Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

TREASURE HUNTING

AROUND HOME : Notes on Painted Tin, Tiling and Big Napkins : Tiling

November 06, 1988|LOIS GIBSON

TILE IS NO longer confined to floors and counters. New sealants have inspired architects to sheathe entire buildings with it. In addition, there are glorious all-tile hearths and exquisite tile-encased kitchen and bathroom fixtures.

Each country developed its own art of tile-making. Ancient tile paintings of Egyptian gods, Moorish arabesques, Chinese courtiers and Japanese landscapes are still reproduced. So are Holland's traditional marines and pastorals in blue-and-white delft. Look for the sculptured cherubs and majolica fruits of Renaissance Italy, the ribboned nosegays of Medieval France, bold heraldic and Islamic motifs from Spain, vivid birds and beasts from Portugal, vibrant terra cottas from Mexico.

Tile murals depict caged parrots, pots overflowing with flowers, fairy-tale scenes and--for country kitchens--strings of fish, game and vegetables. Narrow border tiles form stunning friezes and create abstract designs in endless colors. Elegant lettered and numbered tiles identify names, addresses and everything else from herbs to powder rooms.

Thirties hexagonal, octagonal and chevron floor tiles in all colors are available with contrasting diamonds. Three-dimensionals range from Greek shapes and bright French bricks to Italian ribs, stripes and geometrics.

At one Los Angeles tile showroom, antique Dutch tiles covering an old-fashioned footed gas stove extend up the wall and form a ceiling-high hood--spectacular proof that tile can magically transform almost anything into a showpiece.

Hand-painted tiles are imported by Country Floors and Walker & Zanger, both in Los Angeles. Old delft tiles are sold by Helen Williams in North Hollywood. Distinctive Italian tiles are available at International Tile in Los Angeles, Globe Marble in North Hollywood, Arcadia Tile in Arcadia, Italian Ceramic Tile in Anaheim and Emser International stores in Los Angeles, Chatsworth, Anaheim and San Diego. Tiles in personalized colors, patterns and shapes are custom-designed by Adriane in Duarte, Barbara Beall in Torrance and custom tile by Debora at Malibu Ceramic Works in Topanga.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|