Monday, May 16, 2011

Tile for Your Craftsman Home

Portland is full of fabulous craftsman bungalows. Big porches and fireplaces are a major plus in a town where it's always raining. Over the years many of them have had all their trim stripped away, their tile fireplaces coated in thick paint. So how to remodel?  Do you stick with "period appropriate"? Do you strip all that heavily painted trim and try to find the original wood? Do you rip it all out and go contemporary? Maybe there's a happy middle ground?

If you're thinking about a remodel here's a few tile ideas that cover traditional craftsman choices to fresh new looks with a craftsman flavor. Come visit our showroom, we're sure to have the right look for your Craftsman project, whether or not you decide to strip all that woodwork.

 Concept boards in a craftsman tradition by Pratt & Larson

At Pratt and Larson we got our start making craftsman tile.  Over time we've branched out and added more contemporary looks as well. Lately we've updated some of our hand painted craftsman tile with a new contemporary tone on tone look we're calling Duochrome shown above in the pine cones and fir trees. Mix and match the pieces to create a balance of new and old.
Original cabinets with contemporary Pratt & Larson Intaglio series tile
Pratt & Larson Bas Relief series

Craftsman Design and Renovation a Portland based company that specializes in old home restoration and remodels, reproduced the original counter and back splash of this kitchen while updating to allow for modern appliances. Using a vintage reproduction tile line called Revival they were able to match the original very closely. Visit their website to see some great before and after pictures. 
1920's kitchen by Craftsman Design & Renovation 

Motawi Tileworks makes beautiful tile in the Arts and Crafts tradition.  Inspired by potteries such as Pewabic and Rookwood and by great architects of the era like Ernest Batchelder, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright they create tile with a look that's all their own.
Motawi Fireplace
Motawi kitchen
Motawi kitchen 

Metolius Ridge Tile based in Eugene, OR creates beautiful custom murals informed by her background in textiles painting and printmaking . Her rich glaze palette works wonderfully in contemporary and craftsman style homes. 
Pomegranate Tree Mural by Metolius Ridge Tile
Custom fireplace design  by Metolius Ridge Tile

This kitchen remodel also by Craftsman Design and Renovation uses Pratt and Larson field tile combined with a  leaf mural and a geometric border by Metolius Ridge Tile. Mixing the styles strikes a balance between the traditional craftsman glass fronted cabinets and the modern stainless appliances, tying everything together.
Craftsman Design and Renovation kitchen using Pratt & Larson tile with a Metolius Ridge mural
Metolius Ridge border with Pratt & Larson Field

Batchelder and Claycraft were two California potteries making Arts and Crafts tile in the 1920's. Their tile is commonly found in Portland homes and often damaged or painted over so many times you'd hardly know there was an image. Luckily, Tile Restoration Center in Seattle, WA specializes in recreating the tiles from these companies as well as creating designs of their own.

Tile Restoration Center fireplace in the Batchelder tradition

Acacia Graphic Mosaics wields the tile saw to create fabulous craftsman style mosaics. This woodland mural in this cabin kitchen really brings the outdoors in. 

Custom mosaic mural by Acacia Graphics
Acacia Graphics Mural

Oceanside Glass Tile has recycled glass content making it a great environmentally friendly choice as well as a beautiful contemporary look. 
Oceanside Glass tile fireplace
Come in and work with our talented sales consultants to find the perfect tile for your bungalow be it traditional or contemporary or somewhere right in the balance.


  1. All the design in this post is just so gorgeous and I am sure that it will cost a lot of money to be able to have that kind of Fireplace. For me one of the parts of the Fireplace is the tiles. If the tiles has great design the whole Fireplace will looks very amazing.

  2. Thanks Kitchen Benchtops~! The nice thing about tiling a fireplace is that it's only a few square feet of tile and if you choose a single accent piece for the center and plain field for the rest you can easily keep the cost down. We have a wide range in pricing in our showroom to help find the right tile for everyone. I see you're in Australia tho - might be a little far to pop in for a visit!

  3. You make sure beautiful tiles. I love the Bas Relief Tile over the stove in the May 16, 2011 post. It looks like it is the VR-VR1X series. Can you please tell me what colors were used on the tiles? Is there a closeup available? As a suggestion, it would be great if you could label the tile examples with the colors! Thank you.

    1. Thanks D Greer! I see you know your Pratt & Larson. That is VR1 and it's in WW40 with W40 field tile and W55 trim around the frame. I'd be happy to email you some more pictures of this kitchen, drop me a note at

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