Ancient to Modern: Tile Inspiration from Portugal

Ancient to Modern: Tile Inspiration from Portugal

Faith Durand
Oct 29, 2010

I just returned from a week-long trip to Portugal. One of the first things that I noticed in that lovely country was the tile. It's everywhere — from castles to streets to apartments to building facades. Here's a quick look at some of my favorite tiles from around Portugal.

Click through the photos for commentary on each. There were far too many photos (and tiles) to choose from! Every corner, every home, every street had a new design of tile — some ancient and crumbling, some glossy and new.

I would not have called myself a tile-lover before this trip. I prefer flat, minimalist backdrops of plain paint or marble in the kitchen and the bathroom, and while of course I appreciate tile's vast array of possibilities, I usually find even subtle patterns of tile too overwhelming.

But the use of tile in Portugal is so exuberant and joyful, so colorful and individualistic — it made me rethink that just a little. Maybe there is room for a little more color and pattern in my next kitchen or bathroom!

Have you ever visited Portugal? What was your favorite sort of tile there?

Images: Faith Durand

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