Light reflected on water during a drive across San Francisco Bay – and the sparkle of sequins on a purse – prompted designer Erica Tanov to think about a new kind of tile.
“It was the perfect marriage of ideas,” she says.
The result? Oval-shaped, hand-hammered brass tiles that can be arranged and overlaid in patterns for walls in offices, restaurants or homes.
Tanov found the solution as she began to think about designing her store in Marin County. “It had high, soaring ceilings but it was a small space,” she says. “I wanted something shimmery but not too far over the top.”
They work well with the wood inside, and capture exterior light in a space surrounded by the Bay. “To have the water reflected in my store is what I wanted to do,” she says.
Besides, there was inspiration from that purse in her closet at home. “I have a handbag made of small sequins, and they were shimmering, and I thought: ‘That’s it!’” she says. “I wanted to recreate it on a larger scale – the clothing store has a nice, elegant shape and when it’s layered, it’s almost like a mermaid’s scales.”
Each tile is manufactured and distributed in collaboration with clé tile, the Northern California-based source for a wide range of artisan-designed wall and floor coverings. “It’s U.S. brass, cut in the Bay area – a machine cuts them out and they’re drilled for the nail hole,” she says.
The Shimmer collection is already being used commercially in a bar on the East Coast, and also residentially. “It’s for people really considering high design for interior spaces,” she says.
They tiles come in two sizes. The larger is six inches by 2.8 inches and priced at $98.50 per square foot. The smaller is the original, at 3.5 inches by 2.25 inches, and priced at $130.20 per square foot.
Either way, they’re guaranteed to shine.
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