Old-World Charm Is New Again

These earth-toned Egyptian tiles made an artful visual statement on the floors of a Venetian Castle in Naxos, Greece. But this same design is making a comeback in today's home designs.

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As the Mr. Tile Team visited Greece this summer, we paid special attention to tiled surfaces, which are prevalent in many European countries. We were especially struck by three ornate hand-hewn tile patterns that adorned the floors of the Castle (Kastro) of Naxos Island.

This historic Venetian Castle was home to monks and, later, the Ursuline School established in the 1700s. Tourists flock to the Castle to learn about the island’s history and view hundreds of island ruins. The Castle’s rooms and furnishings reflect the design of the era. We were especially stunned by amazing black-and-white hand-hewn square tile, as wells as the earth-tone Egyptian tiles, both of which were bordered by a thick Grecian Key.

The precision of the checkerboard pattern and its Grecian Key border make a stunning impact in the halls of a school built in the 1700s. Today, this design can be found in entry foyers and opulent bathrooms.
These old-world tiles provide a geometric pop. Similar tile designs today make beautiful floors in blues or grays.

The tiled floors were truly stunning, and it’s no wonder similar types of floors are making a comeback today. Home owners that desire a trendy yet timeless Mediterranean showpiece floor are turning to designs like the ones used in European castles. A quick Google search of Old-World Tiles brings up tiles with star patterns, geometric shapes and ornate designs fit for a king or queen. The key is using this tile in today’s homes as an accent or focus.

Because Old-World tile designs have intricate patterns and medallions, it’s critical to set the tiles perfectly so that lines and designs align. A tile set even just a few centimeters off can ruin the entire look. This is definitely a project you do not want to do yourself, so leave it to a tile master to execute this geometric design the way it’s supposed to look, with clean lines and a super-straight layout.

Old-World tiles adorn historical castles and today’s modern homes.

Looking to bring Old-World charm into your new home? Big-box home stores carry a limited selection, so if you’re seeking a unique look, visit tile boutiques that specialize in art-inspired tile. Bring a design you’d like to replicate, as they will be able to find the right size, color and tile material for your needs. And when you’re looking for an installer for this project, make sure you explain the tile material and design you’re considering. The type of tile material used, as well as the design pattern required, are important considerations when tile contractors provide estimates.

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