Revival of a 70s trend that I didn't expect
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Revival of a 70s trend that I didn't expect

Pia Seidel
23.10.2023
Translation: machine translated

More and more design studios are tiling their furniture and home accessories or producing them directly from the stoneware slabs. These examples show just how beautiful this can look.

An ordinary tile may not exactly be the highlight of a bathroom floor, but imagine it on a living room table or on a lamp. The whole thing looks different. Then a simple piece of furniture becomes a modern designer piece. At least that's how I felt when I discovered the following objects in various exhibitions. They inspire us to think big and reconsider this underrated material.

Wall pictures and lamps made from tiles by Stéven Coëffic

Whether it's a lamp that has to be switched on with tokens or a coffee table that looks like a table tennis table - French artist and designer Stéven Coëffic regularly produces ceramic pieces with a surprise effect in his workshop in Belleville. These include the "Lampadaire" floor lamp, which is made up of stoneware modules. It provides light, but not with the help of a clumsy switch. To make the light bulb light up, you have to stack two tiles on top of each other.

The floor lamp «Lampadaire» by Stéven Coëffic consists of tile modules.
The floor lamp «Lampadaire» by Stéven Coëffic consists of tile modules.
Source: Pia Seidel
The relief murals can compete with oil paintings thanks to the ceramic glaze.
The relief murals can compete with oil paintings thanks to the ceramic glaze.
Source: Pia Seidel

The colourful "Art Mural Bas Relief" murals also have something curious about them: their glaze makes them shimmer like oil paintings. But they are created from a tile relief.

Stoneware tiles at Mambo Unlimited Ideas

The Portuguese company Mambo Unlimited Ideas produces furniture, lamps and ceramic tiles. It is therefore not surprising that the different disciplines merge in some designs. The "Caldas Stripes" dining table is an example of this. Its table top consists of a tile mosaic, which gives it a sophisticated structure.

Without tiles, the «Caldas Stripes table» would only be half as beautiful.
Without tiles, the «Caldas Stripes table» would only be half as beautiful.
Source: Pia Seidel
The framed tile mosaic «Tejo» brings more volume and variety to the wall.
The framed tile mosaic «Tejo» brings more volume and variety to the wall.
Source: Pia Seidel

The furniture brand not only produces individual tiles, but also entire panels that are suitable for covering an entire wall. But even a single panel is enough to create an accent in the room: This is because small and large handmade pieces and a wooden frame come together here. When hung up, it resembles an art object.

Tiled stools from Tajimi Custom Tiles

Tajimi Custom Tiles is a young brand based in the historic centre of the Japanese tile industry in Tajimi. It specialises in tile production and regularly collaborates with design studios to show what it can do. Kwangho Lee, for example, has developed tables that are formed from horizontally or vertically stacked ceramic modules. French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, on the other hand, have created pastel-coloured earthenware vases with a cylindrical body that are decorated with additional tiles.

The table by Kwangho Lee is made entirely of tiles.
The table by Kwangho Lee is made entirely of tiles.
Source: Pia Seidel
The functional objects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are each adorned with a tile.
The functional objects by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are each adorned with a tile.
Source: Pia Seidel

In collaboration with furniture designer Max Lamb, modular, three-dimensional tiles were created to form a series of seating. The rich colour and soft shape give the stool and bench a modern look despite the retro material.

The tiled ceramic pieces from Max Lamb impress with their soft silhouette.
The tiled ceramic pieces from Max Lamb impress with their soft silhouette.
Source: Pia Seidel
The contrast between curves and tiles makes the furniture an eye-catcher.
The contrast between curves and tiles makes the furniture an eye-catcher.
Source: Pia Seidel

Tile systems from UU Tiles

The design studio UU Tiles sees tiles as a physical interface between architecture and living space. It has developed a system in which hooks and lamps can also be seamlessly integrated into a tiled wall. Like all of the designer pieces I've seen, they present countless possibilities for using tiles to reinterpret furniture and home accessories.

Here, not only tiles are brought to the wall, but also ceramic lamps and hooks.
Here, not only tiles are brought to the wall, but also ceramic lamps and hooks.
Source: Pia Seidel
The UU-Tiles project blurs the boundaries between object and space.
The UU-Tiles project blurs the boundaries between object and space.
Source: Pia Seidel

An unexpected revival

In our range, I've also discovered some pieces that seem to be inspired by tiled kitchens, bathrooms or even pools. Even if their colour palettes and patterns change, they are all very similar because of the strict pattern and grouting. This makes it easy to combine them with each other.

Ferm Living Pillar Plant Pot (51 cm)
Planters
588.–

Ferm Living Pillar Plant Pot

51 cm

Ferm Living Pillar Plant Pot (51 cm)
588.–

Ferm Living Pillar Plant Pot

51 cm

However, the idea of tiling a piece of furniture is not new. It comes from the Italian architecture and design studio Superstudio. In 1969, it covered numerous pieces of furniture with its characteristic chequered pattern for the first time. The first collection for the furniture brand Zanotta included stools, wall panelling and other furniture. It was already considered avant-garde at the time. Today, the current Zanotta collection called "Quaderna" includes a bench, a dining table and a console, which only visually adopt the tile pattern. The furniture is made of printed wood instead of stoneware.

Zanotta Quaderna 2830 desk
Desks

Zanotta Quaderna 2830 desk

Zanotta Quaderna 2830 desk

Zanotta Quaderna 2830 desk

Cover photo: Pia Seidel

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Like a cheerleader, I love celebrating good design and bringing you closer to everything furniture- and interior design- related. I regularly curate simple yet sophisticated interior ideas, report on trends and interview creative minds about their work.


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