A house isn’t a home until you put your unique stamp on it. That’s why I like to incorporate artistic tile designs in my living areas as well as the public spaces in my home.
Mosaic tile work is an ancient art form, but with new materials it has gone from a puzzle-like appearance in ancient homes to a stained glass effect that makes indoor spaces come alive with the play of light on tile.
For the luxury homeowner who wants to avoid the "cookie-cutter" syndrome, you can't beat mosaics. They create different moods in separate areas around the house and they do a lot to bring out and display your own personal style.
Even if you employ an architect or home designer, they can work with any custom mosaic company, like Artsaics, to bring a special, one-of-a-kind look to the home - plus, you'll have fun creating a true work of art at the same time. Mosaics also make an appearance in business settings to create just the right ambiance or make a grand impression.
Take a peek at these exciting mosaic project ideas to inspire you in your next home build or remodel.
10 Exciting Ways to Use Mosaics in Your Home
You may think you know everything about how to use tiles in your home, but I bet there are a few on this list you may never have considered. Yet, they can be the project that really sets your house apart from others on your block. Take a look how mosaics have been used in the past to draw inspiration for your future mosaic project ideas:
#1 Fireplace Surround
The fireplace surround is not usually finished in most homes, but can be the ideal canvas for artistic tile designs that start small, but make a big impression. The fireplace is typically the center of attention in the living room, so why snazz it up a bit? Take a look at how many different ways you can make this focal point the star of your living room:
Another, more detailed and artistic design, is the floral fireplace surround:
The fireplace surround can use mosaics only around the hearth, to accent the fire or reach all the way up to the ceiling to combine it with a wall art motif. Or, if you’re still not sure what you want, you can start at the base of the mantle with a small border and then add to it as you go along.
#2 Wall Art
Don’t have a fireplace? You can still cover an entire wall with mosaics, creating unique designs that include any theme under the sun. By using the corners of your walls as framing for mosaic wall art, you create a space that is creative and luxurious with high visual impact and very long-lasting. Even today, the widely used marble and tile mosaic artwork done in Pompeii is as beautiful as the day it was installed, after being dug out from under the volcanic ashes that decimated the city.
Here, you’ll might mythological themes and gods and goddesses of the day. However, modern examples of wall art make use of new materials, like metal tiles, along with glass, providing an entirely modern palette and texture to mosaic project ideas, and you’re not stuck only imaging ancient literature. You can add whatever modern design, even abstract, you want on your walls and you can give free rein to your decorator who will be inspired at the almost endless palette of colors and textures available.
#3 Kitchen and Bathroom Backsplashes
Backsplashes can now be done with almost any color imaginable in glass tiles, and those colors can shift and change as lighting in the home changes. Kitchen and bathroom backsplashes also need a material that is waterproof, making these areas ideal for creative projects using mosaics. Tiles can be used decoratively even in custom sink basins too, since water is not an issue. There are also etched mosaics that can give a highly stylized look to modern kitchens with just the addition of borders with etched tiles.
Marble inlays in any entryway or foyer will instantly create a rich appearance. However, even flooring in the kitchen and bathroom can be tiled with mosaics, creating a durable, easy-to-clean surface for these work zones in the home. If you don’t want to do the whole floor, you can just insert tile or mosaics in high traffic areas instead, thus saving some money, for instance, directly near the kitchen sink or first entering the front or back door.
You can see classic examples of ceiling mosaics in European churches that liked to wow their worshippers. They even included gold and gems in these religious works of arts
Of course, you don’t have to include any image in tiles on your ceiling and you certainly don’t have to raid a jewelry store to get one done, unless that's something that appeals to you. Modern custom ceiling mosaics often just use a single style tile in one color to accent the ceilings or bring a wall decor from the floor up to the ceiling.
#6 Pools and Water Features
The Romans loved their baths, and you can see examples of their fine handiwork in many public bath houses, after they are excavated. While the Greeks may have initiated the artform, the Romans took it all over the ancient world.
The material is ideal for wet spaces, which is why modern homeowners use it to line the borders of their pools and give them decorative features on the bottom too.
Don't think pools are just for outdoors. High end hotels and restaurants, along with other businesses, can create lively indoor areas that invite people to visit and hang around, by including decorative water features with mosaics in their design.
#7 Benches and Patio Furniture
The Spanish took to the art form and modernized it, creating fanciful sculptures and a Serpentine bench in Barcelona, which is a famous tourist attraction.
Mosaics are an easy-to-do art project for outdoor furniture, which would include not only benches and chairs, but tabletops too.
By adding either permanent benches in the patio or movable furniture, a homeowner can add a splash of color to their outdoor setting that won’t fade, like flowers do.
The Spanish adored tile work so much, they used it to line the risers of their staircases in their Spanish Colonial homes.
For the discriminating modern home owner, it's not enough to copy an old style, you may want something other than Spanish tile to make it truly original. Glass tile will provide different lighting effects, almost appearing like a rising rainbow, on a staircase that may be lit by lamps along it’s rise or from natural light outside the home. San Francisco, a city of many hills, has many outdoor staircases too. Check out this lovely 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project that has transformed the tile riser concept into a mosaic public artwork. The nice thing about mosaic tilework is that it is good for indoors or outdoor projects.
#9 Doorways and Arches
The Moors loved to put intricate tile work and mosaics on their arches to accentuate the architecture.
However, even modern homeowners can get this effect, if they’re doors are rectangular.
It just adds another level of originality to the home. It’s like framing a piece of art, when you add a mosaic border to your doorways either inside or outside the home. You can even use it to line windows and on window boxes too.
If you’re lucky enough to have some columns or pillars in the home or patio area, you can accentuate this architectural feature with with tile work near the base or all the way to the top. It’s not unusual to find columns in modern loft industrial designs that dwellers have a problem figuring out how to decorate. However, they can make dramatic modern statements, such as this example of modern mosaic columns, lighted at the top.
Mosaics Never Go Out of Style
I hope after seeing some of the old and new examples of design choices available with mosaics, that you’ll agree with me that they never go out of style. It’s still as delightful to view an old Roman bath mosaic as it is to go to Barcelona and sit on the Serpentine bench. There are constant advances in materials and designs that continue to make this artform a thrilling adventure in discovery with many architectural uses. Custom mosaics can make any house a canvas, just waiting to make use of this artform to personalize the house into your private home. It’s a very easy way to get instant color, pizazz, and style in a house that may be lacking in certain areas.
Did you enjoy the way mosaics have appeared in people’s homes and public spaces through time? Were you inspired? Have you got other ideas on how to use this time-tested artform in your home? Do you want to comment about what you just saw? Talk to us and let us know what you think. We might be able to point you in the right direction for your next home improvement project. Comment below, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends who may not have yet discovered how to beautify their homes with this excellent style of art.