Tiles from ‘oh joy!’ and CLÉ

In an era when stories emanating out of Washington grow more bizarre and troubling each day, it’s nice to know that one person on the planet seeks just the opposite.

Joy Cho in Los Angeles is intent on making people happy – with tiles in pastels and bright colors, like mint, pink and shades of blue. “My design philosophy is about how the work I do can add joy to people’s lives,” she says. “We all need joy with way the world can be some days.”

She’s been chipping away at that for 12 years now through her Los Angeles-based firm, ‘oh joy!’ The tiles may be new, but she’s been working on home décor and baby items since she set up her studio. Some of her pieces have found their way into the aisles of Target.

Her tile collection, though, is offered through CLÉ, the innovative artisanal purveyor of all things ceramic and cement. It’s all about color and whimsy for everyday use – and how to bring that sensibility to tiles for the bath or kitchen, bar or coffee shop.

“It was an interesting challenge for a permanent piece, to merge my aesthetic into a tile, and achieve a classic look with ‘oh joy!’” she says. “I want you to like it in five years.”

Her color palette’s composed of pastels with a little extra punch. “They’re meant to have a fun feel to them, even if it’s not super bold,” she says. “It’s a pastel version of a party.”

She finds her inspiration in excursions into the outside world with her two daughters, almost six and three. “It’s not a grand adventure around the world,” she says. “We’re out doing everyday things – going to the market or the theater and doing other things that give me opportunities to see new things that provide inspiration,” she says.

Her tiles can be used in commercial, retail or residential applications. “We have them in our own office – one in the kitchen and one in my personal office,” she says. “They’re for baths and kitchens but also work really well for counter tops or panels where you’re sitting at the bar or in a coffee shop.”

Wherever they’re used, though, they’re sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

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