Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Favorite Portuguese Tile Installations

This month, Avente pays homage to the classic styles of Portuguese Tiles. In last week's post, Arpi Nalbandian started the month-long celebration by introducing the rich history and culture of Portugal, and the important role hand-painted ceramic tile has played. Portugal is a great place for ceramic tile lovers like me – it’s used everywhere. The Portuguese have been using tiles to decorate and protect interior and exterior walls since the 15th century. Every town and city has buildings with brightly patterned walls. Today, I'd like to share my favorite residential installations using our line of Portuguese Tile.

Portuguese Oporto Kitchen Backsplash

Kitchen Backsplash with Oporto 6x6 Tiles
Kitchen Backsplash with 6"x6" Oporto Portuguese Ceramic Tiles

Portuguese Oporto 6x6 Hand Painted Tile
Oporto 6"x6"
Nothing says Portuguese tile more than glossy tile with blue and white glazes. My first pick uses those striking blue and white colors – so evocative of Portuguese tile – and adds a touch of red and green with a stylized flower and stem. When this tile is used for the entire kitchen backsplash, the pattern creates eye-catching, decorative appeal and color. In keeping with the blue color scheme, Portuguese Oporto provides the perfect complement to the electric blue field tile on the countertop. Notice how the blues are not an exact match? The plain blue tile came from a different supplier; but, works well. With hand-painted tiles, you don’t need to find an exact glaze match to use with other tiles because their natural variation allows them to blend easily with colors of the same hue.

Portuguese Oporto Tile provide decorative appeal and color in this kitchen backsplash.
Portuguese Oporto tiles provide decorative appeal and color in this kitchen backsplash. 
Portuguese Oporto 3"x6" Border Tile is Hand Painted
Oporto 3"x6"

The same Oporto 6"x6" tile used for the backsplash, is also used on the bar. However, they framed the bar installation using the 3"x6" border tile and the same electric blue tile found on the counter.

The 3"x6" liner has a top and bottom stripe of warm yellow that really sets them off from the main pattern. Avente's Portuguese tiled are hand-painted by an artisan tile maker and fired twice. The first firing sets the glaze. Then a second clear, over-glaze is applied to provide a glossy finish ideal for kitchens and baths. Easy to clean, safe and very sanitary.

Portuguese Braganza Tiles

The Portuguese Braganza pattern is a classic pattern with an unusual color palette including pistachio green, azure blue, and terracotta against a bright yellow background. My favorite is the 6"x6" format when used on an entire wall. However, you'll see it more commonly used for stair risers, a pool sideboard, or outdoor patio liner.

A medallion of hand painted Portuguese Braganaza tiles
A medallion of Portuguese Braganza tiles

Our Portuguese tiles are great accent tiles for a floor or wall. Create medallions using four 3"x3" tiles and place randomly or in a pattern on the floor. As accents, they work well with both large and small format tiles.


Kitchen with Braganza 3"x3" Medallions

The "terracotta stems" of the leaf pattern that radiate from the center really make the tile pop when they're used as an accent to our Arabesque Cement Tile Pavers or any of our Classic Rustic Pavers.


A medallion of Portuguese Braganza 3x3 tiles on terracotta
Detailed view: A medallion of Portuguese Braganza 3"x3" tiles on terracotta.

The smaller Braganza dots are available in both 2" and 1" square formats.


Portuguese 2"x2" Tiles used  as accents with 6"x6" plain tile
Portuguese 2"x2" tiles are used here as accents with 6"x6" plain tile

Portuguese Ruan: A Sophisticated Geometric Pattern

If you want a less floral pattern, the Portuguese Ruan is stunning and a great choice for bath or kitchen. The deep, inky cobalt blue and gold accents provide a straight-forward color palette. The geometric Moorish influences make this pattern work well for a more sophisticated look.


Grouping of  four Portuguese Ruan 6"x6" tiles
Grouping of four Portuguese Ruan 6"x6" tiles

I hope today's post will inspire you to be a bit more like the Portuguese - start using tile just about everywhere. 

Three cheers for the Portuguese!
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