On a recent sojourn to Santa Barbara, I visited some old haunts to remember the lovely tile that is so much a part of the architectural history of Southern California.
This porcelain mosaic mural of the "Modern Industrial World" once adorned the side of the Safeway grocery. Luckily it was recently saved by the developer who converted the space into a chic, multi-space eatery and market.
The Santa Barbara County Courthouse is adorned on many sides with tile murals commemorating historic events and scenes. All of them are colorful and pop from the stark whitewashed stucco walls of the building.
A very traditional use of tile for exterior applications is to surround a door with decorative patterns. We love to highlight entryways and add color to exteriors. Here are two wonderful examples.
Decorative patterned floors are a very important element in Spanish Colonial architecture. I'm showing two wonderful patterns: The Basketweave using decorative 2x2 dots and the Picket and Square pattern with alternating decorative and plain inserts.
The exterior fountain in the entry courtyard of the Arlington Movie Theatre on State Street is something to behold! Pattern on tile pattern and an elaborate shape make this fountain especially memorable.
Faceted and bejeweled, these wrought-iron lanterns are a signature element in many of the Spanish Colonial buildings around Santa Barbara.
Oh what a tiled bench! If you love the idea of tiling a bench- in your garden or bath- these are two to admire and perhaps emulate. Fabulous patterns collide and colors abound.
Last, but certainly not least, this wainscot could be a tile display in our showroom! Many of these patterns are still available today, on tiles that remind us of the amazing heritage of the Moorish tile in the Alhambra of Spain.