Originally, medallion tile designs were all circular, due to the fact that Latin word "medalia" meant a Roman coin valued at half a denarius.
Typically, a medallion also depicted a person or architectural design, much the same way the coins did. However, in recent times, medallions can depict anything and have many different shapes, from oval to rectangular or square. Thus, they no longer have to be circular. They do tend to have one thing in common though:
They are artistic centerpieces that can stand alone to give star power to your floor or wall. Here are a few striking examples of how to use a medallion to create a visual impact for your home or office.
#1 To Define an Entryway
This Tapeti Gulla mosaic medallion helps to define the entryway in a high class manner. The curves of the medallion also echo the curves of the stairway behind it, bringing additional design elements to the forefront.
Medallions are perfect for entryways because it is typically a space that can be hard to decorate, but that needs something to amp it up. Putting a floor medallion into the entryway is the perfect solution for a space that should remain somewhat empty, but still creates a welcoming transition into the home.
#2 For Branding and Logos
Here is an oval medallion that a restaurant has used to highlight their logo and impact visitors with their brand as they step inside their establishment. The nice white tiles around the central design only serve to highlight the medallion and make it easily visible.
#3 As a Stove Backdrop
Your stove backsplashes do not have to be boring anymore. You can add a medallion in this space to create a powerful design feature to your kitchen.
The medallion does not even have to be circular, it can be rectangular too. Create it out of an unusual material, like glass, to create interesting light effects when you turn on the lights. Here are two such medallions created with glass mosaics from the Glow collection.
#4 To Create a Stone Rug
Since many medallions are round or oval, they make the perfect fake rug. They are also far more durable that a fabric rug and can withstand heavy foot traffic.
This makes them ideal for hotel lobbies and living rooms where people tend to walk in and out of on a daily basis. This hotel chose a custom waterjet medallion to create a visually stunning work of art that looks like a rug in front of the seating area. In this design, the modern furniture is artfully arranged around the oval medallion to accentuate the idea of it being a stone rug.
#5 As Framed Wall Art
Medallions are typically bordered such that they appear to be framed. This makes it easy for them to be used as "framed" wall art on any wall.
Consider using them in a shower enclosure, above a fireplace, or even just as accent art on your walls. Here is a medallion used in a glass shower enclosure.
#6 To Create Style
What style do you want a space to convey? Do you prefer natural scenes that evoke an Old World Charm or classical Greek or Roman designs?
A medallion can set the tone for your design by putting in a work of art that instantly tells people what mood you are trying to convey.
Take a look at these two different medallions. Isn't one more Old World while the other more Greek or Roman? You would probably use the first in a home and the second more for official business spaces.
#7 For Customization with a Waterjet Medallion
Modern waterjet cutting tools make cutting the hardest of stones seem like you are slicing butter.
For expensive stones, like marble, it makes use of every last bit of stone without much waste. It also makes cutting intricate designs easy. You can choose this Tapeti Lofer waterjet medallion design and it will be flawlessly executed with the waterjet so that it is visually perfect.
You can create any type of custom medallion design - with overlapping curves that would have been hard to do in the past - and have confidence that it will work out just fine. The tool is so precise even thin ribbons are no problem for it.
Medallions Create Focus and Drama
If you want to focus attention on space and make it dramatic, then choose to add a medallion to your next tiling project.
Medallion tile designs can be made with a variety of materials, from ceramic and glass to stone tiles. They can be used as kitchen backsplashes and fake rugs. They define and customize a space, even allowing businesses to add branding in an artistic fashion. They evoke a style instantly and can be used as framed works of art. They can be put in unexpected places, like in a glass shower enclosure or above a fireplace.
If you want to create a custom work of art, you can leverage waterjet technology to create medallions by cutting ribbon-like pieces of stone that weave in and out of each other. If you want to add even more visual impact, you can even do a 3-dimensional cut and create medallions for the wall with a textural component.
There are so many possibilities and uses for medallions, that they are as popular today as they were in ancient times. This is one design element that will remain a favorite for eternity.
Where do you think you would use a medallion for your next tiling project?