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modern maximalism with color blocking


Modern Maximalism is in the air, and we couldn’t be happier. One of our favorite design directions (we’re not so crazy about the word “trend”) is the use of color, and in particular, colored zellige. 

From Blushing Mistress to Palace Red, Golden Henna to Fallen Citrus, and from Fired Opal and Forgotten Turquoise to Sky Bloom to Cerulean, clé’s colored zellige glazes are deep, intense, and ever-so-glossy, perfectly accentuating zellige’s hand-hewn features to create a striking, sophisticated look.


 < design: Studio Life/Style / photo: Sam Frost Studio  


Used in a backsplash, they create an instant focal point for the kitchen (and quite possibly, the whole house.) They transform powder rooms into full-on, pulse-raising experiences (particularly when the tile continues from the wall onto the ceiling). And in bathrooms, they’re the tool of fantasy, allowing the creation of the ultimate getaway (at home). 

design: Lynn K. Leonidas / photo: Brad Knipstein

While full-on color is a design power move, we’re also big fans of color blocking which can add
visual impact to a room and can take a tile installation to a whole new exhilarating level, but still be surprisingly soothing. 

(left) design: Elizabeth Roberts Architecture / photo: Matthew Williams; (right) design / photo: Magnolia Home

Color blocking has a long lineage. Introduced by artist Piet Mondrian (some say Georges Seurat beat him to it), picked up by Yves St. Laurent in the Sixties, and Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragan in the Seventies and Eighties, it’s never really been out of style since then. 

There’s no wrong or right way to do it. You could use colors in the same color family, or that are next to each other in the color wheel. Or take the idea of an accent wall to the next level.


(left) design: Omgivning Architecture / photo: Bethany Nauert; (right) design: Roy Hospitality Design, photo: Lauren Edith Andersen

Or you can dial it up. Pair colored zellige with colorful paint work and accessories as done by Studio Nato in Goop Senior Beauty Editor Megan O’Neill’s Brooklyn Brownstone.  

But how about colorblocking using mostly zellige, as Hermes did so memorably at Salone del Mobile in 2018

design: McKinley Studios / photo: Luis Valdizon

Or, just as stunning at a smaller scale, at Hoopla by
McKinley Studios? In this case, even the relatively smaller scale told a powerful story. According to Hoopla project designer Diane Cassidly, “The tile was a driving concept behind the entire space. We wanted the mural tiled walls to be reminiscent of city streets in South America. We also wanted the space to be colourful and represent the hand-crafted quality that goes into our clients products; specialty donuts and coffee. The modelling of the tile really brings to life the wall surface and reflects the colour and light beautifully.”

design: Mike Moser / photo: Michael P. H. Clifford

Get gutsy with color. Have fun. Play. And make sure to share the results with us. 



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