings of France 18th Century French Oak Floor in a Parquet de Versailles Patterns exude an incredibly historic interior.
These 4 ships that I hand painted were the most work - but I loved falling into each wooden ship, thinking about the voyages on the ocean and what life must have been in 17th Century Amsterdam.
Children at Play is one of my favorite motifs in my Delft Tile Series. Thinking children played outside freely with just their imaginations and a few simple toys make me hope that one day, we will return to imagination and the natural world to entertain ourselves once again.
In sum, museum inspired 17th century Delft Tile decorative motifs were made famous by Dutch Tile manufacturers depicting life in Amsterdam's Golden Trade Era. This historic decorative tile art has transcended time for centuries and with new generations coming about, their appreciation of finely painted decorative wall tiles, like that of the Delft Tile, can become apart of their interior design repertoire for it's beauty, authenticity and elegance.
On the Road to Florence 16th Century Italian Decorative Wall Tile Collection
Lost to the Renaissance Archives from the 16th Century, I became inspired to hand paint a classical Florentine decorative wall tile collection when I chanced upon historical designs while perusing through an art and design tomb at the public library. Choosing a blue black Florentine glaze for the motifs, the weight of these rich blues contrasts beautifully with reclaimed materials like this Italian stone sink and reclaimed Italian oak back splash showcased in our Pavé showroom.
This motif, called Stelle di Galileo, in the On the Road to Florence Decorative Wall Tile Collection, captures the Florentine midnight sky while Galileo gazed upon the infinity of stars above him. Installing this motif for a kitchen backsplash paired with Antique Belgian Bluestone is an interior design marriage made in heaven.
Giardino - or garden in Italian is the name of this motif. My inspiration for this piece was an original tile I saw that made me think of the beautiful gardens in Italy. The rich green leaves interweaving their vines along a trellis attached to an old stone farmhouse is imagery I wanted to take inside with me. This tile does that.
A patchwork wall tile installation can be appealing for beautiful focal walls in a kitchen or bath. This collection allows one to personalize one's space either using one motif or many. In sum, The On the Road to Florence Collection are lost archival Renaissance designs from 16th Century Florence, Italy, The motifs were appreciated by the Medicis, Patron to the Florentine Arts. For today's interiors, an eclectic mix of old world and reclaimed materials with modern elements create marvelous spaces.
Gardens in the Cloister 16th Century French Encaustic Decorative Wall Tiles
The French Encaustic Decorative Arts during the 16th century adorned rugs, tapestry and tile from churches to chateaux. The geometric patterns with fleur de lys motifs signifying royalty, was profound as well as motifs of the natural world. Aristans depicted woodland creatures like that of the hare and courageous animals like those of the lion or leopard on family crests and church stained glass windows. I chose to recreate these decoratives due to their bold yet elegant historical motifs that bring authenticity and interest to a home interior.
I was inspired to paint this motif, called the King’s Fleur de Lys from my Gardens in the Cloister 16th Century French Encaustic Tile Collection, based on my trip to François I’s château in France called Château de Chambord. The letter “F” decorated with the fleur de lys as well as original tiles from the 16th century sparked my imagination. I love this geometric decorative for a kitchen backsplash for it’s intricacy, history and elegance.
Creatures during the 16th Century were magical and revered as well as the natural world in which they lived. Bringing the hare (Lapin) into one’s home through the decorative arts symbolized luck and rebirth. I enjoyed painting this motif for the symbolism and the clover and leaves that bring the outside indoors. Combining motifs and creating one’s own patterns from The Gardens in the Cloister Decorative Wall Tile help to personalize one’s own interior for a kitchen backsplash, bathroom or fireplace surround.
In sum, the Gardens in the Cloister 16th Century French Encaustic Decorative Wall Tile Collection are hand painted inspired motifs from 16th Century France. The designs replicate the natural world that was attributed to healing powers and luck, as well as insignia motifs bestowed upon the crests and tapestries of French Royalty and the Church. For today's spaces, creating a personalized interior is cherished and an interior that exudes authenticity and elegance can be achieved through this tile collection.
The last collection I just recently painted is called The Carriage House 14th Century English Encaustic Decorative Wall Tile Collection. Making the trip from France to England during the 14th Century reveals incredible bold geometric designs that show influences of the natural world and fleur de lys - again signifying royalty. These designs were found from tapestries to tile throughout English churches and castles. Wealth was associated with a highly decorative interior. These classic designs are not lost in the 21st Century for the repeated patterns are whimsical, elegant, authentic and historic - adding incredible interest to an interior.
I love mixing these two motifs in particular - Queen’s Medaillon and English Rose with the Scroll Border. It is historic and regal, but elegant and timeless for a kitchen back splash, master bath, powder room or fireplace surround.
This motif called King's Medallion is surrounded by the Scroll Border and Scroll Corner. I love the strong and soft contrast of these two decoratives paired together.
Another option would be to use the Oak Leaf Border and Oak Leaf Corner with the English Rose motif. This brings to an interior the feeling of the natural old, authenticity and elegance. Perfect for a kitchen back splash that looks out onto gardens.
Here’s an example of how a bold geometric English Encaustic pattern can become softened using the Oak Leaf Border. Mixing and matching the various motifs in this warm grey glaze hold the eye but will not compete with the other elements in a room. This decorative is called Points of Light.
In sum, the museum inspired 14th century English Encaustic Decorative Wall Tile Collection exhibit bold geometric and natural world designs found throughout Castles and Churches - that are still relevant in today's interiors. As elegant as they are historic, the eye still enjoys these patterned wall tiles that artists created centuries ago.
I enjoyed researching and hand painting the Historic Decorative Wall Tile Collections for our company. My intent was to maintain an authenticity and tribute to these incredible historic decorative art tiles that should not be lost among trends. I feel their integrity holds true next to our French reclaimed limestone flooring. Belgian bluestone floors, French reclaimed terra cotta tiles and French oak flooring. Patterns - which all these tiles have in common - allow for incredible interest to a kitchen back splash wall, powder room, bathroom walls and fireplace surrounds. The neutral glaze color palette from Delft Blue and French Blue to warm grey and parchment are quiet anchors to other elements in a room - but define a space with nuance and elegance.
To view these collections within an incredibly beautifully and authentic space - please make an appointment to our Pavé Tile, Wood & Stone, Inc. Showroom.
Thank you for your time,
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