In praise of mosaics and the decorative life.
Before we start, we need to ask you a very direct question. Do you decorate your home for you… or for a ‘future owner’? Many people invest in a home renovation or
upgrade to add value to their properties. Often, it makes good sense. For instance, if you know you’re only going to be in your house for a couple of years, prior to relocating for a job, you might choose to keep that future homeowner in mind, and try to keep things like flooring and walls more universally pleasing.
But if you want a home, and not just a house… if we asked you: “when are you putting your place on the market?”, and your answer is: “well, we have no plans to move in the forseeable future, actually we’d like to see our children grow up in this house”…then, we reckon, at some point, you just need to forget about that elusive ‘future owner’ and create a home that you enjoy.
Because if you continually redecorate for the next owner… and then the next owner decorates for the one after that… you will all end up living in a space that has no soul. Also, let’s not forget that if you’re there for another 10 years or so, the bland surface that’s so ‘universally pleasing’ today, could be the dated avocados and harvest golds of the next decade! Cringe.
We say if you want to splash out on a feature wall or crazy-gorgeous decorative pool area or magnificently decadent bathroom floor – one that says “hello peeps, this is who we are and we’re unashamedly fabulous!”… go for it, baby!
Mosaics: a million little pieces of your personality.
A house becomes a home when it reflects the personality of the family who lives there. And nothing says ‘personality’ quite like decorative mosaics.
As a matter of fact, since earliest times, mosaics have been used to create the story of who we are, of what makes a particular bunch of humans tick. The ancient Sumerians collected coloured pebbles and created patterns on the pillars of their strongholds.
As time marched on, little pieces of coloured stone, glass, amber and clay - even precious gems - were used to decorate walls and floors of more and more buildings around the world to create a sense of majesty and wonder (in temples), of power (in the great government buildings) and splendour and wealth (in palaces and castles).
Decorative mosaics then became symbols of status and wealth in the magnificent hotels and private mansions of the very rich and fabulously famous of the 19th century.
And then, ordinary people began to flex their decorative muscles – and let their personalities flow into their living spaces. A house was no longer just a place to lay your weary head after 14 hours of slog. It was becoming a sanctuary, a shelter from the stormy blast of a tough working world. It was becoming a reflection of those who lived there. The rise of the middle classes, ‘liberty, fraternity and equality’ and freedom of expression became the new consciousness. Mosaics came home. And the rest, as they say, is history. The pattern of our lives changed forever. Hoorah!
There are no rules for ‘where’, rather like with wallpaper, paint techniques or large format paintings. Use your imagination, and if you’re not sure, use us. Speak to our design-certified sales advisers for ideas and advice if you feel you might be going off track.
The mosaic addiction.
There are honestly no limits to decorative mosaic in the home. If you can dream it, you can pretty much do it. Embellish a feature wall or a supporting pillar. A floor. A shower dado… or the entire shower. Mosaics can prettify your pool steps or surrounds, or why not go utterly bonkers and mosaic the whole pool to release your inner mermaid.
The kitchen backsplash.
A great place to exercise your mosaic muscle. Now that kitchens have become the great home hangout space, a little creativity can go a long way to add charm and personality.
Whether you decide to decorate a feature wall, a set of pillars, a part of the floor or even a window or fireplace surround, mosaic adds a bold accent that a new set of scatter cushions can never achieve. One of the most imaginative ideas we have seen in recent months is a decorated headboard!
With so much of our lives lived outdoors, the garden has become much more than a place for grass and flowers. We’re seeing paths, yoga nooks, water features and meditation labyrinths emerge as stressed folk look for peace at home. Mosaic tiles can add meaning and interest to any and every outdoor area, whether it’s a patio table, a pool, a bench at the bottom of the garden or a cluster of clay pots and planters.
Mosaics vs tiles or paint.
Why choose mosaics over a tiled wall or a painted feature? A tiled wall gives a wonderful expanse of one seamless texture. A feature painted wall does the same thing, but on a slightly more eye-catching scale. But when you really want to make a statement, mosaics are the ultimate expression of creativity and personal flair.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
We’ve curated arguably SA’s most marvellous mosaic gallery from the best mosaic manufacturers the world has to offer. Local and international. Patterned, patchwork and plain. Brights, colours, naturals. Slate, stone, stainless steel, mother-of-pearl, wood, screed-look, eco-glass. Hexagonal, octagonal, herringbone, fish scale, teeny tiny micro-mosaics, min-subways, pebbles and texture combos. Modern, classic, trad, Victorian, Spanish, folksy, arty-farty and bohemian. Italtile’s got the lot and then some. Start mood-boarding here.
And all the trimmings.
If you’re DIYing, Italtile stocks an amazing range of bonding liquids, sealants and adhesives, as well tile grouts in a load of different shades - even metallics.
Celebrate every facet of your personality and live beautifully.
Dive in. Do it now. Celebrate every facet of your personality with mosaic. And live beautifully.
Ciao for now!