Our goal is to create timeless and classic looks that blend tradition and modernity while preserving the authenticity of original structures. In this 1920’s California Mediterranean hacienda-style home, I recolored traditional tile designs to update the historic use of “tile rugs” as a replacement for the more common textile rug.

One feature of traditional Spanish architecture is the use of terracotta tiles throughout the home. This can appear monotonous, so designers use textile rugs to break up the endless field of tile. The use of decorative tile rugs is an alternative option. Inset tile layouts have been done for centuries and allow modern homeowners to preserve the authentic look of their Spanish-tiled floors while introducing new colors and patterns.

The unglazed finish of the tiles mutes the colors I selected, complementing the pre-existing terracotta. It is almost impossible to discern whether the patterned tiles we created are original to the house or not – I believe that it is my responsibility as a designer to ensure an authentic look to a house when redesigning new things for a new era.

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The 8×8 cement tiles were manufactured in Mexico and married up to the 16×16 terracotta tile in the house. We installed these tile rugs throughout the interior as well as in the fountain pool and exterior patio to further the motif both indoors and outdoors.

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Our client’s hacienda home employs both the traditional Spanish terracotta floor as well as the vibrant, decorative tile insets designed by the JRR Design Firm, resulting in a classic and refreshed look. The colorful tile rugs provide a modern appeal to the house yet still honor the centuries old use of tile insets, respecting authentic Californian and Mediterranean architecture.

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