For us, the secret to discovering Barcelona’s artistic & architectural beauty isn’t about looking up – it’s about looking down. The ornate floor tiles are everywhere: sidewalks, inside simple cafes and of course the magnificently decorated Gaudi buildings.
We’ve been so inspired by these designs, so we decided to take a trek out to Can Tinturé, the first tile museum in Spain, which was in the small village of Esplugues. The museum itself was small and only included pieces from the 14th – 19th century, but certainly piqued our interest.
With a little more digging & with camera in hand, we learned the more modern tiles emerged in the 1850s. These were made from a cement compound that didn’t need oven baking, which was a lot less expensive and allowed for mass production. When installed, the tiles gave the illusion of being carpet and oftentimes did not match the residents’ furniture.
In the heyday of Modernism, Barcelona tiles were in great demand: geometric classical patterns, Celtic-style chains, stylish curves and flora & fauna explosions. Prevalent colors were brown, burgundy, green, black and, particularly pink. Nowadays, it seems new tiles are popping up in fashion boutiques, organic supermarkets and hipster establishments all around town.
All month we’ve been collecting photos across Barcelona and have become incredibly inspired. No doubt all this scouting will serve as reference for our own designs.