14 December 2009

The good, the bad, and the extraordinarily ugly

If you know one thing about Paul, it’s that he loves and appreciates good tiles and tile mosaics — as well as a loaf of good homemade bread :-) He’s shown us some gorgeous tiles here on his blog. So I thought I’d take a look around the internet and see if I could find some tiles that he would love — and some that he would hate too!! And let me tell you, I came across some downright cringe-worthy stuff that I’m sure will turn Paul’s stomach. And probably yours too!! I also found some gorgeous stuff. I’ll save those ones for later in this post. First, you have to make it through the bad & extraordinarily ugly ;-)
So let’s start off with these barf-inducing beauties, direct from Ugly House Photos. The pink & white tiles in this bathroom are bad enough — do some of them really need to be sprouting tufts of grass??

pink tiles ugly house photos

The blue toilet seat really adds that decorator touch, yes?? ;-)
Don’t do this, unless you want to live in a perpetual state of dizziness:

checkerboard ugly house photos

Don’t do this either. If you patch a tile floor, for crying out loud, use the same tiles that are on the rest of the floor!!

checkeboard fix

There are no words… well, OK, actually, there are a few — gross, ugly, yucky, and what’s up with the gold-painted grout??

red kitchen

Tiled countertops are never a good idea. This sort-of-tiled-but-more-like-stoned vanity countertop is even worse. I think STONED is the key word here. As in, were these people stoned when they did this??


I know Paul will just LOVE this kitchen backsplash ;-) Is that a washing machine acting as a towel rack??

kitchen epicurious

How about a tile mosaic chair seat. Seriously. Why??

chair maragret almon

OK, your retinas probably need a break from the burning, right?? So let’s go to the other end of the spectrum now. In honour of Paul’s love of Italy, I found a company in Italy called Fiandre that creates absolutely stunning tiles. You can download their 320-page PDF catalogue to see all their tiles and read about the company. Here’s just a sampling…

Serie 100 — Grey
fiandre 100 grey

Jewel — Infinity

fiandre jewel infinity

Luminar — OptoGold

fiandre luminar gold 1 fiandre luminar gold 2

Crystal — CinderCrystal

Fiandre crystal cinder

From another Italian company called Impronta

impronta tecnica

These are way too cool… from mosaico+ in — you guessed it — Italy!!

mosaico dialoghi


mosaico motivi

Mosaico+ has a “create your mix” option. It’s easy and fun to use – go try it out :-) Here are a few I whipped up…

mix 2
mix 3
mix 4
mix 5

It’s that time of the year, so how about a Christmas mosaic mix :-)

mix 6

And on a completely different note, check out these concrete tiles from Ann Sacks


And some gorgeous sculptural tiles, also from Ann Sacks…


I know Paul is a big fan of Sara Baldwin’s mosaics. Absolutely love this one — Beau Monde Montgomery 1 in calcatta tia and emperador dark:

ann sack BeauMonde_Mosaic_MONTG1

And this one too!! Beau Monde Talullah in thassos and lavender mist:

ann sacks BeauMonde_Mosaic_TALULLAH

How cool is this tiger mosaic bar top??

sara baldwin tiger smaller

And finally, this is what inspired me to write a post about tile in the first place — the Emam Mosque in Iran.

emam mosque panoramio
emam dome flickr

How gorgeous is the turquoise dome??

dome webshots 2
dome webshots 1

Close-up of a minaret:

emam mosque wikimedia

The mosque was built in the 1600s and is regarded as a masterpiece of Persian architecture. All the walls are covered with seven-colour mosaic tile. Can you imagine laying out and installing all these tiles?!

emam mosque interior wiki
emam mosque interior wiki 2  emam mosque interior asrema
emam mosque interior flickr

And finally, one last tile picture. I’m not sure what to make of this one —the fridge has been tiled!! What do you think, good or bad idea??

fridge susan jablon

Seeing as Paul encouraged us to promote our own blogs, I’d love to have you come check out my home office makeover at DesignTies, the blog I share with my friend Victoria :-)
Have a good week, and Merry Christmas!!!


  1. Kelly- Awesome finds on the bad/ugly stuff... I laughed out loud on a couple and then felt guilt about it. We have to help these people!

    Love the tiled fridge at the end... took me a second to decide and it was a HUGE leap of faith for whoever did it. Turned out pretty good, I thought.


  2. The "ugly" redefines ugly, truly!

    On to the exquisite tiles, love them all but the Natalie Blake tiles for Ann Sacks and Sara Baldwin tiles for New Ravenna are absolutely divine.

  3. The tiled refrigerator looks good right now, but I fear it's the sort of thing that would end up on ugly house photos in the future.

  4. Great post Kelly, thank you. Funny you should mention New Ravenna; I'm on my way there right now!

  5. Oooh, Paul, I hope you'll be writing a post about what you see there!!

    I had a lot of laughs looking for "the ugly" -- really makes you wonder what some people are thinking!!

    Paul has really opened my eyes to the beauty of mosaic tiles :-)

    I agree, tiling the fridge was definitely a leap of faith!! Love the colours they used on it, but like amy said, not sure about the longevity


  6. Hi Kelly, Paul and readers: Susan Jablon here. Just wanted to comment on the refrigerator we created for the GE Monogram Showroom Series. This treatment is a custom Zen Bamboo pattern to compliment the balance of the 1x6 lime green frosted and glossy mosaic work in the showroom sample kitchen. The mosaic is done on a panel that slides onto the door frame, so it's built to last.

    If I can help you further, please be in touch.

    Susan Jablon

  7. I'll chime in on the tiled refrigerator: as long as the panel is removable, I say go for it if it ties in well with the design. As a mosaic artist, I believe in the Thousand Year Plan. The house will eventually fall down, but that mosaic will still be intact; much like the mosaic floor fragments found in Turkey and Italy. So 20 years from now when the fridge gives up the ghost, that mosaic panel will make an excellent coffee table. Hi Susan!

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  9. Whoops, posted my comment under the wrong profile....

    Hi Susan & Julie, thanks for visiting my post :-) And Susan, I'm so sorry, I just realized I forgot to credit the last photo to you. My apologies for the oversight.

    I love the colour and pattern of the tile that you used on the fridge, Susan. Now that I know the mosaic is on a panel, I definitely say it's a good thing :-)

    Julie, I just popped over to your web site -- you've created some gorgeous pieces!! And Susan, I visited your web site while I searched for tiles for my post. You're both very talented mosaic artists, and I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment on my post. Thanks!! :-)



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