Exploring the Tile while Traveling, Part 1 Morocco

If you’ve been looking at tile recently for a kitchen, bath, or laundry room renovation, chances are you’ve seen inspiring tile images from Morocco or Portugal. Back in May, Maria traveled to both countries and one of her favorite aspects of the trip was discovering all the impressive tile work. Here’s Part 1 of what she found in Morocco, in her own words:

Throughout our travels in Morocco, my husband and I realized that you could not judge the interior of a home or building based on the outside. A typical non-descript clay building exterior did not prepare us, many times over, for the brilliance that we would find inside.  Take, for example, the Bahia palace we toured.   Tile was featured on the floor and walls of all the rooms and the inner courtyards. To see more of this palace, click here.

We stayed in a few Riads, which used to be private homes that have been converted to guest houses.   We would enter and be in complete awe of the gorgeous and unique mosaics on the walls, the stairs…seemingly everywhere we looked!

The home of Yves Saint Laurent had amazing gardens throughout the property.  Scenes like the one below were all over the Jardin Majorelle estate.

The beautiful Moroccan tile was used in the fountains, on the floor, and the walls.  While we were not able to go inside, Elle Décor has a fabulous article that takes the reader through the interior spaces where we see similar tile used inside as well, read more.

While in Fez, Morocco we visited a cooperative where the people hand make the tiles that are similar to the ones that had been inspiring awe in us for days. We were walked through the process:   first the clay soaks in water.  Then, when the clay is finally ready, it is hand crafted into tiles, vases, plates, etc. 

Mosaic tiles are etched out and carved all by hand.  We were in Morocco during Ramadan, a 30-day period of fasting for Muslims, and watched these skilled artisans work for hours at a time without food or water.  All this hard work was even more impressive to witness during this religious time of dedication.

As a homeowner who is getting ready to do some major renovations, these travels have inspired some tile ideas I’d like to apply to the interior design of my own home. Knowing some of the background and having seen the tile being hand made has made the selection process more heartfelt. Here are some of the tiles I am currently loving:

Cle Tile just released a new line that is just like the patterns we saw in Morocco.

They also have white clay tile that reminds me so much of the green bathroom I fell in love with in Fez.  

Mosaic House is another tile retailer that has some gorgeous tiles.  I love the mosaic offerings, especially the Ketyani tile used in the bathroom below.

And finally, I am obsessed with the fish scale tile and found a great deal over at Wayfair. It’s such a gorgeous tile for a kitchen backsplash.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series where we move back to Europe and explore the tile of Portugal!

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