Heat Up Your Life With Sultry Latin Style

With the summer heat finally upon us, now is the time to take a long hard look at our sensible European interiors and let in a little of that Latin flavour. Central America and the Caribbean can offer us pale folk a huge array of patterns and colours that will lift our moods, our floors and our furnishings. A combination of native and colonial pasts combined with a sense of invention, often from cash strapped necessity, gives the area its unique flavour.


Cuba's colonial history creates a special fusion of Moorish tile design via Spain mixed up with Caribbean heat to create vivid encaustic cement tiled floors in dazzling colours. Handmade floor tiles aren't as accessible as they once were - the price of labour having increased slightly since the 1870´s - but vinyl alternatives are available and simple colour combinations will make them more versatile in a modern setting

Across the gulf in Mexico's sunny Acapulco, an anonymous 1950's french tourist, sitting uncomfortably in a straight backed dining chair, beheld a hammock and had the bright idea of combining the two items. Behold! A design classic was born... True or not (no one knows), the Acapulco Chair has enjoyed enormous success and spawned thousands of imitators. The original chairs are still made in Mexico and utilize recycled PVC in their construction. Environmentally sound as well as delicious.

Typical of the whole region and a consequence of the economically disadvantaged status of many of the inhabitants, is an inventiveness with humble materials. Bold use of colour and a liberal attitude to paint combined with a desire to brighten one's surroundings can create startling effects for not much money. A few such items in a subdued suburban semi will work wonders with your mood!

So paint your wheelie bin and buy a parrot. Mine's a mojito!
Created On  3 Jul 2019 13:08  -  Permalink
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Catalan Art Nouveau Sandwich Shop.

In the Catalan town of Vilanova i la Geltru where Zazous currently resides, there is a Modernista (Catalan Art Nouveau) house on the Rambla run by the El Fornet chain as a cafe. Each room on the ground floor retains its original 100 year old encaustic tiled floor and the 1st floor bay window combines decorative iron work, stained glass and ceramic tiles in one faded but joyous confection. We like it very much. 





Created On  11 Jun 2019 13:43  -  Permalink
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Segovia & Madrid. Patterns everywhere..

Zazous took another small holiday, this time to the Spanish cities of Segovia & Madrid. Here are a few things we saw that we liked and that one day might inform a design or two...

A renaissance palace in Segovia with a wonderfully exaggerated fortified air..

A bar in Malasaña, Madrid with a great encaustic tiled floor

Part of the Apse ceiling at the Cathedral in Segovia

Detail of Contemporary Shop Front, Calle de José Abascal, Madrid

Detail of carved stone facade from the old town in Segovia

And lastly, decorative mid century style brickwork from Madrid

Patterns, patterns everywhere. Once you start seeing them it doesn't stop!

Created On  4 Jun 2019 13:55  -  Permalink
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Granada Grey customer pic

Granada Grey sheet vinyl flooring looking very cool in an LA loo

Created On  3 Jun 2019 14:19  -  Permalink
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Ronda Black in Kitchen Refurb

Many thanks for these great customer pics featuring Ronda Black in a very cool Massachusetts diner style kitchen re-model. Pink appliances courtesy of Big Chill USADiner style furniture by American Chair

Created On  21 May 2019 14:04  -  Permalink
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Balconies of Peñíscola

OK, stop sniggering! Peñíscola or 'The Gibraltar of Valencia' is a beautiful small town perched atop a large rock on the Spanish seashore looking out towards the sparkling med (and looking back on typical Spanish seaside sprawl, but never mind..). The small houses clustered around the castle are nearly all painted white and they put us in mind of a Greek village as much as anything Spanish. Zazous took a brief holiday in and around Peñíscola and we were struck by the ceramic tiles on the undersides of the balconies - many many balconies featuring many many different tile patterns and colours. Zazous spent a couple of hours clambering up and down the steep cobbled lanes, snapping away and presented here are some of the highlights.

For more pics, click on 'Read more...'

Created On  23 Apr 2019 14:22  -  Permalink
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