Tag: Tile

Tile Styles: A Retrospective

Explore The World Of Tile

Tile is one of the oldest forms of decorative art. Widely used throughout history, many historically important examples still exist today thanks to its durability, technical properties, and visual richness. First seen in the Egyptian civilization in 4th century B.C., blue glazed bricks were used to decorate homes. We saw these blue tiles again on the Ishtar Gate in ancient Babylon in 5th century B.C. decorated with lions, bulls, and dragons on a strong glazed blue background. The gate is considered one of the Wonders of the World.


The Islamic Empires produced a thicker tile which was used widely in architecture as a covering for interior and exterior surfaces. Avoid- ing figurative images for religious reasons, the tile of this region and era favors strong, complex geometric designs built on combinations of repeated squares and circles, sometimes interlaced with arabesques. Florals appear too, often rendered as branching forms.


On the Iberian Peninsula, ceramic tile was introduced by the Moors in the 13th and 14th centuries, with the construction of the Alahambra Palace. By the 16th century, Portugal had fully embraced ceramic tile art as an art form and it started to appear everywhere. Known as Azulejos, Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework was found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces, ordinary houses, and schools.


Greatly influenced by imported Chinese Ming porcelain in the 17th century, Dutch tiles from Delft were first created to line the interiors of fireplaces. Very popular in the 17th century, the tiles were usually decorated with exotic animals, sea creatures, flowers, mythological and biblical scenes.


Iznic ceramics are named after a Turkish city near Istanbul. The motifs were typically floral and geometric and the tiles had a special glow due to their quartz content and vibrant color. Iznik tiles were widely used to cover the walls and ceilings of mosques. Their acoustic qualities helped the sound of prayer to resonate and they also visually lightened the appearance of heavy structures.


Borrowing heavily from Islamic architecture and tile design, the patterns of Moroccan tile are colorful and intricate, often incorporating mosaic designs and circular, arched shapes. It is believed that the origin of the designs came out of artistic limitations for Muslims, who by strict Islamic law were not allowed to depict living beings and therefore expressed themselves through shapes.

The Last Word

Visit a Blackman Showroom to explore the world of tile for your home today. Glass, Ceramic, Porcelain, and Concrete tile is available at most Blackman Showrooms. Visit our locations page to find a showroom near you.

Taken from the Summer 2018 Issue of Blackman At Home Magazine 

Posted in Design, Trends


An Interview with Interior Designer Greg McKenzie: Inspirational & Innovative

Greg McKenzie: Inspirational & Innovative

Written by: Gwen Donovan

Greg McKenzie of Greg McKenzie Designs is celebrated for his cutting-edge and inspirational interior design work. His reach extends from the Hamptons and Manhattan to Boston, Chicago, Palm Beach, Europe and Cabo San Lucas, resulting in some of the world’s most stunning residences.

How would you describe your design style?

Transitional, meaning modern/mid-century modern, which is paired with old elements in the mix for a sense of history and time. When you’re mixing styles and periods it makes for good design. I try not to embrace trends too much. I look for longevity in classic things that stand the test of time.

What are some of the common threads you rely on for your signature style?

The biggest thing for me is to try and re-purpose things. My philosophy is that it hast to look great and it has to be comfortable. Comfort, function and beauty are so important. I’m not a designer that you can say “That’s a Greg McKenzie room.” It’s a very intimate thing to be invited into someone’s house and make it into their home.

What was your favorite design project?

I just completed a year-long, 5,500-square-foot apartment in Palm Beach where all the bath fixtures came from Blackman.

What is your background in the design field?

I have a degree in English with a minor in political communications. Early in my career I was in advertising with a sales and marketing background. Then I switched to retail, working for companies like Devonshire (I managed a Devonshire shop in the East End), and later I was a stylist.  Once I realized design was my forte, I went to design school and started my business in 2001.

Where do get inspiration from? 

I get inspiration from all sorts of places: clothing, color samples, color palette swatches, a piece of furniture or a rug. Anyone worth their salt in the design field is always learning.

Do you have any design secrets to share?

I like to work with the architectural style of a home when I design. A traditional home looks strange with all modern furnishings; you need to find a happy medium where the architecture matches the interior. I strongly associate my design approach and a home’s location. If it’s at the beach, there’s an element of relaxation. In New York City, you want some glamour. In Miami Beach, you can go a little wild and extraordinary. Palm Beach is all about color and casual elegance.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your design firm?

Most of my clients are longtime and we have worked on multiple projects together. My big thing is I really, really enjoy and love what I do and I think that shows in the final product. It’s got to feel good, and it’s got to feel like home.

Visit Greg McKenzies website to learn more about Greg McKenzie Designs.


Posted in Trends

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Blackman AD Field Marketing Summit 2018

Blackman Field Marketing Summit 2018: Recap

In an effort to facilitate exceptional sales practices and brand representation among their various locations, Blackman hosted a Field Marketing Summit. An event dedicated to the education and training of Blackman employees provided by top industry brands.  “In order to properly sell and represent the outstanding brands our organization carries, we must educate the members of our Blackman community on the latest industry news and product availability,” said Blackman Marketing Manager, Francesca Messina.

The  event was held from Monday, February 12th to Tuesday, February 13th. It was hosted at the Piermont in Babylon, NY. It included presentations from brands such as Fujitsu, Taco, Uphonor, HC, Bradford White, Mueller, Oatey, Charlotte Pipe, Moen, Honeywell, Diversified and Ruud. Each vendor presentation featured exciting product announcements and demonstrations as well as industry trend projections and brand specific selling tips.

With both Vendors and Blackman representatives in the same room, the Field Marketing Summit allowed for the opportunity to share ideas, ask compelling questions and foster strong working relationships. Eessential pieces for a successful vendor-seller relationship.

Both Vendors and Blackman Team members found the event greatly beneficial. Blackman looks forward to hosting the event again next year.

Posted in Team Blackman, Trade

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