For those who appreciate tile, we put a lot of emphasis on the beauty and exquisite craftsmanship of traditional Spanish and Mexican tile.
Did you know that there is a type of hand-painted accent tile that is native to California?
The Malibu tile is crafted after the Malibu and Catalina Potteries that emerged in the 1920s, demonstrating its own vivid colors and classical patterns.
While it may not have as long and rich a history as other types of decorative tile, the background and applications of Malibu tile are still interesting in their own right.
One of the most known uses of Malibu tile is that of the Adamson House, which is located in sunny Malibu Beach in California. The fact that this house has been referred to as the “Museum of Tile” and the “Taj Mahal of Tile” should provide some indication of how influential the design work within has become.
Perhaps the home’s most popular example of decorative tile work is its 60-foot (18 m) imitation Persian carpet, which is made entirely out of tile, including small pieces designed to look like rug fringes. In the exterior of the home, the colorfully tiled Neptune Fountain, Peacock Fountain and Star Fountain are among the building’s most photographed tile work designs.
Nearby, there is also an elaborately tiled outdoor tub which was once used by the Adamsons to bathe their dogs. The bathhouse and swimming pool are also covered with beautifully crafted Malibu tile, and the dressing rooms have tiled showers with decorative motifs. In fact, the Adamson House boasts many of the potteries’ most significant remaining works.
Among the most impressive and best-preserved tile works are those located in the interior of the house in the kitchen and the 5 bathrooms. Many of the richly patterned tiles are inspired by traditional Spanish and Moorish designs or by arts and crafts flower motifs.
Malibu tile is created using a technique known as cuerda seca, which produces deep, rich colors. These tiles are completely glazed and are great for use as-is in just about any indoor or outdoor design project, namely floors and walls. Many people choose to balance their Malibu design by incorporating unglazed terracotta for a more mix-and-match look.