Thursday, 19 November 2009

those tiles!

When I was in Portugal in September I fell in love with the beautiful handpainted tiles that covered a lot of house facades. I wish I could have photographed them all, but there was no time. I just had to admire them from my seat in the bus while we passed by. Maybe one day we'll have tiles like these in our kitchen. I think it can make a cool contrast with high gloss white fronts.

Thanks to this mighty thing we call the internet; I found some background resources on handpainted tiles (hurrah for Wikipedia!):

Azulejo refers to a typical form of Portuguese or Spanish painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. The art was introduced to Portugal, via Spain, by the Moors, who had learned the craft from the Persians Persians. The word azulejo is derived from the Arabic word: الزليج (al zulayj): Zellige, meaning "polished stone". Zellige is one of the main characteristics of the Moroccan architecture though it's also used in other North African and Muslim countries. It consists of geometrical mosaics made ceramic used mainly as an ornament for walls, ceilings, fountains, floors, pools, tables, etc.

Here is a Flickr set full of beautiful azulejos, and here is an online shop with lots of different tiles. I bet there are a lot more online shops that sell these kinds of tiles, this one was just the first I found. I wonder if there are any beautiful photobooks with tiles like these.

By the way, you can see all the photos from my Portugal trip here, and here is the blog post I wrote. Have you tasted Vinho Verde yet?


  1. Astrid, you then should travel to Andalusia - if you haven't yet. I fell in love with tiles there...Alhambra, the palast in Sevilla, etc... they are all over and I took tons of pictures of them;).

  2. Oh, beautiful !!!!
    Last time I've been in Spain I wanted to put azulejos everywhere in my interior !!!!!

  3. Out of curiosity: where in Portugal were you?

  4. That was really informative - now I know the term for those beautiful tiles - azulejo :)I think that they'd look great in the kitchen too - I would love to have a line of them across the kitchen wall.


  5. Åh kakler er så fine!! Håber du også fik spist en masse portugisiske kager - de er jo så lækre!!



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