our unexpected, elevated zellige neutrals

by clé tile | published: Aug 12, 2022

natural zellige 4×4. design: jenni kayne / photo: mivhael clifford photography
weathered whtie zellige 4×4. design: studio grey / photo: george barberis

neutrals may be the design world’s hardest-working family of hues, but they can be fiendishly tricky to get precisely right—and it’s particularly true when it comes to tile.

but new shades just added to our zellige palette should help improve the odds considerably.

in fact, consider clé’s latest collection of zellige shades: your new indispensable design ingredients—that perfect family of neutrals—you’ve been searching for.

natural zellige 4×4. design: laura giuliai / photo: public 311 design

the power of a neutral tile

neutrals are powerful design elements and in many contemporary spaces, they are the primary hue. they can also be used to ground a space, unify rooms, create contrast or calm it down. but in the wrong hands, neutral can be lackluster and underwhelming.

the great thing about tile is that it’s never just a color or a shade: its texture, it’s reflectiveness, its depth, and the variations in shape and shade inherent in handcrafted tile. our new zellige tiles possess all of these attributes, making these neutrals anything but basic. 

our zellige neo-neutrals

natural zellige 2×2. design: sarah sherman samuel / photo: matthew williams
weathered white 4×4. Design / photo: zio & sons

zellige neo-neutrals is a collection of 10 anything-but-boring neutrals—and may even feature a few surprises. our newest zelliges—vesper sands, argan brown, and parched vellum—join client-favorites moroccan sea salt, natural, riverbed, and of course, our legendary weathered white. but then, we add some unexpected neutrals: vintage rose (what we call “the new neutral”) and our glamorous, glistening gold and platinum zellige (our ultimate neutrals.)

clé tile zellige neutrals collection in (starting from left) argan brown, gold, riverbed, natural, vesper sands, vintage rose, parched vellum, weathered white, moroccan sea salt and platinum

how to choose amongst our zellige neutrals

together, our zellige neutrals collection ranges from seductively subtle to glossy and glamorous, and all the personalities in between. from lightest to darkest…

moroccan sea salt: moroccan sea salt is our answer to pure white. a clean, bright white with just enough tonal and surface variation to deliver the hand-glazed and handcrafted texture for which zellige is prized.

parched vellum: parched vellum is a natural zellige covered with a warm, linen-toned glaze with the slightest hint of a blush undertone.

weathered white: weathered white is made up of dozens of shades of white including greys, creams, pinks, celadons, and even blues—think of it as the ultimate opalescent neutral.

natural: zellige tile left bare of any glaze is the most natural tile we offer at clé. natural ranges from slightly chalky to a light buff to slightly earthier and rosier hues. it’s as authentic as zellige gets.

vesper sands: vesper sands is a natural zellige covered with a milky glaze and a bright sheen—a perfect neutral, the color of light sand.

vintage rose: yes, we do think of some pinks as neutrals—like sweet, soft vintage rose. it’s subtle and universal, perfect for anyone craving a touch of color without the regret of going too bold.

riverbed: like the supple earth found in the bed of the clearest river stream, our riverbed zellige is a mix of sun-kissed tan and the warmest possible brown. this shade of zellige is the perfect neutral for adding warmth and depth to all your tile projects.

argan brown: argan brown is a natural zellige covered with a rich dark chocolate glaze. deep, and sumptuous, the glaze highlights the authentic zellige clay’s inherent texture. use it to add a bit of depth and character to any design, or to create a quietly glamorous foundation for any space.

gold and platinum zellige: we took rustic handcrafted clay tile and hand painted it with 24 karat gold and platinum respectively to create a rich, molten, metallic finish. its reflective surface plays up natural zellige’s textural variation, creating even more visual interest. just beware: a little can go a long way. it’s what we think of as the ultimate neutral.