I've had a passion for tile for as long as I can remember. I love all types but have been particularly drawn to cement tile over the past several years. Then, one evening in LA, my love turned to lust and then obsession. The defining moment - dinner at Bouchon in Beverly Hills (side note: you must go if you live in or visit the area - so amazing). As I walked into the entry on the ground floor I was taken aback by the floor tile. Floods of memories and emotions from travels and such came over me...I couldn't get enough. I had to take a picture of the floor as I declared to my dinner companions that I must have something like this in my home one day....
It is not the best picture as I was taking it with my phone and may have enjoyed a few glasses of champagne. But really, isn't it just beautiful?
After that I calmed down a little but as I was checking out the sneak peak of the Coastal Living Beach House (drool) I saw this image:
Sparks went off in my brain (it happens sometimes) - wait - that's sort of like the tile from Bouchon. And, this is going to be used in the Master Bath - brilliant! I started to wonder where one goes about finding such tile (new with the old look). After a fitful search that I can't quite explain (really, I'm not renovating a home anytime soon) I came across Grenada Tiles. Can you even imagine my surprise when one of the first pictures on the site was of by beloved Bouchon?
The source was discovered. Be still my beating heart. The site also has great gallery images of some historic installations like the two below:
Because I want want this post to have some brains to its beauty - a brief history of cement tiles (a.k.a. encaustic tiles, Cuban tiles, Moroccan Tiles, etc.)
The Echo collection revitalizes an art form that developed in France in the mid-1800's and quickly spread around the world. Unlike ceramic tiles, which are usually glazed and fired, decorative cement tiles are made by first pouring a mixture of cement and color pigment into separate compartments in a metal mold (a sort of oversized cookie cutter). This first color layer is 1/8" thick. Next we add concrete and press the tile under 3,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. This upside down cake is left to cure, creating a remarkably strong and lustrous tile. - Grenada Tiles
A couple of great shots of cement tile in artist's homes include Gaudi's above and Miro's below.
While I yearn for my cement tile to be on the floor - you can't ignore the beauty of the material when placed on the walls, especially in kitchens like these two by Tom Scheerer.
This might be my new dream kitchen. I bet I would become a great chef if I was surrounded by such beauty. Check it out up close:
And, a few parting images....
Yes, I also want a rustic, wood table in my kitchen sitting on top of my cement tile. Hhhmmm...perhaps one day!
So, am I the only one or do these pictures make you want to go tile something?