Thursday, April 05, 2012

High Style Tile

A number of readers responded to last week's post on Delft and Portuguese tile by emailing me their sources for antique and new tile. I want to share these sources with you as I'm assuming that decent looking Delft tile is hard to find. I'll split the sources up into separate posts as they each make and sell such beautiful tile that it's difficult to narrow down the number of photos into one post.

First up is The Douglas Watson Studio in Oxfordshire, England. It was designer Christopher Leach who informed me of their work. In fact, Leach used their tile in a London town house project that was recently featured in British House & Garden. Above, you can see a photo of the tiled bathroom that Leach designed. (To see more photos of the project, click here.)

What is refreshing about the work of Douglas Watson Studio is that many of their tile designs are full of whimsy but are fortunately lacking cuteness. There is the traditional Delft style tile as well as the more exotic looking tile seen so often in Italy and Spain. What I am charmed by the most, though, are their series of tiles. Themes include the alphabet, birds, cooking, etc. Can you imagine how lovely a kitchen would look with one of these series featured prominently in the room?

I urge you take a look at the website. Every photo of their tile is more charming than the last!

One example of their Delft tile

Much of their Delft tile is available in blue and white as well as manganese or polychrome.

How gorgeous is this tiled Battle Scene panel?

Or this Balloon panel?

Catchpenny Series

Botanical Herb Series

Old English Alphabet

There are also tiles that are a bit more exotic in design.

An example of some recent work. This might appeal to the gardeners reading this.

I'm not sure to whom this coat of arms belongs, but it certainly looks stunning in tile.

All tile photos from the website of Douglas Watson Studio. The photo of the Christopher Leach designed bathroom is from British House & Garden, March 2012, Simon Brown photographer.


  1. Thank you Jennifer!
    I love the baloon!
    About the coat of arms, I think it is the arms of the Earl of Buckinghamshire! At least I am sure "Auctor Pretosia Facit" (means "the giver makes valuable" is their motto

    1. Hi Arnaud! I'm so impressed that you know this, but then again, I'm not surprised! You are a wealth of information. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the tip. I did not know about this resource.

  3. Beautiful tile! But what I really love is that water closet in the first image!

    1. I remember that you liked that image from my past post!

  4. Jennifer, I've never been a big tile person but now I want to do my whole house in it. This is just great and very inspiring, thank you. Loved yesterday's on Sister Parish as well. With Mr. Hadley's death it is the end of an era. I did a post on his sketches: Best to you and your readers, Frances

  5. Dear Ms. Jennifer Boles

    I would like to suggest the visit of the site
    Sant'Anna is the oldest ceramic factory in Portugal Est. 1741, still the only totaly hand made and painted.
    Valerian Rybar used a Lot of Sant'Anna tiles in his magnificent projects, in Portugal and abroad.

    Please take a look. I know you will bw delighted.