Spanish Tile Designs add Pizzazz to Contemporary Bath

Posted by William Buyok on

When you think of Spanish tile, it's easy to imagine tiled stair risers with terracotta bisque pavers, a wall fountain with colorful quarter design patterns, or some Hispano-Moresque architectural feature embellished with Spanish tile. However, I was given the great pleasure of working with a customer that loves Spanish tile and contemporary design. 


As Liz from Houston started this project nearly two and half years ago she explained, "I'm building a new house and it will provide a place for some of my contemporary art collection; but, it has to include Spanish tile which I love." This is the first in a series where she allows us to tour her home and see how well Spanish tile work with contemporary design.

First off, I have to thank Liz for both her inspiration, amazing ability to plan and her willingness to work with and try different designs. She started planning the project at least a year in advance and knew that to get exactly what you want, good design needs a plan and enough time to execute the plan. The images within this post are credited to her and her vision. To get things started, we'll begin with a tour of her bathroom and steam shower.


Spanish tile patterns
Spanish tile patterns, like the Malibu Faro B pattern above, can be used in contemporary designs to add texture and color.


When you look at the master bathroom photo above, everything within the design points to a contemporary style with smooth, clean lines. The prominent use of white, coupled with a single, bold blue accent color for the vanity defines the visually interesting elements. However, doesn't the decorative Spanish tile liner with gentle curves and low relief look grand when paired with the bright blue vanity, cabinets and hardware? It works flawlessly because the patterned, decorative tile is used simply and follows a clean, straight contemporary design with a repetitive color palette that is not complex.


Spanish tile patterns
Malibu Field tile are made with the same glazes found in the decorative Malibu tile, so designing with the same color palette is simplified.


The steam shower follows the same rules. A clean, decorative strip of the same Malibu Faro B liner is used to create interest and a touch of texture. The white 6"x6" tiles, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, and pencil liner that edge the liner are all glaze colors found in the deco tile from our Malibu field line, which makes working with this line a true delight for contemporary design. Once you find a decorative tile you like, the color palette for the molding, trim and field tile can be pulled from the deco and make pulling together a cohesive design a breeze. All the Malibu field tile and Malibu deco tiles are made-to-order here in California; but, most orders are delivered in about three or four weeks.


Spanish tile patterns
Spanish tiles work well in contemporary designs if you follow a few design rules.


Design Tips for Using Spanish Tile in Contemporary Design

The reason patterned, decorative Spanish tile work so well in contemporary design are simplified to two simple rules. The first rule is color choice; the second is decorative tile placement. If you want to use patterned tile, like our Malibu Spanish tiles, follow these two rules and success is guaranteed.


Tips for using decorative Spanish tile in contemporary design:

  1. Limit colors to only a few choices and re-use the colors in the tile, molding, trim and vanity.
  2. Use decorative, patterned tiles in a single row as a backsplash behind a vanity or in a shower surround.


Colorful Spanish tiles
Colorful Spanish tiles add some playful pizzazz to this contemporary master bath.


pencil liners
The use of pencil liners in a complementary color above and below this Spanish tile help create a subtle difference from the vanity backsplash.


Notice the use of color in the shower? Plain field tile from the Malibu Field tile collection are used on the ceiling, floor, and as an outline for the bench. Again, keeping the color palette simple reinforces the clean lines. Further, the use of pencil liners above and below the Spanish Faro B in the shower provide a fresh but cohesive design than what is used for the vanity backsplash.


Malibu Faro liner
The quartz counter, Malibu Faro liner and quarter round tiles keep the color palette simple for a classic, contemporary design.


Convinced? Can decorative, patterned tiles like our Malibu tiles work with contemporary design? I think you'll agree that Spanish tile lend a playful, colorful hand to giving a contemporary bathroom or shower some design pizzazz! I can't wait to show you some more of the Liz's new Houston abode! Until then, won't you take a look at our Spanish Tile Design Center?

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