Step inside seven kitchens that feature a material renowned for its unique texture and glossy finish.

Zellige tiles, also sometimes referred to as Moroccan tiles, are a centuries-old, traditional form of tilework that originated in Morocco. To craft the tiles, artisans employ a special technique that involves shaping and glazing terracotta clay, cutting the clay into small, irregular squares, and finally assembling the individual pieces to create a striking mosaic. Upholding this age-old craft, zellige tiles continue to find their way into contemporary homes, favoured by architects and designers in these seven kitchens as an alternative to more mainstream forms of tilework. 

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Photography by Anson Smart

01. Salsa Verde

Location: Sydney, Australia

Design: Arent&Pyke

Designed for family connection and to be “full of spirit”, the kitchen in this Sydney home by Arent&Pyke is composed of Guatemala Verde stone, poplar burl timber veneer, terrazzo floors and green-tinged zellige tiles – a palette inspired by the kitchen’s verdant outlook. “The textural form in each material challenges the rectilinear configuration of the kitchen,” Arent&Pyke co-founder Juliette Arent says, who worked with format and balance to maximise the long and narrow footprint. With the position of the outdoor courtyard directly in front of the kitchen, the appearance of the zellige tiles changes throughout the day with the different types of light.

“The textural form in each material challenges the rectilinear configuration of the kitchen.”

 

– Arent&Pyke co-founder Juliette Arent

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Photography by Magnus Marding

02. Mariehill

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Design: Liljencrantz Design

Louise Liljencrantz came into this project, the renovation of a 1920s red-brick apartment in central Stockholm, with a vision for ‘timeless elegance’. This concept manifests in the kitchen, where the designer has reimagined the original design through a sophisticated and restrained material palette. As part of this approach, two sides of the space were clad in cream zellige tiles, resulting in a unique hand-made feel and striking luminosity.

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Photography by Rhiannon Taylor

03. Art House

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Design: Chelsea Hing

The brief for this double-storey Melbourne terrace house was to inject it with a sense of contemporary edge while also staying sympathetic to its origins. Chelsea Hing, renowned for her playful approach to colour and materiality, brought this vision to life. The home’s kitchen is an alluring, dark space compared to the rest of the more light, playful interiors. Here, black granite and striking blue marble complement sea-green zellige tiles and aged brass.

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Photography by Timothy Kaye

04. Montfort House

Location: Blairgowrie, Australia

Design: InForm

Inform director Jon McKimm called this home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula an exercise in rugged luxury: “a true sanctuary that celebrates the superb coastline just beyond.” The kitchen, which sits elevated overlooking the sand dunes, is characterised by grounding, nature-inspired materials, including timber-lined ceilings, light-grey stone and iridescent zellige tiles. The designer describes light’s impact on the materials during sunrise and sunset as nothing short of “intoxicating”.

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Photography by Salva López

05. Casolare Scarani

Location: Puglia, Italy

Design: Studio Andrew Trotter

Thanks to Studio Andrew Trotter, this once-abandoned villa in Puglia’s countryside is now an alluring family home. The kitchen embodies the studio’s respect for craftsmanship and ability to convey a building’s history through materials. Smooth stone countertops, weathered-copper taps, handmade ceramics and the hero ingredient, terracotta-toned zellige tiles, create a warm and inviting heart of the home.

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Photography by Anson Smart

06. Potts Point

Location: Sydney, Australia

Design: Flack Studio

For this particular project, Flack Studio wanted to capture the vibrant coastal lifestyle of Sydney. Embodying this vision, the kitchen features a rich mix of materials, including hand-finished raw brass, Calacatta Vaticano marble, American-oak stained veneer, and blue-tinged zellige tiles. “I wanted the kitchen to feel like a little jewel glycerine; the beautiful brass elements have a little sparkle, but then it’s got some rough and tumble so that we could capture a bit of both of those moods of Sydney,” Flack Studio founder David Flack says.

“I wanted the kitchen to feel like a little jewel glycerine; the beautiful brass elements have a little sparkle, but then it’s got some rough and tumble so that we could capture a bit of both of those moods of Sydney.”

 

– Flack Studio founder David Flack

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Photography by Felix Forest

07. Wilkinson Villa

Location: Sydney, Australia

Design: Handelsmann + Khaw

While restoring this Mediterranean-style home in Sydney, Handelsmann + Khaw sought inspiration from the original architect, Leslie Wilkinson. Elements such as the hand-crafted timber tables in the dining areas and the zellige tiles in the kitchen pay homage to the South of Spain, an area that meant a lot to Wilkinson. Notably, the zellige tiles are ingeniously employed to clad the kitchen countertops, adding a unique and artisanal touch. “While zellige tiles are on trend, we wanted to use them in a timeless way,” Handelsmann + Khaw co-founder Tania Handelsmann says.

“While zellige tiles are on trend, we wanted to use them in a timeless way.”

 

– Handelsmann + Khaw co-founder Tania Handelsmann 

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