Mosaic Tile: Timeless not Trendy

When Ashley Holt of Ashley's Interiors approached us about writing an article on the beautiful mosaic tile patterns she saw during a recent trip to Italy, we didn't hesitate for a second to say, "YES!!"   Everyone knows the Italians knew a thing or two about working with tile, but when we saw Ashley's pictures, we could not believe just how beautiful and amazingly intact these patterns truly were!  It would be easy to mistake photos of these centuries old patterns for a picture of a modern-day (and very stylish) bathroom  or entry hall floor.  We are truly delighted today to have Ashley share her musings on the timeless appeal of mosaic tile. BACKGROUND:  Ashley received her BS degree in Interior Design and Public Relations from the University of Georgia.  She opened Ashley’s Interiors in 1992 with a focus on residential design.  Her work has ranged from Colorado mountain cabins to beach homes on the panhandle.  Ashley had been featured in regional publications and her business is based in Columbus, Georgia.  She lives with her husband and three children.

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Mosaic Tile: Timeless not Trendy I had the privilege this summer to travel to France and Italy with my daughter and friends. As part of most experiences abroad, we toured the famous sites and enjoyed the wonderful history associated with them. Being such a visual person, I spent my time taking photos of artwork, architecture and color combinations that moved me. My husband says all my photos are boring! "Where are the people?", he asks. I hope you will find them otherwise!

Rome rooftop garden

As part of our travel through Italy, we explored the villa of the Emperor Hadrian near the city of Tivoli. The villa dates from the third century and the ruins there have long ago be stripped of their most wonderful mosaics and sculpture which are now located in numerous museums. However, even the little bit that is left is amazing to see.

Hadrian Villa

As the saying goes, "There is nothing new under the sun!" I was amazed at the detailed mosaics remaining after 1800 years. In the guard's quarters, a relatively "low-level" of housing, they have excavated 3D mosaics containing beautiful patterns.

Hadrian Villa pattern

There is much to be taken from these works that sent my mind racing and trying to figure out where I could "re-create" them. Obviously, mosaics stand the test of time...they wear beautifully and can give special impact in the right place.

Hadrian Villa pattern

Hadrian Villa pattern

Hadrian Villa pattern

Mosaics have made a significant renaissance in the design industry and are available in exquisitely intricate patterns. However, they are also available in basic patterns that are simple and elegant...patterns that have been repeated throughout history. Fortunately, we don't to have to recreate these patterns for ourselves. Waterworks and Ann Sacks, for example, have numerous options to choose from. Recently, I have even found the basket weave pattern at Lowes!

Waterworks Basket Weave Bordered 

Waterworks Parramore Collection

Waterworks Parramore Collection

Waterworks 3D Parramore Collection

Though I tend to use mosaics mainly in bathrooms, they are lovely as a focal point or back splash in a kitchen as well. Entryways are another area where they are as effective as they are practical. They are usually sold in 12x12 sheets, where the pattern is held together with a mesh backing . One caution, you have a greater chance of growing tired of your pattern than you do of wearing it out so be sure your really love it as it's set in stone! Honestly, the uses are unlimited and if they can withstand the wind, sun and rain over the last 2000 years, I'm sure they will make for an enduring investment in your home.

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Thank you, Ashley!  We have learned so much from this article on mosaic tile and its incredible legacy throughout history!  For more information about Ashley and Ashley's Interiors, see below:

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Ashley’s Interiors

1130 Lockwood Avenue / Columbus, GA 31906 / 706-322-5550

www.ashleysinteriors.com

ashley@ashleysinteriors.com

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(Image 1: Ann Sacks "Beau Monde Polly" Tile-courtesy of DecorPad.com; All other images courtesy of Ashley Holt).