I cannot believe how many hours it took to choose tile. Even knowing exactly what I wanted (or maybe because I knew exactly what I wanted).
Most of the apartment has terra cotta tile, known as tomettes, on the floors. Since our building is historically classified, we are required to keep the original tomettes as long as less than 30% are broken (and then we have to replace them with antique tiles that match—not easy to find, and if you do, they’re extremely expensive). They weren’t into parquet floors around here, at least not until later.
The original kitchen had been covered with black and white checkerboard linoleum, which we discovered hid tomettes underneath.
In the entry and the middle room, plastic flooring covered the tomettes. We’re having all of it restored.
However, we do have two bathrooms, two WCs and two kitchens to tile—we are splitting the 2,000-square-foot space into two apartments. So many decisions! Here are the winners, all from Spanish tile company Mainzu:
In the first kitchen:
I’m a big fan of Spanish-style azulejos. This is the Lucena design for the backsplash, with the frieze, shown right, above it.
In the second kitchen–the big one: Victorian Deco for the backspash, with the frieze just along the top (shown at the right here going all the way around). It’s such a huge room, there’s a vast expanse of tomettes. I think this will work great.
In the first bathroom, the walls will have Centro Nou going up about six feet, with the Cenefa Victorian Nou frieze at the top and Victorian Azul (which picks up just the blue in a solid) on the floor.
In the first WC, the same Centro Nou, this time on the floor.
In the second bathroom, white beveled metro tiles (it was pointed out to me that in the Parisian metro, the tiles are beveled, so please don’t call them subway tiles. Wrists slapped! Ouch!). With a black trim running through, like this, below.
On the floor, white octagons with black cabochons, like these:
I like that purple, too! But I don’t know whether we’ll be that dramatic. I’m still taking flak over the burgundy WC in our house. Not the drama I’d hoped for.
Just in front of the second bathroom, there’s a former pantry, which is a low, dark hole. We’re making the best of the space by filling it with a sauna. The walls in front of the sauna will be covered with Lusitania, right.
In the second WC, there’s a little niche for the sink, which will be tiled with Florentine Centro and the matching frieze, and the same tile on the floor.
What do you think? Will they stand the test of time, or will they look oh-so-dated in five years?