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Zellige tiles used as a backsplash in a French kitchen with dark marble counters, floating sheleves and white cabinets
Zellige tiles in a home in France used as a backsplash in the kitchen. (above)

I had never heard of the word zelliges before late last night. I was browsing around looking at pretty pictures and I saw an article that said something about zellige tiles. What? Zelliges? What in the world? Well of course I had to know more.

Turns out, zelliges are Moroccan terra cotta tiles...glazed...cut into small squares or shapes and set into cement.  They are known for their imperfections and inconsistencies and are meant to be laid on a vertical surface (i.e. a wall) rather than on a horizontal one (i.e a floor).

This picture above shows a kitchen with these zelliges from counter to ceiling. Quite nice. I like!  The imperfections in the tiles and the glazing almost create an iridescent look..almost looks like the surface is made from mother of pearl.

So, while I had not heard the word zelliges before...I had seen the zellige tiles for sure...they are classic in Moroccan architecture...see below...usually detailed colorful mosaics.

Zellige mosaic tiles in Mekhnes
Zellige mosaic tiles in Mekhnes, a city in northwestern Morocco. (above)

Close up of avocado green zelliges from Emery et Cie
Close up of avocado green zelliges from Emery et Cie shows all of the fantastic imperfections in these tiles. (above)
I might like to see zelliges in one color used on a fireplace surround or in a bathroom shower wall as well.

Couple questions...1) Had you ever heard of the word "zelliges"? 2) Do you like their imperfections or do you dislike? 3) What do you think of the kitchen? 4) Could you see using zelliges in your home (maybe monochromatic)?

Happy Friday!


P.S.  So honored that Elaine over at Style at Home asked me to contribute to a piece on budget friendly decor ideas.  Check out my budget friendly tip!

Photo: Marie Claire Maison; Wikipedia
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Write by: AN - Friday, February 10, 2012


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