Zellige: The Never-Ending Story

With the discovery of South Africa, came the discovery of a vibrant and creative world full of designers, architects and private customers. When we started with Opia Design, we were deeply convinced that the visual interest of the zellige with its raw, natural texture and finish will inspire our clients and bring about the opportunity of unique spaces; reinventing a new common story of Africa. 

However, while we all love the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh or have beautiful images of Morocco in mind, we knew that some may fear that the traditional tiles may not translate well to a mid century modern home in the Johannesburg suburbs or a raw brick apartment in the middle of Cape Town’s city centre. Still, for the past five years, we’ve seen an increasing number of interiors across the world combining this 1,000-year-old Moroccan art form with the minimalist and organic modern movement. The trend is constantly reminding us of their unique beauty through the pages of international and local magazines, on the walls of exhibitions in Milan and all across social media.

We especially love them in a modern kitchen or bathroom, where their colour and grain draw the eye and provides a perfect counterpart to the asceticism of a minimal space. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite spaces that feature these gorgeous tiles, proof that zellige tiles work across every style — and so, will surely be stylish for years to come instead of a short lived trend.

 

 La Cornue via decoist.com

La Cornue via decoist.com

 Le Roch Hotel and Spa Paris with Petrol Blue zellige from Ateliers Zelij

Le Roch Hotel and Spa Paris with Petrol Blue zellige from Ateliers Zelij

 Black Zellige installed in the chimney as a recall of the kitchen. Image via .pas-partoe.be/en

Black Zellige installed in the chimney as a recall of the kitchen. Image via .pas-partoe.be/en

 Le Roch Hotel and Spa Paris with Petrol Blue zellige from Ateliers Zelij

Le Roch Hotel and Spa Paris with Petrol Blue zellige from Ateliers Zelij

Ghizlaine Menebhi