Colour inspiration: Antique tiles



Vintage clothing appeals to different people for different reasons. For me, I love to think about the woman/women who wore the garment previously. What was their personality like? How did they enjoy spending their time? Why did they buy or make this garment? Where did they go in it? In many ways it’s the same way I feel about old buildings. I have always felt more comfortable in (and particularly living in) old places. Who lived there before me? What was their furniture like? What colours did they use to decorate? Did they throw any fantastic parties?!


Another way in which vintage clothes and ‘vintage’ buildings can be compared is the extra detail and decoration that has often been added for visual appeal rather than to provide a specific function. As Sarai highlighted in this post, many of these details have disappeared from both buildings and mainstream clothing today.


If I were to compile a list of my favourite features of the old buildings here in Barcelona, at the top of that long list would be the beautiful antique floor tiles. In my flat, each of the four main rooms has a different design of tile with a different border design, the result of which is a kind of rug effect (see the top two images).


Doesn’t the image above look like patchwork? I’m inspired to take sections of my favourite vintage fabrics and stitch them together to create something similar.


Another way in which these tiles could provide inspiration is the colour schemes. See the beautiful cream, dove grey and dark red in the tiles on the left of the above image? I NEVER would have come up with that combination by myself! In terms of historical accuracy, with most photography and moving pictures  produced in black and white until a lot later, these tiles which were produced in the first two decades of the twentieth century provide an accurate idea of the colour palettes that were in vogue at that time (obviously subject to the colours available in the tile making materials!).  


Zoe Edwards   —  

Comments 1


Love those tiles, remind me of our trip to Spain. Love to see more. Very inspirational for my quilting. just love it!! thanks.

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