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Romantic, France-Inspired Tiles from Tabarka Studio

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Romantic, France-Inspired Tiles from Tabarka Studio

February 13, 2018

We’re always glad to have a new source for handmade tile, and we credit our friends Ben and Kate Towill of Charleston, South Carolina, design firm Basic Projects for cluing us in to Tabarka Studio. (The Towills used Tabarka tile in recent Restaurant, Inn, and House projects, all featured on Remodelista.) Founded in 2000 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Tabarka makes terracotta tile by hand in 36 Mediterranean-inspired colors (plus three metallics). We’re particularly fond of the Nord, Paris Metro, and Rue des Rosiers collections featured here, which are inspired by both contemporary and folk art motifs of France.

Photography courtesy of Tabarka Studio.

 Rue des Rosiers
Above: Rue des Rosiers 21 in charcoal and paprika on an off-white background.
The Rue des Rosiers is a street in the Jewish quarter of the fashionable Marais district of Paris. The Tabarka collection for which it’s named takes inspiration from the street’s “mix of tradition and trendsetting,” as expressed in a palette of neutral tiles with colorful motifs hand-painted on top.

Rue des Rosiers  in medium blue painted on silver.
Above: Rue des Rosiers 15 in medium blue painted on silver.
Tabarka tiles are formed, painted, and glazed by hand, so some variation in color and shape is to be expected, as are small cracks and chips “that add character to the rustic nature of the tile.”

Rue des Rosiers
Above: Rue des Rosiers 22 shown in gray and yellow on a background of off-white.
Tabarka terracotta tiles are ideal for indoor flooring that will be subjected to regular household use.

 Rue des Rosiers  in medium blue and charcoal on off-white.
Above: Rue des Rosiers 14 in medium blue and charcoal on off-white.
Though water-resistant and suitable for shower walls (but not shower floors), Tabarka’s terracotta tiles are intended for use indoors only.

 Nord 5 in charcoal, medium blue, coral, honey, and antique green on an off-white background.
Above: Nord 5 in charcoal, medium blue, coral, honey, and antique green on an off-white background.
The Nord collection reinterprets the “delicate and often whimsical patterns of ancestry and heritage” through a contemporary lens.

 Nord 9 has a flower motif, shown in color petel on an off-white background.
Above: Nord 9 has a flower motif, shown in color petel on an off-white background.
In addition to the terracotta tile shown here, Tabarka also makes stone, wood, and parquet surfaces.

 Paris Metro  shown in charcoal and paprika on an off-white background.
Above: Paris Metro 14 shown in charcoal and paprika on an off-white background.
Tabarka’s Paris Metro line takes its influence from artwork found in the city’s underground train stations designed in the 1930s, “patterns richly rooted in classic design.”

 Paris Metro 6 in charcoal on off-white.
Above: Paris Metro 6 in charcoal on off-white.
Tile from these three collections is available in a range of sizes, from just over four inches square to almost 10-inch squares.

Planning to use tile in the kitchen or bath? Start with our Remodeling 101: Bath and Remodeling 101: Kitchen guides, each full of expertise on choosing surfaces. For more tile we like, try:

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