Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tile design in dreamtime
As part of an upgrade to our little basement apartment, we're creating a tile backsplash in the kitchen. We wanted to incorporate some of our Mexican tile collection into it and the bluebird tile was what we chose. About 20 years ago we bought three boxes of tiles in Puerto Vallarta and brought them home as excess baggage on the airplane. Over the years we've used them in kitchens, bathrooms, for tables and trivets and gifts--but we still have some left.
The top photo shows the first cut at the backsplash design that I pulled together in the tile store. I found some tiles the same size and thickness as the Mexican tile and created a little pattern that would allow me to use the 14 bluebirds. It looked great in the store and so I bought a supply and brought them home.
The other day I set the tiles and it quickly became obvious that it was too busy for a backsplash in the tiny kitchen. The first design element to go was the bluebird. We set the rest of the tiles and went to bed. The next day I awoke from an unsettling dream. In the dream I was showing the backsplash to my friend Patricia who is a real estate agent. Her response was an immediate shake of the head. "Too much," is what she said. "It looks like a circus."
All morning I kept trying to make the design OK in my mind but it wasn't working. The deep red tiles were overpowering the other colours and it was too much like....well, like a circus. So we pried out all the red tiles and replaced them with the yellow ones. And this is the result. We still have to grout the tiles and finish them off but I really like it. It works with the blue counter top and is cheery and warm without being too strong.
I think it was the dream that allowed me to make the final change of taking out the red tiles. Isn't it interesting how designs evolve? Sometimes the decisions are conscious and sometimes they come in other ways. I'm amazed at how often my night time ideas guide my day time activities.
Does this ever happen to you?