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Zellige tiles used as a backsplash in a French kitchen with dark marble counters, floating sheleves and white cabinets
Zellige tiles in a home in France used as a backsplash in the kitchen. (above)

I had never heard of the word zelliges before late last night. I was browsing around looking at pretty pictures and I saw an article that said something about zellige tiles. What? Zelliges? What in the world? Well of course I had to know more.

Turns out, zelliges are Moroccan terra cotta tiles…glazed…cut into small squares or shapes and set into cement.  They are known for their imperfections and inconsistencies and are meant to be laid on a vertical surface (i.e. a wall) rather than on a horizontal one (i.e a floor).

This picture above shows a kitchen with these zelliges from counter to ceiling. Quite nice. I like!  The imperfections in the tiles and the glazing almost create an iridescent look..almost looks like the surface is made from mother of pearl.

So, while I had not heard the word zelliges before…I had seen the zellige tiles for sure…they are classic in Moroccan architecture…see below…usually detailed colorful mosaics.

Zellige mosaic tiles in Mekhnes
Zellige mosaic tiles in Mekhnes, a city in northwestern Morocco. (above)

Close up of avocado green zelliges from Emery et Cie
Close up of avocado green zelliges from Emery et Cie shows all of the fantastic imperfections in these tiles. (above)

I might like to see zelliges in one color used on a fireplace surround or in a bathroom shower wall as well.

Couple questions…1) Had you ever heard of the word “zelliges”? 2) Do you like their imperfections or do you dislike? 3) What do you think of the kitchen? 4) Could you see using zelliges in your home (maybe monochromatic)?

Happy Friday!


P.S.  So honored that Elaine over at Style at Home asked me to contribute to a piece on budget friendly decor ideas.  Check out my budget friendly tip!

Photo: Marie Claire Maison; Wikipedia


  1. Yep, I love researching tiles so knew the name. I like the mono chrome color that picks up differences in the light too, I would love to find these in a peach and teal that I could use in my kitchen as full height backsplash

  2. I’ve been looking high and low for some unique tile for my kitchen. Even though the style would be considered a mix of contemporary (off white slab cabinets) traditional (calacatta gold counters) rustic (WZ limestone floors) and a bit of french country (black lacanche range) I think white square or subway style Zelliges tile for the backsplash going up to the ceiling might just pull the whole look together. And, I’ve been to the factory where they make the tile, which makes it sorta personal. I’m going to order a sample, crossing my fingers that it works with my kitchen.
    Thanks for digging up something unique and sharing it with us!

  3. Check out the March House Beautiful issue! Amazing kitchen redo in NYC with Ann Sachs Medina Tile backsplash in Moroccan zellig style. so cool!

  4. I love these stunning glazed tiles – I am doing some green ones with a client at the moment for feature walls in the bathrooms so I am loving the inspiration!
    Just stumbled across your lovely blog & have signed up as your latest follower! I look forward to popping back for some more gorgeous inspiration.
    Melissah from Country Style Chic

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