February 23 2011
Visiting La Mirande in Avignon a number of years ago, I was bowled over by the patterned tiled floor in my bathroom. A subesquent tour of the hotel’s other guest rooms revealed that each bathroom had a different, but equally striking tiled floor that, for me, proved the most stand-out feature of the room.
A few years later, while renovating my house in France, I made it my mission to track down the source of those highly decorative Provencal tiles, which also feature on the floors of several high-end Paris boutiques. The maker, I discovered, is Carocim, whose atelier and shop can be found just outside Aix-en-Provence. As well as stocking a dazzling array of designs, the showroom also features inspirational ways to combine the thick, cement tiles which are made according to a method that dates back to 1850.
In addition to making traditional patterns, Carocim has also enlisted artist Martine Murat to produce more modern designs. I chose a clashing selection of both modern and traditional tiles to create a colourful patchwork above my kitchen sink – which nearly everyone who visits comments on – but Carocim tiles look particularly wonderful on kitchen and conservatory floors (second picture). And, in case you are wondering, yes, they do travel. A well-known interiors stylist that I know has a Carocim-tiled floor in the kitchen of her London home.
Prices on request.