Growing up in Pasadena, CA, a community rich with history and an abundance of older homes, I have always been fascinated by the variety of architectural styles and periods represented around town. Pasadenans love luxury, but without all the bling and labels normally seen in other parts of LA. Quality, well proportioned, timeless design is what I see in most luxury homes in the area, and it is no surprise that many of these homes utilize Walker Zanger tile. Why? Because much of the Walker Zanger line is inspired by the past but presented in a way that is fresh and new, yet is still relatable. Walker Zanger’s aesthetic and reputation speak to the consumer who values timeless design and quality. Those who incorporate Walker Zanger tile into their homes know that in doing so they are not only adding beauty and enjoyment, but also value to their homes.
WALKER ZANGER’S TANGENT COLLECTION AT THE PASADENA SHOWCASE HOUSE
In fact, Walker Zanger tile makes an appearance at the Pasadena Showcase House, the longest running and one of the largest showcase houses in the country (next to Kips Bay in NY), just about every year.
The 2014 Pasadena Showcase House Master Bath (shown above and below), designed by Designs of the Interior, was outfitted exclusively with tile from Walker Zanger’s Tangent Collection.
I first viewed the Tangent Collection at the Showcase House last year, but only the three designs that were used in the master bath. This past January I had the pleasure of seeing Tangent in its entirety at the Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas. The Tangent Collection, which explores geometric shapes, is comprised of decorative stone mosaics and each design draws its inspiration from midcentury design elements. The classic materials used (Calacatta marble) in conjunction with the variety of motifs in the collection enable the Tangent Collection to be used in almost any style space.
And here are some of my other favorite designs from the Tangent Collection, each with slight color variations and intricate detailing that make every design unique:
Actually, I am convinced that each Walker Zanger collection is designed with my city of Pasadena in mind, as each of the collections I viewed at KBIS fit in perfectly with the many architectural styles I see so often when driving around town: Colonial, Spanish Mediterranean, Monterey Colonial, Victorian, Craftsman, Ranch, Mid Century…
Duquesa is another collection from Walker Zanger that speaks to my design aesthetic. Just as Southern California is a melting pot of cultures, so is the architecture, and Mediterranean/Spanish inspired architecture dot many of the streets in town. Unlike similar hand made and hand painted tiles which are often made offshore, Duquesa is made here in the United States. Traditional motifs from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Italy, are stripped down and recolored using color palettes that are relevant to how we live today. The motifs in the Duquesa collection complement the architecture of many of the historical luxury homes in the Pasadena area, including the 2014 Pasadena Showcase House – this time in the kitchen of the Carriage House, designed by Tocco Finale.
…And some of my personal favorites from the Duquesa Collection:
Sterling Row was recently selected as the winner of the KBIS Best in Bath Gold . The Sterling Row Collection is inspired by bespoke menswear with a variety of patterns mimicking houndstooth, argyle, and the fine detail typically seen on a wingtip shoe. Made of porcelain that is manufactured to look like wood and in a variety of warm grey tones, pattern and marble is thrown into the mix for a fresh, new look in tile. The greys in Sterling Row are bordering on brown for a much warmer, more fashion forward look.
Notice the detail of how the wood grain is represented on the porcelain tile. Not only is there a play on color, but there is also a play on the direction of the wood grain, which adds visual depth and contrast to each pattern. Because of the durable nature of porcelain, Sterling Row can be used in either a residential of commercial application and can withstand abuse such as abrasive sand and industrial cleaning chemicals.
“Oxford”, shown in charcoal at The New American Home (#TNAH2015) in Henderson, NV shows variations of wood grain porcelain in warm grey tones and picks up on the optical pattern trend that has been all the talk in surface design.
Tilt is eassily my favorite collection because of the simplicity of the geometric design combined with shapes within shapes and raise/depressed surfaces. Many of the designs in the Tilt Collection are a continuation of the exploration of geometry that was introduced last year in the Tangent Collection. What is different about Tilt is that instead of being made of stone mosaics, it is manufactured of porcelain out of Mexico, and porcelain allows the opportunity to play with reliefs and complex shapes, which are not possible when working with stone mosaics.
Below is Galactica, which is inspired by the surface of the Star Wars Death Star. A series of rectangle reliefs in varying sizes, it is beautiful in white, but I could see this taking off in several other color ways. Just imagine this design in a variety of soft aquas or celadon green.
Below is Galactica from the Walker Zanger Tilt Collection shown installed in the master bath at the New American Home 2015 in Henderson, NV.
I also loved the “hex in hex” pattern of the David Hex Blue Shadow, fashioned after legendary designer David Hicks. The soft crackled blue and white porcelain is so modern yet still timeless – exactly what I look for when I design for my own projects.
And here are a few other designs from the Tilt Collection shown at KBIS:
ROBERT A.M. STERN
The last collection is designed in collaboration with the NYC architecture firm of Robert A.M. Stern, current Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale. Robert A.M. Stern Architects partner Daniel Lobitz explains that this collaboration “brings the architect’s eye to designing ceramic tile.” Architectural motifs and standard tile shapes are reinterpreted to look new.
Above, “Doric Avenue” is a beveled edge subway tile that is given a raked motif- detailing that is normally rendered in architectural stone, and Lobitz sees this as a “sleek, new concept in subway tile.”
Large scale subway tile is used along with Ionic pilasters in a very shallow relief, paying homage to classical Greek architecture. This architectural order can be applied within a room to create the illusion of a classic Greek temple by using multiple pilasters, or as an accent by flanking either side of a vanity or door.
Walker Zanger’s commitment to luxury, impeccable quality, and thoughtful design that draws inspiration from the past, keep the brand as one of the sources that consumers and designers consistently turn to when looking to add lasting value to the home. So….what will you create?