If you crave an old-world Italian retreat, right this way.
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When zellige tile, a variety of glazed terracotta tile originally handmade in Morocco, started popping up in kitchens, powder rooms, showers, and mudrooms a few years ago, it taught us that a space doesn’t have to look perfect. The slight idiosyncrasies in size, shape, and finish are what deliver instant interest and movement. Now Clé Tile is taking our love for all things idiosyncratic to a new level with its just-launched Lapidary collection, which features “rough-cut” mosaic tiles that are essentially chunks of honed stone with irregular edges.
“I would recommend this surface for anywhere that is in need of a modern Italian vibe,” shares Deborah Osburn, the founder of Clé. The pieces were directly inspired by the mosaic cement, glass, and stone floors architect Carlo Scarpa designed for the Olivetti Museum in Venice, Italy, back in the 1950s. While it would cost a small fortune to replicate the exact same floor in the way it was made back then, Clé’s stone crafters found a way to format a similar design into 12-by-12-inch sheets while still making each individual tile chiseled and random.
Most of the 10 color options available (they range from white limestone to red travertine to jade green) hover around the $30-per-square-foot price point, with the exception of the Calacatta Viola iterations, which ring in at $84 per square foot. While even the former is a splurge, the sheets can pack a big punch in a small application. “Our idea was to provide rough cuts for floors, but we also loved seeing it on walls as well,” adds Osburn. Whether you use them as an accent along a kitchen backsplash or as a statement fireplace surround, these tiles are sure to lend that covetable old-world touch.
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