Tile Case Studies
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A ‘Dash of Almodovar’ in Sydenham
I've always wanted to describe Alhambra as ‘Rustic Contemporary with a Dash of Almodovar’, and this is the closest we've come yet - a fabulous
Pop Art- inspired floor just round the corner from the showroom. Hazel is busy transforming her whole house, starting with a wild splash of colour in the kitchen using our Picasso Black & White Patchwork interspersed with plain Picasso tiles in a mixture of colours. Bravo! An absolute sight for sore eyes (and we love the black cat slippers, too!)
The Magnificent Tile! Alhambra at the Thompson Hotel, Chicago
Alhambra was chosen by UK Designer Tara Bernerd to supply a complex patchwork comprising some 15 different patterns in a sophisticated palette of putty, grey and maroon/brown for the Nico Osteria Restaurant at the new Thompson Hotel, Chicago. We worked hard to meet Tara's requirements, supplied samples and, once we were named as the supplier, liaised directly with the contractors in America. When the tiles were ready, we were responsible for exportation of the 17,000kg load! Many thanks to the guys at the Nico Osteria who happily shared their photograph with us. Alhambra is always happy to take on commercial projects - our tiles are very strong and suitable for most environments. We can supply full technical info and arrange delivery worldwide. The photo above was taken by Doug Fogelson.
Chiltern Grand Design
Jonathan and Ana Maria Harbottle were among our first encaustic-tile clients back in June 2012. The couple had just bought a large mid-century house in woodland near Amersham on the Hill. The house had been empty two years and was ripe for a 'grand design'.
Working with sustainable architect Charlie Luxton and Takero Shimazaki the couple kept the existing floorplan, but replaced the sloping roof and installed skylights and big windows framed in oak. The exterior brickwork is now painted black, paying homage to the area's traditional Chiltern barns. On the inside, light from the skylights and windows floods the rooms.
Jonathan and Ana Maria chose geometric black and white encaustic tiles for the entrance lobby and downstairs utility room. In the entrance lobby, a stunning 4m x 5m space, the tiles are laid in a diamond pattern and bordered in black. "We were interested in the juxtaposition between dark and light," explains Jonathan. "The tiles echo the transition from the dark exterior to the bright interior. They look absolutely stunning.
"We were very impressed by the choice Alhambra offers," he adds. "We found our diamond pattern on Alhambra's interactive tile chooser. It was absolutely the right thing for us! We were also very impressed by the competitive price."
The tiles were installed, along with underfloor heating, by builder Roy Buckley.
The couple are still in love with their monochrome encaustic floor tiles. "The tiles are the big feature of the house - a real showstopper," says Jonathan. "Our tiled lobby is solid, luxurious and warm and the patina feels like quality. We're glad we spent the money."
A colourful patchwork from Alhambra takes pride of place in the kitchen. The clients wanted a thorough mix, and were happy with a random blend of some 50 different patterns. To complement this, they chose a simple grey pattern for the hallway.
London Luxury Bathroom: Reclaimed Encaustic Patchwork Floor
One of our favourites - this was the baby of a North London set designer who cleverly combined a patchwork of reclaimed encaustic tiles with modern metro tiles and exclusive fixtures and fittings for a truly unique and luxurious bathroom. Our client took on the sanding and cleaning of the tiles with gusto (some of them needed a lot of work) and this shows how well even the grubbiest tiles can come up! Our client recommends Lithofin products for stubborn tiles. He says: "The products I used were all by Lithofin. I cleaned the tiles with a combo of Power-Clean MN and Builders-Clean MN and sealed with Stain-Stop KF." Another good source of advice can be found at www.extensive.co.uk which stocks Lithofin products. Please note, this is the experience of one client, only. If you are considering buying and cleaning reclaimed tiles, you must seek your own advice and Alhambra cannot be held responsible for the outcome.
Bedford Designer House
Design professionals Lynne and Paolo came to us in spring 2012. They noticed some beautiful reclaimed daisy design tiles in our shop window. We only had a few, so the couple asked for the pattern to be reproduced.
Their tiles are a retro daisy design in grey and maroon.
North London Wet Room
We were really pleased when we got a call from renowned designer Mhairi Coyle, who wanted to use our Picasso Range tiles in a North London bathroom. She took her inspiration from the wonderful graphic designs of David Hicks and used our bold monochrome porcelain patchwork with bright yellow paint to pack a punch in what was a fairly dark room. Our Picasso Range tiles are low maintenance and suitable for indoors and out. They also come in colour. For more info on the Picasso range please visit: http://alhambrahome.co.uk/collections/porcelain-tiles
The penthouse ranges across the top three floors of a listed Georgian building, with an open plan kitchen and living room at the top. Ramses got permission to raise the roof and build a roof terrace with a miniature garden and giant planters. Long skylights were installed across the breadth of the ceiling.“The client wanted characterful fixtures and fittings,” Ramses recalls. “We decided on a bespoke kitchen from Siematic and then he came up with the idea for a patchwork floor. He wanted something more natural-looking to complement the glossy units. We must have called every tile shop in London but no one had what we wanted - until we found Alhambra!
“The interactive chooser was really helpful. We took the images from there and dropped in the colours. Then we Photoshopped everything together to come up with a patchwork pattern we liked.
“We also used the patchwork encaustic tiles in the toilet, as a complement to the natural slate fittings.”
Before he ordered, Ramses visited our shop to see the colours in reality. “At the time, you didn't have too many sample tiles to take away,” he recalls, “but the service was still very good. You got us a quote very quickly.”*
So, is the client happy?
“Yes, indeed,” Ramses says. “We always like to give our clients a big say, and we managed to achieve what he wanted. He's very pleased with the end result.” *Alhambra now has a full set of colour sample squares which can be borrowed. We can also generate views of patchwork designs in some cases.
Kentish Town Café-Bar: The Fields Beneath
Alhambra supplied the tiles for this popular cafe nestling beneath Kentish Town West station. Once sealed our tiles are suitable for any kind of surface - they can be made slightly thinner for use on walls, if required.
We were very chuffed to find this picture (left) on Twitter. It's tiles from our current basement stock looking rather more Ab Fab than Del Boy - just down the road from us in Peckham! Follow us on Twitter at @AlhambraRebecca
Reclaimed 'zig-zag' tiles laid in a random style. Once sealed, encaustic tiles are suitable for any surface - including shower floors. We stock a full range of sealants and cleaning products and are the UK distributor for Monestir, Spain. Photo: Conrad Blakemore
Sydenham Tiled Hearth
Carpenter Richard Catchweasel bartered a set of his beautiful bespoke shelves for some of our reclaimed encaustic tiles and a recycled Andalucian rug. See more of Richard's work at http://catchweasel.com/
West London Bathroom: Reclaimed Blue Daisy Tiles
Another nice one - reclaimed encaustic tiles in a blue, cream and grey flower pattern. Blue reclaimed tiles are quite rare, and we still have around 6m2 left. The tiles complement the period bathroom beautifully.
South London Kitchen
These tiles were spotted by a sharp-eyed customer as he cycled past our shop one winter day last year. The tiles are from our Granada range but instead of the usual blue, brown and white, he chose the Azahara design in a sophisticated grey and white. Perhaps the snowy day inspired the snowy look!
Granada Tiled Woodburner
A lovely job by two of our favourite customers, Kim and John. They fancied bringing a taste of Andalucia to their fireplace and chose our beautiful Genaralife tiles from the Granada Range for the job!